Survivor Privilege, Fairies, Unicorns and Other Myths – a response to George Will
Survivor Privilege, Fairies, Unicorns and Other Myths
(In response to the George Will article which appeared in both the New York Post and the Washington Post, also referenced by Think Progress here: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/06/09/3446557/washington-post-college-rape/).
Washington Post pundit George Will has finally blown the whistle on the big secret – those of us who have been lucky enough not to be killed by our attackers and rapists have privilege and status.
Funnily enough, just recently I was discussing this with a friend of mine (who always insists to her therapist that there honestly is no need for her to roll out an actual red carpet, and that feeding her grapes whilst she reclines on the therapist’s couch is actually quite embarrassing); we were marvelling at how it has turned out to be such a benefit to us, and how society falls over itself to treat us like royalty.
Both of us are amazed that the media now focus on the behaviour of the attacker who chose to rape us, and that girls no longer have to be told to adjust their behaviour; that nobody ever tells a rape joke anymore, and that it is great that we can feel confident that we (and every other rape victim everywhere) will see justice for the crimes committed against us.
We then flew to lunch on the back of our dragons and had a splendid time with the aliens who popped over from the neighbouring galaxy in their UFO. Sorry you missed them, but they have promised that they will be back next month.
Like many men who don’t want the status quo to be challenged, Will has a ‘women-who-do-not-endlessly-kick-and-scream-against-their-attackers-are-not-real-victims’ kind of mentality. And he cannot get his head around the fact that being educated about rape awareness only unearths more pesky ‘not-really-victims’ victims (who knew?!). To Will, these women (whom he comes within a hairs breadth of calling liars and then suggests in a less than subtle manner are of having dubious morality) are simply exerting their feminine wiles because the Obama administration seeks to address the situation of college rape, and sees them as akin to getting a man to pick up the hankie you just accidently-dropped-on-purpose because – well, they’re women and they want the men [i.e., government] to come riding to their rescue. (Just pass me another grape will you? And please pick up my lavender scented hankie whilst I recline on my chaise longue).
It’s not that this man has a view point that is grotesque in its rape apology: it is the prominence that both the Washington Times and New York Post give to this privileged white man who belittles the violence of rape in such a casually dismissive manner. (“Consider the supposed campus epidemic of rape, aka “sexual assault,” he writes, as though rape is some prankster-with-good-intentions hiding behind a mask and doesn’t really mean it when it frightens the crap out of you, violates you and leaves you unable to function emotionally or psychologically).
The world George Will lives in is the one where the patriarchy gets to do exactly as they please – to whomever it pleases them to do it – without ever having to be held even remotely accountable.
The world in which every woman deserves to live is very different – it is nowhere near a reality yet, but it’s not a myth and we will continue to fight for it.
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George Will’s article is a typical example of mens’ mansplanning – meaning men commonly twist the facts around in order to make the false claim ‘men are the most oppressed humans on this planet.’ Needless-to-say only men are human because men have always claimed ‘man’ (sic) is the definitive human species which means women aren’t human but merely exist to serve men and their pseudo male sex rights.
I began my studies at TUFTS in 2009 and continued through 2011. At this time I had some encounters with a rapist and a violent housemate – the situation became very scary. At this time Veronica Carter of student affairs defended my abusers and began treating me like the problem. I field some reports of discrimination and harassment internally. The police officer on campus lied about what happened to my face under the pressure of student affairs. Soon after the supervisor of my department (also the academic advisor of my abuser brought me in for questioning of my ‘academic status and threatened to kick me out fo the program… up to that point I had excellent grades in my course work, I had been on honor role in all previous schooling and was always a ‘good student’ – experiences similar to your circumstance). Tufts went on a defamation spree putting in writing a number of false reasons for getting rid of me. They began interrogating me and trying to document suppossed deficits that were not real.. to the point where they made themselves evident. For example, giving me a poor grade when llt eh work for the course was marked with As and meeting criteria. I went to the dean with evidence of my academic success and she admitted the reason for their decision was not academic but based on personal feelings about me. I brought one of the abusers to court. At this point the academic advisor and student affairs people showed up on their behalf. They also submitted fallicious paperwork about my academic record and character to the courts, including ‘student records’ without my permission. They shared information with the abusers attorney about me without consent or legal notice violating FERPA, allowing personal and irrelevant information to these parties that they would not have known (such as my new living location) without Tufts giving them that info prior to any request for such information could be made. I left school w 60,oooo of loans and could not secure or keep a job because of the things that they said about me and because they denied me the degree I earned. I continue to experience discrimination and harassment in school and work as a result of Tufts behavior. I am not the same person that created the survivor privilige blog and it is not a coincidence that we both suffered similar experiences under the same administration at the same time. We are not experiencing these issues because of our individual nature alone but because of systemic victimization AND revictimization of highly privlidged environments against economically and racially marginalized women.