Credit for finding this gem goes to the fine folks at College Insurrection (attempting to thwart the blue tide on college campuses since 2012.)
It apparently all started when an advice columnist at Slate (not exactly a bastion of whacko, right wing social conservatism) had the temerity to suggest that perhaps young girls headed off to college should be warned about the dangers of binge drinking when they first leave home, and the types of predators out there who would seek to prey on pretty young coeds in such compromised positions. These can be tough conversations for parents to have with their daughters before sending them out into the world of higher education, so you can imagine that – particularly coming from their own bullpen – left side, feminist audiences would be grateful for the helpful tips.
As demonstrated by Ruth Marcus at the Washington Post… not so much.
The message of Emily Yoffe’s Slate article about binge drinking and sexual assault on college campuses was as important as it was obvious: The best step that young women can take to protect themselves is to stop drinking to excess.
Young women everywhere — not to mention their mothers — ought to be thanking Yoffe. Instead, she’s being pilloried.
A “rape denialism manifesto” full of “plain old victim-blaming,” Lori Adelman wrote on the feminist blog Feministing.com. Erin Gloria Ryan, on Jezebel.com, accused Yoffe of “admonishing women for not doing enough to stop their own rapes.”
Argued Yoffe’s Slate colleague Amanda Hess, “We can prevent the most rapes on campus by putting our efforts toward finding and punishing those perpetrators, not by warning their huge number of potential victims to skip out on parties.”
Excuse me, but no one’s suggesting that our daughters should be holed up in the library studying every night, forswearing any semblance of a social life. Yoffe (disclosure: she’s a close friend) is saying that the responsible advice is the one that I’ve been trying to impart for years to my now-teenage daughters: When you drink (because, let’s be serious, they’re not waiting until 21), don’t drink too much.
For taking the trouble to try to gently clear the air of any misunderstandings – such as “nobody is trying to blame the girl here” – Marcus was richly rewarded. That reward came to the tune of more than a thousand comments in short order, many echoing the sentiments expressed by the enraged feminists at Salon’s comment section.
This has to be one of the crazier things I’ve ever seen, and I have to read a lot of tripe on this job. I don’t think there’s anyone here who doesn’t understand that if you grab a passed out or incoherent college freshman, drag her away and rape her, you are a sick animal who needs to be put down. But by the same token, it is a sadly known fact that we do live in a world where some sick animals are still on the loose. Where is the insult or injury in attempting to advise children heading away from home for the first time on some of the ways to best avoid danger in as much as possible while still being able to enjoy their lives?
If two people rush into a lion’s den and one decided to wear a dress made out of thinly sliced prime rib, she’s probably the one who is going to get eaten. This isn’t blaming the girl… it’s teaching her not to be the one wearing the Lady Gaga meat dress. But apparently offering any sort of parental advice on risk avoidance and minimization is crossing a line for some people. Maybe it’s a tacit admission there are parents who fail to do a good enough job preparing their children for the world. Perhaps it’s viewed as depriving their young freshmen offspring their “rights” to go out for the “fun” of “having a few too many” which is a “right of passage.” (I actually saw that one in one of the comments. I couldn’t make that up if I tried.)
Welcome to 21st century parenting, where it clearly Takes a Village to raise your daughter. Sadly, the village now seems to be populated by a majority of Village Idiots.