George Will Slammed Over Column Downplaying College Rape

Tuesday, 10 Jun 2014 02:34 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Conservative commentator George Will has been denounced by a Democratic senator and progressive writers over his column attacking the White House for focusing on the "supposed epidemic of rape" in colleges.

In his controversial column published in The Washington Post and the New York Post, Will said that the attention on rape, "aka sexual assault," in colleges is making "victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges."

Will finds fault with "crucial and contradictory" government statistics that claim 1 in 5  women are sexually assaulted on campus, but only 12 percent of assaults are reported.

"Simple arithmetic demonstrates that if the 12 percent reporting rate is correct, the 20 percent assault rate is preposterous," he wrote.

He added, "Academia is learning that its attempts to create victim-free campuses — by making everyone hypersensitive, even delusional, about victimizations — brings increasing supervision by the regulatory state that progressivism celebrates.

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who’s pushing for a crackdown on campus sexual assault, blasted Will in a Twitter message on Monday:


Salon writer Katie McDonough said she was not surprised that Will "does not think that sexual assault on campus is a big deal."

She said, "It’s also not very surprising that he thinks that definitions of sexual violence are somehow overly broad. But what is puzzling … is how much one has to ignore in order to argue these points.

"There is an abundance of anecdotal and statistical evidence to show that most people never come forward about their experiences of assault, including most college students.

"Instead we just get Will’s ridiculous column. His editorial is basically, 'I Am Mad That We Are Now Talking About Sexual Assault and Sexual Entitlement. These Conversations Make Me Uncomfortable and Threaten Me. Please Make Them Stop.'"

The Wire’s Connor Simpson lashed out at Will for using just one example to make his point, noting that "these situations rarely fit squarely into a fixed box definition."

Simpson said, "Will blames the sexual assault hullabaloo on faulty math, dangerous progressivism, and girls who drink too much, among other things. It's never the boy's fault, especially in the anecdote he chose, in which a girl's sometimes-boyfriend has sex with her after she repeatedly says no.

"Shortly after, Will puts sexual assault inside scare quotes … In Will's mind, the Obama administration's recent attempt to clean up sexual assault on campus is ridiculous."

Jezebel’s Erin Gloria Ryan attacked Will in a column headlined, "Ladies Love Being Rape Victim, Says ***Hole."

"Will got his toupee in a twist over what he classifies as 'liberalism run amok' at America's colleges and universities," she wrote. "He cites, as a case in point, the college sexual assault epidemic. He does this by mocking the sexual assault of a woman who attended Swarthmore. You can tell he's mocking it because he puts 'sexual assault' in quotation marks."

But Will’s column, which was also published in Newsmax, did have the tweeted support of conservative pundit Michelle Malkin:

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