In Lies, Damn Lies, and Rape Statistics a college newspaper does a little digging through U.S. crime statistics and finds that the trendy “anti-rape” movement is exaggerating the rape risk of college women by two full orders of magnitude – as it concludes, “the ‘one in four’ chant should be abandoned and replaced with the more appropriate, albeit less catchy, 1 in 400.”It's always easy to identify a white knight. He cannot refer to rape in any context without working into the conversation how much he hates it, how it is the worst crime in the human arsenal, and how he would never, ever rape a woman, no matter how much she deserves it, followed by desperately apologizing for suggesting that it might be possible for a woman to deserve being raped.
What can explain such gross distortion? I’ve looked into this issue myself and discovered a lot of flim-flam. Still, even the the best-case figures I arrived at apparently overestimated the actual risk on campuses by a factor of 50. (Barbarian zones – like, say, inner-city Detroit – might be a different story.)
If the rape panic runs parallel to the the now nearly forgotten drugs-and-rock panics of the 1950s and 1960s (and many others like them, before and after) we should expect it to actually be be rooted in an attempt to assert control of or cultural dominance over some threatening Other. And there is indeed evidence that points in that direction.
Recently, Meg Lanker-Simmons, a left-wing activist at the University of Wyoming, faked a rape threat. The agenda seemed obvious: smear Republicans, confirm feminist narratives about male hostility to ‘uppity’ women, confirm women as morally superior creatures who rightfully dictate the content and style of male behavior.
This, together with the crazy inflation of rape statistics, suggests that the campus “anti-rape” movement has little or nothing to do with preventing rape. It has become an instrument of the sort of political warfare in which truth is most likely to be the first casualty.
But why are women crying rape more and more often in environments where it is increasingly hard to even find a man to rape them?
College campuses are far from a threatening environment for feminists. Nowadays women outnumber men in every department outside STEM fields. At many colleges mandatory ‘sensitivity training’ heavily privileges female and feminist perspectives. By federal encouragement, female students can now accuse men of rape and expect the claim to be evaluated under circumstances that deny the man any right to due process and the presumption of innocence.It all comes back to rape fantasies in the end. As ESR puts it, "female hypergamic instinct and the ideology of sexual equality are inevitably in collision".
On campus, the Other seems so thoroughly controlled that some academics now attribute declining male enrollments to an unwillingness to enter a hostile work environment. What are women like Meg Lanker-Simmons really pushing against? What in their environment do they not already own?
I think the answer is…themselves. The increasing intensity level of the campus-rape panic seems well correlated with the erosion of college womens’ position in sexual bargaining.