Poor Clarissa & Failure in Sexual Assault Prevention Education

by jhwygirl

Boy – what to say about this lte in the Montana Kaimin from Ms. Clarissa Holmes, a freshman at University of Montana.

She steps in there to defend the Griz players – but it isn’t her specific defense of the football team that bothers me – it’s where she places the blame. Please….read it for yourself:

Three: Are we really to blame the Griz football players? I’m going to come out and say that the football players aren’t the main problem of this and we all know it. It’s the ladies. You know the ones I’m talking about; the ones at the parties who are drinking everything they’re handed and wearing far-too-short skirts. I’m not saying they’re the ones getting raped, or that the girls who experienced sexual assault fit this stereotype, but what these girls are doing is just opening the way for these guys to assault them. Whatever happened to some of the first rules we learned as children? Not getting in cars with strangers, not taking candy (ahem, alcohol) from strangers. These rules are common sense and the fact that the women of this school are breaking them is purely unsafe and naïve.

By going to parties, drinking all they can, and acting like they want some, these girls are practically serving the cake to these guys. Girls really need to learn to draw the line on what’s an appropriate image at parties. Also, they need to stand up for themselves. Who cares if he’s popular? Who cares if he’s a senior or a football player? If he’s doing something you don’t like, do what my mom taught me and kick him in the balls. That’s what they’re for.

So….boy…I’m sitting here shaking my head wondering how we – America – got to a point where a young woman – a freshman in college – believes that women are to blame for being sexually assaulted.

Then put that in the context of a university that has been (supposedly) working to address the problem? What, exactly, are they doing? And maybe they should consider doing something else?

But let this letter also serve as a bit of a notice to our high schools here in Montana – Ms. Holmes is a freshman. She didn’t get to blaming, essentially, her female peers by accident. In fact, her letter makes me realize something that I hadn’t thought about – that the University of Montana didn’t get to where it’s gotten in terms of this rape scandal by itself. They had help getting there along the way, and it started somewhere down the line.

Work to do? You betcha.

  1. jhwygirl, you are both right, and wrong.

    As a father of four daughters, who also spent a lot of time being a young man, I can tell you that young men + young women + alcohol/drugs = problems like this.

    I have always, and do tell my girls that if they go to places where there’s booze, drugs, no supervision, that they are asking for trouble.

    So if young women flock to post-game football parties, get drunk, get assaulted, they cannot be ‘blamed’ for what happened, but they can be blamed for being in the wrong place, because it was their bad decision that got them there.

    Do you diasagree with me ?

    • I kinda think I do Eric, based on what you culled out of that. It seems that you are saying that drunk boys have free license to do what they want with girls. Or drunk girls.

      You’ve got no blame in there for those drunken boys or those that commit assault at parties where people are drinking.

      You are blaming it on the girls for attending.

      I believe that in a civilized society a woman should be able to go to a party where alcohol is served and be safe in her own right.

      Call me crazy – but doesn’t a woman have that right?

  2. Rev. Timothy Gordish

    Yup. As a father of 2 daughters, and know she didn’t learn these common sense ideas from parents not her school. It is not the job of public education to teach kids to always blame the man.

    Yup. She does blame the victim, which is also very wrong, not do these circumstances mean that there was no sexual assault. The victims don’t need blame, and those who committed the assaults need to be brought to justice. Young men and women do need commonsense attitudes to prevent these crimes.

    • There’s lots there from Clarissa to be critical of, Rev. Gordish, but Clarissa blaming girls for wearing short skirts or attending parties where alcohol is served somehow creating an inappropriate “image” sounds to me like Sharia Law.

      She showed some ankle? A knee? Goddess Bless, cover that woman up!

      She took a drink of alcohol? The scandal!

      Why do men have free reign to behave as rapists when women wear a skirt and (horror) take a drink of alcohol?

      • Rev. Timothy Gordish

        Well, you don’t exactly know the circumstances so your characterization of what happened is rather judgmental. Aren’t you assuming she only showed an ankle, or took a sip? Like I said, she i wrong to blame the victim. Even if she was extremely drunk and couldn’t give consent it is still sexual assault and a crime. They also need care as I am sure that like every victim I have counseled after being assaulted they feel it was their fault. She needs spiritual care to assist in ridding victims guilt.

        Not at all like Sharia Law. She would be being judged by the clergy (imam) according to the Koran. That is Sharia Law.

        You are judging the statement of a young lady who has just left home, and who doesn’t understand these things, but what she does know should keep her from putting herself at greater risk of being assaulted. Isn’t that important, preventing crime is very important, and these crimes can be prevented. Not trying to alleviate risky behaviors is naive toward human sexuality.

        • I’m judging the statement and not the young lady, Rev. Gordish. I’m questioning the patriarchal society that has led this woman to believe that if she becomes a victim of sexual assault or rape that she is somehow to blame.

          And yes – in the literal sense, this is not Sharia Law – and you and I both darn well know that. But who sets the standard here in America for what a girl should and should not wear? What she should and should not wear if she is drinking? When it is appropriate for a young girl to drink? Or if it is appropriate for a young girl to drink.

          It may not be the Imam…but I don’t know that it is the Imam (in a very true sense) that defines it in Arab society. It is society itself. The male-dominated society that gives the Imam that power – the society that condones the rule.

          The same male-dominated society here in the USA, though significantly more subtle. The fact that the “if she was dressed that way she deserved it” thought regarding sexual assault is openly professed is exactly that example. Whether it comes from a male or a female.

          There is significant truth to the existence of the Christian Taliban here in the U.S. Is that what is at play here? Nope – what is at play here is a continuation of a society that is male-dominated by norms set in place because of overt and not-so-overt continuations of the same thought patterns that taught poor Clarissa that she is to blame if she gets raped.

  3. As the mother of a teen boy, there are no shades of gray on this issue — rape is a crime. No excuses. We talk openly about this issue and others he will encounter as a young man.

    We’d like to think our kids are never going to party or dress according to pop culture (which in my opinion is pretty risque), but they do. Yet, how come so many young men would NEVER rape a women under the influence or under any conditions, yet others feel a sense of entitlement?

    Ms. Holmes’ letter gives young men an excuse for criminal behavior. Drinking, drugs, provocative clothing are choices (albeit not good ones). Whether or not to have sex is a choice. Rape is a crime. If you seriously injure another person under the influence of alcohol, you are arrested. How is this different?

  4. MB7

    My wife often says, “What is wrong with these girls who keep claiming they’ve been raped? Don’t they have any mothers?”

    By that, she means girls today are not getting “The Lecture” from their mothers that girls used to get. You know, like, “Do not go up to a young man’s room and sit on his bed and drink wine.” Or, “I better not hear about any boys being on this camping trip.”

    I have another name for what is happening. I call it the Natalie Holloway Syndrome. It is the belief held by many young women that they can go wherever they want, whenever they want, and do whatever they please.

    Oh, that the world should be such a “civilized” place—instead of a jungle!

    The great irony here is that the feminists have succeeded in liberating young women from the “tutelage” (read protection) of their fathers, brothers, and husbands, only to enslave them under the tutelage of the state. Ten thousand laws, like a bubble, surround the modern woman and follow her everywhere she goes, managing nearly every aspect of her life, from her admission to schools and her workplace relations to her romantic involvements and her child rearing. The state even manages and regulates her reproductive functions. (So much for “Our Bodies, Ourselves.”)

    But the state cannot protect a young woman from her own stupidity. The state cannot stop her from jumping into bed with a fellow she hardly knows. The state cannot stop her from wearing provocative clothes, having too much to drink, or walking home alone at 2:30 in the morning.

    So, the next best thing the state can do is pretend that she was not stupid, and therefore not the cause of her own regret or pain or whatever negative outcome she suffered as a result of her own bad judgment. She is faultless. She is a victim. She has become just another Natalie Holloway.

    — Max Bucks

    • Natalie Holloway was killed by a psychopath and convicted killer. So Natalie deserved to be murdered?

      What about boys getting “the lecture?” … “Son, rape is a crime.”

      Wasn’t the rapist “stupid” and should suffer the consequences of his own deplorable judgement?

      There’s no shame in being a modern women, or perhaps some “non-judgemental” Christians or non-modern women feel all women should wear burkas, be tee-totalers and stoned for being out past a curfew? That should apply equally to men, right?

      Rape is a crime.

      • MB9

        Obviously, you have been victimized by this corruption of our language.

        The word “rape” has been so diluted by feminists and their fellow travelers it has lost all meaning. Every sexual encounter, regardless of the time or place or the condition of the participants can now be characterized as “rape” if someone so chooses.

        What you call “rape” is not a crime. It is a joke.

        PS: I missed that story about Natalie Holloway’s killer being found. Actually, I missed the story where she has been proven dead. What newspapers do you read?

        — Max Bucks

        • Okay, for the sake of argument…let’s say you went to a Montana bar, struck up a friendly conversation with someone at the bar, and at 1 am (after having a couple too many drinks) head out to the parking lot and are sexually assaulted by the man you were talking to at the bar. I am not inferring you are gay. But what if the guy at the bar was gay and “thought” you were and that “you wanted it.” Would you characterize that as “rape” or a feminist’s interpretation?

          P.S. Joran van der Sloot, under the influence of marijuana, made video taped statements on Feb. 1, 2008, that Holloway died on the morning of May 30, 2005, and that he disposed of her body. He later denied it.

          I hope you never have to count on the legal system in Aruba.

          • MB10

            I must say that was a rather dumb hypothetical you posed, in the sense that it is contrary to everyday experience, unless you are talking about a prison setting. Generally speaking, a homo will not attempt to rape a man for fear of getting the hell beat out of him. Homos like to rape little boys.

            Now, more rationally, and still hypothetically, if a woman struck up a “friendly” conversation with a man in a bar and was later attacked by him in the parking lot as she was going home, that might be rape, if he actually penetrated one of her bodily cavities. Otherwise, it would the crime of assault, and depending on circumstances, it would either be simple assault (a misdemeanor) or aggravated assault (a felony). Whether one or both of them had been drinking is not germane.

            Changing the factual situation of our hypothetical slightly: If a woman struck up a “friendly” conversation with a man in a bar, and she said to him, “Meet me in the parking lot in five minutes and we can make out in the backseat of my car.” After which, she does in fact meet him in the parking lot, and does in fact make out with him in the backseat of her car, then I would say, drunk or sober, she is on her own.

            As for van der Sloot (or is it van der Sluut?), I would not repeat anything that he said, if you wish to preserve your credibility.

            • Really?

              so if a women you met at a bar wanted to make out with you in the back seat of your car… but after necking you wanted more and she did not, it would be okay to force her to have sex with you?

              And I wouldn’t disparage a young women who has disappeared from the face of the earth if you want to maintain any credibility.

            • No means “NO” Mr. Bucks. You clearly don’t get that.

              And if she can’t say “yes”? It’s the same damned thing.

              • MB10

                I was waiting for that ridiculous slogan, because it dispenses with all this “rape” nonsense and reveals the true issue: Who shall control sexual intercourse?

                Will it be the one who gives it, or the one who accepts it? The one who starts it, or the one who finishes it? The one on the top, or the one on the bottom?

                It is all about control, and, of course, the loss of it.

                And now lately we have reached the ultimate absurdity: a sliding scale of consent that might reverse itself at any time as sexual intercourse approaches, during sexual intercourse, and after sexual intercourse, sometimes hours, days, weeks, or years after sexual intercourse.

                I foresaw the development of this comical social phenomenon many years ago in a paper I wrote on the subject for a university law school. I have pasted it below. And this is all I have to say on the subject.

                — Max Bucks

            • MB11

              Sexual Contracts
              By Max Bucks
              Guest Columnist

              Student sexual relations are best regulated by the students themselves within a framework developed by university administrators. Such is the lesson learned by most of the progressive “nanny” schools around the country during the last decade. Unfortunately, some universities have failed to learn this lesson and are rightly referred to as “ninny” schools when it comes to student sexual relations. (See, “No Means No at Antioch University,” September 24, 1993.)
              For readers unfamiliar with student sexual relations at nanny schools as compared to ninny schools, perhaps a short explanation is in order. The best nanny schools seek to control all aspects of student sexual relations by giving students the necessary tools, so to speak, for a successful sexual relationship. The entire process of “boy-meets-girl” or vice versa is controlled by a binding contract between the interested parties. This contract, which is developed by school administrators and reviewed by legal counsel, provides for all or nearly all contingencies that may arise between prospective sexual partners. By removing the uncertainty and unpredictability formerly associated with student romances, the perennial goal of the nanny school is achieved: No one’s feelings are ever hurt because of a misunderstanding.
              The worst ninny schools, to the contrary, impose rules of student sexual conduct from above. These rules are usually inflexible, arbitrary, capricious, and often plainly simpleminded because they are developed by administrators completely out of touch with youthful human sexuality, or worse, by administrators who are attempting to advance a crack-brained political agenda disguised as a student sexual conduct policy. By not allowing students to agree on the time, place, and type of sexual acts they will engage in, the ninny school creates a sexual dictatorship that raises student libidos to dangerous levels. Explosive sexual rebellion is the sad result. Students at ninny schools often lose all respect for authority, go completely out of control, get drunk, have unprotected sex in the backseat of a car and regret the whole thing the next morning. The scene is weirdly reminiscent of the wild sex between Julia and Winston in the novel 1984, where the couple’s lovemaking is transformed into an act of political defiance. The only way for students to get even with Big Brother or, at Antioch, with Big Sister, is to have uninhibited, spontaneous sexual relations.
              The democratic nannies know more than the dictatorial ninnies when it comes to student sex. At progressive nanny schools blank contracts for sexual relations, sometimes called “flypaper” or “jump tickets” by witty students, are stapled to each student’s fee statement at registration time and are routinely packaged with contraceptive devices, beer and wine, video tapes, and compact discs sold on campus or in the surrounding community. The contract, depending on the university, may be an elaborate document that runs to a dozen pages or more and requires an entire evening to fill out properly, or it may be a simple, single sheet that takes only a second.
              In the first case, that of the long form, the students usually check off appropriate boxes or fill in blanks covering the full spectrum of male-female relations, from mundane matters such as who will pay for dinner, to the more momentous decision of who shall be responsible for contraception. A full disclosure section allows the insertion of facts concerning the person’s previous and present sexual orientation, sexually transmitted disease history, and pertinent information about family genetic disorders. Personal zones, since they differ widely among individuals, are indicated on a non-gender specific diagram. Circled zones are considered strictly off limits, and any attempt to touch a “NO” zone is interpreted as a breach of contract. (It is noteworthy that most male students at nanny schools circle nothing on the diagram, while female students tend to draw highly detailed diagrams, with the palms, wrists, inside arms, ears, and neck area being the most popular choices as “NO” zones. This statistic refutes the generalized anatomical assumptions common at ninny schools.) A particularly ingenious fill-in section found on some nanny school sexual contracts requires the student to write a short essay on his or her beliefs about abortion, should the contraceptive option be declined or in the event contraception fails. In all cases, regardless of the school, the long-form contract must be witnessed by a notary and a three-day cancellation period allowed to expire before any sexual contact may take place.
              Students who have not executed a valid contract between themselves cannot touch each other in any sexual manner whatsoever. Alleged accidental sexual contacts, such as when bodies rub together in a hallway, are investigated by a student committee of twelve elected officials. All other sexual contacts are considered to be either an assault or a breach of contract. In the former case, the guilty party is expelled from school; in the latter case, he or she may be ordered to pay damages or to specifically perform the terms of the contract.
              Obviously, there are problems with the long-form contracts. Although these contracts are fairly airtight and have been upheld in many jurisdictions—a New York court found that a sexual relations contract entered into by a minor was enforceable because the object of the contract was to procure the necessities of life—they are still complicated, time consuming, and unwieldy. Some students assert that an advanced degree is necessary to fill them out correctly; others insist that by the time the paperwork is done no one is interested in sex; and still others complain that the number of pages is so great a condom package with attached contract cannot be carried in one’s wallet or purse.

              But perhaps the most disturbing indictment of the standard contract is its lack of privacy, and horror stories abound: Contracts have been found posted in lavatories and dorm rooms; they have appeared in campus newspapers; and they have been bought and sold by student speculators, although they are positively non-negotiable and non-assignable as a matter of law.
              Thus, the short-form contract has gained wide acceptance on many progressive nanny campuses. Administrators often frown on this form, since its use by students usually reduces administrative control, but students are almost unanimous in their approval. Sometimes preprinted, sometimes hastily scribbled by hand, but always less than a page, all short-form sexual contracts generally employ the same language. A typical document might read, “We affirm a tentative sexual attraction to each other subject to any and all future contingencies, whether known or unknown. Our relationship is private.”
              At truly advanced nanny schools the trend points to even greater innovations. Some of these institutions have gone over to completely oral contracts, while others, the avant-garde nanny schools, have allowed body language and certain “widely recognized modes of eye con-tact” to be construed as sufficiently binding. Ninny schools, such as Antioch, have fallen way behind the times. Their antiquated and dictatorial attempts to control student sexual relations are useless in a modern, democratic world.

  5. lizard19

    Clarissa seems to have low expectations about men’s responsibility (and ability) to—you know—control their sexual urges. her letter is sad.

    I also think it’s Clarissa’s mentality—which is not unique—that plays into the difficulty law enforcement has when investigating alleged sexual assault.

    I wonder if Clarissa had specific information about an alleged rape being investigated, if she would come forward, or if she would justify not coming forward because the alleged victim showed too much cleavage or wore too short a skirt, and therefore “asked for it”.

  6. Brett

    If this Ms Holmes is an example of where culture is headed in the Missoula, MT area, then I have hope that all is not lost! There is still some semblance of virtue and common sense in society! Perhaps jhwygirl should take some notes…

  1. 1 Jezebel’s Missoula Weekend « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] prevalence of young women who eagerly participate in victim blaming is one example, as evidenced by Poor Clarissa’s letter that the Kaimin […]

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