Sex

We Literally Can't Afford to Let the Title IX Inquisition Continue

'Feminism devouring itself'

|

Northwestern
Madcoverboy

Title IX investigators let Northwestern University Professor Laura Kipnis off the hook after determining that her essay in The Chronicle Review criticizing anti-sex paranoia on campus was neither retaliatory nor likely to have a chilling effect on future Title IX complaints. This is a welcome result—as I wrote last week, a finding in favor the students who had filed the complaint would essentially establish that a discussion of Title IX was in fact a violation of Title IX if any party objected to the tone of that discussion.

The students have 10 days to appeal the verdict of the independent law firm that handled the complaints. It's not clear if they will; they told The Huffington Post that their main objection to The Chronicle Review article was not ideological, but rather, a disagreement about the facts of a different Title IX case that Kipnis wrote about. One of those details was indeed corrected in the body of the article, so perhaps the students are satisfied. They actually agreed with Kipnis that some facets of the investigation seemed unfriendly to her basic rights. In any case, Title IX should not serve as a vehicle for students to air grievances with their professors. The law's original intention was merely to protect women from gender-based discrimination; broadening it to include the kinds of complaints the students filed against Kipnis is beyond farcical.

Kipnis remains accused of violating university policies barring retaliation. This charge, like the accusations in the student complaints, should be set aside. There was nothing in Kipnis's articles that could reasonably be construed as retaliatory. If merely stating what happened to a person in a Title IX case amounts to retaliation—under either Title IX or other university provisions—then no professor will dare to speak out against Title IX. Indeed, these investigations likely have already had a significant chilling effect on criticisms of sexual harassment policy.

Kipnis's case, at least, is rallying a lot of people to the cause of Title IX sanity. In Jezebel, Natasha Vargas-Cooper writes:

The Title IX creep that's happening to Kipnis doesn't just stop with her. Kipnis was allowed to bring a 'support person' , who was not allowed to speak, to her meeting with the Title IX investigators. A Title IX complaint was then filed against the support person. Certainly, such blithe use of a provision to expand the sphere of victimhood seems counter productive to the goal of protecting those who were directly victimized by sexual misconduct or discrimination.

For the rest of the insane and increasingly paradoxical twists to Kipnis' ordeal (which is still ongoing), including the Title IX investigators asking Kipnis if she would like to file her own retaliation claim against the students, read her dispatch here. It is a stunning example of feminism devouring itself.

Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds, who quotes me in his latest USA Today column, writes:

Title IX, as its simple language provides, was intended to open up colleges to women, not to empower a Stalinist bureaucracy to torment people who don't toe the feminist line. Congress needs to haul some Department of Education bureaucrats up for hearings, then rewrite Title IX to make clear that it doesn't grant the kind of sweeping powers over academic expression that educrats have seized. Despite what they might think at the Department of Education, 1984 was written as a cautionary tale — not an instruction manual.

The prevailing interpretation of Title IX is a problem—not merely for freethinkers and contrarians, but for the basic operations of the university and for the bank accounts of today's college students. Everyone can be accused of Title IX retaliation, and everyone can accuse everyone else of Title IX retaliation. The university will hire loads more bureaucrats to deal with the complaints, the lawyers will collect their checks, and tuition prices will continue to soar.

Advertisement

NEXT: Watch: Scott Shackford Explains the PATRIOT Act Debate on BBC Persian

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Yeah, right. Let’s have our fearless congress critters to repeal Title IX and replace it with something that is not so suspect to abuse. Let’s have them end the drug war while we’re at it, I’m sure they’re already on it.

    And I’d like a Dyson Sphere of my very own so I can get the fuck off this rock.

    All of those things are going to happen quickly, I’m sure, because libertarian moment.

    1. This morning I linked to a Wapo editorial written by a Dem Senator. His proposal was that climate deniers should be prosecuted much like tobacco companies under RICO. For those that don’t remember, RICO was intended as a weapon against organized crime like the Gambino crime family. It was later used against Drexel to destroy a investment banking firm and Michael Milken.

      Every law, no matter how intended, will be expanded and used as a weapon against, well, everyone and anyone.

      1. Every tax, every regulation comes with it an army of bureaucrats and behind that an army (with guns) of enforcers.

        He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

        1. Why so harsh on good George III? He was just trying to fight unemployment.
          /modern statist.

          1. We need a safe space on campus, where pre-op Hessians can hide from Title IX process servers

      2. The Democratic party is rife with totalitarian leftists, and they’re hell bent on moving even further left. They basically want to outlaw free speech and force everyone to agree with them, or else.

        1. You sound like you’re getting ready for the camps.

          1. Nah. I’m getting ready to make a spectacular and ultimately futile gesture of resistance when they come to take me to the camps.

            Put it this way: I won’t survive, but I doubt I’ll be the only one who won’t survive.

            1. Everybody’s got to die sometime, Red

            2. I’m getting ready to make a spectacular and ultimately futile gesture of resistance

              +1 Eat Me

              1. +1 Eat Me

                Remember what happened to the giant space roach that took someone up on that?

        2. And, Repubs are better? NSA spying, WoD, giving weapons to every “rebel” group in the ME?

          We’ve got clowns to the left and jokers to the right.

          1. I have the sudden urge to cut a cop’s ear and dance a little jig.

              1. Damn, We just found Rand’s campaign theme song.

                1. Gary Johnson was already using it.

          2. Who said that Republicans are better? Wasn’t me. At times, they’re better on economic issues. That being said, the democrats have went completely insane.

          3. Frankly, yes the Repubs are better. This is a sitting Senator who wants to lock people up for climate change badthink. To find equal derp on the right you would be relegated to obscure corners of the bogosphere. The Dems support those programs also, but even if they didn’t it’s hardly comparable. What the Senator is proposing is bat shit crazy beyond anything we currently have.

          4. The Republicans don’t control the media, academia, and the entertainment world.

      3. “Every law, no matter how intended, will be expanded and used as a weapon against, well, everyone and anyone.”

        Well, in all fairness, who could have seen that coming?

      4. Which senator was it? This is pretty big shit here. I mean, I knew some dipshit hack at Gawker wanted to do the same thing, and got the applause of the commenters, but a senator? Kinda wanna know who. But really don’t want to actually go to the Wapo website myself.

        1. Sheldon Whitehouse- RI. What an embarrassment to that state, which was formed from the colony my ancestor founded because of a difference of opinion.

  2. So Natasha Vargas-Cooper is a rape apologist? Get her, Twitter SJWs!

    1. Grab its leg!

      1. Whatever her crimes, we do need to thank Jackie for giving us that.

  3. Any movement defined by its adherents jockeying with each other over matters of purity and loyalty is inevitably going to consume itself. The greatest enemy is always on the inside.

    1. True. Although perhaps we libertarians should not throw stones, you cosmo!

      1. The reason why the libertarian movement will survive is because of it’s very nature, it can never get anywhere close to any type of conformity. You can’t throw people out because they won’t agree on every issue, because that would require throwing everyone out. We’ve basically agreed to disagree. Of course there are some core issues that almost all libertarians are going to agree on, but outside of those core issues, we’re a pretty diverse group.

        On the other hand, the SJW movement demands cult like agreement on even the most outrageous narratives, and this is why it’s doomed to failure, or at least will be a very small, if very vocal movement. But they will lose the power that they are now enjoying because they’re going to chase off everyone except for the most hardcore and hateful loons.

        1. Of course there are some core issues that almost all libertarians are going to agree on, but outside of those core issues, we’re a pretty diverse group.

          Yes. See the infamous and ongoing Pizza Wars.

          I was mostly kidding. The other reason the libertarian movement will survive is that folks are generally willing to admit when someone they don’t like has made a good point, regardless of the source. With the SJWs, arguments don’t matter. If you’re a “bad” person, then you’re out forever. And all it takes is one bad statement, like Ms. Kipnis here, to get kicked out forever.

          1. Okay, does your point apply to Tony or shriek?

            Even Warty?

            1. Okay, does your point apply to Tony or shriek?

              It happens, occasionally.

      2. You’ll notice the universal qualifier contained in the first two words of my post.

        1. I was just using it as an excuse to make a cosmo joke.

    2. But therein lies the dilemma for modern feminism. The entire movement is based on having a target to vilify, but what happens when the only people who will play along are in the club too?

    3. Any movement defined by its adherents jockeying with each other over matters of purity and loyalty

      I sore what you did there.

  4. The only reason Kipnis even bothered to complain about this is because SHE was in the crosshairs.

    She would be gleefully cheering on the due process-free “judicial” system of the college administration if they were shanking a conservative. The thing I find most hilarious is that she wrote the original article to challenge the idea that feminists are unable to debate contentious issues without resorting to victimhood and instead ended up proving the opposite.

    Reap what you sow.

    1. Hey, maybe she learned something from all this. See seems pretty sharp, hopefully she did. I’m pretty sure she’s going to look at Title IX askance now, at least.

      1. Ooohhh, Epi…Really O/T, but are yo aware that ATHF is winding down this Summer*?

        *or, is it a ruse?

        1. I was not aware of that. I’ve actually been really bad over the last few years about watching, because my TiVo records by show name, and they keep changing the name of the show each season now, so my One Pass ceases working. And I’d completely veg out to it streaming but Netflix only has seasons 1 and 2, in which I have seen every episode about 50 times.

          I’m hoping they release more seasons on Netflix.

          1. Well, it looks like Adult Swim just inked a deal with Hulu, so they may get everything.
            http://www.theverge.com/2015/4…..wim-stream

            And, dammit with the name changes! It’s hard to tell if they’re phoning it in, or trying to stay fresh, or just fuckin’ with us. Or, all three (‘Cause, why not?)

  5. Universities should give even more power to fascist neo-feminist lynch mobs. Why go halfway?

  6. So Title IX is killing the University? Good. Next grades K-12.

  7. Jimmy Swaggart looks like Jon Voight in heavy makeup.

  8. Lion. Tow the Feminist lion.

    1. A “lion toe” as it were.

      1. I literally can’t understand how lions are involved here.

        1. My guess is it’s the title of a children’s book about a feminist lion named Tow

  9. Literally?

  10. “Title IX investigators let Northwestern University Professor Laura Kipnis off the hook after determining that her essay in The Chronicle Review criticizing anti-sex paranoia on campus was neither retaliatory nor likely to have a chilling effect on future Title IX complaints.”

    So when will they begin the investigation into whether the Title IX investigation was retaliatory or likely to have a chilling effect on future critics of Title IX?

  11. There is no way this insanity can continue. Basically, this crap is going to destroy universities ability to remain a place that attracts people to study and work there. You have to wonder how much damage the administrations of these institutions will accept before they try to stop it.

    1. It’s pretty much the Salem Witch Trials, without the noose. Once the girls point their fingers at the wrong people, some level of sanity will be restored.

      1. Well, they are so drunk on power right now having been able to virtually shut down debate and watch administrators of large institutions basically prostrate themselves in fear and and give in to any demands that they make, that there in way they are not going attack the wrong people. It’s not a question of if, but of when.

        1. As soon as a Senator’s kid or a big Dem donor’s kid gets nabbed for this, and dragged before the Kangaroos, it ends very quietly, as the SJWs get driven off of the bridge and left to drown.

    2. What makes you think this is not intentional? You WILL hold the Current Approved Thought, or you will be denounced and jailed.

  12. “The students have 10 days to appeal the verdict…”

    Jesus Christ, don’t these “kids” need to, oh, I don’t know, read an occasional book for class or study for a goddam test? Do they have nothing else to do but go to court?

    1. Occasionally they carry mattresses.

      1. but most of the time someone carries the mattress for them. Life is hard.

  13. The Title IX creep that’s happening to Kipnis doesn’t just stop with her. Kipnis was allowed to bring a ‘support person’ , who was not allowed to speak, to her meeting with the Title IX investigators. A Title IX complaint was then filed against the support person. Certainly, such blithe use of a provision to expand the sphere of victimhood seems counter productive to the goal of protecting those who were directly victimized by sexual misconduct or discrimination.

    For the rest of the insane and increasingly paradoxical twists to Kipnis’ ordeal (which is still ongoing), including the Title IX investigators asking Kipnis if she would like to file her own retaliation claim against the students, read her dispatch here. It is a stunning example of feminism devouring itself.

    Unlike some others here, I’m not a regular Jezebel reader. Is this another case of the architects of the levers to power being indignant that those levers aren’t being used in the ways they intended?

    1. Here, read it in NRO, if that would nauseate you less.

  14. So how much are these Title IX investigations and the additional administrative staff costing universities? And how does that compare to the federal grants they receive? At what point does it become a viable choice for a private university to reject federal funding in order to escape onerous regulation?

  15. The Title IX creep

    By the way, when they say “Title IX creep”, are they referring to Sulkowicz?

  16. The prevailing interpretation of Title IX is a problem?not merely for freethinkers and contrarians, but for the basic operations of the university and for the bank accounts of today’s college students.

    No, Title IX is a problem, as is federal funding of higher education. Why on earth would colleges need “opening up” to women (Reynolds’ choice of words), when women make up the majority of the admitted student bodies? The fact is that, once you decide that the federal government has any business enforcing “gender equity” on campus (particularly in favor or one constituency), you’ve essentially conceded the social justice cadres’ point. If you think that injustice is being done, the cost of correcting that injustice isn’t something that should be a deterrent to rectifying it. And it’s hard to argue that all the rules protecting those pursuing justice shouldn’t be applied to those pursuing justice here.

  17. “The prevailing interpretation of Title IX is a problem”

    The ‘interpretation’ is the problem?

    How about “the law is a problem”.

    Repeal Title IX

    1. You silly, silly man. Laws don’t get repealed. EVAH

      1. That’s cause if it was repealed, wiminz folk would start dying in the streets by the millions, the next day. Just like they were the day before this law was passed.

        Next thing I know you’ll be talking about repealing Obamacare.

  18. Well, I see no reason why “we” should rush to ramparts to save Title IX or protect universities or anyone associated with them from the ravages of Title IX.

    If “we” can’t afford anything, its to spend our microscopic social and political capital rescuing our enemies (the hordes of SJWs and the many bureaucrats who are tormenting them) from themselves.

    Let feminism consume itself. Its toxic. Let universities stagger and fall under the weight of their inbred bureaucracies and a hail of lawsuits. If these events come to pass, society will be better off, and with significant impairments on liberty removed.

    1. Yep. Let the left fix this, they’re the ones who are in need of a major life lesson.

  19. Anything that bankrupts universities/causes the higher education bubble to burst is probably a good thing. Of course, I say that having seen the mortgage bubble burst and then all kinds of horrible illegal shit done to save the banks, and realizing that almost assuredly equally horrible illegal shit will be done to try and save the universities.

    Still, something has to give. I guess sooner is better than later.

    1. Still, something has to give.

      As always, it will be your mom.

    2. Banks and universities aren’t the same. A bank’s net worth can literally become negative tomorrow if a class of debt instruments it holds are deemed junk (which is what happened in 2007/08).

      Universities have sometimes-enormous trusts with developed land, diversified investment portfolios and valuable intellectual property, along with tens if not hundreds of thousands of alumni and other supporters, etc. The smaller colleges may feel real financial pressure occasionally but the likes of UVa? Columbia? Northwestern? That will take an absolute financial cataclysm that will bankrupt most of society along with them. They were barely affected by the last recession; the public universities fretted about losing state funding but even that was not a big threat

  20. It is a stunning example of feminism devouring itself.

    If only.

    1. Actual feminists aren’t annoying like these Title IX abusers — they’re independent and confident in their abilities, not needing to rely on the State or university to protect their emotions or validate their “abuse”. These faux feminists’ antics will result in the destruction of decades of real progress towards economic and political equality when they try to ruin one person’s life or career too many.

  21. We could probably find out where Socrates is buried by listening for the hum. He’s gotta be spinning at 50,000 RPM by now.

  22. Feminism is eating itself out (heh, heh). Isn’t that the dream? Isn’t that the goal?

  23. Can I get a “Hell Yeah”?
    Can I get an “Amen!”?

  24. My feminist wife thinks this Title IX abuse and “rape culture” thing is also ruining feminism. The backlash against Title IX — and it will come — will be severe and these “feminists” who believe in the paternalism of college or state to “protect” them will only have themselves to blame (they won’t be self aware enough to do so, however).

  25. Kipnis is the Leftist HACK who once described Condi Rice as Bush’s “Stepford wife”.
    She’s been part of the problem for decades…and now she gets a small taste of the hell that the Left has been spewing on the world.
    Where was Kipnis when Lefties were destroying Duke Lacrosse players?
    Where was Kipnis when Lefties were giving awards to mattress-girl for hurling false rape accusations?
    Now she comes to us asking for help? expressing outrage?
    Reaction #1: FUCK YOU, Kipnis.
    Reaction #2: WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN?
    Reaction #3: Now that you’ve had a small taste of what we’ve endured for years, what are you going to do? Are you going to stand up for the Left’s next target of destruction?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.