If a homosexual man were the victim of a hate crime, would national media outlets concentrate on what he was wearing or what he was doing to have brought on the attack? Thankfully, no. Yet, the discussion inevitably shifts to what a woman was wearing or how she was acting when she accuses someone of rape. With distressing methodological consistency, the media continually feels the need to question the veracity of a rape allegation and bring into question the alleged victim’s level of intoxication, sexual history, and general perceived promiscuity.
When a young girl gets gang raped at a party and national columnists feel it necessary to ask why she was at the party to begin with (Barbara Amiel in Maclean’s), or focus on how flirty and drunk a young girl was, insinuating that she had consented to her alleged gang rape (Christie Blatchford in Postmedia), or when you have dozens of media outlets portraying the Steubenville rapists as promising young boys with broken futures, there is a problem in the way our society in general, and our media in particular, depicts rapists and rape victims.
Y is for your sister, O is for oh so tight, U is for underage, N is for no consent, G is for grab that ass, SMU boys we like them young.
The president of the Saint Mary’s University Students’ Association says a frosh week chant touting rape was “a mistake” that happened “in the heat of the moment.”
“It’s definitely the biggest mistake I’ve made throughout my university career, probably in my life,” Jared Perry, flanked by dozens of frosh leaders, told reporters at a news conference on campus Thursday.
He said the 80 or so leaders weren’t thinking about the meaning of the words when they led 300 to 400 first-year students in the cheer at an orientation week event Monday.
One student has come forward saying she complained about the chant last year but no one listened. Third-year SMU student and former frosh leader Alexandria Bennett says she voiced concerns to SMUSA last year.
Bennett says she heard the same chant at last year’s “Turfburn” event.
“I remember standing in the back, with my group, just hearing people say, ‘Oh my god, what the hell is this?'”
After one of her new students, herself a rape survivor, voiced her outrage, Bennett decided to speak with SMUSA General Manager Cathie Ross about her concerns with frosh activities.
Bennett says the general manager told her the events were “just for fun,” and her concerns were brushed aside.
One thing is clear – the message isn’t being heard or it’s not being sent. This is a failure of leadership.