The University of Massachusetts-Amherst student paper, the Daily Collegian, has issued an apology for running a column that states that some victims of rape should be held responsibility for being attacked, reports the Boston Globe.
Columnist Yevgeniya Lomakina has been fired in the controversy's wake. In her Feb. 28 column, titled "Planned Parenthood Can't Treat A Sick Society," she defended the proposed de-funding of Planned Parenthood by taking a blame-the-victim stance on sexual assault:
If a young woman wears a promiscuous outfit to a party, then proceeds to drink and flirt excessively, she should not blame men for her downfall. She made a decision to dress a certain way, to consume alcohol and should be prepared to deal with the consequences. Far from being a victim of rape, she is a victim of her own choices.
The column received scads of angry comments and was taken down, only to be restored with an editor's note explaining the Collegian staff's decision to repost the content and their desire to regain the trust of their readers.
In a letter of apology posted March 1, editor-in-chief Nick Bush called Lomakina's article "offensive and inaccurate" and that Lomakina had been fired from the paper.
The Boston Globe reports that Collegian night editor Hannah McGoldrick has been let go in relation to the incident.
For her part, Lomakina believes that her piece was edited in a way which led to possible misunderstandings of her meaning.
"There must be a distinction made between voluntary sexual activity and forced sexual activity,'' she told the Globe. "There are a number of cases where at the time of the event, women consent to sexual activity. However, later, they regret it and accuse their partner of rape.''
What do you think of this controversy? Should Lomakina have been fired for her explosive column? Share your reactions in the comments section.