Thursday, November 6, 2014

Anyone who fights for the rights of students accused of sexual assault is acting out of arrogance and ingrained male privilege

Laura Dunn, executive director of an organization called SurvJustice, has it all figured out 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 -- both the guilty and the innocent -- responsible for the offense: "To put it bluntly, I think it's arrogance and ingrained male privilege . . . ."

Thank you, Ms. Dunn, for putting it bluntly. Finally, someone has explained it!

It couldn't possibly be that a few colleges, not to mention sincere people and organizations acting in good faith -- including FIRE and the American Association of University Professors -- have legitimate concerns about subjecting students accused of just one type of offense to a lower standard of proof that makes it easier not just to punish rapists but to get it wrong and punish an innocent student.

No, no, no. That couldn't possibly be it.

It couldn't possibly be that people of good will who are concerned about a campus culture that makes it too easy to wrongly expel their sons could simultaneously be concerned about a campus culture that makes it too easy for their daughters to be sexually assaulted.

You see, to properly advocate for rape victims, it is necessary to eschew dialogue, to scrap nuance, and to think in the starkest of black and whites. It is necessary to mock the mothers who started FACE; to off-handedly posit that 28 Harvard law professors who voiced strong objections to the school's one-sided sexual misconduct policies have a "disconnect" from reality and a "one dimensional focus on the rights of the individual accused"; to declare that keeping an open mind about a rape accusation is "rape apology"; and to assume that anyone who speaks out for the rights of the accused is a misogynist who must be branded a "victim blamer," demonized, and reduced to vile caricature.

To put it bluntly.