Hamilton College: Thought Reform of ‘Pro-Rape’ Male Freshmen

Category: Freedom of Conscience
Schools: Hamilton College

As part of an extended freshman orientation program, all first-year males were told that they must attend a lecture by Keith Edwards entitled “She Fears You.” “She Fears You” is based on the theory that men need a “combined emotional and cognitive intervention” to reform their deeply ingrained rape-supportive beliefs about gender and sexuality. FIRE wrote President Joan H. Stewart to voice concern about this invasion of students’ conscience, requesting that the event be made optional. FIRE received no reply, and two hours before the program began, Dean of Students Nancy Thompson restated that attendance at “She Fears You” was mandatory. Yet, the event apparently was made optional at the last moment, resulting in what one student described as a “mass exodus” from the auditorium. Hamilton College has failed to explain its actions against freedom of conscience and its suggestion that women at Hamilton College are unsafe because of the campus’ “rape culture.”

  • This side of the overpass

    October 12, 2010

    Years ago, when I was applying for a job at a local nonprofit, one of the members of the hiring committee pulled out a column I had written for this newspaper and asked me if I really believed that we lived in a rape culture. “Well, yes,” I stammered, “men rape women in order to demonstrate how easily women can be controlled.” I tried to tie my analysis of rape to the social justice concerns of the non-profit. “The threat of rape is not unlike the threat of nuclear weapons,” I suggested. “A man doesn’t have to actually rape for […]

    » Read More

  • This Week in the News: Whistleblowing UCLA Professor Still Making Headlines and Hamilton College Wins Muzzle Award

    April 15, 2011

    UCLA’s gross violation of the rights of Dr. Enstrom, the whisteblowing professor fighting for his job after being told he did not fit his department’s “mission,” continued to elicit outrage in the media this week. Debra Saunders of the San Francisco Chronicle published both a column (reprinted in Townhall.com) and a shorter blog post (containing Reason.tv’s video on the case) criticizing the university’s actions. Also don’t miss Adam’s excellent interview about the case with Mike Slater of The Mike Slater Show. Up north, Hamilton College earned a Muzzle Award for forcing all first-year male students to attend “She Fears You,” […]

    » Read More

  • Thomas Jefferson Center Awards 2011 ‘Muzzle’ to Hamilton College’s Mandatory ‘Intervention’ for Freshman Males

    April 13, 2011

    “She Fears You,” Hamilton College’s mandatory and coercive orientation program for freshman males last fall, received a 2011 Muzzle Award today from the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression. “She Fears You” is based on the theory that men need a “combined emotional and cognitive intervention” to reform their deeply ingrained rape-supportive beliefs about gender and sexuality. The Muzzle Awards draw attention to “egregious or ridiculous affronts to free expression” by universities, local and national politicians, and even judges. The dubious distinctions have been awarded annually on or near April 13, Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, since 1992. Torch […]

    » Read More

  • ‘Chapin’s Inferno’ Torches Keith Edwards and Hamilton College

    November 8, 2010

    Readers of The Torch may remember that in late September, Hamilton College (HC) told all of its first-year male students that they were required to attend “She Fears You,” an “intervention” program by Keith Edwards that is designed to make the men acknowledge their personal complicity in a “rape culture” and change their “rape-supportive” beliefs and attitudes. (HC made the event seem optional minutes before its commencement by not scanning student IDs after all.)  On Saturday, Bernard Chapin of “Chapin’s Inferno,” a colorful YouTube video series described as a “wandering cauldron of politically incorrect commentary,” used many of FIRE’s arguments in a video […]

    » Read More

  • Hamilton College Won’t Talk about ‘She Fears You,’ but Keith Edwards Will

    October 14, 2010

    More than two weeks have passed since Keith Edwards delivered his “She Fears You” presentation at Hamilton College, yet Hamilton has still not responded to FIRE’s letter requesting that attendance be made voluntary. Nor has Hamilton made any public statement about the event. (The event also wasn’t filmed, so non-attendees will never know exactly what Edwards said that night.)  We may never know whether Hamilton is too embarrassed to explain whether it really believes there is a “rape culture” on campus, or whether Hamilton is so arrogant as to choose not to engage its critics. But thanks to Managing Editor […]

    » Read More

  • Attendance Not Logged at ‘Required’ Hamilton College ‘Rape Culture’ Event, but Fundamental Freedoms Still at Risk

    October 1, 2010

    Amidst heated debate, Keith Edwards’ “She Fears You” presentation went forward Monday evening at Hamilton College. FIRE argued that this event, which claims to be a “cognitive and emotional intervention” aiming to teach that certain views about masculinity will be “no longer acceptable in any way,” should not have been mandatory for freshman males. Two senior faculty members also expressed their dismay over the mandatory nature of the program. One of them, in an e-mail to Dean of Students Nancy Thompson, argued: Especially in light of our proclaimed devotion to the “open curriculum,” I see no reason why this one […]

    » Read More

  • Hamilton Requires First-Year Men to Attend Presentation on Campus ‘Rape Culture’; Female Applicants Not Forewarned of Dangers of Attending Hamilton

    September 27, 2010

    Tonight at 7 p.m., first-year men at Hamilton College will be attending a mandatory presentation of “She Fears You,” a program at which they will be pressed to acknowledge their personal complicity in a “rape culture” on Hamilton’s campus and to change their “rape-supportive” beliefs and attitudes. First-year men were informed via e-mail that attendance was required and that they needed to bring their ID cards. “She Fears You” will be presented by Keith Edwards, “a national speaker and trainer on diversity and social justice and college men’s issues.” “She Fears You” is based on the theory that men need […]

    » Read More