Thursday, January 29, 2015

Women have fits because U. of Va. sororities are banned from frat parties this weekend, but the ban is the only logical response to "rape culture" hysteria

This Saturday, fraternities at the University of Virginia celebrate "bid night," which is typically a night when sorority sisters go from house to house sharing drinks with friends. But this year, the sorority sisters at the University of Virginia won't be attending.

In the wake of the hysteria fomented by the Rolling Stone article over a gang rape that never happened, the sorority sisters were ordered by their national chapters to avoid fraternity events this weekend. Feminists and women on campus are having a conniption.

One prominent feminist wrote: "Locking up women as if they are the ones causing rape merely by existing is not the way to handle the problem of sexual assault."

Actually, assuming you buy into the campus rape epidemic and "rape culture," banning women from the fraternities is the only way to handle this problem. Put yourself in the shoes of the national chapters. After being fed a steady diet of "rape culture" hysteria by the sexual grievance industry for years, and especially the past few months with the Rolling Stone false accusation, it's obvious that, short of mass castration of college men, the only way to handle the putative campus rape "epidemic" is to keep women away from rape's ground zero, the frat houses. After all, the sexual grievance industry's approach to stopping rape -- stripping men accused of rape of due process rights and slapping up posters telling men, as a class, not to rape -- hasn't worked any more than telling robbers not to rob would work (that was kind of a no-brainer).

Put it this way: if sororities scheduled an event where the sisters planned to visit a series of crack houses, would anyone -- the sororities' national chapters, university administrators, alumni, parents -- tolerate that? Of course not. Then why in hell would anyone tolerate a practice of sorority sisters visiting places that, we are told by the folks who dominate the public discourse on rape, are rape pits -- the "hunting ground" for sexually abusing women?

They can't have it both ways: they can't, on the one hand, insist that rape is an "epidemic" and, on the other hand, expect the people who run sororities to let things go on the way they are, business as usual.

If the feminists and sorority sisters don't like it, well, you know what they say about being careful what you wish for? The chickens have come home to roost: this is what happens when people actually buy into "rape culture" hysteria. And it might just be the beginning. So, is campus rape an "epidemic" or merely a problem that needs to be taken seriously? Are fraternities rape pits or is that an unfair exaggeration?

In fact, this ban is silly and it's wholly unnecessary because there is no campus rape epidemic. The real solution is to stop listening to the rape culturalists who lie about the prevalence of rape and who foment rape hysteria to advance their own agendas. The Rolling Stone debacle did not happen in a vacuum. The fact that the article was written in the first place, then published in a mainstream magazine, and then unflinchingly believed by so many is the product of a culture that has allowed gender extremists to dominate the public discourse on sexual assault. These are people who do not hesitate to demonize college men and reduce them to vile caricature, who insist that college campuses are rape pits, who claim with a straight face that women don't lie about rape, and who preach that due process for men accused of rape on campus is a luxury college women can't afford. In short, they buy into a campus rape epidemic that even the Department of Justice has now shown doesn't exist and into "rape culture," something that even RAINN, the preeminent anti-rape organization in America, has denounced. If you want a nice review of the current issues, go here.

One angry sorority sister said that the ban "was decided by national presidents who are in their mid-50s and live in Indianapolis.” Her anger is misplaced. She ought to be blaming the root cause of the ban: the purveyors of "rape culture" hysteria who finally got what they've always wanted -- they've scared the living hell out of everybody.

In the UK, if you act 'normal and reasonable' following a sexual encounter, such conduct might be used as evidence to convict you of rape

Following a lawful sexual encounter, if a man or boys acts "normal and reasonable," such conduct might be used as evidence to convict him of rape. And, no, we're not making that up. In the UK, "[n]ew guidelines issued to police and prosecutors warn that ‘offenders may take steps which, on the face might seem normal or reasonable, to distance themselves from an offence or to reframe the offence … in order to undermine or pre-empt any allegation’." Police are being told to "check social networking sites as standard practice for evidence and to check if the defendants had posted comments putting a deceptively innocent spin on the night." And "other examples of behaviour to try to conceal an offence of rape include boasting to friends, pretending to fall asleep afterwards, or making counter-allegations."

No doubt, some people use ruses to cover their tracks after committing a heinous crime (if you need evidence of that, just look through this site and you'll see examples that will blow your mind), but to posit a blanket rule making "normal and reasonable" and "deceptively innocent" behavior evidence of guilt is absurd, unjust, and frightening all at once.

But why am I not surprised? In the loopy, politicized world of sexual assault, "up" is "down," "right" is "wrong," and there's more topsy turvy than a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. Need some examples?

Some readers will recall a report a few years ago that exposed how Stanford University trains the people who will decide disciplinary proceedings involving allegations of sexual assault and domestic violence. They were taught that an "indicator of abuse" is that the "abuser" will "act persuasive and logical." Even worse, they were taught that "neutrality" is not only unattainable but something that ought to be avoided because it makes the fact-finder an accomplice to the abuse and further victimizes the complainants.

At Franklin and Marshall College, the Policy on Sexual Misconduct cautions students about the "warning signs" or ”red flags” that indicate "a risk of sexual misconduct," including: if the person you are with "interrupts" you (we're not making that up) or "drinks too much or uses drugs" (by this standard, when a women drinks too much, isn't that a warning sign that she's engaging in sexual misconduct -- or is that "victim blaming"?) or "wants to be alone with you before getting to know you" (you see, it isn't possible that someone wants to be alone with you in order to get to know you). The campus rape hearings at that school are bereft of any semblance of due process for the accused, but that didn't stop a purported sexual assault expert from insisting that the process is "bizarre and cruel" for women who cry rape because, among other things, "it requires victims to sit at the same table as the person who raped them."

To nab more rapists we are always told that an accused rapist's denials should be discounted because "rapists always claim they didn't do it." That the innocent also make such claims doesn't matter. (With the abolition of the requirement of corroboration to prove rape, in "he said-she said" rape cases, the "he said" part is often dismissed out of hand, and too often, the accused needs to come up with his own corroborative evidence of innocence -- e.g., a video -- to be cleared. In that sense, when the law was changed to eliminate the requirement of corroboration to prove rape, it had the perverse effect of flipping the requirement onto the accused.)

And it's fair game to suggest that a man who refuses to speak with the police is guilty (never mind that stupid Fifth Amendment nonsense), while a rape accuser who refuses to cooperate with police is just acting the way rape victims usually behave. This is because, we are also always told, there are no red flags, no warning signs, indicative of a false rape claim because rape victims are prone to behave in every way imaginable. One purported expert has suggested that police should not deem inconsistencies in the statements of purported rape victims as evidence that the rape didn't occur because "it's consistent that [the victim will] be inconsistent." This same attitude was recently on display when the usual suspects laughably insisted that gross errors and wild inconsistencies in the Rolling Stone rape accuser's narrative should not be deemed significant.

And, of course, last year, feminist professors "proved" campus rape is an epidemic by pointing to schools where there are no rapes. They claimed that schools with higher numbers of reported rapes were deemed the safer schools.

When the innocent actions of the innocent are used to prove the innocent are rapists, that is a policy not just bordering on pathology, it is a policy sick beyond all measure.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Explosive new campus rape propaganda film could do more harm to college men than even the Rolling Stone article

There's a new propaganda film about the imaginary campus rape epidemic called "The Hunting Ground." It's apparently a one-sided tearjerker masquerading as a documentary, and it was "warmly received by its activist audience" at its Sundance premiere, according to one writer. It bills itself as a “piercing, monumental exposé of rape culture on campuses," even though the preeminent anti-rape group in America has told activists to ditch the phony "rape culture" meme. The New York Times practically ejaculated in writing its "review" of this film.

Institutions of higher learning, fraternities, college sports teams, the justice system -- they're all skewered because they're all in on it,  protecting rapists and everything, don't you know? With conspiracy theories like that, forget Sundance, this thing should have premiered on the grassy knoll at Dealey Plaza.

Oh, one little thing: the film apparently doesn't bother to tell the accused's side of the story for the incidents it chronicles. It "relies on emotional first-person testimony from dozens of women," and Variety writes: "The absence of testimony from the accused is an understandable omission (though as the Rolling Stone article’s rollback indicates, that can be a problem)."

An "understandable omission"? Oh, sorry, I thought this was supposed to be a documentary, the same way I thought the Rolling Stone article was supposed to be a news story.

Just one little thought: since the incidents the film chronicles are almost entirely "he said-she said" encounters, wouldn't it have been a good idea to, you know, get the "he said" side of the story? Just a thought.

But, hey, why let the facts get in the way of good old fashioned campus rape hysteria? The facts would have only disrupted the narrative.

Did the film devote time to the lawsuits filed by young men who claim they were wrongly disciplined for sexual assault? Perhaps interview counsel to some of the claimants? Did the film explain how the due process rights of the accused have been severely curtailed when it comes to charges of rape to make it easier to punish the accused (both the guilty and the innocent)?

Jameis Winston's rape accuser Erica Kinsman (that's her name) is featured in the film. Just for the record, here is Jameis Winston's account since, apparently, the film doesn't bother to tell it.

CNN plans to air this thing. CNN used to be a news network.

What's the difference between this thing and the Rolling Stone article that didn't bother to get the accused's side of the story and that turned out to have more leaks than Titanic? Film carries a visceral impact that the written word can't, and it will get people a lot angrier about the imaginary campus rape epidemic, that's the difference.

Make no mistake: the activists plan to use that anger to chip away even more at the due process rights of the presumptively innocent accused of college rape. Innocence Project guru Prof. Mark A Godsey has explained that "the risk of wrongful conviction is the highest when there’s public outcry. Most of the exonerations and wrongful convictions have occurred in rape cases." This film seems intended to foment public outcry about rape, and as such, it poses a much graver risk to the rights of the innocent than even the Rolling Stone article.

Sue, baby, sue!

Prof urges frats to sue Rolling Stone

Thursday, January 22, 2015

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand should resign for branding a college student a rapist without due process

The New York senator explained why she invited Columbia student Emma Sulkowicz -- who carries a mattress around campus because she claims she was raped -- to the State of the Union Address. She said she did it to show solidarity with a student who “carries her mattress everywhere she goes to symbolize the burden she carries every single day as long as her rapist is still on campus.”

Read that again: "her rapist."

There's just one problem with the senator's accusation: the accused student has never been charged with rape and was cleared of rape by his university's internal grievance process, even with its absurd "preponderance of the evidence" standard.

Gillibrand should have explained all this in her piece, and at the very least, she should have put the word "alleged" before the word "rapist." But Gillibrand didn't think any of that was necessary -- she decided to believe the performance artist who claims she was raped, fairness and due process be damned.

The accused student's name in this case is publicly known -- his school newspaper outed him -- so we are left with this: a United States senator has declared that a very specific individual is guilty of rape without bothering with that due process or fairness silliness.

While it would be perfectly understandable for Sulkowicz's mother, friends, and roommate to speak out on her behalf, Senator Gillibrand is supposed to represent all the people of her state, including college men who are accused of rape. Has Gillibrand met the accused student? Has she heard his side of the story?

Gillibrand's comment is especially jarring given that, among people who write about these issues, it is no longer socially acceptable outside radical feminist circles to assume college men are guilty of rape based on an accusation. Even liberal thinkers are finally publicly denouncing the sad trend of the past two decades to assume male guilt in such circumstances.

The senator's declaration  -- in all its Star Chamber ramifications -- might be libelous, and it should be condemned by all persons of good will. In addition, the internet outlet that published this piece should apologize and retract it.

Prof. KC Johnson, who helped bring justice to wrongly accused Duke lacrosse players, wrote: ". . . the idea that someone making laws for all of us could actually believe that a person can be guilty solely on the basis of an accusation is a chilling thought."

Gillibrand needs to resign immediately. She's not fit to serve in the United States Senate.

Sexual Assault Myths

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The difference between "rape culture" devotees and "rape culture" skeptics

". . . rape-culture skeptics are actually happy to see proof that violent crime of all kinds, including rape, is diminishing, while rape culturists are happiest when they see “proof” that the risk for rape is going up. Moral panic is oxygen to the rape-culture movement, a movement that seeks to demonize all men and victimize all women."

Read the rest of the column here: http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/01/19/barbara-kay-rape-culture-proofiness-feeds-moral-panic-over-non-existent-epidemic/

Thursday, January 15, 2015

UVA President Teresa Sullivan: the Captain Queeg of higher education, still looking for those missing strawberries


UVA’s President Sullivan reminds me of Captain Queeg from “The Caine Mutiny.” She's obviously not insane like Captain Queeg -- her irrational behavior is motivated by fealty to political correctness run amok and kowtowing to gender zealots.

There is no reliable evidence for the supposed gang rape at a UVA fraternity as reported by Rolling Stone  – none whatsoever – and the school’s president Teresa A. Sullivan knows that. Yet Sullivan plowed ahead with a ban on fraternity activities while an investigation into fraternities, prompted by the crime that never happened, continued. And now the fraternities are being punished as a direct result of the same imaginary crime. See here.

Sullivan is the Captain Queeg of academia.

In “The Caine Mutiny,” the Caine was a battle-scarred minesweeper in World War II. Its captain was Lt. Commander Philip Francis Queeg, played by Humphrey Bogart, a strict disciplinarian with a nervous habit of clicking a pair of steel ball bearings in his hand.

One day, the Caine receives a gift of a gallon of frozen strawberries, which the Caine's officers share for dessert at dinner that night. A few hours later -- at one o’clock in the morning -- the captain calls an emergency meeting of all the officers because he's looking for an explanation about why there are no leftover strawberries from dinner. He claims that a quart went missing. He orders the officers to launch an investigation in the middle of the night.

The captain’s overreaction shocks the ship’s officers, but they proceed to investigate, to no avail. The next morning, Captain Queeg tells the officers that he’s got the whole missing strawberries incident figured out: with no evidence beyond his wild surmise, he announces: “Someone made a duplicate key to the icebox.” He’s even figured out how to nab the culprit: “I've got a simple plan. We tag every key on board with the owner's name. Then we strip all hands to make sure we have all the keys. Then we test each key on the icebox padlock.”

Before the captain’s insane plan can be implemented, one of the officers confides in the other officers that he knows what happened to the strawberries – he saw the “mess boys” eat them -- and that he told Captain Queeg, but Queeg ordered him to keep his mouth shut or he’d be punished.

Those who've seen the movie know the rest: the ship's second in command eventually relieves Queeg of his duties due to his mental instability.

And there is mental instability of a different kind at UVA with its overreaction to a rape that never occurred.

Tell me, President Sullivan: did you ever find those missing strawberries?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Woman's rape lie leads to lover's death: the false accuser placed her hand over his mouth to silence him while her boyfriend punched him to death

The information about this false rape case from Alaska comes from a criminal complaint filed by police, as reported here and here.

Dominique Vasquez, 31, had been smoking methamphetamine and drinking alcohol with Wesley Lord, 37 and two other men — one of whom is her court-appointed third-party custodian — in Room 116 of Fairbanks’ Extended Stay Hotel. Vasquez and Mr. Lord started having consensual sex after one of the men went to the bathroom to take a shower. The other man present in the room while the sex was taking place would later tell troopers that at no time did Vasquez tell Lord to stop.

Vasquez and Mr. Lord stopped having sex when the man got out of the shower, at which time Vasquez's boyfriend, Abraham Stine, 39, happened to show up outside the hotel window -- he suspected Vasquez was cheating on him. Vasquez, who was not wearing pants, told the two men to tell Stine that Lord had raped her. Vasquez knew Stine had a history of assaulting people from her personal experience, but despite this, she claimed Lord had raped her.

Both men went along with Vasquez's story, and Stine proceeded to punch Mr. Lord to death, believing he had just raped his girlfriend. The beating went on for five or ten minutes.

During the beating, Vasquez placed her hand over Lord’s mouth to silence him while Stine punched him. She also appeared to be choking him.

Stine called the police and claimed his girlfriend had been raped. The dutiful troopers arrived and proceeded to handcuff the naked -- and dead -- Wesley Lord, solely on the basis of his murderer's rape allegation. The astute police stopped handcuffing Mr. Lord when they happened to notice that his hands were stiff and he was not breathing.

“The victim appeared to have sustained blunt-force trauma as there was blood on the floor and obvious signs of injury to his head,” the criminal complaint says. An Alaska Bureau of Investigations sergeant later noted contusions on the right side of Lord’s face.

It also appeared as if someone tried to clean blood off the floor.

Vasquez subsequently admitted to having consensual sex with Mr. Lord. She lied because she did not want to be caught cheating.

Stine and Vasquez, both from Barrow, now face one count each of second-degree murder. Stine has been charged with second-degree murder for “physically beating Wesley Lord to death” and Vasquez was charged with the same for aiding and abetting the murder -- specifically, for trying to silence Lord during the beating and for "inciting Stine to beat (Lord) with the false allegation of rape."

The case is just the latest in a long line of rape lie tragedies. A few examples:

●Devin LaSalle, a father of three who coached his sons' sports team, had a consensual affair with Tracy Roberson. One night, Ms. Roberson’s husband interrupted them during a tryst, and Ms. Roberson lied to her husband that Mr. LaSalle was raping her. The husband shot Mr. LaSalle dead. Ms. Roberson, not her husband, was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years in prison. Her attorney fumed: "The wrong person went to prison." See here and here.

●Cory Headen, 19, was beaten to death with a baseball bat while he slept by another 19-year-old who wrongly believed a girl's rape lie. See here.

●A 15-year-old girl told her father and a 20-year-old man that another 20-year-old man had raped her twice in November 2012. The girl sent a text message to the accused, inviting him to a park. At the park, the girl and a friend met the accused man, summoned him to the restroom area, and asked him to wait as they used the restroom. At the prompting of the girl, the other 20-year-old man, who had been hiding nearby, began assaulting the victim with a wooden baseball bat. The girls had brought the bat to the park. See here.

●Sumbo Owoiya was just 18 years old when he gunned down while looking through the peep hole of his front door. The killer was exacting vengeance because a 15-year-old girl lied that Sumbo had raped her. See here.

●Cody Wightman, 25, incurred the wrath of Felisha Hardison, 25, when Hardison along with her mother, picked up a group of young men, ages 19-22, and drove them to Mr. Wightman's home. Hardison and her mother then sat in their minivan while the young men proceeded to kick in Mr. Wightman's front door, then punch and kick him, and finally, beat him with a claw hammer. You see, Hardison had told the young men that Mr. Wightman had raped her. Police say the rape claim was false. It turns out that several weeks before the attack on Mr. Wightman, Hardison had falsely accused another man of raping her. See here.

●Johran McCormick, 17, was shot to death after his 16-year-old girlfriend sneaked him into her bedroom. When the girl's father caught the boy in the room, the daughter claimed she didn't know him. The father then called 911, but an argument ensued and the father shot the teenage boy to death. See here.

●A Quiznos worker was gunned down because a 23-year-old woman lied to her boyfriend that he had raped her -- the lie was told in an attempt to cover up the fact that the woman was two-timing her boyfriend. See here.

●Gypsies were displaced from their homes when their camp was burned down outside of Turin -- the fire was started to avenge a supposed rape after a 16-year-old girl falsely claimed she had been raped by two men. She lied to conceal the fact that she had lost her virginity to her Italian boyfriend. See here.

●On a steamy day in June of 2009, an innocent man named Michael Zenquis was beaten by an angry mob after he was wrongly accused of raping an 11-year-old girl. In light of this despicable atrocity to an innocent man, what did the mayor and the police commissioner do? Nothing. Worse, the next day, a different mob caught up with the actual rapist and gave him a brutal beating that lasted several minutes until the police got there. The police gave two of the men who helped "apprehend" the rapist $5,750 each. See here and here.

●After a rape case was thrown out because, the judge said, the accuser's evidence was "deeply flawed," the accused 19-year-old was beaten, given two black eyes, shouted at, spat at, called "scum," told to "dig his own grave," and was forced into hiding. He could not get a job because of the allegation. See here.

●The girlfriend of Regan Scott Derrick, 27,  returned home after a Saturday night out with some of her friends. She was vomiting and crying, and she lied to Mr. Derrick that she had been date raped and robbed by some men. Mr. Derrick assembled a posse of friends to dish out some vigilante justice and to repossess the stolen items. They barged into the house where the supposed offenders were, and a violent altercation ensued. No one was killed, but Mr. Derrick was convicted of injuring with intent. Mr. Derrick said he was "shocked and horrified" when he learned his girlfriend had lied. See here.

●A 17-year-old boy was stabbed three times -- in the chest, abdomen, and hand -- outside the high school he attended by the father of a female classmate after the girl falsely accused him of being a witness to her alleged rape. The girl later admitted she lied about being raped to avoid getting in trouble for going to a party. The boy recovered; the father was sentenced to six years imprisonment. The news articles named the boy but not his false accuser. See here, here  and here.

●A rampaging mob of armed youths wearing masks attacked homes and cars during rioting sparked by a false rumor that a young girl had been raped by two East European men in a shop. The tale eventually morphed into a monstrous lie that a girl had been held hostage for three days and gang-raped by 25 Asian men. The violence ended only when one gang member accidentally shot and killed another gang member. See here.

And trust me, I could go on and on and on.

If you'd like to read more about these issues, see our wrap up of 2014.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

UK to men falsely accused of rape: drop dead

The screeching usual suspects are at it again in the UK, ranting about how men accused of rape don't deserve anonymity -- and, when it comes to sexual assault, the screeching usual suspects control public policy.

We answered their arguments two years ago, and they haven't come up with anything new. See here.

They're insisting that men accused of rape don't deserve anonymity for the same tired reason they routinely trot out: rape is a "worse" problem.

Can you say "non sequitur"?

Even if that were true, do they realize how they come off?  Do they even care? Imagine if we weren't allowed to talk about heart disease because cancer is a "worse" problem.

The "real" problem is underreporting, they insist -- which they prove by pointing to all these rapes that must be occurring but that are never reported so no one can ever say if they're right.

The problem about rape, clucked someone who goes by the name Joan Smith, "isn’t about a handful of men who have been wrongly accused . . . ." It's "the many thousands of victims who don’t get justice at all . . . ."

First, to Smith and a horde of puerile gender extremists like her, there is an equivalence between the injustice faced by women who, for whatever reason, don't report their rapes, and the injustice to men and boys who are destroyed by false rape claims. Given this supposed equivalence, coupled with their insistence that underreporting of rape is rampant, and false rape claims hardly ever happen, falsely accused men are not a concern to them, and they shouldn't be to you or me.

Let's say this unequivocally. There is no equivalence in the two injustices: it is far worse to be falsely accused than to see your rapist elude prison. See here.

Second, they insist that false accusations are very rare. This, too, is a reckless untruth. See here.

We get tired of seeing the same hateful arguments trotted out year after year. And it's never going to stop because gender zealots are subsidized by tax and tuition dollars to keep it up. It's their job.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Takeaway from new University report on sexual violence: college women need Victorian-era fainting rooms


The report by a sexual-violence work group created by Syracuse University is predictably biased with all the sexual grievance industry's usual bells and whistles. It refers to the "victim" and the "accused," suggesting that accusers are automatically "victims" and that the accused are automatically rapists. It references an "epidemic of sexual violence on campus," even though the "epidemic" was recently shown to be multiple times less of an "epidemic" than the sexual grievance industry previously insisted. It says that "interim measures," including "interim suspension of the accused" (that is, the rapist) "must be offered, even if victim chooses not to file a report" and "even when respecting the confidentiality request of the victim." Get it? The accused (sorry, the rapist) should be punished even if the victim decides not to press the matter, and even if the accused (er, the rapist) isn't told who made the complaint.

On and on it goes with the usual tripe. But the big takeaway from the report is more basic: forget all that 21st Century crap about strong and independent women. The women of Syracuse University should be afforded ready access to good old fashioned Victorian era fainting rooms, complete with fainting couches, smelling salts -- the whole bit -- to accommodate rape hysteria.

Granted, the report doesn't literally call for "fainting rooms" for women, but it might as well. Among other things, it wants the school to dispense with actual "hearings" and structure the investigation of sexual assault claims to "limit the retelling of the incident" -- because, heaven knows, in "he said-she said" disputes where an adjudication of guilt can be life-altering for the accused and typically depends on the accuser's account of the incident, the accuser's delicate sensitivities (sorry, I meant "the victim's delicate sensitivities") trump any silly old search for truth and justice.

Most important, the report repeats several times that the counseling center's location -- near fraternities -- is a fundamental problem. It causes "fear," "can be threatening," and is "a potential barrier for seeking out services."

You'd think Syracuse stuck the counseling center next to Dracula's castle the way they are carrying on. And therein lies the problem. Acting like fraternities are rape pits where unspeakable evil is perpetrated against women doesn't stand up to scrutiny. (Can you say "Rolling Stone"?)  Moreover, as feminist Naomi Wolf has written: "Feminists have long argued that rape must be treated like any other crime." But when they insist on acting like rape victims need fainting rooms, this only serves only to brand it as "a 'different' kind of crime, loaded with cultural baggage and projections."

The problem is, the cultural baggage surrounding rape is cultural baggage they've manufactured. It signals that women, as a class, are oppressed by men, as a class, and that's the point of the whole exercise. Rape is no longer a crime, it's a rallying point for gender get-evenism.

If they really cared about rape victims, they wouldn't be insisting that the counseling center be moved away from fraternities. They'd be giving rape victims directions to the police station.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Writer says men have nothing to fear from new "affirmative consent" rape laws, suggests they should just trust women's good faith

Susan Dwyer's painful-to-read non-defense of the new "affirmative consent" laws sweeping American colleges is a hit parade of hackneyed memes employed to masquerade hostility of due process for college men.

Dwyer doesn't think that the whole "due process" thing is a valid concern. She posits that some people "fear that the weaker evidentiary standard strips accused individuals of due process, leaving them unfairly vulnerable to reputational and professional harms, perhaps at the hands of vindictive women." But later, Dwyer makes clear that she doesn't think innocent men have any need to worry about such things -- she suggests they should just trust women not to use the new law to harm them. Specifically: ". . . only a morally repulsive assumption about women’s psychology would lead us to think that the policy increases the mendacity of those who report sexual assault," she clucks.

This, of course, is merely another way of saying "women don't lie about rape," even though some (too many) women do lie about rape or assume rape has occurred when it hasn't. The wrongly accused are just necessary collateral damage in the "more important" war on rape.

It is irrefutable that a law that makes it easier to hold men responsible for rape will make it easier to hold the innocent responsible for purported offenses they didn't commit. Instead of dealing rationally with that valid concern -- a concern, incidentally, increasingly shared by many important progressive thinkers, including 28 Harvard law professors -- Dwyer does what feminist rape pundits routinely do: she casts aspersions on the good will of anyone who even dares to raise the question.

They do this all the time. See, e.g., here and here.  Dwyer's inanity is not worthy of serious refutation.

Dwyer also applauds the fact that the new law shifts the burden of proving consent to the accused, claiming, with no authority beyond her serene ipse dixit, that this shift "may . . . encourage victims of sexual conduct to come forward."

In fact, there is no evidence that this shift will change underreporting in any way, but it represents a dangerous sea change in the law. It makes the sex act -- something performed countless times every day since the beginning of time the world over -- a presumptive crime based on nothing more than an accusation. The prosecution/college need not prove the crime, all they need to do is present a woman to say it happened and the burden then shifts to the accused, and if the man or boy does not carry his burden to prove that he obtained consent in the required manner (which no one can define), the accusation alone is sufficient to convict. The concept of "innocent until proven guilty" has been kicked to the curb; the '70s feminist mantra "always believe the woman" has been given statutory articulation.

Shifting the burden of proving consent is an idea long pushed by extremist victims' advocates. Linda Brookover Bourque's Defining Rape said in 1989 that the ultimate objective of rape reform is shifting the burden of proof from "the victim" to "the offender."

Mainstream feminist extremist Jessica Valenti advocates that America look to Swedish law as its legislative model for rape, and "activists and legal experts in Sweden want to change the law there so that the burden of proof is on the accused; the alleged rapist would have to show that he got consent, instead of the victim having to prove that she didn't give it."

Serious feminist scholars have written extensively on the subject in an effort to change the law. Criminal law professor and feminist Michele Alexandre would make the sex act a presumed crime whenever a woman cries rape. See M. Alexandre, ‘Girls Gone Wild’ and Rape Law: Revising the Contractual Concept of Consent & Ensuring an Unbiased Application of ‘Reasonable Doubt’ When the Victim is Non-Traditional, 17 American Univ. Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law 1, 41, 55-56 (2009). In Addressing Rape Reform in Law and Practice (2008), Professor Susan Caringella of Western Michigan University's Sociology Department, not only refused to pay lip service to insuring that the innocent aren't punished with the guilty, she goes so far as to declare that men accused of rape are "overprotect[ed]." She writes: "It is high time to give victims a fair shake, to dismantle the zealous overprotections for men accused of this crime, which have been buoyed up by the myths about false accusations, ulterior motives, and so on, commonly embraced when rape charges are levied." Prof. Caringella advocates a shift in the burden of proof by enacting affirmative consent laws.

Happily, the Washington Supreme Court recently reversed bad law that had shifted the burden of proving consent to the accused in that state's criminal courts. See here.

Dwyer makes clear she's hoping the affirmative consent law "changes the conversation about sexual assault" and "dismantle[s] wider cultural assumptions" about gender roles in the bedroom.

This is code for dismantling and rebuilding "masculinity." It is men's behavior Dwyer and the usual suspects seek to change because, under the new law, men will be branded as rapists when women resort to the passive bedroom behavior that women are taught from an early age and later decide to cry "rape."

The usual tripe.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Prof. Dershowitz: 'They took on the wrong innocent person.'

Titan of criminal jurisprudence and retired Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz was mentioned in a lawsuit filed against a former client, Jeffrey Epstein, charging that federal prosecutors in Florida broke the law by granting Epstein a plea deal to avoid a federal prosecution. According to a court filing quoted by the website Politico, Epstein forced the minor, referred to as Jane Doe #3, to have sex with Britain’s Prince Andrew, Dershowitz and other prominent figures.

Prof. Dershowitz refuted the charges: “I don't know this woman. I've never been with this woman. I've never been in the places and times they say I was. I can prove all that.” And: "It’s a completely, totally fabricated, made-up story. I have never had sex with an underage woman. They made up this story out of whole cloth. I’m an innocent victim of an extortion conspiracy." Dershowitz made clear that he wants "to see this played out not only in the court of public opinion but in the court of law."

He "called it 'fascinating' that what he claims are false accusations of sexual misconduct came after he and other Law School professors 'demand[ed] due process for Harvard students in cases of sexual assault.' He said he is 'even more committed' to incorporating due process into sexual assault adjudication procedures now that he has been accused of misconduct."

He also said that "anti-Semites and anti-Israel 'zealots' are having a field day over sexual abuse allegations leveled against him . . . ."

"They took on the wrong innocent person," he said.

Dershowitz is not content with just making public statements about the accusation. He went on the offensive: "I will prove beyond any doubt not only that the story is totally false but it was knowingly false, that the lawyers and the client conspired together to create a false story." He continued: "That's why I'm moving for their disbarment. I will swear under oath - and I challenge them to swear under oath - that it did not happen. I will not rest or stop until the world understands not only that I had nothing to do with any of this but that she deliberately, with the connivance of her lawyers, made up this story wilfully and knowingly."

Dershowitz said: “I am seeking to enter an appearance in the case in order to be able to challenge them in court. I am filing a sworn affidavit which subjects me to perjury prosecution if I am lying and I am waiving the statute of limitations on any criminal charges and challenging the woman to file criminal charges against me because if she does she's committed a crime by filing the false charge.”

Dershowitz gave some advice to the wrongly accused: "You cannot allow these allegations to hang above you. The first question you have to ask yourself when you are charged with a crime like this is, 'Is there any conceivable possibility you did it?'" he said. "And if the answer to that is 'No', you have to fight back with every resource and ounce of energy available to you."

Dershowitz has represented, among many others, Claus von Bulow, Patty Hearst and Mike Tyson.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Oregon Coach Mark Helfrich applauded for disciplining players who taunted Jameis Winston

We applaud Oregon coach Mark Helfrich, who said that players on his team who taunted Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will be disciplined.

Winston was accused of sexually assaulting a former female student in 2013 but was never arrested or charged and was cleared of any wrongdoing in a student code of conduct hearing.

In the moments after Oregon trounced Florida State 59-20 in the College Football Playoff national semifinal, a few Oregon players thought it would be funny to do the tomahawk chant with the phrase, “No means no” during the postgame celebration.

Helfrich released a statement to the Associated Press saying, “We are aware of the inappropriate behavior in the postgame. This is not what our programs stand for, and the student-athletes will be disciplined internally.”

Because of the sexual assault accusation, Winston has been the whipping boy of the media (you may recall Heather Cox of ESPN's disgraceful "gotcha!" momentClay Travis's disgraceful rush to judgment; and Geraldo's cherry-picking facts).

The stigma of a rape accusation is often never erased, no matter the identity of the accused or the circumstances of the accusation. A university should not tolerate disrespect for an opposing player or for due process, and the coach's decision to discipline the players is the right call.

Mario Cuomo, RIP: He gave the most effective speech by an American politician that was not delivered by Ronald Reagan in the past 50 years

Mario Cuomo's keynote address to the Democratic National Convention, 1984:

Climate for the wrongly accused on campus is worse now than it was in the Duke lacrosse case

KC Johnson, a history professor at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center, and Stuart Taylor Jr., a Washington writer and Brookings Institution nonresident senior fellow, co-authored the highly touted 2007 book “Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case.” Durham in Wonderland, Professor KC Johnson's hugely influential blog that chronicled the Duke lacrosse false rape case was influential in helping to draw attention to the injustices in Durham. After the three young lacrosse players were declared "innocent" by the state's attorney general amid a media circus usually reserved for the rich and the famous, one of the young men, Reade Seligmann, issued a statement in which, among other things, he thanked Professor Johnson for his efforts.

Now, Johnson and Taylor think that the uncritical acceptance of the "Jackie" rape fable, as recounted by Rolling Stone, is an indication that things are worse for the presumptively innocent than they were 8 years ago. They write:
The responses of the vast majority of U-Va. students to the Rolling Stone fiasco were far less inspiring [than in the Duke lacrosse case]. It was, of course, predictable that self-styled victims’ rights activists would embrace Rolling Stone’s version of events. Less predictable, and more striking, was the uncritical acceptance of Jackie’s wild tale by the student newspaper, the Cavalier Daily. Until late December, its coverage mirrored Rolling Stone’s, even as various off-campus publications shredded Jackie’s varying accounts.

Instead, the newspaper’s executive editor, Katherine Ripley, was busy sending tweets with the hashtag #IStandWithJackie about how the Jackie story “resonated with me.” (Ms. Ripley hasn’t revealed which of Jackie’s mutually contradictory stories she believes; her most recent tweets have utilized the #IStandWithSurvivors hashtag.) Assistant Managing Editor Julia Horowitz proclaimed that “to let fact checking define the narrative would be a huge mistake.”

Even U-Va. fraternity members, President Sullivan’s most immediate targets, meekly accepted their ill-considered suspension without critical scrutiny either of Jackie’s now-discredited claims or of their own alleged complicity in a supposed “rape culture.” While a national organization of fraternities demanded that Sullivan apologize, the fraternities at U-Va. made no such demand.

Indeed, the school’s fraternity council recently joined with the student council and various victims’ rights groups to recommend that the state of Virginia change its laws to hold secret trials, with the public excluded, in all criminal prosecutions for rape -- a stunning call for star-chamber-style railroading of accused males.

The student coalition also expressed hope that the university would provide accusers access to legal counsel (their recommendations contained no reference to accused students’ need for lawyers), while ordering all future U-Va. students to take a course in “Women and Gender Studies.” At Duke eight years ago, by contrast, a similar curricular proposal won support only from the most extreme anti-lacrosse faculty members, and even the Brodhead administration elected not to embrace it.

What explains this difference between students at Duke in 2006 and U-Va. now? We cannot be sure. But we do know that the past eight years have witnessed a profound effort to devalue due process for students accused of sexual assault, regardless of the merits of the accusation. This trend, which was ably analyzed by Peter Berkowitz, has been accelerated by Obama administration demands that campuses significantly weaken their already weak procedural protections for accused students or face crippling cutoffs of federal funds. The inevitable result will be more convictions -- whether the accused was guilty or not.

Today’s students have been bombarded with the president’s assertions that “one in five women on college campuses has been sexually assaulted during their time there” and similar claims by other officials, journalists, and academics. As Slate’s Emily Yoffe has observed, this absurd figure (which since has been discredited by the Bureau of Justice Statistics) implies that the typical college campus has the same rate of rape as war-torn areas of the Congo.

Yet powerful media voices, ranging from the New York Times to Huffington Post to BuzzFeed, have touted the claim while aggressively promoting the dubious “rape culture” narrative. They’ve done so through dozens of articles portraying sexual assault accusers who failed to prevail in campus disciplinary cases as victims of gender discrimination.

And the nation’s most prestigious universities, including U-Va. and Duke, have pushed such ideologies of resentment -- in their reeducation-camp-style “orientation” sessions for new students, in the extremist race/class/gender teachings that dominate many humanities courses, and in the kangaroo-court disciplinary systems that have censored expression of “offensive” political views as well as railroading dozens of students on rape charges that appear to be based on flimsy evidence.

In such an environment, it might be understandable that few students would risk being branded as “rape apologists” by defending due process. In this respect, the U-Va. student response may evidence a troubling trend over the last eight years. In any event, it surely illustrates a poisoned campus culture that has implications far beyond Charlottesville.

Harvard Prof. Elizabeth Bartholet has never seen unfair treatment of students claiming Title IX violations, "I have, however, observed wrongful treatment of a student accused of such violation.”

On October 15, 2014, a letter was published in the Boston Globe signed by 28 Harvard law professors -- mostly liberals and including female faculty members -- that voiced very strong objections to the school's one-sided, feminist-inspired sexual misconduct policies. This letter was arguably the single most important statement to date on American colleges' hostility to due process when it comes to men accused of sexual misconduct. Prof. Alan Dershowitz, a titan of criminal jurisprudence, told Time Magazine "Harvard's policy was written by people who think sexual assault is so heinous a crime that even innocence is not a defense." Then, he made clear his opposition to Harvard's sexual assault policies was really "a criticism of the federal government. It’s a criticism of the Obama administration.” He added: “These rules are written to preclude a defense” for accused students.

Now Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Bartholet, who teaches civil rights and family law, says that the current Obama administration has a "flawed view of Title IX law” and suggests that the Harvard University Sexual Harassment Policy does not provide even "the basics of due process." Tellingly, Prof. Bartholet said: “I have served on the Harvard Law School faculty since 1977, and during that time have observed no unfair treatment of students claiming violation of their Title IX rights. I have, however, observed wrongful treatment of a student accused of such violation.”

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 in review: The men strike back

2014 was a watershed year -- it was the year it became apparent to a lot of folks with no personal stake in the issue that gender extremists have gone too far pushing their agendas on sexual assault. There is finally a mainstream backlash against rape culture hysteria. The rape culturalists are still winning, but for the first time, they have prominent opposition.

Rape Culture Hysteria

Before we get to the backlash, it is important to note that the year witnessed an explosion of jaw-dropping "rape culture" hysteria:

Amanda Childress, Sexual Assault Awareness Program coordinator at Dartmouth College, declared that campus policies aren't going far enough to protect students. She asked: "Why could we not expel a student based on an allegation?" Dartmouth defended Childress's comment, noting that she "was asking a question—a provocative one—meant to generate dialogue around complex issues . . . .”

Ms. Magazine quoted Caroline Heldman, a professor at Occidental College, on suits filed by men for alleged violations of their due process rights in connection with sexual assault claims: "These lawsuits are an incredible display of entitlement, the same entitlement that drove them to rape."

Sen. Claire McCaskill circulated an extensive survey about sexual assault to 350 college and university presidents. The survey classified persons who make accusations of sexual misconduct as “victims,” and in one place called persons merely accused of sexual misconduct “offenders.” Then on page 14, it contained this query: "Below is a list of policies and procedures that may discourage victims from disclosing and reporting assaults at some schools . . . . 1. Disclosure of offender’s rights in the adjudication process . . . ." The implication: it is somehow improper to insure that students accused of serious sexual offenses are aware of their rights.

Feminist professors attempted to prove campus rape is an epidemic by pointing to schools where there are no rapes

A jury acquitted former Dartmouth student Parker Gilbert of raping a female student at the school in a "he said/she said" dispute. A juror told a reporter “(The woman’s) story of how the night played out, the evidence wasn’t there to support that." And: “There is tons and tons of evidence that just doesn’t add up.” But WISE, an organization that seeks to empower victims of domestic and sexual violence, issued a formal statement: "Today’s decision in the Dartmouth rape trial of Parker Gilbert is devastating and there is no doubt that it sends a terrible message to survivors of sexual assault."

Gender zealots declared that they want the prosecution of rape liars to stop -- it violates human rights.

Duke University Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek was asked what would happen if two students got drunk to the point of incapacity, and then had sex. "Assuming it is a male and female, it is the responsibility in the case of the male to gain consent before proceeding with sex," said Wasiolek.

Jessica Valenti mocked the efforts of three mothers who started Families Advocating for Campus Equality (FACE) that seeks to raise awareness about the injustices faced by presumptively innocent college students accused of sexual misconduct. Each of the three founders of FACE has been touched directly by campus rape injustice: their sons were ensnared by it. Valenti wrote: "Alternative name for this group: Not My Nigel." Of course, "Not My Nigel" is radical feminist shorthand to suggest that women who defend their male loved ones accused of rape or similar acts are defending rapists.

Ezra Klein evinced satisfaction that possibly innocent young men will be expelled for rapes they didn't commit: "Critics worry that colleges will fill with cases in which campus boards convict young men (and, occasionally, young women) of sexual assault for genuinely ambiguous situations. Sadly, that’s necessary for the law’s success. It’s those cases — particularly the ones that feel genuinely unclear and maybe even unfair, the ones that become lore in frats and cautionary tales that fathers e-mail to their sons — that will convince men that they better Be Pretty D–n Sure."

College orientation season saw the usual blaming of "men" for sexual assault.

Elisabeth Dee, Stanford class of 2016, one of the organizers of the “Carry that Weight” demonstration where students were urged to carry a pillow or mattress around for a day to symbolize the burden placed upon survivors of sexual assault, called on the school to reduce the burden of proof required to find someone guilty of sexual assault, which is already the lowest legally permissible, "preponderance of the evidence." Dee said that Stanford, should not be focusing on "defending the perpetrator, because essentially burden of proof is a defense of the perpetrator.”

Laura Dunn, executive director of SurvJustice, on why some colleges have pushed back against lowering the standard of proof for sexual assault cases to make it easier to hold young men accused of sexual assault: "To put it bluntly, I think it's arrogance and ingrained male privilege . . . ."

"Offensive" posters at hospitals and colleges that carry the slogan "one in three reported rapes happens when the victim has been drinking" were condemned for victim blaming.

Julia Horowitz, a journalist at University of Virginia’s school newspaper, wrote that "to let fact checking define the [sexual assault] narrative would be a huge mistake.”

Zerlina Maxwell wrote this: “Ultimately, the costs of wrongly disbelieving a survivor far outweigh the costs of calling someone a rapist.”

Jessica Valenti debated Wendy McElroy at Brown University. A live-blog reveals that a questioner suggested that the conversation had become unnecessarily adversarial, with some people supporting the accuser and others supporting the accused. Valenti responded: “. . . in the society we live in now, we need to side with the survivors. That might not be a fair and equal thing, but that’s how I think it has to be."

At the University of Virginia, the gender zealots want "private" rape trials despite the fact that, as Prof. KC Johnson said, "secret trials are anathema to the U.S. legal tradition" and "that open trials afford a critical protection to the wrongly accused."

The Columbia University Marching Band's adopted a sexual assault policy that assumes all sexual assault accusations are sexual assaults.

The University of Michigan defined "sexual violence" to include "withholding sex and affection."

An anonymous Tumblr blog called the "Hyde Park List" listed the names of six male students and alumni who allegedly have perpetrated "gender-based violence" against other students. The blog was followed by fliers with the names taped around campus.

An ESPN analyst said men need to be reprogrammed. CBS sports anchor James Brown used the Rice incident to boldly -- and bizarrely -- proclaim that when men say "you throw the ball like a girl," it leads to domestic violence against women.

Feminist pundits assumed Woody Allen is a rapist because a woman said so, even though Woody Allen denied it.

The rape culturalists got a big victory with California's "affirmative consent" law that governs sexual assault on college campuses. Under the law, the accused must show that he took "reasonable steps, in the circumstances known to the accused at the time, to ascertain whether the complainant affirmatively consented." The law also requires "affirmative" consent at each step of a sexual encounter on its college campuses. The co-author of the bill in the state assembly, Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, was asked how an innocent person is supposed to prove consent. She said: “Your guess is as good as mine."

One of the worst examples of rape culture hysteria in recent years was the Rolling Stone debacle. Sabrina Rubin Erdely, recounting an alleged gang rape of "Jackie" at a University of Virginia frat house, wrote this in Rolling Stone Magazine: "'Grab its motherfucking leg,' she heard a voice say. And that's when Jackie knew she was going to be raped. She remembers every moment of the next three hours of agony, during which, she says, seven men took turns raping her, while two more – her date, Drew, and another man – gave instruction and encouragement." And: "For men, skepticism is a form of self-protection . . . . For much of their lives, they've looked forward to the hedonistic fun of college, bearing every expectation of booze and no-strings sex. A rape heralds the uncomfortable idea that all that harmless mayhem may not be so harmless after all. Easier, then, to assume the girl is lying, even though studies indicate that false rape reports account for, at most, eight percent of reports." The Managing Editor of Rolling Stone later apologized for the story, noting with almost other-worldly understatement: ". . . there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie's account."

The Backlash

The Rolling Stone debacle might have been a tipping point, because suddenly, the mainstream media discovered that an important college "rape" story was filled with holes -- this, combined with other blows to the rape culture meme, led more and more people to realize that the Rolling Stone debacle is symptomatic of a culture that has allowed gender extremists to dominate the public discourse on sexual assault.

Early in the year, much to the chagrin of feminist pundits, RAINN, the nation's leading anti-rape organization, debunked the "rape culture" meme: "Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime." This is what we've been preaching here for years. RAINN decried the "inclination to focus on particular . . . traits that are common in many millions of law-abiding Americans (e.g., 'masculinity'), rather than on the subpopulation at fault: those who choose to commit rape." It cites the work of Dr. David Lisak, just as this blog has done, in explaining that the notion of "rape culture" is inaccurate.

More damning, the oft-repeated claim that 1-in-5 college women are sexually assaulted came under fierce attack, but not until the end of the year. Earlier in the year, George Will used the Obama administration's own stats to prove the one in five claim was too high, and he got ripped apart for being a rape apologist (by the way, an economist also proved it's way too high based on the government's own underreporting statistics). Will was a pariah, and it looked like it might be the beginning of the end of his long career.

But as the year went on, the 1-in-5 started to dissolve. The lead author of the principal one-in-five study, Christopher Krebs, told Emily Yoffe that it simply is not a representative statistic that can be relied upon when discussing American college women in general. The Washington Post concluded that the stat couldn't be relied on as representative. Then, at the end of the year, the Washington Post said it is "misleading to suggest that [the one in five stat] is representative of the experience of all college women." The New York Times says the stat is "flawed." And even Scott Berkowitz, head of the national advocacy group RAINN, says the 1 in 5 stat "is probably too high."

Most important, the Department of Justice said that it's not 1-in-5 college women who are sexually assaulted, it's more like 1-in 52. Naturally, folks like Tyler Kingkade (who previously wrote "It's estimated that between one-quarter and one-fifth of college women experience sexual assault . . . .") penned a column titled: "Sexual Assault Statistics Can Be Confusing, But They're Not The Point," and Sen. Claire McCaskill (who previously wrote "According to the available statistics, 19 percent of undergraduate women have been the victims of sexual assault") said: "Frankly, it is irritating that anybody would be distracted by which statistics are accurate.”

There was a mushrooming of litigation by college men accused of sex offenses -- respected lawyers were entering their appearances on behalf of young men who'd been expelled or suspended from colleges, and in suit after suit, the lawyers claimed that the young men were discriminated against because of their gender.

It was also revealed that colleges pay a lot of money to settle suits filed by men who claim they were wrongly punished for sex offenses.

The most astounding blow to rape culture excesses came on October 15, 2014, when a letter was published in the Boston Globe signed by 28 Harvard law professors -- mostly liberals -- that voiced very strong objections to the school's one-sided, feminist-inspired sexual misconduct policies. This letter was arguably the single most important statement to date on American colleges' hostility to due process when it comes to men accused of sexual misconduct. Prof. Alan Dershowitz, a titan of criminal jurisprudence, told Time Magazine "Harvard's policy was written by people who think sexual assault is so heinous a crime that even innocence is not a defense." Then, he made clear his opposition to Harvard's sexual assault policies was really "a criticism of the federal government. It’s a criticism of the Obama administration.” He added: “These rules are written to preclude a defense” for accused students.

And suddenly, even The New York Times discovered there's another side to the story. Not to be outdone by Harvard, a Yale law professor chimed in, again in the New York Times. (So, of course, Jessica Valenti suggested the Yale law professor is a rape apologist. Robby Soave responded: "People who oppose the death penalty do not sympathize with murderers. Critics of U.S. drone warfare policy are not on the side of the terrorists. Most self-identifying liberals understand this. So why do feminist liberals smear every person who dissents from their extreme, unhelpful, and legally dubious positions on preventing rape as a rape apologist?" Soave said that Valenti's piece is but "the most recent and infuriating example of this contemptible, authoritarian demonization campaign." Soave offered Valenti some sound advise: "How about this, Valenti: If you can't talk about rape without attempting to shut down the discussion about how to actually prevent rape, maybe you are the one who shouldn't talk about it.")

Law Prof. Glenn Reynolds chimed in, calling the alleged rape epidemic the "college rape hoax." Law Prof. John Banzhaf said that illegals crossing the border have more rights than college men accused of rape, echoing something this blog had previously written.

Just as astounding, Brett Sokolow, head of the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management (NCHERM), chimed in. Sokolow has done more to shape the sexual assault landscape on American college campuses than any person outside the Department of Education. Since the year 2000, NCHERM has had in excess of 3,000 college clients. No group has more effectively fought for the rights of sexual assault victims on college campuses. Yet earlier this year, even Sokolow had seen enough, and he wrote a landmark letter to his clients called "An Open Letter to Higher Education About Sexual Violence." It says what this blog has been trying to say for years, only better, and in more forceful terms. He painted a chilling picture about the hostility on American college campuses to the rights of men accused of sexual violence. The letter goes into detail about recent cases NCHERM has investigated that illustrate, beyond any question, what this blog has been saying for years: in the "hook up" culture, the evidence is often too murky to warrant charging and punishing the male accused of sexual misconduct, but that's exactly what too many schools are doing. Among many other things, the letter states that "in a lot of these cases, the campus is holding the male accountable in spite of the evidence – or the lack thereof – because they think they are supposed to, and that doing so is what OCR wants." And that in "case-after-case . . . sincere victims believe something has happened to them that evidence shows absolutely did not . . .." And: "We see complainants who genuinely believe they have been assaulted, despite overwhelming proof that it did not happen."

That's not all, in a separate letter, Mr. Sokolow cautioned colleges that when a man and a woman engage in mutually tipsy sex, the school can't single out the guy for discipline. This was a letter of immense importance that was ignored in the feminist community because it took a position some prominent feminist pundits had recently attacked when the Wall Street Journal said it.

The courts also rolled back some rape hysteria excesses. The Washington Supreme Court reversed some very bad law that put the burden of proving consent in rape cases on the accused.

The Usual Nuttiness

In 2014, we saw the usual nuttiness. We saw a battle for the ages -- naked students of Harvard's 'Patriarchal Sausage-Fest' versus Harvard's Social Justice Warriors. It was the year we learned about special penis comparison software for law enforcement. In Germany, a male student was rescued from a giant vagina statue.

The year saw the usual false rape claims made for daffy reasons, like the law school graduate who claimed her boyfriend raped her 11 times so she had an excuse for failing her bar exams.

For their part, feminists also took up critical issues that oppressed women in 2014, like the need to avoid using the word "seminal," which it is "blatantly sexist" and "perpetuate[s] inequalities or marginalization." And they protested men taking up too much room on subways. And, of course, we can't forget the statue of a sleepwalking man at Wellesley College, which they said is "a source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault." That pretty much says it all.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Sen. Claire McCaskill needs to resign: she finds it 'irritating that anybody would be distracted by' the truth about the prevalence of campus rape

Sen. Claire McCaskill was asked about the infamous statistic that one in five college women are sexually assaulted in light of the overriding evidence that it's not a reliable statistic. What's the overriding evidence?  A new DOJ study shows that the real number isn't 1 in 5, it's 1-in-52 -- that means it isn't 20 percent of all college women, it's 1.9 percent. Beyond that, the lead author of the principal one-in-five study, Christopher Krebs, recently told Emily Yoffe that it simply is not a representative statistic that can be relied upon when discussing American college women in general. Even before that, the Washington Post concluded that the stat couldn't be relied on as representative. Over the weekend, The Washington Post said it is "misleading to suggest that [the one in five stat] is representative of the experience of all college women." The New York Times says the stat is "flawed." And even Scott Berkowitz, head of the national advocacy group RAINN, says the 1 in 5 stat "is probably too high." And see this.

How did Sen. Claire McCaskill react to this overriding evidence? Did she explain that she needs to carefully consider it?  That it might actually be good news because the problem is not as severe as the White House and others have insisted?

She did not. McCaskill said this: "Frankly, it is irritating that anybody would be distracted by which statistics are accurate.”

Let us explain why this comment is so terribly inappropriate for anyone, much less someone in McCaskill's position. McCaskill is spearheading legislation in response to the supposed campus rape epidemic. It is clear that this effort is premised, in large measure, on the one in five stat (a stat that should not be relied on). Back in April, McCaskill wrote this: "According to the available statistics, 19 percent of undergraduate women have been the victims of sexual assault. Because many crimes aren't reported, though, that number is probably higher."  (Likewise, a co-sponsor of her sexual assault legislation, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, also bought into the one in five canard: "A college woman has a chance of one in five to be raped during her college career," Gillibrand wrote. Gillibrand's website recently dropped the one in five canard and it is not clear if she still buys into it.)

So can you guess what is irritating to us, Senator McCaskill? That you are pursuing legislation based, at least in part, on an unreliable stat that could hurt innocent male students. And when asked about it, you said you find it "irritating that anybody would be distracted by" the truth.

The public outcry over the one in five canard has already led to public policy solutions that are grossly unjust to presumptively innocent male students (e.g., reducing the standard of proof to preponderance of the evidence, which makes it easier to punish the innocent for rapes they didn't commit). And no doubt, McCaskill's own legislative "solution" to the phony epidemic will pile more injustice atop the existing injustice.

We've had enough policy made on the basis of lies, Senator. Exactly how unjust are the existing laws and policies promulgated as a result of the phony campus rape epidemic? Among many, many others, twenty-eight (mainly liberal) Harvard law professors have decried the policies, as have law professors at Yale, Univ. of Tennessee, and George Washington University. The American Association University Professors has criticized the "Dear Colleague" letter. Even Brett Sokolow, the head of NCHERM and the foremost advocate for rape victims on American college campuses, says colleges are treating men unfairly when it comes to sex charges.

Innocence Project guru Prof. Mark A Godsey has explained that "the risk of wrongful conviction is the highest when there’s public outcry. Most of the exonerations and wrongful convictions have occurred in rape cases."

Beyond that, McCaskill said something back in April that is downright weird even by the standards of the sexual grievance industry. She claimed that the "number is probably higher" than one in five -- because of alleged underreporting. This is how terribly uninformed she is on the subject, despite the fact she is spearheading legislation on it: the one in five stat takes underreporting into account. Yet her statement suggests she thinks that 19 percent is the percentage of REPORTED sexual assaults when, in fact, the percentage of reported sexual assaults is a tiny fraction of that.

The one in five canard, along with the "rape culture" meme, are the wicked twin sisters of the sexual grievance industry. Both need to be challenged at every turn. Because she is helping to foment a public outcry based on a phony epidemic, Claire McCaskill is unfit to serve as a United States Senator.