The Oberlin Review

“Review” Fails To Report Sexual Misconduct in Socially Responsible Manner

Olive Hwang, Production Editor

September 14, 2018

Editor’s note: This article contains discussion of sexual misconduct and rape culture. Last week, the Review reported on the resignation of two Conservatory professors in the midst of sexual misconduct complaints (“Oberlin Professors Resign After Sexual Misconduct” The Oberlin Review, Sept. 7, 2018). Among the accused is James David Christie, former chair of the Organ department and world-famous musician. The allegations, however, are obscured by the article’s insensitive and dismissive tone. As a new member of the Review team, I am deeply disappointed by the way this story was covered. It is our job to present the news in a manner that is both factual and socially responsible. The topic of sexual miscondu...

Restorative Justice Requires Rehabilitation

Nick Bassman

September 16, 2016

Content warning: This op-ed contains discussion of sexual assault. To Judge Aaron Persky: This is not the first open letter or protest you’ve received on this topic, and it won’t be the last. Convicted rapist Brock Turner was released from prison Sept. 2 after serving three months of the six-month sentence you gave him. He was in prison for the length of a summer break and has returned to his family home in Dayton, Ohio. During the sentencing in June, you expressed the opinion that Brock Turner “will not be a danger to others.” It’s impressive to me that you trust a man who sexually assaulted an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. The basis of your faith is unclear. Of course, your shared affiliation as ...

Violence Requires Multiple Definitions

Jade Schiff, Assistant Professor of Politics

May 1, 2015

To the Editors: Violence, sexual and otherwise, afflicts Oberlin as it does colleges and universities around the world, and our community needs to address it vigorously. But we won’t be able to do so effectively unless we know what we are talking about when we talk about violence. I’m not always sure that we do. My colleague, Professor Copeland, responded forcefully last week to a previous letter objecting to Christina Hoff Sommers’ campus visit (“Free Speech Not Equivalent to Violence,” The Oberlin Review, April 24, 2015). In particular, he took issue with this line: “Her talk is happening, so let’s pull together in the face of this violence and make our own space to support each other” (“In Respon...

Silencing Survivors Results in Violence

Anonymous, College junior

May 1, 2015

Dear Professor Copeland: Do you think there are not survivors on this campus? Survivors who were offended and hurt by the words and actions of Christina Hoff Sommers? You said that nothing Sommers said could have offended a survivor ... Are you a survivor? Do you speak on behalf of all survivors? Have you listened to the survivors who have been bravely saying, “As a survivor, Sommers’ words and actions hurt me?” Dear Professor Copeland, do you know what sexualized violence is? Have you ever considered that violence may be more nuanced than you believe? That everyone experiences violence differently? Have you ever considered that reliving trauma, being told that your experience didn’t happen or doesn’t...

Students Protest Sommers’ Lecture

Students Protest Sommers’ Lecture

April 24, 2015

From her podium in Dye Lecture Hall, Christina Hoff Sommers, an author, former philosophy professor and self-proclaimed “freedom feminist,” attempted, amid protesters and dissenting audience members, to persuade Oberlin students that feminism has become too radicalized. She was invited to campus on Monday night by the Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians and is the most recent speaker in the Ronald Reagan Lectureship series, which is devoted to bringing views that members of OCRL “believe...

Free Speech Not Equivalent to Violence

Roger Copeland, Professor of Theater and Dance

April 24, 2015

To the Editors: I was appalled by last week’s letter to the editor, titled “In Response to Sommers’ Talk: A Love Letter to Ourselves” (The Oberlin Review, April 17, 2015). Published three days in advance of Christina Hoff Sommers’ public lecture at Oberlin, it read in part: “By bringing her to a college campus laden with trauma and sexualized violence and full of victims/survivors, the Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians is choosing to reinforce this climate of denial/blame/ shame that ultimately has real life consequences on the well-being of people who have experienced sexualized violence.” Presumably, the signatories to this letter would have preferred that OCRL rescind their invitation to...

Feminized Gun Marketing Exacerbates Rape Culture

Editorial Board

February 27, 2015

Many women learn early on how to defend themselves in dangerous situations: hold their keys between their knuckles in dark parking garages; keep mini-canisters of pepper spray in their purses. From a young age, just as everyone learns to look both ways before crossing the street, women are taught not to walk home alone if they can help it, not to put their drinks down at parties, not to show too much skin — all for fear of inviting sexual assault. It’s a similar, if violently escalated, vein of logic that Second Amendment activists employ when they tell women on college campuses that the best way to protect themselves against sexual assault is to up the ante: Carry a gun. The argument, which briefly caught the...

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