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In a harrowing column titled “Here’s How I Was Raped,” a Harvard University student details her alleged assault by a fellow student following a party at one of the school’s exclusive campus groups.
Harvard senior Viviana Maymi writes in The Harvard Crimson that as a sophomore she was invited by a friend to attend a date event thrown by an athletic team at an unnamed “final club.”
At the party, Maymi writes, she drank so much alcohol that she blacked out and her friend, who she viewed nonromantically, took her back to his dorm and had sex with her:
I also have no memory of the walk to his House, or the walk up the stairs, or the walk to his room. Next thing I do remember, I’m naked in his bed. I see his face – he’s on top of me, he’s inside of me, he’s sweaty. I vaguely realize what’s happening, and I explicitly realize that I don’t want to be where I currently am …
The next morning, I wake up alone in a foreign common room in a t-shirt that isn’t mine. I have bruises staining my sore legs, evidence of a nasty fall or two – evidence to anyone I was with that I was too drunk to consent.
It was initially “difficult to accept” that she was a rape victim, Maymi writes, due in part to both her and the alleged assailant’s alcohol intake.
“Alcohol is an integral part of the college experience and the society we live in, for better or for worse. Alcohol also makes people more vulnerable,” she writes.
“But everyone has the right to get as drunk as they want to without the threat of being raped.”
Toward the end of her column, Maymi describes something about her peers at Harvard and other elite schools that attract high-performing students. Many students, she argues, need “the self-validation of getting laid” and will use alcohol to help achieve their goals.
“If you feel like you need the aid of alcohol to convince someone to hook up with you, then you shouldn’t be hooking up with that person to begin with,” Maymi writes.
“At a school that breeds goal-oriented individuals, it’s no surprise that this characteristic seeps into our hierarchical social scene where many seek and thrive on the self-validation of getting laid.”