Rape at UT Is Just a Mirror to Society's Silence About Sexual Violence

Once you get over the shocking revelation that 15 percent of University of Texas female undergrads say they've been raped, permit yourself to ask an unpleasant, yet unavoidable question: Why am I surprised?The rape culture that has evolved at one of the nation's largest institutions of higher education is, for better or worse, a microcosm of the sexual violence that's permeating society at large.Roughly one in five women in the U.S. has been raped at some point, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. What more evidence do we need that this epidemic extends far beyond celebrated athletes and hedonistic frat houses?The UT study, which surveyed 28,000 students at 13 of its campuses, is a window into a bigger and far more disturbing problem: moral decadence undergirded by cultural permissiveness.And let me be clear, when I say "permissiveness," I'm not blaming the victims of these degrading crimes; I'm talking about the widespread tacit tolerance - and sometimes cover-ups -- of a crime overwhelmingly perpetrated by men.  Continue reading...

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