Rape Culture

Insensitive Comments get the Boot

WRITTEN BY: Rosilene Taylor
Image Source: UMASS Flicker

How many times have you been involved in, or witnessed, a potential sexual assault? It is probably more times than your brain can even remember because there are not always ‘Straight Forward’ signs of sexual assault. In fact, more often than not, assaults are perpetrated by people that you already know. Classmates, even good buddies, may be taking advantage of someone right in front of your eyes and because they aren’t initially resisting, it seems that what subsequently occurs is consensual. Well, there are numerous times in which it is not and there have been constant debates over the validity and existence of what is being referred to as ‘Rape Culture’. This has been a highly publicized topic of introspection for some time now and it is finally hitting the national eye. Coming to little too late, everyone is taking a closer look, after a Reed College student had been banned from class after denying the very existence of this culture. The student, whose name has been withheld, has argued that the ‘1 out of every 5 women’ rape statistic is ‘BOGUS’. On March 14th, 2015, the student received an e-mail from Professor Pancho Savery, of Reed College, that told him in a direct fashion that he was no longer able to be involved in the “Conference” Section of his Humanities 110 course. The reason given by his professor was that he was making numerous individuals within the class feel uncomfortable and even offended by his statements and feelings of Rape.

The student posted an E-Mail from Savery online, part of which read: “There are several survivors of sexual assault in our conference, and you have made them extremely uncomfortable with what they see as not only your undermining incidents of rape, but of also placing too much emphasis on men being unfairly charged with rape, “[Other students] have said that things you have said in our conference have made them so upset that they have difficulty concentrating in other classes. I, as conference leader, have to do what is best for the well-being of the entire class, and I am therefore banning you from conference for the remainder of the semester.” As with all topics of debate, there are two sides and there are opposing views. This situation is exactly the same, as both the professor and the student have advocates for their moves and positions on the issue. So, if you were in this situation with one of your classes/professors, what would you do?

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