Culture

Students: Warning Us about Reports of Drugged Drinks Is Rape Culture

#CheckYourCupIntegrity
Just teach rapists not to rape!

Students of the Claremont University Consortium are outraged that the school sent out an e-mail warning them that someone may be drugging drinks on campus — because that kind of warning is “rape culture.”

Yes — telling people how to protect themselves against rape is offensive because we should just be telling rapists to stop raping.

Here is the text of the apparently inappropriate e-mail, as posted on Campus Reform:

“Over the past two weeks, the Dean of Students Office of Claremont McKenna College (CMC) has received information that three on-campus parties may have involved students providing Xanax-laced or Rohypnol-laced drinks,” the message read. “While this information is unconfirmed, the allegations alone are serious enough that I wanted to alert our students of what CMC has heard. We will continue to investigate these allegations, as such behavior is highly concerning to all of us, dangerous to those who consume the drinks, violates the Student Code of Conduct, and cannot and will not be tolerated.”

These allegations are a reminder to be mindful at all times of what you are drinking and to keep an eye out for your fellow students. While this is a small campus and we would like to trust our fellow students, accepting a drink that was made by someone else or that was put in a cup that you did not bring yourself is risky. If you do not maintain constant visual contact with your cup, something can be slipped in it quickly and without your knowledge even if the drink started out fine. Being vigilant about the source of your drink as well as the integrity of your cup once it is in your possession decreases the risks of anything being slipped in your drink. Please help us keep our campuses safer.”

Granted, phrases like “integrity of your cup” and instructions to “maintain constant visual contact with your cup” are ridiculous. Regardless, it’s clear to me that the school’s intent was to protect its students. Certainly, if I were a student there, I would have appreciated the warning.

But one student, Kay Calloway, did not appreciate it. In fact, she called it “disgusting” and “unacceptable” and “rape culture” in a Facebook post:  

This is a message from campus safety in response to multiple students being drugged on Claremont McKenna’s campus. This is disgusting. This is unacceptable. This is rape culture. By no stretch of the imagination is it the fault of the drugged students that our campus is made unsafe. “Constant visual contact with your cup” is physically impossible, and ridiculous to expect out of anyone. Especially someone drinking alcoholic beverages. (Like ?????) This is textbook victim-blaming, and it is coming right from the people who are hired to protect us.

#share#Now, some (sane) people commented to disagree, but plenty supported her viewpoint. To them, I’d ask just one question: What should the e-mail have said? Just “Do not put date rape drugs in people’s drinks. That is bad.” and that’s it?

First of all, the school did say that drugging drinks “will not be tolerated.” Second of all — and you’d think this would be obvious — everybody already knows that drugging drinks is bad. People who drug drinks don’t do it because they don’t know it’s wrong; they do it because they are the kind of people who don’t care that it’s wrong.

#related#Like it or not, these kinds of people do exist. It’s important to be vigilant, and the school should not hesitate to educate students about potential threats on campus. Personally, this e-mail would not have outraged me. But you know what would have? Finding out that my school had withheld information relevant to my personal safety for the sake of political correctness.

But who knows – maybe my priorities are just out of whack.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online

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