Monday, April 17, 2017

Title IX

Ms. Kobus’s presentation on Title IX and rape on college campuses was very interesting and informative. As high school seniors going into college next year, it is important to be prepared and know about what to expect as we move forward. The clips from “The Hunting Ground” were able to show us previous women's struggles with college life and how rape on campus is dealt with and viewed today. The videos were a very rude awakening. I had no idea that so many colleges cared more about their reputations than the well-being of their students, enough to hide hundreds of rape claims and silence victims. There was so many personal accounts that were a little hard to watch that talked about how rape very difficult to report and when it was, nothing was really done about it. One statistic that was shown was that in 2012, 45% of colleges reported zero rape. This was horrifying because this was a result of many rapes going unreported. The clips really showed many peoples ignorance and inability to make changes. People being blind to rape and turning their heads in order to save the reputation of their school and avoiding media attention perpetuated the rape culture on a lot of campuses today.
“The Hunting Ground” discussed girls from UNC who filed to sue the school because they did not feel like they had equal access to education under Title IX because their perpetrators were not dealt with appropriately. Now under the “Dear Colleague” letter, colleges take Title IX into consideration when dealing with rape cases and have to follow to the correct procedures in order to maintain government funding. However, this still does not solve a lot. The school handling the situation has little effect on making a difference in the culture.  The article Ms. Kobus gave to us stated,  “Even when crimes are reported, says Koss, ‘Schools seem to have about two responses to sexual assault: One is expulsion, and two is write a paper.” And expelled students are, of course, free to enroll elsewhere. Such sanctions, Koss and others note, are likely to impact neither the school environment nor the total incidence of crimes’”. When there are not consequences the number of rape incidents does not change. It is unfortunate that there cannot be consequences that fairly limit rape from happening. The article also discussed the primary reasons that rape occurs on college campus were “a culture of high alcohol consumption, peer pressure from other men to prove sexual prowess and men’s own attitudes favoring impersonal sex”. This was really hard to read because it A, is really gross that those reasons can cause someone to put another human through so much misery but B, it doesn't make sense that the reasons rape occurs are so broadly known yet nothing definitive can be done to prevent it, except holding women responsible for taking care of themselves.  
Today, it is more accepted that rape happens in college and colleges do more to help if there is an incident on its campus. The media has been able to expose more incidents of unfair treatment of victims and help to prevent the perpetuation of the culture in some ways. However, consequences are still unclear. If consequences were made more exact, people could be held more accountable and the amount of rapes would definitely decrease on campuses.  A lot of the focus is still unfortunately on how provocatively the victim was dressed, how drunk they were, and how they fought back because it is easier than getting to the crux of the problem, which is why many women are afraid to come forward if they are raped because they know nothing will be done to fix the situation. The focus needs to be shifted off these victims and the blame needs to be placed on people who deserve it.

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