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Seventh sexual assault reported this school year at the University of Iowa

And university president Sally Mason has this to say:

“I’m not pleased that we have sexual assaults, obviously,” Mason said. “The goal would be to end that, to never have another sexual assault. That’s probably not a realistic goal just given human nature, and that’s unfortunate, but the more we understand about it, the better we are at trying to handle it and help people get through these difficult situations … to get away from that kind of mindset and to get a more educational, proactive mindset to help people understand when they might be at risk …”

Emphasis mine. I don't care if you didn't mean to say that rape is human nature, Sally. You just happen to have actually said that rape is human nature. Whatever you intended? That doesn't matter, because it only exists in your brain. What you actually said matters, and you just showed us how little you actually care about this problem. Last year there were two reported sexual assualts. This year we have seven so far. That's a 250% increase over last year, potentially more.


And you keep returning to the well of education, but it's educating women on how not to be victims that you go to. Women already know ways to try and not be a victim. We've done, as a society, a very thorough job on pushing those messages. We have done a much less thorough job at pushing the message to potential perpetrators how to be respectful, how to take no (or clear signals meaning no) at face value rather than as a yes that hasn't been articulated, and basic human decency (seriously, drunk people are not targets for sexual advances). We should focus more heavily on making potential perpetrators aware of what sexual assault is so that they either know and choose not to (a win) or know but choose to anyway (not a win) but have no ability to claim ignorance with any credibility (a minor win).

Sally Mason, your words suggest that we can't change the rapists before they can rape. I believe otherwise. And I believe we do not need to put the burden of preventing sexual assault on women, as your words suggest. That's a problem.

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