A couple decades ago, the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Indians hit upon a modern day gold mine: their lobbying efforts to remedy the systemic disenfranchisement of, as they put it, a “large tribal population of Native Americans,” resulted in sweetheart deals with the State of California to allow the Sycuan to build and operate a massive casino in the Dehesa Valley east of San Diego. The Sycuan band cited the sheer numbers of Kumeyaay people that would be helped by the revenues from gambling.
Once the ink was dry, The Sycuan decided not to share their lucre with other bands of Kumeyaay, or even with their own blood relatives: tribal elders promptly kicked half the active membership out once the money had to be shared.
Intersectionalism is essentially the art of finding the most picayune combination of traits (“well, from the indigenous bisexual Guatemalan immigrant feminist perspective, this is problematic…”) that seeks to glorify and “legitimize” the individual experience of the most particularized group possible.
You, Soraya Chemaly, are the reason high school and college males consider rape a joke. Every time you cite an unfounded and inflated statistic like “one in four,” every time you call a college campus a “rape capital,” every time you explain away your utter lack of real evidence with the logically bereft meme that all the unseen rapes must just be unreported, every time you conflate a couple getting drunk and having a one-night stand that the girl later regrets with forcible assault, or decry a puerile email as an integral part of an ominous yet intangible “rape culture,” you trivialize sexual assault and you trivialize its victims.
You made rape a joke. You continue to make rape a joke by constantly attempting to expand the definition of rape beyond its logical and observed boundaries, by denouncing male behavior as “toxic” and “shameful” when it crosses your preconceived notions of acceptability, by celebrating the utter trashing of due process in modern Title IX campus assault investigations.
“Boys” aren’t as stupid as you seem to think, Soraya. They know the difference, even at 17, between “the 80% of reported rapes” that “involve alcohol” and often feature two drunk parties manifesting consent, and a girl being forcibly raped and murdered in a dorm, even if you manipulatively link them in an article. When you continually tell people that the sky is falling – that a massive problem exists all around them that belies their own direct observational experience – you devalue not only your own message, but the real and horrific instances of rape that you lump in with far more harmless actions.
You made rape a joke. That you’re making a career off that joke by railing against what you wrought is the height of disingenuity. Enjoy your work.