01/14/1991 at 01:00 AM EST
Readers from across the country wrote to tell us of their daughter's, friend's, sister's and, yes, even their own experience with campus rape (PEOPLE, Dec. 17). Not surprisingly, most of the rapes went unreported, and all but a few readers were grateful that campus rape is no longer being ignored.
RAPE ON CAMPUS
I was very impressed with your article on campus rape. I am a student at Indiana University, and three years ago I was raped by a man I knew. I attended a fraternity party and was raped by a man I, like the women in the article, trusted. To this day, I wonder if it was my fault and if there was anything I could have done to prevent the destruction of my innocence and pride. I often see this man on campus, and he acts as if nothing out of the ordinary occurred. In fact, he has boasted to his fraternity brothers that he has had sex with me. The end of the story remains engraved in my mind: The night I was raped, my friend was gang-raped at the fraternity next door.
I find it unbelievably sad that intelligent young men mindlessly destroy young women's lives and expect to walk away. Even more sickening is the fact that they do walk away. The message from your story: If a young woman is in your presence willingly, rape her. It won't harm your education, hurt your reputation or have an impact on your life. Only the victim must suffer these hardships.
Sandra G. Clegg
Fort Polk, La.
The women who spoke up and told their stories deserve commendation. Only by speaking out will we convince college administrators that their concern for the university's "reputation" must come second to their concern for students' safety.
David E. Simon
Monmouth Beach, N.J.
In June my girlfriend's daughter graduated from high school, and my husband's and my gift to her for going away to college was two cans of Mace and self-defense courses. It's a crime that her first lesson about college life had to be about the danger of strangers (again) and fellow coeds, not how exciting and fulfilling an academic life can be. The fact that date-rape offenders aren't punished severely enough for their crimes by campus authorities and the judicial system is an outrage.
Veronica L. Sutton-Fuoto
Women's names have been written on men's bathroom walls since plumbing came indoors. The general attitude was "snicker, snicker." Seems as though the Brown University women have put the snicker on the other foot, doesn't it, guys? Why isn't it so amusing anymore?
Gwendolyn P. Scallorn
Although your article on campus rape turned my stomach a thousand times, it's good to know that the pen is mightier than the penis. Now let those pigs in human disguises be nationally and forever stigmatized, as are their victims.
Susan L. DeSantis
I agree with the basic idea that date rape is a serious problem, but your article was so slanted and prejudicially written that it didn't convey the right message. The messages I hope my daughter gets from this article are threefold: Don't drink so much you don't know what you are doing at any time; don't invite a first date or casual pickup to your dorm room for any reason: and scream your head off if you think you're in trouble. There must be people in the next room who will help.
James R. Hart
has set the feminist movement back at least 100 years. Right back to the days when the only businesses women ran were brothels. She reminds us over and over that it's a man's world by demonstrating that the only way a woman can make $39 million a year is by degrading herself in every conceivable way to perfect the "boy toy' " image. In her videos she rubs her crotch, moans and mimics sex acts, all in the name of self-expression and "art." I urge the public to put Madonna
and her self-named subsidiary Slutco in their place and nominate her the most overrated, classless trumpeter of vulgarity in American history.
"draws the line at violence and degradation of women"? Well, millions of people draw the line at promiscuity, group sex, bisexuality and homosexuality—all of which were portrayed in her latest video. About the only thing left out of her Justify My Love video was bestiality.
The caption under the photo of William Buckley says he was in "the National Review office." Well, you certainly fooled me. I would have sworn that he was seated in the back seat of a limousine.
Kathleen H. Howe
Well, YOU can't fool everyone! Mr. Buckley does do a lot of work in his car, but you're right, and we regret the error.—ED.