Today, four U.S. Senators sent an open letter to Washington Post columnist George Will, after he penned a column dismissing rape and sexual assault as a major problem on college campuses. Democratic Senators Tammy Baldwin, Richard Blumenthal, Robert Casey and Diane Feinstein condemned Will for his irresponsible idea that victims of sexual assault enjoy “a coveted status that confers privileges.”
In his column, Will disputes the statistics that one in five women is sexually assaulted while in college, and only 12 percent of assaults are reported. Will also claims that the definition of sexual assault is too broad, including forms of harassment other than rape.
The column invokes an old-fashioned blame the victim mentality, saying, “[t]hen add the doctrine that the consent of a female who has been drinking might not protect a male from being found guilty of rape.” Will’s column, which blames progressive Washington for creating a culture of victims who make up accusations of rape and sexual assault, is dangerous.
What Mr. Will needs to understand is that sexual assault is real. It ruins lives. The senators are right in saying, “There is no acceptable number of sexual assaults; anything more than zero is unacceptable.”
Mr. Will should listen to the victims of sexual assault, not blame them.