Should the Washington Post stand behind George Will?

Jun 13, 2014

George Will
Credit Keith Allison / Flickr

Did George Will go too far, writing in his Washington Post column that being a sexual assault victim has become a "coveted status" on college campuses? Missouri School of Journalism professors Katherine Reed, Mike McKean and Amy Simons discuss the issue.

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In a column published in the Friday, June 6 editions of the Washington Post, George F. Will wrote about what he considers a spread of progressivism at American colleges and universities. 


He drew the ire of many when he wrote of what he calls the "supposed campus epidemic of rape, a.k.a. sexual assault."  He attributes the number of reported to increased political correctness on campuses, and that when "making victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate."

Missouri School of Journalism Professor Katherine Reed said she was "surprised by the level ignorance that [Will's column] reflected about rape reporting."


Even when women come forward and report, they do so with great reluctance. So that strongly suggests that its an unpleasant process and it still subjects women to scorn on social media.

When researching a story last year, Reed said reporters at the Columbia Missourian found only two cases of sexual assault were reported to the university in 2012. But 92 reports of assault were received by the Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center on campus.

"So if this is a coveted status that endows privilege on the person that reports, why do we have so few reports?" Reed said.