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KC Johnson joins Seth Barron to discuss sexual assault and college disciplinary procedures on campuses across America.
In 2011, the Obama administration ordered all campus disciplinary offices to use a lower “preponderance of evidence” standard when charging a student of a sexually related crime. Today, colleges are under intense pressure from both activists and bureaucrats to punish students accused of rape. And with the political climate growing toxic on college campuses, school administrators know that there’s little to gain from defending the accused.
The Campus Accountability and Safety Act (CASA) is the subject of a spectacularly poorly researched article by George Will last week, and has been raised by a number of Ricochetti, so I thought it was worth working out what it does. The Act is not going to pass this year, but it’s worth understanding the legislation in contention (even if it doesn’t pass) and this will almost certainly be reintroduced next year and it might pass then. There are some criticisms of it that are simply incorrect. Thus, for instance, the use of the term “victim” in a crime survey context is not a violation of anyone’s civil rights and it’s not new (as anyone could tell if they looked at the law being amended). There are also aspects of Will’s argument that I think are clearly wrong, but on which I would appreciate correction. Happily, Ricochet seems like the place in which to educate myself.
CASA Contents: Higher Education Act
The CASA substantively amends three acts, as well as clarifying its lack of impact on a fourth and calling for a study to be written. Firstly, it amends the Higher Education Act, to require that universities make their protocols more transparent, formally allocate responsibilities with local law enforcement, and review their agreement every two years. If the police and university cannot agree, there is a substantial fine unless the institution submitted a form explaining the problem, showing that it had attempted in good faith to come to an agreement, and including the university’s final proposed agreement. In the 2014 version of the bill, the Secretary could then decide whether or not to impose crippling fines. In the 2015 version of the bill, the Secretary does not have that choice.
Christina Hoff Sommers is probably the sharpest writer and thinker on modern feminism that we have on our side of the fight — which means that she must be resisted and declared an Enemy of the People.
When Sommers went to speak to a group of Republican and Libertarian students at Oberlin College last month, a coalition of
fragile porcelain dolls concerned students posted — I am not making this up — “A Love Letter to Ourselves” (probably a serviceable title for any document produced by this cohort), calling Sommers a “rape denialist” because she has questioned the assertion that one in five women on college campuses have been sexually assaulted (Yes, it did include trigger warnings).
Like the rest of the world, I have no idea what happened between Columbia University undergrads Emma Sulkowicz and Paul Nungesser in 2012. From what I gather, there’s evidence both to support her claims that she is the victim of rape by him, and that he’s the victim of defamation by her. At least one of them is, clearly, a nasty piece of work, though it’s difficult to tell which.
To recap, Sulkowicz accused Nungesser — whom whom she’d previously had consensual sex — of raping her. Some seven months after the event, she filed a report with the campus who eventually dismissed the case. Six month after that, she filed criminal charges against Nungesser which were also dismissed. Sulkowicz, a visual arts major, then turned her frustration into a sort of performance art titled “Mattress Performance” by carrying her mattress around with her on campus, denouncing Nungesser, and shaming the university for allowing him to stay on campus. She subsequently received a great deal of media attention and was even Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s guest at the 2015 State of the Union.
Yesterday, The College Fix sent out a powerful tweet regarding regarding rape accusations. As I’ve never dealt with the aftermath of rape myself, I cannot say I’d have the courage to follow its advice if someone I loved – or, heck, if I myself – had been raped. But I agree with them and this needs saying:
The "compassion" behind telling rape victims to stay away from police is enabling serial rapists & shielding admins. http://t.co/Oz4lnmSHvJ
— The College Fix (@CollegeFix) December 2, 2014
I never been even close dealing with the aftermath of rape, and I have a hard word to deliver, so let’s get the disclaimer out of the way: I cannot say I would have the courage to go to the police if someone I loved–heck, if I myself–had just been raped. The potential for hypocrisy […]
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A new video, “F-bombs for Feminism”, made the rounds on social media yesterday. (In case the title didn’t alert you, be warned that this is not something you necessarily want to watch without headphones!)
Following in the footsteps of Beyoncé, who last year made the “shocking” comment that “gender equality is a myth,” “F-bombs for Feminism” is a ridiculous attempt to wake people up to women’s rights. The group who created this video, FCKH8, gathered a group of little girls wearing princess dress-up clothing and using “offensive” language to bring attention to all the “really offensive” ways our patriarchal society discriminates against and mistreats women. And they play all the big hits: pay inequality, rape and sexual assault, and being pretty.
FCKH8 makes use of all the usual statistical suspects: “Women make 23% less than men for the exact same [expletive] work.” And, “One out of five women will be sexually assaulted or raped by a man. Stop telling girls how to dress and start teaching boys not to [expletive] rape.”