How to Make More Victims of Campus Rape

A guide via The Washington Post and campus activists everywhere.


Alan Stanton/Flickr

The Washington Post this week defended its recent claim that, yes, 20 percent of college women will be sexually assaulted during their time in school, basing this confident assertion on new poll numbers gleaned by the Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation. While the poll provoked a lot of "see, we told you so" from various media—the one-in-five number, debated since the early '90s, has become a major rallying cry again of late—others have criticized the poll's broad definition of sexual assault and the accompanying article's framing, which relied on the same bait-and-switch linguistics that plagues so much campus-rape research and reporting these days.

One in five women "say they were violated," the Post headline trumpets, going on to note in the first paragraph that by "violated" the paper means "sexually assaulted." The third paragraph tells us that 25 percent of college women and 7 percent of college men said they were victims of "unwanted sexual incidents in college," and in reality the "circle of victims on the nation's campuses is probably even larger," because many spoke of attempted attacks or suspected someone of violating them while they were incapacitated but weren't sure.

After indicting campus drinking, "hookup" culture, and Greek life for these numbers and stressing that "violence is widespread but rarely reported to the authorities," it isn't until around the 15th paragraph that the feature bothers defining what is meant by sexual assault ("unwanted sexual conduct" is never defined):  

The poll defined sexual assault to include five types of unwanted contact: forced touching of a sexual nature, oral sex, vaginal sexual intercourse, anal sex and sexual penetration with a finger or object.

After they were read this definition, 5 percent of men and 20 percent of women said they had been sexually assaulted in college. Their assailants used force or threats of force, or they attacked while their victims were incapacitated.

But even here, the Post is dissembling a little. A look directly at the poll questions and results shows about 5 percent of students, including 9 percent of women and 1 percent of men, answer yes when asked if they have been victims of "unwanted sexual contact that involved force or threats of force."

About 9 percent of students, including 14 percent of women and 4 percent of men, say they were exposed to sexual contact when they were "unable to provide consent or stop what was happening because [they] were incapacitated." The poll did not define "incapacitated" to respondents here, but primed the question by explaining that it was "about your experiences with unwanted sexual contact … because you were passed out, drugged, or drunk, incapacitated, or asleep," and shouldn't exclude times "that you voluntarily consumed alcohol or drugs."

(The survey also asked about sexual contact established through "threats of nonphysical punishment, such as being fired from a job or damaging your reputation, or by making promises of rewards, such as raising a grade or inviting you to a party." Three percent overall, including 1 percent of men and 4 percent of women, said they had experienced this, but it was not taken into account when determining the 20 percent figure.)

Pollsters never actually asked a question about forced sexual touching or penetration that received a 20 percent "yes" rate from female students. And in the various questions the Post used to cobble together this figure, sexual assault was characterized in several different ways, from forced intercourse to any disfavored sexual contact after students had been drinking.

In the followup article, Scott Clement points out that "experiencing unwanted sexual contact was not the only requirement for an assault to be counted—respondents had to say the contact was either by physical force or threat or while they were unable to give consent" (because of having consumed alcohol or drugs, etc.). But within the categories Clement lays out, as in the original poll questions, there's a world of experiential variance possible. Did the "incapacitated" sexual contact happen after a victim was slipped some sort of drug, had been drinking to the point of passing out, or after they only had a few beers? Did the forceful "unwanted sexual contact" include being pinned down and raped, or grabbed by the arm at a party and pulled in for an undesired kiss? The poll gives all these experiences equal claim to the mantle of "sexual assault," defining as victims people who wouldn't necessarily define themselves that way.

In yesterday's defense,  Clement noted that in follow-up interviews with 50 students, "few of those cases suggested that there had been only casual physical contact misconstrued as something sexual." But I don't think the fear is that the numbers reflect misinterpreted non-sexual touch. It's more that mutually-drunken encounters or mistaken advances—the perhaps overly agressive party kiss (which was what led to one of the claims against Columbia student Paul Nungesser), someone trying to take a makeout session to third-based without explicitly asking first—are being redefined as rape, and accorded the same status as more sustained, intentional, or explicit uninvited contact. Misconstrued signals, momentary lapses of judgement, and the awkward stuff of sexual and romantic liaisons immemorial are elevated to the malicious and criminal here—not based on the perceptions of those involved even but on the dispassionate categorization of pollsters.

In a 2014 Bureau of Justice Statistics survey in which respondents were directly asked whether they'd been victims of rape or sexual assault, female college students reported a rate of 6.1 incidents per 1,000, or about 0.6 percent. Clement explains that the Post didn't want to simply rely on self-reported rapes and assaults because "being sexually assaulted is not akin to being mugged or shot. Individuals have different understandings of what sexual assault means, and they might be unclear about whether their experience represented a crime. They might not even feel like they were victimized."

But if someone doesn't feel at all victimized by a particular incident, who is anyone to tell them that they were? And why are statistics based on this third-party categorization of experience supposed to be more "real" than those based on self-reported assessments?

By the Post poll definitions, I would be among those counted as a sexual assault victim and so would many other male and female friends of mine. Yet none of us consider ourselves victims of past sexual violence, not in the slightest. Lumping us (and everyone like us) into statistics on sexual assault victims distorts the picture significantly, and it's hard to fathom justification for such statistical sleights-of-hand that doesn't rely on wanting to inflate campus rape numbers.

We see a similar thing happen with statistics and stories about sex trafficking in America. The more ordinary prostitution is redefined as "sex trafficking," the more it looks like sex trafficking is on the rise and reaching epidemic proportions. Sex workers who object to being classified as victims are seen by those in power not as people who might have something valid to say about their own experiences but people who have been so victimized they can't even see they're victims and must be reeducated by the state about their victimhood. (For a great example, see this recent article out of Arizona, where victims advocate Brian Steele says that the first step "to recovery" for sex workers is teaching them "to see themselves as victims," and the director of Arizona's Anti-Trafficking Network points out happily that "you're going to have more victims as a result.")

People frequently ask: What's the harm? If sex trafficking is such a horrid crime, who cares if advocates sensationalize the stories or inflate the numbers a little? If rape is such a horrific crime—and one that's historically been denied or dealt with atrociously—why quibble over whether it's one in five or one in 150? If attention to an issue is good, more attention is better; if stressing the urgency of a problem is key, exaggerating the urgency of a problem can't hurt. It's for a good cause, and only someone who wants to downplay the seriousness of sexual assault (or make a name for themselves as a contrarian) would want to parse stats and stories or speak in anything other than black and white terms.  

But that's utter baloney—and worse, it's baloney that harms the very causes these advocates claim to care about. Arguably, nothing has done more to set back activism around rape issues than the recent unraveling of high-profile "assault" cases from Rolling Stone magazine and the documentary The Hunting Ground (among others). When media and activists set out to highlight the most sensational examples, rather than most representative ones, they're bound to attract (and be attracted to) fabulists and sociopaths. The unraveling of these stories, the sketchy stats—it pushes a lot of people to question the need for such rhetorical hyperbole if the issue really is so serious or prevalent.  

The biggest disservice here, however, has nothing to do with the so-called court of public opinion. It's more a matter of tailoring solutions, which can't be done effectively when we have no conception of the actual scope of a problem. You can't fix what you don't understand. 

For instance, when you think sex trafficking is perpetuated by uber-Bad Guys who kidnap and confine their victims, it makes sense to approach the issue from a law enforcement perspective (more cops! More money for cops! Longer prison sentences for offenders!). If you realize that the majority of U.S. sex trafficking cases invole women in bad circumstances (runaway teens, domestic violence victims, drug addicts) who turn to sex work out of desperation and fall under the influence of someone controlling, exploitative, or opportunistically violent, the solutions start to look a lot different; instead of raiding strip clubs and conducting "john stings," maybe we could invest in more low-income drug-treatment centers or emergency shelters. 

When it comes to campus rape solutions, too, context matters. A college where unknown assailants were preying on students via violence and force would approach the issue differently than one where most campus rapes were pepetuated by acquaintances. It's not controversial that the theoretical rapist lurking in the bushes and the rapist sitting across the dining-hall table will require different approaches in order to thwart. So why is it so supposedly uncouth to dare address different degrees of unwanted sexual experience?

Reading over the "survivor's stories" the Post compiled, I was struck by how many (from both women and men) involved some variation on 1) sexual contact starts mutually, 2) one party wants to stop or not go any further, 3) the hesitant party "freezes" and says or does nothing. (Many did not label their experience rape or assault, though the Post did.) Some people took issue with me pointing this out—don't I know there are no perfect victims? Don't I know people react to rape in different ways? All of which is very true, and useful to keep in mind! But I refuse to buy in that someone can give no indication whatsoever that they are disinterested in a sexual experience and afterward claim that it was assault.

This doesn't mean we shouldn't teach young people that good sexual etiquette means paying attention to your partner's non-verbal cues. We should also focus on teaching young people, especially young women, to assert their own sexual parameters and wishes confidently. It seems as much as anything, we've got an epidemic of young people who don't feel comfortable saying no. But none of these solutions are furthered by pretending that these sorts of situations are what people are, or should be, addressing when they're talking about campus rape. Lumping these people into the category of "sexual assault victims" may help make a point, but it doesn't help people, who require solutions tailored to actual realities and not the blurry-edged propaganda versions of them. 

Which would you rather be: a victim of sexual assault who finds a friendly university administration and community, or someone who has never been or felt like a victim of sexual assault at all? The narrative and solutions we're building around campus rape may help with the former, but at the expense of funneling in a lot of people from the latter category. 

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  1. You know, it used to take a lot for me to be non-sympathetic or even skeptical of someone who said they were raped. Not much made me angrier. Ever since this college rape propaganda kicked into full gear, I’ve grown into a massive cynic and find myself making arguments I’d rather not have to make.

    They’ve twisted the word rape so much, and lied so often that the word itself is losing its meaning. With the loss of meaning comes the loss of its impact. Because there aren’t large numbers of males who take/took rape ‘lightly.’ Far from it.

    1. “Because there aren’t large numbers of males who take/took rape ‘lightly.’ Far from it.”

      As we see today, with tragic consequences.

      1. Well, DUH, of course 1 in 5 women will be a victim of “rape” if they are taught that the definition of “rape” is any unpleasantness at anytime anywhere with any member of the opposite sex.
        Which is their definition.

    2. They are trying to steal a base. they want to change the definition of rape. they don’t want to change the penalties to match the new definitions. they want the old penalties and the old impact of the word for things that were not rape when the penalties were enacted. If rape is accidental unwanted touching, then the penalty should be who gives a fuck.

      1. If rape is accidental unwanted touching, then the penalty should be who gives a fuck.

        I suspect eventually they’ll define the word down to the point where actual physical contact won’t even be required. Awkward eye contact across the dinner table? Rape! Uncomfortable silence in the car on the way home? RAPE!!!1!!11!! You get the idea.

      2. They not only want to change the definition of rape, they want to expand it while simultaneously retaining the aura of rape being the worst-thing-that-can-happen-to-you.

        It’s one thing to expand the definition of sexual assault to include drunken groping on the basement couch, it’s another thing to want to treat drunken groping on the basement couch as a fate worse than death that is destined to cause people to have PTSD flashbacks every time someone questions rape statistics.

        1. As we’ve seen in the reactions to the latest season of Game of Thrones. There is a determined group of women insisting the rape of Sansa Stark by Bolton the Psycho was the worst thing ever and a new low for the series.

          1. There are a lot of dumb men in the world, but somehow being a dumb woman is suddenly socially acceptable and cheered and promoted in the mass media. Whatever and there is a reason that their lives are a trainwreck, and it isn’t the evil white male privilege society that they so desperately have to believe in.

    3. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/rsavcaf9513.pdf

      A study that never seems to get cited.

    4. Yes exactly….and “sexual harassment” is now saying hello to a woman on the street or saying ‘You look pretty”. Of course women can say that to men all day, every day and it’s not considered harassment.

      And yes of course rape now includes sexual assault and sexual assault would include a man touching a woman’s hip (through clothing) if she didn’t want it at that particular moment.

      So excuse us if we roll our eyes at all this nonsense.

  2. We seem to be at a point where the left is constantly asserting fake issues and we are spending all of our time debunking them and defending against their ‘solutions’ which are invariably attacks on our money and freedom.

    1. i think there is much to this point re: how the left is contstantly initiating skirmishes on the periphery in order to distract people from the ‘long game’ which is increasing the power of government and demanding higher taxes and more, new services, creating new dependents. not that these skimishes about the ficctional ‘rape culture’ arent really also abbout that – they are. but the small battles help draw resources away from the big ones.

      basically, ‘rape culture’ is being fought by SJW VC, while the true lefty goal of a control economy is being planned by the NVA democrats

  3. Did the survey indicate that buyer’s remorse isn’t rape?

    1. There are feminists out there who actually argue that consent can be retroactively revoked. It’s beyond parody at this point.

      1. And it can get even more bizarre. In the UK, the case against the soccer player Ched Evans (known hereafter as The Rapist Ched Evans), whereby he invited himself into a threesome came about, not because of the girl’s post-coital embarrassment, but because the police insisted she had been too drunk to give consent. The only reason she had gone to the police was to report she’d lost her handbag that night.

    2. If you haven’t regretted a sexual experience, then you’ve never truly LIVED!

    3. If it doesn’t include hoggin’, I’m calling shenanigans right now.

  4. I don’t understand why people keep repeating the 20% claim. It’s doubling down on stupid.

    If it’s true, ban college. Make it illegal.

    1. There you go – they should follow up on their own claims by calling for the closing of these rape factories.

    2. seriously. Show me the parent who would take that risk for his daughter; for that matter, show me the young woman who sees that figure as something she would like to chance.

    3. Here’s the thing. If anyone touting the 20% claim actually believed it, they would–they should–be calling for college to be shut down, as you say. If anyone actually believed this number, they wouldn’t go to college. Or send their kid there. 20% is not odds that humans accept in normal situations for something like rape. This number is laughable, simply because of people’s actual responses to it. Not what they say; what do they do. And no one–not a single fucking person that I can see–is actually acting like they believe this number. Even the girls that they interview who claim they are terrified of being on campus…they’re still there. They could leave with the greatest of ease…but they don’t.

      Everyone’s actions in this case shows that no one at all actually believes this number. No one. Yet we’re still talking about it as if it might be true. It’s amazing.

      1. Even the girls that they interview who claim they are terrified of being on campus…they’re still there. They could leave with the greatest of ease…but they don’t.

        Amusingly (?), that is also the case during many of the alleged sexual assaults.

        1. Amusingly (?),

          God is this the type of wishy washy shit that makes you one of ENB’s favorite?

          1. Wishy washy?

            I take it as a sign of respect. You know, there might actually be some real rape victims too, not just fakers. I don’t find real rape amusing.

            1. It’s pretty abhorrent that we even have to question this bullshit, these people are doing real rapists and scum everywhere a great service.

        2. I was watching VICE’s segment on this a few weeks ago, and they were interviewing girls who were crying on camera about how terrified they were of their campus, and even some claimed to have been sexually assaulted/raped days before. Yet here they were, on campus and on camera, clearly not very afraid of the environment, and certainly not planning on leaving. Like, not a single word about leaving because they felt unsafe. Nothing. It was amazing.

          1. I believe that 20% of college students are liars. Probably much higher, actually.

            1. I think liars is kind of harsh, manipulated sheeple probably fits the bill a little better.

              1. The percentage of college students who care about this shit are few. It’s a small, shrill minority shrieking at the top of their lungs with sympathetic cadres in the media playing it up.

                1. I’ve been casting about campus hoping to find a shrill harpy or three scurrying between classes with their brick-filled bookbags readied against any assailants hoping to drag them screaming into the bushes.

                  So far I’ve not even seen any particularly furtive-looking girls. Everyone looks a bit hurried or harried.

      2. I’m trying to think of what a reasonable risk/benefit ratio would be for a sane person.

        I’m thinking 1 in 1000 or less, or I wouldn’t pay for my daughter to go to that school.

        1. I don’t know what the actual numbers would be–it would obviously vary from person to person–but I think we can all confidently say that 1 in 5 is not acceptable. Not even in the realm of acceptable. Yes, I want to send my daughter to Nanking University. And I’m sure she’d be super eager to go there.

          1. Nanking University

            Awful. Therefore, brilliant.

      3. College is still perceived as making a big difference in status and earnings. If you set people in front of five doors, and told them that there was a million dollars for the taking behind each and every one, but Warty was also waiting behind one of the five, how many would go for it?

        1. The only thing college is good for these days is raping and getting raped.

        2. Bad analogy, but you can still go to community college for 2 years, or commute to a nearby commuter college. You could still go, but not take night classes, never leave the dorms at night, and never travel alone on campus unless you’ve brought along a cleric, a thief, and a half elf fighter mage. You could go and never go to parties. You could go to parties and never drink.

          Yet none of these things happen.

          Here’s what does happen: they go, they don’t travel in packs, they go out at night, they go to parties, and most of them call it the best years of their life. Occasionally, one get’s buyer’s remorse after letting the German’s fuck them in the ass.

          1. Occasionally, one get’s buyer’s remorse after letting the German’s fuck them in the ass.

            But enough about the USSR.

            1. But France, now France likes that kinda action. And they’ll never report it.

        3. What if you liked bears and had rape fantasies…?

      4. Even the girls that they interview who claim they are terrified of being on campus…they’re still there

        This is why campuses should not be gun-free zones. If the ladies were packing heat, the raping would end.

        1. The way things are now, a woman could get away with a mass murder spree by claiming all her victims either othered, microaggressed, or sexually assaulted her with their terrified screaming. Self defense!

          1. Wow, just wow. I just finished reading your post and I am shaking with rage. This is not okay, and someone could have been triggered by your hostility. This post is literally, vile dudebro, neckbeard, micro-aggression. It is threatening and harassment that violates my safe space. Let me tell you a thing: You are an awful, shitty person.

            Let me explain why your post is problematic, it’s 2015 not the 1950s. You are on the wrong side of history. Your post lacks nuance and complexity. You don’t know this, because white privilege. You ignore the enriching, diverse enrichment around you that will enrich your experience. I’m not here to educate you more. There is consensus on this issue already. This is not a place for learns. Like seriously. I literally can’t even now. Read a book on Nelson Mandela, and educate yourself. Shut up, listen, and believe. Just sayin’.

    4. Yep, the justification for forcing everyone to wear seatbelts was on statistics claiming much lower percentages of harm. If they truly believe what they preach we should ban women from colleges with male students for their own protection.

    5. Precisely. If parents belief its 20%, would you ever send your daughter to a co-ed school? You’d practically be an accomplice if you did.

    6. Hell, the potential of dying on K2 is lower than being raped in college, supposedly.

    7. I’ve made the point before: would you go somewhere that you had a 1 in 5 chance of being killed?

      But, they seem to be OK with odds on the rapin’, as long as it’s not rape-rape.

      1. Maybe, colleges/universities should have a “rape meter” installed on their quad to allow their students to keep track of this concern. And while they are at it they can advertise it in their catalogs.

        1. Or a safety statement like manufacturing plants – ‘Rape free for nineteen days!’

  5. But I refuse to buy in that someone can give no indication whatsoever that they are disinterested in a sexual experience and afterward claim that it was assault.

    I refuse to buy into it, and further, I believe anyone who does buy into it or perpetuate the idea is ultimately downplaying the seriousness of rape and sexual assault as personal violations. It was somehow…not as bad as saying “stop it” would have been?

  6. “Reading over the “survivor’s stories” the Post compiled, I was struck by how many (from both women and men) involved some variation on 1) sexual contact starts mutually, 2) one party wants to stop or not go any further, 3) the hesitant party “freezes” and says or does nothing. (Many did not label their experience rape or assault, though the Post did.)”

    I’m glad you noticed this because it’s a major problem with a lot of feminist claims about rape. When you actually hear the claims a lot of people make regarding their alleged sexual assaults, it’s obvious there was a lack of communication but that nothing describable as a rape actually occurred.

    I once read an article about a feminist claiming she had been raped where she outright said that she had given consent but that she really didn’t want to give consent and that the guy didn’t seem to notice her hesitancy and therefore it was rape. I believe she actually said ‘go ahead’ and her assertion was that ‘go ahead’ was insufficiently affirmative.

    1. Well, obviously you miss the meeting of the patriarchy when we were all handed mind-reading helmets

    2. A great deal of this is all part and parcel to what a lot of us have been bitching about in regards to the erosion of mens rea being a necessary component to commission of a crime. As you and others point out, quite a few of these advocacy groups are essentially placing some expectation of clairvoyant ability on the accused.

      1. “As you and others point out, quite a few of these advocacy groups are essentially placing some expectation of clairvoyant ability on the accused.”

        This has less to do with them being activists and more to do with them being women.

        1. Don’t be a dick.

          1. Come on, Epi, you know what women are like. Don’t you? DON’T YOU?

            (Can you pls let me know bc I’m not sure)

            1. Uh…they’re all, uh, bitches and hos? Did I get that right?

              1. Hm I heard liars and sluts, I better check my notes…

                1. I heard somewhere that some women are the worst. Man, I wouldn’t want to meet one of those broads.

              2. Triflin’ hos, Epi. Don’t forget the triflin’ part.

                1. And this is why no one likes us *facepalm*

          2. Wow, I didn’t realize the tame and fairly mainstream stereotype that women want men to be mind readers was now rampant, horrible misogyny. I guess I know how Tim Hunt feels now.

    3. I remember that article, although I don’t remember where or when. The reason it stuck in my head is that I read and reread the girl’s explanation – convinced that I had to be misreading it somehow.

    4. “JUST the tip…”

    5. But doesn’t White Male Privilege act as a multiplier so that any insufficiently affirmative consent is automatically elevated to enthusiastic consent when it’s processed by the WMP module?

  7. It seems as much as anything, we’ve got an epidemic of young people who don’t feel comfortable saying no.

    Or are conflicted about it. They want to but they’re fearful of the emotional consequences. So in the moment when the pleasure is applicable they are for it, but later on the pleasure has receded and therefore is no longer part of the cost-benefit analysis. Thus the same analysis reaches different conclusions at different times.

    I’ve taught my sons to ask “are you ready”. A response commits their partner and protects them.

    1. in a ring announcer voice? because if they weren’t, they would be then.

      1. “In this corner….”

      2. No need for them to die virgins.

      3. “Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit’s TIME!!!!!!!!!
        -Bruce Buffer Voice

        1. That’s what they’re supposed to shout at the end. I told them it would save them all kinds of trouble.

      4. Nice.

        “Are you ready to rumble?”

    2. I think I’m gonna tell my sons to get a prostittute, it’s easy to show consent after they’ve accepted payment.

      1. Sex trafficking for them, accessory to sex trafficking for you.

      2. Have I told you that you’re a good father yet?

        1. Unlike SOME people.


    3. I wonder why kids of this age have such trouble saying no? Could it be that they didn’t hear it from their parents enough?

  8. How to Make More Victims of Campus Rape


  9. It doesn’t surprise me that young people don’t say “no”.

    Saying no to this may mean saying no to other college bullshit, like microagressions. Setting boundaries may mean someone’s feelings are hurt

  10. The only practical standard for sexual conduct I can think of is what I call red light, green light.

    If you get the green light go ahead. As soon as you get the red light you stop. Sorry if it puts a burden on women to know what they want or speak up when something during sex makes them uncomfortable but c’est la vie. People really don’t have sex any other way.

    1. I use the screech method, if I don’t like how the encounter is going or don’t like the way I’m being touched I screech at the top of my lungs.

      1. Needless to say I’m still waiting for that special lady.

        1. So your username is entirely false, then?

      2. Oh, the ol’ howler monkey. I know it well.

  11. Related: If these people can’t even define what consent is, shouldn’t any opinion they have on sexual assault should be considered invalid?

    1. Let’s face it – the only real consenting sex is girl-on-girl. Everyone else, including the gay dudes, is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.

  12. Which would you rather be: a victim of sexual assault who finds a friendly university administration and community, or someone who has never been or felt like a victim of sexual assault at all?

    So, just to be clear, with the second option I have no friends? Because…people want friends.

    1. You can’t have friends if they won’t rape you, Nicole. Don’t you know anything?

      1. 10/10 sexual assaults occur by somebody who is near you at the time of the event.

  13. grabbed by the arm at a party and pulled in for an undesired kiss

    I accept that forced kissing is considered sexual assault by many state criminal codes but the act strikes me more an example of simple assault.

    What would the rate be if it was excluded from poll results?

    1. So all those times I was given an unwanted kiss from my mother before she dropped me off at school I could have had her arrested?

      1. That’s right, Oedipus.

        1. I lolled way harder at this than I should have.

      2. Sounds funny but it’s serious too. My dad used to kiss me on the lips when he’d drop me off. Hetero man/man kissing is a southern European thing that was not well understood in the upper class WASP suburb I grew up in. So it started with other kids making fun of me. The school counselors got involved and tried to make me say he was sodomizing me.

        1. In today’s world you could have sued the counselors for being racist and paid for your college with the settlement.

      3. “So all those times I was given an unwanted kiss from my mother before she dropped me off at school I could have had her arrested?”

        Maybe not mommy, but certainly grandma. Or Great Aunt Bessy.

  14. amazing how WaPo persists in doubling down on stupidity. Then again, when you define ‘sexual assault’ as damn near anything from penetration to the male gaze, it’s not hard to reach the one in five benchmark.

  15. This is a time worn tactic of the Political Class, Left OR Right. They take a real issue and ride it to their own ends, often completely failing to address the real problem. We see it with the Environmentalists; there are actual environmental issues that should be debated in public, but that won’t put a lot of power in the hands of swine like Al Gore, so forget that.

    I suspect that the Feministas are growing afraid that if they don’t keep up the pressure, young women will see through their bullish*t and abandon The Cause. Hence the air of desperation.

    1. often completely failing to address the real problem.

      of course, not. There is neither money nor power in addressing, even solving, the real problem. Everything hinges on perpetuating the problem. It’s why I can’t stand most non-profits as much as I can’t stand govt.

  16. Seriously, would you recommend a job for your daughter at a work site where 1 in 5 employees get raped?

    If these statistics are genuine (I’m not saying they are), then it would be better to get online education – although even there you might get raped by tasteless jokes.

    1. If virtual rape isn’t already a thing, it will be soon.

  17. As someone whose college roommate was actually raped, this whole redefining it makes me so angry. They’re saying someone who gets drunk and regrets letting someone touch their boobies is the same as someone who was in her own home and forcibly penetrated at knifepoint.*

    So all I can say to those people is fuck you. Fuck you with a wood rasp.

    *One of her professors wouldn’t even let her take an incomplete for the semester – he flunked her.

    1. Yeah, every time I hear the “there are no perfect victims” screed in response to criticism I am reminded of family or friends who have actually been raped and would’ve killed to simply have had a case of buyer’s remorse.

      1. Let’s discuss why cheating is worse than rape.

        And then my head exploded.

          1. What. The. Everloving. Fuck.

            I’m not even sure where to begin breaking down that. Let’s begin with, if someone has “rape fantasies,” isn’t the operative word “fantasies?” And therefore it’s not, you know, “rape?”

            1. A general rule of rape fantasies is that you actually want to have sex with the person in the fantasy.

              In real life, the chances of the person raping you being someone you really wanted to fuck anyway are pretty slim.

          2. That…that’s a joke, right?

            1. Of course not. How else would fumble-fingered, inadequate-coffee-levels Hamster have been able to find it so quickly and readily?

              This is just a taste. There are loads more like it. It’s a thing, apparently.

              1. Sounds like you picked the wrong week to stop taking amphetamines.

      2. I think the discrepancy is that an activist believes a “perfect victim” includes being treated poorly by friends and the school while the rapist is applauded. So naturally they have a hard time finding them. Women who were clearly raped and deserve help and support are not hard to find.

        1. *nods aggressively*

    2. Yes. My sister-in-law was raped at BU. She went straight to the police, and got the kit done. It was a tough process, but she fought back and got the guy locked up, and it turned out that he had done it to several other girls.

      It took her a very long time to get her life back on track. Years.

      “Fuck me in the butt” mattress girl can kiss my ass. She’s objectively an awful human being.

      1. Yeah, I accompanied my roommate to the hospital to get her rape kit done. We were driven there by Peter Falk’s doppelganger. Anyhoo, this was when DNA was still in its infancy, so they were relying largely on eye witnesses. My roommate couldn’t for sure say who it was at the live lineup.

        The guy was a serial rapist, and he was eventually tried in Virginia, not DC, so my roommate never faced the prospect of testifying.

        I still wonder if they locked up the right guy, considering they didn’t use DNA. I wonder what DNA testing would reveal, if they saved her evidence.

        Now I’m starting to wonder if it was Jesse Matthew, though this was 25 years ago and my roommate thought it was someone more middle-aged.

        1. (just checked – he’s too young)

        2. Uh oh.

          This was much more clearcut. They found the roofies in her blood and in his apartment, and the DNA matched.

          I think 7 other girls came forward. I’m not sure, though. It’s no longer discussed, and is in the past.

        3. There was also this guy in Virginia. Not sure if he’s the same one who was suspected of a couple of assaults/attempts when I was at JMU a few years earlier.


          1. This is the guy that the DC detectives thought it could be, but that was never verified. But I’m pretty sure the rapes stopped after his arrest.

            1. And I read from the article that he got life without parole, so YAY!

            2. Jesus. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

              Also, I noticed this from that article: “The 11-woman, one-man jury…”

              That’s one defense attorney that needs to get better at voir dire.

              1. Are you for real? 11 women and one man?

                Prosecutor’s easiest day ever.

            3. Yep. That’s rape-rape.

              1. This is what happens when we water down the definitions of words. We have to used repetition and hyphens. This is dumb-dumb.

            4. I want to state unequivocally that she never once, ever, ever portrayed herself as some helpless waif that needed coddling and SJW support. We moved, she dealt with her professors and the remainder of the semester, and got through it in her own way. She’s now semi-retired from IBM at the age of 44 and married living the good life on a lake somewhere.

              (her husband just recently became a cop, though, so….)

    3. They’re saying someone who gets drunk and regrets letting someone touch their boobies is the same as someone who was in her own home and forcibly penetrated at knifepoint.

      Yup. My late wife had been actually raped (It was years before I met her). The entire time I knew her she was jumpy if anyone (even me) came up behind her. And there were times where she would wake up yelling. Some asshole who makes an art project for college credit really isn’t going to be dealing with that for the rest of her life, is she?

  18. What these surveys never do is compare rates for the same age group of women who are NOT in college.

    Turns out when you use accurate statistics and not these “I shouldn’t have slept with that guy so I think I was raped now” statistics that colleges are actually safer than dangerous neighborhoods.


    1. But again, this is the thing. Everyone knows this number is bullshit. No one would ever say that college campuses are more dangerous than bad neighborhoods. No one would even try to say it, because it’s laughable. But somehow. having supposed rape rates that would be approaching conquering army levels in a place no one would ever even try to pretend is like a war zone is fine.

      That’s what’s so absurd about this. Everyone knows it’s a load. Everyone knows it’s about something else. Yet it continues.

      1. Besides the fact that as Kristen and others point out above these surveys mock actual victims of real actual rape, they also minimize the awareness of where rape is a much BIGGER problem besides college campuses.

        This is just insane.

        1. The special interest obsessives seem to be after basically one thing, in all the stuff they “champion”: to leech off the suffering and adversity of others like the parasites they are. They want the “victim cred” of people who have been actually raped, so they will do whatever is necessary to try and gain that. The actual suffering of actual victims is utterly irrelevant to them. Just like the monetary parasite who will take your money without hesitation (through wealth redistribution, etc), these people will take attention from actual victims for themselves, even if it harms the actual victims. Because they don’t give a shit. Because they’re sociopaths.

      2. Everyone knows it’s a load

        I would say almost everyone knows it’s a load. Being around academics, I can assure you that a significant number of them actually believe these numbers. I had a friend of mine tell me that the cases of assault (not necessarily rape) on campus were higher than reported. There was, of course, no evidence offered for this claim (this is analogous to the claim that we can know, to a pretty close degree, how many people are NOT counted in a census).

        1. But this is exactly what I’m saying. They say they believe it. In your case, one person told you they actually think it’s worse. But what do they do? Do they arm themselves? Not come on campus at night? Escort female associates everywhere? Is there anything that they actually do, whatsoever, that actually indicates that they are concerned?

          Words are wind. And all their actions say the complete opposite of their words. Absolutely no one whatsoever acts like this shit is actually happening in reality. No one. Not even the people who scream it the loudest.

          1. C’mon Epi, you know all they can do is to lie back and not enjoy it.

            There are no other options. NONE.

      3. To be fair if every female in the conquored territory was a in their late teens to early 20s, the rape rate would be much closer to 100%.

        IIRC when the Soviet Union invaded East Germany about 50% of the females from age 6 to 60 were raped.

  19. Greek life

    That means in the butt, right?

  20. It seems odd to me that many of these highly assertive women yelling about all this rape going on are not at all assertive when it comes to whether or not they want to engage in sex. A lot of these stories boil down to regretfulness, when a simple “Get the fuck out of my room before I use your balls in my next ping pong game” would suffice.

    They want it both ways. They want to be assertive and powerful, yet they’re unable to show these qualities when it comes to telling someone they’re not interested.

    A guy I went on a date with asked if he could come in to use my bathroom (oldest trick in the book!), then he put some icky, unwelcome moves on me. You know what I did? I said “Get the fuck out” and threw his shoes into the hallway (he was a Turk, so automatically took his shoes off when he came in). He left, and nothing else happened.

    1. This idea that it is some horrible burden to say “no” is ridiculous. And is tremendously insulting to people who have actually been raped.

      1. The definition of “rape” that they are using includes being emotionally pressured to have sex, threats to end the relationship without sex, and giving in after repeated pestering.

    2. “They want it both ways. They want to be assertive and powerful, yet they’re unable to show these qualities when it comes to telling someone they’re not interested.”

      Women legally and socially used to be treated like Children+. Right now, socially and even sometimes legally, they’re in a quantum superposition of Equal and Children+ (e.g. enthusiastic consent will never be enforced for men, so it effectively means a woman’s consent doesn’t count in some cases where it would for a man, much like a minor’s consent doesn’t count in any case). The waveform is going to collapse into one state or the other, so feminists had better figure out which they prefer.

      1. Luckily, my mom’s trying to impose some kind of old country “modesty” on me didn’t stick.

        (I should say that I consider myself a feminist, in the sense that I know I am the intellectual equal of a good chunk of the male population, and I don’t truck with no bullshit about being a lady. I’m not one of Victimhood School of feminism. I think that area of feminist thought is incredibly degrading to women.)

    3. Did he wreck your bathroom? That would be an alpha move…

      1. He took a wizz before he tried to make his moves.

    4. It seems odd to me that many of these highly assertive women yelling about all this rape going on are not at all assertive when it comes to whether or not they want to engage in sex.

      Madonna/Boor complex

    5. It seems odd to me that many of these highly assertive women yelling about all this rape going on are not at all assertive when it comes to whether or not they want to engage in sex.

      Some of this stems from what they are taught in college. For many college students, hosting a lecture, writing a petition, putting up a FB page, etc. is considered to be dealing with the problem. Actually doing something concrete is lot harder. So, yelling about rape is taking action. Kicking someone in the nuts, or take steps toward self-defense is beyond their comprehension.

    6. KK, they clearly just needed a good raping to shake that assertiveness and sense of empowerment free.

  21. My daughter’s only 2 but this is a perfect faux stat to justify buying her a rifle* in about 8 years so I hope it’s perpetuated. My condolences to all college-aged males. You dumbasses should be doing the specifically tailored online thing anyway.

    *I hope she wants something flamboyant with neon camo b/c fuck you, walnut-stock obsessed assholes.

    1. Just teach her to assert herself. I think many women are done a great disservice by being taught to be “ladylike”. Nothing wrong with a cussing, loud Mae West.

      1. She’s assertive aggressive. A little fucker at preschool was biting her so I showed her the stiff-arm/heisman move. Two days later the teacher told my wife she kept pushing the little boy in the face. It was payback for bites already received.

        1. Awwwww yeah!

        2. little boxer girl kicks some serious ass.


    2. Time to start her on sword training. Case in point, Jesse Jane McParland, age 9. Been swinging a sword since age 3 because she didn’t like ballet and Irish dance.


      Can be damn certain she doesn’t get bullied in school, and in a few years her dad will be telling her suitors to keep their hand to themselves, if they want to keep their hands. 😉

  22. I was once at a block party in college and one of my friends’ chunky friends came up behind me, reached around and grabbed my junk.

    Under the Washington Post’s overly broad definition, I believe I was a victim of sexual assault. Technically I guess I was, but at no point would I even consider pressing charges and it was so minor I have never considered myself to be a victim.

    There’s one problem: Half of these issues aren’t worth getting worked up about.

      1. Shh, he only just found out he was a victim. Let him process it for a few more months.

        1. I was hoping that he went and sealed the deal.

        2. Irish left out the part where he texted her loving notes for an entire semester and summer.

      2. I delicately extricated myself from her vice-like cock grip. She was the female version of a ‘Nice Guy,’ although I’m not sure what the girl version of a fedora is. Tight pants resulting in muffin top?

        1. Got it. After you finished, you excused yourself.

          1. She threw cab fare at me as I was walking away and really made me feel like a whore.

            1. She made you do the “Walk of Shame”??? The horror!

        2. The girl version of a fedora is anything from Hot Topic. You’re welcome.

        3. “Nice guys” can go around groping people? Why did no one tell me this? I’m a nice guy.

          1. How many fedoras trilbys do you own?

            1. I don’t think I have any. maybe one in the closet somewhere.

    1. Mac: You put your balls in my mouth while I was sleeping?

      Dennis: Yeah, man. Twice.

      Mac: That’s rape! That is borderline rape!

      1. Upon consideration, using the progtard line of thinking, doesn’t referring to Republicans as “teabaggers” perpetuate rape culture?

        Who am I kidding? That would require consistency…

        1. No, referring to Republicans as teabaggers is a lefty way of elevating the level of political discourse and showing respect for the gay community.

      2. I thought his backing off from it being rape was brilliant writing.

        1. I thought the whole bit was predicated on the fact that they both knew his calling it rape was absurd and that’s why the accusation is dropped immediately; Dennis even smirks at him.

          Now, the gorilla mask…

    2. Do teddy bears have junk?

  23. Wait, it’s poll? A fucking poll? Not any kind of actual, you know, facts, like FBI statistics or even anything written down somewhere?

    “Have you ever been the victim of a sexual assault?”

    [thinks about that one regretful time of beer goggle standards]


    1. “One” regretful time? Mm’kay.

      1. The same girl twice only counts as one!

        1. Mm’kay.

          1. Look, we all know it’s your mom that’s behind all of the assaults. EVERYWHERE.

            1. She is pretty rapey. But you know, uh, all about that, amirite?

              1. Don’t try and sully a beautiful thing.

  24. I haven’t bothered reading any of the above comments. Has anyone said, “Grab it’s motherfucking leg” yet? If not, I’d like to make sure we get that in.

    Grab it’s motherfucking leg!

    1. Damn you’re right, I promised myself I was going to start saying that more often.

      You remember that scene in The Dark Knight when Batman went halfway around the world to capture the shady accountant? He grabbed its motherfucking leg!

  25. Basically, anytime anyone had a drunk make out session that they later regretted.

    Which constitutes half of all male/female interaction in college (between ‘normal, healthy people’)

    They’re just pathologizing bahvior that was otherwise normal path to adulthood- stuff

    1. …which leads to the obvious = if by ‘dumbing rape down and diluting it to meaninglesness, such that resources will be overwhelmed by endless grabass claims… wont the end result be that the few, actual real assaults become harder to identify and deal with, due to the super high noise/signal ratio?

    2. Same as redefining ordinary teenage behavior as “oppositional defiant disorder”.

  26. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t teach young people that good sexual etiquette means paying attention to your partner’s non-verbal cues.

    You mean because we adults already know how to read those cues?

    You’re setting your kids to a lot of trouble if you think you can read people like Madame Batavsky. Why not simply tell them that there is a much better probability you won’t get in trouble by avoiding college sluts and whores?

    1. i find it hard to believe that anyone hasnt gotten “mixed signals” at least a handful of times.

      ive probably made the “first kiss” move a few dozen times, and been put in the penalty box at least 5 or 6. some slimier people i knew thought it was all just “a numbers game” and that you shouldd try to sleep with everyone by default. ALSO = i think i have myself had to reject more drunken advances myself during college than i myself was red carded-

    2. “good sexual etiquette”

      What is this, btw? We are talking about one night stands and not a formal tea, right?

  27. I think there’s something really pernicious and frankly evil about taking people who don’t view themselves as victims and convincing them that they are. Who knows what kind of long term psychological damage that could do to someone.

    But the uber-left wing SJW feminists have a narrative to push that men are all a bunch of rapey pigs and barely trained apes, snd by God they’re going to push that narrative good and hard, even if they have to manufacture victims and make many young women think of themselves as helpless victims who really aren’t. It’s fucking disgusting.

  28. Another issue is that we continue to treat rape as this fate-worse-than-death thing that causes lifelong PTSD, as if every rape or sexual assault was some sort of violent wartime gang-rape.

    We’ve got a wierd disconnect between modern attitudes towards sexuality, where sex between umarried people and even strangers is considered normal. But the instant that the sex becomes non-consentual by any standard (including drunkenness), we revert to Victorian attitudes. The women instantly switches from being a mature partner to being “violated” and psychologically damaged, in much the same way that a woman was morally sullied by rape in the Victorian era (and in some other present day countries). There’s no gradation of traumatiziation from not traumatized at all to PTSD flashbacks. Every assault is assumed to cause horrifying trauma, even being groped on the couch while drunk at a frat party.

    Just for example, in the case at Amhearst where the drunk male partner was expelled, the woman in question basically started performing oral sex on him consentually and then changed her mind halfway through, buy felt “pressured” to keep going until the man had an orgasm. This is supposed to be material for a lifelong need for rape counselling. Supposedly the woman here was so traumatized she could not coherently respond to questions about the incident during the hearing.

  29. Liberals want to maximize the number of victims they can be outraged about, that being their basic purpose in life. And if they have to invent the victims, that’s fine. It’s not like they ever care about factual truth.

  30. I’m reminded of Orwell’s 1984. The inner-party was non-sexual. Sex was the purview of the proles, the inner-party had devotion to the state alone.

    Watching this third-wave assault on sexual behavior on college campuses unfold I’m reminded of this aspect of that dystopia.

    Academia is the gatekeeper for cultural and societal perceptions and norms. You must be certified by them to ascend to a position of general influence or administration.

    The authoritarian state seeks to dissolve lateral social bonds and create a patronage society where state power is the recourse for a fractured and Balkanized population of powerless factions. Criminalizing marginal sexual behavior on campuses or weapoizing the accusations of unwanted sexual advances will deter many people from even taking the chance.

  31. “forced touching of a sexual nature”

    This is probably what most women experienced as “sexual assault” and responded accordingly to polls like this. Groping and foreplay.

    If someone forced you to perform oral sex or sexually penetrated you, that’s more or less rape. If this was what 1 in 5 women experienced in college, then most colleges would be shut down by the now.

    And at the end of the day, this is a survey. There’s bound to be a margin of error, and if the men accused of these acts were taken to court, a chunk of them would be found not guilty of anything especially heinous.

    1. I can see how someone pinning you down on the couch and dry-humping your leg would be considered sexual assault of some sort, but I think it’s ridiculous to lump that in with “rape”.

  32. Someone needs an editor to make the points much more succinctly….

  33. Just reading through the actual survery. I notice question 43 results say that only 13% of women are “very” or “somewhat worried” about being sexually assaulted at parties.

    How the fuck do you square that with 20% actually having been sexually assaulted?

  34. Also the survey explicitly says that forced touching of a sexual nature includes “forced kissing” “grabbing” “fondling” and “rubbing against you in a sexual way, even if it is over your clothes” .

    So basically, a guy humping your leg while you’re drunk on the couch is sexual assault.

    1. Humping your leg? By that definition, a guy affectionately kissing you on the forehead while you’re sleeping is sexual assault.

      Welp, I’m off to turn myself in for being a kiddie raper.

  35. you make $27h…good for you! I make up to $85h working from home. My story is that I quit working at shoprite to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $45h to $85h?heres a good example of what I’m doing.

  36. Well reasoned and written: but here is the crux.
    “Which would you rather be: a victim of sexual assault who finds a friendly university administration and community, or someone who has never been or felt like a victim of sexual assault at all?”

    One can see from recent events, like the one involving Rachel Dolezal, the answer to the (above) question is increasingly likely to be the former option. The immediate gratification of an approved identity and a social status [as victim] is so compelling that some people are indeed opting for door number one. Not a new phenomenon: in the eighties America went through the ‘recognition’ phase of domestic violence, during which time we not only learned that it happens, but also that every woman needed to “commit” to a man who would beat her so that she could be one of the tribe. She could become a ‘real’ [i.e. abused] woman. The disclosure sponsored an epidemic. [I am NOT saying the abuse wasn’t real: I AM saying that it became a desired end-in-itself!]

    As long as we prioritize ‘identity’ in politics, we will be neck deep in victimization — for the only way to standout as special is to be more thoroughly victimized than the next guy. This will lead to more lies and vain attempts to co-opt the victimization of real victims.
    Let’s be honest: being a victim pays real (and desirable) benefits in some important segments of modern American society. Why not ride the wave while it lasts?

  37. “But if someone doesn’t feel at all victimized by a particular incident, who is anyone to tell them that they were? And why are statistics based on this third-party categorization of experience supposed to be more “real” than those based on self-reported assessments?”

    Funny how quickly Feminists drop the “lived experience” bs when it works against their agenda

  38. What the Post is engaged in is an exercise in Fun with Numbers. The 1 in 5 stat must be true, so sexual assault needs to be redefined until it matches the statistic.

    After all, we’d hate to waste the bumper stickers…

  39. The type and degree of assault definitely matters if you’re on the receiving end of a disciplinary panel. Do we treat a rapist who holds knife to the throat of a victim the same as someone who kisses someone?

    I know the SJWs out there would argue no, but reasonable people say otherwise.

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