Phyllis Schlafly: Sexual Assault Happens On College Campuses Because There Are Too Many Women

Phyllis Schlafly has been wrong on a lot of things for a long time. But lately, she’s been saying things that have made me wonder, “Does she have to be wrong now?” Case in point–a recent column that America’s original loathsome right-wing granny penned for WorldNet Daily. She thinks she’s found the cause of the recent epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses–colleges are letting in too many women.

Phyllis Schafly at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (from Gage Skidmore's Flickr)
Phyllis Schafly at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (from Gage Skidmore’s Flickr)

Schlafly writes that when she got her bachelor’s decree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1944 and her master’s from Radcliffe in 1945, men made up 70 percent of all college students while women made up only 30 percent. Today, colleges are 60 percent female and 40 percent male. She quoted an anonymous female college student as saying that out of that 40 percent, only 20 percent are worth pursuing and only 10 percent are single. To Schlafly’s mind, this forces women to “compete for men on men’s terms.”

Now that’s news to me. When I was a student at Carolina, I actually thought the women were the ones with the advantage in the dating game. After all, there were more of them than us, so they could afford to be selective. Oh, that’s right–in Schlafly’s world, men want women who will submit to them. There weren’t many women at Carolina in my time–even conservative women–who wanted that kind of relationship.

Schlafly thinks that the imbalance between men and women directly contributes to the large number of sex scandals on campus in recent years–while giving absolutely zero evidence to support it. Her solution? Require colleges to admit 50 percent men and 50 percent women. So let’s see if we’ve got this right. Women are to blame for being violated because too many of them want to go to college, and college admissions officers also share blame for letting so many women in. When Salon’s Luke Brinker read this, he snorted, “With so many women around, what do you expect a college man to do–seek consent!?”

If you’re trying to get your head around this, don’t feel bad. I am too. But then again, we’re talking about someone who thinks that the pay gap between men and women actually ought to be increased because–wait for it–a larger pay gap will make it easier for women to find husbands.

It cannot be repeated enough–Schafly provided no evidence whatsoever to suggest that sex crimes on campus are even remotely connected to the percentage of women on campus. Usually, when wingnuts spew something like this, their “evidence” consists mostly of figures that have been burned to a crisp. But Schafly didn’t even try to cite any figures–and 99.999 times out of 100, it’s because there aren’t any.

The Republicans spent the last election cycle insisting there isn’t really a war on women. But this blatant victim-blaming from one of the godmothers of the modern conservative movement makes it way too easy to prove that there is indeed a war on women.

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Darrell Lucus.jpg Darrell Lucus, also known as Christian Dem in NC on Daily Kos, is a radical-lefty Jesus-lover who has been blogging for change for a decade. Follow him on Twitter @DarrellLucus or connect with him on Facebook.

Darrell is a 30-something graduate of the University of North Carolina who considers himself a journalist of the old school. An attempt to turn him into a member of the religious right in college only succeeded in turning him into the religious right's worst nightmare--a charismatic Christian who is an unapologetic liberal. His desire to stand up for those who have been scared into silence only increased when he survived an abusive three-year marriage. You may know him on Daily Kos as Christian Dem in NC. Follow him on Twitter @DarrellLucus or connect with him on Facebook. Click here to buy Darrell a Mello Yello.