Editorials

Rape culture lives in Baylor regent’s email

THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Baylor University in Waco has been in the news since 2015 for its handling of sexual assault allegations on campus.
Baylor University in Waco has been in the news since 2015 for its handling of sexual assault allegations on campus. The Texas Tribune

Baylor University can’t seem to catch a break. Now, a recently released series of misogynistic 2009 emails offers a glimpse into the university’s troubled past.

The private university has been trying to get out from under a sexual assault scandal, but with ongoing Title IX lawsuits, more dirty laundry continues to get aired.

The latest airing involves past emails from a former chairman of the university’s board of regents, Austin lobbyist Neal “Buddy” Jones, who wrote university staff calling girls drinking at a party “the vilest and most despicable girls” and other insulting language.

The former regents chairman’s past comments are not only inexcusable, but damaging. When someone calls young women “perverted little tarts” for drinking, that is not only something out of another era but also poisons sensible decision-making.

No crime victim ever should feel belittled or blamed for being assaulted. No one ever “asks for” or “dresses” for a sexual assault.

Jones said this week, “Sometimes people do stupid things. And this qualifies as one of mine.”

Baylor has shown it is being serious about reform, and Jones isn’t a board member anymore.

But this type of revelation doesn’t help its cause, and feeds a social culture that is harmful to victims.

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