A Culture of Rape Tolerance Will Not Go Forward

Students merit the protection of their school administrators from acts of grievous bodily harm.

Whether apprehended by alleged murderers and rapists on continental Africa or assaulted by a fellow student on an American campus, female students intend to make it clear: A culture of rape tolerance will not go forward.

First lady Michelle Obama speaks out for female student rights in Nigeria, where hundreds of students were in recent days violently kidnapped and threatened with sexual slavery. An undergraduate recently spoke out at Columbia University, an American academic institution -- along with some 50 others -- currently being investigated for the way in which they (mis)handle accusations of sexual assault.

India has seen an explosion of deadly rapes over the past year. Our planet shouts aloud with the united voices of women and girls: "Stop raping us!"

As an alumna of Columbia University, I challenge the current administration to do the right thing. As a citizen of the world, I add my voice in print for the unprinted, unheard voices of so many of my sisters.

"Come here, drunk girl," I heard growled out by a male student at night on campus this term as I sat next an open window in the library. I started at the menace in that voice, but I kept on reading.

Until our wonderful young boys and glorious men of every race and corner of the Earth understand the depth of wrong that is the act of rape, until those in power stop behaving as cowards, until rape as a tolerated cultural norm is opposed as violently as it is inflicted upon women, until we rise up with one voice and forcefully say "Stop!" -- rapes will go forward.

To the president of my university: "Where is your voice? Where is your powerful, leading, manly, missing voice?"