Thursday, April 17, 2014


Here's a story from The Washington Post:
Dartmouth College's president lamented Wednesday that the Ivy League school's promising future "is being hijacked by extreme behavior," including sex assaults, parties with "racist and sexist undertones," and a campus culture in which "dangerous drinking has become the rule and not the exception."

Philip J. Hanlon, a Dartmouth alumnus who took office in June, said such problems were taking a toll on the image of the 245-year-old college in Hanover, N.H....
The reaction to this from Power Line's Steven Hayward is that the problem is all a figment of lying liberals' imagination -- or is it that the problem is real, but is all liberals' fault? Hey, it's his blog -- why does he have to choose? Both answers are true!

First: it's all a myth spread by lying liberals.
Hanlon is implicitly siding with the current rage about "rape culture" on campus. Some conservatives have questioned the general statistic that even President Obama has cited that one out of five women experiences rape in their college years.
And if Obama says it, you know it's a lie!

Then comes the 180: What Hanlon says isn't a lie after all, but everything he's citing is liberals' fault:
Leaving aside this quarrel, allow me to suggest that Hanlon and the feminists are actually right about a larger point: college campuses currently tolerate -- indeed actually encourage -- a predatory climate toward women in which there is enormous social pressure to have sex, and are permissive about massive alcohol use by undergraduates whose chief purpose is to undermine inhibitions.
I love the notion that colleges currently "are permissive about massive alcohol use by undergraduates." You mean currently as in for about a century?

But there's more. Did you know that rape only happens in climates of liberalism?
Step back and note something obviously out of whack with this whole controversy. It is said that college campuses are the prime venue of "rape culture." But most college campuses are run by liberals, and liberalism and its correlates -- maximum individual liberation in all things sexual -- is the dominant orthodoxy.
Um, you know where else there's a rape crisis? In the military. Is the military "run by liberals"? Is it a culture that encourages "maximum individual liberation"?

Why is this problem ostensibly most severe where liberalism reigns? Perhaps for the same reason that poverty and social dysfunction are worst where liberalism reigns supreme (Detroit). Hanlon notes a rising number of reported rapes at Dartmouth. He should be embarrassed by this. But he ought to ponder this question: is sexual assault a problem at conservative colleges like Hillsdale, Patrick Henry, Liberty University, or Regent University?
Actually, it is a problem at Patrick Henry, as this recent New Republic story makes abundantly clear. Would we know if it were a problem at the other schools? I'm sure we wouldn't. I'm sure the culture at those schools is a culture that covers up the truth about sexual assault and encourages the women who are attacked to blame themselves -- after all, that's the pattern seen at Patrick Henry. (That may also be true to a disturbing extent at secular schools, but those who are assaulted are much more likely to be exposed to the notion that blaming victims of sexual violence is an outrage.)

So there you have it, according to Power Line. Liberals invented drinking to excess on campus. Rape culture is liberal -- and the belief that rape culture exists (which it doesn't) is also liberal. Got it?


bgn said...

Well, it is Dartmouth, after all.

Victor said...

"Rape" is about as conservative a thing as there is!
The male is dominant, and the woman...
Well, let's leave it at that.

And they should own it.

Glennis said...

My jaw dropped when I read his quote stating that rape isn't a problem at Patrick Henry.

Never Ben Better said...

Projection -- it's all they've got.

Well, that, and fear, anger, envy, bigotry, anti-intellectualism, tribalism, warmongering, greed, selfishness....

aimai said...

This is another example of a conservative ellision of sexual promiscuity and sexual violence. Thats how you get from an accusation of "liberal permissiveness" to "its the fault of liberals that there is rape on campuses." These people see no difference between a woman who decides to have sex outside of marriage and a man who decides to rape women--its all equally wrong in their eyes.

We joke about it a lot but really conservatives do have a problem recognizing consent as a an issue--look at all the pro-waterboarding and pro-torture talk by Rush Limbaugh et al? They did not differentiate at all between "things that are done to you without your consent" and "frat boy escapades."

And how anyone can argue that there is no rape or sexual abuse on Christian College campuses after what has come out about Bill Gothard and Doug Phillips is beyond me. Both of them have been charged and investigated and found guilty of some pretty profound rapes and abuses of the girls under their care and an entire organization GRACE was hired to investigate the epidemic of abuse on Christian College Campuses generally.