You would have thought it was a tasteless joke, reading an opinion piece by a College of William and Mary student defending the gross vandalization of college property and the vicious slandering of wide swaths of innocent students. But behold, in Aditya Mohan’s recent opinion piece, you’ll find the true power of the 21st century liberal arts education.
Indeed, all the standard Coll 100 sociology hashtags are sprinkled about, and railing against those “rich, white, cis men” serves well to paint the author as the permanent revolutionary I’m sure they imagine themselves to be.
I’m not being fair, though. Honestly, anybody who has the mettle to post a sincere opinion with their name at the top is a better academic than the rest of us. In this age of hysteria, when “scholars” shut down ACLU events with bloody banners and slogan bleating, I’ll take my rational discourse where I can get it.
Aditya’s arguments are pretty flimsy, and I’ll put what took the author 600 words and a whole Cultural-Marxist textbook to say into one bite-sized claim: X is evil, and therefore it is okay to behave unlawfully at X’s expense. Before I start, here’s a disclaimer: I’m not in a fraternity, and the thought of defending Greek life gives me a bubbly Crim Dell feeling in my stomach that I’d rather do without. However, this is a matter of principle.
Regarding the essential first part of Aditya’s claim: the fraternities are not “terrible and powerful institutions.” Unless you’re falling for hoax articles like A Rape on Campus or watching fraudulent documentaries about the supposed campus rape epidemic like “The Hunting Ground” (a film made, in part, by The Weinstein Company — the irony), frats are just another social club on campus. They aren’t more or less evil than any other organization. Are they exclusionary? Yes, in the same way that you’re exclusive regarding the people you choose to hang out with. Are they evil? Get over yourself; it’s a bunch of boozing college guys who do charity work on the side. If you don’t like it, you’re at liberty to not associate. Welcome to America.
More importantly, Aditya cheapens the very real issue of rape when they defend its rhetorical deployment against anybody within their ridiculously wide scope of “complicity.” The author is right to care — though the oft-referenced one-in-four statistic is a complete fabrication, even one rape is one too many. However, when you decide, without proof, that somebody you don’t like is a “rapist,” you devalue the term, which is ultimately both insulting and detrimental to those who have been victimized by actual rapists. Remember, also, that rape is a crime in which it is not enough to be innocent of the act; an accusation alone can follow and ruin the falsely accused throughout their lives. All that being said, Aditya’s claim to any moral high ground is completely indefensible.
Again, I don’t want to pick on the author, because I believe that all William and Mary students are capable of critical thought, even if they’ve been misled by any of the subversive departments in Morton Hall. The actual shame lies with the professors who push this BS onto their impressionable students, as well as the ever-bloating yet always impotent administration that never fails to go limp and let these things fester. The alumni and parents — I know you’re reading — also need to take inventory. You cringe at the insanity of today’s college campuses, and yet you say nothing, and (most importantly) you keep signing those checks at the end of each year.
If I sound contemptuous, it’s because I am. The kind of thinking in Aditya’s piece is not uncommon across campus, and it’s just a small symptom of the cultural rot that I’ve watched grow over my four years here. This nonsense has to stop. Today’s faux vigilantism might just be graffiti, but tomorrow’s could be much, much worse.
Email Sinclair Cabocel at firstname.lastname@example.org.