Last night in a speech at the University of New Hampshire, Vice President Joe Biden affirmed what feminists have known for decades: “Rape is rape is rape.”
Here at Ms., we couldn’t agree more. As a matter of fact, that sentiment is smack dab on the front of our newest cover, which has just rolled off the presses. (It’s as if Vice President Biden saw a copy!)
Biden is getting this message out to students as part of his much-needed new federal initiative to prevent sexual violence on campuses. In an impassioned speech, he recounted the harrowing story of a young woman who reported a rape in her freshman year, only to be quizzed by campus police on what she was wearing and how she was dancing. Because she had been drinking, her case was dismissed.
In fact, being drunk at the time doesn’t mean you weren’t raped; quite the opposite. Alcohol often plays a role [PDF] in rapes, incapacitating women so they are unable to give consent.
Yet this woman’s experience with her university is a disturbingly common story. And that’s why the “rape is rape” message needs to reach campus police and college administrators. But it also needs to reach a much broader audience–and that’s why we put it in a big, bold font on the cover of the new Ms.!
Inside the issue, in an exclusive new investigation, Ms. reveals why rape isn’t always counted as rape by the FBI and local police departments. In fact, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR) only counts “forcible” rapes in its annual tally–and that excludes a majority of rapes, including those similar to the one described by Vice President Biden.
We need to raise our voices to change the Uniform Crime Report. To find out more, subscribe to Ms. today and get the new issue sent straight to your mailbox.
You can also visit Ms. and the Feminist Majority Foundation’s No More Excuses! campaign headquarters to find out how you can help ensure rape is rape. Period.