College Senior Tells Rape Apologist* To Stop Blaming The Victim

Remember that hateful Heather MacDonald essay in the Los Angeles Times where the conservative pundit claimed that the oft-quoted statistic that 1 in 4 college women is sexually assaulted was grossly overinflated? Well, today, University of Virginia senior Patrick Cronin takes on MacDonald's screed, which he calls "damaging and demeaning," and counteracts her statistical claims. (Because college women drink so much, MacDonald argues, "most campus 'rape' cases exist in the gray area of seeming cooperation and tacit consent, which is why they are almost never prosecuted criminally.") Cronin fights back with a well-reasoned retort: "If people like MacDonald stigmatize a survivor as a promiscuous, irresponsible alcoholic, is there really much incentive to come forward? And if a victim convinces himself or herself that no assault took place, why use the resources available?" Dayum, skippy!

Heather MacDonald is not the only person who blames rape victims for the crimes committed against them. According to the BBC, a recent survey shows that a quarter of Scots think that a raped woman is partially responsible for her assault. To counteract these misguided folks, Rape Crisis Scotland has produced a series of ads showing a scantily clad female and bearing the slogan "This is not an invitation to rape me." (The very similar ad pictured above is from the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women). RCS also hopes to raise the conviction rate for Scottish rapists, which at this point is a mere 3.9%.

Patrick Cronin condemns victim blamers again at the end of his Op-Ed. He says MacDonald and her ilk "rely on antiquated notions of drunken frat boys and promiscuous young women looking to 'have a good time.' I know plenty of the people Mac Donald chooses to define based on these stereotypes. None has ever asked to be raped. Some have been raped anyway." Cronin deserves special Jezeprops for being President of group at UVA called 1 in 4, a group for men, according to the groups' website, dedicated to "treating every woman with respect," putting "the needs of [rape] survivors first," and educating other men about rape prevention. We hope that the founding of this group gets Cronin (consensually!) laid for his dedication to women's rights.

*Yeah, "apologist" isn't quite the right (or fair) word to use. "Defender"? No. "Excuser"? No. If you guys have anything better with which to describe Ms. MacDonald, we're all ears.

The Right Rape Statistics [Los Angeles Times] What Campus Rape Crisis?[Los Angeles Times] Bid To Stop Blame Theory On Rape[BBC News] 1 in 4 [University of Virginia]

Earlier: Conservative Critic: College Rape Statistics Are Overinflated