Four Democratic senators were so appalled by George Will’s widely panned arguments about rape statistics on college campuses that the lawmakers reached out directly to the conservative columnist to upbraid him for his “ancient beliefs.”
In a letter made public on Thursday, Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Robert Casey (D-PA) ripped Will for a piece that has been publicly denounced by one of the columnist’s own Washington Post colleagues.
“Having an ongoing interest in ways to reduce sexual assaults on college campuses, we read your June 6 column on campus sexual assault with particular dismay,” the senators wrote. “Your thesis and statistics fly in the face of everything we know about this issue.”
Will wrote in the column that universities have inflated sexual assault statistics, arguing that when “victimhood [becomes] a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate.” The line has been met with outrage, with the National Organization of Women calling on the Post this week to drop Will as a columnist.
The senators told Will that the column “represents ancient beliefs about the realities of sexual assault that are inconsistent with the reality of victims’ experiences, based on what we have heard directly from survivors”
“More egregiously, you trivialize the scourge of sexual assault, putting the phrase in scare quotes and treating this crime as a socially acceptable phenomenon,” they wrote.
They urged him to “listen to the people we are hearing from on this issue.”
“We believe you will find their experiences to be in stark contrast to any stories you have heard regarding people with a ‘coveted status’ and ‘privilege,'” the senators wrote.
Read the entire letter here.