Op-Ed: The Good Ol’ Boys Club & Membership to Collegiate Rape

Jazzi Mason, Senior Editor

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My mother’s childhood neighborhood in Portland was predominantly black families managing in poverty. Before Portland became desirable and progressive, the block was BBQs with the neighbors on weekends, running in the streets during thunderstorms, and playing dominos in someone’s back yard. As a more privileged and affluent population moved in, my mother noticed the increased reports of rape in her childhood neighborhood. According to her, rape was a very infrequent occurrence and she felt the new population moving in was to blame. Do the non-oppressed have a greater tendency to oppress, or even enjoy the oppression of others? It seemed as the privileged moved in, oppression — in the form of rape — came with them.

Rape is more common among the educational elite — The Privileged: Young Edition. Among the 25 US colleges with the highest sexual assault rates, five of the eight Ivy League institutions are in the top 14. This is not including other high prestige colleges such as Stanford University (#11). These elite institutions even seem determined to beat their own records, as Harvard’s sexual assault statistics doubled from 2013 to 2014; the decreased numbers in the “fondling” category were compensated for in the “rape” category. Additionally, nearly half of these 25 schools boast tuition exceeding $40,000.

Why is rape more common among the elite? As many of us respond appropriately to the Brock Turners, Wolfgang Ballingers, and Paul-Jean Nungessers of the nation, there are those who sigh internally because they know they are safe from the consequences of their actions. The non-oppressed will always remain so, because they are in an elite world, and the elite protect the elite.

While these institutions admit both genders, the mentality to protect men over women still exists. The man’s money carries more weight in these elite institutions, and why wouldn’t it when he will always be paid more than she will? A woman’s value will never match her male counterpart even if the paycheck is the same, because she does not have a membership to the most exclusive club.

So why do educational elites rape more than non-elite counterparts? Perhaps the value of his $40,000 education means more than her personhood. Perhaps her $40,000 doesn’t buy her safety, respect, or acknowledgment. Women are shoved into the shadows, forced into confusion, and blamed when they are taken advantage of. Women who are sexually assaulted have more to fear than the man who abused her. As women we blanket ourselves in shame, while the men toast to a not-guilty verdict.

Educational elites feel they can get away with rape, because they can. In the pervasive collegiate good ol’ boys club, everything is allowed. Every man is protected.

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