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Think Before You Speak

            Today, I was sitting outside my education classroom waiting for a friend with whom I was having lunch. While I was relaxing, I could hear the sounds of a film that was being shown for a sexual trauma class next door. The door was open, and with careful listening, I figured out that the film being shown was an educational documentary about date rape. Curious, I moved my chair closer to the door so that I could hear more clearly. The more I heard, the more interested I became. Men are, by nature, predators, explained the narrator. Women, especially young women on college campuses, are surrounded by rapists. These rapists are in the guise of your closest male friends. You may think they are on your side, but you'd be wrong. .
             This was only the beginning. After a few more statements “which I missed because I was scrambling for my notebook," the female narrator began to explain the warning signs that women should look for in their male friends to see if he was a rapist. The first signal, said the woman, was drinking. "Rapists tend to drink alcohol and become drunk at least once a month." The second was a fondness for "exploitative men's magazines." The narrator listed Playboy and Penthouse as two of the magazines that are popular with rapists. It sounded a bit ludicrous to me “assuming that guys who drink and look at Playboy are automatically rapists" especially college guys, since sometimes it seems that their only pastimes are drinking and looking at Playboy. This view, however, is typical of the paranoid outlook that some liberal feminists are teaching on college campuses. On the other hand - there are so many varying ideas about rape these days that it's hard to keep up with them all. There are people who think that women ask for rape by a look or a short skirt or a tight shirt, and there are people who think that any sex at all is rape, because men always prey on women. The pure version of these two ideas is served up mostly by fringe groups, but the more watered down versions are what get touted as truth to different groups of people at different times.