“Woman at War with the World”

Jennifer Doyle’s article, “Campus Sex, Campus Security”, starts off by her touching on the events surrounding what took place at UC Davis campus in November of 2011. Throughout the article, Doyle writes more broadly about the enforcement of Title IX, what it means to colleges, and what it should mean to colleges. The goal of Title IX is to provide a safe environment for all students, no matter what gender one is, prohibiting any discrimination based on that one factor alone. This kind of law is reassuring to many people that plan to attend college, people who are sending their children off to college, or people who are currently attending college. However, as Doyle goes more deeply into this topic, one will start to think more profoundly about what is actually being done to enforce Title IX? Are colleges really enforcing this law to every degree possible? 

Coming to the University of Delaware, I remember the countless presentations we had to sit through about these kind of topics, between orientation, the online course, and meetings with our RA. The main idea around these talks was that if something were to ever happen, we should most definitely report it to a trusted faculty or community member and seek out help. But after reading this article, it makes one reconsider the consequences of telling someone in authority. Would you feel safe telling a faculty member, if something where to ever happen to you? If not, what would be holding you back? 

As Doyle writes about charges of sexual assault on a campus and the investigation process, she says, “a woman violated by a man becomes a woman at war with the world” (Doyle 40). As scary as that sounds, is it really true? Are the consequences, for the victim, of reporting a sexual assault even worth the trouble? It seems as if there are just as many consequences for the victim as the offender. As a young woman attending a university, I want to be able to believe in this “justice system” that should be able to support me when I am most vulnerable. Do you believe there are any changes that should take place within the University of Delaware and other universities, as a whole, to promote a more trusted environment? And lastly, is there even an answer to Doyle’s question on, “what would it mean for a campus to actually account for its own sexual culture?” (Doyle 43). 

Big Words –

Profoundly: adjective. Penetrating or entering deeply into subjects of thought or knowledge; having deep insight or understanding: a profound thinker.

Sexual Culture: a subculture and community composed of people who have shared experiences, backgrounds, or interests due to common sexual identities.