Right-Wing Response to Rape: Deny It, Then Blame the Victim

A conservative pundit takes to the pages of the LA Times in order to twist statistics and attack rape victims.
Because if women don't call it rape then it's just not.

This op/ed is one of the most ridiculous I've read in a long, long time (and that's pretty impressive). Heather MacDonald argues that high rates of sexual assault on campus don't exist because women don't always define their experiences as rape; she then goes on to say that women who say they were raped are lying sluts who exaggerate the truth and were probably asking for it. Compare:
A 2006 survey of sorority women at the University of Virginia, for example, found that only 23% of the subjects whom the survey characterized as rape victims felt that they had been raped -- a result that the university's director of sexual and domestic violence services calls "discouraging." Equally damning was a 2000 campus rape study conducted under the aegis of the Department of Justice. Sixty-five percent of those whom the researchers called "completed rape" victims and three-quarters of "attempted rape" victims said that they did not think that their experiences were "serious enough to report."
Believing in the campus rape epidemic, it turns out, requires ignoring women's own interpretations of their experiences.
Jill Filipovic is AlterNet's Reproductive Justice and Gender editor and a law student at NYU. More of her writing is available online at her blog, Feministe.
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