Sky News recently published an article on the claim that there is an epidemic of sexual assault on American college campuses. The problem with this article, as with every other article purporting to present a “balanced” take, is that it begins with the assumption that there is an epidemic, which sets up those who disagree as the ones who are out-of-line with reality.
Defense attorney Scott Greenfield is one of those who disagrees that there is an epidemic of campus sexual assault, and instead writes at his blog, Simple Justice, that there is actually an “epidemic of absurdity” on college campuses.
Greenfield notes that Sky News admits that campus sexual assault is “a notoriously hard thing to measure,” but goes on to claim that “one estimate suggests that as many as one in four students will be subjected to a serious sexual assault before they graduate.”
Greenfield points out that absolutely no study makes this claim, “not even from the most ardent believers.” This is true. The numerous flawed studies that claim “rape culture” is real simply say 1-in-4 or 1-in-5 women will be sexually assaulted while in college. They do not claim the sexual assault will be “serious,” because they can’t. The studies that find these large numbers of apparent victims include everything from an “unwanted” kiss to forcible rape as evidence of a sexual assault epidemic. The vast majority of responses fall into the “unwanted” category, which has begged the question time and time again: How does a person know if something is unwanted until after they try?
To put this in perspective: A male and female college student are at a party and seemingly flirting. The man goes in for a kiss, thinking that they have been flirting, but the woman pulls away. She didn’t want the kiss, but are we really going to consider this sexual assault?
Greenfield also pulls out a quote from a student, Shelby Ebert, who said:
I think the biggest problem we have on campus is drinking too much and having sex, and then you’re like “oh, I probably shouldn’t have done that,” you know? And then you’re like “do you consent when you’re drunk? Is that consent?”
As Greenfield notes, “this is what passes for sexual assault, rape, in the minds of some.”
“It’s as if they weren’t there, had nothing to do with it,” Greenfield writes. “They didn’t choose to drink. They didn’t agree to have sex. It all just happened to them, and the next day they got a Mulligan on personal responsibility, and a second chance to decide whether the consent of the night before was still consent in the light of day.”
Another student said she had been drinking, but “not an excessive amount” yet still she can “only remember bits and pieces, so then you start to question it – maybe I did consent initially?”
And then Greenfield makes the most important point of his blog post:
Is there an epidemic of memory loss from otherwise healthy young people, that they suffer from this inconvenient gap whenever they have sex? To claim to have suffered a blackout is bad enough, but to claim you didn’t drink to excess yet still can’t remember little details like whether you consented to have sex or were raped is rather troubling.
Greenfield goes on to note that the actual “epidemic” on campus is of women going out and partying, and wanting to be absolved of their behavior the next day, while blaming men. A woman wouldn’t be able to get out of driving drunk by claiming she was too drunk to know what she was doing, but she now gets a pass for having sex while drunk. Meanwhile, the man gets no such pass, so long as the woman feels like a victim. This is the kind of real gender discrimination occurring on college campuses.