Huzzahs and magnifying glasses

We got about 18 inches of snow yesterday. The Forest looks like someone painted it with thick fondant icing. I drove through a white-out down to Syracuse (where they didn’t get any of the storm at all, not even a flake) so I could talk about writing historical fiction to a group of teachers.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic These weary warriors had worked all day, then came to the OCM BOCES for my talk, which is part of an ongoing series for history teachers. Thank you all for your kind attention and for the pickles.

Today is a spinning plate day. I have to go over the page proofs for Independent Dames with magnifying glasses and a fine-toothed comb, work on my WIP draft, send more content to Theo for the website update, deal with old email and sneak in a run.

Speaking of running (yeah, you knew that was coming, didn’t you?)…. I am 81% of the way to reaching my fundraising goal for the the Team in Training Half Marathon. (The money goes to fund cancer research, which pretty much affects everyone, so share some love. Please.) I will send a copy of the TWISTED audio version to whomever puts me over the top!

And thank you, kmessner for the shout-out!

Last but not least, my daughter Stef sent along a link to an article about the increasing number of women facing sexual assault on college campuses after drinking alcohol. The article slams the researchers for their approach to the issue. Comments, anyone?

2008 Resolution Tracker
Week 6 – Miles Run: 20 (3.1 of which were rather chilly), YTD: 124.75
Week 6 – Days Written: 7, YTD: 42

46 weeks left this year.

13 Replies to “Huzzahs and magnifying glasses”

  1. Apparently SUNY Geneseo has a lot of date rape (I have no idea if this is true, someone told me this) so my friends will sometimes drink soda at parties that looks like beer because they want to stay alert… I guess we learned something in high school health class after all?

  2. I have lots of thoughts (about the research and the students’ responses), many of them contradictory and hard to fully explain in writing. I believe that there was a sexist tone to the original research report. On the other hand, I believe that most males are instinctively predatory, and *some* males use alcohol and drugs to intentionally impair women and to excuse their own behavior.

  3. as a first-year college female, i think the study and its findings were rather, well, pointless. people drink too much, which makes them do stupid things that they will probably regret, and it puts them at risk for bad things to happen to them. well, duh. and the article and study made it sound like it’s only college women who get into bad situations thanks to drinking. what about college men? what about other, older adults, or women of the same age group who aren’t in college?

    also, sometimes it’s hard to feel pity for these girls. i mean, as sad as it is that they were victimized, note that this is centered around drinking. if you’re going to go out and get wasted, you have to protect yourself. don’t take a drink from someone you don’t know, don’t leave your drink unattended, and NEVER walk home alone. here at uw-madison, a college with a (well-earned) reputation for drinking and partying, we have the SafeWalk and SafeRide programs so people can call someone to walk them home or give them a free ride home at night. even so, we still hear, at least once a year, about some drunk girl going missing or getting sexually assaulted because she left a bar or party by herself. the fault lies mostly with the guy who takes advantage of her, but also with the girl herself and with her friends for not stopping her.

    and dare i argue that this is one more reason to lower the legal drinking age, so that all people – not just college women – will learn how to be responsible when it comes to alcohol?

    1. The problem is that the majority of the time the rapist is someone the victim knows and trusts. You can never be too careful, but on the other hand if you lock yourself up in your house and never go out, don’t the assholes win anyway? Saying that the fault lies with the victim for drinking, for dressing a certin way, for walking alone, for not fighting back harder, only prevents rapes from being reported, and then he gets to go out and do it again to someone else.

      1. there’s a difference between being careful and never having a social life. i’m not saying that women shouldn’t go out and have fun and drink; i’m saying they need to be smart. you’re right, that often sexual assault is perpetrated by someone the victim knew. that’s why women are advised to not walk home with a guy friend. the fault is not entirely with the victim – that is not what i said. but if a woman makes the choice to go out and drink, she should also think about being pro-active about her safety.

        1. All the proactivity in the world can’t prevent all rapes. I can certainly think of one example in which a young women drank in her own home with people she trusted and was still assaulted. Despite the good intentions behind advice warning women to be proactive, that advice still implies that assault survivors did something wrong and therefore deserved the rape in some way. I am not saying that is what you or anyone means to say when they warn, “Don’t drink too much! Don’t wear short skirts or ponytails!”, but that is the implication.

          The fault is not with the victim at all. Period.

          (Holly on her personal account.)

  4. “According to researchers, the increasing number of sexual assaults on freshman females can be explained by a number of things, including ‘psychological symptoms during the first year at college, number of consensual sexual partners and increased drinking.”

    Right, cause only virgins have the right to say no.

    I think psych symptoms makes sense though. If you hate yourself, you’re a lot less likely to tell, and rapists know that.

  5. The sad fact is that getting drunk at a college party or a bar leaves a woman far more vulnerable than it does a man. It’s not that she was asking for it, if she gets raped, it’s that her behavior wasn’t that wise. I don’t run in Central Park after dark when I am alone. Is it unfair that my husband can? Yes. But that doesn’t make me wise, if I do it alone. Women have to make choices about how to safe. What’s important is educating young women about HOW to make those choices.

  6. I concur with what raggedyanndy said above. Women should be smart about there actions and try to protect themselves from rape. This doesn’t mean that it is a woman’s fault if she is raped but women can still be proactive and protect themselves. It may not be fair but this is the world we live in.

  7. The teachers look so cheerful. 🙂

    I actually read and commented on the Jezebel thread (it convinced me to stop lurking and create an account on the site). There are four pages of user responses that make up an amazing dialogue.

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