A Rape on Campus

By: Chloe Lapp

Summary of Article

A young freshman, Jackie, was attending her first frat party with her date, Drew, who was a member of the most prestigious fraternity on campus. It was Jackie's freshman year at UVA, and she had no idea what to expect that night. During the party Drew asked her to go upstairs with him so Jackie followed. Shortly after she followed him into a dark room, she was bombarded by multiple different men. Jackie was then beaten and raped by six different boys that night while her date, Drew, held her down on the floor. Jackie was left there afterwards and called her friends to come get her. Once she had told her friends what happened they encouraged her not to be "that girl" that cried rape because it would ruin hers and their own reputation at the school. Yet, Jackie still made countless attempts with her friends and the school board to do something about what had been done to her that night. As no resolution was made, Jackie began to suffer socially and emotionally because of it.

Background Information (UVA)

The University of Virginia is known for its Greek life as well as "party life". The fraternities and sororities take pride in their culture, chants, and rituals each of them have kept up with over the years. The schools student body is very involved with the school and the traditions they uphold. Majority of the students come from wealthy and prestigious families, impacting the "look" and status quo a student may feel responsible to maintain while at school.

Broader Issues

  1. Rape Culture- Our society has become desensitized to the idea of rape and our level of empathy for these types of situations has virtually disappeared. We blame the victims instead of the perpetrator. It makes woman and men who have been raped feel guilty and responsible for what has been done to them, instead of understanding that it was never their fault. Much like how Jackie's friends told her to "get over" what had happened to her and told to keep quiet in an attempt to save her social status, instead of showing compassion and empathy towards her.
  2. Patriarchy Society- Patriarchal groups in our society, like fraternities, feel as though they are above woman and that they are objects to be used at their discretion. Our society is over run with men who have no empathy towards women and use them for their personal needs. Drew, from the article is a good representation of patriarchy in our society. Him and his fraternity brothers simply used Jackie as a sort of hazing prop that every member has to do to be able to be apart of their clan. Showing no remorse or empathy towards her as an individual.

Empathy connection

Empathy is something we all lack greatly in our society, thus causing many problems throughout our country. We can look at all different types of topics such as whats happening in Ferguson, starvation and lack of food, rapes in schools and homes, or even just understanding our friends and family. All of these things are difficult to fully grasp without putting ourselves in another persons shoes different from us and being able to understand their views. If we do not exercise our sociological imagination and show empathy to others are society will fail. We need to be able to come together, putting aside differences by using empathy, and fix the problems at hand. If we could all actively use our sociological imagination and understand how someone different from ourselves is living then we could expand our perspective on life.