Letter to the Editor
Ms. Feingold notes that I have stated, “Dickinson men are vulnerable to arbitrary and capricious sexual assault allegations because Dickinson policy requires that mutual consent be given for every sexual act.” I have no issue with consenting whatsoever nor do I believe that there shouldn’t be consent. What I have issue with, as stated in the Sexual Misconduct Policy (Article III, Other Definitions), is that “relying on non-verbal communication can lead to misunderstandings,” which is why I mentioned asking for consent in my previous article since it is the more concrete consent one can get. I can see that activities as small as touching and kissing can thus become issue. Ms. Feingold states that I “live in an alternate universe where women accuse men of sexual assault because they unknowingly used too much tongue while making out.” However, looking further into the policy (Section III, Violations), “having or attempting to have non-consensual, non-accidental contact of a sexual nature with another person […] includ[ing], but not limited to, touching and or kissing another individual” can cause one to be accused. This is where some of the notions that the men of Dickinson College’s campus are stemming from; the uncertainty that one’s actions can later be considered accusatory.
The issue I carry with Ms. Feingold’s article is the tone throughout. She seems to make many loaded inferences about my article, making comments such as, “I should hope that Mr. Meza relies on outward demonstration to know what his partner does and does not want before and during every sexual act,” “Mr. Meza states that his rights as a man are at Dickinson are jeopardized […] in effect, Mr. Meza is simply not allowed to sexually assault people” and “Mr. Meza is concerned about what he believes to be an evolving anti-man culture.” First off, insinuate anything about one’s sexual conduct is defamation of character. Not only is this childish, but I do not believe an argument can be won by trying to make me seem like we do not acknowledge the policy. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be having this back and forth. I looked over my article once more after reading this, and had a few others read it over as well; I found that I kept my argument as neutral as possible. In the overall editorial, I use male indicators (male / man) twice; once to announce the issue brought forth by John Bingham, and another to set the tone of what being a male on campus constitutes for some with the notion. I keep my entire analysis of the policy gender free since, as stated (Article III), “the college recognizes that anyone can be a victim or offender regardless of sex, gender, or gender identification.” I do not appreciate the heinous accusations Ms. Feingold has made of me, or the extremist commentary that is being made on the men of this campus. For example, Juliana Carter ’13 in an editorial printed in conjunction to mine, states “to John and all other males on our campus who share his sentiments, I offer a simple solution to elimination these feelings of unease: don’t sexually assault women.” The feelings of unease no longer stem from the policy, but rather the radicalist approach that many are taking to any who have some feeling that is not positive. Automatically, we are labeled as anti-policy, targets of rape education, etc. We are not imposing some sort of male-dominant agenda, but our message has been manipulated to sound as if it were. Each of us that have contributed to this ongoing discussion has had no issue with the policy being enacted. We are completely thrilled that everyone has access to resources to assist in something as serious as sexual assault. We cannot fathom however that the climate on campus would become as unwelcoming as it has.
People’s voices are being put down by labeling them; making them seem as though they are heartless, when they had never made any accusations of the opposing party. It is those like Ms. Feingold and Ms. Carter that have created a polarized sentiment on this campus, and I for one will NOT stand for this. We are only trying to have our voice heard in a newly developed topic, but it seems as though some people would prefer not to have us heard. Personally, I am over the immaturity some seem to have. I am not going to sit idol as someone accuses me of something I never said, accuses me of having detestable behaviors in my personal sexual life, and I refuse to continue to deal with the hypocrisy all this carries. I won’t lower myself to personal attacks as Ms. Feingold did, because if one really gives it some thought, it stems from a grander group that holds these ideologies. THAT is what needs to be addressed.
-Hector Meza ‘14