Let UVA police chief keep commenting
UVA Police Chief Mike Gibson’s comment about the “point of no return” that causes men to rape may help explain UVA’s policies toward rape, which are often criticized for being stacked against the victim. [October 11 edition: "Rape myth: Critics say UVA police sent the wrong message"]
He clearly carries out his duties with the understanding that, at some point leading up to a sexual assault, men lose the ability to control their actions. What a dangerous understanding for a man who is responsible for investigating rape to espouse!
We as a society tend to sympathize with people who are not in control of their actions. The law has alternate provisions for the mentally ill than it does for people who willfully violate the rights of others. I doubt that the chief was implying that all men are afflicted with a mental illness that may cause them to involuntarily rape. That would be absurd.
Although Gibson may lament that his gaffe was not circumvented by use of “messaging assistance,” I hope he will continue to address the UVA community without filters in the future, as his recent comments have provided valuable insight into his feelings toward the causes of sexual assault. His warning was written with the noble intention of preventing rape, but has also served as a revelation that he thinks of men less as intelligent creatures with decision-making abilities than as rabid carnivores who may be tempted to attack.
It is not the role of the police to instill fear of men into young women. It is not possible for the justice system to eliminate rape, but it is possible that we at least recognize that all rapes have both a perpetrator and a victim.