Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"No Means Yes, Yes Means Anal" Frat Banned From Yale

One of out 5 women will be sexually assaulted during her college years. And despite federal laws created to protect students, colleges and universities have failed to protect women from this epidemic of sexual assault. Even after they've been found responsible for sexual assault, students are rarely expelled or suspended.
George W. Bush's Yale fraternity (Delta Kappa Epsilon) has been banned from campus for five years as a result of their new pledge initiation (otherwise known as hazing) that involved gating outside the freshman female dorms and chanting "No Means Yes, Yes Means Anal!" and "My name is Jack, I'm a necrophiliac, I fuck dead women and fill them with my semen."

I'm sure it seemed funny to them at the time - which is the problem. There is something horribly wrong in a culture where young men are marched across campus shouting pro-rape chants, especially in front the dorms of female freshman students - a less than subtle assertion of what they can expect for the next four to five years of campus life.

The frat issued an extensive apology, admitting,
"We were disrespectful, vulgar and inappropriate. More than that, we were insensitive of all women who have been victims of rape or sexual violence, especially those here at Yale. Rape is beyond serious – it is one of the worst things that any person can be subjected to. It is not a laughing matter, yet we joked about it."
The DKE national director is upset that Yale has publicly suspended the fraternity and disclosed the disciplinary move against some member, although exact details are unknown due to privacy issues:

Doug Lanpher, executive director of international DKE office, said he was surprised and disappointed Yale made the announcement because he thought the negotiations were confidential. He said the fraternity had dealt with the matter internally by placing the chapter on probation, ceasing its pledging activities immediately and developing a new pledging process.

"We know it was in poor taste," Lanpher said of the incident. "We don't advocate what they said. We believe that the chapter's behavior has changed."

DKE's Yale chapter — which includes both President George W. Bush and his father, President George H.W. Bush, among its alumni — isn't the first fraternity at the Ivy League school to come under fire in recent years.

In 2008, the Zeta Psi chapter apologized after pictures surfaced on Facebook showing 12 pledges posing in front of the women's center with a sign that read, "We Love Yale Sluts."

Apparently, according the Yahoo News story, DKE pledges enacted the same chants last year - the apparent difference is that this year a student recorded them.

Last March, the Center for Public Integrity and NPR published a series of articles (as well as on-air segments) about sexual assault on college campuses. One of the prevalent myths is that college rape is perpetrated by a young man who was drunk and made a one-time mistake. But that is not at all the case.

As reported by NPR:

Profile Of A Rapist

It might seem like it would be hard for a researcher to get these men to admit to something that fits the definition of rape. But [psychologist David] Lisak says it's not. "They are very forthcoming," he says. "In fact, they are eager to talk about their experiences. They're quite narcissistic as a group — the offenders — and they view this as an opportunity, essentially, to brag."

What Lisak found was that students who commit rape on a college campus are pretty much like those rapists in prison. In both groups, many are serial rapists. On college campuses, repeat predators account for 9 out of every 10 rapes.

And these offenders on campuses — just like men in prison for rape — look for the most vulnerable women. Lisak says that on a college campus, the women most likely to be sexually assaulted are freshmen.

"It's quite well-known amongst college administrators that first-year students, freshman women, are particularly at risk for sexual assault," Lisak says. "The predators on campus know that women who are new to campus, they are younger, they're less experienced. They probably have less experience with alcohol, they want to be accepted. They will probably take more risks because they want to be accepted. So for all these reasons, the predators will look particularly for those women."

Still, Lisak says these men don't think of themselves as rapists. Usually they know the other student. And they don't use guns or knives.

It's no surprise then that the Yale DKE frat chose the freshman dorm - they are most likely to be the victims of sexual assault - and they are the most likely to drink too much in a misguided effort to fit in.

Here are additional facts on this topic from last year's NPR series:

Findings of the Center for Public Integrity and NPR News Investigation:

— Colleges almost never expel men who are found responsible for sexual assault. Reporters at CPI discovered a database of about 130 colleges and universities given federal grants because they wanted to do a better job dealing with sexual assault. But the database shows that even when men at those schools were found responsible for sexual assault, only 10 to 25 percent of them were expelled.

— The U.S. Department of Education has failed to aggressively monitor and regulate campus response to sexual assault. The department has the authority to fine schools that fail to report crime on campus. In 20 years, the department has used that power just six times. And the department can also find that a school has violated a law that prevents discrimination against women. But between 1998 and 2008, the department ruled against just five universities out of 24 resolved complaints.

— Colleges are ill-equipped to handle cases of sexual assault. Most of the time, alcohol is involved. Local prosecutors are reluctant to take these cases, so they often fall to campus judicial systems to sort through clashing claims of whether the sex was consensual or forced.
We have to stop offering alleged first-time offenders a pass with a slap on the wrist. As Dr. Lisak's research shows, 1 in 16 men admitted to forcible rape - how many more did not? When 9 out of 10 rapes are by repeat offenders, the likelihood that a kid got drunk and made a mistake is low.

We're talking about Yale here - students of wealth and privilege for the most part - future CEOs, Senators, Presidents. It's no wonder so many men in power positions get caught in sexual affairs, or worse. It's part of their culture - especially in college.

It needs to stop - and the only people who can stop it are other men.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I read this post, and I wonder more than a bit of what we're talking about. Has the standard for what is recognized as rape or sexual assault changed, such that so very many young men are recognized as victimizers? or is the investigator not objective? or is the situation as bad as what's reported?

This is one of many things that bother me: The so-called Center for Public Integrity writes "Colleges almost never expel men who are found responsible for sexual assault." And then we're told "only 10 to 25 percent of them were expelled." Since when does 10 to 25 percent constitute almost never? I would say it fully never does. What's THAT all about?

There is something seriously awry with this report which needs to be exposed to daylight. Meantime, I will wait for a study that by all evidence is trustworthy.