Tuesday, November 25, 2014

It could have happened any where!

This is a follow-up from my last post where, triggered by the recent discussions on sexual assault on US campuses, I recounted an encounter with a vulnerable young woman during my graduate school days at Yale. Recently mathbabe also answered the query of a father worried about the safety of soon-to-be-college-going-daughter, in the wake of reports about disturbingly high prevalence of sexual assault on US campuses. I loved Aunt Pythia's advice and encourage you to go and read her response in full here. I reproduce part of her answer below, which really appealed to me and seems worth considering by all parents sharing such worries:

"Also, and this is actually the most important piece of advice: get your daughter to drink with you a few times, before she goes to college, so she’ll know what it feels like to have too much. The most educational night of my life was a night in the summer before college, when my dad got me and my friend Becky puking drunk. I never let that happen again, because I knew when I’d had too much. I think far too many kids get to college never having been allowed to go overboard with drinking, so they do it for the first time with strangers. Bad idea!"

I need to clarify, especially since the common theme in this and also my previous post was ensuring responsible drinking by young girls, that I do not at all think this is the root of the problem. In fact, the point here is that since we live in an unkind and highly twisted world, we need to watch out for ourselves as best as we can and responsible drinking just helps retain that much needed self-control in threatening situations. This is not to deny the heart-rending misfortune that even after such precautions girls may find themselves forced to live through unspeakable experiences. See this recent rolling stone article about a particularly horrifying example that unfolded at University of Virginia. It really is tantamount to an institutionalization of barbarism! Since the RS report came out, some heads have rolled but it is too little-too late and situation is very very far from acceptable. I guess since I myself work in a research university and have taught undergraduates as part of my academic commitment, I feel deeply appalled and outraged that university campuses seem to be turning into inadvertent havens for sexual predators, where they walk free among us with such impudence. :(
In any case, until compelling comprehensive changes are made to manage, report and prevent these crimes (yes that's what they are, STFU about 'suspensions' and 'disciplinary action' bull shit!), girls/boys keep safe, and keep each other safe. Let this not turn out to be a Utopian dream, please!

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