What gives so many men the notion that they have a right to pick women off the street just as casually as they would pick plums off of a tree? Why do so many of our institutions, from the church to the military to the hallowed halls of ivy, give the message to their male members that they are entitled to grope and grab and force themselves on unwilling females?
What gives so many men the notion that they have a right to pick women off the street just as casually as they would pick plums off of a tree? Why do so many of our institutions, from the church to the military to the hallowed halls of ivy, give the message to their male members that they are entitled to grope and grab and force themselves on unwilling females? And why have the numbers of rapes on college campuses increased faster than you can say “NO means NO!” The answer to these questions is one of the best kept secrets in our society. The crime of rape is not handled as a criminal act by the individuals at the top of these institutions because it has been one of the perks that men have received since the beginning of time.
On college campuses, undergraduates are raped at greater frequency than graduate students, and freshmen are the easiest targets. Why? Well it makes sense to any predatory male looking for a victim that he choose someone new at the game, someone who is unsure of her status in the institution. His victim doesn’t know the rules; she’s overwhelmed by the change in her life as she goes from high school to college; it’s probably her first time away from home. He chooses wisely so that his chances of being reported are less than if he went after a more savvy upper class woman. And if he is brought up on charges, what does he say in his defense? “She came on to me.” Or “she led me on.” It becomes his word against hers.
As a point of information, it’s not only women who are victims here. Males (5%) as well as females, gays, and transgendered individuals are all potential prey for campus rapists. The latest statistics inform us that over 25% of undergraduates experience some form of sexual violation during their college years.
And what does the university do when they are faced with a victim who accuses a perpetrator? They tell her that it’s best to handle it internally. Why? They treat it as a violation of rules rather than the crime that it is. It doesn’t take much to realize that once parents get wind of the fact that a quarter of their children are being sexually violated, and not safe, that they might pull their kids out of school and stop writing the hefty tuition checks that the universities count on.
It’s hard to believe that in the most modern and wealthy country in the world that when it comes to the violation of women, gays, and transgendered individuals,we are sorely in the dark ages. Victims continue to be reluctant to report because they take responsibility for their part in the assault. Even if they tell the perpetrator “NO!” they accept some of the blame for their own victimization. So it’s not only the culture of the university that looks the other way in many of these cases. This situation will not change until people are willing to come forward and demand change by prosecuting criminals and putting the blame where it belongs – on the perpetrator and not the victim.
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