Here is our response:
April 20, 2011
To the editor:
As women, victims of rape and partner violence, and allies, we were disgusted and infuriated by the ideas
expressed in the Humpday Quickie titled “False advertising leads to power-based relationships” in the April 13,
“Why can some guys get away with what other guys cannot?” Coil’s opening question leaves us with a question
of our own -- why does Coil seem so eager to condone rape in our school newspaper? This question implies not
only that what some guys get away with is non-consensual sex, but that those who cannot get away with rape
wish they could. We should not need to point out how incredibly offensive this presumption is to survivors of
rape and sexual assault, whose experience is trivialized, and to campus men, the majority of whom would never
consider assaulting a woman. Coil continues, “When a man is justified in his decision not to accept no as an
answer, he feels a sense of power, which will encourage him to keep pursuing a woman even after he hears the
word no”. While surely some men do feel a sense of power while they are in the process of dominating and
hurting a woman, it is our position that no person is ever justified in any decision that entails raping somebody.
Not all men, or even most men, as this article implies.
“Some men, some women.” Who are these people? The bottom line is some people want sex while others do
not. Women are not here to keep men in line, nor to be the gatekeepers of male sexuality. This mistaken notion
that men can't control their sexual urges propagates rape culture. There is no "oh, I raped you? Oops."
The author cites an article from the Journal of Sex Research and erroneously interprets the article to support his
position that women's behaviors create a "more sexually aggressive man." The study does not support the
author's viewpoint, but instead states that power-sex associations are implicit and are associated with rape
proclivity. Coil’s misinterpretation is victim blaming.
How many students have read this column and buy into the wrong-headed logic, rape justification, and victim blaming? It is disturbing enough that one man on our campus holds these views but even more so that the
editor approved and published the article in a newspaper that represents all of us.
Students in WMST 490: Capstone in Women’s & Gender Studies