With so many sexual assaults occurring in the Georgetown neighborhood in the last year and a half—including two in one week at the beginning of the school year—the University is not the only one finally acknowledging the serious issue of sexual assault on campus.
Since most of these attacks seem to follow the modus operandi of the infamous “Georgetown Cuddler,” local and national news networks and bloggers have flocked to the issue, either to report on the attacks or challenge the affectionate title of “Cuddler.”
In case the Voice‘s reporting hasn’t been enough for you, Vox has compiled a roundup of outside coverage of the crimes.
The Washington Post grappled with the issue of the wide range of descriptions victims have given for their attacker, but also observed that, despite the seriousness of some of the attacks, there doesn’t seem to be widespread fear in the campus community.
Local blog DCist took issue with both the softhearted nickname of “Cuddler” as well as the University’s lackluster response to the issue, particularly the initial characterization of the August 30 attack as a burglary.
Top women’s rights blog Feministing took the “Cuddler” issue very seriously, pointing out that using cute nicknames for a sex offender “excuses the attacker, dismisses violence as acceptable, and condescends to survivors.”
More coverage after the jump…
Fox News gave a rundown of the attacks and interviewed students who expressed a growing dissatisfaction with referring to a sexual offender as the “Cuddler.”
Gossip and news blog Gawker provided a brief but sardonic look at the myriad of descriptions applied to the “Cuddler,” insinuating that a certain “Middle Eastern” chief executive (never mind the inaccuracy of the reference) may be among the culprits.
NBC News provided a basic summary of the issue and relayed the basic safety tips students have been receiving from the Department of Public Safety.
Tiffany Bridge of WeLoveDC also challenged the friendly nickname given to the perpetrator(s) of these assaults, proposing instead the “Georgetown Come-into-my-house-and-I’ll-beat-you-with-a-baseball-bat.” Bridge also included the oft-cited quote from Metropolitan Police Department 2nd District Commander Matt Klein, who said, “You cuddle someone you love. We’re looking for a criminal.”
The women’s blog Jezebel pointed out that the “Cuddler” may be a real-life Edward Cullen, whose creeper factor cannot be denied.
As diverse as the coverage has been, the basic gist of it is essentially this: There seems to be more than one perpetrator, and students should lock their doors, avoid labeling an attacker as a “Cuddler,” and not wander around alone at night.
Interestingly enough, a large portion of the commenters on most of these blogs and articles have expressed indignation at the nickname “The Georgetown Cuddler.” Is it time for Georgetown to abandon this nickname in the hopes that the community might take the issue more seriously?