The most recent annual report on sexual assault is out. Let’s spend 10 days talking about it! Today is day 4.

And, we must work relentlessly on prevention, doing everything we can to reduce the prevalence of assault on our campus until it ceases.

Really? “[E]verything we can?” This is such utter hooey, I am embarrassed to be quoting it. There are many things that the College could do to reduce sexual assault on campus that it chooses not to do, for reasons both practical and ideological.

First, the College could go back to the days of single sex dorms with no opposite gender visitors in the rooms. This clip from Animal House gives a flavor of what that was like 50 years ago.

The vast majority (all?) serious sexual assaults at Williams occur when a male and female student are alone together in a Williams dorm. Make such a situation a violation of college policy, and the rate of sexual assault at Williams would decrease significantly. The College will never do that (nor should it, since such a rule would decimate admissions from elite applicants) so Dean Bolton should stop blathering on with gibberish about doing “everything we can.” She isn’t.

Second, the College could tell female Ephs the truth about alcohol use and sexual assault. Women who stay sober (and/or drink in moderation) are vastly less likely to be sexually assaulted than those who don’t. In fact, the College could just point female students to this Emily Yoffe article in Slate:

College Women: Stop Getting Drunk

But we are failing to let women know that when they render themselves defenseless, terrible things can be done to them. Young women are getting a distorted message that their right to match men drink for drink is a feminist issue. The real feminist message should be that when you lose the ability to be responsible for yourself, you drastically increase the chances that you will attract the kinds of people who, shall we say, don’t have your best interest at heart. That’s not blaming the victim; that’s trying to prevent more victims.

Third, the College could do a better job of explaining that men and women are different and that, therefore, women may not have an accurate idea about what their male classmates are thinking when he brings her back to his dorm room. Hint: He does not want to discuss Plato!

Now, of course, she may not want to discuss Plato either! And that is OK. But, unless she has the benefit of a non-PC upbringing, she may not be aware of just how different the male outlook is from her own. If the College really wanted to do “everything” it could to reduce the frequency of sexual assault, it would tell female Ephs not to go back to a male Ephs dorm room unless she has a good deal of evidence to conclude that he is of high moral character.

But discouraging women from getting drunk and encouraging them to make better judgments when it comes to sexual relationships is something that the College, mainly for ideological reasons, is unwilling to do. And that is a shame.

Facebooktwitter
Print  •  Email