Monday, November 2, 2015

Rape Culture is Everywhere

[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE, SEXUAL ASSAULT, CAMPUS RAPE, RAPE APOLOGIA, PTSD]

I was extremely disappointed to see this article about the college from which I graduated:

Students decry WWU sexual assault reporting process; investigation underway

Part of the reason I chose to go to Western was the lack of a Greek system. No fraternities. No place for toxic, gross men to gather and create a perfect storm of male entitlement and machismo. Little football culture, too. The football team was actually eliminated while I was there.

But a lack of frats and football players doesn't make a college safe for women. I was never engaged in the party aspect of college, being too terrified of what I knew happened far too often at college parties. Because of this, I had a very sheltered experience and was able to maintain the illusion that Western was safe, unlike other colleges. But even this liberal-as-fuck college is part of rape culture. And now it's part of the over 100 colleges in the U.S. being investigated by the federal Department of Education for failure to meet Title IX requirements specifically in how it handles sexual assault on its campus.

My friends from Western say they are not surprised. Now I am disturbed as all hell. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised. But neither am I surprised that I'm surprised, because sometimes denial is all that keeps me going.

The article paints a picture of a college that doesn't give all that much of a fuck about rape victims. Remember how I sometimes call it "nobody cares about rape" culture? Western has fucked up so hard. They managed to let a victim and her assailant end up in the same class even though they had issued a no-contact order. They appear to regularly find that no "misconduct" took place when all they seem to do is interview both parties. They ask questions that should not be asked in a sexual assault case. They wouldn't give victims reasons for denying requests for no-contact orders until they were forced to by law.

I've received a lot of letters and emails from Western in their attempt to get me to donate money to the school even though I haven't yet paid off my fucking student loans. I think it's time I wrote them back, and I think I know what I'm going to say.



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