By an anonymous CASE member
(Trigger warning: details about sexual assault)
In response to Barbara Kay’s article “Don’t exaggerate ‘rape culture’ on campus”: I am disheartened that such an article was published in a national newspaper as “commentary”. Really, Barbara Kay? Rape victims? You chose to target rape victims. Rape victims are “obsessed” with rape culture in the same way that the families of murder victims are “obsessed” with their family member being murdered.
When you describe the alleged incident with the McGill football players as a “sexual escapade” you are not having “due process concerns”, you are siding with the alleged perpetrators. You are suggesting that rape and sex are the same thing, when in fact they could not be more different. Rape is about having power over someone else and degrading their humanity; it is about control. Individuals do not commit rape because they want sex, they commit rape because they want to gain control over the body of another person against their will. And that excites them. To not understand that fundamental difference is to not understand the issue at all.
As an individual who has gone through a situation which could sound similar to the alleged incident with the football players – where there was alcohol involved and I did not immediately realize exactly what was going on – I feel like you are personally calling me a liar. Simply because it could be construed by some outsider that what happened was “consensual” because I wasn’t dragged into the room by some masked stranger does not mean it was a “sexual escapade”. My vagina was ripped and bruised.
Part of the reason the police had enough evidence to charge the perpetrator– see that, Barbara Kay – the police need a substantial amount of evidence before they formally charge someone with a crime of this nature – was the medical evidence. The way you seem to think rape accusations work is similar to the novel and film Atonement, where a mere whisper of suspicion lands someone a life in prison.
It is strange to me that Barbara Kay says that “The problem of sexual assault is already taken quite seriously, both on and off campus, in our society” and then calls the incident with the football players a “sexual episode". Calling an alleged rape a “sexual episode” is not taking it seriously.
I am not going to argue statistics with you, Barbara Kay, because I don’t think I am the most qualified person to do that. I will, however, say that what you seek to do in this article is to silence those who are victims of rape, others who want to take a stand to support those who are victims, and those who are actively working to prevent the crime from happening in the future. I would argue that you are completely unqualified to write on the subject in a national newspaper – you simply use a few anecdotes which conveniently fit your thesis – instead of having a well-rounded analysis on the subject. Your article would fit better on a fringe blog or a Men’s Right’s Activist forum.
By an anonymous CASE member