The Saint Anselm Crier

Letter to the Editor

Lauren Batchelder, News Editor

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Recently, an article was published in the Crier titled “Abortion and Hookup Culture are part of the same problem.” There were several points made which I find to be problematic and feel need to be discussed.

The author writes “Issues like sexual harassment in Hollywood, the idea of a ‘campus rape culture,’ and the use of abortion as birth control are intrinsically linked and are symptomatic of the same underlying problem that has plagued Western society since the late ‘60s. The advent of the Sexual Revolution, with its message of liberation and its production of cheap and accessible contraceptives, along with newfound access to abortion (furnished by Roe v. Wade and other similar cases), had a profound impact on the way Americans came to view sex.”

First, sexual harassment in Hollywood is not a new occurrence that was brought on by the Sexual Revolution. In fact, the sexual exploitation of women in Hollywood has existed since the conception of the cinema. Clark Gable, one of the most famous stars of the twentieth century

raped his costar Loretta Young while they were on a train headed back to Hollywood in 1935.Tippi Hendren, star of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds came forward in 2016 to say that the famous director had sexually harassed her. Maureen O’Hara, one of the most famous celebrities from the 1930s, said in an interview that sexual harassment in Hollywood was so rampant that she almost quit.

The author writes the phrase Campus Rape Culture in quotation marks, which implies that sexual assault on College campuses doesn’t exist and is just a fictionalized aspect of society. According to The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, “11.2% of all students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.” Meanwhile, women who attend college are more likely to be sexually assaulted than robbed. I challenge everyone to sit in a room consisting of only women attending college and ask how many have been sexually assaulted. The numbers will astonish you.

The World Health Organization recently found in a study that 73 percent of women around the world who have abortions are married. Following this statistic, it seems difficult to argue that abortion is intrinsically linked with this so called “hook up culture.” Moreover, abortion has existed since the beginning of time. Roe v. Wade and the creation of safer abortions for women didn’t lead to a change in the way people view sex. It just meant that women didn’t have to die while attempting to terminate a pregnancy. The ancient Greeks attempted to use various plants for abortion, while in ancient China women induced mercury for pregnancy prevention.

American views on sex haven’t changed, but rather, more people feel comfortable coming forward against sexual assault and violence. The author argues “in the decades preceding the Sexual Revolution, sex was, at least nominally, seen as part of the institution of marriage.” People still view sex as being a part of marriage, but if anything came out of the women’s liberation movement, it wasn’t that more people were engaging in “sinful” intercourse. In fact, sex within marriage became better for women because of the 1960s. Marital rape slowly became recognized as a crime, although all fifty states did not recognize this until 1993.

Rape and sexual harassment are not issues that just appeared after the Sexual Revolution, and anyone who claims this is being unjust to victims of sexual violence. The pages of history are consumed with stories of rape. Rape has been used as a tool of war for centuries to humiliate the enemy, and there are too many heinous examples. Genghis Khan assaulted so many women, that .5 percent of all the men in the world are related to him. During the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, it was estimated that over 400,000 women were raped by members of the Pakistani Army. In 2007, a sociology and criminology professor, J. Robert Lilly, estimated U.S. soldiers raped around 11,040 women and children while the Americans occupied Germany.

My ultimate offense with this article is that the author writes, “if you want the number of unwanted sexual advances to go down, then society must change the way it views sex.” History has shown that people of all genders have been raped since the beginning of time. Slaves forced to come to America could be raped at any time because they weren’t considered to be human. Children are sold into sexual slavery every day, and it isn’t because Roe v. Wade encouraged people to have more sex. The entire article was detrimental and factually inaccurate. Saying that casual sex leads to more sexual assaults is wrong, hurtful and a symptom of a culture indifferent to sexual violence.

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Letter to the Editor