Saturday, June 28, 2014

164.2 - Update: George Will and sexual violence

Update: George Will and sexual violence

Now for an update on something from two weeks ago. At that time, I gave George Will the Clown Award for a column in which said being a victim of sexual assault was "a coveted status" at colleges and universities, complete with "privileges."

He was roundly condemned in a number of other places as well as here, and in fact got hit in the best possible place: his wallet: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has announced that it will no longer run his column, indicating in a note to readers that Will had crossed a line and, referring to the column, said "we apologize for publishing it."

In response, there were of course the usual muttering from the right about "censorship" and high-falutin' talk from the left about "let him speak," but the fact is, George Will has no more right to a nationally-syndicated column than I do. Sometimes, I think less.

Anyway, I say right on, St. Louis Post-Dispatch. As every parent does or at least should know, bad behavior doesn't change if there are no consequences.

More than that, I don't want to hear about consequences suffered by George Will, consequences that would be a tiny fraction of the consequences of sexual assault to the women he belittled as little more than status seekers.

A study published in the June issue of the journal "Gender and Society" concluded that there were several reasons why girls and young women rarely report incidents of abuse - but a major reason, significantly, is because they regarded sexual abuse and violence directed against them as "normal." They regarded, they had been socialized to accept, the grabbing, the groping, the unwanted fondling, in fact pretty much everything short of physically forced intercourse, as a routine, even expected part of life.

That's what we're putting women through on a daily basis - and that's what George Will is content to see continue.

By the way, a bit of a footnote: Studies such as this one reveal that we are socializing young women so that they are expected to accept being the target of unwanted sexual aggression. Related to that, I would hope for research - maybe it's already being done and if so I'd like to see it - on how young men are socialized so that they are expected to exhibit sexual aggression. You want to be ostracized? Be a 16-year old boy among a group of 16-year old boys and say that you wouldn't cop a feel even if you could because it just not a right thing to do. See what happens.

Sources cited in links:

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