SMU's Student Newspaper Makes CNN for Booze-and-Rape Op-Ed

DailyCampusSmU.jpg
It's a touchy subject, booze and rape on college campuses. Emily Yoffe, Slate's advice columnist, caught hell last month for suggesting that parents and universities need to do a better job warning students of the connection between binge drinking and sexual assault. Yoffe offered a measured argument that is backed by research (she cites a finding that 80 percent of on-campus sexual assaults involve alcohol) and framed so as to minimize the perception that she was blaming the victims, none of which allowed her to sidestep the label of rape apologist.

So, what happens when a student journalist makes a parallel but much less carefully argued point in a campus newspaper, as SMU's Kirby Wiley did on Friday in The Daily Campus? It sparks an immediate backlash and makes CNN.

Wiley -- who, for clarity's sake, is a woman -- offers a similar premise to Yoffe's. But rather than attempting to avoid assigning fault to rape victims, she dives right in, wondering in the wake of several reports of on-campus sexual assault, "[I]s the blame being placed in the right place?"

See also: SMU's Baffling Sexual Assault Policy May Be Like Other Schools', But It's Still a Disaster

Although it sounds harsh to place any blame on the victims of these incidents, if the media continues to place all the blame on the perpetrator, young college women will never learn that there is a way to help prevent these kinds of acts.

The best way for women to prevent these assaults from happening to them is to never drink so much that they cannot control themselves or remember what happened the next day. If women quit putting themselves in situations where they appear vulnerable, it will be much less likely for men to try and take advantage of them.

But, it seems trying to tell college students not to drink too much is a very difficult message to get across when there isn't a concrete reason why they should.

If the media would focus more attention on the fact that the majority of the women who are sexually assaulted are intoxicated, as opposed to stating and restating how horrible the perpetrator is, then maybe young women would start to listen.

Almost immediately, SMU's Women's Interest Network had a petition on Change.org calling for the Daily Campus to "STOP publishing articles contributing to rape culture and misogyny."

See also: SMU's Sexual Assault Task Force Recommends Keeping Controversial Student Conduct Panels

The entire article is nothing but victim blaming by a rape apologist. Other recent articles include "Modest Costumes Exist," in which the author gives female students suggestions on how to not look like sluts on Halloween; and "SMU In Need of More Men," in which another author says, "The modern women's rights movement has put women at the forefront of every issue and left men utterly powerless." The Daily Campus has an obligation to justice---what are the ethics of this paper? These types of articles are a slap in the face to young women on this campus who are survivors of rape, and publication of such articles discourage the reporting of sexual assaults

A pair of former Daily Campus editors, Nathaniel French and Jessica Huseman (whom, full disclosure, I edited for about a week at the UTD Mercury), chimed in with a letter to the editor arguing that Wiley's piece in particular is "not an appropriate way to report on a serious problem affecting colleges around the country."

In an interview with Unfair Park, Daily Campus editor Katy Roden defended the publication of the piece, describing the op-ed page as an open forum.

"Regardless of whether we agree with it or I agree with it, we welcome all voices," she says.

Roden and other Daily Campus editors are scheduled to meet with the group behind the petition to discuss their concerns and "clear up them thinking that we are trying to push a misogynist or rape-culture agenda."

Wiley, meanwhile, stands by her piece, telling CNN that her point was that media should report when sexual assault victims were drunk "to inform other women of this factor that studies have shown increases the risk of sexual assaults."


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75 comments
larrypage00001
larrypage00001

Newspaper is a great tool for many people who wants information and news about their surroundings. This is a fact and no one can question this. Nowadays newspapers are slowly dying because of how advanced our technology is. But for me the best treatment for a dying newspaper is to have good printing materials and supplies so that you can print the best copy that you can imagine. Many people still need newspaper so keep on printing.


Source: http://www.inkjetsuperstore.com/

pleasenomore
pleasenomore

This is an embarrassing representation of SMU. However, not all students and not all schools within the college are created equally. Wiley doesn't know what she's talking about nor does she know how to apologize. Blame should be placed on the attacker. No questions asked. Should SMU add human sexuality as part of the required curriculum? Should Wiley realize that she should probably stop turning her back on her own gender and give up her future career serving coffee at Fox News? We'll just have to see what the future holds. 

asu87
asu87

this is driving me crazy---isn't the point here that if you are drinking heavily you are more vulnerable than if you are sober? and if that is the meat of this article---isn't it accurate?

TSofFire
TSofFire

Sometimes the backlash seems to be agenda driven instead of truth driven. Aren't we all smart enough to take the pertinent points from the article without crying about the way it has been said?

tleh
tleh

Wiley is still a kid and i believe she has all the best intentions at heart. However her opinion piece really does have unfortunate language.  This is where i think the paper, perhaps, could have intervened to ask for clarifying language before publishing. Maybe asking if she really wants to say it this way? Maybe not realistic. Cut Wiley some slack but hold the attitude "the girl had it coming to her" accountable.

katiehitt6
katiehitt6

friendly reminder that when a woman drinks, it doesn't mean she is accepting the possibility that she might get raped. this is appalling, and a lot of these comments are appalling as well. this is why i need feminism.

MrsModoc
MrsModoc

You are all (including CNN) arguing rhetoric.  This student wrote an article about a specific pocket of incident:  rape on college campus' as it related to alcohol.  Wiley also brought attention to an important topic.  I am proud of her for being brave enough to write an article that would have received an uprising regardless of the rhetoric.

blankcur1
blankcur1

Wiley appears to be wanting to remove a crime of opportunity when it comes to M-F sexual encounters. If her advice prevents one woman from being raped or taken advantage of, isn't it worth it?

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

It's not rape, but if a fellow passes out at a rugby party, their eyebrows, and rest of their person may well be marked, violated or missing.   It's a good lesson, and it keeps you on the prowl for the drunk easy pickings.  Just kidding about the last part.  But, if it's good sense for men, why not women too?

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

Maybe I'm just an old fuddy-duddy, but I warned my sons about the dangers of binge drinking. I don't know if it stuck or not, but the fact is that no matter what your gender, age, ethnicity, size, religious convictions or anything else that may set you apart or help give you a sense of self, binge drinking is bad for you.

It is bad for your health, and it can result in doing stupid, stupid things. Or being in the company of people who are doing something stupid/cruel/illegal/all of the above.


I don't know if they listened, but I'm glad I gave the speech. And more than once.

NotReallyThanks
NotReallyThanks

It's weird because no one ever has  a problem blaming a white guy for being robbed or murdered if he makes the mistake of being in a "bad neighborhood."

emjb
emjb

Most rape victims know their rapist. Sober women get raped. Drunk women get raped. Old women get raped. Children get raped. The only thread connecting these victims is that a rapist committed a crime against them. 

There is no status a woman can aspire to that absolutely protects her against rape. Because a woman's actions do not cause rape. Rapists do. 

 And it's time we stopped trying to make women take responsibility for the actions of those who want to hurt them. It's time we admitted that we live in a society that hasn't done nearly enough to stop rape because deep down, we haven't really considered it important enough to do anything serious about. Telling a woman not to get drunk will not protect her from rape. Teaching men what consent looks like, and that any sex without it is rape, would. Prosecuting rapes in a serious way would. 

It's time for men to step up. Call out your friends who make jokes about rape, or who do rapey things like try to get girls too drunk to say no. If you see something happening, intervene. If you are with someone, make sure they are capable of and fully consenting. 

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

I really don't think that this is blaming the victim, because this was posted as a warning.  Specifically, there is no actual victim yet related to the statement.  This is different than a after the fact declaration of "she had to much too drink" which does falls more into the blaming the victim category.

The "Take, Lock, Hide" campaign for parking lots is no different than these warnings.  It is about safety and prevention.  If you can prevent a crime from happening you should take the steps to prevent it.  All crimes rely on the elements of need, opportunity and justification.  While we cannot do anything to reduce the need element (i.e. horny college guy), and we are working on justification (letting the horny college guys understand what constitutes rape) we can do something about opportunity.

TheBearShark
TheBearShark

It doesn't matter if a woman is intoxicated beyond being able to speak, is passed out or anything, it's never the woman's fault that a man CHOSE to rape her. It's equally as ridiculous as assuming that women who wear provocative clothing in public are "asking" for it or any bullshit like that. The man knows what he's doing, and the woman shouldn't ever be chastised for assuming that the group she's with wouldn't sexually assault her. She shouldn't have to anticipate that she will get raped if she drinks a lot and we shouldn't fucking accept that as "shit happens" because she was drinking.

blankcur1
blankcur1

@katiehitt6 That is a conclusion that is fabricated in the mind. It is clearly not the intention of the author to suggest that. 

James_the_P3
James_the_P3

@katiehitt6 And an equally friendly reminder that when a man leaves his unlocked Benz on the street outside Lee Harvey's overnight because he had to take Uber home after being overserved, it doesn't mean that he is accepting the possibility . . . wait a minute--no, it absolutely does mean that he is "accepting the possibility" that his car might get stolen.  

That's not to say that the guy who steals the Benz isn't a car thief.  He is.  He should be tracked down, arrested, and shot.  But at the same time, it is fair to say that a car owner can exercise some personal responsibility to reduce the likelihood that his Benz will be ripped off.  And I don't think that the cautionary signs that DPD has posted in many parking lots reminding people to lock their cars are particularly offensive to motorists.

All of which is a long way to point out that Dallas Needs Uber.  See, P1Gunter--it always comes back to Uber in the end.

overand
overand

@blankcur1 Not it if contributes to the culture of "victim blaming," and shames 100 women into not reporting their rape because they're worried that people won't take them seriously.


Fun fact, this is an ACTUAL problem.  Surveys show that college men believe 50% of rape accusations are false.  In reality it's closer to 2-3% of rape accusations. Also, police often assume the victim is lying.

So yeah - preventing rape?  Good!  But articles like this don't occur in a vacuum - they have other effects.

J_A_
J_A_

@scottindallas Getting raped vs having penises drawn on your face is a little different.

tleh
tleh

@emjb The rebuke from men attempting to deny or minimize the experience they themselves could never relate show at least in part.... how spot on your comments are.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@emjb Bull.  Fucking.  Shit.

We are talking about college campus rapes.  Most women "know" their rapist only in the sense that they "met" them that night.  Sober women don't get raped at nearly the rate on campuses that drunk women do.  Children don't get raped on campuses.  Stick to the subject.

We have a clear case where a specific situation leads to someone being victimized.  That you will ignore the very simple prevention techniques being proposed means that you are willing to let more young women be raped to salve your own conscience while you spout your pablum.

People who say "It's time for men to step up" are exactly like the "Abstinence only for sex-ed" crowd.  You're just another fucking moralizer making more victims to feel better about yourself.

James_the_P3
James_the_P3

@emjb What exactly constitutes not being "capable of fully consenting"?  Certainly we would agree that an unconscious person is not able to consent.  But what about a person with a BAC of 0.08?  Or a BAC of 0.10 or 0.12?  We would let that person enter into a contract--we do every day.  Are they somehow capable of buying a car, but not consenting to sex?

For that matter, what does the modifier "fully" mean when attached to "consenting"?  Does one have to be enthusiastic to be "fully consenting"?  Does light persuasion--a few "c'mon baby"-ies and little lies (e.g., "no, I'm not going to tell my entire fraternity about this")--render consent less than "full," and therefore rape?

And finally, what if the man is as intoxicated or more intoxicated than the woman?  Do they rape each other?  Or do we need to ascertain what the parties ate, what they drank, their body weights and metabolisms to figure out who was drunker just so that we can finally identify who was the rapist and who was the rapee in this drink-fueled encounter?  I only wonder, because I'm going out with Mrs. P3 Friday night, and I'm hoping that after a few cocktails at our drinking establishment of choice that we get around to raping each other.

Of course, we're married with small children, so the likelihood is that we'll just fall into a well-deserved deep sleep at the end of the evening.

JohnSmallBerries
JohnSmallBerries

@emjb Of course nobody said that there was a "status a woman can aspire to that absolutely protects .. against rape." That's a straw man. The editorial clearly is arguing that one should engage in behavior that decreases the probability of being a victim. 

I fail to see what the fuss is about.
 

gabe48
gabe48

@emjbDid you realize that in the U.S. more men, in prison and in society, are raped than women? Just taking prison numbers, more men are raped than all of female rape victims.  I'm sure they deserve it for being in prison, right?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2449454/More-men-raped-US-women-including-prison-sexual-abuse.html

Since you brought up children, did you realize that 80% of perpetrators of child abuse are women?  See page 80 of this study.

http://archive.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm06/cm06.pdf

Also, in a recent study, 2.1% of men reported forced vaginal sex compared to 1.6% of women in a relationship in the previous year. See this study:

http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/ID45-PR45.pdf

Point being?  Rape is a horrendous crime that no one deserves to experience. I was raped at age 11 by a woman.  I am bringing up these statistics, not to downplay the horrific nature of rape against women, but to point out that it goes both ways, and your entire post reeks of sexism.  Women this, women that, men need to, etc... Both men AND women need to stop raping and sexually assaulting each other.  

Also, women need to take their share of the blame, and stop having a victim-mentality. Portraying women as helpless, delicate flowers that are never to blame is blatantly sexist.

Incoming barrage of MISOGYNY, VICTIM BLAMER, ETC.  Please keep in mind I provided peer-reviewed studies in making this argument. 

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

@emjb The only issue I have with what you said is the oft used loophole that even if a woman doesn't say no, but is intoxicated, her consent is considered invalid and it becomes rape. I'm sorry, but that's just crap. If she says no or is forced, that is rape. If she had too many jaberbombs and decides the next day that it was a bad idea, that's not rape or sexual assault.

As a man I've woken up next to a girl after a bender and thought to myself that was a horrible idea the next day, but I would never consider it rape. It is just the consequences of my decision. The same should go for women. The whole "too intoxicated to consent" provision makes a mockery of what is actual rape.

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

@emjb As I said before, yes we should do this.  However, we cannot pretend that other situations do not occur as well.  Some women get raped just because the guy is a predator, some get raped because the guy is a predator and the girl cannot prevent it because she is trashed.  Until we can completely educate the guys, should we try and prevent at least some of the incidents.

If you fight the battle on just one front, you will lose.

bstewart1987
bstewart1987

@TheBearShark  Why put yourself in that situation to begin with? I like to go out and party, but I dont like to get soo blacked out drunk that I do not know whats going around me.

 Plus, how do we know that the person wanted it the night before, then regrets it the next morning, then claims assault?

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

@TheBearShark Also, you shouldn't have to lock your doors at home.  But if you don't and someone steals all of your shit, didn't you cause the opportunity for them to commit a crime?

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @TheBearShark You've got a lot of "shouldn't" shit in there.  Here's the deal.

The world is what it is.  There are two paths in front of the hypothetical girl -- one where she drinks to a stupor and is likely to get raped, and another where she drinks responsibly and doesn't.

How much of a shitheel do you have to be to tell her, "go ahead and have 8 drinks, when you get raped it's his fault!"

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@gabe48 @emjb I've been raped by a woman, it wasn't horrendous, just a bit rougher than I would've preferred.  I'm not equating the two, just saying.  Despite the abuse, I was able to plow through

doublecheese
doublecheese

@gabe48 @emjb Only female rape matters.  Male rape is funny, right?  It's OK to make jokes about prison rape because it's men.  We are supposed to give our deepest sympathies to college girls who drink 4 beers are make a bad decision.

Daniel
Daniel

@P1Gunter @emjb I call BS. No, you did not think it was a horrible idea the next day. 

miss-ashly
miss-ashly

@everlastingphelps @TheBearShark While I agree that woman should always be aware of their surroundings, in most of these situations that victim is actually targeted by the rapist, removed from the group/safety net and then plied with alcohol and/or drugs. It is a calculated move and not something that "just happens" because a woman is inebriated. Rapists are rapists, not dudes having a good time on a date taking advantage of an opportunity that just presented itself.

TheBearShark
TheBearShark

@everlastingphelps @TheBearShark 

I'm not saying the reality doesn't exist, but I am saying that men who suddenly become rapists when they see a defenseless girl are 100% to blame, and that the girl's choices shouldn't ever be blamed.

Daniel
Daniel

@scottindallas @P1Gunter @emjb As long as they can walk without serious difficulty, speak more or less coherently, and respond appropriately to sexual advances. I wouldn't say merely having their eyes open counts as "conscious."  

But Gunter's right, the whole "too drunk to consent" clause sets up a double standard. Who  has not had a tumble in the hay with a stranger while trashed? Men and women alike, particularly during one's younger years. Ironically, the double standard is essentially "patriarchal," i.e., it treats women as helpless children with diminished sexual agency.

James_the_P3
James_the_P3

@miss-ashly @everlastingphelps Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol causes men to have sex.  Apparently, it also has a similar effect on women.  

Why, in the instance in which you have two binge drinkers engaging in sexual activity, do you say that the binge drinking has caused the male to rape and the woman to be raped?  It seems to me that they may both equally incapable (or capable, depending on the situation) of giving consent.

russell.allison1
russell.allison1

@miss-ashly So the woman who is targeted, removed from the group/safety net and then plied with alcohol and/or drugs suddenly becomes powerless to refuse the excessive alcohol and/or drugs being offered to her?  She ceases to possess the situational awareness to recognize that someone's intentions are less than honorable? 

miss-ashly
miss-ashly

@everlastingphelps @miss-ashly  Phelps, I agree with that. We should teach our boys and men to refrain from binge drinking and partying because it seems to cause some of them to rape. 

doublecheese
doublecheese

@miss-ashly There's a saying that locks on doors keep the honest thieves out.  Not everyone who commits a crime is such a hardened criminal that they break into locked houses.  Sometimes the opportunity presents itself and it's just too easy for some to resist, especially if they have been drinking themselves.  The perpetrator is no less culpable for their actions, but the situation creates the opportunity for a crime.

It's a bit like leaving a stack of $100 bills on the front seat of your car, and complaining that your car was broken into.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @miss-ashly No.  Nothing you said mitigates in any way the need to educate women to not binge drink -- in fact, every single danger you raise would be prevented by getting rid of the binge culture.

James_the_P3
James_the_P3

@everlastingphelps @TheBearShark Yes, but you don't blame the lion for being a lion.  A lion has no moral code.  It reacts by instinct, fear, and hunger.

Presumably, we can expect rather more from men.  A man who rapes a woman is morally and legally blameworthy; a lion of bite the head of a fool not so.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @TheBearShark @everlastingphelps The lion is going to bite your head off when you put it in his mouth because he's a lion.  No amount of "awareness" will get him to stop biting heads off.

Don't you think maybe we should stop sticking our heads in the lion's mouth instead of wailing about how terrible the lion is?

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

@TheBearShark @everlastingphelps I don't think that the SMU article was blaming the hypothetical girl, rather it was warning with the hopes of preventing the rape.  Big difference.

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