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"...another reason I'm intrigued with the hanged of Salem, especially the women, is that a number of them aroused suspicion in the first place because they were financially independent, or sharp-tongued, or kept to themselves. In other words, they were killed off for the same sort of life I live right now but with longer skirts and fewer cable channels." Sarah Vowell, The partly cloudy patriot.


Holy sh*t

I wouldn't be surprised if the author used Thornill and Palmer's theorizing on the evolutionary adaptiveness of rape to bolster the claims. The text of the op-ed piece is here. If nothing else, the horrible misspellings will astound you. From what I can tell, all the spelling errors are from the original. I wonder if that indicates no one read it before it was published.

I have no actual comments on the content - it's ludicrous and shouldn't have been published in a student paper.

>From the *Hartford Courant*:

Words Reopen Scars At CCSU
By MATT BURGARD, Courant Staff Writer

NEW BRITAIN -- Sarah said she couldn't keep her knees from buckling and
the tears from welling in her eyes when she picked up a copy of the
student newspaper at Central Connecticut State University this week.

Sarah, a freshman at the university who asked that her last name not be
used, said she was raped when she was 15. She said all the hard emotions
of her attack came flooding back to her - the shame, the rage, the
despair - as she read an article in the campus newspaper, The Recorder,
headlined "Rape Only Hurts If You Fight It."

"I couldn't believe the things I was reading," she said Thursday, a day
after the article appeared. "I couldn't believe anyone in this day and
age would write something like that, and that other people would let it
be published."

The article, written by opinion editor John Petroski, details several
"benefits" that rape has made to civilization over the years. The
article describes rape as a "magical experience" that has been a
blessing to "ugly women."

"If it weren't for rape, how would they ever know the joy of intercourse
with a man who isn't drunk?" the article asks.

Student editors at the paper said the article was meant to be a
satirical jab at the sensationalistic nature of the modern news media.
But dozens of students said the article fell well short of being funny.
Instead, they said, it caused deep pain for those who have already been
raped, and that it reinforced age-old, misogynistic stereotypes.

On Thursday afternoon, dozens of students turned out for a protest
outside the university's student center calling for the resignations of
Petroski and Mark Rowan, the editor of The Recorder.

Some students at the rally identified themselves as victims of sexual
assault and demanded that the administration create a safer environment
for women and other groups on campus. They held signs reading "Real Men
Don't Rape" and "Take Back The Recorder." Some faculty members attended
the rally, but none spoke.

Garry Griffin, one of the students protesting the article, said Petroski
chose a poor topic for making his point.

"There are some things that just aren't funny, and rape is one of them,"
Griffin said. "I mean, what's next? The Holocaust? Slavery? There's
nothing funny there, I'm sorry."

Sarah said she and other students who have been raped have discussed the
article since it was published.

"It's just unbelievably hurtful because it again gives people the idea
that rape victims are somehow asking for it," she said. "Whatever they
meant to say with the article, they failed badly. They only ended up
making themselves look bad and the entire university look bad."

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Jack Miller, university
president, said the article crossed the lines of journalistic freedom.

Miller said he planned to convene a panel of students and faculty in the
coming weeks to discuss the issue, but he stopped short of taking any
action against Petroski or the paper's editors and faculty advisers.

"Rape is a profound violation of body and spirit, and to make light of
it, even in satire, is abhorrent," Miller said. "We need to be sure that
students understand that such hateful speech is not protected and simply
is not worthy, on any ground, of publication."

The editors of The Recorder, in another statement released Thursday,
said they regretted the harm the article caused, adding they would not
have published it if they had realized how people would react to it. Yet
at the same time, the statement defended Petroski as a gifted satirist
whose intended message "fell on deaf ears."

The statement said television news coverage of the controversy has been

"John has been grossly misrepresented," the statement said.

Rowan said Thursday that Petroski and other editors felt the article was
a humorous condemnation of media sensationalism. Rowan said the
controversy over the article has proved the point it was trying to make.

"The front page of the paper had a very important story about students
losing their Social Security numbers, an issue that affects the entire
campus," Rowan said. "But nobody is talking about that. They're only
talking about the rape article."

Rowan said the controversy over the article has taught him that he and
the rest of the editors on the paper might not understand the campus
community as well as they thought they did.

"I don't think we appreciated the climate we're in," he said.

Lillian Brabner, head of the university's advocacy group for gay and
lesbian issues, said many students contend that The Recorder has become
increasingly homophobic and misogynistic in its editorial tone this year.

Some parents of university students said they were concerned that the
article would make female students more vulnerable to being attacked.

"If these are the kind of men who are holding down positions of
authority on campus, then something's wrong," said the mother of a
female student, who asked not to be identified out of fear for her
daughter's safety. "It's absolutely appalling."


At 7:07 AM, Blogger Arbitrista (formerly Publius) said...

It just seems like some groups can say anything, no matter how outrageous. Make spectacularly offensive comments about women, or muslims, or atheists, or gays, and it's all "in good fun." Criticize the Pope's abortion policy and they threaten to kill you.

Makes me sick.


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