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Bridget Johnson


January 22, 2014 - 3:03 pm

President Obama today established a task force with representatives from several agencies “to develop a coordinated federal response to campus rape and sexual assault.”

“Studies show that about one in five women is a survivor of attempted or completed sexual violence while in college. In addition, a substantial number of men experience sexual violence during college. Although schools have made progress in addressing rape and sexual assault, more needs to be done to ensure safe, secure environments for students of higher education,” said the directive from the president’s office.

Obama elaborated at a White House event with the Council on Women and Girls.

“We’ve got to keep teaching young men in particular to show women the respect they deserve and to recognize sexual violence and be outraged by it, and to do their part to stop it from happening in the first place. During our discussion earlier today, we talked about I want every young man in America to feel some strong peer pressure in terms of how they are supposed to behave and treat women. And that starts before they get to college,” Obama said.

“So those of us who are fathers have an obligation to transmit that information. But we can do more to make sure that every young man out there — whether they’re in junior high or high school or college or beyond — understand what’s expected of them and what it means to be a man, and to intervene if they see somebody else acting inappropriately. We’re going to need to encourage young people, men and women, to realize that sexual assault is simply unacceptable.”

Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett said on MSNBC that the president is armed with statistics that show “one in five women in their lifetime” will be victims of sexual assault, “but 80 percent of those will happen before they’re the age of 25.”

“And half of them will happen before the age of 18. So, the evidence that’s in this new report really gives us a different — additional ammunition to go back to the college and university presidents, many of whom were here last week and we raised this issue with them then, to say: What more can we do?” Jarrett said.

She said drugs and alcohol on college campuses “a big part of the problem, but that’s no excuse.”

“And one of the other important steps that the president took a number of years ago was to change the definition of rape. It used to be far too narrow. It didn’t cover men. It didn’t cover people who were intoxicated to the degree where they were unconscious. So we’ve broadened the definition,” Jarrett said.

“…We also need to have transparency so when a young person is applying to a college or university, wouldn’t it be helpful to know whether they’re going to be in a safe environment? What are the number of incidences of rape and assault on those college campuses? I know as a parent, I would want my child informed about that before going to college, and that’s what we’re committed to doing.”

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (7)
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So Obama wants all young men to respect women and behave appropriately around them.

How does he reconcile that with the black rapper culture which he also encourages?
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
When you pray tonight, Junior, have a talk with Obama, Sr.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Studies show one in five, eh? That's a very convenient ratio. Large enough to be disturbing, but small enough to not leave men wondering a) Why don't I know such a "survivor" and b) Since I've gone out with more than five women and didn't assault any of them, does that mean I'm abnormal? I call BS on these "studies." Show me the journals, show me the funding, show me the methodology and show me the stats. Show your work.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I used to be skeptical about the 1 in 4 statistic, but now I am not. Women don't talk about it much to men, at least not at first, but they do talk to each other. My wife reports that many of her friends have had such incidents in their lives, as has my wife.

The other issue to watch out for is what is actually being reported. Sometimes these statistics will lump "unwanted sexual contact" such as being groped at a bar/party in the same category as rape. Obviously both are inappropriate, but one is annoying/upsetting whereas the other is life-changing trauma.

Finally, based on the training that is going on in the military, all of the emphasis will be on 3rd party bystanders looking to "recognize signs of trouble, and take action." That is all well and good, but there isn't much you can do when women make questionable choices with the men they hang out with. One military training film had the young woman inviting up to her apartment an obviously agitated ex-boyfriend, who had shown up unexpectedly in her parking garage. “He just wanted to talk.” She got raped, and then faces the camera and says rhetorically "I didn't deserve that." Amazingly, the point of the skit was not for women to make more careful choices, it was about 3rd parties who were supposed to have intervened and did not, and how they could have resolved the situation.

3rd party intervention is fine, but it cannot be the only solution. I suspect that the idea of personal responsibility/wisdom in making choices, and being prudent in asking friends/family for an input on potential dating partners, is too close to traditional Christian and/or family values for those possibilities to be considered by this administration and much of our culture. They would rather leave out those potentially life-saving and trauma-saving ideas, because they don’t fit the leftist narrative.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wait a minute-- on the one hand he's encouraging women to be viewed as sex objects via abortion. Turn themselves into sex toys willing to kill as an inconvenience the life growing inside them. Not to hold themselves to the standard that men should see them as potential partners, as mates, to view with awe and reverence the potential to create life together.

Then he says men are supposed to encourage their sons to respect women? The women Obama is encouraging to be sex objects and killers?
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Did Obama announce a corresponding program that young women should only file complaints about real incidents, and only name the actual perpetrators? We're having some trouble with that too.
I've been an idiot or a jerk a couple of times but I've never assaulted a woman by any reasonable standard, yet my clumsiness might meet recent definitions. Especially the ones being used to define "one in five" college women as "survivors."
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, and he also forgot the part about drinking til you pass out, having consensual sex and not remembering it in the morning
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
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