This place matters

This place matters

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The definition of rape culture

My sophomore year of college, we had a "peeping tom" on campus. Which is to say that there was a man entering school buildings and sneaking into dorms, exposing himself to and threatening women, whom the authorities called a peeping tom. There must be an alternate definition of "peeping" I've not heard.
I did a story on it for the school newspaper. I talked to a campus police officer who rushed to assure me that people were making a way bigger deal of things than was warranted. I asked him if it was true that he had sneaked into a dorm and assaulted a woman in the shower. 
"No, no." He assured me. 
"But he entered the women's bathroom in a dorm."
"Yes."
"And got in the shower with a woman."
"Yes."
"And grabbed her breast."
"Yes."
"And that's not assault."
"No, we don't call that assault."
Verbatim. 
I have many regrets in life. Perhaps the greatest was that I did not break into that rent-a-cop's house, climb into his shower with him, grab his balls, and ask him if he felt assaulted.
It's funny. I was such a rabid feminist back then, so loud and angry about injustice. But I didn't dig my teeth into that and I do not understand why. I think as with so many things, I was more interested in being outraged than fixing the situation than caused it.
I am not a conspiracy theorist. Like, at all. But I believe colleges knowingly and intentionally hide rape on campus for financial reasons. Colleges could never get away with forcing underclassmen to live in dorms if they were transparent about on-campus rape and sexual assault. 
Lake Erie at Maumee Bay
After a huge storm churned up all the mud

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