Dear Susan Patton, Princeton University faculty are not on your side.
Specifically, the faculty were calling out Patton, a Princeton alumna, for advising women to avoid getting drunk or dressing provocatively as a way to prevent rape and sexual assault:
[W]e wish to inform the students on this campus that we do not believe that their manner of dress or drinking behavior makes them responsible for unwanted sexual contact. It is extremely important that individuals of all genders on a college campus feel comfortable reaching out for help. We, the undersigned faculty, stand behind victims of sexual assault and want them to know that our campus is a place where they have a voice, where they will not be made to feel responsible and where they can find support and justice.
Patton first gained national attention as the "Princeton Mom" when she wrote a letter to the Daily Princetonian advising women to find a husband while they're in college (maybe even her own Princeton sons). She attracted even more outrage with the release of her new book, "Marry Smart," where she chastises intoxicated rape victims.
"If you are too drunk to speak, then you may be incapable of saying no or warding off unwanted advances. And then it's all on you," Patton writes, with a disclaimer, "Please spare me your 'blaming the victim' outrage."
When asked about the comment by the Daily Princetonian, Patton responded:
The reason is, she is the one most likely to be harmed, so she is the one that needs to take control of the situation. She is that one that needs to take responsibility for herself and for her own safety, and simply not allow herself to come to a point where she is no longer capable of protecting her physical self. The analogy that I would give you is: If you cross the street without looking both ways and a car jumps the light or isn’t paying attention, and you get hit by a car — as a woman or as anybody — and you say, ‘Well I had a green light,’ well yes you did have a green light but that wasn’t enough. So in the same way, a woman who is going to say, ‘Well the man should have recognized that I was drunk and not pushed me beyond the level at which I was happy to engage with him,’ well, you didn’t look both ways. I mean yes, you’re right, a man should act better, men should be more respectful of women, but in the absence of that, and regardless of whether they are or are not, women must take care of themselves.
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