Is There a 'Rape Culture' on College Campuses?: Soho Forum/Reason Debate

On Monday, March 19 in New York, Cathy Young and Michael Kimmel will debate whether campuses are unsafe for women.


Soho Forum

"There is a rape culture on college campuses that creates an unsafe environment for female students."

That's the resolution that will be debated at the next Reason-Soho Forum debate, which takes place in New York City on Monday, March 19.

Co-founded and moderated by Gene Epstein, the Soho Forum is "a monthly debate series that features topics of special interest to libertarians, and the series aims to enhance social and professional ties within the NYC libertarian community."

Reason is proud to partner with the Soho Forum, to livestream each debate as it happens, and to publish the debates both as videos and as episodes of the Reason Podcast; go here for our archive.

The Soho Forum is an Oxford-style debate, which means that the audience votes before and after the proceedings. The participant who moves the most people to his or her side is declared the winner.

Details on the event:

For the affirmative:

Michael Kimmel is the SUNY Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University. Among his many books are Manhood in America; Angry White Men; The Politics of Manhood; The Gendered Society; and the best seller, Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men. With funding from the MacArthur Foundation, he founded the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook in 2013.

For the negative:

Cathy Young is a contributing editor at Reason magazine, a weekly columnist at Newsday, and a regular contributor to the Jewish Daily Forward and The Weekly Standard. She's the author of two books: Growing Up in Moscow: Memories of a Soviet Girlhood (1989) and Ceasefire: Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve True Equality (1999). A frequent speaker on college campuses, Young has also been a regular participant in the "Battle of Ideas," a unique annual weekend-long event in London that brings together speakers of diverse perspectives for dozens of panels on various issues.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Cash bar opens at 5:45pm
Event starts at 6:30pm
Subculture Theater
45 Bleecker St
NY, 10012

Tickets cost between $10 and $18 and must be purchased in advance.

Seating is limited, so buy tickets now.

The most recent Reason-Soho Forum debate asked whether sex-offender registries should be abolished.

More info on that here.

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  1. Perhaps Michael Kimmel will prove there’s a rape culture on campus by groping someone and getting wrapped up in a #MeToo controversy.

    1. Maybe he could take some lessons from Mark Cuban, who apparently is quick and dexterous enough to put his hand down the back of a woman’s pants, push it between her legs, and stick a finger in her hoo-ha before getting caught.

  2. Manhood in America; Angry White Men; The Politics of Manhood; The Gendered Society

    These sound like rollicking good reads.

    1. He probably had more fun writing those books than you’ll have reading them.

    2. It’s nice to have an all female debate for once.

    3. To paraphrase Stewy Griffin’s take on the Bible, “a thumping good read.”

  3. “Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities”

    Don’t send your kids to college for anything but engineering or being a doctor…

    1. Or business admin/accounting.

      Be an actuary kids.

      Or else you end up reading books by Michael Kimmel.

      1. Also just don’t have sex.

        1. You mean don’t just have sex. Have some wine too.

          1. There’s a time and place for everything, and it’s called college.

          2. Sex + alcohol = non-consensual = rape.

            That’s truly what I learned in Title IX training.

        2. Just don’t have sex with other students. If you must have sex, find a local girl who’s not in school. And, any time you walk into a place and find female students drinking, leave immediately.

      1. Though I’m hoping that exactly one of my future children will go to my alma-mater and study at the University of Arizona Freedom Center.

        1. I’ll tell you one thing, my daughter isn’t going into fricken gender studies.

          Mark my words.

          1. How old is your daughter?

            1. She’s 26, but Rufus refuses to let her out of his sight until her 30th birthday.

              1. Until she’s old enough to buy a long rifle in Canada it would be ridiculous to just let her out where all the bears are.

              2. You stupid fuck. She’s on the leash until 35. What with the Russians lurking and all.

                1. My bad – 35, not 30. I forgot about the US-Canada exchange rate.

            2. Is that a trick question?

              She’s in jr. high.

              1. Crusty just made a new event in his calendar for 2024.

              2. Is that a trick question?

                Interesting phrasing.

          2. My daughter [BS Accounting] had to take one of those classes and would call to tell me how dumb it was, and how she liked to throw out contradictions and conumdrums for them to chew on. It was a very proud moment for this father.

    2. Don’t expose your kids to different ideas. Don’t let them read things you might disagree with. Exposure to opposing points of view just leads to independent thinking, and suddenly they’re no longer under your control. Since you have raised them with no critical thinking skills, they will be instantly brainwashed by everything they hear.

      1. You seem to have mistaken this for your therapy group.

      2. Since you have raised them with no critical thinking skills, they will be instantly brainwashed by everything they hear.

        This post explains itself. I just can’t tell if your parents exposed you to the idea of eating lead paint as a child or if you adopted it on your own.

      3. I think it’s great to experience new ideas, to learn about the world, to become their own person. Shit, my whole philosophy is basically based on this idea that I can never know what is right, and so people have to make that decision themselves.

        But if (And I really want kids) I do have kids, I will encourage them to pursue practical degrees such as engineering. If they want to do more, then they are welcome to it. I did three degrees out of interest, it’s not bad. Particularly when one is a more humanities based, which are incredibly easy classes.

        1. In high school when I took biology I could very easily understand why intelligent design was presented. I was 15, I knew about religion and that people have different beliefs. I understood the concept of free will.

          We’re not birds. Parents don’t have to chew up every single thing in the world before giving it to their children.

          1. I don’t think that exposing kids to ideas like intelligent design is harmful. I also think that ID has no place in a biology class.

          2. The funny thing is that professional biologists frequently fall back on teleological rhetoric.

            In my own work, it doesn’t seem to matter whether you think something “evolved for a purpose” or was intelligently designed. The implications are essentially the same for drug discovery.

    3. Engineering and medicine have been infected with PC as well.

      See, for example, this story about the head of engineering education at Purdue.

      According to her own bio, engineering should be about “applying liberative pedagogies in engineering education, leveraging best practices from women’s studies and ethnic studies to engage students in creating a democratic classroom that encourages all voices”.

      She’s famous — or notorious depending upon point of view — for rejection of rigor in engineering. From the extract of her peer-reviewed article in Engineering Studies:

      “Rigor is the aspirational quality academics apply to disciplinary standards of quality. … Rigor accomplishes dirty deeds, however, serving three primary ends across engineering, engineering education, and engineering education research: disciplining, demarcating boundaries, and demonstrating white male heterosexual privilege. Understanding how rigor reproduces inequality, we cannot reinvent it but rather must relinquish it, looking to alternative conceptualizations for evaluating knowledge, welcoming diverse ways of knowing, doing, and being, and moving from compliance to engagement, from rigor to vigor.”

      1. In the text behind the paywall blocking access to Riley’s article: ” “One of rigor’s purposes is, to put it bluntly, a thinly veiled assertion of white male (hetero)sexuality,” she writes, explaining that rigor “has a historical lineage of being about hardness, stiffness, and erectness; its sexual connotations?and links to masculinity in particular?are undeniable.” Hence, Riley remarks that “My visceral reaction in many conversations where I have seen rigor asserted has been to tell parties involved (regardless of gender) to whip them out and measure them already.”

        1. I hope this is satire.

        2. Like I said, the social justice stuff reads like someone mocking SJWs

          Poe’s Law.

        3. This is atrocious, and not to scare you further, but in my engineering school there was a culture of rampant cheating that went entirely unchecked. We had a single professor try to argue the case that lack of rigor in engineering could result in the death of members of the public and associated criminal liability, and he was immensely unpopular for it.

          The vast majority of my peers were competent, but there were an unsettling number that graduated without sufficient knowledge, and they were more successful at finding good jobs than you would expect.

          1. Affirmative action might have played a role in their initial employment success.

          2. Fortunately, becoming a professional engineer is still a significant endeavor, and they are needed to approve projects dealing with building structure, etc. They are seriously overworked, however.

        4. “My visceral reaction in many conversations where I have seen rigor asserted has been to tell parties involved (regardless of gender) to whip them out and measure them already.”

          Does that qualify as affirmative consent?
          Or is it verbal sexual assault?
          I’m so confused

        5. Jesus, it’s all about penises for some people. I really don’t think penis size is the cultural and social driver that some people seem to think it is.

          And it seems to me that insisting on doing something properly isn’t anything to do with any kind of personal inadequacy. It’s just doing the job properly.

          1. That sounds like something a dude with a tiny dong would say.

            1. Oh, yeah? Whip it out and measure it already.

              1. Excessive hops consumption decreases testosterone levels.

        6. Hence, Riley remarks that “My visceral reaction in many conversations where I have seen rigor asserted has been to tell parties involved (regardless of gender) to whip them out and measure them already.”

          TBH, this seems exceedingly well-engineered. I’m having trouble thinking of a better way of undermining engineering, education, *and* feminism in a single statement.

          Penis envy as a chauvinist concept didn’t make much sense to me. I’m not sure why. Maybe I wasn’t around lots of chauvinists or maybe I was around plenty of women who were perfectly content not having a penis. This one woman, with this one statement, single-handedly refutes all of it and literally claims to do so as a representation of some cultural hallmark.

          The only thing preventing me from thinking that Mitch hired her in order to make an example out of her is the fact that he’s, somewhat literally, a cuck.

      2. Is she advocating for wobbly bridges?

      3. Also what the hell is this about “colonialism” that I’ve been seeing in the past few months? Is that really an issue?

        1. It was one of Marx’s hobbyhorses.
          Also, something about the evil of asserting one’s cultural set of values over another, rather than embracing the Feminist Way Of Knowing and the Validity Of All Cultures.

  4. If you have sex and decide later that you didn’t really enjoy it then it might have been rape. If either of you drank any alcohol before during or after the encounter then it probably, definitely was.

    1. Hold on a minute. A few hours ago a lady in London told me that she was tired and all she wanted to do was have a drink and crawl into bed. Her coworker sitting in the train seat next to her agreed that she wanted the same thing. Was that an offer or rejection?

      1. Sounds like attempted rape.

        1. What do you mean “attempted?”

        2. Oh no, I just turned away and spent the rest of the train ride smiling. I found her offer flattering, but why would I want to bed a woman who made an insensitive reference to the Holocaust, and drinks so much wine that she feels comfortable using it as currency when negotiating a transaction?

  5. “Michael Kimmel is the SUNY Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University. Among his many books are Manhood in America; Angry White Men; The Politics of Manhood; The Gendered Society; and the best seller, Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men.”

    /Bugs Bunny skeptical look.

    1. Picked a real heavyweight there, I see. Ms Young will eat him alive.

  6. I hope they give a clearly defined definition of “rape culture” in the debate, because I am still uncertain as to what it means precisely.

    1. It means you haven’t averted your Male Gaze.

    2. The beauty of something nebulous and ill-defined is that it’s then un-falsifiable.

    3. College rape culture:

      Tuition increase > 20%/semester
      Fee increases of > $2000
      Local occupancy laws that limit housing to three unrelated persons.

  7. “Rape Culture” and “the Patriarchy” are conspiracy theories for third wave feminists.

    1. Don’t forget fourth-wave feminism. It’s even more nebulous and “associated with social media.” 4 out of 5 women won’t call themselves feminists.

      It honestly makes me a little sad.

      1. My kid went on a harangue the other day about how feminism has devolved into just a bunch of political manipulation that denies women agency and teaches them to be victims. She’s 13. I was impressed.

        1. Very impressive. We seem to have circled back around to Victorian values where women are so delicate that they need men/institutions/whatever to protect them, especially from the horrors of their own sexuality.

          Your daughter eases my cynicism somewhat.

          1. The Victorians had their problems, to be sure (TM), but those “delicate” women seemed to produce a lot of kids and raised them to be not-delicate.

        2. You should get a father of the year award, seriously. I am impressed.

          1. The best part is, i have never discussed feminism, or much political crap at all, with her – she came by her position based on her own reason, observations, and discussions with her friends.

            1. I suspect that a lot of folks are rolling their eyes at this stuff, but it’s so dangerous to talk about alternative viewpoints that it seems like there are none.

            2. She discovered Reason all on her own and has been reading the articles, and the comments, enthusiastically. Her favorite commenter is Citizen X. He even lives in the same city!

  8. Of course they’d put a man in the positive role and a woman in the negative one!


    1. snort

    1. /drops mic. Kicks it into the crowd.

  9. At least they gave the retarded guy the burden of defending the affirmative.

    I’m still thinking about that Jacobin vs. Reason debate where the Reason people had the affirmative on defending “capitalism.”

    I’m thinking the socialists could have been at least mildly discomfited by giving them the affirmative – something like “socialism, properly understood, is superior to every other political and economic system, particularly capitalism.”

    1. There was a Jacobin v. Reason debate?

        1. It doesn’t sound like it went well.

          Then again, it’s very hard to debate against romantic irrational thinking.

        2. I wish I was more motivated to listen to and learn from these. We really need good orators in the fight against nonsense. Rationality does not sway a crowd. Cicero was an unimportant Roman except for that he could stand on a podium and make a crowd do literally anything.

  10. Well, naturally, all men are rapey. Except men named Oscar. Men named Oscar don’t have a penis. At least that’s what I think I heard on the telebishion.

    1. Ummm Oscar IS a penis, just sayin.

  11. +2349036417079 email drharrysolution@gmail.com

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