Week before last, we dropped in to speak with Political Science Department Chairman Barry McCormick about a different matter, and were told he had something unpleasant to discuss.
It seems that Marquette has a whistle blowing website (Ethics Point
) designed mostly to let employees rat out people who have been stealing money from Marquette, and such.
But somebody had complained that we said something that was “demeaning to rape victims.”
What in the world could be the basis of this?
What do we say about rape in our classes?Debunking Feminist Rape Claims
We deal with the issue in our introductory American Politics class in the context of media bias, and how one can recognize media bias when the media accept bogus and inflated numbers as factual. This was the case in the 1970s with regard to the number of combat divisions the Warsaw Pact had threatening Western Europe, and in the 1980s with the number of homeless people in the U.S.
Then we get to a more contemporary example: one that the students have almost certainly been subjected to as part of their university indoctrination: the idea that 25% of all college women are victims of “date rape.”The number is absurdly inflated
. We point out that in the study most widely quoted (the Koss study) 73% of the women categorized as having been “raped” by a feminist researcher didn’t interpret what happened to them as rape. Indeed, 42% had intercourse again with the guy who supposedly raped them.
(Our analysis of another campus rape study is here
What is happening here? Feminists are defining rape far too broadly. Ambiguous sexual encounters, often fueled by alcohol, are defined as “rape” by feminist researchers, but not defined that way by purported victims.
We point out that feminists insist that if a woman consents to sex under the influence of alcohol, she has been raped.
(Feminists have gotten this definition written into law, a fact that helps women not at all, since these kinds of sexual encounters are virtually never reported to police and even less frequently prosecuted.)
Often, some guy who hasn’t yet learned that, in academia, he’s not supposed to question any feminist claim, will raise his hand in our class and ask “suppose the guy has been drinking too? Why didn’t she rape him?”
We always respond, sarcastically “you’ve got to look at this from the feminist point of view. Males are the oppressor class, and women the victim class. So of course the guy is responsible.”
We typically add “if you wake up in the morning and ask ‘what in the world did I do?’ you haven’t been raped. If you’ve been raped you feel violated. If it requires a feminist political activist to explain to you how what happened was rape, you weren’t raped.”
This past semester we piled on a bit by pointing out to our class that “this is yet another issue, like abortion, where academic feminists simply don’t think like real women in the real world.”Marquette Responds
Upon hearing from McCormick about the charges, we contacted a lawyer we know – one who loves to sue Marquette – and were advised that we had a right to see the precise charges against us. We conveyed this to McCormick, and just yesterday he got back to us with this:
[T]he Provost [John Pauly] . . . presses me to move forward on the response to the Ethics Point complaint in a timely manner. University Counsel has determined that you may read the text of the complaint, but that I should not give a copy of the complaint to you.
So we meet with McCormick at 2:00 p.m. today. We will report on how the meeting goes.
That we should ever be required to defend to university bureaucrats what we say in class is a gross violation of academic freedom. Faculty have a right to disagree with any political movement – including feminists. And social science faculty have a right to debunk bogus social science statistics.
But this is Marquette in 2011. Timid bureaucrats are unwilling to defend the notion that faculty have a right to say things that feminists don’t like.[Later, after the 2:00 p.m. meeting]
The meeting was a bit dull, with McCormick insisting that the only purpose was to get our story on what happened. This was simple, since our blog post contained everything we say about rape in class, virtually verbatim.
We did get to look at the student’s complaint, and it roughly accurately recounted what we said, then went into a rant about how rape is a serious problem on campus, and thus we were engaging in “harassment based on gender.” Apparently, in the mind of this feminist, you are “harassing” women if you refuse to accept bogus and inflated statistics on rape. She rhapsodized about a dorm that put out blue ribbons to oppose rape, but didn’t explain how that justifies lying about the incidence of rape.
McCormick admitted that this Ethics Point
site had never been used before to register a complaint about what a professor said in class. In essence, the university is making this up as it goes along.
But the complaint should have been dismissed immediately. Taking the complaint absolutely at face value, we did nothing but disagree with feminist claims about date rape, something clearly protected by the canons of academic freedom.
We will, of course, say exactly
the same things about rape when we teach the same class next semester.
In a properly run university, some administrator would sit this prissy little feminist down and explain to her “this is a university, you are going to hear things you disagree with. Live with it.” But a timid administration, used to genuflecting to all the demands of political correctness, will never do that.
Labels: Academic Freedom, Barrett McCormick, Barry McCormick, Date Rape, Feminism, Feminist Intolerance, John Pauly