Take a Drink: whenever something sad or infuriating occurs
Take a Drink: for undeniable statistics
Take a Drink: for the complete lack of institutional support or decency
Do a Shot: for retaliations against the truth
By: Henry J. Fromage (Two Beers) –
The review’s not going to have a lot of jokes in it. One of every five of women will be raped during their college years, although… that statistic may be misleading due to the amount of rapes that go unreported. Even if they do report rape to civil or university authorities, only 10% of their attackers will suffer any consequences (consequences including, say, writing a term paper).
Now write “Rape is Bad” one hundred times and go to your room without supper.
The Hunting Ground is the above paragraph, for 100 minutes, and that’s precisely why you need to watch it.
The Hunting Ground begins with a montage of High School seniors getting the news that they just got accepted to their dream college, setting a tragically ironic tone that will be brutally undercut by the cavalcade of survivor’s stories and statistics that follow. Here’s a few more- it’s estimated that 8% of the male university population is responsible for 90% of campus rapes, with the average repeat offender going on to rape six more victims… at least. If you’re one of those 18 year olds leaping for joy at getting into the school of your dreams, you’d better hope that school’s not one of the many with zero expulsions of alleged rapists, some of which report 200 or more rapes a year. You’re now sharing a campus with an animal given carte blanche to do as he pleases, because ultimately the school’s business is more important to preserve than your safety.
Nevermind- he’s one hell of a linebacker.
Directors Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, who last examined the truly depressing state of rape and its near lack of consequences in another social institution, the Armed Forces, in their documentary The Invisible War, do a good job of adding a cinematic sheen to these staggering numbers and infuriating testimonies. As many of the girls and a few of the boys go into the reasons why they may not have initially reported their assaults, or considering not doing so, it’s hard not to burst into tears yourself as you see fret over what this might do to their parents, or wonder if it might change their relationship with them. It’s profoundly sad, and profoundly angering that they were ever forced to think these thoughts.
Thankfully, Dick & Ziering do provide notes of hope, particularly one group of UNC victims who fought back, going so far as bringing a Title IX case to court on the basis that men and women have the legal right to an equal education… and it’s hard to focus on your education with the knowledge that you have essentially no legal protections against being raped if it happens in the Wild West of a college campus.
I, like many a red-blooded American, am a football fan, and the unequivocal way in which the film maintains that Jameis Winston is a rapist struck me wrong. I bristled at the fact that he never gets a side of the story, and the only evidence against him is one sobbing girl… and then I realized that I was reacting in exactly the same way every school administrator who let another accused rapist pass unpunished did. Poor documentary technique aside, was this reaction just proof that I am part of the problem? Is it really so ingrained in our society that “athletes are worth more” that nearly everyone’s knee-jerk reaction is disbelief when a rape allegation surfaces about one?
The campus rape crisis (and the rape crisis in general) is a complex issue that won’t be solved overnight- but the numbers don’t lie. What we’re doing as a society right now is shamefully, ridiculously inadequate. Perhaps we can start by believing that sobbing girl (or boy), and putting a civil crime entirely in the jurisdiction of civil authorities.