One thing that constantly amazes me about these politically correct times is that even though we've had decades of feminist "empowerment" of women, as well as much "attitudinal reconstruction" of blokes, sexual assault is still disturbingly commonplace. Actually, it even seems to be more pervasive than in days of yore when the eeevil patriarchy was completely dominant.
Take this scandal currently enveloping the University of WA. There are claims of sexual assaults being perpetrated amid the beer-sodden debauchery occurring at a recent "O-Camp" in Dwellingup.
The alleged criminal acts are the most disturbing, of course. But the routine abuse of others that goes on at these events -- as well as the extreme self-trashing -- is also a worry, and seems to be highly ritualized.
These shindigs are run by the UWA Student Guild which has its own Women's Department. You'd think that such a clearly female-friendly organization would have zero tolerance for the misogyny that fuels such destructive behaviour, wouldn't you?
Or maybe the wider ideology that this institution (and others on campus) subscribes to is actually part of the problem. That is, could the left-wing, uber-PC practice of blaming society for everything and not taking responsibility for your actions be making young women less conscious of their own safety, as well as encouraging young men to unleash their sexual drives without any concern for the consequences?
What do you reckon?
I don't think so. I attended this camp, and of course we can blame "society", but we can also look at contributing factors. I was disgraced and refused to participate in a game which involved removing clothing to form the longest rope, and somehow also included drinking. The "leaders" of this camp were pressuring the underage girls to remove as much clothing as possible...ReplyDelete
Now sure, we can look at that and say the girls should have had the responsibility not to do this. But we need not look for to find the evidence of social norms. She was in a new group situation, intoxicated and was being pressured socially on a number of fronts. From authority, from her team and the others around her.
Now too blame this incident on the girl alone seems quite a steep accusation. I don't think it is about people (or the girl) loading of responsibility onto 'society', but a problem of lack of leadership, lack of ethics and a lack of proper supervision. This example is one of hundreds I could highlight upon in which the "leaders" of the camp condoned awful disgusting behaviours. I think you have trivialized a serious problem. It is important to recognise these issues, address them and then provide a safe, fun and enjoyable "o-camp" for new students.
Good on you for refusing to participate.ReplyDelete
You point out how much of the pressure was applied collectively and from authority figures. Obviously, there's a very established hierarchy at work and a poisonous and entrenched culture. It's a "top-down" problem.
When you have such a top-down problem, you might make some improvements with "top-down" remedies (for example replacing the leaders). But often the same or similar problems return in time (power corrupts, etc).
Bottom-up resistance of the kind you yourself practised is much more powerful. Just think, if more of the students at the camp had resisted the leaders' bullying this scandal may never have occurred.
And I wasn't blaming the girl. I was pointing out that a culture of conformity empowers bullies and can make people go along with stuff they don't want to.
This argument that exhorting people to be more individualistic is "blaming the victim" is rubbish. Still more poisonous, politically correct collectivism in my opinion.
"And I wasn't blaming the girl. I was pointing out that a culture of conformity empowers bullies and can make people go along with stuff they don't want to.Delete
This argument that exhorting people to be more individualistic is 'blaming the victim' is rubbish. Still more poisonous, politically correct collectivism in my opinion."
You seem to be saying that girls were forced to do things they didn't want to do, whilst simultaneously telling these girls they ought to have been more 'individualistic' - whatever that means, within the context of: these girls were forced to drink an alcoholic beverage to be let onto the bus. Many were intoxicated by the time the bus arrived at the destination. Girls were refused meals until they had drunk more alcohol. Girls who passed out from intoxication were urinated on by groups of males. And individuals who speak up are horribly bullied by their fellows. How is an underage girl supposed to respond to this? That's great, Matt, that you think they should just "be more individualistic!" but we are not talking about sober, mature adults: we are talking about youths facing a wide variety of pressures who are neither emotionally / physically / biologically / socially prepared for those pressures.
Really, it's great to say "Women, don't do X, Y, Z, and you won't be horribly abused." How about a bit more of, "Men, stop horribly abusing women," for a change? Those camps are disgusting and should be banned and individuals responsible for assault should be expelled and prosecuted. And if these camps are to be returned, they should have a zero-tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol, as well as external supervision. The clubs had an opportunity to be responsible, and they totally blew it.
Totally agree, I've heard rumors that this sort of thing goes on at UWA before....Delete
Still, I am shocked by what I am reading.
"I was disgraced and refused to participate in a game which involved removing clothing to form the longest rope, and somehow also included drinking. The "leaders" of this camp were pressuring the underage girls to remove as much clothing as possible..."ReplyDelete
I believe a lot of it comes down to personal choice. Many of the girls revelled in the opportunity to be naked if they wished to, to some it gave them a sense of empowerment.
"Good on you for refusing to participate."
Who decides that this is a disgraceful choice for everyone? If you don't want to take part, sure, don't take part - you did not have to and were not forced. However, what gives you the right to frown down upon others who chose to? Men frequently expose their bodies in public to a greater extent than women, and nothing scandalous is said about it at all - for example, many of the boys themselves stripped fully naked, and yet this has not been reported upon in a negative light, that they have been 'pressured' or 'forced'. Isn't it sexist in itself to assume that women do not deserve this same right to expose themselves in public without being viewed as being manipulated and pressured? Sure; I do not believe that people should be pressured into acts like this if they do not wish to, or should be made to feel bad if they didn't - but I don't think it should be immediately assumed that every girl found getting partially naked a degrading and negative experience.