Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Media Create an Open Forum (But Can You Take the Negative Criticism?).

A STUDENT JOURNALIST AT American University wrote a column stating that "date rape" does not exist.

"Let’s get this straight," he wrote. "Any woman who heads to an EI party as an anonymous onlooker, drinks five cups of the jungle juice, and walks back to a boy’s room with him is indicating that she wants sex, OK? To cry 'date rape' after you sober up the next morning and regret the incident is the equivalent of pulling a gun to someone’s head and then later claiming that you didn’t ever actually intend to pull the trigger."

The author has caught a lot of flack for his statements, and students are calling for him to be removed from the paper. Someone even vandalized the newspaper honor boxes, throwing the papers everywhere and posting signs reading, "No room for rape apologists."

"I have a fun time stirring the pot," the student journalist told the Washington Post. "I don't mind being hated for my views."

Is there anything wrong with the student writing such things, and the newspaper printing them (online as well as in print)?

Is this creating an open forum for debate or is this just spewing venom?

Would you be able to stand by your words as people freaked out?


Gillian Francella said...

I think that it would be fine for this writer to disagree with date rape if he really wanted to but his language is vulgar and extreme.
"...regret the incident is the equivalent of pulling a gun to someone’s head and then later claiming that you didn’t ever actually intend to pull the trigger"
Comparing drunk sex to putting a gun to someone's head- what?! I don't even understand what he's talking about. Is he saying the girl is the "rapist" (by forcing herself on him and 'putting a gun to his head' by agreeing on sex) or that men are not accountable for their actions....
If he didn't get kicked off the paper for this vulgar, stupid language, that ultimately makes his point unclear, he should get kicked off for the worst analogy I've ever heard.

Heather Flanagan said...

I agree that this kid is entitled to his opinion on the subject,however they way he described it was a bit extreme. Rape is a really touchy and sensitive subject. Someone reading the article who has been the victim of a rape would be very upset and offended because of the way it was written. I don't think it should have been published the way it was.

Dan P. said...

It should have been published simply because it is a very poor argument. For one, the author makes outrageous generalizations, such as"a gender-neutral sexuality can have no conception of the inherently gendered thrills of fetishism, sadomasochism, kink or cross-dressing...Feminists don’t understand history, psychology, biology or sexuality." He also writes, "There’s rape and there’s not-rape, and we need a line of demarcation. It’s not clear enough to merely speak of consent." What other criteria could possibly be used in determining rape other than consent? And the analogy he used to describe drunken sex makes no sense. In what possible way is drunken sex like shooting someone in the head? Not every person who ends up having sex after a party necessarily set out to do so, whereas shooting someone in the head is a deliberate action taken...I could go on but I guess that will suffice.

Kisha Lowenthal said...

I think that he is a bit extreme, but he has the right to his opinion.

Theodore Wohlsen said...

This is an issue that certainly should be addressed in college just to create awareness in general about how boys and girls students actually feel about date rape. There are certainly safe steps to take in order to prevent date rape from happening and there are certainly more mature ways for people to behave in a situation where they feel they have the, always inappropriate, opportunity to rape. For example, one of these steps on both sides of the issue would be to drink alcohol in moderation. These steps are more appropriate newsworthy criteria that should be addressed in order to inform about the issue. In the end he did a good job of "stirring the pot". However, this isn't journalism nor is it news but instead it is more of a challenge that will create a discussion. Granted through this discussion other ignorant students may learn something that may change their views on the issue. I think he should follow up his opinion with some sort of support through example or statistical evidence. Because this is such an incomplete story it does not deserve to be published and the editor should be fired for letting such a piece of shit article pass as valuable information.

Alexis Sachdev said...

I think his article is a complete slap in the face to college women everywhere. We don't drink to have sex, and we cry "rape!!!" without realizing the serious ramifications behind such a claim.

How does he account for drugs slipped in that sweet cup of jungle juice?

While I could quite possibly rant for hours on his lack of respect for feminists, I think this is merely a failed attempt at sarcasm and a boy's cry for attention. It's clear he's facetious and a mocker of sorts looking to stir up some trouble.

joe boland said...

He is allowed to think whatever he wants but I think just to publish this to "stir the pot" is dumb. Obviously he knew that many did not agree with this and I feel like he just did it to get attention.

Angelique said...

I don't think what he said was wrong. That being said, we should make sure there is no opinion in our journalism. Objectivity is key, and expressing what you feel about date rape is almost interpreting the story for the readers. Unless of course it is an opinion column.

nicole M Recek said...

I don't think that he said was wrong. I can say that I don't agree with it but other people might and he is just stating his opinion, not everyone is going to agree.

Berryman, A said...

This is a bit extreme, but everyone has a right to their own opinion.

Alana Turchi said...

I don't think this guy has any idea what he is talking about and just as bad, he must not understand the audience he is talking to. To write an article about date rape at a college paper blaming women entirely for its occurences is probably the stupidest idea I have ever heard. What's the worst part is that he doesn't even care...this is not like his view on healthcare that people are disagreeing about. Its a major issue that he must not understand the horrors of or else he wouldn't have decribed his article as "a fun time stirring the pot." He's an asshole.

Shauna Mulligan said...

I also do not entirely disagree with what he said. I believe this is a topic on which many people have strong opinions, and opening up the forum for debate is one of the jobs of a journalist, isn't it?

Here we are, on a blog, debating about it. While we're looking at the article itself, we all added in our personal opinion on what he said, as well. Looks like he accomplished his goal. I say good for him.

Rebel With A Cause said...

I believe the student journalist is protected by his first Amendment rights. This is his opinion and he should be able to express it freely. He his simply sparking public discourse through his argument, and this I believe is what journalism is all about.

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