Princeton Professors Rally Against the Princeton Mom

In a letter published in the Daily Princetonian Tuesday, over 200 Princeton University professors derided Susan Patton's recent comments about sexual assault while expressing their support for students on the Princeton campus who have been sexually assaulted themselves.

Signees of the letter include Ann-Marie Slaughter, Joyce Carol Oates and former Princeton President Shirley Tilghman, who stepped down from that position in 2013 and rejoined the faculty at large.

As an editor's note at the bottom of the letter explains, the faculty members wanted to specifically combat Patton's comments in a Q&A in the Daily Princetonian promoting her new book a few weeks ago. In that interview, Patton compared a woman who gets raped to someone who doesn't look both ways before crossing the street and gets hit by a car. In response, the faculty members wrote:

We, the undersigned faculty, stand behind victims of sexual assault and want them to know that our campus is a place where they have a voice, where they will not be made to feel responsible and where they can find support and justice. If you have been the victim of unwanted sexual contact, under any circumstances, we can help you find the support you need from the campus groups listed below. As academics and members of the Princeton University community, these are the values we embrace. We encourage others to stand with us, for the integrity, health and well-being of all our students.

The last bit seems to be a big snub of Patton; though she was a student at the college (class of '77!), the faculty behind this statement seem to want to emphasize that she has no real bearing on what actually happens at Princeton and that her comments are not a reflection of campus culture at large.

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