Monday, 25 April 2011

Ban Fraternities?

Earlier this week, an article appeared in the WSJ about a movement to ban fraternities from university campuses. Essentially the argument is that a woman was gang-raped in fraternity house, fraternities instill fear in women - they should be banned. You can read the article here.

The article is based on a book written by Liz Seccuro, who was gang-raped in a fraternity house in the early eighties. Seccuro now believes fraternities should be banned. To support Ms. Seccuro's argument, the author of the WSJ article includes an anecdote:
I had an advantage that Liz did not have. I was a transfer student, and so my new friends had already been at the university two years and were in possession of valuable information, much of it learned the hard way: I was never, ever to go upstairs at a fraternity house. To do so was to invite assault. That I could be raped by a fellow student and that the event would somehow be my fault was an idea I found alarming and intimidating.

My fourth night at school, I went with some friends to Rugby Road, where the fraternity houses are located. They are built of the same Jeffersonian architecture as the rest of the campus. At once august and moldering, they seemed sinister, to stand for male power at its most malevolent and institutionally condoned. I remember standing there thinking I'd made a terrible mistake. It wasn't worth it, I decided. The next day I withdrew from the university.


Um, am I actually supposed to feel sorry for this lady??? She stood in front of a building and got scared, dropped out of the university as a result, and the fraternity is to blame? Does the women's movement never realize how incredibly weak they make women seem? You don't need to actually be a victim of male violence to be a victim of male violence - apparently standing in front of a building where something bad might happen to you if you choose to go inside is all it takes.

Based on this logic campuses should also ban male sports teams, political clubs, and comic book clubs. I am pretty sure that members of these groups have raped a woman at some point in time. Maybe universities should just ban men?

The reality is that there are some men out there who are trash and who will subject women to violence. They can be found anywhere. They should be prosectued. Blanket bans of organizations is not going to stop violence against women.