In his Washington Post column on Friday, Fox News contributor George Will suggested that progressivism on college campuses is worse than being coerced into non-consensual sex. Or, as he put it, being a rape victim on campus is now “a coveted status that confers privileges” and causes “victims (to) proliferate.”
As Huffington Post noted, the problem of sexual assault on campuses is “very real.” It’s also an issue the Obama administration is working to address. But Will seems to think that’s the bigger problem. He sneers in his column about the “the supposed campus epidemic of rape, a.k.a. 'sexual assault'” and calls the official statistics of its prevalence (20% of college women) “preposterous.”
Will concludes by suggesting the real crime is progressivism: “It is salutary that academia, with its adversarial stance toward limited government and cultural common sense, is making itself ludicrous. …What government is inflicting on colleges and universities, and what they are inflicting on themselves, diminishes their autonomy, resources, prestige and comity. Which serves them right. They have asked for this by asking for progressivism.”
“Getting what they deserve” is pretty much how Will seems to view college sexual assault, too. He scornfully relays an anecdote about a woman who felt coerced into sex with an ex-partner who fell asleep in her bed. Instead of considering solutions to such a situation, Will all but said she was “asking for it.” He dismissed her experience as part of “the ambiguities of the hookup culture, this cocktail of hormones, alcohol and the faux sophistication of today’s prolonged adolescence of especially privileged young adults.”
As Huffington Post reported, the reaction to Will’s column has not been positive, at least if Twitter posts are any guide:
That’s like saying that victims of a mugging wanted to be mugged, that victims of a murder wanted to be murdered, that victims of a theft wanted to be robbed, etc. Just like mugging, murder and theft, rape is an example of violence by one person against another. It actually has little to nothing to do with the act of coupling: it’s an act of aggression.
The fact that Mr. Will actually wrote what he wrote suggests that he’d better be booking a bed in a geriatric ward for patients affected by senile dementia, Alzheimers or whatever.
A query: Aren’t newspaper editors supposed to read the stuff they print? Where in blazes was the editor on this one?
Generally, I wholeheartedly believe that no one deserves to be raped but Will is seriously challenging my beliefs.
Like the late William F Buckley both would never stoop to the nutty cartoonish level that seems to be common today. I can understand someone on talk radio with the crazy talk trying to draw attention to themselves for ratings and get higher advertising revenues but it’s not necessary for someone like George Will whose credibility as a journalist has never been questioned. It’s really sad to watch him behave like he’s been doing recently.
Since Mr. Will and I share the same love for baseball, perhaps this analogy will descript him lately. It’s like watching a great pitcher lose his fastball and unable to get it over the plate anymore, and it’s time to hang it up.