Despite all the support from nationally renowned legal scholars, despite an incredible backlash last year, the sexual grievance machine is in high gear, running roughshod over the rights of our sons. There’s no slowing it, despite the efforts of so many. I asked myself how this can be, and my conclusion is going to anger some people.
The war on campus rape may be the first witch-hunt in history where the members of the group under attack don’t care that they are in the cross-hairs of a lunatic fringe. Since they won’t fight back, it’s hopeless to think the tide can be rolled back without them.
The sexual grievance lobby has done everything it can think of to assure that a woman’s cry of rape is tantamount to a finding of guilt, the evidence be damned, yet the boys at risk of being wrongly accused sit meekly on the sidelines–too ashamed, too emasculated even to protest, much less mount a vibrant defense. In fact, many of them march in lockstep with their moral superiors–the campus rape crusaders (you know, kids and peer pressure and all)–who insist that ours is a “rape culture,” that campus rape isn’t just a “thing” but an epidemic, that “the rates of false accusation pale — indeed, pale to the point of transparency!,” and that masculinity itself needs to be reprogrammed.
The boys act like deer caught in the headlights as United States senators, the mainstream news media, and “experts” purporting to research the prevalence of rape treat every accusation of rape as a fact without bothering to consider the other side of the story, much less subject it to scrutiny or test it against competing claims of innocence. (Can you say “Jackie”? How about “Emma Sulkowicz”?) And when someone dares to air the “he” side of a “he said-she said” rape claim, the sexual grievance lobby has a conniption. Yet college boys don’t say a word about it. When Prof. KC Johnson went to Ohio University to talk about due process for those accused of sexual assault, he was vilified by extremist loons, and there wasn’t any counter-demonstration to support his message.
The only ones who fight back are the ones who’ve already been expelled, or their mothers–God bless FACE–but that won’t cut it.
The sad part is that if the boys bothered to engage themselves in the issue–if they’d bother to speak up–they’d have ample ammunition to attack the “rape culture” idiocy.
First, some of the brightest, most progressive minds in America have spoken out against the injustices to college men, yet the boys themselves sit back and let the scholars do not just theheavy lifting but all the lifting. One of the more chilling indictments of the current system was lodged by a guru of the sexual grievance lobby, none other than Brett Sokolow, head of the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management (NCHERM). 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, last year, even Brett Sokolow painted a chilling picture about the hostility on American college campuses to the rights of men accused of sexual violence. Sokolow said that 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. Sokolow said 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: “We see complainants who genuinely believe they have been assaulted, despite overwhelming proof that it did not happen.” Worse, Sokolow suggested that mental health issues play a role in “case after case” of wrongful claims: “We fear for the mental health issues impacting many students, but in particular for those whose reality contact issues manifest in sexual situations they can’t handle and campuses can’t remedy. We hate even more that another victim-blaming trope – victim mental health – continues to have legs, but how do you not question the reality contact where case-after-case involves sincere victims who believe something has happened to them that evidence shows absolutely did not?” (Emphasis added.)
Second, the “rape culture” myth is built on absurdities that are downright laughable–college guys are reduced to vile caricature because of it, and if they wanted to take issue with it, this blog, and a lot of better sources than this, have been giving them all the ammunition they need for years. Start with the sexual grievance lobby’s own internal inconsistencies–their silly “one-in-five” number is incredibly inflated when their numbers are crunched against their own almost-as-silly underreporting number. Hell, the Department of Justice recently said that it’s not 1-in-5 college women who are sexually assaulted, it’s more like 1-in 52 or fewer, perhaps a lot fewer. RAINN itself, 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.” 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.” Want to know why there’s a “rape epidemic” on campus? One reason is because almost half of all college women mistake consent for rape. Don’t believe me? A full 44 percent of college women think that when a woman gives a guy a “nod in agreement,” that isn’t enough for consent. Seriously. Only 51 percent–the barest of majorities–think it is. Another study showed that “rape” can be cut in half, mainly by teaching women to say “no,” which means it probably wasn’t rape in the first place. Moreover, a whopping 56 percent of women think it’s better that innocent young men be punished for offenses they didn’t commit than to allow a guilty man to go free. (I guess they never heard of Blackstone’s formulation.)
Third, there are the idiotic things the sexual grievance lobby says. 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. Caroline Heldman, a professor at Occidental College, said this about lawsuits 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.” Elisabeth Dee, who helped organize a mattress-carrying anti-sexual assault demonstration at Stanford, summed up the prevailing thought. She called on the school to reduce the standard of proof required to find someone guilty of sexual assault below 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.” Ezra Klein said its’ “necessary” that “colleges will fill with cases in which campus boards convict young men (and, occasionally, young women) of sexual assault for genuinely ambiguous situations.”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.”
What, on earth, does it take to light a fire under college men? The protests of law school professors and all the rest can’t do it if the victims don’t care, and at present, the victims don’t care.
Before you cry “unfair,” I know there are college guys who are trying to fight back. Some of them write to us. They are to be commended, and this post isn’t about them. Unfortunately, they are in the distinct minority.
It’s time to admit that the battle is over because it can’t possibly be won when the victim doesn’t even know he’s a victim. It’s time to move on to other battlefields, and other victims–victims who actually give a damn that their scrota are marked with a bulls-eye.
[Ed. note: this post originally appeared at COTWA and is reprinted with permission.]