[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE, SEXUAL ASSAULT, RAPE APOLOGY]
Over a year ago, when I was still regularly posting on my old blog (which I am no longer proud of because I was not as educated back then), I wrote a piece called Fuck You, FIRE. FIRE stands for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Educations, and, as you might suspect, they're a bunch of fucking libertarian shitbags. And when the extreme issues of sexual assault handling on college campuses started to come to light, they proved themselves to be a bunch of fucking rape apologist shitbags as well.
Here’s why I’m pissed. Here’s why I’m ready to run laps around the headquarters of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education with my middle fingers raised high.
They give all the fucks about a student’s right to freedom of speech. They’re all with the hand wringing about the guy who’s afraid to ask a girl out on a date because she might for some reason report him and then he’ll be in a file.
Here’s my question.
Where in the fuck are all of their fucks about the victims of harassment?
FIRE was very concerned about the voluntary resolution agreement forged between the federal government and a single university about sexual harassment on campus because it might "chill" free speech (read: make harassers afraid to harass women). Oh no. How terrible for them.
And of course it was a bunch of fucking white dudes writing about this, so they predictably failed to take into account the rights of female students who just want to get an education without desperate creepy college boys stalking them.
I wrote quite a long rant about it, and it even got the attention of someone from FIRE (maybe two), who tried to defend the organization but only made them seem worse. At that point, I was pretty sure it was an organization of rape apologists who don't give a fuck about women.
Now I know for sure!
Not only because they are taking up the case of a male college student who was found guilty of sexually assaulting an intoxicated woman on campus by the University, but they published documents that they were not supposed to publish because they contained the identities of witnesses!
AND NOW THIS HAS HAPPENED:
"According to the Huffington Post, the female witness, who requested anonymity out of fear of being subject to more harassment and threats, was sent emails from a stranger in Missouri threatening her safety and calling her a liar."
Don't even try to act like you give a fuck about the victim, or women at all. If you did, you would have taken steps to hide the names of witnesses who obviously would be targets for harassment, threats, and possibly worse. Nope, you guys only give a fuck about the rights of male students to get away with harassing, assaulting, and raping women without having to worry about even the slightest punishment. This guy doesn't even have to worry about criminal charges. All he has to do is apply to another school. Considering how little colleges seem to care about sexual violence, he shouldn't have much trouble.
But instead, FIRE is going to help a rapist sue the University. No concern for the rights of safety for students, as usual. Only the rights that FIRE happens to care about (which just happen to be the ones that let rapists walk free so that victims have to leave school).
"The alleged attacker is being supported by civil rights attorneys from FIRE, who have previously fought to protect First Amendment freedoms including actions such as protests, sit-ins and assemblies at America's colleges and universities. The lawsuit claims that the case resulting in Doe's expulsion didn't grant him due process under the law."
Their problem is that "both students were intoxicated," despite evidence that the victim was the one who was clearly too intoxicated to consent. Basically, they're supporting the rape apologist, rape culture-supporting idea that sexual assault is just an accidental thing that happens when people get drunk, and that women "cry rape" in situations where they're both equally intoxicated. The rest of us know that this is not how it works. Rapists target, pursue and manipulate victims deliberately, using alcohol as an excuse to say it wasn't rape because they know it works. And they know it works because of people like the ones involved with FIRE who will literally spend their money to give rapists free support so that future rapists can be assured that they can rape with impunity.
Not to mention publishing the names of witnesses by doing shit that's against school policy and was expressly forbidden on the website they got it from, making said witnesses vulnerable to violence WHICH WILL MAKE FUTURE WITNESSES MORE HESITANT TO COME FORWARD.
Well done, FIRE. A+ rape culture enforcing.
Honestly, why not just change your name to the Foundation for Inspiring Rape in Education? Seems more apt.
Oh, and then this, from HuffPo:
"Robert Shibley, FIRE senior vice president, declined to remove the investigator's report from his group's website for the same reason he supported the judge's denial for sealing portions of the lawsuit. "The public interest lies in transparency, especially when the charge is so serious and the procedure is as flawed and unjust as it was in this case," Shibley said in an email to HuffPost.
'I am sorry to hear that people are allegedly being harassed for their involvement in the Occidental case,' Shibley said. 'As should be obvious, FIRE is in no way responsible for such activity and neither encourages nor facilitates such activity.'"
So not only did you put the witnesses in danger, you refuse to STOP putting the witnesses in danger. Because something about transparency. How the fuck does publishing the names of the witnesses help with transparency, FIRE? How? You omitted the name of the victim. You omitted the name of the rapist. We don't get to know his name in order to protect ourselves from him. But somehow publishing the witnesses names is necessary for "transparency," which is apparently more important than you to the safety of the witnesses and refraining from discouraging witness reports on rape cases in the future.
Seriously, fuck you guys. I hate you so much. I was so right about you. You're a bunch of fucking rape apologists who are dedicated to upholding rape culture and ensuring that women continue to be raped on campus at a rate of 1 in 4. What, are you secretly run by bitter MRAs?
But congratulations for becoming a symbol for rape culture and all it stands for. You are the reason why so many women and other people suffer from something so deeply traumatic that you could not possibly imagine it. I hope you guys can sleep at night.
There aren't enough middle finger gifs on the entire Internet to express my contempt, but I'll do my best.