Jennifer Gunter politely lets George Will have it

Recently pundit George Will wrote an extraordinary op-ed where he implied that concerns about rape and sexual assault on college campuses were overblown and that claiming to be raped conferred some kind of privileged status on women. Here’s how he begins:

Colleges and universities are being educated by Washington and are finding the experience excruciating. They are learning that when they say campus victimizations are ubiquitous (“micro-aggressions,” often not discernible to the untutored eye, are everywhere), and that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate.

I was incredulous that claiming to be a victim (of rape and other sexual assaults) “confers privileges” on women and thus causes them to “proliferate”.

There were enough strong reactions to his column that I did not feel the need to add my two cents. But I did come across this blog post by an OB/GYN that I thought worth passing on to a wider readership. After describing her own experience of rape while in college, Jennifer Gunter says:

You labor under the fear (as some men do) that there is an epidemic of false rape. That good young men will go to jail for consent withdrawn after the fact. And while false accusations likely do happen (the Duke Lacrosse case is a recent, well-known example) these are the exception and not the rule and each time a male with a platform spouts off about a false epidemic of rape it only makes it harder for women who have been violated to come forward.

There is no woman who I have ever met personally or as an OB/GYN who thinks that surviving a rape confers some sort of privilege. I am genuinely curious if you interviewed a few young women hoping to earn their college rape badge or is that just a conclusion you reached looking at the issue of sexual assault through the myopic lens of misogyny?

Come spend a day in my clinic Mr. Will. Come see how the scars of rape linger even decades later.

There is no survivor privilege, just survivors.

The whole thing is worth reading.


  1. colnago80 says

    The same asshole George Will who dumped his first wife in order to trade her in on a younger model. But of course, that’s what Rethuglicans do.

  2. smrnda says

    Will is the type of shit who thinks that if you use a thesaurus, your bad ideas somehow become better.

  3. astrosmash says

    @ MarcusRanum: Will is a stupid person’s idea of what a smart person sounds like.

    Perfect…That phenomenon needs a name. Wm F Buckley was the go to guy for that back in the day. If you’ve ever seen him debate Chomsky, you’ve seen what a disingenuous sleazy manipulative dishonest hack he was. The clue that outs him as a fraud was his overuse (yes it;s possible) of 50c words. I love language and deep vocabularies, but I also understand that intellegent discourse invoves ‘adjusting content’ for context. Hitchens was king of that…Now if HE had only been on the right side of the war thing ( :

  4. Mano Singham says


    I agree that Chomsky’s deflating of Buckley’s pomposity on Buckley’s own show Firing Line was a thing of beauty and a joy to behold. I linked to that debate and analyzed Buckley’s and Chomsky debating styles back in 2013.

  5. astrosmash says

    ( :

    wasn’t it beautiful though? Chomsky came after Buckley with the informed man’s version of the Gish Gallup…In order for that to work, you have to have almost unimaginable amounts of information at your beck and call. most of us…In fact, likely ALL of us who aren’t Chomsky, are sumarily buried under the ‘Gallup’ as it were…That’s why it’s such a useful tactic on the right

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