In an outrageously offensive column published as an op-ed in The Washington Post this morning, George Will is the newest person to question how sexual assault statistics are reported: He suggests that more women are coming forward and claiming rape under shady circumstances because being a victim of this heinous crime is “a coveted status that confers privileges.”
His comments quickly enraged Twitter users, many of whom identified as women or actual rape victims that (accurately) insist that there’s nothing “covetable” about being brutally and physically violated.
In his piece, Will mainly targets women who are sexually assaulted on college campuses, insisting that these cases are often drunken hook-ups between “especially privileged young adults” that are later regretted by the female party.
This attack has been used against women — and particularly female students who often know their assaulters — who bravely come forward and report their own rapes.
So while Will’s comments are nothing new, it’s still surprising to see this opinion on the pages of a major, respected newspaper, and not just in the seriously uninformed and unfair babbling on a pro-”Alpha Male” website like the one misogynistic spree shooter Elliot Rodger often visited.
At the end of his op-ed, Will states that colleges are the real victims of over-reporting cases that aren’t actually sexual assault (despite the fact that virtually every think tank/research group would insist the opposite, and the DOJ released a report saying that only 12 percent of assaults were ever reported). He then blames the new victim: Colleges, he asserts, have “asked for this” because they wanted progressivism.
It’s not lost on me that Will employs yet another technique used in an attempt to shame women for their own assaults, the unfortunately all-too-common defense of “she was asking for it.”
Will propagates a toxic idea of being overly wary of women who have been raped, blaming them for the actions of their attackers because they “were drinking too much” or “only said ‘no’ once” (the latter is an example of what Will writes in his pieces as constituting a non-rape).
It’s an outrageous claim that women would want something so horrible to happen to them because they then get to be considered a whistleblower on campus. It’s offensive that Will thinks that many females who are assaulted by fellow students simply weren’t explicit enough or reiterative enough when they said “no.”