This week in stupid, men are lamenting that they are expected to make sure they aren't raping people.
Chris Herries, a senior at Stanford University, complained to Bloomberg News that the burden is on men to not rape.
There's an assumption female students shouldn't avoid drunkenness or risky behaviors, Herries said, before offering this gem of a comparison: "Do I deserve to have my bike stolen if I leave it unlocked on the quad? We have to encourage people not to take on undue risk."
Rape is not like stealing a bike. Women -- or men, for that matter -- do not have a responsibility to "lock themselves up" to avoid rape.
This is coming from a student at an elite university. One that is criticized for punishing a student it finds guilty of sexual assault with a forced "gap year." But that's besides the point. It's a comment from a student in California, which is currently considering a new law requiring colleges to adopt affirmative consent standards when dealing with sexual assault. It's part of a growing trend shifting from "no means no," to "only yes means yes."
Now that we've cleared up that sexual assault is not like stealing a bike, let's look at other things that are not like rape.
"If two drunk drivers are in a collision, one doesn't determine fault on the basis of demographic details such as each driver's sex. But when two drunken college students 'collide,' the male one is almost always presumed to be at fault," Taranto wrote.
Both drunk driving and rape are against the law. We'd suggest a woman has a right not to be raped, and no one has a right to drive a car. Also, a person's body is not a car.
University of North Carolina graduate Annie Clark filed a federal complaint against her alma mater reporting a school official had commented to her, "Rape is like football, if you look back on the game, and you're the quarterback, Annie... is there anything you would have done differently?"
Rape is not like a football game. Football games are potentially fun activities played by people who enjoy the sport. Rape is a violent crime.
Michigan Right to Life President Barbara Listing said forcing women to purchase extra insurance to cover abortion in the cases of rape or incest was just like car insurance. "It's simply, like, nobody plans to have an accident in a car accident, nobody plans to have their homes flooded. You have to buy extra insurance for those," Listing told reporters.
Ugh, again with the car accidents?!
Women's bodies are far different than cars. Cars don't produce babies.
Katie Landry looked for help at her college, Bob Jones University, after being raped. A dean told her, "We have to find the sin in your life that caused your rape." Another student at BJU was told by a school official that her PTSD from her rape was her "own fault, because you're choosing to replay pornographic thoughts in your mind." That second student was told to call her rapist and ask for forgiveness.
In 1990, Texas gubernatorial candidate Clayton Williams compared cold, foggy weather spoiling an event to rape, stating, "If it's inevitable, just relax and enjoy it."
Oh, God, no!
Ann Richards, a state treasurer at the time and eventual Texas governor responded thusly: "Rape is a crime of violence."
When Lawrence Lockman, a Republican lawmaker in Maine, was part of the Pro Life Education Association he compared abortion to rape, stating, "If a woman has [the right to an abortion], why shouldn't a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman? At least the rapist's pursuit of sexual freedom doesn't [in most cases] result in anyone's death."
Rape is not like an abortion. It just isn't. Which is only part of the reason why the U.S. Supreme Court has stated a woman has a right to an abortion, but has not said the same about men and rape.
Bottom line: Rape is rape. There is no "legitimate rape." There is no reason to compare rape to car accidents, stealing bikes or bad weather. If you find yourself questioning whether the comparison you're about to make with rape is acceptable, it probably isn't. Because ultimately, no one understands what it's like to experience sexual assault other than a survivor of one.