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George Will on the set of ABC News This Week
Once-proud conservative manure salesman George Will has been in a spot of trouble these last few days over a column he wrote in which he postulated that people are going on much too much about college sexual assaults these days, making "victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges" for the assaulted women. This rather staggering display of hyper-conservative idiocy managed to do what I had long thought seemingly impossible: got people to notice that George Will was alive. But it also resulted in calls for Will to step down from his long-held tenure of writing very stupid things in the Washington Post, including a call from the president of NOW, because once you've used your national political column to ponder whether college-aged women want to be raped because of the imagined perks afterwards, you have officially run out of thoughts that the rest of the world needs to pay you to write down.

Fear not, though. Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt is coming to Will's defense. The official Washington Post stance is that George Will grousing about the "privileges" of being a sexual assault victim is no dumber than anything else Hiatt puts in his paper. Touche, Mr. Hiatt.

George Will's column was well within the bounds of legitimate debate.
Which is good, because if it's a legitimate debate that the female body has a way of shutting that down—wait, wrong thing. Sorry.
I welcomed his contribution, as I welcome the discussion it sparked and the responses, some of which we will be publishing on our pages and website. This is what a good opinion site should do.
We are not really a "good" opinion site, he did not need to add, but we like to model ourselves on what a "good" opinion site might look like if you had the decency to ignore all the drivel we generally publish about why war crimes are peachy and liberals are coming to mismatch your socks and the time we let a 150-year-old man mutter on about those damn college rape victims these days strutting around like they own the place.
Rather than urge me to silence a viewpoint they disagree with, I would urge others also to join the debate, and to do so without mischaracterizing the original column.
There's room to disagree on whether being sexually assaulted is a coveted status that confers privileges, you see. Nothing like gathering together a collection of conspiracy theorists, elderly war criminals, professional liars and other misfits still bitter that the 1950s and 1960s turned out as they did and telling them to go nuts on the subject of whether the slutty womenfolks are accusing good Christian men of rape because it's a good career move.

Honestly, I don't hold out much hope that Will will be going anywhere. As bitter conservatives might grouse, the man's got tenure. His ever-sillier climate change denialism is too valuable, and his thoughts on the womenfolk these days are not that far afield from what a Republican House candidate would say on the stump, these days, and let's face it: the ranks of conservative pundits who can readily use three-syllable words have gotten mighty thin these last few years, mighty thin indeed, and God help Fred Hiatt if the Willmobile breaks down and he has to troll the conservative pundit junkyard for replacement parts.

Originally posted to Hunter on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 11:43 AM PDT.

Also republished by This Week in the War on Women and Daily Kos.

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