Rape envy psychodrama at Oxford University: The Annie Teriba case

International news sources have reported that an anguished Oxford University student activist, Annie Teriba, has resigned from her political activities after being "informed" by a female sexual hook-up at a student conference last May that their sex had not been "fully consensual."  Miss Teriba serves as the Student Union's racial equality officer.  She has been fighting university fees and working to pull down a statue of Cecil Rhodes.  She is especially noted as the editor of No HeteroOx: For Oxford's Queer and Trans* Voices – "a zine for queer and trans voices at Oxford."

No percentage of consensuality has been assigned to the women's relations. Was it 60% consensual? Perhaps 80%? Still, the news traveled round the world because Miss Teriba is a "prominent student activist." Her activism appears limited to her notions of the needs of her own race and sex identity fellow students, all of whom are privileged enough to be attending one of the world's most prestigious universities.

Rape envy results from the confluence of "hooking up" moral chaos, the decriminalization of rape at universities, "rape culture" mythology, and especially the craving for race or sex victimhood among self-absorbed university students who are achievement-deprived by educational systems that no longer value authentic scholarship or intellectual achievement.  Regarding "rape culture," Miss Annie's barely readable prose in No HeteroOx asserts the questionable statistic that "one in four" women at Oxford can expect to be raped.  Rape envy is the ex post facto reinterpretation of consensual sex as an assault in order to resolve unhappiness about the experience and to cast oneself as a victim.

On receiving information some months later about the less than 100% consensuality, Miss Teriba eagerly convicted herself of "irreparably" injuring her partner.  What did she do to incurably blight another's life?  "I failed to properly establish consent before every act … I should have taken sufficient steps to ensure everything I did was consensual. I should have been more attentive to the other person's body language. In failing to clarify that the other person consented to the entire encounter, I have caused serious irreparable harm."

Lucky for Annie Teriba, at Oxford University, such "irreparable harm" has been decriminalized.  Miss Annie is clever to publicly declare her insufficiencies and inattentiveness.  The mode of her confession gives her a piece of the victim pie.  "To ensure the safety of others," she will resign from all political activities; she will banish herself from "safe spaces"; she will also be reading "zines" she says have been kindly supplied by the sexual assault community.

The grandiose creators of victimization theory imagine they have the power to carve real estate into safe and unsafe zones according to their notions of risk.  Until further notice, Annie Teriba will inhabit the presumably unsafe spaces at Oxford.  Above all, she writes, "I am committed to transformation." She expects to suffer no involuntary loss or punishment.  She is free to design her own program and timetable for transformation.  But Cecil Rhodes dare not rest in peace.

No doubt, when Annie Teriba declares herself transformed, she will rise again.

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