Amherst Helpfully Reminds Students To Protect Selves From Rapey Alumni

Illustration for article titled Amherst Helpfully Reminds Students To Protect Selves From Rapey Alumni

Let's all take a moment to thank various powerful messaging entities — online advice columnists whose names rhyme with Femily Foffe, evil-looking Fox News "legal experts" — for picking up the "stop getting raped" mantle and really running for the end zone with it and then spiking a football in rape victims' faces over the past week. Now, chiming in on the one-sided and unhelpful "don't get raped" conversation is the administration at Amhearst College, which recently sent an email to students helpfully reminding them that they should do their best to not get raped by drunk, horny, cynical alumni who may be on campus for homecoming week.

Over at Newsweek, Jezebel alumna Katie JM Baker got her mitts on a copy of the memo, which was sent to RA's along with instructions to share with students tips on how best to take care of themselves during homecoming week. As Baker notes, much of it was pretty run-of-the-mill, basic personal safety stuff which, again, is a useful thing about which to educate college students. But here's where the memo goes awry,

Keep an eye out for unwanted sexual advances. A lot of alums come back for Homecoming pretty jaded with the bar scene and blind dating of the real world and are eager to take advantage of what they now perceive to be an ‘easy’ hook-up scene back at Amherst. Also, many alums tend to be pretty drunk all weekend long. Alert your residents to this unfortunate combination and keep an eye on your friends, your residents, and yourself.

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Don't get raped, guys. This weekend, the campus will be positively teeming with Future Yous. And You in the Future is a rapey, drunk, jaded, grabbyhands. Also, drunken grabbyhands are only reduced to rapiness because they're frustrated with the dating scene. You know, a normal human response to frustration. Traffic jam? Rape! Saturday in Ikea? Rape!

But Amherst, which last year gained national notoriety for treating a rape victim like shit, didn't quit there. When Baker contacted them, the college's spokesperson gave the following bizarre statement, implying that the email wasn't supposed to go out to the students. And then, this:

[It] certainly wasn’t intended to cause offense, but to ensure a safe and festive Homecoming weekend for students and alumni alike. With the exception of Amherst losing the football game, that’s exactly how the weekend turned out to be!

Losing a football game is bad enough, but losing a football game and rape? Ugh, what a downer! There's always next year, guys.

[Newsweek]

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DISCUSSION

curioussquid
Curious Squid

I've seen, like, maybe five brilliant anti-rape PSAs that absolutely nailed it. (the one below is still one of my favourites.) But there's one that I swear exists because I saw it on YouTube, but I can't find ANYWHERE now. I saw it maybe four or five years ago? But a while ago. It's either Canadian or American - sorry guys, I can't always tell your accents apart!

It's set in a bar, with a bunch of ethnically diverse dudes all drinking beers and laughing as Main Character Dude tells a story about how he hooked up with a girl and they went back to her place and things got hot and heavy but then she changed her mind and he somehow ended up shut out of her apartment without his pants (or something, my recollection's hazy about this bit) and he had wacky adventures trying to get home. His buddies all laugh and shake their heads and "better luck next time, man" etc. Then there's a *whoosh!!* sound effect and the scene replays, except this time when he gets to the point where she changes her mind and one of his buddies asks "So what did you do?" he says something like "Well, she knew what I was there for, right? She can't play games with me like that" and I don't think it's explicit but the dialogue makes it clear he raped her. His buddies all immediately stop laughing and stare at him in disbelief and horror. Then the ad ends, and a card comes up saying something like "real men don't rape" but I'm guessing that wasn't it as I know Real Men Don't Rape is an actual slogan for an actual ad campaign and I don't think this ad is associated with that or I'd have found it with my googling. But I thought this ad was brilliant, because it put the onus for not raping squarely on rapists, and confronted head-on the principle that rape culture exists because rapists think all men are like them and would do it if they had the opportunity.

PLEASE, HAS ANYONE ELSE SEEN THIS AD. IT HAS TO EXIST. I SAW IT ON YOUTUBE BUT HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO FIND IT AGAIN.

But for anyone who hasn't seen it, here's the excellent Scottish PSA I mentioned before.