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It’s a hookup culture, not a rape culture

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November 2, 2015

11:49 PM

Sexual assault has undoubtedly entrenched itself deep within the minds and lives of college students everywhere. Naturally, such a broad toxification demands attention and remedy; regrettably, efforts which attempt to address the notorious substance-induced assault have been starkly misguided and ill-informed. I am referring a specific, yet undeniably large component of what is considered rape or sexual assault on college campuses – two people, of indeterminate drunkenness, engaging in sexual activity.

The prevalence of this type of sexual assault nationwide has given rise to several prominent narratives which try to identify the origins of this disease, namely the notion that we, as college students, are a part of a broader “rape culture;” a culture prevalent in and promoted by the media, judicial processes and public attitudes. I want to suggest that the rape culture narrative is not only wrong, but completely off the mark. It has been aggressively conflated with what is actually “hookup culture,” and the evidence for this can be found not only in nations with “real” rape cultures, but through examining our own culture as well.

I want to suggest that the rape culture narrative is not only wrong, but completely off the mark.

In 2006, a 19-year-old Saudi woman was gang raped by seven men. Through an unforgivable perversion of justice, a Sharia court resentenced her to 200 lashes and six months in jail. What was her crime? Being in a car with a male and having been seen by what I hesitate to call seven other “men.” Not only did the sentencing occur after an appeal, but the Saudi Arabian government defended the decision to punish the victim, saying she was at fault. This is rape culture, seen in such other places as the courts of India and Pakistan. A victim is held at fault; the victimizers are held in acclaim. Not only by isolated groups, but by significant portions of society and its government.

Obviously the fact that other countries have it worse does not mean we do not have it at all. But everywhere I’ve looked, I cannot seem to find it. What aspects of our society lie within the realm of a rape culture? There is simply no systemic tolerance for rape, no prosecution of victims and the general disgust for rape and rapists may only be trumped by the general disgust for pedophilia or murder; indicating that it is not, contrary to what many say, an institutionalized part of our “culture.” Outlier events of injustice are just that, outliers, and are not indicative of any culturally normative problems.

What is institutionalized, however, is hookup culture. The media promotes it, Greek Life promotes it, hell, everyone promotes it, and the qualities present within it give rise to portrayals against which those who shout “rape culture” protest.

What is institutionalized, however, is hookup culture. The media promotes it, Greek Life promotes it, hell, everyone promotes it, and the qualities present within it give rise to portrayals against which those who shout “rape culture” protest. Some say rape culture exists in the portrayal of women in our media. Looking at the media of the aforementioned regions where rape culture is an alarmingly pervasive phenomenon shows that similarities are practically nonexistent. In those areas, the ideals of a rape culture are perpetuated by stripping women of their sexuality. It is not only seen as forbidden, but damaging and corrupting. Instead, what we see in our media is young adults bombarded with suggestions — no, coercions — to “let loose,” to drink, to lower boundaries and to not worry about what might happen tomorrow. This is not a sign of rape culture, but of hookup culture.

In shifting the responsibility for the abundance of ambiguous rape cases onto nonexistent problems in society, we completely overlook the true contributing factors in these instances: alcohol and the disregard for personal responsibility and safety that hookup culture so shamelessly advocates. I hope the dangers of trying to tackle the problem of rape within a rape culture context — when in reality the issue exists in a hookup culture context — are now frighteningly clear. The current attempt to reconcile the ambiguities of consent existing in hookup culture with effective prosecutions of rape is not only naive, but impossible. The legal system in our country operates under the assumption of innocent until proven guilty, a system wholly incompatible with the ambiguities of hookup culture. I suggest we all collectively look inward, rather than outward, for solutions to problems that are so pervasive in our temporary homes.

Email Thomas Briggs at [email protected]

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About Author

  • Thomas Briggs

  • Upset

    So I think the major issue with this opinion piece is that the author is attempting to shield his ignorance with words selected from a thesaurus and a condescending tone. The fact of the matter is, maybe the author can’t see this “rape culture” because he is a privileged white male. I see rape culture everywhere as a woman. Just because it is not visible to all men does not mean it is not a tangible thing that women have to face everyday of their lives. My biggest qualm with this “article” is the line, “disregard for personal responsibility.” Here, the author is victim shaming by suggesting that activities like drinking and attending fraternity parties, activities commonly associated with the “hookup culture,” directly cause rape. No one and no factor causes rape except for the rapist. Maybe if the author understood the fear women face on a daily basis, even just doing something simple like walking to class past a group of construction workers, he would rethink his inability to see rape culture. It disgusts me that someone at THIS school has such antiquated views and is resisting opening his mind to the truth: that women everywhere are in danger of rape, and something needs to be done.

    • mcasey7

      “No one and no factor causes rape except for the rapist.” You state this as fact, but is it? Is there any data about conditions under which rape happens more frequently? That wouldn’t imply causation, but it happens more at, say, frat parties than formal dinners. Just as getting mugged is not usually the fault of the victim, walking through, say, Guatemala City at 2 AM dressed as a gaudy American greatly increases the likelihood that one will be mugged. When we visited we were told, strictly, “Don’t walk the streets after dark and don’t show any money.” Is this victim blaming? Or acceptance of reality? Why shouldn’t I be able to walk the streets at 2AM in a 3rd world country?

      A few in our group decided not to be “shamed” by these tour guides. They went out and were mugged, nearly killed. where does victimization stop and common sense take over?

      • Josh

        So people should just accept they may be raped on college campuses if, say, they have a lot to drink at a frat party? I think there’s a big difference between Central America, where rampant crime is enabled by poverty and lack of opportunity and low state penetration and the fact that a lot of illegal drugs go through Central America on their way to the US… and a frat party on a college campus in the US. I’m not sure I understand why it would be so hard to hold college students in the US to a higher standard, and I don’t think most people in our W&M community would say that yes, we should just throw our hands up and accept that rape happens here, and tell people they should just stay in on the weekends for their own safety.

        • mcasey7

          Well, people are people, 3rd world or 1st, and some people are dangerous, especially under certain conditions. By the current definition , under which being intoxicated while “hooking up” automatically constitutes rape, getting loaded at a frat party, male or female, among many other young hormonal people, is extremely high risk behavior for either gender. The chances of something happening that might fall into the rape category is pretty high.

          • cmg

            I understand what you are saying, but in both situations it is better to fix the situation at the source rather than “avoiding” this situation by requiring potential victims to change their behavior. In Guatemala City, it is more efficient and fair to stop muggings by trying to stop systemic disenfranchisement and poverty that creates crime. Similarly we should combat rape by educating individuals about consent, alcohol, and educating individuals about nonviolent cases of rape. So for now I will continue to walk home with my keys in my hand, make my own drinks at parties, and never leave a friend alone at a party, but I don’t want to have to do these things for the rest of my life, and I certainly don’t want my children to have to do the same things.

    • Mason’s State

      I agree with most of what you said, but I have to say, I can’t see what him being “a privileged white male” has to do with anything. Him being male, sure I can see that, but I fail to see how an Asian or Black male would be better equipped to understand this situation. It seems like you may have jumped on “white male” quickly simply because that is what you are used to doing when you talk about privilege. I also don’t think it is right to assume that he is privileged as a whole person. He may be lucky to be white and male, but you never know what else could be going on in his life.

      I do agree with most of what you said, but I am a bit disturbed by your comment about walking past construction workers…what makes them a particularly bad group of people? Do you just look down on that occupation, or is there something else about them you don’t like?

      I 100% agree with what you said about how alcohol and parties are obviously not the cause, and the victims are not at fault.

      • Upset

        So Mason, I think this opinion piece is dripping with privilege. There are certain things that as a white man, he is clearly not seeing because he does not have to face the same bias and prejudice that women do. When the author claims he is looking for a rape culture but can’t find it, it’s simply because he’s not a woman. With the construction workers example, many times when I walk past them on my way to class, I feel their eyes glued to me. I know exactly what they are thinking and it makes me feel uncomfortable and objectified. I have had several friends catcalled. It was merely an example to show the kinds of things that women face that men often don’t even consider. Mr. Briggs obviously wouldn’t understand this (he also gave my comment a shoutout apparently on his facebook page. I hope you read this, author. I hope you understand how truly wrong and upsetting this article is.)

        • Shade

          Just a quick question, it seems pretty unrelated to the entire content of the piece (regardless of what you think of his argument) that he is a “white” male. What does his race have to do with the article?

        • JohnSkookum

          “With the construction workers example, many times when I walk past them on my way to class, I feel their eyes glued to me. I know exactly what they are thinking and it makes me feel uncomfortable and objectified. ”

          Why do leftists sneer so hatefully at Christians for disbelieving Darwin’s theory of evolution, and then have a pearl-clutching conniption over the totally normal male behavior that millions of years of evolution have selected for? When it comes to science deniers, the climate skeptics can’t polish the Birkenstocks of the feminist Left.

          And why do they think that fatuous college-campus notions of dogmatic feminist piety, the kind that that even most women laugh at, will ever have the slightest effect on this ineluctable genetic inheritance?

    • NiceJob

      “the truth: that women everywhere are in danger of rape, and something needs to be done.”

      You are a woman, and you are afraid. This means you have the privilege of not having to defend your argument with any evidence, apparently.

    • Disregarding his opinion because he’s a white male is sexist, racist, and a cheap ad hominem attack.

      • Lizzy Autrey

        It’s too bad that you cannot be racist against a white person nor sexist against a man. If you understood the distribution of power within our society, you would understand those basic concepts. You similarly wouldn’t be standing up for the very premis of rape culture on an article that promotes it. But alas, ignorance is bliss.

        • Hillword

          You really think that? The Nazis weren’t being racist when they exterminated Jews?
          You, a woman. May never have to join the military. Will win the majority of cases for the possession of your children. Can make cases of rape based on personal accounts alone. And you think men are privileged?
          And you have the NERVE to say something so unbelievably insensitive and blatantly bigoted over the internet like you would ever say it in real life.

          • Lizzy Autrey

            Lol. Someone’s religion has absolutely nothing to do with their race. And I think you might be mixed up on who is the bigot here.

          • Lizzy Autrey

            A. Judaism isn’t a race you idiot.
            B. I truly can’t argue with someone who can’t even form a complete sentence.

          • Hillword

            It is a real race.

            http://www.jpost.com/Enviro-Tech/Jews-A-religious-group-people-or-race

            You should seriously question your motives on this website if you have trouble arguing with someone on the grounds of sentence structure rather than the points conveyed.

            But you know, that is just my opinion.

        • J-dawg

          It’s too bad that you weren’t being sarcastic, because you absolutely can be racist/sexist against a “dominant” demographic.

    • J-dawg

      Something has gone horribly wrong in raising this generation of females if they are afraid because they happen to pass some construction workers on their way to class. And just think how offensive that would be if “construction workers” was replaced with “blacks.”

      P.S. Some friendly girl-to-girl advice – stop thinking of yourself as a victim all the time and you don’t feel as much like one.

  • Andrew

    No systematic tolerance for rape? Please… if you’re a student, you have access to JSTOR – read Martin and Hummer’s “Fraternities and Rape on Campus” for a start, and then begin listening to women instead of thinking you know more than them.

    • Aiesha

      same, that whole argument boggled my mind “There is simply no systemic tolerance for rape, no prosecution of
      victims”” these are simply not facts

    • 1. You’re implying only women are raped with the last part of your sentence.

      2. Fraternities are hardly representative of mainstream society, so I don’t know how that article shows a ‘systematic tolerance for rape’.

      • Andrew

        I notice I did make it seem like only women can be sexually assaulted, which is not true, and not what I meant to imply. (But the fact remains, the author should still start listening to women who speak up about their experiences with sexual assault and probably just in general.)

        Also, this is an article written for a college newspaper website by a young male college student who is part of a fraternity, so it seemed like a good place to start.

      • Andrew

        Oh, and fraternities are not representative of mainstream society, but they are a great representation of hegemonic/toxic masculinity which I would argue plays a large role in sexual assault, so they are an interesting case study. The article also deals with the issue of alcohol, which the author discusses.

        • Alejandro Reyes

          I have never received my paycheck from the male hegemony. Do you know where I can call? Also I am curious as to how much rape there is on campuses and in broader society. I am sure the answer will be… enlightening

    • If campus rape stats were to be believed, the rates are higher than Congo. Why would any sane parent send their daughter to Congo for college? Why would any woman subject herself to that?

      • sway

        They never answer this specific question, because it unravels their narrative.

    • Larry Bartholomew

      Martin and Hummer conducted a case study of an alleged gang rape incident at a fraternity at Florida State University. From this study, they sought to derive a “conceptual framework” to understand the social context in which the gang rape could have occurred. They’re doing fine up to that point.

      Their paper fails when the authors assume this particular context does indeed lead to rape without evidence beyond this single alleged case, and that this context exists at fraternities in general. There are some many possible variables that could rip apart their generalization that its ridiculous, and as such the paper fails on basic research methodology. It should be appropriately filed away in the “making it all up” drawer.

  • Jen

    I’m a woman and I agree with every statement in this article. Also to other commenters, stop with the “white male” privilege — the only privilege in this country is money, regardless of race. There are plenty white males (the majority of the white males on this campus) that have no special connections, that are lower middle class, yet are scrutinized for their beliefs just because they are lumped into some pile. That is wrong, and I don’t understand why our society is okay with that discrimination.

    • I can’t with this article

      Male privilege 1) exists and 2) is especially applicable to this article. As a MALE the author has the PRIVILEGE of being able to go get drunk with his friends at a frat house without having to worry about being sexually assaulted and then being told that if he wasn’t drinking then it wouldn’t have happened. How then is he in a position effectively argue that rape culture isn’t real/a problem?

      That said – one example of a prevalent rape culture on campus is that when a victim reports the sexual assault they aren’t believed. Told that because they were drinking it was in some way their fault, that they could have prevented it. There is huge systemic tolerance for rapists unlike the author suggests. The burden of proof lies on the accuser and rarely do the assailants see any consequences of their actions.

      • Mason’s State

        I would disagree with the terminology of calling that “Privilege”. I don’t think it is a privilege to go out and feel that way, I think it is a travesty that women can’t go out and feel that way. I think that difference in phrasing is actually very important.

        It’s not that men are doing especially well, it is that women should have it better than they do. I realize that there is a 99% chance that is exactly what you mean to say, but I don’t think the word “privilege” gets that idea across clearly.

      • monkey

        It’s not true if you dont think that men get assaulted. Not only does it happen, but when it happens to a guy they are mocked at an even greater extent than women. The comment jen made had a point in saying that the greatest privilege a person can receive is by being wealthy, the next probably being white and then male. Not to say that there isnt male privilege but males are not exempt from sexual assault.

    • Francesca McConnell

      umm alright “Jen”

  • Abhi

    A good example of the existence of rape culture would be a male who has never had to deal with it writing a lengthy column blaming sexual assault cases on a lack of personal responsibility.

    Thomas, I have looked inward, and in my heart of hearts I have found the column that lucky males like ourselves should be writing about rape culture. For your benefit, I have pasted it below:

    .”

    • mcasey7

      Not that it obviates your point, but somewhere between 10 and 20% of rape victims are male.

      • Abhi

        Somehow this always seems to be brought up by people who want to deny the problem rather than acknowledge it as a parallel.

        • Will

          mcasey stated that fact because it is presumptuous and smug to say that men have no place in the conversation when a double digit percent of rapes occur against them.

        • mcasey7

          Not trying to deny any problem. Just trying to define it and put it in perspective a bit. And I think it would be helpful if people would stop using terms like “rape culture” to shed light on a complex spectrum of behaviors e.g. two drunk teens stumbling into a dormroom is hugely different from a knife-wieding maniac pulling someone into an parking garage.
          It is hard to solve a problem if people are not honest about what the problem actually is.

          • Abby M

            one of the biggest misconceptions about sexual assault is just that — that it’s more likely to be a knife-wielding maniac, as you say, than someone you know. in reality, in the vast majority of rape cases the survivor knew/knows their assailant — it’s often an acquaintance, a friend, or someone close. and the majority of rapists/sexual assailants are repeat offenders. often on college campuses, “hookup culture” provides the perfect camouflage for such people — they can claim that it was just a hookup, that everyone is doing it, and so the malicious intent and act can be disguised.

            i think it should be obvious that when we talk about alcohol/parties in regards to rape cases, we aren’t saying every. single. time. two people have drunken sex that it’s rape. and in fact, those two people probably won’t conceive of it AS rape and won’t believe they have experienced rape and won’t take action, and for them, no problem. but for those who have experienced sexual assault, we need to be able to put it in context. and thus legally, if you are intoxicated you are unable to consent. it’s really damaging to try to make such a complex issue as black and white as the author does.

          • Mason’s State

            Just wanted to say this is a great comment.

          • Alex

            “legally, if you are intoxicated you are unable to consent” — No, if you are incapacitated, you are unable to consent. Intoxicated does not necessarily equal incapacitated.

            Question for you then: if two drunk people have sex, are they both guilty of rape since, by your argument, neither can consent?

          • Jason Penn

            There’s no clear line between drunkenness and incapacitation from drunkenness. The latter does not have anything to do with physical incapacitaiton, but whether someone’s consent should be considered valid, the same way an underage person is said to lack the capacity to provide consent.

            The charging standards vary wildly between different prosecuting offices enforcing the same law, because ultimately the distinction is a matter of opinion, and more than a few are content to use the terms drunk and incapacitated interchangeably. Ultimately the standard is what you can convince a jury should be the case, or in the case of a university which decides on its own, the decision will favor whatever results in the least liability and best public image for the school.

          • DEEKAYBEE

            No they are both effed definitely after and perhaps before

          • Jason Penn

            The problem is Abby M, you are trying to say its okay for two people to have a drunken hookup, as long as neither thinks its was rape. And then speak of needing to provide a legal remedy if one of them wakes up and decides it was rape.

            As a legal standard, you can’t have it both ways. Whether someone committed a rape is not determined by how someone else feels the morning after, or after they realize weeks or months later that the hookup wasn’t a prelude to a relationship.

            You concede it’s “no problem” to have drunk sex because the hookup culture is so prevalent, and unless you want your rape stat to include the majority of people who have had sex in college, that’s a concession that must be made. And that’s the problem the author speaks of, the legal standard can’t make sense of hookup culture, and by its definitions, see’s rapists wherever drunken hookups occur.

          • DEEKAYBEE

            Hey are you Briggs

        • DEEKAYBEE

          And you have special feelers that mcasey7 is one of such people. Man that empathy of yours is awfully volatile.

    • Effectively, what you’re saying unless you’re subject to something, you shouldn’t be allowed to write on it. That really opens the floor up for some critical debate.

      • Abhi

        At the very least if you’re not subject to something, you should make some effort to engage it with empathy and understand another perspective. I see a lot of concern in this article for people who are in a bad spot because of “ambiguities” and very little for those who feel threatened on a day to day basis.

        • mcasey6

          Students at an elite American college are among the safest and…well…most privileged individuals in the world (or in history). If you “feel threatened every day” at a place that safe and protected, God help you in the other 99.9% of the world, which is much, much more dangerous.

          • DEEKAYBEE

            A hi is just showing of his expensive, torn and faded intellectual jeans. Just smile condescendingly

        • DEEKAYBEE

          I feel threatened by your openness facade bordering on vacancy. Have some empathy

    • Mason’s State

      I strongly disagree with most of this article, but I don’t think that this article is “rape culture”. I think people who have been raped would probably be severely offended that you are comparing this article to what happened to them. This is nowhere near as severe as an actual assault, let alone a culture.

      Article =/= to rape or acceptance of it. However, the article does victim blame badly, no disagreement there.

      • Abhi

        Rape culture isn’t limited to its most severe forms. It comes down to seemingly benign interactions in which people dismiss the views of assault victims, or in victim-blaming–that’s what makes it pervasive.

        • Jason Penn

          Abhi, no one is trying to dismiss the views of rape victims, but I see you trying to dismiss the views of others by calling an honest dialog about the ambiguities of consent, alcohol, and cultural norms, as promoting rape culture. You obviously have an opinion, but don’t want anyone else to discuss theirs. I think you are kind of the embodiment of PC culture running amok here.

        • DEEKAYBEE

          It is not victim blaming if people want to help with advice to help avoid future occurrences, that always is a natural response to victims telling their tale. I could understand if a victim us being scolded. You, by your comments are conflating so many levels that idea exchange is not possible. Seeing the others point of view in the broad terms you are employing would be a shot in the dark. Oops I brought a gun into the conversation. I must be morphing into a neo con. OMG

    • NiceJob

      Fun rhetorical flourish there.

      But you didn’t respond to any of the arguments in the article.

      And this is how rape culture gets accepted as a foregone conclusion. If you disagree that it exists you get shouted down with smug condescension.

      • DEEKAYBEE

        A hi just wants to show his compassion in the hope he encounters Kate.

    • Shade

      Just a quick question Abhi, assuming that you are right and Thomas has never experienced any form of rape culture, from an unwelcome stare to awkward moment at a frat house to a sexual assault. Assuming that, how can anything be gained by trying to silence someone who clearly has strong opinions on the subject? He has the right to publish anything he chooses, and people have the same absolute right to judge him on his statements. I can’t see how, regardless of your opinion on the merits of the article, it would be better not to know his opinions on the matter.

      • Abhi

        He does have every right to publish it–I’m not stopping him. But those of us who have not experienced rape culture should consider before writing if that means it doesn’t exist, or if it means we should be the ones doing the listening instead of the talking.

        • DEEKAYBEE

          And you know that Briggs has not met your arbitrary criteria, how?

    • Sallypette

      “you can only talk about things if you have experienced it yourself” is the stupidest rule out there. It helps, but if you’ve done your research, which Thomas has, then there’s no reason why he can’t share his opinion too.

      Also, to summarise the column as being about “blaming sexual assault cases on a lack of personal responsibility” is completely disingenuous.

    • Disregarding his opinion because he’s a male is sexist and a cheap ad hominem.

    • Hillword

      Your argument that nobody should talk about things because it never happened to them is close minded and is an argumentative fallacy. By this logic, you should never talk about space because you were never on the moon.

      You think that you can be such a smart alack because of some preconceived notion you have of men being raped. You obviously have never been in prison for long periods of time because then you would know enough about prison rape.

  • Will

    If anyone were serious about ending rape on college campuses then they should break their necks nodding in assent to this article. The author wants rape to end. However, despite the massive wave of push against sexual assault/violence the issue persists. Why? After so much discourse and so many measures why does it continue. The author, correctly, argues because people have not truly decided to face the fact that many (NOT ALL) instances of rape occur as a result of the hookup culture. Hookup culture creates the attitude that sex is easily accessible, readily available, and in its more pernicious forms becomes an entitlement. This article never victim blames, but rather is blaming those who view sex in the aforementioned manner as perpetrators to these acts. If people want to end rape on college campus that sense of a “right” to sex has to end, because when that disposition is coupled with alcohol, the result is too often a disaster. The result is too often filled with ambiguities because both sides are drunk so they don’t remember it, and is too often attributed to things other than the inherent nature of the hookup culture. I hope people can agree with this basic premise, and look more internally into the nature of college culture and more specifically the hookup culture, because if we don’t then we are as damned as Sisyphus on this issue.

  • U kno what

    *****bitchez n hoes*****

    Sincerely
    The Author

  • really, flat hat?

    “This is rape culture, seen in such other places as the courts of India and Pakistan. A victim is held at fault; the victimizers are held in acclaim. Not only by isolated groups, but by significant portions of society and its government.”
    …what? The author says this as if all of these things don’t occur in America. Victims of sexual assault in this country, especially on college campuses, are constantly blamed for their own sexual assault. Oh you had a few drinks at a party and were flirting? You’ve slept with a lot of guys before? Guess you must have wanted to have sex! Significant portions of society and the government may not celebrate rapists in this country but they certainly turn a blind eye towards sexual assault. You don’t have to look any further than our own campus to find stories of not only students and the administration denying sexal assault, but literally court systems, which represent the government, (see: case against the football player one or two years ago) doing it as well. Or what about UVA expelling hundreds of students caught cheating in their history, but not expelling a single male convicted through their internal system of rape? Doesn’t that seem like parts of society giving implicit approval to rapists and their actions? The way in which fraternities celebrate having sex with drunk women is rape culture, the fact that assault victims are shunned is rape culture, me being afraid to walk to my car in a parking garage next to my own home is rape culture, and men everywhere saying a “gray area hookup” is totally acceptable is rape culture. This article is absolutely ignorant and highlights the fundamental problem in our society: nobody believes women when they say they feel threatened. You, Thomas, have never had to live as a woman in our society. Is it as bad as Saudi Arabia? Hell no, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve our attention. The rape culture in America is more subtle, but I would hope you don’t think it should escalate to the way Middle Eastern countries treat women for us to start seeing it.

    • B L

      ^This, a thousand times

  • jake day

    tbh i don’t think this kid has much stake in sexual matters anyway

    • Sir Bearington

      That, good sir, is an add homophone, and i will not stand by it.

  • Thomas Northrup

    Has the author done any research at all? Did he read the taskforce findings? Even though this is an opinion piece, it seems like the Flathat should at least set some standards for having to know what you’re talking about before you’re allowed to write this kind of garbage.

    Also way to perpetuate ethnocentric ideas about how women are treated in other countries, specifically in the Middle East…

    • qaz

      Middle Eastern women, in many ways, have it better than they do here

      • You guys are joking right

        • friend

          India actually has a lower rate of rape than the US: http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/India/United-States/Crime

          • Miglet32

            India isn’t the Middle East.

          • les nabis

            That’s some credible source you’re quoting here!

          • DEEKAYBEE

            I think you missed “in” in the third word. /sarc

          • Gmama

            Is rape always reported in India?

          • DEEKAYBEE

            Bingo, ding, ding, dng

          • DEEKAYBEE

            Lower reported rape. But you are welcome to your fantasy, until you have visited a few police stations n India.

      • Miglet32

        Yeah, the place where they still stone women for being raped and throw gays off of building because of religious psychosis is a nicer place for women than the west, where unequal treatment of women is actually outlawed.

        /s

        Are you really this ignorant? Or do you just have fetish for women being forced to wear burkas under threat of violence?

        • DEEKAYBEE

          Oh come on that is for their own good.

      • DEEKAYBEE

        Sounds like your family is in the Burqa business and you are looking for new markets in the US campuses.

    • Baldeep Kaur

      I agree with you in the point that the author does not seem to have researched well. He said that India was a country with a “‘real’ rape culture,” and then says how “we see in our media…
      suggestions — no, coercions — to “let loose,” to drink, to lower
      boundaries and to not worry about what might happen tomorrow.” Newsflash: INDIA DOES THAT, TOO! As my roommate has said, “You can’t reference pop culture in a country when you do not even know what the pop culture is. Statistics is a different story that you can use, but culture is something else.”

      • DEEKAYBEE

        And your point Baldeep is what, re India. Other than to blow deep

        • Baldeep Kaur

          Well, I could only speak for India, “DEEKAYBEE,” as I do not know that much about the other countries that the author has referenced, except for the States. Also, I do not even understand what your argument with me is about, but I do not want to get into a pointless online fight, so it doesn’t really matter.

    • Hahaha man you need to get out of college!!

      Yes, in the middle east they shame murder their daughters for being raped.

      In the US, women whinge about rape culture but willingly walk right into it. As if it really existed.

      Look at the real stats. If rape stats on campus were to be believed (1 in 4, 1 in 5 or 1 in 7), the stats would be higher than worn torn congo where rape is used as a military and terror device.

      Do your own research instead of regurgitating what your intersectionally feminist preachers shove down your throat.

      If rape really was such a big deal on campus, would ANY FATHER send their daughter there?!

      • Thomas Northrup

        What is your point?

        The article is not well-researched. The Flathat published the task force findings earlier this semester, and also published this article espousing rape culture… I think that’s stupid on the Flathat’s part. I read the long report that Reveley sent out. I research information about college rapes on campus. I talk with survivors about their experiences.

        My experience and research tell me that rape is endemic to college campuses and that William and Mary is not an exception. Is that hard to believe? If it isn’t, are you insinuating that women should not come to college because rape culture exists and by choosing to get an education they’re walking right into it? Are you saying that women cannot have their own agency and that their fathers have to decide for them and only decide to allow them to go to college because it’s not a risk? Or is it just not a perceived risk because colleges don’t publish accurate statistics?

        What is your point?! That rape cultures can only exist in countries where the dominant religion is not your own? Why can’t the US have a rape problem when there are also rape problems in other parts of the world? Research says that the US does have a rape problem, so what makes you an authority on this issue? What’s your research? What are you trying to say?

        • Patty Skater

          Well-said.

      • Patty Skater

        Empty rhetoric in the absence of any real argument or supporting evidence, and your final claim is that “rape isn’t real because dads are nice”. Cute.

    • next bubble

      Here you go, US Dept. of Justice:

      http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/rsavcaf9513.pdf (trend chart on page 3)

      Rape has been falling in the US for both college and non-college age students for a long time. It is lower for college students than non-students of the same age. Side note that women 18 to 24 is the age group most impacted by rape in general.

      Highlights on page 1. College Students rate is 6.1 per 1000, and non-students is 7.6 per 1000. This is no where near the fabled and fabricated 1 in 5 used by so many rape culture activists.

      Rape is bad, it is a serious crime and should be investigated by the police not ill equipped college administrators running star chamber proceedings. We should also not assume that all men are evil which is one of the prevailing undercurrents.

      I have a daughter in college and we have kept close track of this issue. I and my daughter are convinced that the issue has been totally blown out of proportion and mishandled.

  • John Kean

    Okay, this is either the best Swiftian satire of mansplaining I have ever seen, or, more likely, this person has the most boneheaded, oversimplifying, and ourtright oblivious perspective I have witnessed on this campus. Thomas Briggs, you have freedom of speech, and I respect that and appreciate the time you put into submitting this article. Unfortunatley, when you make yourself a campus laughingstock by using that liberty so carelessly, I will not spare any sorrow for you.

  • Just think about it

    I don’t think the author was trying to make the suggestion that rape doesn’t exist on campus or in America. Instead, I think he is trying to suggest that an individual, should they have dranken too much, call a hookup as a rape because they might regret it or not wanted it when they woke up. If you say that girls are afraid daily of people raping them, you must remember that men are afraid of women falsely calling rape on them any day just because they didn’t like the hook up or woke up the next day and saw that they wouldn’t have wanted to hook up with that person while sober. Try to think of both viewpoints instead of seeing “rape” and immediately thinking there is one victim only.

    • really, flat hat?

      about 2-3% of rapes are falsely accused. I’m not saying those 2-3% of men who get falsely accused don’t matter, but I am saying men do not have to live with the fear of being falsely accused because it rarely happens. even if they are accused, only 5% of those accused of rape are convicted. Your chance as a male of being falsely accused of rape and then actually convicted on that lie are at about .15%

      • [citation needed]

    • Abby M

      as really, flat hat? says, very few rapes are false reports. you are falsely equivocating two very different experiences by saying that women fearing rape is the same as men fearing accusations of rape. looking at only the male/female dichotomy (and ignoring issues of race, class, sexuality, & other privileges for the moment) women as a group experience (and have experienced) systematic oppressions and discriminations that men as a group have not and do not experience. 1 in 5 woman will experience sexual assault (in some way shape or form) in their lifetime, and many think this is underreported. for women to be afraid of men raping them is a natural product of our patriarchal society. for men to be afraid of women “crying rape” is them feeling a threat to their male privilege and gen. unthreatened, un-harassed experience. to say that men “know how women feel” or whatever or are having a comparable experience is so, so wrong.

      **obviously this is not all men/women’s experience, but i’m speaking to men as a gen. group and esp. white men, and women as a gen. group**

      • J BWriter

        Sorry…your “1 in 5” argument has been proved as sophist long ago. Gender/Women’s Studies major, right?

      • mrklarryd

        The 1 in 5 statistic is bogus and originates from a non-data anecdote told by a New York judge 45 years ago. It has been reproduced in several recent studies…but only in situations in which the rape classification is greatly expanded to include things like cat-calling, hand-holding or all sex in which one party has imbibed any amount of alcohol, none of which constitutes rape as it’s understood by the American public or system of jurisprudence.

        US justice dept estimates the actual rate–at the highest–as 7 in 1000 (the highest risk group being college aged, non-college attending females). If you’re going to talk about rape culture ON college campuses, the number you need to be using is 3 in 500, not 1 in 5.

        As far as “false reports,” nobody knows how many there are. About 8% of criminal rape complaints are prosecuted frauds. About 45% of criminal rape complaints do not lead to anyone’s prosecution. That’s 37% of dark matter which nobody knows what it is. Some of those are known false claims that the DA declined to prosecute the complainant for (see: Thomas Sedita’s explanation for why he didn’t bring charges against Patrick Kane’s accusor), some are situations where the attacker is never identified, some are situations where the police just don’t know whether there was a crime or not, some are situations where a genuine victim simply wants to move on with his or her life instead of participating in a criminal trial.

        But nobody knows–or even can know–how much of that 37% of dark matter constitutes false rape claims. It’s not even an unknown unknown–it’s an unknowable unknown.

    • B L

      This is such an ignorant, bullshit meninist post I want to vomit. You think girls regularly file official rape reports to the school, to the police, therefore getting officials involved (most of which will be men), and open themselves up to public scrutiny, gossip, and disbelief (not to mention hatred and possibly harassment from the accused and all his friends or fraternity members), all because they regret a hookup? Are you serious? Everyone has regrettable hookups, for some of us, MANY. Implying that women cry rape just because they regret a hookup is absurd, insulting, and statistically unfounded. Unless you’re waking up to a drunken stranger every single day, I will bet my tuition that men do not live with a daily fear of false rape accusation. And if you do actively fear this, I would highly suggest reassessing your sexual practices, since you’re probably predatory. Equating rape and fear of false accusation is ridiculous as well since the rate of women who are sexually assaulted is more than 10x the rate of men who are falsely accused… and as “really, flat hat?” said, the rate of incarceration past that is completely negligible. Before you ever utter the words “there isn’t only only one victim here,” do yourself a favor and punch yourself in the face.

      • mrklarryd

        Nobody knows the rate of men–or women–who are falsely accused of rape. Nobody. Not the Justice Department, not me, and certainly not you.

      • JohnSkookum

        Meninist, that’s a curious bit of newspeak.

  • Nic Querolo

    Thomas,

    I am floored by the hypocrisy and narrow-mindedness of your argument, and by the fact that the newspaper of a school currently under Title IX investigation would publish an article that is so disrespectful to survivors. You argue that in “real” rape cultures, “a victim is held at fault” and then you attempt to refute the idea that this sort of behavior occurs at William & Mary. You then claim that “disregard for personal responsibility and safety” is a “true contributing factor” in the prevalence of sexual assault. Do you realize you are holding survivors at fault for not better protecting themselves? If we do not live in a rape culture, then why, in your mind, is it the responsibility of the survivor to protect themselves against rape on a daily basis? Frankly, I think that shifting the blame away from the culture and onto the individuals is a convenient way to avoid taking a long, hard look at your position as a white male in the greek system and the dangers being perpetuated. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    • Miglet32

      Real rape culture: the Middle East where women are stoned to death for being raped.

      Not a rape culture: The west, where rapists are prosecuted for rape.

      “Frankly, I think that shifting the blame away from the culture and onto
      the individuals is a convenient way to avoid taking a long, hard look at
      your position as a white male in the greek system and the dangers being
      perpetuated.”
      Perhaps you should read a bit on the feminist leaders responsible for the sexual liberation that essentially freed women to be themselves.

      http://observer.com/2015/07/camille-paglia-columbia-anti-rape-mattress-project-is-backwards-feminism/

      • Nic Querolo

        Listen, Miglet32. Maybe you think that getting in anonymous online fights is a good use of your time, but I don’t. If you are a student who goes to this school, I will have a constructive, in-person discussion with you. The author has already publicly apologized and changed his thinking about the issue.

        • Miglet32

          Where was this public apology? The nonsense about me going to that particular school is an eloquent deflection. I attend a university and this is a topic of contention across most universities in the country. That makes it a relevant topic for anyone to discuss, even in an online format.

          • DEEKAYBEE

            No eloquence there, just persnicketiness

        • Larry Bartholomew

          “Anonymous online fights” are a good thing. They are great practice for applying what is learned in freshman level composition classes (e.g., rhetoric, logic, critical thinking, etc.).

      • Patty Skater

        Wait, so, because women aren’t stoned to death and face social rather than legal repercussions, it isn’t “real” rape culture? Sorry, but you don’t get to determine what situations are “real” incidences of a phrase you don’t actually understand.

        • Miglet32

          Lol, recognizing that we don’t live in a rape culture in no way undermines ANYONE in ANY real rape situation, no matter how much you repeat to yourself or anyone else that it does.

          Rape is not normalized in any aspect of society, particularly within the societal lens. We do not live in a rape culture.

          You want to see a rape culture in America, then you need to look away from society at large and into the gaping maw of hopelessness that is the US prison system.

    • NiceJob

      His position in Greek culture is “not a rapist.”

      You’re meandering around the points he actually raises and, like is all too common in these comments, shifting the issue onto the author’s social responsibility instead of engaging the argument.

      This is a dishonest rhetorical strategy.

    • Alex

      “why, … is it the responsibility of the survivor to protect themselves against rape on a daily basis?” — Why do we advise people to lock their car doors or house doors (at night)? Why do we advise people not to walk through bad neighborhoods at night? Because it is a risk–in some cases, a great risk. Does this mean that we live in a “theft culture” or “assault culture”? No. Simply put, advising people what they can do to minimize their risk of being the victim of a crime is *not* victim blaming but rather a basic life skill that everyone ought to be aware of.

    • Sasha

      Nic, by your argument, we are as much in a “rape culture” as we are in a “mugging culture” or “murder culture”. Why do we lock our doors? Why do we not go to poverty-stricken towns at night alone? Why do we not flash our money?

      See, rape is a crime, just like stealing and murdering are crimes as well. Like all crimes, victims should never face any legal consequences for what the perpetrators have done. However, you, as a human being, are responsible for your own safety, and while you are not at fault, there are a lot of precautions one can take to avoid such situations. Sometimes these things happen and the victim can’t do anything about it, but again, society is not to blame, but the rapist, the criminal, and 9/10 times, criminals face consequences. I don’t blame a society that openly disdains and punishes these acts, I blame the sick individuals that commit them.

      I’m not cowering in the shadows and pointing fingers at the world as if they owed me something. People aren’t taught to steal, yet it happens. People aren’t taught to “touch” children, yet they do. People aren’t taught to murder, and yet, again, it happens. It’s pathological behavior in the West, so long as it is frowned upon and penalized, you can’t blame the culture.

  • monkey

    So on a serious note, and im only asking because several commenters seem to think the answer is no. If something negative happens to someone who place themselves in a terrible situation, should they not at least partially hold themselves responsible. If someone gets black out drunk at a party and has sex with someone, recognizing that they said yes but are not legally allowed to consent. Shouldn’t their be some recognition that the problem could have been avoided by drinking responsibly? That seems to me what the author is saying and does not seem like a ludicrous idea.

    • Julie Sher

      well if someone gets blackout drunk, I think first of all, sex wouldn’t be too enjoyable with them (it’d just be mega sloppy right?). The idea is that other people should recognize that they are unable to consent. It’s a smarter move to avoid that otherwise s/he may be accused of rape.

      I just don’t understand why anyone would choose that path. Sounds like a lot of headache for a hookup.

  • qaz

    if free speech leads to things like this, we should get rid of it.

    • BS

      qaz, your statement might be dumber than the article itself.

      • qaz

        try to use some logic next time, instead of an ad homonum.

        • Dankey Kang

          homonums is offensive

          • qaz

            “are” is the third person plural of “to be.” the more you now!

          • Dankey Kang

            since i’m a dog that learned to type, i think its impressive im even on this website

          • Sir Bearington

            That’s funny, I thought you were a dankey that learned to type.

          • Sir Bearington

            Dude, you really upboated yourself?

          • Dankey Kang

            yes

          • gearbox123

            I be triggered XD

    • djjw

      heil hitler!

  • Kate Connors

    I am floored by this article, and not in a positive way. To think that you, Thomas, assumed that your govt 204 style argument and conclusion would finally put to rest the idea of rape culture is a serious misunderstanding of both rape culture and “hookup culture”, as well as the basic structure of an argument. Just because you say something is a certain way does no mean that reality reflects your statements. In this case, just because you say hookup culture, along with binge-drinking party kids are really to blame for the sexual assaults that occur on our campus does not mean that you are correct.
    In fact, it is people like you who perpetuate rape culture. What your column is , to quote another commenter, is a great example of “mansplaining”. You may deny that rape culture exists, but when men who congratulate themselves on being responsible enough not to rape someone (as your article does) deny the responsibility of rapists in a CRIME, it invalidates the experiences of men and women everywhere who have dealt with the traumatic experience of rape or sexual assault. I doubt you have ever felt unsafe walking past the Tyler construction site, as workers comment on your body, but plenty of women on this campus have–that is rape culture.
    Simply put, rape is a crime. Rapists are criminals. We do not blame the people who are robbed or shot or mugged or beaten. Instead, we pursue and prosecute the criminal. Rape should be no different. If you say that rape culture does not exist, I invite you to watch the 2015 documentary The Hunting Ground. The startling statistics contained in the film reflect the true reality of rape on college campuses: that it is prevalent, often unreported, and that rapists on campus very seldom receive any severe consequences. Rapists are expelled far less than people who have lied, cheated, or stolen. So until our school and all the others begin dealing with rape in a manner consistent with the ILLEGAL and SEVERE nature of the transgression, rape culture cannot be denied.
    Shame on you, and shame on the flat hat. I hope you learn something from this.

    • M. Dorsy

      I am floored by this comment, and not in a positive way. To think that you, Kate, assumed that your govt 204 style argument and conclusion would finally continue the idea of rape culture is a serious misunderstanding of both hookup culture and “rape culture”, as well as the basic structure of an argument. Just because you say something is a certain way does no mean that reality reflects your statements. In this case, just because you say hookup culture, along with binge-drinking party kids are not really to blame for the sexual assaults that occur on our campus does not mean that you are correct.

      In fact, it is people like you who perpetuate the idea of “rape culture”. What your comment is, is a great example of the new feminist hivemind. You may deny that hookup culture exists, but when women who congratulate themselves on being responsible enough to call out people not to rape someone deny their responsibility in perpetuating a reactionary movement unwilling to even have a dialogue, it invalidates the thought and concern that people like Thomas put together in reasonable counterarguments.

      Shame on you, and shame on the new wave “feminist” movement. I hope you learn something from this.

      • Kate Connors

        M. Dorsy– Obviously you missed the plagiarism lecture from freshman year. I am proud to be a feminist. A feminist believes in the equality of men and women, something I think should be self evident. If you do not believe that principle, consider yourself a member of the neo conservative hivemind. Fortunately, it is likely you will end up on the wrong side of history. I do not deny hookup culture exists, rather that it is separate from rape culture. Clearly, you are never going to agree with my “feminist hivemind” perspective, but please know that people like you are the very reason I choose to share my own opinion..

        • M. Dorsy

          In regards to your presumptuous and condescending mention of “People like you” –
          You may be interested to know that I’m as liberal as they come and a lifelong Democrat. I am sympathetic with people that are align themselves with the movement against rape and sexual assault. What I am not sympathetic to is, as I elaborated on in my previous comment, is “people like you” who over and over again blurt out their beliefs without ever utilizing that ever-important skill that is held up as the most important lesson college can offer – CRITICAL THINKING. You know, the ability to actually listen to and consider other peoples’ points of view and arguments, as you and so many other college-educated people in this thread have so thoroughly failed to do.

          For the record, I “plagiarized” your comment to make the point that your first paragraph was an obvious argument that could literally preface any rebuttal while making no real contribution to the debate.

          Also – a feminist is someone who believes in equality for men and women – does that imply that a “masculinist” would be someone who believes the opposite? What you (and I) are is egalitarian – a word which literally has “equal” as its basis. Don’t get so hot and heavy just because being a women supposedly makes that statement more powerful.

          • Nayru

            Dorsy, I think you are assuming that Kate’s usage of feminist terms comes from simple regurgitation of words while ignoring the opposing side. Might I suggest, rather, that she possesses of a broader understanding of the modern feminist movement than you? It contains the expectation that all individuals regardless of gender should ideally be able to enjoy life in an equal, physically and mentally safe environment. In feminist communities, discussion on victims’ “responsibility in perpetuating a reactionary movement” is generally acknowledged as a mindset which subjects potential victims of rape to an increasingly wearying vigilance. This vigilance oppresses through the fear it perpetuates, diffusing into daily life unequally as it tends to disrupt the lives of women most often. Modern feminists similarly tend to agree that, as a result of rape culture, women (< at the very least) are already wary of what may be perceived as inviting "a reactionary movement" and that focus fails to solve the issues of rape and sexual assault/harassment at their source. I don't think that Kate lacks critical thinking, as you suggest, but rather clearly has an informed opinion on the ongoing discussion on consent which is certainly omnipresent in our society. Especially while studying at a liberal college, one hopes that everyone thinks critically about all sides. I propose that this includes thinking critically about modern feminists and THEIR dialogues as well (instead of deflecting the individual with sarcastic quips about their involvement in the "new wave "feminist" movement" without a full understanding of the movement's stances and the reasons behind them).

          • M. Dorsy

            Has it occurred to you that maybe I do have an understanding of the modern feminist movement, and yet I reject much of what they have to say? When you mention that “Modern feminists… tend to agree” – this is exactly the issue I speak of. Of course they agree with each other – they’re in the same movement. My issue is that so many in the movement (perhaps a vocal minority) assume a premise based on heavy confirmation bias and little scientific evidence, and draw all their conclusions from there, drawn on by dozens of other like-minded individuals with the same bias. I am not saying this is a phenomenon exclusive to the modern feminist movement, but it is there.

            Step outside of your comfort zone (i’ll assume you are part of the modern feminist movement, for argument’s sake, but it makes no difference either way). So many people in the movement are college-aged or close to it – they haven’t experienced the real world. Those who have don’t just go around calling most people participants in rape culture. It’s extremely presumptuous – what about that guy who works in a DC soup kitchen every Sunday; what about that guy who is just lonely and wants to ask a girl out, but doesn’t have the social skills to know what is acceptable; what about just everyday average Joe’s like you and me who just plain make mistakes sometimes (and obviously, sexual assault is a crime, not a mistake), because we’re just imperfect human beings? Basically, modern feminists assume the worst in people, and then wonder why people hate on such a well-meaning movement.

          • What a refreshing point of view from a self described liberal, democrat and egalitarian.

            I once called myself a Democrat. I proudly voted for Obama the first time.

            But the party has abandoned me since then.

            Their unwavering support of an increasingly radical left has left me no choice but to leave them and consider alternatives.

            Far right evangelicals are just as crazy but more tolerable than the new radical left.

          • Havid Damburger

            You must be white, male and employed. Not Obamas demographic

          • DEEKAYBEE

            Arguing with a skunk will only get you smelly.

        • Mitch Fuller

          Sorry, but do you know anything about what Neoconservatism is?

          • gearbox123

            “do you know anything about what Neoconservatism is?”

            Is that connected with the Illuminati?

        • NiceJob

          “People disagreeing with me just affirms my opinion.”

          Sounds curiously similar to the psychology of conspiracy theorists.

        • DoxBait

          “Plagiarism”

          Oh, my sides XD

        • Havid Damburger

          Happy women with happy lives don’t become feminists. Its a victim club for unhappy sows looking to cast all their problems and shortcomings on someone else. You prefer imaginary perpetrators like patriarchy and rape culture bc imaginary concepts cant be defeated.

        • AnneG

          Kate, honey, you are not a feminist.
          Quoting you is not plagiarism.
          You are the one on the wrong side of history.
          You are revictimizing women who have actually been raped.

        • The demise of conservative principle is greatly exaggerated by those you apparently have learned your talking points from.

          Europe, who once embraced its antithesis, is backing away from that and returning to conservative principle more and more with each passing day … and it will get faster, as the waves of recent immigration from the MidEast to Europe overwhelm those societies.

          We even saw signs of that in this nation last Tuesday, with nominally-conservative leadership being elected and/or retained in office despite how it is supposedly “against the interests” of so many voters.

          And understand this: the very neoconservatives you try to turn into an epithet are right about one thing: without freedom, and the respect for/protection of it by those charged with governance, the only sure peace is that of the grave. One big reason the MidEast is in turmoil, is because the West has refused to act in accordance with this principle, because they fear blame for their sins of the past more than today’s tyranny.

          Watch for the world to get more conservative as time goes on – because the Progressivism we have been embracing for a century is fundamentally flawed and not sustainable.

          https://www.facebook.com/notes/ritchie-the-riveter/outsourcing-is-the-problem-but-not-the-way-you-might-think/416571378389947

        • gearbox123

          Kate Connors – Obviously you missed the part of your high school English class where they talked about “satire” and “irony.”

        • DEEKAYBEE

          Kate you are a moron who happens to be a feminist., if you believe that a person who does not believe in the equality of men and women, is a neo con. That surely is Current Affairs 101

      • Havid Damburger

        @mdorsey You obviously have no control of your emotions, which is a sympton of mental illness

    • Alex

      Actually, “The Hunting Ground” uses debunked–meaning false–statistics and in at least one case, misrepresents a supposed campus rape case. It’s far from a reliable source.

      • AnneG

        The statistics in Hunting Ground and the whole “rape culture” argument come from a study conducted by email polling to 2 universities. There was a list of behaviors and “unwanted touching,” including bumping against someone, became part of sexual assault. That produced the 1 in 5 rape statistic.
        College women, statistically, are less likely to be forcibly raped than those outside in the real world.

        • Johnathan Swift Jr.
        • Sean

          Want real statistics? Check the report that was published a couple weeks ago about students on our campus. 1 in 50 students had reported being raped, if that’s not a significant number to you then I don’t know what would be.

          • AnneG

            Sean, darlin’, 2% is probably high. It is significant for the people involved and disturbing, but isn’t that somewhat less than 20%?
            That does not prove a rape culture. It proves an indiscriminate, hook-up culture.

          • Sean

            I’m not saying that that statistic proves or disproves rape culture, I’m saying that it is in fact high, not probably. I’m not sure if you’re a student, but 2% to me means that, statistically, one person in every class that I am in has been raped, and I think that that’s a huge issue. If you don’t agree then we are just coming from different premises i suppose.

          • AnneG

            Sean, I’m older than your mother. I just believe in being reasonable and looking at facts. So, this is the latest
            http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5176.
            Turns out that the rate of sexual assault, not imaginary, regretful behavior like Emma Sulkowitz at Columbia, has gone down.
            College is safer than the real world, at 6.2 per 10,000 with 7.1 I think per 10,000 for the general public.
            There is no rape culture. I agree entirely with the article that there is a drunken hook-up culture. There is a problem having intimate relations with someone you are not married to. We have been sold a load of crap and you can’t deny that. Behavior has consequences, including drunkenness, drug use and having sex. The sooner people figure that out, the better.

          • Sean

            Anne, if you would like to look at facts, here are the lastest from our school, the one whose article you’re commenting on: http://www.wm.edu/sites/sahp/report/index.php&ved=0CB4QFjABahUKEwi0pM-N-YPJAhWMPz4KHZCwCPw&usg=AFQjCNHkbI5j5i7lbcPTPzu2U_3bT1q83g&sig2=5OjB96ct67pUOnyJKhqbtg . As I said before, I’m not going to get into a discussion of your belief that rape culture doesn’t exist as I don’t believe it’ll be productive. While rates of reported assault have gone down through the decades, there is still a huge problem on campuses and it is worth mentioning that a large majority of rapes go unreported. I don’t think anyone is arguing that we aren’t improving, but that doesn’t mean the problem is solved.

          • AnneG

            Sean, I would like to read this study but the link is unavailable. If it is anything like Chris Krebs’ study, though, it will not be believable. It was from his study that the 1 out of 5 figure came, starting with unwanted touching, talking, looking, accidental bumping into, etc. none of those are rape.
            There is a legal definition of rape. As described by some of the columns recently, like the UVA “case” from Rolling Stone, that was totally fabricated, those are not rape.
            Neither is a drunken case of regret. In order to be an adult you have to take responsibility for your actions.
            If William and Mary is so dangerous that women are raped just walking around campus to double the national average, that college should close down. In some places like Hopkins in Baltimore, there is a real risk and there are strict rules.
            I’m having a hard time understanding why intelligent college kids cannot have an adult conversation. That is distressing. The world is not safe. You have to know how to defend yourself.

          • Sean

            http://media.wm.edu/content/wm/sexualassault/task-force-full-report.pdf

            Separates out rape under the definition from VA state law from other forms of sexual assault and abuse. The issue isn’t that William and Mary is particularly dangerous, it’s that every school is as dangerous if not more so and people are ignoring it.

          • AnneG

            We’re there only 2000 students enrolled at W&M from 2011-2014? That’s what you would have to have for the 1/50 statistic.
            Are you getting something out of this, personally? Like getting paid?

    • Guest

      Actually, we do blame people who are shot/mugged/beaten.

      I just searched “How to avoid being mugged.” The first link told me to change the way I dress, change the way I walk, change where I walk, and change who I walk with. If someone had given you this advice to avoid being raped, would you consider it victim blaming?

      • Havid Damburger

        Anyone who starts a written paragraph with “Actually” doesnt deserved to be heard.

        • Anyone who strains at gnats like the start of a paragraph, knows they don’t have the facts to counter the writer of said paragraph.

        • DEEKAYBEE

          The job of being a language nazi must be difficult, since you surely do not deserve(d) it.

    • Sallypette

      “Just because you say something is a certain way does not mean that reality reflects your statements”

      Are you going to apply that to yourself? Mostly your comments on so-called “victim-blaming”. Almost every crime / incident out there, people give advice on how to avoid it. Don’t leave valuables on show in your car, don’t leave your car unlocked, don’t walk around with your handbag open, don’t go out late in unknown neighbourhoods etc. The perception that rape is the only crime where the victim is blamed is one of many large falsehoods about this ‘rape culture’ hysteria.

      The fact is, crime will always exist – and to shut your eyes and cover your ears to all advice on preventing crime and spout “victim-blaming” is only doing yourself harm.

      I’m not sure when eradicating rape became a feminist issue, but the belief that feminism will only truly succeed when female rape is at 0 is absurd.

      • Havid Damburger

        Sally. Are you emotionally disturbed. Did you reallu spend that much time writing to someone bc their opinion is different. Do you author such diatribes every time you encounter an apposing view.

        • Her comment is shorter than the one she is responding to.

          We observe your attempts to shoot the messengers of truth contrary to the conventional wisdom … and how you miss, again and again.

          • Havid Damburger

            if only you were as bold in real life- but alas, you’re a common coward

          • DEEKAYBEE

            You still are a dumberger

          • Havid Damburger

            Exactly. Im the greatest dumberger that ever lived . And you’re a coward in real life

          • Patty Skater

            He types, hidden behind his computer screen, a paragon of bravery.

          • Doesn’t take boldness to denigrate boorish behavior.

        • Johnathan Swift Jr.

          It’s called an exchange of ideas. If you cannot understand the point of a comments section, then it is you who are disturbed and have no business posting without adult supervision.

          A comments section is like letters to an editor in the old analog days. It is for people to exchange ideas, to battle each other using facts and argument. One person replies to another BECAUSE they disagree, precisely because their point of view differs from an earlier post. See how easy this is to understand when someone takes the time to explain it for you?

          • Havid Damburger

            Are you Taylor Swifts dad?
            Does your dad know you’re a sissy?

          • Johnathan Swift Jr.

            The reference is to Jonathan Swift, the Anglo-Irish writer and most reasonably educated people would realize that.

            We probably see the world in a fairly similar way, my point was simply that the entire point of a comments section is to be able exchange ideas, to debate back and forth, whether in short snippets of conversation or at some length. There are no trees being toppled, just disc space on a sever farm.

            I am fine with someone who is acerbic or who uses satire to make a point, which requires some thought and a few synapses, while the drive-by insult has all the wit and intelligence of a pre-school playground.

            From where I live, I am much more concerned about real rape, real problems, rather than false claims. Europe, you see is being overrun and western civilization is being raptly dismantled, brick by brick:

            http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2015/11/migrant-teens-sentenced-to-6-months-detention-after-brutal-gang-rape-in-sweden/

          • DEEKAYBEE

            But you sure are a dumberger

    • Havid Damburger

      Kate. Grow up. You’re responsible for yourself.

    • AnneG

      Kate, honey, reading your and some other comments, I believe we need to rethink the way women in the US are educated.
      When I went to college, we were expected to be adults and take care of ourselves.
      You seem to imply that women need a protected environment. So, probably all women’s colleges would solve this problem. Requiring women to be veiled and chaperoned at all times, too, might put an end to rape culture as we know it. Then, perhaps, you will be safe.

      • Gmama

        Of late the feminist movement treats women like hot house flowers. They get the vapors if any subject that makes them uncomfortable is discussed on campus and must retreat to safe spaces, they blame all difficulties on men, and look to men to solve their problems. In reality, women are a majority at most colleges.

        A foreign-born worker catcalling at you isn’t rape, or objectifying, they are merely exhibiting cultural differences.

      • gearbox123

        We could just make women wear bags, and forbid them to leave their homes without an escort! That would work! Oh wait….

        • Johnathan Swift Jr.

          You have it! All they have to do is to accept total subservience to Allah and they will be wrapped head to foot in a nice burlap sack and protected from the big, bad world.

          Problem solved!

        • DEEKAYBEE

          That is the Middle East, for most part.

      • Johnathan Swift Jr.

        How are they supposed to be fighter pilots and Army Rangers on the one hand and special little campus cupcakes who have to run and hug a plush doll when anything upsets them on the other?

    • trashhauler

      Kate, it’s certain you didn’t learn anything from it. Shame on you for seeking to stifle free debate by insulting someone with a different view.

      • DEEKAYBEE

        Much as I find Kate’s opinion pointless and inane, she is not try to stifle debate

    • Johnathan Swift Jr.

      You are the typical modern mis-educated campus harridan. All jargon and no facts. Take all your “rape culture” nonsense and stick it where the glow off the mirror of narcism that you peer into each waking moment doesn’t shine.

      There is no rape culture on American campuses or anywhere else in North America where rape has been going down steadily for decades. It is a myth perpetuated by activists who are on a power trip, women who hate men and the modern western society that has been better to them than any society in the history of the world. Facts mean something and the latest federal statistics – which were released early this year while the cat-fishing rape hoaxers at the University of Virginia were doing their dirty work – stated unequivocally that rape is headed down across America and that a woman is less likely to be raped on campus than in society at large. So all of you who repeat this “rape culture” line over and over again like some sort of Stalinist propagandist are simply despicable liars who should climb back down into the crypt you crawled out of.

      The modern college campus has become a sort of fantasy world of bucolic grounds, all beautifully manicured. A Disneyland for the psychologically impaired or at least a generation where everyone has received a trophy. One student center is better than the next with restaurants, malls, even climbing walls. I visited more than twenty campuses last year and virtually all of them had major construction going on, adding more and more lavish facilities in order to nurture you special little snowflakes like the human veal you have become. Most of you have been so coddled and cosseted by simpering helicopter parents that you each think you are a special snowflake, not just the pile of mush that you are, especially your minds.

      College should not be an exercise in building your collective self-esteem, which already borders on full blown malignant narcissism in many cases, but to knock it down so that you actually learn from someone who is far more educated than a person with no life experience. I have news for you, there is nothing “special” about you. You are in college to get an education, which used to mean something, but now, there is precious little education going on, because each campus, especially the liberal – illiberal really – arts has become a seminary for misguided, misbegotten activists who can march and sloganeer with the best of them, but have none of the core knowledge that used to constitute an education. Most of the students that I encounter have a difficult time even placing the American Revolution in the right century, or dating the Great War or being able to tell you where the Italian Renaissance began. They can however, recite and repeat jargon like a human re-tweeting machine, which is of course useless.

      Across the nation I meet countless recent graduates with massive loans to pay off. Where do I meet them? At Starbucks and other low paying service industry jobs. So many of you go to college, paying with massive loans and then graduate with a useless major, that only qualifies you to be yet another maladjusted malcontent, which of course the world is full of. There is of course a need for professional activists and malcontents, but most of that need is on campus, where the professional feminists stay for decades once they get tenure, up until the point that they die among their forty-seven shutting cats, with a bottle of Jack Daniels after a lifetime of dealing with their personal demons – all due to self-possession. So, please practice saying “Will that be a Venti or a Grande,” as you are headed for an unhappy life.

      Meanwhile, in the real world, there are places where a real rape culture exists, where woman are treated horribly, across virtually the entire Islamic world for example. But because you have no historical or geographical perspective thanks to your faux-education, you are unable to place anything into context. Right now, as we speak there are hundreds of thousands of young girls in the Ummah who have had their genitals mutilated, usually with a rusty knife or razor blade. Have you ever organized a march at a foreign embassy to protest this awful practice or is it something you see as a quant artifact of a superior culture? Right now there are thousands of young Christian girls who have been kidnapped and sold into sex salary from sub-Saharan Africa to Syria and Iraq, sold often for the price of a pack of cigarettes. Can you point to a single letter you have written or a speech you have made to get the word out over this barbarity? And, wherever we see large scale Islamic immigration into Western Europe, we see a real rape crisis, often violent gang rape. Are you aware of this? What have you done? Sweden is now the rape capital of Europe and Malmo is its epicenter. There were 1,400 girls raped over a ten year period in one small British city, Rotherham, that’s right 1,400 rapes over a ten year period, all by primarily Pakistani rape gangs. Are you aware of this? It was covered up by the police and by more than one M.P. because they did not want to contribute to “anti-immigrant” sentiment. I am trying to do something about this, but no campus feminist will even address the issue, so occupied are they with free speech zones and safe spaces.

      There is no where in recorded history where women and men have had such long, easy lives as in the post-World War II (1939-1945 for you current students) west. My father went to sea in 1941 when he was sixteen while the Nazis were sinking ships left and right (2,400 American merchant ships were sunk in World War II) and served in the North Atlantic, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Persian Gulf, North Atlantic and Soviet Union. His buddy turned seventeen on Saipan admits thousands of maggot infested corpses of other Marines and the Japanese, then went to Iwo Jima where they had 26,000 casualties taking one stinking piece of volcanic rock. They did these things because they wanted their children, grand children and great-grand children (your generation) to have easier and better lives without the Great Depression and a World War that saw millions dead from one side of the globe to the other.

      But, as he died, my father, like thousands of other veterans, began to feel that all their hard work and scarifies were being squandered by the likes of you, by ungrateful, unhappy, disconsolate young people, all of whom seem to have been born sucking on a lemon. No where in recorded history have people had it so good, all because others sacrificed to give you the freedom and opportunity to make something of yourselves. But all you can do is to bitch and complain and create crisis after crusts where none exist, to see yourselves as perpetual and permanent victims, not as people who have been given freedom and opportunity that someone a century ago would find incredible.

      You are the poster child for the modern campus activist, all heat and acrimony but not a ray of light. Your world is a land where some of the students look like adults – when they can learn to pull their pants up – but where they are actually tantrum-throwing pre-schoolers, who must shout anyone down who disagrees with their jaundiced fun-house mirror view of the world, that is when they aren’t running for a safe space to hug a plush toy when confronted with an uncomfortable concept – like the truth.

    • DEEKAYBEE

      Kate time for melds, only if you are result serious about what you write. For example you begin by telling the author of this article that his description of reality is not necessarily real. Ooookay! Since you are the purveyor of reality, prove that it is the presence of people of the authors ilk that causes the epidemic you see. Passing by construction sites with guys ogling, might be uncomfortable but it is not rape. If it is then your words rape my mind. And as you know so well rape is a crime. So you must be a criminal… Blah blah blah

    • Larry Bartholomew

      Victims of rape should never be blamed for rape. I don’t care if a victim was stark naked, talking nasty, bumping and grinding, and totally hammered. The victim should not be blamed for the rape. That blame falls squarely and totally upon the person who raped the victim.

      That said, the victim is not without blame. The victim made bad decisions which increased the possibility. For those bad decisions, the victim can be blamed. The victims should have made better choices. Though, it does not negate or remove blame from the rapist.

      The whole discussion about “victim blaming” is built on the notion that blame is singular and can only apply to one party. That does not match the reality of such situations because there is more than one decision being made by more than one party.

    • Lizzy Autrey

      This is one of the most well worded arguments on this entire site– including the article itself. I hope that you find the time to read my response to this article and give me some feedback, since you actually seem to know what you’re talking about. http://theodysseyonline.com/gsu/womans-response-to-thomas-briggs/211278

  • Dankey Kang

    hellO its me! the dog of wisdom

    i dispense wisdom from my wisdom tooth

  • Aiesha

    what a weird and terrible article. simply saying something doesn’t make it true lmao

    • gearbox123

      “simply saying something doesn’t make it true”

      You mean all the feminist BS about rape culture and rape stats and victim blaming is all TOTALLY MADE UP NONSENSE?

      I agree. :)

  • America

    To the FLAT HAT:

    Why this article does not have a trigger warning is beyond me. Shame on The Flat Hat.

    Additionally, I am looking to organize a student sit-in to protest rape culture. It is a true disgrace that the College earmarks 50 million dollars towards advancing its own self-interest and not mine,

    • qaz

      PLEASE!! That is EXACTLY what we need right now. Its such a PREFECT idea!!

    • bruh

      The same author also wrote an opinions piece on trigger warnings, and I don’t think The Flat Hat uses them anyway.

      Get over yourself with your trigger warnings, they go too far. Sure, rape is a sensitive topic, but no one is going to do anything if we put trigger warnings on things.

      Also, sit-ins to protest the entirety of rape culture? I like what you’re trying to do, but how would that specific idea accomplish anything?

      The College doesn’t care who you are, welcome to the real world.

    • gearbox123

      I was triggered by your comment. I want to organize a sit-in. Waahhhh!

    • JohnSkookum

      Trigger warnings are idiotic. Join a convent if you need them. There is nowhere in the world except a college campus where such a thing will ever be provided to you pathetic, feeble little hot-house flower schoolgirls.

  • qaz

    virgin righting about hookup culture, makes no sense

  • qaz

    some of you guys are alright, don’t come into the flat hat tomorow haha jk

  • Jeff Larkin

    Best article ever. Look at the discussion and the condescension and the calls for banning and trigger warnings. And for what? An alternative approach that challenges the dominant view. I’m not sure I agree with all the author has to say, but reading this lot and watching as everyone starts to hand out the torches to burn the monster, my instincts tell me he’s gotten something right.

    Is a drunk who stumbles into Central Park at 2 am responsible for his mugging? Of course not. Is he foolish to do so?

    If it’s not too much of a trigger to ponder, answer me that.

    • Andrew

      So, because a lot of people disagree, he’s right? That’s….an interesting perspective.

      • Jeff Larkin

        Not necessarily right, but interesting and thought provoking and wholly different than the standard pablum one would expect on this topic, but to be honest, when folks are so rattled that they start screaming “trigger” and “shame” and go through all the rest of the vapors and the high dudgeon, well . . . I rooted for Frankenstein too.

      • Mark Neil

        It’s not “because” they disagree… it’s “how” they disagree. Ad homs, strawmen and general hostility, insults and rage, with no real counterarguments beyond the buzzwords and rhetoric that’s already been challenged/address in the article.

      • Incidentally, you put words in Mr. Larkin’s mouth. That’s called “lying”.

      • Johnathan Swift Jr.

        No, he’s right because there is simply no rape crisis on campus, nor in American society in general, where rape and murder has been an an overall downward trend for decades. The only places where crime has not dropped dramatically are the inner cities of places that have seen one party – the Democratic Party – has ruled for fifty years or more, places where you have no jobs, awful schools that cost twice the national average and where the federal and state governments have spent billions to no avail.

        Rape is an awful crime, a crime that is for the police, not some kangaroo court of college administrators with an agenda, a consistently anti-male agenda, where two foolish young people get drunk and have sex and it is only one half of the foolish couple that is always responsible. When there is an accusation of rape the crime should be reported to the police while memories and evidence are still fresh. Rape, when it occurs, which is pleasantly rare, is a serious crime that deserves the best in professional attention.

        Meanwhile, there are hundreds and hundreds of girls who have disappeared along the Mexican border, on the South side of course and there isn’t a peep from feminists about they Mexican sisters. If you are part of the no borders crowd, why the silence?

        Meanwhile, thousands and thousands of young, innocent Christian girls have been abducted in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and sold into brutal sex slavery and its crickets from the feminists. They have nothing to say about the brutal life of women under Sharia, but complain about micro-agressions on campus. The lack of any sort of historical or geographical perspective is appalling, but as one who spends a lot of time on campuses on my visits across the states. No where in history have people paid so much for such an inferior product as a modern liberal arts education.

  • Sir Bearington

    Tom, you decided to pick up a very contentious argument, for which I don’t know whether to call you brave or stupid. I think you make a decent point, that hook-up culture is promoted by the very media that abhors rape culture. And that hook-up culture leads to what can be termed rape culture. I have heard accounts first-hand of two individuals being drunk, and one thinking their hook-up is consensual when it may not have been. However, I would say that hookup culture and rape culture are two different entities. Unfortunately, there are individuals who willingly harm others to fulfill their own sexual desires, or see others as sexual objects rather than people. This is what I view as rape culture, and still a very real issue. Hookup culrutre may facilitate rape culture, as it allows such individuals a perfect opportunity to act out their desires, but there is a distinction between the two.

  • Sir Bearington

    Also, how stoned were you when you wrote this?

  • Jeff Larkin
  • elarga

    Briggs is right but he doesn’t face up to the conclusion that is staring him in the face: rampant promiscuity has corrupted the entire culture, ruined lives, undermined marriage and family life, which is the core of society. We are paying a huge price and we all know it but instead of identifying the real source — lack of respect for traditional moral values — we invent ridiculous scapegoats, in this case, “the rapist.”

    • Dankey Kang

      rampant promiscuity? Traditional moral values? lol please. Liberation of sexuality is a good thing (obviously not in the context of hookup culture but like in being a sex-positive society).

      • mcasey6

        Before you laugh at traditional values, you might consider the change since the mid 60s (when the sex. revolution began) in children born to single parents in USA. It’s now pushing 50% across the board, and nearly 70% in poorer or minority sectors. Politics aside, that spells a total disaster for millions of kids and a train wreck for society.
        Sexual liberation may be “a good thing” for horny young adults, but it is an unmitigated catastrophe for the children /victims born into it.

  • Jeff Larkin

    Hey Tom,

    I know you’re getting a lot of feedback on this article, but I thought I could put in terms you might understand.

    You wrote something heartfelt and non-P.C. and as such, it was thought provoking and worthy of discussion. But you’ll learn that certain people hate veering outside of orthodoxy, and others have so infantilized themselves that an opposing thought literally shakes them to their core, because they have created a world where they are perpetual victims and they believe they can shame you and bully you and correct you into thinking like they do.

    Don’t let ’em do it, Tom. They’re sheep in a herd and they define themselves by the offense they imagine. What you wrote was perfectly fine.

    Keep on keeping on.

    • Sandy Stewart

      really, dude?

  • tori

    I love how (generally) white males like to use the plights of women in developing countries only when using to mansplain how women in the U.S. aren’t treated as badly. Like, hey, at least we’re not as bad as those Evil Sexist Brown/Black Guys! It’s embarrassingly transparent and honestly rooted in racism.
    Anyway. This is a deeply disturbing article, particularly in the attempt to claim that rape victims aren’t silenced (ever wonder why the majority of rapes go unreported, or why so many rape kits are never tested? Google! It’s your friend) or that rapists aren’t celebrated (ever been to a frat house? Listen for two seconds on the violence of the language. Go to a video game session. Listen to the way people around you talk). Also, separating pedophiles from rapists as if sexual contact with a child isn’t automatically rape. Amazing.
    The best part are the comments saying that rape victims would be offended by the idea that an intoxicated person cannot give consent. I am a rape victim. And it wouldn’t matter, but I wasn’t intoxicated, so I guess in your eyes that means I’m a Real Bona Fide Victim (TM). So: I’m offended by you.
    The comments AND this article make me feel even less safe at this campus. Or any campus, but being surrounded by wealthy people with access to wealthy lawyers definitely makes it worse, if anyone wants to consider that.
    TL;DR You represent the same callous disregard to my personhood as my attackers did and I refuse to accept an apology that doesn’t include the words ‘I’m a rape apologist, I should probably work on that.’

    • J BWriter

      Another “Gender Studies” major, right? Trigger Warning: The real world is laughing at you right now.

    • LibertarianWeeaboo

      Maybe if you starbucks drinking privileged feminist hipsters stood up for women in the middle east, india and other countries with REAL rape culture maybe the “white male shitlords” wouldn’t have to do it for you.

      Also get over yourself you pathetic cry-bully, he ain’t apologizing for shit.

  • Jeff Larkin

    There are two issues here. First, the article itself and whether the author must apologize, or has endorsed rape, or must be muzzled because he triggers unpleasant fears in a select minority of readers. These calls are the bleats of the apparatchik and the fascist, and should be roundly denounced. That they are so prevalent in a university setting is nothing less than an intellectual plague.

    The second issue is the content of the article itself, and again, what great content. It has allowed for an energized discussion here and elsewhere, where points have been made across the entire spectrum and personal stories have been shared. One could take away any number of valuable lessons from it. There is a compelling juxtaposition of the invocation of rape culture in a tony, university setting and places elsewhere in the world where, let’s say, female genital mutilation is the norm. There is an inquiry as to the responsibility and ability of genders and institutions to protect individuals as opposed to an individual in any given setting. There is a stab at whether the rape culture, as opposed to actual rapes, that so haunts people is a true, pernicious influence here or elsewhere in affluent society or a haunted house of their own creation.

    This is, dare I say it, all to the good.

  • Timmy

    I understand the anger around this article (or perhaps the point is that, as a straight white male, I don’t). However, I think it’s never a bad time to put anger aside and take a dispassionate look at each individual point of disagreement. With all the rhetoric out there, it’s easy for both sides to talk past each other, and it doesn’t help that concepts like “rape culture” and “hookup culture” are barely defined, or definable. Instead of talking in narratives and generalizations (or insulting each other), we should separate the different controversial issues.

    Here are the important questions Briggs and the commenters raise in my mind:
    How does Western culture compare to other specific cultures in how it treats women?
    How can Western culture improve its treatment of women?
    What fair, constitutional criminal policies can we adopt to stop sexual assault (and how can we insure that these policies are enforced properly?)
    What educational policies can we adopt to stop sexual assault?
    What are the broad consequences of sexual promiscuity and alcohol consumption, not only for sexual assault outcomes but also for physical and psychological well-being?
    Generally speaking, in what sense is anyone responsible for being intentional harmed by another person?
    If someone is not morally responsible for being harmed by another person, might we still critique them on rational grounds? Might we still recommend that others avoid certain types of risk?

    People are shaming the author for his views, and apparently he is, in fact, pretty ashamed of himself. But for all I know, the shamers might agree with the shamee on a lot of the above questions. But we’ll never know, because everyone satisfied to bandy around talking points that don’t mean anything. Do we live in a rape culture? Well, on Brigg’s definition no, but on a feminists definition yes! You can’t get anywhere in a conversation if you constantly equivocate terms and misrepresent your opponent’s views.

  • Jeff Larkin

    “Anybody who comes to speak to you and you disagree with, you should have an argument with them. But you shouldn’t silence them by saying, you can’t come because I’m too sensitive to hear what you have to say. That’s not the way we learn, either,” Obama said Monday.

  • elarga

    The women might consider they might be better off if they stopped dressing like hookers so often.

  • Bella Salvatori

    Cannot even begin to comprehend the ignorance in this article.

    • J BWriter

      You can’t comprehend this article. Are you illiterate? Or are you one of the sad, triggered infantile 20-something. Best retreat to your parents basement. You’ll be safe from truth and logic there.

    • sway

      No reason to comment, since you have nothing to contribute.

    • Lizzy Autrey

      http://theodysseyonline.com/gsu/womans-response-to-thomas-briggs/211278

      My argument against the article– I hope you can find the time to read it.

  • Bailey

    “I hope the dangers of trying to tackle the problem of rape within a rape culture context — when in reality the issue exists in a hookup culture context — are now frighteningly clear”

    Not only have you not made it clear how rape culture doesn’t exist (though you did do a good job of ignoring what has been detailed as rape culture within the United States), you gave no indication of how it is dangerous. Do you really expect to give a case from Saudi Arabia not relevant to your point and be able to say, “Ya see? I’m right!”

    Not only was your point horribly misconstrued and ignorant, your writing was terrible and your structure was nonexistent. Isn’t William and Mary supposed to be a good school?

  • Malphius

    Author nails it.

  • Cheers man, keep it up. Push the truth!

  • I have an alternative consent model that I think would solve all these issues. Check it out:

    http://jackmurphylive.com/how-to-catch-a-rapist-an-alternative-consent-model/

  • LibertarianWeeaboo

    Wow this comment section is filled with hysterical radical feminists, it’s pretty hilarious how facts make them foam out of their mouth.

    • gearbox123

      Like vampires reacting to garlic!

  • Extrange

    The best part of this article is the comments.

    You can literally cut with a knife the bullshit and doublethink of college kids who think they were raped because a guy looked at their breasts for 0.5 seconds.

    The author isn’t victim shaming rape victims. He’s saying there’s no “rape culture” on modern Western society, and a lot of you is using the buzzword as an excuse to discard responsibility of your own actions. Both you and your partner got drunk, hooked up and now you’re regretting it? Sorry, that’s you making a bad decision, rape isn’t a state you decided it happened later.

    “You don’t get rape culture”

    Yes, he does, he pointed out to several example where it’s an actual thing!

    “You can’t write about it, you never suffered from it.”

    Do you need to be raped to know rape is BAD? Do you see any institution, anything on our culture teaching us “Do RAPE, RAPE IS GOOD!” ?

    This is one of the cores of 3rd wave Feminism: They perpetuate the concept of Rape Culture because it allows them to strawman an imaginary tyrannical society against them.

    When you’re reading this on your iMac or iPhone, sipping your Pumpkin Spice Latte Macchiato, wearing your Uggs and safe from being whipped 100 times because you were seen with a man or you’re not being raped in a bus by the driver and passengers and later even being insulted for daring to go to the police….

    ….Do you REALLY think you’re living on a Rape Culture society?

    • Havid Damburger

      Yes. We live in a world where the super wealthy are mixed with the poor. Everyone sees how wealthy and successful people live on TV. Since very few of us get to live that way – we’ve had the birth of the victim class in america. Females can now pin all their life failures on imaginary and unquestionable things like Patriarchy and Rape Cukture. Anything to drive the focus away from the fact that their regular people in there no special

    • JohnSkookum

      My grandpa told me about something in the years after World War II called “Hedgerow Envy”. Men who were refused entry into the military for whatever reason, or assigned to file-clerk duty in Kansas, nursed a resentment of the men who actually stormed the beaches and hedgerows of Normandy that sometimes boiled over into insanity. I think a similar thing is happening on our college campuses.

      Never, anytime, anywhere, in the entire span of human history since caveman days, has there been a place where young women and minorities were as coddled and cocooned as an American college campus in the 21st century. Their every whim and delusion is catered to in the most slavish fashion by their college administrations. The most trivial indignities of normal life are blown up into outrageous offenses deserving of mob justice, and if there are not enough “real” injustices, then the campus SJW’s will create them themselves.

      For a couple decades now, it’s been safe to assume (until proven otherwise, which is very seldom) that any noose or swastika or anti-feminist threat in the vicinity of a left-wing college campus was put there by a left-wing activist aggrieved that there is a shortage of real racism or sexism, the suppression of which will satisfy their psychological need for moral preening and virtue-signaling. There is this aching need for them to really perceive themselves as being every bit as oppressed as the women in Muslim countries who are flogged for flirting and and stoned for adultery, or the slaves of six generations past.

      But why should the rest of us play along with such delusions, let alone be forced to pay for them monetarily or socially? The proper response to the campus SJW’s is this: “You’re a loony. Go to hell.”

      • Johnathan Swift Jr.

        As you will see below, I concur with your views. My father and my uncles and their friends were all from that same World WarII generation and they all sacrificed a great deal in order to provide a very free and safe society for their chidden and grand-children. Because my father spent time in the Soviet Union during the war and he was in the ETO against the National Socialists, I never had any illusions about how evil the “isms” were. I always knew that free minds and free markets create the best for the most.

        While the United States is of course far from perfect, it has opportunities and pleasures that were unimaginable even a century ago. My mother and her siblings rode a 2,000 pound work horse to school and I spent my time on the farm, but real physical work is a good thing growing up, but today’s kids have really even mowed a lawn. Many have been waited on by parents hand and foot and driven to school, to play sessions, to little league, to ballet, every day of their lives. My mother walked me to school too – once, when I was six. After that I knew my way. I would have resented it, had she come to walk me home every day. We rode our bicycles everywhere and spent hours on our own without adults hovering over us and were stronger and better for it. Hell, I had an uncle who lived by himself on the Indian Reservation when he was ten in order to irrigate and it was the best summer of his life. He was a self-starter and ended up a paratrooper, mountain climber and a scientist, all from a little rural school in the middle of Indian Country. Its a pussified world we live in now, full of sloth, indolence and weakness.

        University life is much more about inculcating students with a laundry list of nostrums and slogans and attitudes – ones that are seldom questioned – few of them seem to have any sort of perspective, either geographical or historical. This robs them of the context that they need to view their world. I spend a lot of time on campuses and more and more they resemble a womb for infantilized adults.

        • Patty Skater

          “Let me spend two paragraphs explaining that my mom and dad worked hard for what I have, and then try to shoehorn my personal narrative into an argument about why all opinions disagreeing with mine are invalid!”

          • Johnathan Swift Jr.

            No, millions of people have worked for many centuries to build the world we all inhabit. My parents did not work hard to give me another more than most of our parents or grandparents or great-grandparents did. No one hands most of us the keys to a car or gives us a free college education or a permanent job.

            Most of our parents try to raise us well enough to succeed on our own. I began working before I was in my teens and have never stopped and I had a number of rough, even dangerous and physical jobs on my way up. Even in the years I had my own business, I preferred to do most of the harder, more physical and dirty work myself. I never wanted an employee to think that I felt I was too good for a task, like some of the bosses I had when I was young.

            A good parent should prepare their child for any sort of labor and not make them feel too good for any task. I mucked out horse stalls, fed cattle and bucked hay and was a better person for it. The most important thing my father and my uncles did for me was to give me a sense of history, an appreciation for how much better the vast majority of Americans have it than people in most other countries. So, I always had gratitude for all the hard working people who forged the modern world, a modern world that has made life far easier than it was in the past for all of us. My mother’s family farmed with horse drawn equipment and so when I worked on a tractor, I knew how much easier I had it, how much progress had been made.

            Two hundred and fifty years ago, about 80% of the people worked in agriculture, most of them subsistence farmers, others who did well enough to feed the other 20% who lived in towns and cities and had other occupations. It was the Industrial Revolution that lifted most of mankind up, that made heating and even now cooling a home affordable, that enabled us to have a orange in the winter in Belgium or someone to have fresh meat or fish far from their origin. It was hard working people that built the machines that gave us mass production, that dug the coal, that dug the canals, that built the railroads, so we can all get on a car or train and go to work while we live where we want. It was the industrial age that allowed a broad middle class to develop in all the western nations and now the same dynamic is lifting people out of poverty all over the world, except where they have corrupt or totalitarian governments.

            So, my discussion is not a personal narrative but a nearly universal narrative. Because of the ingenious, industrious people who forged the modern world and made places like the bucolic college campuses students today enjoy possible, we are all better off. No one handed me, or most of us the keys to a Mercedes and a house when we reached the age of majority.

            And of course, there is no “Rape Culture” on American university campuses, more than twenty of which I visited last year. Rape is a rarity in the United States and has been declining for decades. Thankfully. There is little tolerance for rape in American society. When charged and prosecuted, rapists receive lengthy sentences, as they should. The world would be a much better place if the rest of the world had the same attitudes. This is why a historical and geographical awareness is your friend, it gives you a sense of perspective, one that would never allow the words “Rape Culture” to cross your lips when discussing the American University.

      • Patty Skater

        That’s not what he said. If you’ve actually read the article, you’d realize that his actual argument never even touched on what rape culture is actually considered to be, and failed to define any problems he brought up. If you took a moment to stop strawmanning and look up the words he used, you’d understand that this is neither an informed take nor a particularly well-thought-out argument.

  • Conner Garry Sennett

    Great article. Hopefully more people start coming around.

  • bdrasin

    You sir are an extraordinarily brave man. Watch your back

  • Henry Vandenburgh

    I think there are specific rape proclivities in specific conjunctures: some athletes, some fraternities. Missoula is a pretty good read about one rape-prone context. The hookup culture the author cites only exists at rich people’s campuses. It doesn’t apply much to places like the state college at which I taught. Like reluctant girls at the Oneida Colony (read the dairies,) many of the girls at elite campuses may be reluctant, but there’s always alcohol. The compromise is oral sex.

  • John Edwards Cummings

    Friendly reminder:

    RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), who are actually professionals in rape prevention and response, do not believe there is a “rape culture”

    Friendly reminder 2:

    Cognitive theories of rape are… rather unreliable

    https://books.google.de/books?id=elP8RquejCoC&lpg=PA144&dq=Overholser%20proclivity%20rape&pg=PA144#v=onepage&q=Here%20the%20theory%20seems%20to%20fail&f=false

    So, it seems the author of this article is in the right.

  • Shade

    One part of this article that I think is being overlooked is the qualifier in the first paragraph “I am referring a specific, yet undeniably large component of what is considered rape or sexual assault on college campuses – two people, of indeterminate drunkenness, engaging in sexual activity.” The rapid rise in sexual assaults on college campuses in the past decade is shocking, but I don’t think that it is valid to say that men have gotten more criminal or violent since our parents were in college. Regardless of the rest of the column, some of which seems insensitive at the very least, I think that it is valid to postulate that perhaps the change that is causing the spike in sexual violence is a societal shift towards the sexualization of media, college, and fraternity life. And perhaps even, that we can work to solve the problem of sexual violence on college campuses by rolling back the sexualization of everyday life for college students.

  • Steve Lyndon

    There’s a rape culture? Shit, where’s the clubhouse I haven’t seen any advertising for it anywhere,do we get a funny hat to wear and a badge?

  • tiemo

    Good article Thomas. I like the phrase “hook up culture” as one that more appropriately describes the situation many refer to. I wrote a similar piece a few days ago and like you highlight the fact there are places where “rape culture” might be seen as a much more appropriate phrase.

    https://tiemotalkofthetown.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/rape-culture-menace-or-myth/

  • Sallypette

    Really good article. You define perfectly what a rape culture actually is – and how the US and western world in general is exactly the opposite. Mostly – “no systemic tolerance for rape” , “no prosecution of victims” and “general disgust for rape and rapists…only trumped by the general disgust for pedophilia or murder”.

  • DoxBait

    Comments are hysterical. You want me to do something, and no, I’m not allowed to discuss it with you, and no, my opinion on the matter will not be considered, and yes, I’m supposed to be taking you seriously and not just moving on to find women without personality disorders.

  • Can’t believe how sexist all the comments are disregarding the author’s viewpoint because of his gender and race.

  • Rape culture is a projection of female rape fantasy.
    62% of women have had a rape fantasy.
    40% of rape victims report continuing to date their attackers.

  • WhiteRabbit3

    Rape is never to be excused, but the idea that there is a massive “rape culture” on American campuses is simply absurd. Decades from now people will wonder how so many people bought into such a silly premise.

    • ParasamGateZero

      Man, if we have to wait decades, we’re really fucked.

    • Will

      Exactly. You’d have a far more reasonable argument the modern West is very much an anti-rape culture especially compared to a real rape culture like ISIS.

  • Jeff Larkin

    Whatever one thinks of rape culture (and I tend to believe its an amorphous construct that either intentionally or unintentionally infantilizes many women, cementing their status as victims while giving them a blunt instrument to attack powers they have deemed oppressive), we can at least agree on this.

    Whether it exists or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is that rape is a threat, a threat that varies quite wildly from the relatively safe haven of William & Mary to the darker streets of Riyadh.

    On this, all should be able to agree.

    From this agreement, the article is quite intriguing, because with an accepted threat, the author is really explaining what he believes to be a monumental exacerbation of that threat – the hookup culture.

    I asked initially: Is a drunk who stumbles into Central Park at 2 am responsible for his mugging? I answered my own question: of course not.

    But is he foolish to do so?

    Unsurprisingly, I received no answer from those horrified by the piece.

    Why?

    Because it creates a philosophical conundrum. On the one hand, there is the “shame! shame!” as to any suggestion there is NOT a rape culture.

    Yet, on the other, even if you accept that there is a real threat of rape, no one wants to be in a position to say to the young man or woman, “It is a tragedy you were raped. But it was foolish of you to make yourself so vulnerable to the crime.”

    Hook-up culture is to rape what drunk driving is to car crashes, and whether there is a culture of drinking (or what used to be called “the drinking life”) is wholly irrelevant to that fact.

  • Havid Damburger

    If you ever wanted to study the correlation between ovaries, privilege and mental illness, read the comments on this page

    • Patty Skater

      If you ever wanted to study the correlation between testosterone, privilege, and shameless baiting, read this comment.
      Goes both ways.

      • Patty Skater

        And by that I mean you can make unfounded generalizations about anything and call it wit, no intelligence required.

      • Havid Damburger

        By using the word Patriarchy I now know that you are 1) a misandrist OR 2) a lonely, bitter, homely woman.

        Either those is punishment enough. It must have ruined your life.

  • As many of the comments prove, the hookup culture isn’t nearly as much of a problem as the stupid culture.

  • Face it … what the feminists want, is a convenient club that makes them look like heroes (for fun and profit), even as they swing it to give anyone they don’t like the baby-seal treatment.

    Intellectual honesty not required.

  • Hajjster

    Excellent article. What’s even more amusing is that media sources like Rolling Stone will actively sell the “hook-up culture” and then try to disassociate itself from the imaginary “rape culture” that supposedly exists by creating mendacious articles like the VA “scandal.”

    The media and left in our society are hypocritically telling us to flee monogamous sex, loyalty, and stable families, but then chastising us for what would be the result of that fleeing from those honorable things.

    Of course, most of the left is so stewed in their own narrative that they can’t notice factual discourse anymore.

  • Gmama

    Bernie Sanders believed all women had rape fantasies. The left impugns others with their worst instincts.

    • Robert Riversong

      Psychology Today: From 1973 through 2008, nine surveys of women’s rape fantasies have been published. They show that about 4 in 10 women admit having them (31% to 57%) with a median frequency of about once a month. Actual prevalence of rape fantasies is probably higher because women may not feel comfortable admitting them.

      • Gmama

        “All” doesn’t equal 40%. Bern also claimed cervical cancer was due to fridgitity. Can you imagine if Ted Cruz said that?

        • Robert Riversong

          Nice evasion, but 40% who admit to it means that it’s more prevalent than that and that it’s fully normalized among American women.

          But, even worse, since you began with a fallacy (i.e. an outright lie: Bernie never said “all” – in fact he used the word “a”, depicting a single hypothetical woman), and ignored the context (i.e. engaged in cherry-picking) – the issue of sexual and interpersonal liberation of both sexes – your alleged conclusion is similarly fallacious (or, rather, a malicious ideologically-driven libel).

  • next bubble

    Well done Thomas, and good for you speaking out. There have been some other male college students speaking out against this nonsense the last couple of months, and hope more do so as that will have a big impact on this debate and enable even more folks to come to your side.

  • Liz
  • Robert Riversong
  • joelbass

    Rule #1 of Rape Club: Pretend it doesn’t exist.

  • Lizzy Autrey

    http://theodysseyonline.com/gsu/womans-response-to-thomas-briggs/211278

    I truly hope you take the time to read and consider this.

    • Jeff Larkin

      I did, but you do Briggs and yourself a disservice from the outset. The piece starts with “Who gave the frat guy the microphone?” and yet you then demand of that same frat guy, “I want an answer.”

      Two questions.

      First, do you really want an answer from someone who shouldn’t, in your own words, have ever been given voice in the first place?

      Second, Briggs may be busy. I, however, have some free time and I have answered the five questions you posed.

      Okay, so what’s the big deal with a couple of harmless comments?

      There isn’t that much of a big deal to harmless comments. It is very easy to find an outlier and then make an inferential leap, as in “a guy on youtube denigrated women and then killed some men and women.” It’s quite another to suggest that commenters on social media who express antipathy to any group are therefore likely murderers because you have found one such person. By such logic, the antipathy you expressed toward the “frat guy” in your piece should put us on alert? I hardly think that is an indicator of anything.

      But what if one of the yearly 293,066 (reported cases only!) rape victims sees this joke?

      What joke? Your writing is unclear here. Are you suggesting that someone who is loose with language toward women should consider that what he or she writes might be viewed by women who have been raped and thus, they should practice self-censure for fear of offense?

      Is it still meaningless? See above.

      Or what if a part of the 15% of men (that’s one out of seven!) who are rapists sees it?

      I would imagine that if one of the alleged 5.5 million men who are rapists in the United States reads such a comment, it would have no impact. These 5.5 million men have already raped someone, no?

      Is it still harmless?

      In the main, yes, but not always. Awful people do awful things all the time on the thinnest of impulses.

    • Robert Riversong

      Briggs is hardly “market[ing] the idea of rape culture under [his] own special brand”, nor has he “single-handedly trivialized one of the most prevalent social problems in American society – rape culture.”

      He has correctly denied its existence in the US and accurately described the real culture on America’s college campuses and the real root of the so-called campus “sexual assault” problem.

      Among many others, hookup culture is addressed by Emily Tate (University Editor, The Miami Student), Kathleen A. Bogle (sociology and criminal justice professor at La Salle University), Anne M. Coughlin (law professor at the University of Virginia); it’s propagated by Hanna Rosin in her book “The End of Men”, discussed on ABC (“Parents need to be aware of the facts of the college hookup culture as their children leave for college.”), explained in length by Heather Mac Donald in “The Campus Rape Myth“, described by evolutionary biologist Justin Garcia and others as a “cultural revolution” that had its beginnings in the 1920s. One study found that the vast majority (more than 90%) of American college students say their campus is characterized by a hookup culture, and students believe that about 85% of their classmates have hooked up (Lisa Wade, “Hookup culture: College kids can handle it”, and Elizabeth L. Paul, “The Myths and Realities of the Hookup Experience”), and a Media Education Foundation Study Guide is titled “Understanding Hookup Culture, What’s Really Happening on College Campuses”.

      “I believe that I speak for almost every woman…”

      Not only do you suffer from the megalomaniacal assumption that you speak for an entire class of people, but YOU are the one who is grossly “ill-informed” about this topic, suffering from “preconceived notions”, and merely parroting discredited tropes and memes.

  • Demi

    Copy and paste these links if you think the videos define real world problems that should be addressed. These problems aren’t just affecting the U.S., this debate on “equality for the sexes” is happening in Canada, United Kingdom, India, and Australia.
    The Truth About Rape Culture by Stefan Molyneux

    The Truth About Male Privilege by Stefan Molyneux
    Gender pay gap stats 46min. 40Sec. Into the video

    Shocking MRA Attacks Feminism, Defends Rape Culture

    Is There a Benefit to Corporal Punishment?

    Study: Children Assaulted 936 Times Per Year!

    And for all those feminists who say women don’t have a voice in society, here’s a video of third wave feminists that make the “double standards” against
    men that nobody addresses.

    And if you watched the last video to the end, this is a video on one of the public feminist hate mobs incited by university professors that teach patriarchy theory.

  • Will

    I’d argue it’s a culture of RadFems trying to criminalize sex.