Monday, April 28, 2014

A Biased Snapshot of Campus Rape: Rod Dreher Opines

Lawyers, Gun and Money discusses  Rod Dreher's conservative ideas about why Swarthmore College has been accused of covering up sexual assaults.  Because Dreher is a conservative, what's wrong at Swarthmore College are bad liberal values.  Obviously.

That Dartmouth College, the alma mater of so many famous conservative pundits, has been in the news recently for apparently having a big problem with college rapes  and for not doing enough about them is not mentioned in Dreher's article, because he is taking biased snapshots.

Indeed, Dartmouth, and many other colleges of various political stripes (even, or perhaps especially,  religious colleges), have been accused of very similar things as Swarthmore:

Dartmouth is currently under federal investigation for potential violations of Title IX, the federal gender equity law that requires universities to ensure a safe learning environment for students. A group of Dartmouth students and alumni have also filed a Clery Act complaint alleging that administrators have failed to accurately report incidences of sexual violence and hazing on campus.
Thus, Mr. Dreher picks a case and addresses it, assuming that the specific aspects of Swarthmore College explain what might be happening there, when in reality the problem is independent of the political or religious stance of a college.

This is worth writing about.  If all you read is the American Conservative (where Dreher lives), what's your take-home message from his piece?

That mishandling sexual assault cases is caused by the liberals, because anyone who would put men and women in coed dorms is asking for trouble.  He writes:

If her account is true, then yes, it was rape. But come on: what do you expect from a culture that brings together college-age men and women, and puts almost all of them in co-ed dorms? What do you expect from a culture that values casual hook-up sex … until suddenly, it doesn’t? Believe me, I’m not excusing what this guy allegedly did. If that were my daughter, I would be raising hell with the school (and if that were my son, I would be raising hell with him).

Hilarious stuff, partly, because Dreher appears to agree with those extreme Islamists who want absolute gender segregation everywhere, forever, lest men get too excited by a pair of eyelashes or a fetching ankle.  Because we all know that men can't control themselves when it comes to sex.

That was sarcasm, though my basic point stands:  At what age does Dreher think men and women are mature enough to be able to live in the same building or work together etc.?

Then there are the opposite facts.  Fraternities, by definition single sex arrangements, are notorious for "hookup" culture or something worse:  seeing women as prey.  Here's one example of emails sent among a fraternity which no longer had official connection with the university.   I could make a pretty strong case that it's single-sex dorm arrangements which might contribute to the view of women as delicious prey or the other side in the sexual gimme wars, whereas coed dorms could teach people about other people as individuals.

But wait, there's more!  At the end of his piece Dreher links to an article by a woman who wrote about her son's treatment as one who was unfairly accused of rape.  The point is that colleges are dominated by rabid feminists, that every accusation leads to punishment and so on.

Dreher does not link to this article, or this article, or this article.   This article is too recent for him to have found, but it's worth adding, too.

What you are supposed to take home from Dreher's piece is that liberals cause sexual assault at colleges, that sexual assault is a natural outcome of letting the genders to mingle (though rape is naturally wrong even though natural) and that the big problems with how colleges handle sexual assault accusations are false accusations and colleges managed by feminazis with hairy armpits.

I so envy his life in that alternate reality where a writer starts from the conclusions (even when they are internally inconsistent) and then wades backwards to find the data in a cherry-picking style.  What wonderful stories I could write?