Culture

Student: I Was Banned from Class for Pointing Out That a False Rape Statistic Was False

Apparently, feelings are more important than facts.

A student at Reed College in Portland claims he was banned from class discussions mainly because he questioned a rape “statistic” — even though that “statistic” has been debunked — just because other students said they were uncomfortable. 

Nineteen-year-old Jeremiah True told BuzzFeed News that his Humanities 110 professor, Pancho Savery, had warned him that his views on campus sexual assault were bothering other students — before ultimately sending True an e-mail telling him he was forbidden from participating in the “conference” portion of the class at all.

“Please know that this was a difficult decision for me to make and one that I have never made before; nevertheless, in light of the serious stress you have caused your classmates, I feel that I have no other choice,” the e-mail stated, according to BuzzFeed.

True said that although he had been chastised for several statements, the transgressions that ultimately led to the ban were him rejecting the idea of “rape culture” and disputing the “1-in-5-college-women-are-raped” statistic — despite the fact that that statistic has been repeatedly debunked.

#related#Yes —  banned for pointing out that a deceiving statistic was misleading. It’s based on a survey of senior undergraduates from just two schools, both large public universities — hardly a sample that represents the entire country. And it didn’t even ask the participants about “rape” in particular. Rather, it asked them if they had ever experienced any “unwanted sexual contact” — including “forced kissing” and someone “rubbing up against you in a sexual way, even if it’s over your clothes.”

True said he was also scolded for expressing the opinion that logic is more important than emotion — perhaps not surprising coming from a professor who apparently considers his adult students’ feelings more important than factual information, even when discussing something as serious as rape.

Savery told True in the e-mail that it’s too late for him to transfer to another conference section, but that he welcomed him to discuss the readings one-on-one in his office. He also said that True can still receive credit as long if he finishes the final paper and exam.  

UPDATE: Reason’s Robby Soave reported that Savery told him in an e-mail that True “was not banned because of what he said but because of a series of disruptive behaviors.”

Soave also reported that when he e-mailed True to ask him about this, True responded by saying: “Before I interview with you, you must agree to make “n[****]r” be the first word in your article.”​

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online

Editor’s Note: This article has been amended since its initial posting.

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