George Will's "Being Raped Gives You Privilege" Column Gets the Perfect Response
After George Will penned a truly disgusting piece for the Washington Post about how being a rape victim gives a person unfair privilege, the world very sensibly lost its shit. Opinion pieces were written, the hashtag #SurvivorPrivilege talked about the real effects of sexual assault, and I would not be surprised if somewhere, something was set on fire because it was definitely one of those "burn it all, burn it to the ground," days. For one female college student who'd spent quite a lot of time working with a campus sexual misconduct program, though, burning things to the ground took a backseat to writing George Will a brilliantly scathing letter.
The student in question released the letter to Medium after sending it to Will, though she wished to remain anonymous. Rather than doing what I would have done, which would be recreating a dictionary of swear words IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, her letter is calm and collected.
Which doesn't mean she doesn't make a point to say things like, "I understand that adding derisive quotes to the phrase 'sexual assault' is likely a holdover from the long-ago days when your opinions were remotely socially relevant, and I know it’s probably too much to expect you to evolve in this regard." (emphasis ours)
The letter as a whole takes the high road here. The author writes:
I do not wish you or anyone you love the bloody, exhausting, stymying stigma of rape — I hope it never weaves its way into your life, hope it never uproots everything you previously thought was safe and stable. As much as your column disgusted me, I could never in good conscience wish upon another human being the horror of sexual assault.
She remains civil, she does not get upset, and she does not waste her time trying to give Will the many, many, many reasons why his worldview is utterly crap.
The truth is that yelling at insensitive, out of touch, scum-of-the-Earth types is probably not going to change their minds about anything. In fact for someone whose world view is so utterly unmoored from reality he considers "victimhood" to be a "coveted status that confers privileges," it's unlikely that there's anything that would ever change his mind.
Which doesn't mean we don't all cheer the people who give these morons a piece of their minds and do so with way more grace and class than we ourselves could ever manage. Whoever, you are, fair letter writer, we wish you all the best (and would totally offer you a job, call us).
And we sincerely, sincerely hope that if Will does read this letter, he is particularly convinced by your final, brilliantly delivered line. Go to Medium and read the grand finale now.