We have a late-breaking but very worthy contender in the crowded field of Colleges Who Handle Rape in Really Stupid Ways. There's lots of competition these days, what with the recent scandal at University of Virginia and the dozens of schools being investigated by the federal government for allegedly mishandling sexual assault complaints. But Donald Eastman, president of Eckerd College, a small liberal arts school in Florida affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, made his own worthy contribution yesterday, with a letter to the student body that blamed sexual assault on "heavy consumption of alcohol...by everyone involved" and casual sex.
Eastman's solution? Be less drunk and far less slutty: "Virtue in the area of sexuality is its own reward."
Eastman sent out this letter to students yesterday, which was shared with us by a horrified tipster affiliated with the school. It was also republished in the campus paper. In it, Eastman says the school is launching an awareness campaign to reduce sexual harassment and assault. He suggests the students all do two things:
1. By limiting your own consumption of alcohol, and encouraging your friends to do the same. Socrates included wine at his Symposium, but he did not get drunk.
2. You can be thoughtful about the dramatic and often negative psychological effects that sexual activity without commitment can have. Virtue in the area of sexuality is its own reward, and has been held in high esteem in Western Culture for millennia because those who are virtuous are happier as well as healthier. No one's culture or character or understanding is improved by casual sex, and the physical and psychological risks to both genders are profound.
Because casual sex, sexual harassment, and sexual assault are all basically the same thing, and all of them can be solved by a stern talking-to about virtue from a man in a bowtie. Great work, President Eastman. Rape: solved.
Screengrab via Vimeo/Tom Reid