In an attempt to argue that "only responsibility can stop rape," a University of Arizona senior is now facing a little bit of backlash.
Rob Monteleone wrote an opinion piece for the university's paper, The Daily Wildcat, as part of a "head-to-head” feature and addressed campus sexual assault. However, some readers believe he is taking an angle that places responsibility on the victim and gives excuses to the assaulter.
"Only 6.6 percent of women who smoke will develop lung cancer. A woman who smokes is more than three times as likely to be sexually assaulted than she is to develop lung cancer. We turn our noses up at smokers and just made our campus tobacco-free. Yet, nothing is done about sexual assault, short of blaming the “attacker,” a guy who was likely as drunk as his “victim.” We do everything we can to mitigate the small risk of lung cancer, but nothing at all to mitigate the much greater risk of sexual assault.
We all make mistakes, and we all want to be understood, consoled and forgiven, but there’s a double standard here, and it needs to be addressed."
If drunk women who have sex are able to claim 'rape,' why aren’t drunk men alleviated of responsibility for the poor decisions they make?"
Monteleone then advised that girls should go out in groups, keep an eye out for each other, assign a designated driver and tell their friends if they plan on hooking up that night.
He also added, "Make a plan at 7 p.m. so you aren’t making accusations at 7 a.m."
Naturally, his article is bothering quite a few people who disagree with him, claiming it is an "rape apologist" piece that victim blames.
One commenter wrote, "What if guys just stopped raping people? How about that? Rape is not just what happens when guys drink. Alcohol is NOT an excuse for rape. There is NEVER an excuse."
Another posted, "Here's the real double standard: Men can go out alone, party, drink, heck just walk home at night without fear of being raped. Women not only risk being sexually assaulted when they step out of an ever narrowing "safe zone" (which isn't really safe, but that's a whole other article), they also have to deal with people like you going on about how if they'd just been a little more careful, nothing bad would have happened to them."
And over at Jezebel, one writer congratulated Monteleone for figuring out how to end rape forever in a sassy post. "Women, rejoice! We've finally solved rape, thanks to the brilliant and groundbreaking words of Rob," she wrote.
While people will undoubtedly continue to condemn Monteleone's piece, deeming it "offensive," his last paragraph addresses those exact people:
"Before anyone stomps their feet in outrage and says I’m blaming victims here, ask yourselves: Is it not better to exercise some caution beforehand and not have to blame anyone?"
What do you think? Did the UA student make valid points in his piece, or was he just victim blaming? Leave your comments below!