In considering this subject (the non-existent “rape epidemic” and the non-existent “rape culture”), a couple of very basic facts need to be considered. First, there is no rape epidemic. The overall incidence of rape has fallen (not risen) dramatically in recent years. Second, college campuses are not exactly hotbeds of sexual assault. The overall incidence of rape on college campuses is somewhat lower than society as a whole.
For anyone who cares about “facts”, consider all of the following from “New DOJ Data On Sexual Assaults: College Students Are Actually Less Likely To Be Victimized” […]. In case, you aren’t inclined to believe The Federalist (a conservative web site), the data is actually form Obama’s Department of Justice (www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/rsavcaf9513.pdf).
“A new report on sexual assault released today by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) officially puts to bed the bogus statistic that one in five women on college campuses are victims of sexual assault. In fact, non-students are 25 percent more likely to be victims of sexual assault than students, according to the data. And the real number of assault victims is several orders of magnitude lower than one-in-five.”
That’s actually wrong, “several orders of magnitude” would have to be at least 100 fold. The data shows that the incidence of rape is roughly 30 fold less than “one-in-five”. Quote
“The full study, which was published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a division within DOJ, found that rather than one in five female college students becoming victims of sexual assault, the actual rate is 6.1 per 1,000 students, or 0.61 percent (instead of 1-in-5, the real number is 0.03-in-5). For non-students, the rate of sexual assault is 7.6 per 1,000 people.”
Figure 2 from the same DOJ report shows that overall incidence of rape has fallen by at least 50% since 1997.
Why then is America is wracked with accusations (some of them clearly hoaxes) of a “college rape epidemic”? Several reasons come to mind. The first is the most obvious. Colleges may not be hotbeds of rape (they aren’t), but they are certainly hotbeds of radical feminism. Conjuring up a mythical “college rape epidemic” gives power, authority, and a (bogus) legitimacy to radical feminists who might otherwise be simply ignored.
Perhaps the best way of understanding this is the history of McCarthyism. There certainly were communists in the U.S. government in the 1930s and 1940s (including a few highly places ones). See the Venona project for details. However, by the time McCarthy launched his crusade, the era of large-scale communist influence in government was over. His anti-communist campaign might not have been factually based, but it certainly game him and his supporters considerable power and publicity before it crashed down upon itself.
Like it or not, today’s radical feminists are using the same tactics, the same methods, and the same distortions as Joe McCarthy more the 50 years ago. Hopefully, there fate will be every bit as miserable.
While the above observations are well substantiated. There is clearly more to the story. Any reading of the history of recent rape accusations shows that they are being used for ethnic politics as well as sexual politics. Stated directly, they are being used to vilify a class (the dreaded, much feared, and generally terrifying “middle-class non-minority male”) irrespective of the facts. The UVA and Duke rape hoaxes were obviously (and in the UVA case admittedly) motivated a political agenda. By contrast, the terrible Vanderbilt case (where the defendants were found guilty on all charges and in some cases don’t deny them) has attracted almost no national interest. The even worse UVA case where the victim (Hannah Graham) was raped and murdered has attracted almost zero publicity.
If radical feminists really cared about rape and rape victims (for reasons other than how they can be exploited to advance a political agenda), they would focus on non-college, lower-income women who actually more likely to be attacked. Of course, the attackers in those cases would also be less likely to serve the PC agenda, making such a course of action unthinkable.
Overall, this is a poorly timed and very ill-considered article, particularly given that the core factual premises are simply wrong. There is no rape epidemic. There is no college rape epidemic. There is however, an epidemic of rape hoaxes of late. This observation is not based on any statistics and may not be correct. However, after the University of Virginia rape hoax, the Duke rape hoax, the fraudulent charges against Julian Assange (who is clearly a sleaze, but not a rapist), and the very questionable accusations of Emma Sulkowicz. Of course, if any told the truth, that the crime of rape is in decline and not centered on college campuses they would be crucified by the vengeful gods of Political Correctness.
The bottom line here should be clear. Radical feminists don’t care about rape and apparently don’t even object to it. Unless, of course, a rape case can be used to vilify/attack the dreaded, much feared, and generally terrifying “middle-class non-minority male”. Rape may always be a crime. However, it is clearly OK in minds of radical feminists unless the “wrong” person allegedly committed the crime.