To the editor:
George Will’s columns usually convey keen intellect and command of the language, however dubious some of his conclusions. Lately, though, he appears to have gone off the rails on several occasions when addressing women’s issues. Several cheap shots leveled at Sandra Fluke and her testimony on women’s health issues were basically parenthetic to the issue of the day and only a cut above the scurrilous comments of Rush Limbaugh.
The column “Progressive culture hurts colleges” (June 9) seemed to imply that violence against women on college campuses is a creation of attempts to heighten awareness of this serious issue. It featured tasteless details of a questionable case of rape, the “welfare Cadillac” technique, often used to tar all recipients of aid with an outrageous example.
Then there was the “simple arithmetic.” If 20 percent of college women were assaulted, but only 12 percent of the incidents reported, then 2.4 percent would have reported assaults (by pure coincidence, about the percentage of actual attacks as calculated from statistics at virtuous Ohio State). He seems to have concluded that the numbers above mean 160 percent of college women were assaulted, which is “preposterous,” unless multiple assaults are tallied.
Finally, the conclusions: Surely conservatives and liberal/progressives can agree that governments exist to provide a framework of law and order and to “promote the general Welfare” of We, the People. (Gadzooks! Welfare is in the Constitution!) That goal necessarily requires some regulations, which therefore should be “celebrated.”