It’s an all-too-familiar story — a campus newspaper publishes an opinion piece by a male student that jokes about date rape. Feminists react with outrage. The story’s author claims “satire.”

But this story has a twist.

The November 24 edition of the University of North Dakota’s Dakota Student carried a piece by undergrad Josh Brorby called “One-night Standing: The Method.” In it, Brorby offered readers “a highly specific technique” for “the man’s one-night stand.” (Trigger warning — what followed was repulsive.)

After you select your target, he said — “someone you know really well, like a girl from your high school or someone you have class with” — you should

Get her something to drink – maybe a nice little Sex on the Beach, or some straight mouthwash. If you have the means you could just inject her with some Sodium Pentobarbitone (if this is the case, have a futon or mattress handy, she might drop to the floor).

She’s good and buzzed now, right? Maybe a little unconscious? Whatever, bro, it’s a one-night stand. This is where you drop the line, something funny yet titillating to let her know your intentions. Try this one on for size: “Let’s have sex,” and if that doesn’t work, drop this bomb on her: “Hey I’m going to have sex with you now.” If you’re a real dare devil just pull down your pants and get to it.

Ugly. And the response was just what you’d expect. More than a hundred negative comments on the newspaper’s website, ongoing coverage in the local media, cogent statements of protest from feminists. “Brorby’s article,” one columnist wrote, “perpetuates and supports the idea that it’s okay to drug someone … and rape them.”

The Dakota Student response to the response followed the script you’d expect as well. Brobry’s essay was, they wrote, “a piece that attempted to satire the predatory nature of some men.” Though they regretted that it was misinterpreted, they continued to believe that “the merits of the article outweighed its demerits.”

It’s true that Brorby’s piece contained more direct criticism of predatory sexual behavior than one usually sees in such essays. Early on, he warned his readers that following his technique required a disregard for “what we know as ‘the law,’ and … a complete lack of respect for not only the person you plan to involve, but yourself.” At the essay’s close he let them know that if the technique worked, they would have “lost a great friend, divided all of your acquaintances, defiled a neighbor’s home, lost the trust of everyone close to you, and cried yourself to sleep the following evening,” before closing with the punchline “who cares, dude, YOU JUST HAD SEX!”

So yes, the piece was written from the anti-rape perspective that the editors claimed. But though they defended Brorby, he — when he published his own response to his critics yesterday — did not defend himself.

He had attempted, he said, “to get predatory men across our University to take a long, hard look at themselves and their behavior,” but he had failed:

I did not consider that in writing a satirical piece on such a personal issue, I was taking my position as a man for granted, ignoring the fact that such humorous overtones allow men who may think like the satirical character created to feel okay with their behavior, or to joke about deep sexual issues. The approach I took (I now know) did not address the issue in a way that could help; it only propagated the intense and still-existent rape/predatory culture that pervades our society.

For this, I am truly sorry, and I apologize to all readers of the Dakota Student.

And he didn’t end there. He went on to write the serious anti-rape essay that he should have written in the first place:

Rapists aren’t monsters in dark alleyways, true; they are the person walking across the street, that guy in Spanish class, the man you saw fist-pumping at a party last week. And these men aren’t born rapists, monsters within waiting to pounce out. No, they are created by the notion that it is okay to view women as nothing more than an achievement, a challenge, or an object to be used during a one-night stand. Rape is the logical conclusion of this mode of thinking. When a man begins to view sex simply as an arena in which to attain power – to get pats-on-the-back or a personal feeling of accomplishment – the proverbial seed has already sprouted. Rape is a showing of power, a grasping for control over somebody. When a man dehumanizes a woman in his own mind, he is already crossing the line.

This problem stems directly from a failure to point out this attitude in other men. I failed to do so in my latest article – my greatest fear is that some predatory man out there read it and felt okay to continue his behavior – but I hope this clarifies just how big the problem is. Males, we often take it for granted that we live in a society where it is not only considered by some “okay” to view women merely as objects for sexual gratification, but promoted. In all this, the best way to stop the problem is to support and encourage your female friends to come forward with any accounts of rape they have experienced, and to call out your male friends on their prejudices. Prejudices, after all, are often unperceived by those who have them.

I was called out on my last article. It was tough, it sucked, but I’m glad it happened. I respect everyone who called me out for doing so. Realizing one’s misguided attitudes is eye-opening, and it only helps. But this issue is bigger than me, much bigger.

This isn’t about getting my point across; this article is about getting you, all of you, to get the point across to all of your friends and acquaintances. Violence against women can eventually be stopped, but it has to come from a willingness to think differently, to open a discussion, and ultimately, to change.

I’ve read a lot of creepy campus-paper rape “satires” since I started this blog, and a lot of more-or-less-sincere apologies. But I’ve never seen the author of any of those pieces use the resulting attention to advance a discussion of sexual violence like Brorby did here.

You fucked up, Josh. You fucked up badly. But good for you for getting that, and good for you for trying to make it right.