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How to prevent ̶d̶r̶u̶n̶k̶ ̶s̶e̶x̶ evil male sexual aggression on campus: the Electric Slide

February 11, 2014

We can’t tell college women not to down five vodka shots in their dorm rooms before the party starts–that would be “blaming the victim”–so instead we have…the sexual assault prevention conga line!

Jane Stapleton, a University of New Hampshire researcher who runs bystander intervention programs at colleges around the country and in Europe, tells students they’ll need to be creative about outmaneuvering aggressors. Among the diversions she discusses: suddenly turning on the lights at a party or turning off the music; accidentally spilling a drink on the guy; forming a conga line and pulling him away from the woman he’s bothering and onto the dance floor. One of her favorites came from a young woman who approached her drunken girlfriend and said, loudly, “Here’s the tampon you asked for.”

Because nothing says “Stop that!” faster than the word “tampon.”

“Bystander intervention.” It’s the latest effort by colleges to do something about drunk sex that can turn into rape charges the next morning. Since feminists have decreed that we can’t actually advise college women that the best way to prevent drunken sexual encounters they might later regret is not to get drunk in the first place–that is, to exercise some personal responsibility–we have to rely on more sober third parties to pull the inebriated couples apart.

The hope is that bystander programs will have the same impact on campus culture that the designated driver campaign has had in reducing drunken driving deaths (to 9,878 in 2011 from 15,827 in 1991). And that it can be inculcated in a relatively short time; Mothers Against Drunk Driving was founded in 1980 and within a decade was making a difference.

I’ll leave it to the historians to decide whether 31 years–from 1980 to 2011–is really a “relatively short time.” But I have a feeling that “bystander intervention” at campus festivities will fade away as soon as the drunk young lady tells her gal-pal what she can do with that tampon, or that “accidentally” spilled drink ends up splashing onto someone else’s expensive cocktail dress, or someone gets kicked by the conga line and kicks back. That’s going to be some party!

H/T: Minding the Campus

Posted by Charlotte Allen


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