Dads Against the Divorce Industry

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Extreme Feminists at UMass Have 'Hate Men' Rally to Keep Money Flowing to Rape Crisis Centers

By Izzy Lyman
May 5, 2003

A UMass/Amherst "Take Back the Night" rally was held by radical, campus feminists last week to call attention to the issue of violence against women, but the organizers admitted that only about two hundred people showed up the first day and only one hundred on the second day.

It became apparent that the only reason for the rally was to put pressure on the Legislature to keep the money flowing to the employees at the rape crisis centers at Amherst and other places.

During a march around campus the group ecountered several hecklers. "They [the hecklers] are as responsible for the offenses that happen as the perpetrators themselves," the crowd was told by Lisa Kidwell, a UMass police department detective and instructor with a crisis center. Kidwell teaches the RAD Kids (Resist Agression Defensively) and the RAD for Women (Rape Aggression Defensive System) programs.

The police officer called the hecklers "third-party co-conspirators."

Elaborating on this theme, Kidwell said that three people play a role in every sexual crime. "There is the person that's the survivor. There's the person that's responsible. And there's society who puts the blame on the victim."

Cara Bedick, a women's studies major who helped organize the event held said she was pleased by the turnout. "This is the first one we've had at UMass in over five years."

Detective Kidwell bluntly complained about the safety precautions modern college co-eds often have to take. "Instead of having to say to the women, 'You need to take responsibility for what you're wearing, you need to take responsibility for how much you had to drink, you need to be responsible for the fact that you shouldn't walk across campus alone, you need to find a partner to walk with, you need to have a cell phone.' I say Bull _ ."

Kidwell blamed "society" for imposing these limitations upon women. "I shouldn't have to find someone to walk with. Society makes us have to do that. Society is responsible."

Becky Lockwood, the associate director of the Rape Crisis Services and Violence Prevention programs at the Everywoman's Center, also spoke at the rally. She began her presentation by reading the "Rape Poem" by Marge Piercy.

Among the lines that Lockwood recited: "The rapist is your boyfriend's brother. He sits beside you in the movies eating popcorn. Rape fattens on the fantasies of the normal male like a maggot on garbage."

After the poetry reading, Lockwood's presentation took a political turn. She explained that in the "current house budget there is no funding for rape crisis centers in Massachusetts."

"The House Legislature thinks it's better to close rape crisis centers than to take a risk and raise taxes. They're cowards," said Lockwood.

After Lockwood's speech, Bedick urged the audience to "stop violence" by signing a lavender-colored postcard. The postcard was a plea to Massachusetts legislators to restore funding for domestic violence programs.

A Dangerous Message

Ed Cutting, a UMass graduate student who is a columnist for the conservative Minuteman campus newspaper, said that he supported strict sentencing for all violent felons, including rapists, and the right of all law-abiding citizens to carry firearms. But he thought the message conveyed during 'Take Back the Night' was a dangerous one for young women.

Cutting said that many female students at UMass have a "world revolves around me" attitude. He described a revealing conversation he had with one undergraduate. "This student firmly believes that she has the right to go buck-naked to a fraternity party, and it is society's duty to stop anyone from raping her. Worse, anyone who argues otherwise is supporting rape. These kids are told this, they believe it, and that is problematic."

Lamented Cutting, "Feminism has created a generation of women who are nothing but sex objects. They have no character and no soul. They are cardboard people who have been taught that gender is the be-all and end-all of everything."

One of the flyers advertising 'Take Back the Night' featured a statistic noting that one-in-four women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime. The Independent Women's Forum, a national organization which supports the principle of personal responsibility for women, maintains that this statistic is a "myth." On its website, the organization reports: "This mother of all factoids is based on a fallacious feminist study commissioned by Ms. magazine. The researcher, Mary Koss, hand-picked by hard-line feminist Gloria Steinem, acknowledges that 73 percent of the young women she counted as rape victims were not aware they had been raped. Forty-three percent of them were dating their 'attacker' again."

The Independent Women's Forum scolds the activists who disseminate this information: "Rape is a uniquely horrible crime. That is why we need sober and responsible research. Women will not be helped by hyperbole and hysteria."

UMass student Cara Bedick, however, remains committed to the cause. "I think it was a great turnout for this year's event. And I think the numbers will grow with the years."

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