Friday, February 29, 2008

After these messages...

I have always dreamed of purchasing ad space on a billboard and putting some kind of self-promoting nonsense on it (like a picture of myself surrounded by scantily clad women wearing chains and holding a Tek 9). Actually, I have always dreamed of the time shortly after I purchase ad space on a billboard when a friend or acquaintance sees the ad and gets a kick out of it. The Billboard Liberation Front has employed a similar idea only they're trying to make a point, which is cool, I guess. Actually, I think it's really cool and congrats to them for taking street art to a new place.

Sometimes Vanity Fair is like US Weekly for really high minded individuals or "society" types. This article is one of those times and it's fucking great. Michael Joseph Gross did some really really extensive reporting to tell that story and did it very well.

The City-Journal continuously publishes thought provoking articles. This article is flawed in that it blames the sexual revolution of the 60’s for creating the hyper-sexualized campus environment of modernity while arguing that the campus rape phenomenon is more myth than reality. In effect Heather Mac Donald blames the sexual revolution for a problem she argues doesn’t exist. On the plus side she does argue correctly that there are hypocrisies within the rape prevention complex that should be addressed. In particular she reprints this astonishing passage from the magazine Saturday Night: Untold Stories of Sexual Assault at Harvard:

What can I tell you about being raped? Very little. I remember drinking with some girlfriends and then heading to a party in the house that some seniors were throwing. I’m told that I walked in and within 5 minutes was making out with one of the guys who lived there, who I’d talked to some in the dining hall but never really hung out with. I may have initiated it. I don’t remember arriving at the party; I dimly remember waking up at some point in the early morning in this guy’s room. I remember him walking me back to my room. I couldn’t have made it alone; I still had too much alcohol in my system to even stand up straight. I made myself vulnerable and even now it’s hard to think that someone here who I have talked and laughed with could be cold-hearted enough to take advantage of that vulnerability. I’d rather, sometimes, take half the blame than believe that a profound evil can exist in mankind. But it’s easy for me to say, that, of the two of us, I’m the only one who still has nightmares, found myself panicking and detaching during sex for many months afterwards, and spent more time looking into the abyss than any one person should.

The dereliction of personal responsibility in this passage is horrifying and an affront to actual victims of sexual assault. It’s not that she “deserved” or “was asking for it” but it seems very out-of-character for a “cold-hearted” rapist to walk his victim back to her room the following morning. It seems certain to me that the “offender” in this case does not think of himself as a rapist, perhaps he was also drunk and didn’t realize how out of it this woman was. . She got drunk to the point that she made several bad decisions, if two nights hence he blacks out and ends -up in bed with some woman he barely remembers from the night before was he raped? I’m not trying to make excuses for his behavior but she is certainly trying to make them for hers.

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