Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Letter to the Editor: Rape article extremely misleading

I write to strongly object to an editorial decision about a news item on page 2 of the September 10 Hurricane.

The Headline reads:  “Study: many women have ‘rape fantasies.’ ”

The lead reads:  “Females find pleasure in the forbidden.”

When one reads the entire article, it is not until the 6th full paragraph that the misleading and dangerously misrepresented reality of the headline is uncovered, but by then many people who would like to use this myth to justify violence against women have stopped reading.

Quoting from the 6th paragraph, “In truth, most of what falls under this category of fantasy is far from corresponding to what we call ‘rape’ in real life.”  And then much later, in the very last sentence of the article: “Such fantasies, of course, are very far from what a rape experience is like; the reality of rape is not viewed erotically by women.”

I’m sorry – that last sentence is too little too late.

Perhaps Irene Daboin or her editor was not astute enough to read the literature on rape, or not old enough or experienced enough to have felt the deep pain upon reading about, or witnessing, a judge let a rapist go without punishment because “the woman must have been asking for it by the way she was dressed,” or with the extreme fabrication that “we all know that women really mean yes when they say no.

Rape is not an act of love or erotic pleasure.  Rape is an act of violence and anger.

To perpetuate such a dangerous myth with your article as it is presented is an extreme and dangerous injustice to women and men alike.

-Dr. Carol M. Davis, Department of Physical Therapy, Miller School of Medicine

Editor’s Note: The headline for this story was chosen by editors, not by the author. Also, an anecdotal lead was cut from the beginning of the story.

September 21, 2009

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.