What's changed, considerably, since 2000, is that this debate is no longer a controversial issue between "feminist scholars" and "conservative commentators".
An additional 13 years of research, with ongoing improvements in methodology, has confirmed that sexual assaults on campus continue to be an ongoing problem of crime
that is not adequately addressed, and it is no longer a handful of "feminist scholars" who consider it a serious problem, it's now something that's considered an urgent concern at the highest levels of our government.
What hasn't changed is the fact that conservative commentators, like George Will, are still trying to promote the fiction that the problem doesn't exist, and that claims of sexual assault convey such a "coveted" and "privileged" status on those making such assertions, that it encourages women to see themselves as victims, which falsely inflates the sexual assault numbers reported. The old white conservative guys just never quit trying to define for women
what they consider "legitimate rape". And now they've sunk to promoting the rather offensive notion that a sexual assault victim enjoys a "coveted" and "privileged" status. I really wonder if George Will would feel that way about himself, if he were the victim of a sexual assault by another man. Would he feel "privileged" to be in that position?
There is absolutely no evidence to support your claim that "feminists completely strangled dissent inside the government"--if anything, the Republican party in Congress continues to espouse a war on women, and women's interests, and it is the Republican conservative stance on issues important to women, particularly younger women, that continues to necessitate a loud activist voice in protest--not just from "feminists" but from the Democrats, both male and female, who also hold elected office. There is plenty of dissent being expressed within our government.
Women are still a long way from being equally represented in Congress, or state legislatures, or in any of the other halls of government power and influence. Women make up 51% of the population, but hold less than 20% of elected offices in America. When that gap shrinks more considerably, specific advocacy on behalf of women may no longer be necessary, but that day has not yet come.
What does seem to have changed somewhat since 2000, largely due to the growth of the internet and the social media, is that when conservative columnists, like George Will, try to peddle their negative views of women, and try to promote rape denial, there is an immediate, and very loud, backlash voiced about the offensive nature of such remarks--and it no longer comes from a handful of academic "feminist scholars", it comes from a considerably broader base of voters that cannot be easily dismissed.
If you really expect women to just shut up and stop complaining about sexism, or mistreatment, or sexual assault, you'd better not hold your breath. Women have found their voice, and they're using it. While "feminists" have been able to help bring that about, they are hardly the only voices of protest you have been hearing.
In your particular case, your obsessive focus on the alleged "feminist/government" conspiracy simply becomes a handy strawman so you don't have to focus on the campus sexual predators--about 6--8% of the male campus population, and who tend to be repeat offenders who commit an average of 6 rapes each. That's the group that drives the sexual assault numbers up, and that's the group that has to be targeted in sexual assault prevention, including better reporting of their illegal acts. Without such intervention, this group remain the "undetected rapists" on a college campus. And, by failing to fully acknowledge the problem of campus sexual assault, you help this group to continue to commit rapes with impunity.
The Sexual Experiences Survey (SES; Koss & Oros, 1982) is the most widely-used self administered instrument for measuring sexual aggression against adults. The SES, and instruments based on it (e.g., Koss & Gaines, 1993; Lisak, Conklin, Hopper, Miller, Altschuler, & Smith, 2000) are comprised of behaviorally-specific questions describing sexual acts that approximate the legal definitions of rape, attempted rape, and sexual
assault. However, to avoid evoking defensive reactions in participants, it does so without referencing any of those legal terms...
Of the 1,882 men in the total sample, 120 (6.4%) met criteria for rape or attempted rape.
A majority of these men, 80.8%, reported committing rapes of women who were incapacitated because of drugs or alcohol; 17.5% reported using threats or overt force in attempted rapes; 9.2% reported using threats or overt force to coerce sexual intercourse; and 10% reported using threats or overt force to coerce oral sex.
So, based on self-reports, we have 80% this group of sexual predators admitting to acts, which would legally be considered rapes, with victims who were incapacitated by drugs or alcohol. That finding should help to alter views about allegedly consensual "drunken sex", and it should help to reinforce the credibility of women who report such sexual assaults, because these are admissions of acts, legally considered rapes, by the perpetrators. Alcohol is quite simply the most widely used date rape drug, and a sexual predator will either urge the continued consumption of alcohol on a potential victim, or they will target an already drunk, severely intoxicated, vulnerable female.
On campuses, these sexual predators have a sense of entitlement to a woman's body, regardless of her diminished state of awareness to knowingly consent to a sexual act, or her diminished ability to resist or protest such acts, due to her incapacitation by drugs or alcohol. They are often found grouped in certain fraternities or athletic teams, where the males reinforce such attitudes of entitlement in each other, and sexual predation may become the acceptable group norm.
Only to the extent that other men, outside of this group, either witness sexual predators targeting their victims, or hear them boasting of their sexual assaults, and do nothing to speak up or intervene, do they become complicit in the problem due to their passivity. While females can, and do, complain about the problem of sexual assault, it's really males who can do more to curb it, by attacking the sense of male entitlement, on the part of some men, that underlies the problem.
Too often, in discussions of this topic, the response from many men is a defensive "that's not me", and a resentment that responsibility for sexual assaults falls mainly on men, and a resentment that all men seem to be regarded with suspicion, and the conversation ends there. The conversation shouldn't stop there. Just saying "that's not me" really isn't enough if one really does know who those sexual predators are and how they operate. It requires pointing fingers at them, denouncing their predatory tactics and acts, and teaching one's sons and younger brothers not to be like that, by all of the men who truly aren't like that, and it's the overwhelming majority of men who really aren't like that small group of sexual predators.
So when men become equally vocal to the females in protesting the amount of sexual assault that continues to occur, I'll know we have arrived at some state of real equality, including in our ability to trust each other. Until then, those "feminists" you dread are probably needed to spearhead and organize efforts to diminish sexual assault crimes, and all your paranoia about them won't change a thing. It's the sexual predators who create the problem for everyone, and that's who you should be going after.