The University of North Carolina is finally taking a tough stand against “disruptive or intimidating behavior” among students. Specifically, UNC is bringing sophomore Landen Gambill before the Office of Student Conduct for speaking to the press about her alleged rape and UNC’s handling of her case. The University asserts Gambill’s behavior amounted to “intimidating” her alleged rapist, whom she never actually named to any media outlet.
The University, which has come under fire for repeatedly pressuring its staff to underreport sexual assaults on campus, deemed her behavior to be conduct “that willfully abuses, disparages, or otherwise interferes with another so as to adversely affect their academic pursuits, opportunities for University employment, participation in University-sponsored extracurricular activities, or opportunities to benefit from other aspects of University Life.” UNC is apparently taking a tough stand against students who speak out about sexual assault, as Gambill faces potential expulsion from the University for discussing her rape openly.
What kind of culture are we living in, if we can’t protect our most defenseless citizens: people who have to hear about rape? It seems like no matter what we do to try to stop women from speaking about their sexual assaults — no matter how many “take back the morning after we failed to take back the night” events we hold — there’s a continuing problem of women wanting to talk about rape.
How big of a problem is this? Just consider these harrowing statistics.
Rape Talk in America, by the Numbers:
As a heterosexual male I know I am in constant fear of being talked to about rape. But just remember, guys, if a woman does talk to you about her sexual assault and you don’t feel impregnated with sadness, then it wasn’t a legitimate rape talk. A man cannot be made sad by illegitimate rape talk.
While we can never fully eliminate rape-talk on campus, with your help and the continuing efforts of the UNC administration, we can make talking about rape the exception, and not the rule.