James Madison University joined the ever-growing list of U.S. colleges that have grossly mishandled sexual assault and rape cases last week when a young woman claimed that the school punished the three men who assaulted her by expelling them — after graduation.
Jon Stewart echoed the perplexed outrage of many on The Daily Show last night when he asked, "Wait a minute, 'expelled upon graduation?' Isn't that... graduation? ... What the fuck? ... Clearly, universities are not making their campuses safe for women."
Jumping off of the absurdity of the JMU case, Stewart introduced a brilliant segment on "Campus Safety Dos and Don'ts" featuring Daily Show correspondents Jessica Williams and Jordan Klepper. The clip goes beyond condemning the pathetic lack of accountability regarding sexual assault at schools to highlight how everyday sexism affects women.
The clip is tongue-in-cheek, and clearly not meant as an actual primer for women trying to avoid being raped — to be clear, survivors are never to blame for their assaults. But much like the #YesAllWomen hashtag shed new light on the subtle and overt sexisms women face day in and day out, this segment underscores how differently men and women often experience the world through its juxtaposition of Klepper's clueless tips for having drunken fun with Williams' more serious urging for constant vigilance.
At one point Klepper says, "This is a big one, guys: Don't pass out on the couch. Someone might draw a dick on your face."
Williams replies, "Do not pass out on the couch, ladies. Someone will put their dick on your face, at a minimum." It's pretty much the perfect, albeit satirical, summation of the oft-paraphrased quote, sometimes attributed to Margaret Atwood, that men are afraid women will laugh at them, while women are afraid men will kill them.
The segment comes in the middle of a huge year for sexual assault activism at schools across the country. In March, the White House released its guidelines for combatting sexual assault on campuses, along with a star-studded anti-violence PSA featuring stars like Daniel Craig alongside President Obama and Vice President Biden. It also made public its list of 55 schools and counting under investigation for their alleged mishandling of sexual assault and rape cases.
It's truly inspiring to see more and more students speaking out and holding their schools accountable for these crimes. Of course, there are still some out there who just don't get it:
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