To those who believe “rape culture not prevalent on OU campus”

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To those who believe “rape culture (is) not prevalent on OU campus,”

If both parties do not give enthusiastic consent, then sexual acts should not occur. Period.

Rape culture exists when society takes a passive role against sexual assault. The high frequency of rape occurrences also plays a role in rape culture. However, rape culture goes beyond the actual unwanted sex act. It’s when society normalizes sexual violence in daily life through jokes, conversations, gestures and catcalls.

For those of you who consider there to be no rape culture on campus, look at the rape that happened over Homecoming weekend. Bystanders stood by and watched Saturday night while a man performed oral sex on an overly intoxicated woman on a Court Street sidewalk. But worse than no one stepping in, gawkers took videos and photos and proceeded to post them on social media. The next day she reported rape to the police.

Many people questioned the existence of the rape culture on OU’s campus. There was an open rally and parade bringing awareness about OU’s rape culture the night before the publicized rape. Clearly the issue at hand was already on students’ minds.

Take into consideration FuckRapeCulture’s statistic that one in four women at OU have or will be a victim of sexual assault. That appalling statistic alone proves that there is a definitive problem pertaining to rape on the OU campus.

The opinion article published in Wednesday’s Post by Tom Pernecker, a senior majoring in journalism, is laced with inaccuracies and inconsistencies.  As a journalist, I’m surprised by such an outlandish letter.

Pernecker has the audacity to state that  victims only “in a serious sexual assault” should be consoled. All sexual assaults are serious. No matter the situation, all rape is unwanted. What makes one person’s sexual assault more serious than another’s? Each victim needs our support.

In the letter, he defines rape as “as we all know sex without consent is indeed rape.” Then he backtracks and states there needs to be a new definition for rape stating, “Maybe we should rethink what the term rape means and the situations it applies to?”. Both parties must agree; otherwise it is rape. Pernecker cannot make a definitive stance; therefore, he just undermines his own argument.

In addition, Pernecker glosses over OU’s drinking problem being connected with the rape culture. “If anything, we have a drinking problem that causes such incidents but is still a far cry from the idea of rape culture I’ve been hearing so much about this year,” Pernecker said.

The drinking feeds into the issue of sexual assault. Unwelcome lines are crossed while drinking and then sexual assault occurs. But he overlooks the fact that assault also occurs when people are not drinking alcohol. Alcohol can play a factor in rape, but it’s not necessary.

One plus, Pernecker accurately states that a high number of rapes occur on campus. Yet, people do not report their rape. Yet again another point supporting the rape culture. Perhaps these victims do not come forward because they feel ashamed. But there is nothing to be ashamed of. Rape victims have been sexually violated and are not in the wrong. I plead you to remember and acknowledge that fact.

Pernecker states in the beginning how he does “not condone the incident during Homecoming Weekend on Court Street.” However, he alludes to blaming the victim as well as the perpetrator when he says, “just maybe, we should think twice about who we engage in sexual encounters with?”.

Place yourself in the Homecoming assaulted woman’s shoes. Her assault not only has been posted locally on social media, but now has gained national recognition. Now the rape survivor must deal with the aftermath of her sexual assault and cope with the unwanted limelight.

This event is a reflection of our campus. No one stepped in. No one nearby came to her defense. That in itself proves that a rape culture exists because this somehow was considered normal by bystanders.

Not all Bobcats feel this way. Today I am ashamed to claim myself as a member of this community. I hope for change. There needs to be a shift on campus.  I don’t understand those who are refusing to acknowledge the rape culture. Now is the time to educate yourself about sexual assault so future sexual assaults are prevented.

Concerned and fed up,

Cassie Fait

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22 thoughts on “To those who believe “rape culture not prevalent on OU campus”

  1. What happened at homecoming was not rape. A hammered guy preformed oral sex on a hammered woman. That’s not rape. That’s called a bad decision on both their parts. That’s not to say rape doesn’t happen, but in this case it was a woman waking up the next morning, being ashamed of what she did while blacked out and then crying rape. If a guy was gonna actually rape a woman it wouldn’t be eating her out in public. By calling that rape you inherently compare that incident to a woman being held down and told there’s nothing she can do while she’s forcefully raped. It marginalizes the pain of every actual rape victim – and to me that’s sickening.

      • By that logic, both parties could argue that they were being raped, thus nullifying the argument altogether. This is the problem with the double standard against men in regards to sexual assault cases.

    • If you’re drunk, you can’t consent. If you can’t consent, it’s rape. Rape isn’t all about tying someone down and forcing them to have sex with you. It can be out of coercion, as well. Not all instances of rape are the same, so please refrain from painting with broad strokes in the future.

      • Then what happens if two drunk people have sex – are they both raping eachother? Seems like rapes more complicated then your hard and fast rule. Also, I used an example of rape as a comparison to illustrate a point but I never said the only kind of rape is holding, not tying, someone down. If you missed the point illustrated you may have downs – and thats OKAY. I saw the video of this drunk and in puvlic hook up and I can assure you it wasn’t rape. And coercion is not rape, that’s called dating. The only kind of coercion that I can think of leading to rape is some kind of blackmail or extortion for sex, but I think coercion is painting with too broad a stroke.

      • Using an abelist insult to counter me when I was perfectly civil to you will get you nowhere. Continue to do that, and we’ll block you.

        Holding, tying, we’re merely arguing semantics here. Point is, you said that if it was really someone’s intent to rape someone else, they’d restrain them. That’s not always the case.

        Coercion does NOT mean dating, and I don’t know where you got that. By coercion, I meant using the quid pro quo or “this for that” tactic, such as a case where someone in a position of power in the workplace makes an offer similar to “I was going to fire you, but if you have sex with me, I’ll let you keep the job. Don’t tell anyone, or you’re fired.” The person whom the offer has been made to is under duress and is in a situation where no matter what they do, something bad will happen to them. A person cannot give proper consent in that situation. The examples you gave of blackmail or extortion for sex are equal to this.

        Seeing the video does not make you the arbiter of who is “guilty” of anything in this scenario, whether it’s the man or the woman. The details of the case have not been fully disclosed, and it is still in progress. Please do not make such hasty judgments in the future.

      • “If you’re drunk, you can’t consent. ”

        then why can you be held responsible for driving a car and killing people drunk – after all you can’t make clear decisions drunk? Picking and choosing much?

  2. there are plenty of legitimate sexual assaults and rapes that happen, and that’s disgusting as it is, but the broad language of the word rape blames men for everything that happens when two drunk people hook up. 99% of the sex i had in college occurred when I was some level of drunk, between buzzed and full-on blacked out and don’t remember it. I don’t feel like I was ever “raped,” and would never report any of the women who “took advantage of me” because i’m not a terrible human being. to say that the woman who was “eaten out” on court was raped implies that the man was sober, and did this forcefully to her, without her consent. had this woman acted like she did not want this to happen, she could have made some commotion or distress, and acted like she was in the action of being raped. i’m not saying that its her fault, i’m not “victim blaming”, but there are plenty of good people in athens that would have jumped to her defense had she shown a struggle or appeared to be not consenting.
    women all over the country can get drunk, hook up with men, and then report what happened as rape the next day because they regret it. when men do this, we regret it, and just deal with it. I blacked out and woke up next to a woman I would never even think about sexually had I been sober, but that doesn’t make what happened rape, and I would never think about jeapordizing her future because we both made a drunken mistake. “rape culture” should be defined as what it is, “hook up culture,” as people in college towns lately opt for relationships which are strictly sexual, and happen when both participants are drunk. “rape culture” implies that all women are victims, and that any woman who has even sipped an alcoholic drink cannot make a decision for herself. the whole “consent cannot be given while intoxicated” argument (should) work both ways, but men get kicked off campus routinely due to hook ups that they themselves can barely remember. I cannot say anything for sure about what happened at homecoming, as I wasn’t there, but one must also assume that the man in the situation has to feel shitty about the incident as well. There are plenty of people in this world who aren’t reasonable people, and I can’t say for sure if either of these people are or are not, but it seems that the woman in this case went to the police because of the embarrassment of her decision after it was posted to social media sites.
    again, i’m not trying to belittle those who are actually victims of sexual assault, but there is a very broad line between someone who is raped, and someone who has a couple beers and then sleeps with someone. to categorize someone who hooks up with a woman after a party with someone who forcefully penetrates someone is apples to oranges, yet legally they are the same. I don’t feel like a rapist when I go out and get drunk, and hook up with someone i’ve hooked up with before, who is also drunk, because i’m not raping her, and she’s not raping me.
    my point is this: stop throwing the word rape around so lightly, and try to see both sides of the story before you throw the man in the situation under the bus and treat the woman like an innocent and frail creature. the current policy on sexual assault leads to crucible-style witchhunts towards men, in which they cannot defend themselves. men get thrown off campus, often without being able to defend themselves, because women can simply accuse them of rape.
    sorry to rant, but it pisses me off to see so many man-hating people jumping to this womans defense with no knowledge of the situation, and other cases as well.

    • Well said. In a society and legal system in which men and women are supposedly equal, the “hook up culture” is heavily indicative of men being 100% at fault for all “unconsensual” sex. I’ve been drunk and hooked up with sober girls before. Who’s the victim in that situation?

    • “the current policy on sexual assault leads to crucible-style witchhunts towards men, in which they cannot defend themselves. men get thrown off campus, often without being able to defend themselves, because women can simply accuse them of rape.”

      That is not how the sexual assault policy at OU works at all. IF a rape is reported to the school (via Institutional Equity or OUPD/APD) it goes through an investigative process in which the accused (who, I must mention, doesn’t have to be a man though the majority of rapists are men) is totally able to defend themselves.
      http://www.ohio.edu/policy/03-004.html
      http://www.ohio.edu/communitystandards/code/procedures/studentrights.cfm

      Since only 9% of rapes are actually prosecuted, and only 5% result in conviction, I’m not seeing where all these men are not allowed to defend themselves? A lot of the time, there’s nothing to defend besides some rumor that is generally blown off as some regretful drunk girl, to put it nicely.

  3. Hey Cassie! Does this sound familiar to you?! “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” Just think about genius.

  4. This makes some sense and is laced with facts and serious issues here at ou…..but read the comments too. THEY ALSO MAKE SENSE. men AND women can be/have been raped. Yet all this glorification is always about a female victim and a male who “allegedly” takes advantage of the victim. Who’s to say some of the alleged rapes on this campus could be of the women’s doing. If both parties are intoxicated then who REALLY has a say? No one. If both parties are too drunk to give consent are they in turn “raping” each other? I feel as all this is doing is making the victims of rape feel even more ashamed rather than empowered and it definitely shows the argument ‘what is considered “rape”‘ is not clear cut. If a man is drunk and a woman is drunk and they engage in sexual activity is that really rape? Especially if neither parties expressed concern during the ordeal? A lot of drunken hookups happen here at OU so what makes one over the other rape? The shame associated with it? The fact that the aftermath was unwanted? No one rape over another is worse, but there is a HUGE difference between a rape and a drunken regret (where I feel at least some number of statistical facts fall under). I just feel as if we, as a school, are not being proactive at all or making educated evaluations. All everyone is doing is shedding more unwanted attention over the unfortunate, disgusting, and distasteful events of homecoming weekend. That situation is disgusting. BUT THAT situation does NOT define OUR school. That was disgusting individuals taking extreme advantage and I think the people who put it on social media should face serious consequences regardless of how the situation between the male and female is settled. BYSTANDERS are just as guilty. I think it is good that there is so much attention on the subject of rape, however, because I think it will lead more people to become educated and PROACTIVE.

    • Of course, I know and acknowledge that men and women are raped on OU’s campus. I never stated that men are not raped. My response above deals with the specific rape occurring on the Court Street sidewalk. The fact that bystanders not only stood by and watched the sexual assault occur but they also took videos and posted them to social media is an outrage. Like it or not this places our campus is in a negative light for the entire nation and perhaps beyond. Now as bobcats it is our role to deal with the situation at hand so another atrocity does not occur. Now is the time to take action.

      • Cassie, you’re the exact type of person I’m trying to reach out to. Please, please answer me, I need to understand the other perspective. First I will state a few important facts about the Athens video, having seen it in it’s entirety and uncensored;

        1. both parties are intoxicated however this clearly isn’t a huge factor in their actions
        2. the female smiles for over 60 seconds of the footage
        3. the female uses her hands in a dominant manor, pulling the males head to her crotch, implying both control of the situation and willingness to participate.

        I don’t like the term sexual assault being thrown around like this, I don’t like this man being falsely accused or the crowd being frowned upon for not preventing it.

        If somebody gets drunk and willingly enters a car, and slaughters a bunch of people, they are charged to the highest extent possible, regardless of their intoxication level. In this scenario intoxication does not invalidate responsibility. Getting into a car is a pretty complex action you know, really hard for a drunk person to understand the values and consequences of doing such. So I mean… why is this not the girl’s fault? By all evidence she does give “drunken consent” by dictating the situation… However the argument in her defence has become that drunken consent is not consent????

        Please tell me then why drunk driving is real. And if you agree with what I’m saying, please tell me why this was a sexual assault. You can only pick one, drunk drivers yay or drunk drivers nay.

  5. I would just like to mention the fact that when people took pictures of this guys eating out this girl everybody freaks out saying it’s rape and that people are disgusting for putting picture online.. However, when the a girl was giving head to that guy during 11 fest everybody thought it was hilarious. Why is it such a big deal now? That girl was probably just ashamed about what happened that she claimed it was rape. He was probably just as drunk as she was.

  6. If someone doesn’t give explicit consent than it IS rape. And the culture and law is heavily armed against victims in these instances. First off, they need to report it. Then they need to get someone to take it serious and then they need to prove in court that indeed it was rape, while the entire power structure is focused on making it go away. Because your skirt was too short, or you were too drunk, or you changed your mind. Because in this situation we are saying as a culture, that of course then the perpetrator has EVERY right to feel that he (or she, but it won’t flow as well) had every right to stick his penis where it didn’t belong. And until the first questions to victims don’t involve any questioning into if they somehow caused this, there is a clear rape culture. Even victims blame themselves and THAT is rape culture.

  7. Quick to judge, quick to anger and slow to understand. Ignorance, prejudice and fear walk hand in hand. #IStandWithTommyP

  8. Pingback: President McDavis serves as lightning rod for student opinion – Speakeasy Magazine

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