In Response to October’s Sex on the Hill article:

letter-to-the-editor

“Sex on the Hill”

Way to blame the victim, McDaniel Free Press!

All sarcasm aside, I felt insulted by this piece not only as a woman but also as a human being. By the tone and information being relayed in this article you inadvertently tell victims of rape that reporting the assault will get them no where. Victims of sexual assault are already in a mental state of helplessness, by turning their suffering into a long-winded pun (since when was a sexual pun an appropriate approach to the topic of rape?) you are undermining the seriousness of their fight to regain their sense of self and trust in others. The author of this article places blame on the victims rather than their attackers by implying that the rape was a result of putting her/himself in a sexual situation to begin with. If you talk to any counselor or expert on the subject of sexual assault this is the absolute worst thing you can say to a rape victim to help them recover and begin the healing process. While I believe that the author was attempting to raise student awareness of the frequency that sexual assault occur, the way the information regarding prosecution was presented made reporting the crime seem futile and taxing for the victim. On another, more dangerous and upsetting note, the same presentation of the numbers made it seem that rape was a crime that could easily go unpunished. This is something that I do not believe this school should be endorsing. Not only does this article make a run on joke out of the serious subject of rape, but it also offers no resources to victims who may be looking for help. Instead of offering numbers and/or websites for on-campus or off-campus councilors, rape-crisis centers, or police departments the article just reinforces the helplessness of a victim’s situation. I was appalled by the attitude of the campus safety officer who was quoted in the article. The officer’s apparent apathy to the steps that need to be taken in order to punish the attacker was alarming. As a woman on this campus I feel more endangered than ever knowing that an attack on myself or any other female on this campus would simply be “too much work” for campus safety to handle efficiently and properly to prosecute. That is their job, and if they are unable to protect the students on this campus due to laziness, there are even more serious problems on this campus than I previously thought. Sex is not something we as adults should be fearful of, and treating us as uneducated children when it comes to the topic of sexual relationships is not the proper way to address rape. Rape is never the fault of the victim, and while yes, becoming more aware of the rules of consent can be a preventative measure against future assaults, it is not the most important way of ensuring student safety. Telling the victim there is no hope in reporting the crime, attempting to lighten up the topic with “humor” and implying that sex is an innately dangerous activity are all horrible pieces of advice to give to anyone, victim or not. I cannot believe this piece of “writing” made it to publication without being screened out by an editor. Why not talk about the publicity surrounding the recent suicides of gay teens due to bullying across the country, and addressing the dangers of sexual harassment instead of filling space with this article which clearly has no direction or right being published in an institution of higher learning?

2 Comments on "In Response to October’s Sex on the Hill article:"

  1. Good response

  2. derrickwoolfson | March 4, 2011 at 11:58 pm |

    Its unfortunate that the emotional statement made in this letter missed the point of the original story. The previous article iterated that rape is not something that is easy to define, not that rape is acceptable. Second, it is important to understand and take the responsibility on both ends to ensure that the sex will be consensual.

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