Glenn Beck and his staff at "The Blaze" (an utterly awful name for a website, but I digress) have released a video mocking the White House's recent efforts to reduce campus rape. Yep, you read that right.
The idea behind the segment is that campus rape is exaggerated. The host, Stu Burguiere, first makes fun of two recent studies that highlighted the high rate of sexual violence that is being experienced (the 2007 Campus Sexual Assault Report and the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS).
Burguiere argues semantics, saying that the studies overreported the incidences of rape/sexual assault because if the victim doesn't call it "rape" or "sexual assault" then it wasn't rape or sexual assault. The methodology of the surveys, however, classified any reported incidents that met the legal definition of sexual assault as sexual assault and, therefore (in Stu's brain), inflated the numbers.
The methodology is sound because Burguiere's viewpoint completely ignores the fact that society often makes women question whether or not they were "really raped" because maybe they led the perpetrator on, maybe they were just a bit drunk, and they never explicitly said no. If anything, Stu's methodology would artificially deflate the statistics.
Then, Burguiere got even dumber. He mocked this question posed by the NISVS: "When you were drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to consent, how many people ever had sex with you?" He found the question hilarious because you can consent while drunk or high (ignoring the fact that the question had the qualifier of "unable to consent").
Last, but not least, Burguiere decided to try to be funny and have a skit in which two men (one of whom was dressed oh-so-hilariously [not funny] as a woman) role-played. In the sketch, the man told the woman he was an Abercrombie model. At this point, the woman in the sketch giggled and twirled her hair, and Stu jumped in with a huge sign reading "RAPE". While he did so, he said (in a sarcastic way) "Whoa whoa whoa, stop! That's rape. Pressuring someone to have sex with you by telling them lies is the same as rape."
Gosh, that would be alarming if the NISVS did that, wouldn't it? Good thing they don't. The survey did ask people if they had sex because a person was "doing things like telling you lies, making promises about the future they knew were untrue, threatening to end your relationship, or threatening to spread rumors about you." But the study didn't classify this as rape or attempted rape—it put it in the entirely separate category of "sexual coersion."
So to sum it up, instead of talking seriously about real ways to reduce sexual violence on college campuses, Glenn Beck and his ilk at The Blaze would rather say that sexual violence is not really a big deal and is something to laugh about.
Hey, Glenn Beck/The Blaze: Fuck you, and not in a nice way.