In modern times, it’s commonly said by reports on rape statistics that one in five college women are raped or sexually assaulted during their stay at American universities. Reed College student Jeremiah True says the idea of the so-called rape culture has been debunked, and claims he was banned from class for stating this belief.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, pop star Madonna was raped at age 19, but didn’t report the crime because she was “already violated.”
Jeremiah True provided a full account of what occurred on his Change.org petition where he is asking to be reinstated in his class. During his time in Humanities 110, he claims to “have witnessed blatant sexism against men,” and yet Professor Pancho Savery banned him because people felt uncomfortable felt uncomfortable with True questioning the one in five rape statistic.
The Reed student also provided the email which led to Professor Savery banning him. While the email is very long, and dives into the data related to rape statistics, he also explains in a nutshell why he questioned the rape statistics in the first place.
“I am critical of the idea of a rape culture because it does not exist. We live in a society that hates rape, but also hasn’t optimized the best way to handle rape. Changing the legal definition of rape is a slippery slope. If Sexual assault becomes qualified as rape, what happens next? What else can we legally redefine to become rape? Why would we want to inflate the numbers of rape in our society?”
But is Jeremiah True correct? The original authors of the the Campus Sexual Assault Study spoke out on this issue just several months ago in order to clarify the commonly cited rape statistics. In short, their Time article says “the 1-in-5 statistic is not a nationally representative estimate of the prevalence of sexual assault,” but also note that if you limit the statistic to only unwanted sexual penetration then “the prevalence for senior undergraduate women drops to 14.3%, or 1 in 7 (again, limited to the two universities we studied).”
Does this mean True should not have been banned? Professor Savery claims the student banned for disruptive behavior, not for his speech. A female freshman named Clara is in the same class as True, and she claims he went from making interesting points to making everyone upset.
“In response to being respectfully asked to stop, he discussed [his views] more openly and more aggressively, and just disregarded people’s lived experiences,” she said, according to BuzzFeed. “He continued to argue with people who had expressed to him that they felt unsafe and uncomfortable. He said rape culture didn’t exist, but I feel like I live rape culture every day.”
At the same time, when Savery explained his reasons for the ban, he focused on True’s words, not his behavior.
“”There are several survivors of sexual assault in our conference, and you have made them extremely uncomfortable with what they see as not only your undermining incidents of rape, but of also placing too much emphasis on men being unfairly charged with rape,” Savery said in the email.
“[Other students] have said that things you have said in our conference have made them so upset that they have difficulty concentrating in other classes. I, as conference leader, have to do what is best for the well-being of the entire class, and I am therefore banning you from conference for the remainder of the semester.”
Do you think it was fair for Professor Savery to ban Jeremiah True due to the way he disputed rape culture?