Some of my favorite excerpts of her essay on the New Yorker's website, but seriously, I wanted to cut-and-paste the whole thing so please read it!
Colleges and universities have now learned, he writes, "that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate"; he sees this quite plainly in "the supposed campus epidemic of rape, a.k.a. 'sexual assault.' " Students and educators, in Will's world, are being swarmed by covetous young women.
Why might one covet the "status" of a survivor of sexual assault, and what are these "privileges" that Will sees? Does he worry that he will be asked to give up his seat for some eighteen-year-old girl who has reported a rape? Or is it that she will be allowed to go to the front of the line in the dining hall at her college, or be deferred to in a way that strikes him as unseemly? Perhaps what he calls a privilege is a young woman such as that being listened to by her elders and having her story taken seriously. That counts as a privilege—an extra benefit—only if a girl, in the normal course of things, wouldn't and needn't be heard. "Privilege" suggests puzzlement with the very idea of a voice like that mattering, and, potentially, changing the life of a young man.
Will, one presumes, thinks that the assaults and rapes that he keeps hearing about aren't real. (Either that, or he has some scenario in which he thinks that sympathy for victims causes more rapists to attack women, or more women to walk in dark alleys.) It is an odd variant on an old sort of dismissiveness about women's accounts of rape: But she liked it, didn't she? If her distress and pain afterward were inescapable, in that telling, maybe she just felt ashamed about being a bad, immodest woman. Will takes it a step further: what she really liked was the aftermath, too.