Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

I’m disheartened to see that the person who wrote the slut-shaming opinion piece (“A Female Perspective on Modern Chivalry: Women Need to Face the Facts,” Nov. 10, 2011) last semester wrote a piece about sexual assault on campus and victim blames throughout the entire article (“Protection from Sexual Assault Requires Cooperation,” March 2, 2012.).  This is a poorly worded, poorly researched article, and I’m ashamed that this was in my school newspaper.

Firstly, the onus of prevention of sexual assault is on the perpetrator of assault, not on the victim. People can do everything in their power to protect themselves from assault and still be assaulted. It is not up to the victim. Secondly, the assumption that women are the only victims of assault is incorrect. They are the  majority, but there are thousands of people who do not identify as women who are assaulted each year. Thirdly, the women on this campus are women. We’re old enough to claim that title, let us have it.

I am up in arms, Sarah Morris. I’m furious that The Bucknellian allowed this to be published. We have such a huge problem with sexual assault on this campus, and the pervasive idea that women are responsible for protecting themselves from an assault is what contributes to people not wanting to report an assault for fear of being told it was their fault. This stance does the whole institution injustice. I’m frustrated that you, as a member of the sex that is most frequently assaulted, believes that you or any of the rest of us can somehow prevent an assault. Again, the only person who can prevent assault is the person who is going to commit the assault.

I think this campus would benefit from some more informed, unbiased research in this area. Perhaps attending a presentation or panel on sexual assault on campus would open our eyes. There are several interesting and relevant discussions in this area happening on campus on a regular basis, such as the Speak UP Bucknell Peer Education program, the Double Take Project and speakers hosted each semester by the Women’s and Gender Studies office and the Women’s Resource Center, as well as many others.

Alyssa M. Gockley ’13
Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies

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