The statistics are unquestionable–at least to the social justice warriors inhabiting American colleges: something between 20 and 25 percent of women will be raped during their four (or more) years of college. Presumably, women sticking around for a master’s or doctorate degree face even more daunting odds.
What kind of father would allow his daughter to go to college facing those odds? Pretty much every one, because even if they are progressives, they don’t really believe those hyperbolic statistics. They’re just useful for imposing progressive policies on the deplorables, and particularly white male deplorables, the source of all evil in the world. Forget about all that due process nonsense; brand ‘em all rapists and expel ‘em!
USA Today appears to be distributing heresy:
Most U.S. colleges — 89% — reported zero incidents of rape in 2015, according to American Association of University Women (AAUW) analysis of data provided by schools to the U.S. Department of Education.
Well, that puts a hole in social justice agitation about rape on campus, doesn’t it? Not so fast. USA Today certainly wouldn’t let evil white men get away with that:
Reported is the key word. Just because a school had no rape reports doesn’t mean no rapes happened.
AAUW’s findings very likely do not reflect the true state of sexual violence among college students, since a majority of incidents go unreported. In fact, a 2014 report by the U.S. Department of Justice estimated that 80% of student victims don’t report their rape or sexual assault to police, based on data from 1995–2013.
Still, the 2015 AAUW report isn’t as rosy as the previous year’s. In 2014, 91% of schools reported zero rapes, based on annual crime data disclosed by more than 11,000 colleges and universities.
The rest of the article works very hard to paint as grim a picture as possible. Progressives just know women are being raped at a record pace on campus, and they’re not going to let studies that say otherwise get in the way.
There does not, for the purposes of reporting or compiling studies, seem to be a common, universal definition of rape. As I explained in Campus Rape And Social Justice: All Men Are Rapists, the crime of rape has very specific elements. If what happened does not match the elements, it wasn’t rape. It may be some other crime, but it is not rape. This is true of all crimes. The reasonable person has to be able to tell what is and isn’t unlawful. For social justice purposes, this is entirely unsuitable. What matters is the social justice narrative that 20% to 25% of women are going to be raped. If the facts and the law don’t conform to the narrative, to hell with the law, and the facts will have to change. Actually, what’s more likely is the definitions will have to change.
The studies cited in the article are remarkable, however. Colleges tend to be very reluctant to report accurate crime rates on campus. It’s bad for business. Therefore, crimes of all kinds are mischaracterized, or otherwise explained away. If it’s not a crime, it doesn’t need to be reported. Often, colleges don’t report felonies to the police unless there is no way to avoid it. But the rape craze presents a unique problem.
Colleges can’t achieve true social justice purity unless they have significant rape rates, which requires kangaroo courts, which expel rapists. To prove they’re a hotbed of rape, colleges are in the bizarre trap of categorizing just about anything as rape, even when the police investigate and discover the female “victim” made a false report. Young men have been branded rapists and expelled even when the police have refused to refer cases for prosecution. Again, that’s the difference between the rule of law and social justice. Verdict first– kangaroo court to reach it later.
Under social justice, just about anything might be rape. If two students were so drunk they can’t remember anything about what they did, but the young women is convinced by her friends something bad must have happened, it’s rape. If a breast was briefly fondled after a young lady said “no,” it’s rape. Kissing, stroking, anything but forcible penetration is often construed to be rape. What matters is how the “victim” feels, not the actual acts. Few colleges dare be thought of as weak on rape, yet 89% to 91% of colleges reported no rapes in 2015 and 2014. As reluctant as colleges are to report such things, it’s reasonable to believe there were even fewer rapes on campus than reported.
But that doesn’t matter. Who are you going to believe? The rape deniers and the facts, or the narratives of the victims, even though they don’t come close to fitting any legal definition of rape? One might be forgiven for worrying about the graduates of America’s universities. On one hand, they’re just certain to be raped any minute; rapists are lurking behind every shrub and statue on campus. On the other, most universities are reporting that rape is rare, and very few female students will ever be raped, yet they maintain formal rape investigation bureaucracies to not only indoctrinate everyone in the horrors of the campus rape culture, but to find rapists where none exist and to burn them at the figurative stake. Do un-raped graduates think themselves rape survivors? Does anyone escape college without psychological damage?
I ended the aforementioned article thus:
Social justice ideology not only fools the credulous into believing that consensual, willing sexual relations are rape, it not only damages relations between men and women, but it trivializes the genuine trauma and harm caused by real rapists, while ensuring that actual rapists go free. It ensures that the jobs of police officers become still more difficult, even as it denigrates them. Yet another great, forward-looking progressive accomplishment.
As usual, what matters is the narrative that campuses are overwhelmed by a rape culture, requiring the suspension of civil liberties to eradicate, and as always with progressive ideology, facts cannot be allowed to get in the way of a useful narrative.
Who yah gonna believe?