Poor George (Will). Poor misunderstood George. He wants us to know that he really really really takes rape so seriously that he’s opposed to “jerry built” campus processes and procedures in place to deal with it. [TPM]
Here’s his first major point:
“What I say is that: A) I take sexual assault more seriously than I think they do, because I agree that society has correctly said that rape is second only to murder as a serious felony,” Will said. “And therefore, when someone is accused of rape, it should be reported to the criminal justice system that knows how to deal with this, not jerry-built, improvised campus processes.” [TPM]
Where to begin? (1) Sexual assault is a category of criminal activities which includes rape. See NRS 200.364. It may also include crimes like lewdness with a child. This leads us to the next (2) point — University of Nevada campus police officers are ” certified under the laws of the State of Nevada. They perform the same function as officers from city, county and state agencies – enforcing all local, state and federal laws and ordinances within the jurisdiction of the University of Nevada, Reno.” [UNR] The meaning of all this is simple — report a rape on campus and a law enforcement official — not some ‘jerry built’ system is supposed to respond. Perhaps Mr. Will remembers college differently than the rest of us. However, he has one more big point to make:
“Second, I take, I think, sexual assault somewhat more seriously than the senators do because I think there’s a danger now of defining sexual assault so broadly, so capaciously, that it begins to trivialize the seriousness of it,” he added. “When remarks become sexual assault, improper touching — bad, shouldn’t be done, but it’s not sexual assault.” [TPM]
It isn’t? This is not for Mr. Will to determine. In the case of the University of Nevada campus in Reno there is nothing trivial about the definition of sexual harassment:
“No employee or student, either in the workplace or in the academic environment, should be subject to unwelcome verbal or physical conduct that is sexual in nature. Sexual harassment does not refer to occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature. It refers to behavior of a sexual nature that is not welcome, that is personally offensive, and that interferes with performance. [UNRedu]
UNLV’s policy [UNLV pdf] on rape and sexual harassment might be an instructive piece of reading for Mr. Will. Far from “capacious” or “trivializing” the policy is a straightforward discussion, including definitions of specific terms such as assault, stalking, rape, etc.
This should be about the time for someone to remind Mr. Will of the old saw — when in a hole stop digging. No amount of intellectualizing, hypothesizing, or rationalizing is going to make his comments sound any better than in their original form.
Actually, Mr. Will has had several reminders, from an ob/gyn, from columnists who have shredded his assumptions, and from the St. Louis Post Dispatch which dropped his column. The saddest part of the entire mess into which Mr. Will has inserted himself is that his arguments are based on little more than the old “Boys will be Boys,” and “She asked for it” canards.
It’s 2014. We don’t need any more recitations of why those two assumptions are devoid of any substance, and equally lacking in intellectual honesty. Smugness doth not righteousness bestow, and ersatz intellectual rationalizations do not support reasoned discussions.
Mr. Will has officially joined the Rush Limbaugh school of gender relations in which women are “subject” to men, women are the “lesser half,” and women who don’t care for this situation are ‘phony victims’ or worse… it’s a trap.