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“Top 10 Ways to Get Away With Rape” Flier Found in Dorm

“Top 10 Ways to Get Away With Rape” Flier Found in Dorm

After a flier listing the “Top Ten Ways To Get Away With Rape” was found in a men’s bathroom in a co-ed dormitory at Miami University of Ohio, did the university notify all students about a frankly disturbing incident?

No, as the Columbus Dispatch says. As a result, “students, their parents and campus leaders across Ohio” have been outraged and Miami University has found itself making headlines for reasons other than being the alma mater of Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

The flyer was actually found the weekend before last. As the Cincinnati Enquirer reported on Saturday, some of the “ways” listed on the flyer included slipping roofies into women’s drinks, targeting women who walk alone and sneaking into women’s unlocked rooms and slitting their throats if one is afraid they will talk. The tenth tip is even more abhorrent, if that is possible: It reads “RAPE, RAPE, RAPE, its (sic) college boys live it up!!”

This is frankly ugly stuff. So it is all the more disappointing to learn that Miami University officials dragged their feet to respond. Barbara Jones, Miami University’s vice president for student affairs, said in USA Today that no campus-wide alert was at first sent out because they did not think the flyer contained an immediate threat. “All of our evidence shows it was confined strictly to McBride Hall,” Jones says, referring to the dormitory in which the flyer was found.

All the male students in McBride Hall have been summoned to attend a mandatory meeting and the university is undertaking an investigation. Police presence has also been increased and Jones insists that the university is serious about campus safety. “I read the flier. I was shocked. It has no place on our campus or any other campus,” she says in USA Today.

Of course. But the fact that someone thought it was all right to post a flyer containing language so violent and demeaning towards women more than suggests that at least some members of Miami University’s community think that it is all right to say and think such things. It suggests that there is a culture on the campus that tacitly condones misogynistic attitudes.

As Kate Van Fossen, a junior at the university who is the vice president of Women Against Violence and Sexual Assault (WAVE), says in the Cincinnati Enquirer, “It could have been a joke, but the fact of the matter is that those thoughts are crossing someone’s mind. There are girls living in a hall where someone came up with that. It’s just disturbing.” Indeed, Van Fossen also said that, had she not been a member of WAVE, she would not have learned about the incident. The university erred in not alerting all students, not to mention faculty and staff across the campus, and thereby sent the message that such remarks and behavior are allowed and tolerated.

Van Fossen notes that, even if the flyer was meant as a joke, it is still highly disturbing, especially at a university at which 27 sexual assaults were reported between 2009 and 2011.

Miami University officials’ fumbling in handling this incident is simply disappointing. It is also a stark reminder of why we need to keep up the pressure on educational institutions to educate students and their communities that violence against women, and violent attitudes and language against women, are never tolerated. University officials can never do enough to foster and nurture a campus culture that is safe and welcoming for women and certainly, one would hope, in a place like a co-ed dormitory.

 

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189 comments

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11:12AM PST on Nov 11, 2012

Still against gun control????????????????????

10:54AM PST on Nov 11, 2012

I would hope that the people behind this flyer are caught and expelled from the university.

10:20AM PST on Nov 11, 2012

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9:14AM PDT on Nov 1, 2012

So All woman unite, we will be untrusted when men assault us, men beware we can be just as evil. All people can be good in heart, or they can choose not to. You men might want to rethink your ways. We gals will protect ourselves!

1:27PM PDT on Oct 30, 2012

There are a lot of SICKOS out there.

7:00AM PDT on Oct 27, 2012

how very disturbing. these boys are just that. boys. and dangerous ones

5:38AM PDT on Oct 27, 2012

I couldn't care less that it may have been a joke; it certainly isn't funny. This is a disturbing reflection of a mindset we must get rid of.

1:33AM PDT on Oct 22, 2012

To A.N.M.-who suggests
"there's really little difference if any between the male mindsets of those two areas, the US and the Middle East. In both areas men have absolutely no respect for women, in fact, most men simply hate women."

Let me tell you that as a solo female traveller in the Middle East/North Africa for these past 12 years I have never once felt nervous walking around by myself, day or night, even in a strange town or city. And nor, obviously, do the other women I meet there.
Contrariwise, in London, I hardly ever venture out alone after dark and, when I do, I stick to well-lit streets in areas I know.

7:18PM PDT on Oct 21, 2012

Weather it be a joke or not in regards to the flyer, it is considered almost an act of terrorism! Making all the women on campus, and their families very worried and fearful. Come on, and what part of any of this should The Miami University officials, or anyone take this lightly? Think about this, The flyer was said to be violent and demeaning of women, you know the person who wrote this is very disturbed them self, probable very mentally ill! If it being a detailed flyer, could this person be a repeat offender that has simply not been caught? I don't know about anyone else, but for crying out loud TAKE THESE INCIDENTS SERIOUSLY!

4:31PM PDT on Oct 21, 2012

Sonya L thank you for your story, reminding everyone the effects of rape and child sexual abuse on one's psyche for the rest of life. We should all applaud you for being a survivor of such vicious acts.

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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