This post is lengthier than usual, but also more important than usual. It should enrage men and women of good will because it goes to the heart of the battle we are waging. It's about the retelling of a vile feminist slander of an entire gender, a slander that is repeated with mind-numbing frequency and far too little challenge. It was retold again last week by the Valedictorian of a major university in her address to the graduating class. This slander, promulgated by those who wallow in a tar pit of victimhood, unnecessarily foments gender division, not to mention the false rape culture that we find ourselves stranded in.
In her Valedictorian address to the 2009 graduating class of UC Berkeley, Emma Shaw Crane, 23, said this: "Even here, this university, one in three women will be sexually assaulted by someone else at this university. And I see this as evidence that violence is systemic and there is no way to guarantee our own safety as long as other people are positioned as worthless and left vulnerable."
By insisting, without any supporting authority beyond her serene ipse dixit, that rape is rampant at UC Berkeley, the young Valedictorian was merely parroting an untruth that feminists around the world recite without the slightest thought or hesitation every day. If a similar lie were told about any other group aside from males, there would be protests and calls for Ms. Crane to apologize and to forfeit her University honors. But slandering males about rape -- and any number of other things -- is not only acceptable, it is downright politically correct.
The one-in-three, four, five etc. moving target.
One of the more fascinating, not to mention frightening, realities about the feminist canard that "one-in-_______ women are raped" is that the number is a moving target. Some feminists insist that one-in-three women in their lifetimes are raped; most tell us it's one-in-four; many tell us it's one-in-four college women; some tell us it's one-in-four Freshmen college women before Thanksgiving break; some tell us it's one-in-six women in general; some tell us it's one-in-seven women in general. And I could go on and on, but you get the point. Pick a single digit number and you'll find some "support" for it among the politicized purveyors of misandry in the rape industry. It doesn't seem to bother these zealots that they can't even get their stories straight. Nor do they seem to notice that that there is one hell of a difference between one-in-three women overall and one-in-four college women before Thanksgiving and one-in-seven women overall. But, hey, why allow critical thinking to get in the way of a good feminist victim metanarrative?
One-in-whatever is a lie that manages to insult two genders at once.
In any event, this lie -- expressed with seemingly infinite invention -- wildly inflates the prevalence of rape beyond any semblance of fact. It is nothing more than a modern day "Chicken Little" fable, but instead of yelling "The sky is falling!" the hysterical mantra of these politically correct fear mongers is that "All men are potential rapists!"
Ms. Crane's claim that one-in-three Berkeley women are raped during their stay at the school accomplishes the seemingly impossible task of insulting two genders at once. It insults men, of course, because it unfairly suggests that the male gender is not just inherently but deeply and likely fatally flawed because it is populated by a staggering number of rapists. It also insults women because it suggests that they not only are utterly defenseless and in need of extraordinary protections from men but that virtually every woman who is raped is either too stupid or too weak even to report it.
So, 6,300 UC Berkeley women are being raped?
Let us briefly examine the facts surrounding Ms. Crane's claim to demonstrate that it isn't just implausible, it is downright other-worldly. We'll use rough numbers for the sake of simplicity. In 2008, there were approximately 35,000 undergraduate and post-graduate students at UC Berkeley -- approximately 54% of whom were female, or roughly 18,900. Thus, according to Ms. Crane, approximately 6,300 women (one out of three) will be sexually assaulted during their stay at UC Berkely by "someone else at this University."
Did you get that? 6,300 UC Berkeley women will be subjected to the worst felony on our criminal books aside from murder.
Only seven rapes are reported on campus every year -- roughly 28 over four years -- contrasted with the 6,300 rapes that one-in-three would yield.
How does this astonishing number compare with actual reports of alleged rapes at UC Berkeley? Let us just say that to get to the number Ms. Crane posits would require underreporting of Biblical proportions; in fact, it wouldn't be fair to call it "underreporting" -- it would be the greatest cover-up in the history of the world. Here is why: in 2007, there were just seven reported rapes on the campus of UC Berkeley, an increase over the two previous years. (By way of contrast, there were 89 reports of burglary in 2007.) Of those seven reported rapes, there were two arrests, and only one of the persons arrested was a student or affiliated with the school. Even assuming that all seven reports of rape were actual rapes (and that is extremely unlikely), and that the average woman on campus will be a UC Berkeley student for four years (also unlikely, even taking into account those undergraduate women who stay on at UC Berkeley as graduate students), and not even bothering to take into account the fact of repeat victims (22.8 percent of college rape victims have been victimized before) -- that would mean that roughly 28 women would report their rapes during their stay at UC Berkeley.
That's 28 reported rapes, as opposed to the 6,300 supposedly actual rapes Ms. Crane posits.
That means, according to Ms. Crane, that only .004444 percent of all women who are actually raped will even report it.
Did you get that? Read it again: .004444 percent.
Compare that figure with the figures feminists typically toss out as the rate for underreporting. Not surprisingly, this, too, is a moving target, but feminists often claim that just forty percent of rapes are reported. Others claim that only thirty-three percent are reported. Some claim the number is really sixteen percent.
So, we have Ms. Crane's claim that only .004444 percent of women at UC Berkeley report rape versus traditional feminists' claims of 40 percent. Ms. Crane's figures aren't just a "far cry" from the traditional feminist figures on underreporting, her's are in a different universe altogether -- we might properly call it "Wonderland." Ms. Crane's one-in-three also means that more than 6,270 women will be victims of the most vile felony short of murder -- and won't even report it, much less see justice served.
What would 6,300 campus rapes mean in the real world?
To put this number in a real world context, if one in three women at UC Berkeley were diagnosed with the swine flu, the school would close. "Epidemic" would be too mild a word to describe such a calamity. So why hasn't the school closed in the wake of this one-in-three crime wave?
Moreover, would any parent ask his or her college-age daughter to run an errand to the store knowing there was a one-in-three chance she would be raped along the way? The question scarcely survives its statement. Yet, Ms. Crane would have us believe that parents eagerly pay for their their daughters to attend a place where the odds that the young women will be defiled are only slightly less than the odds that a young female character in a torture-horror film will be brutally murdered.
In fact, the one-in-three number is a lie, as in the one-in-four, or anything close to it. Everyone who has seriously examined this issue knows that these numbers are reached by studies that query women and count as "rape" certain male conduct that is legally and by any reasonable measure not rape. These studies have also been known to disregard the respondents' own conclusions about the male conduct in question. Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers traced these "one in four" claims to their baseless and disingenuous origins and demonstrated beyond any legitimate dispute that the politicized studies, gussied up as scientific research, should be rejected as lacking credibility. Heather MacDonald put these studies in perspective: "If the one-in-four statistic is correct . . . campus rape represents a crime wave of unprecedented proportions. No crime, much less one as serious as rape, has a victimization rate remotely approaching 20 or 25 percent, even over many years. The 2006 violent crime rate in Detroit, one of the most violent cities in America, was 2,400 murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults per 100,000 inhabitants—a rate of 2.4 percent. The one-in-four statistic would mean that every year, millions of young women graduate who have suffered the most terrifying assault, short of murder, that a woman can experience. Such a crime wave would require nothing less than a state of emergency—Take Back the Night rallies and 24-hour hotlines would hardly be adequate to counter this tsunami of sexual violence. Admissions policies letting in tens of thousands of vicious criminals would require a complete revision, perhaps banning boys entirely. The nation’s nearly 10 million female undergrads would need to take the most stringent safety precautions. Certainly, they would have to alter their sexual behavior radically to avoid falling prey to the rape epidemic."
Young men: an epidemic of rapists.
And what about the young men? You know, the vile sexual predators who lurk about on campus? If Ms. Crane's numbers were correct, what would that mean for them? Using the same rough numbers we used above, there are approximately 16,100 male students at UC Berkeley. We won't even bother taking into account repeat victims (which would jack up the number of male offenders), but we will assume a certain level of repeat offenders among rapists, since this will lower the number of male offenders. "It is unknown how many college rapists are repeat offenders. . . . One study found that 96 college men accounted for 187 rapes . . . ." See here. For the sake of simplicity, we'll assume roughly two victims for every rapist.
This means that roughly -- and conservatively -- 2,680 young male Berkeley students are rapists during their stay at Berkeley. A full-blown, careful examination of the one-in-three canard would make that number greater. But consider 2,680 rapists, as opposed to the fourteen (or likely fewer) reported rapists based on the actual campus reports of rapes (remember, there would be 28 actual rape reports and roughly two rapes for every rapist).
This means that if justice prevailed, 2,680 young men would not only be expelled, they would be serving lengthy prison terms and thereafter forced to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives. Their lives would be fairly destroyed. This means you could walk into any class on campus and one out of every six males wouldn't be there -- they'd be in prison. In a large class where there were 100 males, 17 would be in prison. Did you get that? 17. If the school's baseball team had a roster of 25 men, a number equivalent to the entire infield would be in prison. As Heather MacDonald said, university admissions offices would need to think about banning males altogether -- it would be too dangerous for women to have peers with penises walking among them. At best every young male would need to be shackled like an animal as he walked in the presence of young women.
We could also extrapolate from the aforementioned numbers to show how society would be forced to double the number of existing prisons -- existing prisons would be overflowing with young, white males serving significant sentences. Many of these vulnerable men would themselves become rape victims behind bars -- because that's who prison rapists target.
What sort of misandrist truly believes that this is even a remotely accurate reflection of reality? The better question is, why didn't the vast majority in the crowd at UC Berkeley's graduation ceremony stand up and protest Ms. Crane's male bashing?
The rape-is-rampant lie foments our false rape culture.
Among its many vile repercussions, and paramount for purposes of this blog, the repeated retelling of this misandric urban myth serves to do two important things:
(1) It trivialize false rape claims by convincing people that false rape claims must be a tiny drop in what must be an ocean of actual rapes. Thus, with all these rapes that must be occurring, we need to tolerate false rape claims in order to battle the greater evil, rape itself.
(2) It gives instant plausibility to every false rape claim -- the accusation must be true because, after all, rape is rampant.
It is well to remember one important fact. The lie of rampant rape has not been promulgated by a conspiracy of college women. It is promulgated by the rape industry and the feminist elite, and the student body as a whole is not sold on it. As Heather MacDonald explained: "One group on campus isn’t buying the politics of the campus 'rape' movement, however: students. To the despair of rape industrialists everywhere, students have held on to the view that women usually have considerable power to determine whether a campus social event ends with intercourse."
Ms. Crane also noted this in her speech: "We can choose to look away, but that looking away compromises the heart of what it means to be human." Moreover, in describing Ms. Crane's Valedictorian address, the on-line UC Berkely news said: "Emma Shaw Crane, the 2009 University Medalist, called on her fellow graduates not to settle for comfort and privilege, but to call out the injustices around them and work to make the world and the neighborhood a better place."
We know what we must do: we must not look away; we must call them on their lies, and demonstrate the injustice of what they preach, and its utter, contemptible absurdity. The hour of triumph for the liars will only end when we spread the truth.