Education Ethics Misogyny President Obama War On Women

The Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault

President Obama signed an executive order today creating a task force to protect college students from sexual assault. He also had several meaningful things to say regarding sexual assault that no other president, and very few men in general, has ever uttered.

You can read a full transcript of the president’s remarks here at the White House website, but this part in particular stood out to me.

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.

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. And they’re going to have to summon the bravery to stand up and say so, especially when the social pressure to keep quiet or to go along can be very intense.

Our enforcement of existing laws is woefully lax and wholly inadequate, and in some cases the law itself is inadequate, but we also need to change our culture and the president fully recognized that today.

Open displays of misogyny and rape culture must be confronted at every level of society, from adults to children, and from college to middle school.

If a friend of yours personally says something wrong and offensive, call them out on it. If they choose to no longer be your friend if you do, that’s their loss.

You can read the president’s executive order here.

MEMORANDUM: White House Task Force To Protect Students From Sexual Assault

  • Christopher Foxx

    I agree with what the President said about the horrendous rates of sexual attacks in colleges (“one in five”) and the need to teach boys that this is not acceptable. But I not that he’d have a bit more credibility for his concern if the military that he commands didn’t have a similarly dismal record.

  • I hate to say this but there is an aspect no one has mentioned….part of the racial mythology that American bigots repeat time and time again (and use as accusations against Black people) is that black men are sexual predators and white women need to be protected from them. A while back a commenter on my blog got completely foaming over false crime statistics about black on white crime and rape was a particular sore spot for her. In the end, she resorted to the usual ad hominem attacks and she remained wed to her faulty beliefs. But don’t be surprised if we actually hear everything from dog whistles to outright ugliness about the President’s race and this effort to reduce sexual assaults.

    • Christopher Foxx

      a commenter on my blog

      I remind me where that is, again? I think I stopped by once or twice but can’t now find a bookmark.

  • muselet

    Fox News is going to spend the next week shrieking about how awful and evil and communistical this initiative is, naturally without explaining anything about it.

    I’ll go out on a limb and say at least 95% of FNC reports will describe the task force as “political correctness run amok” and more than 50% will use it as an opportunity to make fun of Joe Biden.

    On the other hand, all decent people will applaud this very good news.


    • rachelmap

      The President, in addition to loving his wife and daughters, is a decent person. I’m not surprised at all that he considers the treatment of women in our society to be an important issue. I hope the FOX ‘Entertainment’ shriekers don’t have their way.

      • muselet

        As I see it, there are two easy(ish) ways Righties can cut the legs out from under this: (a) congressional Rs demand that no taxpayer money be spent on this policially-correct, anti-male blargh!; and (b) if there are any legislative recommendations made by the task force, congressional Rs refuse to implement them and/or try to defund them.

        I expect Rush Limbaugh to spend his entire show tomorrow exhorting the Rs to shut down this terrible, politically-correct, anti-male blargh!, ditto every Limbaugh wannabe with a microphone and an internet connection. Rightbloggers will throw monumental hissy fits. I’ll be genuinely shocked if Jonah Goldberg didn’t generate some intellectually-lazy post for NRO claiming the Left wants to feminize America. The din from the Right will be deafening, and it will not soon end.

        And the purer-than-thou Professional Left will continue to sulk and whine about drones and the NSA and Edward Snowden and worse than Bush!

        Still, decent people will applaud. I only hope that’s enough.

        (So there’s no confusion, I agree with you about Barack Obama and about the importance of the issue of sexual assault. If ever there were an issue that should be nonpartisan, that’s it. However, I’m afraid it will become a partisan fight almost instantly.)


        • Christopher Foxx

          congressional Rs demand that no taxpayer money be spent on this policially-correct, anti-male blargh!; … I expect Rush Limbaugh to spend his entire show tomorrow exhorting the Rs to shut down this terrible, politically-correct, anti-male blargh!

          The effective response to that is for Democrats to rebut each mention of politically-correct, anti-male blargh with three declarations that Republicans want women raped.

          • muselet

            I don’t disagree.


    • We’ll also see cries of “indoctrination” and “you can’t tell us how to raise our kids”. As if what he’s asking parents to do is akin to teaching them that it’s okay to torture puppies.

      • Christopher Foxx

        That may very well be the spin they try to put on it. the President could say folks should teach their kids to follow the 10 Commandments, and the wingnuts will bitch that he’s telling you how to raise your kids.

  • RamOrgan

    Interesting juxtaposition of this article with the previous one.

    • Kennet

      “The wife is to voluntarily submit, just as the husband is to lovingly lead and sacrifice,” he writes, citing the Bible. “The husband’s part is to show up during the times of deep stress, take the leadership role and be accountable for the outcome, blaming no one else.”