Feminism, Top Stories

Challenging the Campus Rape Narrative

What do senior university administrators chat about when they attend overseas conferences with others of their kind? Surely when vice-chancellors hobnob with American college presidents the conversation must sometimes stray to their troubles—particularly the costly business of managing the so-called “campus rape crisis.”

So how come these smart leaders from the Australian higher education sector haven’t twigged to the dangers ahead? Ripples from the fallout of the campus rape frenzy on American college campuses have travelled across the world. Back in the 1990s, there were campus protests with furious young women brandishing placards claiming one in four students are raped. The alarmist 2015 propaganda movie The Hunting Ground was screened across the country, showing serial rapists preying on college women. By 2011, the activists had achieved their main goal, with Obama requiring all publicly-funded universities to set up tribunals for determining sexual assault cases.

So American universities got into the criminal investigation business, with lower standards of proof greatly increasing the chances of conviction in date rape cases. Such cases remain a stumbling block in the highly successful and much needed feminist push for justice for rape victims. Rape allegations are now treated far more seriously, convictions are more common and attract far higher penalties. According to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics, in my own state of New South Wales, numbers of sexual assault convictions have almost doubled since 1995, and over 50 percent of such convictions receive prison sentences compared to about 10 percent of other crimes.1

But in he-said, she-said cases, often involving intoxicated youngsters, juries are notoriously reluctant to send young men to jail, particularly when they don’t know who to believe. The American college tribunal system lowered the bar, requiring lower standards of proof, with the accused not protected by lawyers, often denied full access to allegations, and lacking other legal rights available under criminal law. It’s led to a steady stream of young men (and occasionally women) being suspended from college, their lives derailed by this “victim-centred justice.”

That’s proved a mighty costly exercise for the American university system, particularly with a number of these accused young men and their families winning legal cases and receiving substantial payouts from colleges that failed to protect due process rights. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against universities alleging such violations. In most cases, judges have ruled in favor of the accused student and there has been increasing public disquiet about the unfairness of these kangaroo courts. In a 2016 ruling against Brandeis University, a US district court judge wrote:

If a college student is to be marked for life as a sexual predator, it is reasonable to require that he be provided a fair opportunity to defend himself and an impartial arbiter to make that decision. Put simply, a fair determination of the facts requires a fair process, not tilted to favour a particular outcome, and a fair and neutral fact-finder, not predisposed to reach a particular conclusion.

All of this has played out publicly on the world stage. Yet, despite all the warnings, Australian universities are cheerfully bounding down the same road. What is quite astonishing is that here they are doing in the face of solid evidence that the campus rape crisis simply doesn’t exist.

In August 2017, the Australian Human Rights Commission released the results of a million-dollar survey into sexual assault and harassment on university campuses, following years of lobbying by local activists. Designed to provide proof of the rape crisis, it proved to be a total fizzer. Only 0.8 percent per year of the 30,000 surveyed reported any sexual assault, even using the broadest possible definition including “tricked into sex against your will” and sexual contact with a stranger on the bus or train trip to university. In response, the activists immediately shifted ground, issuing alarmist warnings about high levels of sexual violence which was actually low grade harassment, including staring, sexual jokes or comments.

The results were in, but I was the only journalist writing in mainstream media that day to celebrate our safe campuses. My news story included data from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics showing campuses are about 100 times safer than the rest of the community for young women.2

Across the country, vice-chancellors kowtowed to the feminist activists with endless displays of virtue-signalling, promising to tackle the sexual violence with 24-hour help lines, sexual assault and harassment units, and sexual consent courses. I wrote to all our major universities posing a series of questions about why our cash-strapped universities are choosing to lie about the safety of our campuses, and risking scaring off Asian families from sending their daughters to study in this country. The result was endless weasel words from University media units—not one acknowledged that the whole thing is a farce.

The emperor has no clothes. This was the image that inspired me. Our pompous vice-chancellors parading before us, totally naked, whilst the entire university sector, including eminent social scientists, cowered in silence, denying the solid research evidence of safe campuses. That is what led me to embark on a campus tour, seeking out student groups to invite me onto campuses where I could discuss the illusory rape crisis and the related push for university involvement in adjudicating sexual assault. My background as one of Australia’s first sex therapists with a long history of writing about gender issues made this process easier.

The results have been pretty much as expected. My first talk, scheduled for August at La Trobe University in Melbourne, was suddenly cancelled when university administrators claimed it didn’t align with the values of the University. Following media pressure, the university backed down—but only after a conversation with one of the administrators who suggested they may need to offer counselling to students attending the talk. The event went ahead, despite protest demonstrations and a very noisy crowd of protesters bashing on the doors to the venue, shouting into megaphones and doing their best to drown out our discussion.

At Sydney University, the protests were far more alarming. Here, the University insisted on charging the student club hosting the event a security fee of nearly $500 for guards who had no authority to remove the aggressive mob of abusive protesters who blocked the corridor leading to the venue, preventing my audience from accessing the room and roughing up anyone who tried to get through. The escalating violence and abuse led the guards to call in the riot squad, who removed the protesters, allowing the event to proceed.

I’ve asked the university to take action against named key protesters for breaches to the University’s code of conduct and bullying/harassment regulations. An investigation is currently underway. Yet it seems unlikely that the University will act. Last year, the University’s own workplace disputes consultants recommended the key organiser of my protest should receive a suspension for misconduct because she had subjected an anti-abortion group on campus to all manner of abuse, including exposing her breasts to them. Yet still the University failed to follow through. Charges were dropped, without any explanation.

We are taking further action following up on the vice-chancellor’s decision not to fully refund the security fee. (Some was returned due to an administrative error leading to overcharging.) Vice-chancellor Michael Spence declared the guards had fulfilled their protocols, despite the riot squad being required for the talk to proceed. Sydney University has long been allowing a heckler’s veto to flourish on campus, whereby conservative student groups are charged prohibitively high security fees to protect them from violent radical protesters.

The whole fracas has proved quite a tipping point for community frustration over the failure of universities to protect free speech. All manner of eminent people spoke out, including former High Court chief justice Robert French, who warned that universities were risking their reputations by restricting speech on campus. They should “maintain a robust culture of open speech and discussion even though it may involve people hearing views that they find offensive or hurtful,” he suggested. The newly appointed Federal Education Minister has been raising the issue with vice-chancellors, Senators are grilling bureaucrats in parliamentary committees, and there’s been much public discussion about the need for our universities to sign up to a Chicago charter.

The free speech debate is encouraging but it’s not my main game—which is exposing the false campus rape narrative and the related push towards university-based justice for sex crimes. It is proving mighty difficult to break the stranglehold of the activists silencing my attempts to call attention to this dangerous trend. Just this week, the student group hosting my next talk told me we couldn’t mention a “rape” crisis in a poster because it might trigger rape victims during their current exams.

Meanwhile, Australian universities are already caving to pressure to get involved in sexual abuse investigations. Last year, I spent eight months helping a PhD student at Adelaide University ward off a university committee which was investigating a sexual assault allegation from another student. I found a criminal barrister set to give him pro bono advice, and eventually the university dropped the charges but only after a long and stressful battle. That committee had the power to withhold the young man’s PhD unless he cooperated.

Across Australia, universities are introducing regulations to support such investigations, whereby the lower standard of “balance of probabilities” will be used to decide sexual assault matters. At UTS in Sydney, the committee investigating sexual assault includes students amongst its members.

How is it possible that all this is happening just when the Trump administration has announced changes to the tribunal system to wind back victim-centred justice and protect due process rights for the accused? Earlier this year, over 150 American criminal lawyers, law professors and scholars signed an open letter denouncing the victim-centred investigative practises which flourished under the Obama system:

By their very name, their ideology, and the methods they foster, ‘believe the victim’ concepts presume the guilt of an accused. This is the antithesis of the most rudimentary notions of justice. In directing investigators to corroborate allegations, ignore reporting inconsistencies, and undermine defenses, the ‘believe the victim’ movement threatens to subvert constitutionally-rooted due process protections.

Last year, a series of UK rape cases collapsed following revelations of deliberate withholding of key evidence by prosecutors and police, part of the same victim-centred justice. In the ensuring scandal which followed, the former Director of Public Prosecutions stepped down and it was decided that key rape and serious sexual assault cases should be reviewed. The Metropolitan Police have now announced that they are ditching their previous practice of “believing all victims.”

The evidence is there for all to see. Our Australian universities are on a hiding to nothing by surrendering to the bullying tactics of a small group of feminist activists and agreeing to get involved in the criminal justice business. The sensible majority need to speak up and give them the courage to withstand this dangerous nonsense.

Feature Photo: Australian Human Rights Commission photosteam

Bettina Arndt trained as a clinical psychologist before becoming one of Australia’s first sex therapists. She then had a long career as a social commentator mainly on gender issues. Her new book, #MenToo, will be published in December. You can follow her on Twitter @thebettinaarndt

References: 

1 NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics, reference 18-16713
2 NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics, reference 17-15345

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84 Comments

  1. Harland says

    Forget preponderance of evidence—Democrat Jared Polis of Colorado wonders why campus rape adjudicators don’t use an even lower standard of proof and expel students in cases where there is only a 20 percent chance that they are guilty.

    “If there are ten people who have been accused, and under a reasonable likelihood standard maybe one or two did it, it seems better to get rid of all ten people.”

    https://reason.com/blog/2015/09/10/rep-jared-polis-thinks-colleges-should-b

    https://youtu.be/MPy3YVgIZrM?t=6990

  2. John Craigton says

    Nice article. I would like to ask Bettina Arndt: If there is no rape crisis and if the high numbers are false, why is this being done. Who are the beneficiaries of putting these wrong numbers out? It is not clear to me why anyone would put these overestimated numbers out there.

    • Isaac says

      I used to believe that there was a campus rape crisis. I used to share the false statistics and talking points with people. I was shamed and refuted with actual data, and that caused me to look into it for myself and realize that I was incorrect.

      There’s a natural inclination to believe stuff like this and to want to “help women,” and various activists and feminists can draw attention to themselves and become micro-celebrities by protesting “rape culture” and proclaiming themselves to be victims. It makes them feel like heroes. Just watch that video. How can a girl like that large, vapid young protester have a platform on popular websites like the Guardian? She doesn’t know anything, she’s spoiled and overprivileged, and also a bully and a complete narcissist. But by falsely claiming to be fighting oppression and censorship when people rightly react to her abusive behavior, she earned 15 minutes of fame.

    • Kronosaurus says

      I believe that interest groups are engaged in information warfare. If you don’t amplify your arguments with the most sensational data and narratives the fear is that the other “side” will destroy you with their amplified data and narratives. This is why things become “crisis” and “epidemics”. It happens on both sides. Activists claim there is a rape epidemic and their detractors counter with claims that free speech is under assault. While we can see that women are safer then ever before, we should admit that we are more free to counter the activists then ever before. You may get shouted down at the occasional campus speech but your voice can get amplified by the internet, Twitter, Facebook, Trump rallies, etc. If you do not use amplified and sensational tactics – if you tray to sound nuanced and reasonable – one or both sides will call you a traitor. With us or against us side taking infiltrates the intellectual debate as well and this nourishes the hyperbolic nature of the debates.

    • @John Craigton

      “If there is no rape crisis and if the high numbers are false, why is this being done. Who are the beneficiaries of putting these wrong numbers out?”

      A lot of people. It’s very much like witch hunts: when witches are everywhere, witchsmellers, inquisitors, officials, activists, anti-rape non-profits, et al., do a booming business.

      If you really want to get into the nitty gritty, I highly recommend “The Diversity Delusion”, by Heather MacDonald. In it, she has a fat section on the rape crisis myth. She has written extensively on this issue, and you can find her articles around as well:

      http://articles.latimes.com/2008/feb/24/opinion/op-mac_donald24

      https://www.amazon.com/Diversity-Delusion-Pandering-University-Undermine/dp/1250200911/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1540488991&sr=1-1&keywords=the+diversity+delusion&dpID=41x7R4lnswL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

      • Ray Andrews says

        And not just the up-front business opportunities. A certain kind of person is in love with their righteousness and will attempt to be the holiest SJW in the room, thus the most zealous rape-smeller in the room. Then there is the fact that all fundamentalists essentially hate people and will do everything they can to ruin as many people’s lives as they can, particularly the lives of ‘the enemy’ in this case all males. Has there ever been a case of the radfems asking for someone to get a break, after, say, telling a joke that didn’t go down well? No, prisoners are not taken nor is there ever any mercy — all men who can be destroyed will be destroyed.

        • Tom Koller says

          They’re just following up on the course suggested by Valeria Solanas in SCUM.

      • Mark Saulys says

        Confusion results as policies of American universities, in response to American prevalence of crime and rape, are applied to universities of Australia where the prevalence of rape is much lower. American cultural dominance where all want to be cool like Americans and the fashion and trend is to emulate the United States just to emulate the United States may result in adopting policies that may be more fitting for the U.S. but quite ill fitting Australia and elsewhere.

    • McFly says

      @John Craigton

      To manipulate people, answers the “why.”

      To manipulate people’s feelings and ultimately their views on what end up being political questions seems like a more complete answer.

      As for the “who benefits” question…

      I think there are certain “who’s” that benefit, directly and indirectly. “Movement” leaders. Politicians. Publishers. Researchers. Attention-seekers.

      But all manner of statist ideologies are advanced when procedural safeguards designed to protect the individual are diminished or devalued.

      The inference I draw from the “rape culture” narrative is that the purpose is oriented towards untethering us, collectively, from the presumption of innocence as an ideal.

      At the university level the narrative appears to be intended to support efforts to establish a new dynamic in terms of the way the citizenry conceptualizes “justice.” It’s a battle between the whole “seriousness of the charge” mantra vs. the burden of proof as competing standards within the minds of young adults in the midst of important formative years in their development and maturation.

      • Greg Allan says

        “To manipulate people’s feelings”

        In previous witch hunts the real witches were the accusers – those who manipulated the emotions of others to their own nefarious ends. There are always witches among us. It’s a lesson our species has needed to learn time and again.

    • John G Lammi says

      People get employment out of this scene. Some people get to satisfy sadistic impulses under the cover of “justice.”

    • I tried to make it clear in my article. The rape crisis narrative is being driven by feminist activists who are unhappy about the low rape of conviction in date rape cases. They are bullying universities to get involved in determining such cases, as I have explained. But in order to do that, they have to exaggerate the risks of sexual assault on campus, which thankfully is a rare event.

      • Damian O'Connor says

        Thank you for a thoughtful article, Bettina (if I may). It is truly disturbing when an accusation becomes proof of guilt, due process is ditched alongside ‘innocent until proved guilty’. The question is; how can these activists be held to account personally? Although I welcome the law being used to overturn these ‘Peoples Courts’ or ‘Street Justice’ verdicts, I do not want to see university budgets hit in this way. It would seem to me to be greater justice to see those who are driving the agenda made to pay.

        Damian O’Connor
        Author of ‘A Short Guide to the History of South Africa.’

      • McFly says

        Hi Bettina,

        It’s difficult for me to understand how you arrive at such a restrictive conclusion as that.

        The narrative is being pushed by a much broader coalition than “feminist activists.” Rolling Stone wasn’t successfully sued for publishing a student’s rape-fantasy because feminist activists have seized every leadership position in the organization, right? And that was after they had — in your words — “achieved their main goal, with Obama requiring all publicly-funded universities to set up tribunals for determining sexual assault cases.”

        I’m also interested in why you don’t appear to see a more direct link between the fake “rape crisis” and the campus free speech crisis… Free speech and the presumption of innocence married to due process are integral parts of the Western tradition, and simultaneous assaults against both within the university system can’t be chalked up to coincidence.

        From where I sit, these look like two fronts in the same war. And what is the #MeToo “movement” if not the expansion of the “rape crisis” front beyond the university?

        This seems to be much deeper than just some hacked-off feminists looking for “justice” after being drugged and abused by star athletes or privileged frat boys.

    • Thad Goddard (@GoddardT) says

      “If there is no rape crisis and if the high numbers are false, why is this being done…?”

      When I was in college about 20 years ago, my recently minted girlfriend told me she had been raped shortly before we met. She implicated another student I knew in passing.

      I wanted to kill that guy. I seriously considered flattening his head with a bat in a dark alley, planned it out. Thank god my conscientiousness got the better of me.

      But I was still furious. It haunted me for years. I tried in vain to convince her to report him and to seek counseling for herself at the time, but she wouldn’t do either, much to my puzzlement and helplessness. I felt like I had let her down, failed to protect her somehow. Even years later, I would distress myself with it. I talked to a therapist about my guilt.

      Looking back with some maturity and research, I’m almost certain she was not raped in any real sense. She had sex with this guy mostly willingly, although maybe under some psychological hurry from him, as men will sometimes do to move things along. He was handsome and charming, so I expect he was not the patient type. When she got together with me, and we became that stable, picture-perfect college couple that everyone envies and expects to get married right after graduation, I think she became afraid I would find out about her one-off with this guy from him or someone else (she said there were people in a nearby room who I presume knew what went on … and why it obviously could not have been a screaming, violent “help me!” rape or they would have unquestionably heard it and intervened). I think she was afraid I might judge her a whore and abandon her. So she took preemptive control of the narrative and framed the encounter as “rape,” maybe even convinced herself.

      My central point is, when she said “rape”, I lost my cool and didn’t think matters through like I would have otherwise (if I had, I would have seen holes in the narrative at the time). I almost murdered a man, and wound up wracked with strong emotions for years after. I don’t think I’m unusual. As soon as someone say “rape!” most people of good conscience seem to come unglued and lose the plot. The person saying “rape” has control of everyone’s attention, their sympathies, their minds.

      A “campus rape crisis” is a potent tool of manipulation for those pushing a certain narrative of society. It’s a loaded topic that allows them to control discussion, silence disagreement, and whip up support. I experienced that first hand.

      • I feel your thoughts on how to respond to rape are NOT unusual for a man. For me it shows that MOST men are not toxic masculine rapists.

    • Jim Fraser says

      Its a battle for scarce resources, in this case employment opportunites. University administrative positions have grown rapidly. In this case to address a non-existent crisis.

    • Ryan Carr says

      Are you drunk? It seems clear to all but the most ideologically driven that left/feminist activism benefits directly from releasing and actively promoting falsehoods that support the narrative, by doing so increase publicity, gain (more) authority and political/social capital, and thereby increasing funding for their devisive causes.

    • Mark Saulys says

      Confusion results as policies of American universities, in response to American prevalence of crime and rape, are applied to universities of Australia where the prevalence of rape is much lower. American cultural dominance where all want to be cool like Americans and the fashion and trend is to emulate the United States just to emulate the United States may result in adopting policies that may be more fitting for the U.S. but quite ill fitting Australia and elsewhere.

    • Gabriel H. says

      Follow the money…

      Feminist groups get their government funding by doing this. They will do anything, dream up any imagined slight against women (i.e. sexist air conditioning, manspreading, etc.) in order to justify getting more money for their cause.

  3. John Craigton says

    I watched the video, nicely made, but I am disappointed that she works with Milo, who is primarily a provocateur without any academic background. That is a real turnoff for me. I hope Bettina Arndt, who is such a well-spoken person, chooses suitable allies.

    • Harland says

      Credentialism? Really? After all that’s been said and done these past couple years, we’re *still* looking down our noses at people for lacking standing within academia? Honestly that’s a plus for a lot of us. Academia has proven very susceptible to groupthink.

      • Chad Latta says

        Requiring qualifications is not credentialism. People such as Milo do not seek educated debate, which is the point of academia (a conservative alternative would be someone like den Shapiro or Thomas Sowell). What are your alternative standards – or do you prefer none?

        • Travis F. says

          “Requiring qualifications is not credentialism.”

          That’s not what @John Craigton said:

          “Milo … is primarily a provocateur without any academic background.”

          And it IS the very definition of credentialism:

          cre·den·tial·ism
          /krəˈden(t)SHəˌlizəm/
          n. belief in or reliance on academic or other formal qualifications as the best measure of a person’s intelligence or ability to do a particular job.

          Harland: 1
          Chad: 0

          • A salient detail being: “…the best measure of a persons intellect or ability to do a job”. In this case the job being to debate academic theory and research – his intellect isn’t being called into question.

        • Chad, the point at issue is not a matter of academic debate. You say below:””in this case the job being to debate academic theory and research”.
          It’s not. What Bettina and Milo are engaged in is political debate about the standards of justice to be applied in the real world.

          • The problem is that it’s become political – which is about ideology. The issue doesn’t get addressed unless it gets a more objective framework – which is what academia is supposed to do. The provocateurs on either side do nothing but inflame the tribalism, to solve a problem we need rational analysis. Milo has no place here, as his goal isn’t solving problems.

          • Freda says

            @Chad

            “The issue doesn’t get addressed unless it gets a more objective framework – which is what academia is supposed to do…”

            Back in the day, Europeans who had never been to the Americas would write fantastical stories about what went on there: people with heads under their shoulders, dragons, cities of gold.They sold quite well.

            You should write a book on the academy.

    • penny says

      “I hope Bettina Arndt, who is such a well-spoken person, chooses suitable allies.”

      First Amendment advocates back in the day worked with Larry Flynt of “Hustler”.

      Before it became a far-left cutout, the ACLU defended the free speech rights of Nazis as well as civil rights organizers.

      When it comes to campaigning for universal fairness and objectivity, you wind up with some startling bedfellows. Strange and even “objectionable” people support fairness and objectivity, too. In fact, they are often on the front lines, because they are denied objective treatment because of their identity.

    • Coolius Caesar says

      So because Milo is a “provocateur” he can’t possibly be correct?

    • An academic pays tens of thousands of dollars to get a piece of paper as “proof” that he’s “qualified” to express himself, but what he knows can be mastered for the cost of a library card: https://youtu.be/hIdsjNGCGz4 Given the state of the Humanities and Social Sciences, one’d be better off using that library card and going for older books rather than spending time in some radical professor’s class.

    • Milo’s been sidelined in disgrace. His news site, however, which gets precious little attention, has some very interesting, irreverent and well-written articles, with a special section devoted to Tiffany Trump. As a flaming conservative, Milo is a rare bird and kind of fun to watch fly.

    • I don’t work with Milo. I have done one small YouTube video interview with him and have joked about doing a campus talk but that is most unlikely to happen in Australia because of the security risks here. Yes, he is a provocateur but very entertaining and has done a good job exposing the free speech issues on American campuses. I have extraordinary allies here in Australia and more coming out of the woodwork every day!

    • ga gamba says

      I am disappointed that she works with Milo, who is primarily a provocateur without any academic background. That is a real turnoff for me.

      You fail to recognise that more than credentialed academics speak on campus. A wide array of performers do so too. That Mr Yiannopoulos is invited by a student group is no different than another group inviting a band, comedian, or performance artist. People may choose to be entertained in a variety a ways. The nerve of them.

  4. Farris says

    There may not be a “rape crisis” on campus. Young men are being harmed by low standards of proof and lack of due process. But do not forget that actual rape and sexual assault victims are harmed as well by false or under investigated claims. Prosecutors are not simply employed to obtain convictions. Part of the prosecutor’s job is to insure the process is fair and just, otherwise, the conviction may not withstand scrutiny. When courts or tribunals are convened the quest must be justice, not simply adjudication. To strive for anything other than justice converts the proceeding into a “Star Chamber”.
    Persons unwilling or unable to protect the process do harm to the process, the defendant and the victim.

    • You have a charmingly naive view of prosecutors. The are scalphunters whose performance is measured by the number of scalps (convictions) they amass.

      • Farris says

        I was a prosecutor for 10 years but thank you for the charming reference.

    • Meanwhile, there’s a growing number of married men who are being thrown out of relationships and subjected to apprehended violence orders (in Australia) by women using the system to make sure they can never see their children. My daughter-in-law did the same thing recently; my son arrived home to find a note on the kitchen table that the marriage is over and he is unable to see his children. Bewildered and shattered, he’s living in a flat without furniture and using a camping bed. It’s outrageous and gone way too far and there will be a pendulum swing that activists just don’t like. Bring it on.

  5. Agreeable Contrarian says

    “…she had subjected an anti-abortion group on campus to all manner of abuse, including exposing her breasts to them.”

    This is the sort of abuse I could get used to…

    • Innominata says

      “This is the sort of abuse I could get used to…”

      Indeed. She might find the anti-abortion group’s male membership skyrocketing with tactics like that. 😆

  6. TarsTarkas says

    University bureaucrats know that if they do not stand up to ‘toxic white straight masculinity’ their chances for advancement in their chosen professions is nil, because the higher-ups were all marinated in the warmed-over swill of Critical Theory.

    • I’m forming the conclusion that for a lot of people being a victim is the only thing of importance that will happen to most of them. I would certainly expect future employers to find out about it and just avoid. They’ll be using that now-famous, ubiquitous four-lettered-word come job time…”next”.

      • Not just an event of importance, but a principle of “heroic victim” has developed in American society, at least, over the past 30 years or so. Being a victim – of anything – conveys a badge of authority and superiority (moral and practical), and leads to fawning admiration and validation from a large segment of the populace.

        An event of importance…but reinforced by a powerful cult of heroic victimhood. It’s a powerful aphrodisiac.

      • Paul Ellis says

        Sadly, I think you’re right. Whatever happened to ‘seize the day’, nowadays called ‘agency’? Too much risk reduction and safety culture?

  7. sestamibi says

    Great work from the antipodean Ashe Schow. Keep it up.

  8. Pingback: The 'campus rape crisis' simply doesn’t exist: only 0.8 percent per year of the 30,000 surveyed reported any sexual assault. - TPOok

  9. Johansson says

    I have a question about that 0.8% out of 30,000. I cant seem to find it in the report, though maybe Im not looking hard enough?

    Otherwise excellent article, have already shared with friends!

    • jimhaz says

      Had the same problem.

      “Overall, 6.9% of students were sexually assaulted on at least one occasion in 2015 or 2016, with 1.6% reporting that the sexual assault occurred in a university setting”

      I am assuming she halved the 1.6% so that it covers 1 year only.

      • Johansson says

        Yeah thats the only way i could get to that number. I would have preferred to have it presented more clearly, because when i will (and i will) refer to this statistic i will want to be able to prove it, and now it becomes a bit of a leap of faith.

        Still, big fan of the article and will read more of Bettina.

        Please Bettina keep up the good work^^

      • There are obviously problems regarding the definition of sexual assault on campus but I figured that a ‘campus rape crisis’ had to refer to events taking place on a campus… not just students reporting that they had something sexual happen to them involving people who may have nothing to do with the university and in a totally different setting. Hence I use the 1.6% figure for the two years. AHRC acknowledged they didn’t quote the yearly figure because it was too small!

        Note that 0.8 yearly figure includes sexual assault on public transport to or from the university as well. I think it is very encouraging that the survey reported such low figures even with this broad definition, and using self-selected people to answer the survey which presumably would encourage those with such experiences to get involved.

  10. W2class says

    I would object to the characterisation of Australian universities as “cash-strapped”. I have friends working at RMIT and Melbourne university’s and they are extravagantly funded with vast resources to waste on impractical, over-engineered, vanity architecture and just this sort of social injustice warrioring. All most of it my tax money that I have little democratic power to withdraw.

    On credentialism, I love the quote from the film Dangerous Liaisons in which one character says of another, “he’s an academic, and, like most academics, he’s intensely stupid.”

    Long time fan of Bettina Arndt.

  11. Big fan of Bettina’s. I’ve sent her a few emails, and she is a delight. It’s great to have a women fighting for men. My gut feeling is that the nonsense put forth by feminists will only be debunked by wider society when women speak out for men. When women see how the never ending misandry affects their sons, then women will speak out against feminism.

    By feminism I mean 3rd wave intersectional feminism, led by delusional theories of systemic oppression by men.

    I recently lost a friend of mine due to the fake rape culture allegations. When I challenged the usual “1 in 4 or 1 in 5 women” statistics and referred her to Bettina’s website, I was ex-communicated. I’m losing friends at a reasonably quick rate these days.

    • Damian O'Connor says

      You want to lose friends? Try writing history….

      Damian O’Connor
      Author of ‘A Short Guide to the History of South Africa.’

    • Gisele says

      @Mark

      “I was ex-communicated. I’m losing friends at a reasonably quick rate these days.”

      Those ain’t “friends.” If you are getting excommunicated, by definition, you are/were a “follower.”

    • They sound like just the sort of people you should celebrating losing.

  12. Jade Ashworth says

    I’m 53. Back at school when I was 16 (do the maths, 37 years ago) we had “rape crisis” people visit our school. We boys were taken aside, fed the 1 in 4 (its always 1 in 4) factoid, and for an hour told that we were all rapists (actually, nearly all of us were virgins). Meanwhile the girls were being told “girls can do anything. It was actually worse for boys of my generation than for boys of my sons generation. Some cautious optimism – people like Bettina now have the internet to get the truth out.

    • I agree with some comments made by the 30-something Ben Shapiro. He generalized by saying ‘men are pigs; they’ve behaved like pigs for centuries but marriage offered some protection for women from pigs. The pill came along and women demanded the right to also behave like pigs. Now they want us to think they’re victims’. I just couldn’t believe my ears when I heard that; the man has absolutely nailed it.

  13. Amy Law says

    Funny that “attempted sexual assult” while intoxicated is deemed way more severe than actual physical assault by protesters on innocent students attempting to hear a speech. These protests are creating way more psychological and physical harm than that boy who “hit on” that girl at a party and almost got to home base before the girl got cold feet and decided to say no, then decided she should report the trist despite very little consequence of the ordeal out side of awkward encounters in the hall.

  14. Jesse D says

    It is indeed dangerous nonsense. Thanks for speaking up Bettina.

  15. Darwin T of BC Humanists says

    Welcome to the newest religion. Radical feminism. It has dogma, sin, excommunication, blapshemy, public floggings and many other nightmares from human beings need for visceral satisfaction and obedience to scripture.

    No need for adults to be in control of their emotions or practice the golden rule.

    No, just emote all over the place.

  16. Bubblecar says

    “My background as one of Australia’s first sex therapists with a long history of writing about gender issues made this process easier.”

    Actually, a long history of courting maximum public controversy, in her early days as a “sex therapist” and her new role of “men’s rights activist”. Which, understandably, is why universities weren’t falling over themselves to invite Arndt to speak on such a sensitive subject.

    Arndt herself knew full well that her presence on campus would be highly disruptive, and she knew full well that it was also of no benefit to anyone except herself, with the publicity it would generate for her. Anyone interested in her views can easily find them on the internet, and they’re much the same views as most other anti-feminist MRAs.

    • Ryan Carr says

      Ahh, I see the feminist representative has arrived…..spouting the usual rhetorical tripe and demonstraing an utter inability to view a situation outside of the ideological lens.

      • Bubblecar says

        Ha, Arndt is the one wielding the “ideological lens”. She is expecting the universities (who clearly have at least some responsibility to provide a safe environment for their students) to respond to the AHRC survey in the same way she did – crowing that there’s “no problem at all with sexual assault on our campuses, so feminists should shut up and go away blah blah blah”.

        Obviously they are not going to do that (it’s in fact exactly the kind of response that would “scare away the Asian students” as well as most other women).

        She’s a crude shit-stirrer pretending to be outraged that universities don’t regard crude shit-stirring as a valuable contribution to serious discussion of serious issues.

  17. Heads up Bub, facts are of use to us all especially the ‘uninterested’ who in most cases need them most.
    Seeing the genuine, kind & long term dedicated as self serving because you can’t deal says more about you….

  18. College exists now ONLY as a political indoctrination system. College as it has existed is NO LONGER NECESSARY. It is an obsolete system. Continuing to pretend like it is some hallowed ground or is even still needed is similar to continuing to pretend like ‘objective journalism’ is, ever was, or could ever be an actual thing. It’s delusion. It’s fairy tale. ‘Journalism’ is just one dude’s opinion. That’s all. We all got ’em. And classic college is just sleepover camp for rich kids. Nothing more. It’s a waste of time and money, and we need to start openly stating this, and openly encouraging young people to take a different path. Online learning/community college + internship or trade. Stop sending money to communists who hate freedom. STOP IT. DESTROY THAT SYSTEM, and leave the SJW’s with no ‘safe space’ in which to bully others with impunity and to brainwash entire generations into helplessness. Then, watch them all fall into depression and despair because they have no purpose without the rush of political power, and laugh at them until they are ready to grow the f$ck up. When they are ready to grow up, welcome them with open arms. But not before.

    Life isn’t fair, and no one owes you a gd thing. Deal with it or do away with yourself, but do NOT try to prevent me from speaking freely, or I will use VIOLENCE against you in whatever degree is necessary to free myself from your attempted control. And I will be RIGHT to do so.

    My speech is infinitely more important than your feelings. Repeat that to yourself as many times as is necessary for it to sink in.

    Free speech is the final straw. It is worth defending at all costs, and will be. Weak-minded crybabies just gotta learn to deal.

  19. @JS

    Freedom of Speech is the foundation of all of our freedoms and is worth fighting and even dieing for… But before we sharpen plow shares into sordes lets continue to stick with reasoned argument and resolve. We must not become unhinged and let the enimies of free speech take the high rational ground and win over the merely complacent or ignorant….

    Many on the anti free speech hard left know in their hearts that free speech is right but they refute it as a badge of honor / virtue signaling (look at me I am so woke I will give up my own rights and the foundation of our republic to prove it) Violent rertoric in defense of free speech just emboldens such fools…

    • Sorry MMS and JS but the only ones who hate free speech are those on the hard right.

      As soon as you cons infringe on someone’s free speech you people think it’s acceptable. Since free speech does not guarantee you a venue or forum, it does NOT protect your speech from criticism (something that the snowflake right hates but is also a great example of their hypocrisy, after all criticism is just another form of speech) and it does NOT protect you from private entities placing limitations on that speech. It only protects you from GOVERNMENT taking action to limit it. But most radical right wingers find this incomprehensible for some reason.

      In other words the right has to take up positions on either end of the political spectrum to enforce their ideological perspectives in any meaningful way. For example, in order to have completely unfettered free speech, in the way the right wants it, rather than LIMIT government the radical right would have to EXPAND its powers. Is it any wonder then that many people refer to the right wing parties as the parties of hypocrites?

      Finally, it’s no surprise that the snowflake right takes up the mantra of the left when it can be helpful to them but dismisses it when the left uses it (or vice versa: they ballyhoo the left as ‘socialist’ when they incorporate tactics of the right but applaud themselves when they use those very same tactics to backstop the free market and corporate elite). Case in point: JS argues that SJWs are bullying the right to keep their safe spaces. When there would be no NEED for this type of ‘bullying’ in the first place if the bully right didn’t try to keep their fingers in all the pies (for example, when oppressed groups try to carve out even just 1% of an entire space for themselves, the bully right will start throwing out false equivalencies and claim that even this is unfair. When they try to push into these already tiny spaces, the left will eventually cave in to their demands and hand over the majority of these tiny spaces to appease the bully right. But that’s not enough for the bully right. The fact that the left even THOUGHT of fighting back amounts to ‘bullying’ in their eyes and just makes things even MORE unfair to them. Crybaby hypocrites).

      • Kevin says

        An anti-fascist Fascist! The Free Market and the corporate elite identify as Left these
        days, fuckwit! Oil companies celebrate Earth Day, Multi-nationals wave the gay rainbow
        flag. You got all the institutional power–the MSM is almost all yours! You’re living in a dream world, motherfucker.

        • Nope. Left of center identifies with the employees and the poor. That’s what identifies people as being left (of center), you ‘fuckwit’.

          You people are the fascist corporate welfare elitists who sign onto progressive values when it suits you or it is convenient for you. Case in point, the right waves the flag of loving Jews especially when they think they can use it to bash the left over the head with. But as soon as it serves them no purpose back to the antisemitism they go.

          That’s what your corporate elites are doing. Plus showing a MINIMUM of decency is not evidence of them being left wing, you saying it is is actually just more false equivalency from the right. Responsibility is just not your thing, I guess.

      • Marcus T. Anthony says

        Beyond the ad hominem, Vashti, what is your analysis on her evidence base (citation and interpretation of Australian and NSW statistics) which is the foundation of her argument? That is where you should be focusing your criticism, because in the end that is how the “campus rape crisis” has to be critiqued. Is the evidence is poor? Is Bettina Arntdt’s interpretation of them in error?

        • For some reason you think it’s fine that ad hominems should be slung at the left. If the left responds in kind “the left is just as bad as the right!” or some such nonsense. If you disagree where is your criticism of either JS or MMS? As a matter of fact, I am not responding to the article writer and only to the ones I mentioned in my comment. Please read more carefully and in context next time. Thanks.

  20. El Duderino says

    Take it from a lady:

    “What is it about this mass movement? So angry, this movement of vengeance that is starting to make these completely irrational claims about […] why it doesn’t matter that we suspend basic principles of presumption of innocence, and due process? How can it be this is actually being taken seriously in our public culture? […] I don’t know, but I do have to wonder whether the presence of women isn’t having some kind of really deleterious effect on our public conversations about these things.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSvpWR7aD6c

  21. Liam Murphy says

    Great article Bettina, thanks for penning it.

    I was falsely accused of rape in 2016, in perhaps one of the clearest examples of conscious and coordinated false allegations of our time. The complainants and witnesses were part of a bizarre sex cult/prostitution ring lead by a man who had voiced his intent to manufacture false allegations against me are year prior. You may have seen the horrendously misleading media coverage.

    The police actively colluded with him to ignore the glaringly obvious contradictions in the accusations, and even went as far as hiding the vital text messages in the same way they did in the UK case is that you mentioned.

    Luckily I was able to access those messages via the cloud, and the charges were dismissed. Since then the police have refused to even take a statement from me to initiate an investigation into the false allegations. Despite the mountain of evidence that’s available.

    I think we live in a moment went the very fabric of our societies is being torn apart by the giant untruths that you are uncovering. It’s vital that you continue your work for all of our sakes.

    I’ve written an open letter to consent advocates everywhere, as I’d like them to understand the horror that I’ve been through. Because as far as I can tell, false allegations are regarded by most as an acceptable byproduct of this war on rape culture.

    I’ll email it to you. For now keep up the good work.

  22. So your evidence that the campus rape crisis doesn’t exist is something that lies at the very core of the rape culture that precedes its very existence: namely that rape is minimized and dismissed to enable rapists to escape the legal consequences of their actions. Wow. The tautology is strong with you. But conservatives are often hypocrites so I’m not surprised. Ktbn dfba.

    • David Orr says

      Your explanation for why men often get away with rape: There is a grand conspiracy (the *patriarchy*!) to allow men to rape women.

      Actual reason: There is almost never evidence for rape.

      • There is plenty of evidence for rape. If we put murder under the same scrutiny as we do rape there would be no reason for all those black men you right wing bigots despise to be in jail, because there would be no ‘evidence’ they murdered anyone. Hypocrisy thy name is The RIGHT. Kaythxbainow.

    • No, her primary evidence is her citing of Australian statistics which indicate only 0.8% of those questioned in a survey of 30 000 people had been “sexually assaulted” over a two-year period? That was using a very loose definition of sexual assault, I believe, and some of the assaults were not even on campus. Didn’t you read that? And I wouldn’t call her argument a grand conspiracy. Co sluraciestypucally lack genuine direct evidence, while there is plenty of evidence provided here to establish a strong case.

      The obvious way to refute her argument is to address her analysis of the statistics and find why her interpretation of them is in error. Why don’t you give it a shot? I’d actually be interested to hear a genuine counter-argument.

      • Marcus, way to prove my point. A survey of 30,000 people of which only 0.8% reported being raped is a great example of what happens when rape is minimized and diminished. Again, reading comprehension.

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