My personal experiences in college thus far have been nothing but fun, and my classes have been very challenging and educational. But, I was very discouraged by a recent uninformed guest speaker in one of my classes. The topic was regarding sexual assault occuring on college campuses through out the United States. Let me take you through her presentation. First, it started out very informative. She spoke to us explaining the number of girls who have been sexual assaulted and even cited her work. She had caught my attention, and of course there is no disputing facts especially since she cited background information. This presentation was mandatory for us to attend and had been approved by the school, which for me, made this presentation more “authentic”.
The first problem
The first hiccup happened about 1/3 of the way through. She began speaking about “genders” and slipped in “gender fluid” after the words, male and female. She rigorously spoke, almost as if she did not want anyone to dispute her. Of course, being a man of science, I was unaware of what “gender fluid” meant, so I shot my hand up and asked. She responded by telling me that it meant you could choose your gender each day. She then asked, “does that make more sense?”. I looked around puzzled, wondering if I were the only one who just found this imperative information bizarre. I really tried to comprehend. Does that really mean you can choose your gender each day? Like wearing a new outfit? My mind began racing with questions… “Why am I here” and , “do you think I can get this hour of my life back?”. Before I could respond, my friend said announced, “no actually that doesn’t make sense.” She then stated that it was the best way she could explain it and that we must move on. “WHAT?” Move on? I couldn’t comprehend and suddenly felt like I was back in 9th grade Mandarin class for the first time.
The second problem
The next flaw in her presentation was discovered when I read the slide caption. The woman was talking about “Cat calling” which in itself, in my perspective, is just a stupid thing to make a fuss about. The slide gave examples of this “cat calling” and the one statement that stood out to me was, “nice legs.” I could not prevent myself from questioning this. This could not be serious. So the logic behind this statement is that if I compliment a women on her legs, that is considered a “cat call” ? The reason this pissed me off so much is because this was a misinformed woman. That is a compliment in my eyes. “Cat calls” are “harassment?” I’m not sure if I can agree. So, I asked, “If a girl tells a man he has nice arms, is that a “cat call” as well?” I was discouraged that the speaker chose to dismiss the topic and refused to answer the question.
The third problem
Now we got into a so called ‘grey area’ of sexual assault. The speaker attempted to educate us on things such as rape coordinated with alcohol. I hope you can begin to understand the kind of topics we spoke about. Let me begin my setting the mood in the room at this point. Most of us (the logical ones) knew that this woman was obviously misinformed, and/or pushing an agenda. The speaker stated that if you were bigger than someone, that you could be intimidating to a girl and that it could be considered sexual assault even if the woman had originally said “yes”. Not agreeing, I questioned. I again raised my hand and asked, “So if I’m an inch taller than someone and I flex my muscles, would that be considered sexual assault?” When I asked this question, all hell broke loose. Everyone at that moment realized how ill thought out this presentation was and how easy I was picking it apart. The women was rattled, and moved from my question as quickly as she could. Of course sexual assault exists. But, to determine that a woman is intimidated by height of another, is the cause of sexual assault – no, I disagree.
The fourth and fifth problems
I know what your thinking. Wow, why didn’t they fact check her? I was wondering the same thing. The next problem came with her statistics. Luckily, I knew all about the subject. She stated that more women get raped than men. Of course this was the first statistic that she did not provide a source. Why? I could not take this anymore. I raised my hand and said, “That’s actually not true more men get raped than women.” She was furious that I questioned her and asked me to explain. “Well first of all, I did my research. Secondly, if you look at prisoners you will find more men get raped than women.” Apparently, at this point, she just quit on her statistics because she didn’t bother responding to her false statement. Instead, she challenged my intellect. She asked me, “Okay, so if your so smart, what is the motive behind prisoners raping each other.” I responded saying, “Well it’s either sexually motivated, or it could be a personal problem.” She then said, “Wrong, they actually do it to establish power.” Shockingly I actually agreed with that statement. I said, “Yes, I would agree with that, but it is still sexually motivated so I am not completely wrong”. Her response was not very intelligent. She said, “sorry, but how do you figure that?” At this point I didn’t know whether this lady was just lacking intellect, or just desperately wanted to believe her own stupidity. I responded, “Well, if it was for power, couldn’t they assert their dominance by beating the person up?”. I received no response.
By this point, I knew that no matter what I said, it was not going to change her mind. I figured I would save my breath. She showed us a video on “rape culture” and stated that we all live in a rape culture. At this point, I was infuriated. We now ran out of time and there was no time to dispute her ‘facts.’ Considering this is my website however, I voice my facts. First of all, we don’t live in a rape culture. Anyone who says we do, is misinformed. Stating we live in a rape culture is insinuating that we live in a society that promotes or celebrates rape. Absolutely NOT! Our entire country is not similar to parts of the Kongo where rape is used as a tactic of war. In the States, we DON’T celebrate rape or rapists. We put them behind bars. It’s that simple.
The problem with higher education is that sometimes it seems that educators are more concerned with pushing an agenda then actually educating. Take it how it is. However, college is still a place to learn life skills. My advice to other college students, do not be afraid to challenge ideas you do not agree with. It is okay to disagree.