Title IX is a portion of the United States Education Amendments of 1972 that allows female participation in otherwise exclusively male sports in every institution of education with an athletic program. That was its sole intent, but in recent years the ACLU and other far-left activist groups released an official letter, known colloquially as the "Dear Colleague" letter, which states that, under Title IX, it is the responsibility of institutions of higher education "to take immediate and effective steps to end sexual harassment and sexual violence." The letter makes clear that should an institution fail to fulfill its newly-contrived responsibilities under Title IX, the Department of Education can impose a fine and potentially deny access to federal funds.
As someone who graduated college within the past year, I can tell you firsthand that many of our public and private universities have become babysitters for the morally immature, rather than intellectual havens for those thirsting for knowledge. Perhaps not entirely through their own fault, our universities have taken on the unnecessary burden of making sure their students drink responsibly, date safely, and don’t get pregnant.
At my alma mater, there are free bus rides to the nearest Planned Parenthood and seminars on the dangers of mixing alcohol and Red Bull. All freshmen are required to attend “sensitivity training,” where they watch upperclassmen act in skits depicting “sex without consent.”
When I would venture to the basement of my dormitory to attend to my weekly laundry load, envelopes of free condoms would be taped to the wall above the washing machines, courtesy of the Student Wellness Center (and my tuition money).
Shocking though all of this may seem, it is more or less the norm at every public (and many private) universities across the country.
Sexual assault on a college campus is usually very different from sexual assault and rape that happens in the real world. As Freshmen women, we all learned from Day One that it was our right to match men drink for drink, wear whatever we wanted, and go to whatever wild party we wanted: in other words, to act like men, which is the underlying principle of the radical feminist movement. We also learned that “rape is never the victim’s fault.” This popular little phrase is thrown in the faces of anyone who dares to suggest that perhaps the woman who was drunk, scantily clad, and partying at a frat house should have a little responsibility to protect herself.
Let me be clear: perpetrators are always responsible for committing their crimes, and they should be brought to justice. However, sexual assault that occurs because a college woman chooses to get drunk and put herself in danger is not rape. It is a failure of the woman to take responsibility for her own actions, and it dishonors the real victims of violent, criminal rape. As a society, we are failing to let young women know that when they intentionally render themselves defenseless, terrible things can happen. Young women are getting a distorted message that their so-called “right” to match men drink for drink is a feminist issue. The real feminist message should be that when you lose the ability to be responsible for yourself, you drastically increase the chances that you will attract the kinds of people who can seriously harm your body and soul. That’s not blaming the victim; that’s trying to prevent more victims.
It’s unrealistic to expect colleges to be successful at catching and punishing sexual predators. That’s simply not their core mission. Colleges are supposed to be sanctuaries where young people learn to be responsible. Now they are little more than expensive daycare centers for young adults, and are forced to offer snacks, puppy videos, and nap rooms for their snowflake students.
While I was an undergraduate, all of the students were forced to take an extremely politically correct course about drinking and sexual assault. We were required to watch thirteen hours of videos featuring cartoon “students” (many of whom were depicted as gay or transgender) who were touched, poked, or tickled without their “consent.” Concepts such as responsibility, sobriety, and common sense were never mentioned. It was an inane and ineffective waste of money and time, and that same year there were more reports of sexual assaults on campus than ever before.
If a man or a woman knowingly walks through a bad neighborhood and gets mugged, we don’t say: “It’s not your fault; you didn’t know what you were doing.” We would probably respond with something like: “You made a dumb decision by putting yourself in danger when you knew better. I hope you’ve learned your lesson and won’t do it again.” The same standard should be held for both sexes on the dating scene. Are we mere animals acting on instinct? Or are we human beings with the freedom to determine our own destiny? Our Church teaches the latter.
But who do feminists blame? Men. Alcohol. Misogyny. But God forbid, never the victim. It’s never the victim’s fault. To a feminist, a drunk woman engaging in sexual intercourse is a victim, but a drunk man engaging in sexual intercourse is a rapist.
Unfortunately, giving any advice to women about their behavior or attire is the mortal sin of our culture and a good way to get eviscerated by hordes of raging feminists. But by not telling women the truth—that they are responsible for keeping their wits about them—we are infantilizing women. We assume that all women are airheads who happily slurp down whatever yummy cocktail Mr. Wonderful puts in front of them. What could be more demoralizing and, quite frankly, un-feminist? Today’s young women are encouraged to engage in promiscuity, then afterwards become embarrassed and thus try to make light of it. Consequently, women get violated and degraded, and end up accepting it. Who benefits from such demeaning of women? It doesn’t liberate anybody, and it certainly isn’t empowering or feminist.
The Campus Sexual Assault Studyof 2007, undertaken for the Department of Justice, found that the popular belief that many female rape victims have been slipped “date rape” drugs is false. “Most sexual assaults occur after voluntary consumption of alcohol by the victim and assailant,” the report states. The biological reality is that women do not metabolize alcohol like men, and that means, drink for drink, women will get drunker faster. Certainly, a man has no right to use alcohol as an excuse to have sinful sexual relations with a woman. But this goes both ways: a woman has no right to claim her drunkenness as an excuse for being a victim (unless she was drugged, which, as the above study shows, is rare). Both men and women are responsible for alcohol-aggravated sexual assault. The blame absolutely cannot be pinned on only one gender.
Of course, a woman can be sexually assaulted no matter what she is wearing and no matter how sober she is. I am not saying that in order to properly judge a case of sexual assault, we must take into consideration whether or not the victim was modestly dressed and sober. But we must pay careful attention to who we pin the blame on when a college girl claims she has been assaulted and her story lands on the front page of the Star Tribune (as one student from my college did). Many times, these campus rape accusations are false, even in the questionable case of the Columbia student who protested her supposed rape by dragging a mattress around her campus.
As each new school year begins, we see explosions of so-called campus rape cases, most of which ultimately boil down to women not wanting to admit that they had drunken sexual intercourse with a stranger. Rather than own up to the fact that she made a bad mistake, the woman raises the roof with screams of “rape”—this demoralizing and even dishonoring the women who were real victims of violent and unprovoked assault.
Of course everyone makes mistakes. But rather than whining for justice that we don’t deserve, we need to learn from our mistakes, make the appropriate changes, and move on with our lives. It is shameful and disgusting to perpetuate our guilt by blaming others or making a national fuss. That’s not going to change the fact that we made a poor choice.
Our culture today is one of victims, micro-aggressions, and “hate speech.” Everyone is offended by everything, and no one wants to take responsibility for anything. Unless men and women start helping each other by taking responsibility for themselves and building bridges of mutual respect, our culture’s sexual immorality will only become much, much worse.
Men respect women who respect themselves, who know their limits, and who don’t let other people treat them badly. Men will never respect women who dress provocatively, drink themselves into unconsciousness, and let themselves be abused by random strangers, which is exactly what modern feminists are encouraging women to do when they claim women can match men drink for drink without consequence.
Drunkenness among college students is only one of the fruits of the sins of gluttony and concupiscence, which no college will openly discuss. If we want a solution, we must begin by demanding both men and women take responsibility for their actions, which treated as an impossible and even offensive request by our snowflake society.
Female college students must start moderating their drinking as a way of looking out for their own self-interests. Most importantly, men and women must work together to help each other stay safe and respectful.
Our culture needs another “sexual revolution” that brings the teachings of Holy Mother Church to the darkness of our culture, and it begins with the laity.