“In March, two women who were sexually assaulted when they were students at the University of North Carolina arrived unannounced at the office of Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand with a request,” nytimes.com reports. “Help us stop sexual assault on college campuses.” Fair enough. Rape is a brutal crime. Anything that can be done to prevent or punish its perpetrators is a good thing, not a bad thing. “On Tuesday, Vice President Joseph R. Biden. Jr., who has long championed women’s rights, said the administration would continue to focus on the issue. ‘Colleges and universities can no longer turn a blind eye or pretend rape or sexual assault doesn’t occur on their campuses,’ he said at a White House event.” True dat. So . . . what to do? The White House has issued guidelines . . .
Click here for the First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault: NOT ALONE. Reading the report, it’s clear that the Task Force is operating under the assumption that the college rape problem is – exclusively – a date rape problem. And that that we’re all responsible, somehow. Especially men. Hence the Task Force’s emphasis on “bystander intervention.”
Among the most promising prevention strategies – and one we heard a lot about in our listening sessions – is bystander intervention. Social norms research reveals that men often misperceive what other men think about this issue: they overestimate their peers’ acceptance of sexual assault and underestimate other men’s willingness to intervene when a woman is in trouble. And when men think their peers don’t object to abusive behavior, they are much less likely to step in and help. Programs like Bringing in the Bystander work to change those perspectives – and teach men (and women) to speak out against rape myths (e.g., women who drink at parties are “asking for it”) and to intervene if someone is at risk of being assaulted.
If that’s not enough to make you wonder when political correctness replaced awareness and physical “intervention” by potential victims, click here for the fact sheet on “bystander intervention.” And ask yourself this: what are the odds of “bystander intervention” when a rapist attacks – despite his colleagues’ sensitivity training?
Yes there is that. Or should be. Why in the world would the White House ignore the critical indeed life-saving importance of teaching men and women to take personal responsibility fore their own safety? How about lowering the legal age for concealed carry to 18 and “allowing” students to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms? (Constitutional Carry would work there.)
Short of that, what about situational awareness training, self-defense classes or the provision of less-lethal weapons? None of that – not one word – is mentioned in the Report. It’s all about communal prevention strategies and mopping-up operations. Personal responsibility doesn’t get a look in. You want to talk about a culture that “encourages” violence against women? Talk about that.