The young women of the class of 2021 are arriving on campus, and Jennifer Braceras has some excellent advice about how to conduct themselves so as to be safe and avoid unwelcome sexual encounters.
Unfortunately, the usual information given to young women on this subject isn't as helpful or as honest as it should be.
For example, they will be told that one in four of them will be sexually assaulted on campus before they graduate. This number is based on vaguely worded surveys with misleading questions. A more likely Justice Department figure puts the number at 1 in 53. That's too many but it does not indicate that there is a "rape culture" on campus.
Nevertheless colleges have set up an apparatus of workshops and tribunals based on the idea that there is a rape culture on campus. There is a large bureaucracy on every campus to deal with the rape culture. As Jennifer points out, this may placate gender activists, but it will do nothing to keep young women safe. Jennifer explains:
Workshops and training sessions will also do nothing to keep students safe if those sessions ignore the elephant in the room: the hookup culture. Academics and college administrators today operate under the assumption that alcohol-infused sex between virtual strangers is a matter of “private choice.”
They fear that any warnings to avoid such risk-fraught encounters will be lambasted as old-fashioned or, worse, judgmental. They live in fear that if they tell the truth about alcohol and hookup culture, they will be accused of “blaming the victim.” So they refuse to give you tips that might actually keep you safe.
Jennifer's tips include: don't get drunk and go home with a stranger, reject the hook-up culture, and be confident (hold out for a date and don't settle for a hook-up). And this:
If you are assaulted, seek immediate help from someone you trust who is not affiliated with the college. Remember, the college’s interests are not your own. Call your parents or another trusted adult, call 911, seek medical attention, or call a rape hotline. Do it as soon as possible.
The ideology and misleading data that have given rise to the idea that there is a rape culture on campus may mollify activists, but they don't really help young women be safe on campus.