This is terrible
The Obama administration is criticized for many policies — most recently, the VA scandal — but you'd think that stopping campus rape would be a bipartisan goal. Unfortunately, the far right, or at least Glenn Beck and The Blaze, don't agree.
Beck and The Blaze staff members created a sketch mocking the government's campus rape statistics and making light of sexual assault. The video, hosted by Stu Burguiere, is based on the premise that rape numbers are overreported, citing the 2007 Campus Sexual Assault Report and the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey as "evidence." Burguiere spends most of his time arguing over the definition of "rape," claiming that the NISVS survey classifies verbal sexual pressure, including "threatening to spread rumors" and "making promises about the future" as rape. However, Slate's Amanda Marcotte correctly notes that the NISVS, which encompasses a number of abusive behaviors, not just rape, puts these actions in the separate category of "sexual coercion."
Burguiere also assumes that the survey's respondents qualify any drunken sexual encounter as rape, and he argues (with no cited statistic) that 50 percent of sexual activity occurs under the influence. He chooses to ignore the fact that the 2010 survey asks respondents whether they were "unable to consent" in addition to whether they were drunk or high.
Responses like Beck's promote victim-blaming and hinder the government's efforts to make college campuses safer for all students. Ending sexual assault is a message all Americans, no matter what their political beliefs, should embrace — and turning sexual violence investigations into an attack on Obama is a low blow, even for Beck. Watch the full segment — if you must — below. --Meghan DeMaria