A group of 100 protesters – including many topless women – recently marched the streets of Athens, Ohio chanting, “Blame the system, not the victim” and “Two, four, six, eight, stop the violence, stop the rape.” Organized by an Ohio University student organization called “f*ckrapeculture,” the protest was designed to bring attention to what the founders believe is a toxic culture of sexism and sexual violence infecting their campus.
F*ckrapeculture cofounder Claire Chadwick explained to the campus newspaper, “The name of our organization and the statements that we’ve made are loud. But it’s because we need to be heard.” But saying something loudly does not make it true or just.
Chadwick and the members of f*ckrapeculture aren’t the only student sexual violence activists that are demanding attention. Since last spring, an expansive network of student activists has emerged to fight “rape culture” and change the way universities respond to cases of sexual misconduct. However, as universities reexamine their sexual assault policies, administrators should be wary of the demands of these “rape culture” activists. Not only is their movement built on a foundation of dubious statistics and a distorted view of masculinity, but it has already led to policies that have proved devastating to those who have been falsely accused.