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Monday, June 9, 2014

We have a new leader

In the race for the coveted title "biggest right-wing asshole on the planet," wily veteran George Will has just surged into the lead!



George Will: Progressivism Made Rape Victim ‘Coveted Status’ with ‘Privileges


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I just . . . I don't even. . . I mean I can't  ---- I'm just trying to even figure out what the logic is supposed to be here.

So here's the opening thesis of his latest stupid, awful column:

Colleges and universities are being educated by Washington and are finding the experience excruciating. They are learning that when they say campus victimizations are ubiquitous (“micro-aggressions,” often not discernible to the untutored eye, are everywhere), and that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate. 

Um, okay. . . I suppose maybe that could in theory be true. If "victimhood" was to somehow become a coveted status that would somehow confer some sort of privilege,  I guess maybe you would have people coming out of the woodwork to claim that status, but since that isn't actually a thing that has ever happened anywhere ever, I'm not sure it's a particularly relevant point.


And academia’s progressivism has rendered it intellectually defenseless now that progressivism’s achievement, the regulatory state, has decided it is academia’s turn to be broken to government’s saddle.


Okay, well first of all, for those of us who are not right-wing assholes, the term "regulatory state" doesn't really resonate as such a frightening boogeyman as it does for you.

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Aieeee! Regulations!

Those of us who are normal people realize that that "regulatory state" is what gives us a reasonable amount of confidence that our breakfast won't give us e-coli, or that the plane we're on won't plummet from the sky,  or that our new house won't collapse around our ears.

Also, the rest of that sentence also makes no sense. 

Consider the supposed campus epidemic of rape, a.k.a. “sexual assault.”

Okay, first of all, fuck you for putting quotes around the phrase sexual assault as if it were some sort of fictional thing to be dismissed out of hand. Second rape is not "a.k.a." sexual assault. Sexual assault can be anything from unwanted groping to  unwanted kissing to actual full-on rape. And where do you get off with the "supposed epidemic" shit?  Because every statistic I've seen indicates that this epidemic is all too real. Also, fuck you.

Herewith, a Philadelphia magazine report about Swarthmore College, where in 2013 a student “was in her room with a guy with whom she’d been hooking up for three months”: “They’d now decided — mutually, she thought — just to be friends. When he ended up falling asleep on her bed, she changed into pajamas and climbed in next to him. Soon, he was putting his arm around her and taking off her clothes. ‘I basically said, “No, I don’t want to have sex with you.” And then he said, “OK, that’s fine” and stopped. . . . And then he started again a few minutes later, taking off my panties, taking off his boxers. I just kind of laid there and didn’t do anything — I had already said no. I was just tired and wanted to go to bed. I let him finish. I pulled my panties back on and went to sleep.’”

Okay, that sounds like a pretty straight-forward description of a rape. certainly not the most horrific account, but still, she said no and he fucked her anyway. Kind of the dictionary definition of rape, isn't it?

 Six weeks later, the woman reported that she had been raped. Now the Obama administration is riding to the rescue of “sexual assault” victims. It vows to excavate equities from 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.

Um, are you saying that because this woman reported her rape, that is why the Obama administration has decided to get involved? And how exactly is the administration proposing to "excavate equities from the ambiguities of the hookup culture?" Because there really don't seem to be a lot of ambiguities here. She either says yes or she says no. Only a right-wing asshole rape-apologist would try to read any ambiguity into a simple yes or no response.

 The administration’s crucial and contradictory statistics are validated the usual way, by official repetition; Joe Biden has been heard from. The statistics are: One in five women is sexually assaulted while in college, and only 12 percent of assaults are reported.  Simple arithmetic demonstrates that if the 12 percent reporting rate is correct, the 20 percent assault rate is preposterous.

How? how does arithmetic demonstrate that? The percentage of assaults reported has no bearing on the number of assaults that occur. 

 Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute notes, for example, that in the four years 2009 to 2012 there were 98 reported sexual assaults at Ohio State. That would be 12 percent of 817 total out of a female student population of approximately 28,000, for a sexual assault rate of approximately 2.9 percent — too high but nowhere near 20 percent.

Oh, well, the American Enterprise Institute, that bastion of honesty! Well then, I guess we can just go ahead and ignore the CDC's report that  "in a study of undergraduate women, 19% experienced attempted or completed sexual assault since entering college."  Because what the hell do they know, compared to the American Enterprise Institute, and their analysis of ONE entire college!





 Also, let's pretend for a minute that your guy at the American Institute of Right-Wing Assholery is right about the statistics being off. How much sexual assault is acceptable? If it's less than 20% should nothing be done? How many women being assaulted are you okay with, because for those of us outside the right-wing asshole bubble, it's generally zero.

 Combine this with capacious definitions of sexual assault that can include not only forcible sexual penetration but also nonconsensual touching. 

Right. Non-consensual touching. Why do you have a problem with that being included? It's like complaining that the non-sexual assault statutes include not only beating with clubs, but even non-consensual punching!

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Totally shouldn't even count! The guy's not even dead!


 

 Then add the doctrine that the consent of a female who has been drinking might not protect a male from being found guilty of rape. Then comes costly litigation against institutions that have denied due process to males they accuse of what society considers serious felonies.
 
 
Yes, "society." "Society" considers sexual assault to be a serious crime. George Will apparently doesn't, but "society" does. Hey, George, another term for "society" is "all decent human beings."

 Meanwhile, the newest campus idea for preventing victimizations — an idea certain to multiply claims of them — is “trigger warnings.” They would be placed on assigned readings or announced before lectures. Otherwise, traumas could be triggered in students whose tender sensibilities would be lacerated by unexpected encounters with racism, sexism, violence (dammit, Hamlet, put down that sword!) or any other facet of reality that might violate a student’s entitlement to serenity.


 And why would anyone have any objection to this? No one is saying you can't assign Hamlet or Huck Finn. No one says you can't discuss the rape of Nan King. Just that before you do, it's just kind of a decent thing to say "hey, before we start, just a little warning that  the subject matter may be offensive to some of you, Huck uses the N-word a lot." 

This entitlement has already bred campus speech codes that punish unpopular speech. Now the codes are begetting the soft censorship of trigger warnings to swaddle students in a “safe,” “supportive,” “unthreatening” environment, intellectual comfort for the intellectually dormant.

Soft censorship?



 How is that censorship? Censorship is a professor saying "I was going to discuss  the holocaust, but I'm not allowed to talk about it." Trigger warnings means the professor says "Fair warning, we're going to be discussing the holocaust today." It's not even similar.

 It is salutary that academia, with its adversarial stance toward limited government and cultural common sense, is making itself ludicrous

You don't find it just a teensy bit ironic that someone who uses words like "salutary" "adversarial" and "ludicrous" is down on academia? 
Well, maybe not so much ironic as intellectually dishonest, or mendacious. Even prevaricative. (see, I can use big words, too. Doesn't make me any more correct.)

 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. 

Yeah, serves them right! Now they're gonna have, um. . . less sexual assault? I guess?
 Um, that'll teach 'em?