The Rebellion Against ‘Rape Culture’ Activism

The questionable assumptions of campus “rape culture” activists are finally receiving mainstream attention.

In National Review, Heather Mac Donald noted the irony behind campus hearings on sexual assault:

The campus sexual-assault tribunal also has a performative aspect: It dramatizes the patriarchy before a sympathetic audience of adults. “Our task is to give voice to the daily forms of violence we too often accept as inevitable,” a Harvard graduate student recently told the New York Times, describing her work protesting Harvard’s sexual-assault policies. The campus sexual revolution began with students’ demand to be free of any intrusive parietal oversight from college officials; now, in a bizarre turnaround, the children of that revolution want colleges to actually write rules for sex and police their enforcement.

Similarly, Megan McArdle questioned the logic of these hearings:

No one accused of a serious crime should have his fate in the hands of a single investigator with a mandate to err on the side of believing the people who are testifying against him. In fact, colleges shouldn’t be handling this sort of thing at all. If a college wouldn’t conduct a murder trial, it shouldn’t be conducting rape trials, either. We certainly shouldn’t press them to punish these crimes because we can’t get a conviction in a court of law, as it sometimes seems is happening.

Wendy Kaminer criticized the Obama administration for siding with those who would deny due process to students accused of rape:

“Believe the victims.” Coming from feminists protesting “rape culture,” it’s understandable (however misguided.) Coming from school administrators and the Obama administration, even in modified form, it’s inexcusable. Government officials, as well as campus administrators, should care about the respective interests and rights of self-identified victims and alleged offenders in equal measure. They should care about fairness for all.

Daniel Henninger warned of the consequences of the Obama administration’s Title IX investigations at 55 colleges:

Make no mistake, universities under constant pressure from the Obama administration and the most driven members of their “communities” will comply and define due process downward. If the liability choice falls between the lawyer brigades at the Holder Justice Department or some 19-year-old student or an assistant professor who didn’t post the course’s “trigger warning,” guess who will get tossed to the Marcusian mobs at Harvard and Vassar?

And frequent Minding the Campus contributor Cathy Young suggested an alternative to the Obama administration’s guidelines:

A far better solution would be to draw a clear line between forced sex (by violence, threats or incapacitation) and unwanted sex due to alcohol-impaired judgment, miscommunication or verbal pressure. For the former, victims should be encouraged to seek real justice: a rapist deserves prison, not expulsion from college. For the latter, the answer is to promote mutual responsible behavior, not female victimhood.


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