Summary: Another round of hysteria in America, this time about the “rape culture” causing a “rape epidemic” on campuses. The flagship of this campaign, the lurid gang rape reported in Rolling Stone, has sunk. But the program rolls on, disconnected from the truth of this or any other aspect of the activists’ case. This is how change comes to America, and why meaningful reform remains difficult while our society slowly decays. As any society will when it’s ability to self-repair breaks down. We can do better.
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- How Did We Get Here?
- How Change Comes to America
- What About All Those Rapes?
- For More Information
(1) How did we get here?
The story showing the “rape culture” at the University of Virginia continues to unravel, with stories in the media such as “Key Player in UVA Rape Story: Rolling Stone Never Talked to Me“, Hanna Rosin, Slate, 6 December 2014. However we’re dealing with agitprop, not just news. Activists manufacture these stories to justify social and political change. Their underlying truth is irrelevant to these stories ability to motivate Americans. That’s possible because people have found that we don’t object to lies. That’s a discovery of kind that changes the course of nations.
The initial project, pushed for decades by feminists, was re-definition of “rape” from crime by force to the more ambiguous crime due to lack of consent, then to the in the eye of the beholder crime due to lack of “explicit consent”. This greatly increased the numbers so that rape could be declared a major social problem (although a large fraction of sexual assaults or even rapes under the new definitions are not considered rape or assault by the victim — not just at occurrence, but even years later during the survey).
That required blurring the lines between rape by force (assault or battery) — which often leaves behind forensic evidence that provides a strong base for prosecution — to “he said, she said” accounts that would stump Solomon (this also distorts surveys, as they probably have very different rates of under-reporting). For details of the early stages of this project see “A matter of force: The redefinition of rape“, Timothy W Murphy, Air Force Law Review, 1996. For an example of this advocacy in the press see “The Misguided Definition of Rape as ‘Force’“, Mary Adkins, The Atlantic, 21 May 2014 — “Sometimes, saying no is as brave as a person can be. Isn’t that brave enough?” She conflates woman sleeping with their boyfriends, with sex despite no affirmative consent (but no resistance), with violent stranger rape:
“Another close friend of mine, at age 27, was raped and murdered by an intruder in her sleep. She survived in the hospital for several days before passing away, having been beaten so badly. Her hands were broken from fighting back. Another local woman was also raped by the same intruder, but she didn’t fight back. She lived.”
Once people believe we face an emergency, hastily drafted legislation gets passed and the law enforcement system swings into action to force the desired changes in our behavior. The Left believes in social engineering. It’s one of their defining characteristics, despite their repeated failures from busing children to other schools (instead of fixing all schools) to wrecking our inner cities.