A 19 year-old college student claims his attempts to debate rape culture and question statistics often cited in campus discussions saw him kicked out of class.
Jeremiah True, a student at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, challenged the assertion that 1 in 5 college women are sexually assaulted and argued that there is no benefit in over-inflating statistics about something as serious as rape. True has started an online petition to be re-instated.
“I am critical of the idea of a rape culture because it does not exist,” he wrote in a lengthy email to Savery explaining his perspectives that he has also posted online. “We live in a society that hates rape, but also hasn’t optimized the best way to handle rape. Changing the legal definition of rape is a slippery slope. If sexual assault becomes qualified as rape, what happens next? What else can we legally redefine to become rape? Why would we want to inflate the numbers of rape in our society?”
True not only posted his version of events but the lengthy email he received from his professor, Pancho Savery, explaining why he was being banned. Savery said there were survivors of sexual assault in the class.
They, and others, do not feel comfortable being in the same classroom with you; not only because of this topic but because of other things you have said to people personally or on facebook in which you seem to undermine women's abilities in general. The entire conference without exception, men as well as women, feel that your presence makes them uncomfortable enough that they would rather not be there if you are there, and they have said that things you have said in our conference have made them so upset that they have difficulty concentrating in other classes.
No word from Savery yet on whether True will be reinstated.
Reed is a small, very liberal school whose unofficial motto is "Communism, Atheism, Free Love."