Pharos-Tribune

Columns

October 28, 2013

LYONS: Sound advice could be misconstrued

(Continued)

Let’s pause a moment to contemplate such an absurd situation. Warning college girls how not to be victimized is contrary to crackpot feminist ideology, which evidently holds that vomiting into the toilet while a football jock you met five minutes ago holds your hair is an empowering act.

Warning readers that fully 80 percent of sexual assaults on college campuses involve alcohol — with victim and perp alike getting wasted — Yoffe added that there are also disturbingly frequent reports about “shrewd — and sober — sexual predator(s) who lurk where women drink like a lion at a watering hole.”

“Let’s be totally clear,” she wrote. “Perpetrators are the ones responsible for committing their crimes, and they should be brought to justice. But we are failing to let women know that when they render themselves defenseless, terrible things can be done to them ... That’s not blaming the victim; that’s trying to prevent more victims.”

Yoffe added that there are many things schools could be doing to educate young men and women: “Educating students about rape, teaching them that by definition a very drunk woman can’t consent to sex, is crucial. Also important are bystander programs that instruct students in how to intervene to prevent sexual assault on drunk classmates and about the need to get dangerously intoxicated ones medical treatment.”

So sane and sensible, in other words, as to be almost banal. Ah, but that was until the avant garde online thinkers caught wind of Yoffe’s offenses against womankind. Writers at sites like Jezebel, Feministing, and Salon alleged that Yoffe had written “a rape denialism manifesto.”

The Slate columnist had not only “blamed the victims” of sexual crime, but implicitly promoted something called “rape culture” — a catch-all propaganda phrase like something out of Orwell’s “Animal Farm.”

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