Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
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Blaming the Victim?
A longtime reader offers a good observation:
Another issue I have is the complete refusal of women to take responsibility for their own actions. I work in New York City, and on the subways there is a poster campaign to get people to tone down their drinking. It shows a man bleeding from a wound on his forehead. The caption says “Two drinks ago you would have walked away.” I think this is a great campaign, but, using feminist terminology, it is “blaming the victim.”
I practiced ER medicine for 15 years. I have seen any number of assault victims, rape or otherwise. It exists, it is heinous, and there are rapists and predators that should be locked away forever, or worse. But there also exists people who seem to get victimized to a surprising degree. This is most tragically seen with domestic violence cases. A woman comes in beat up, everybody is concerned. But when the answer to the question, “Has this ever happened before?” is, “Yes, thirteen times,” the attitude changes in the nurses as well as doctors. How not to be a victim is something I’d like to see emphasized.
Here is the ad to which my correspondent is referring (left) and a similar one (right) directed to women:
First off, let’s get one thing straight: it’s never the victim’s fault. But the word “motivation” should never be used in the singular. Someone who recommends, as my correspondent did, that Dartmouth women look out for themselves, is not blaming women if they are assaulted. He is simply pointing out that if sexual assault is to be reduced or eliminated, everyone in Hanover has a role to play: women should take precautions not to leave themselves vulnerable; men should dissuade their friends from engaging in “conquests” or even boasting about such a desire; predatory men should forsake their sick ambitions and realize that love freely offered is the finest pleasure; undergraduates should protect those dear to them from people who might do them harm; the administration should first engage in informal suasion and then prosecute via formal College discipline any student who behaves disrespectfully towards another person; and the Hanover Police and Grafton County Attorney should let malefactors about whom even mild complaints have been lodged know that they are being watched with concern and with an intent to prosecute.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…