Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Are Calls for Due Process Just Rape Culture Propaganda?

An article in the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities says "yes."

Are college students and professors who demand increased due process protections for students accused of sexual misconduct really just supporting rape culture on their campuses? An article published last month in the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities last month says "yes."

In "Due Process Demands As Propaganda: The Rhetoric of Title IX Opposition," Boston-based lawyer Annaleigh E. Curtis argues that when professors and legal observers advocate for increased due process protections for students accused of sexual assault in campus investigations "such demands function as political rhetoric, specifically as a sort of propaganda."

In the piece, Curtis examines a 2014 Boston Globe op-ed, written collaboratively by 28 Harvard law professors, including Alan Dershowitz and Jeannie Suk. "As teachers responsible for educating our students about due process of law, the substantive law governing discrimination and violence," the professors wrote, "we find the new sexual harassment policy inconsistent with many of the most basic principles we teach." They were responding to requirements imposed by the federal law forbidding sex discrimination by colleges and universities, Title IX, which forces colleges and universities to comply with relatively lax "preponderance of the evidence" standards for sexual assault adjudication—or else risk loss of funding.

Dershowitz and Co. worry that the university administrators overseeing adjudication, Title IX Compliance Offices, cannot be construed as impartial, and that accused students who can't afford legal help are left in the lurch. The professors also fear that since all aspects of the adjudication process are completed by the same office, appeals are typically processed through the same people who conducted the initial investigation. In comparison with the more rigorous model of the American judicial system, Harvard's process—like other schools around the country—is problematic.

Curtis, though, does not buy their arguments. She implies that the professors use clever justifications to cover more sinister beliefs: "Due process demands tend to involve a common set of elements: cursory expression of concern about the problem of harassment and assault on campus, claims by the speaker to some knowledge about the process of campus adjudications (and thus, authority to speak), and some purported procedural failings."

Curtis then goes on to employ a rather expansive definition of propaganda that might differ from the average person's understanding: "We are all familiar with the idea of propaganda, whether alarming examples from the Third Reich or the more benign stuff of anti-smoking campaigns. However, propaganda is not limited to a set of narrowly circumscribed instances of government speech...Each of us engages in propagandistic speech at some point in our lives, probably with extreme regularity."

She claims that "language and society have developed in tandem in ways that ultimately harm and exclude victims of sexual assault while also making it harder to achieve a genuinely fair process for all involved." She asserts that due process demands are rooted in a pervasive rape culture, and that they "serve to exclude victims and their advocates from having a voice in the discussion by casting them as already being in control of the process...demanding an unfair adjudication...and benefiting from the anti-male bias of Universities (as several suits brought by accused students suggest)."

Curtis is right––female victims are often treated unfairly. They're regularly dragged through the mud, depicted as asking for it or too slutty, or suspected of lying. In this context, issues with the process sometimes distract from substantive problems, and undermine the victim's ability to be taken seriously, as Curtis rightly describes. Many women fear retaliation from assailants, and have low confidence that campus assault investigations will be fair in the first place.

But these awful aspects of our culture should be addressed on their own. Haphazardly eroding the rights of the accused will swing the pendulum too far in the other direction, creating an even more severely biased process. This isn't how our legal system currently works outside of college campuses, and it's not how it should work. Advocacy for due process protections is not a form of victim-blaming propaganda—it is a core tenet of the American legal system.

Photo Credit: Catalin205 | Dreamstime

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.

  • colorblindkid||

    Three of our current Supreme Court Justices went to Yale. The fact that the school is even having this debate is quite terrifying.

  • Quixote||

    This comment appears to be propaganda, couched in rhetorical terms ("terrifying") designed to appeal to the reader's emotions, and relying on the fallacy of association. We must end the scourge of "due process" litigation that has delayed the firm implementation of justice, in some instances for years. Fortunately, progress is being made in this direction in New York, where new legal limits on so-called "free speech" can now be retroactively applied to criminal defendants who engage in inappropriately deadpan "parody." See the documentation of our nation's leading criminal "satire" case at:

    https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  • Quixote||

    Yes indeed, and this one also appears to be propaganda, based on an equally direct appeal to the reader's emotions ("it was all true and has totally changed my life"). Beware the "First Amendment dissent" of a single, isolated judge in our nation's leading criminal "satire" case, and beware an "online career" that ends up in the dungeons of the American penitentiary system.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    Hmmm... I support due process for people accused of murder, armed robbery, assault, etc.

    Believe it or not, it's not because I feel such blatant and brutal violations of the NAP are acceptable or worthy of being supported, but because I think the accused have rights and we can't always trust authorities to play fair and never seek to prosecute innocents. Matter of fact, you can rarely trust those people to behave ethically and fairly, so you damn well better put the burden of proof on them, presume innocence, and allow the accused the opportunity of a defense!

    Christ, what assholes these campus chumps are! They need to move to North Korea. They will fit right in.

  • colorblindkid||

    They do think Otto Warmbier deserved to be tortured to death because of what some unrelated white dudes did a few centuries ago, after all.

  • Teddy Pump||

    Alas, U are right & that is terrifying also!!!

  • The Last American Hero||

    Or Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, or a country that has actual rape culture - meaning places where rape is accepted/tolerated rather than treated as a crime second only to murder.

  • MarkLastname||

    Actually those comments tried punish rape quite brutally, both for the suspect and the accuser.

    There's really no such thing as a rape culture. No country where guys get high fives for raping women. Whatever it is, a country where rapist and victim a like are executed is not a country that encourages rape.

  • MarkLastname||

    *countries that; not comments tried,

  • Azathoth!!||

    A country where the victims are executed along with rapists is a country where rapists can rape with impunity.

    Who will tell knowing what their fate will be? --if they are proved right!

    And the shame on the family for having a daughter that could be raped.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Curtis is right––female victims are often treated unfairly.

    Male victims of false claims are always treated unfairly.

  • colorblindkid||

    I know this is heresy, but I believe being publicly and falsely accused of rape can be just as damaging to one's psyche and mental state as actually being raped. It unquestionably destroys lives.

  • colorblindkid||

    The psychological effects are no different than those of being raped. The feeling of having absolutely no power or control. The constant questioning if you did something wrong or could have done something differently. The feeling that the system and society at large betrayed you...

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    That would be an interesting study. The impact of false accusations of crimes on the accused. You could do it generally or in regards to false rape accusations.

  • colorblindkid||

    There are several anecdotal stories of kids killing themselves shortly after being falsely accused. Of course, anecdotal incidents don't make a trend, but that doesn't stop the left from using isolated anecdotes to push whatever cause is cool at the time.

  • GamerFromJump||

    Of course, to feminists, there is no subject pool. To be accused is to be guilty; end of story.

  • mpercy||

    I don't think you have to be accused. Being male is sufficient to being guilty, in their eyes. "All sex is rape" and all that.

  • Finrod||

    Or as one infamous SJW put it: "PIV is always rape, okay?"

    (PIV in their terminology is "penis in vagina".)

  • Incredulous||

    This is so true. In fact, it's probably worse. As a victim of rape, you don't lose your freedom or your reputation and are viewed as a sympathetic victim. You don't lose your job or relationships. As a victim of a false rape accusation, you lose your reputation and often lost your job and relationships. And you often lose your freedom. You are viewed with scorn not sympathy. That is why this movement is so abominably evil. In the name of reducing sexual assault, these cretins are committing far worse offenses. They are worse than rapists. They are literally destroying lives. Of course, the damage to society extends even farther. They have criminalized normal sexual activity and poisoned relationships. They have poisoned our justice system.

  • MarkLastname||

    Also, if you actually get convicted of rape, you will as likely as not be actually raped while in prison.

  • freedomlover||

    So are accusations of pedophilia. BTDT. Absolutely false

    The incident was not more than one child kicking another in the ass at a neighborhood baseball game and I was not even involved. In fact, I wasn't aware it had happened. But, that turned into a which hunt and my name came up.

    I was later cleared when the truth came out. But the neighbors who heard about the incident treated me like a leper after that.

    There are consequences for false accusations. Smoke, fire, fears and assumptions.

  • colorblindkid||

    Same thing with accusations of racism or homophobia. You can lose your job and family

  • Dillinger||

    Yes. Always.

  • Paul E||

    Lately, I've noticed that the writers at Reason are starting to parrot left wing progressive propaganda. Can't recall a single time a woman has been accused of "asking for it" or "being slutty" after they were raped. Of course, now that any consensual sex can later be redefined as non-consensual any attempt to show that the woman was not only a willing participant but the instigator and not a victim will be called by left wing parrots as "victim blaming." It's just sad to see a website that is purports to use you know... REASON... taking their cues from the militant feminists.

  • freedomlover||

    Paraphrasing Merle Haggard: "It's all in the movies".

  • Trigger Warning||

    If Mango replaces Soave with someone as bad as, or worse, than Soave, after shitcanning Soave for being an obnoxious woke Millennial semen stain, I will have a sad.

  • Teddy Pump||

    BINGO-BANGO-BONGO!!!!

  • BearOdinson||

    So disagreement with Curtis equals "propaganda". So next step is to not permit differences of opinion on this issue anywhere on campus as it would be "hate speech".

    This is the same crowd that defines ALL penetrative sex as rape.

  • Rat on a train||

    Any cishetero male sex, including jacking in the privacy of your basement, is rape to them.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    As hot as it is to try to qualify my masturbating as self-rape, I just don't know if it logically follows.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Wat the hell has logic got to do with it?

  • Dillinger||

    totally depends on whether you tried to stop yourself along the way...

  • freedomlover||

    Just remember: No means no!

  • MarkLastname||

    Look up John Stoltenberg. He's a fairly respected gender studies writer who believes erections are inherently violent. He argues men are morally obligated to go through life entirely flaccid. Not surprisingly he was once married to Andrea Dworkin.

  • Dillinger||

    >>> He argues men are morally obligated to go through life entirely flaccid

    a "four minutes w/ my girlfriend" challenge.

  • Rat on a train||

    All is well as long as you seriously contemplate the Dispositon Matrix before acting.

  • Dillinger||

    >>>really just supporting rape culture on their campuses?

    No. Don't be stupid.

  • timbo||

    In what region of the country would one find the rape culture? Is this a community or area of the country with its own customs and favorite foods? Do they get together and celebrate certain days of the year with mass family gatherings and cookouts?

    Is this what the holidays are like at the Clinton's perhaps?

  • The Last American Hero||

    Nowhere, outside of the prison system - government FTW!

  • Zeb||

    Also (and depending on exactly how you define rape, I guess), certain insular religious communities where girls are married young or marital rape is tolerated.

    But the notion that the broader American culture is a "rape culture" is absurd.

  • Brandybuck||

    This is precisely why I hate the term "rape culture". There is no such thing as a rape culture in this country. I can't speak for every country, but it simply no culture in this nation, in this continent, that condones rape.

    Sexist culture, sure. Misogynist culture, sure. But not rape culture. It may make the progressives all warm and sticky to use the term "rape culture", but it's a hyperbole that exacerbates the real problems that exist. It's difficult to shed ourselves of the real misogynist cultures that exist so long as we focus on a non-existent rape culture.

  • ||

    It's difficult to shed ourselves of the real misogynist cultures that exist so long as we focus on a non-existent rape culture.

    And to a politician, there's really no downside to that situation.

  • JuanQPublic||

    This.

    This is the crux of the problem. People can engage in public hysteria all they want, but when politicians pad their political security by leveraging that hysteria to their advantage is when lives actually do get trampled on. It's one of the biggest threats to liberty.

  • timbo||

    And none of these things are cultures. There are individuals in the world that may be sexist or some other -ists.

    That is the extent to which the loons can assign identity to a broad group, not a group that is in concert which each other.

    Its all nonsense and trying to redefine terms and sayings that already exist. That's when you know you are dealing with a scam - when definitions start changing.

  • cc2||

    Our culture is neither misogynistic nor sexist. Most men are gentlemen. Excluding rap lyrics, even pop music talks only of loving the girl, would do anything for the girl, would take a grenade for ya. Families try to work out who will stay home with the kids and most of the time the woman decides she wants to do that--it is not forced on her. All the crap about getting paid 77c/dollar is totally fake news--women avoid the high paying jobs as either too hot, hard, dangerous or too much travel. They stay home for the kids sometimes for 10 or 20 yrs--that puts a crimp in getting promotions. Feminists think men merely existing and admiring women is sexist.

  • Teddy Pump||

    The Rape Culture is simply anywhere young privileged white males gather!!

  • freedomlover||

    You're confusing political families of course. I'm sure you're thinking of the Kennedy's.

  • John C. Randolph||

    In what region of the country would one find the rape culture?

    Last I heard, you can find it in Washington, D.C.

    -jcr

  • Citizen X - #6||

    STEVE SMITH ACTIVELY SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGE RAPE CULTURE. JUST BEING HONEST.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    STEVE SMITH DOESN'T BELIEVE IN RAPE. STEVE SMITH JUST THINKS IT'S PART OF LIVING.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    STEVE SMITH RAPE LIKE OTHER HOMINIDS BREATHE - CONTINUOUSLY AND WITHOUT CONSCIOUS THOUGHT.

  • BYODB||


    She claims that "language and society have developed in tandem in ways that ultimately harm and exclude victims of sexual assault while also making it harder to achieve a genuinely fair process for all involved." She asserts that due process demands are rooted in a pervasive rape culture, and that they "serve to exclude victims and their advocates from having a voice in the discussion by casting them as already being in control of the process...demanding an unfair adjudication...and benefiting from the anti-male bias of Universities (as several suits brought by accused students suggest)."


    Look, lets be honest here.


    Rape is a 'he said, she said' crime the vast majority of the time. How about this: Rape shouldn't be a crime in the first place. Lets leave it at 'assault', since 'violent rape' is an easier standard since most people don't enjoy being punched out before sex or having a few fingers broken during the act.


    If a woman 'doesn't want to have sex' but then has sex anyway because of some imagined social pressure or another impossible to prove reason, I'm not sure how that's something a college or a court should be involved in. That's a problem of psyche.


    Thus is belongs solidly in the civil suit area, rather than it being a criminal statue at all. This may not be a popular position to take, but reality is seldom popular.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    How about no difference between civil and criminal? The double jeopardy served up on OJ has always rankled me. The less-than-unanimous and less-than-reasonable-doubt verdicts are awful; to think that 49-51 is radically different from 51-49 in cases involving millions of dollars is really bad.

    Once again victim prosecution and no government prosecution would solve a lot of these problems.

  • freedomlover||

    That's the power of the almighty dollar.

    Actually, it works in criminal cases too. "Plead this out and save yourself the attorney fees. You'll only do one year in jail."

  • Zeb||

    I've got no issue with rape being a special category of crime. But a reluctant person pressured into sex should not be considered rape. If you had the opportunity to say "no" or get up and leave and didn't, then it's on you if you don't like what happened. Prove that force, threats or coercion was used.

    Rape is going to be a tough crime to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. And that sucks for some rape victims who won't see justice done. But that's how it has to be if you care about broader justice and due process. You can't unrape a rape victim. You can avoid punishing innocent people.

  • BYODB||


    Prove that force, threats or coercion was used.

    That's pretty much it, in a nutshell, although personally threats or coercion aren't the best basis since those are essentially the 'he said/she said' portion.

    In rape cases the physical evidence isn't necessarily sufficient to determine if it was consensual. Thus rape in particular is essentially a thought crime, since you need to prove something other than the evidence. Sort of like a 'hate crime' which, honestly, the basis for a hate crime is probably easier to prove than a rape case.

  • Zeb||

    My response to that is that if it's hard to convict someone of rape, then that's what it is. The "beyond reasonable doubt" standard is more important than convicting someone for every reported crime (and you also have to consider that some reported rapes aren't actually rapes).

    There are plenty of other crimes where evidence comes down to one person's word against another. And lots of crimes that go unpunished. I think that part of the problem is that people have too rosy a view of how effective the justice system is at actually catching and punishing people who commit crimes.

  • BYODB||

    I'm curious, since it sounds like you might know more about the subject, what other crimes come down to he said/she said situations where there is no proof of a deed either way? I mean, in situations where it doesn't involve an officer anyway.

    I don't have any background in law, so I'm no expert, but I've heard in situations where the only proof is someone's word that it's difficult to impossible to convict. I honestly have no idea either way.

  • GILMORE™||

  • BYODB||

    I'm aware that the definition is changing in academic circles and some legal ones, but if the concept of rape relies on something that can not be materially proven than it is not something for the law to decide in the first place. Even a hate crime prosecution must (or optimally should, if it is to be a thing) rest on some type of damning evidence that the accused held a certain belief that is at least believable.

    Sexual assault is certainly provable, at least to the extent that it's assumed that someone doesn't get off on being beaten and screwed without lubricant, only to press charges over it later.

    'Rape' as opposed to sexual assault is...ephemeral to me.

  • GILMORE™||

    'Rape' as opposed to sexual assault ...

    Actually the point in the article i thought you might be interested in is that a large number of states don't have "rape" on the books at all as a separate category of crime. They just have 'degrees' of sexual assault.

    The very term "rape" has such a tortured — many would say ignominious — history that the F.B.I. just this year changed its definition after eight decades, and a number of states have purged their criminal codes of it entirely, referring instead to levels of sexual assault. Many experts now believe that rape is best understood as an act of unwanted bodily invasion that need not involve force... A number of states, including Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and New Jersey, and the federal government no longer refer to rape in their legal codes but rather to degrees of criminal sexual conduct. This was something pressed by feminist lawyers in the 1980s in the hope that by removing a crime from its patriarchal origins, judges and jurors might assess it more like other crimes. It is not clear if the change has had the desired effect.
  • BYODB||


    Many experts now believe that rape is best understood as an act of unwanted bodily invasion that need not involve force...

    So...right back 'round to it being almost impossible to prove and something that rests entirely on the credibility of the people's word involved in each incident. Super.

  • freedomlover||

    Sexual harassment in the workplace. An accusation is as good as a conviction.

  • GILMORE™||

    Are Calls for Due Process Just Rape Culture Propaganda?

    That would require something called "Rape Culture" to exist in the first place.

    It doesn't. Especially on college campuses.

    A better question: "Do Journalists Perpetuate the Myth of a 'Campus Rape Culture' Because It Generates Lots of Clicks From a Valuable Target-Demographic?"

    And a follow up story to that = "The How Journalists Conveniently Pivot to "Debunking" the Same Narratives They Actively Pumped Whenever Audiences Become Skeptical", which involves lots of self-congratulation as truth-tellers serving the public interest.

  • BYODB||

    I can't recall a single article from Reason claiming that rape culture is real, but then again I don't read every blog post.

  • Bra Ket||

    He said "Journalists".

  • GILMORE™||

    I can't recall a single article from Reason claiming that rape culture is real

    its hard to defend a charge i never made.

    The fact that the term has enough common currency to be featured in headlines here many times over the past 5 years i think is proof enough of my point regarding how often it comes up as a topic... as though it were in fact something supported by evidence.

    i think the way individual Reason writers have dealt with the term has varied. Some contributors (e.g. Stossel, Brendan O'Neill) have written disparagingly of the very idea. Others (e.g. Gillespie, ENB) consistently put scare quotes around the term, implying there's probably something wrong with it, but never going so far as to deny it entirely.

    And Soave has written pieces where he sometimes expresses enthusiastic credulity*, and other times skepticism, but generally leaning in favor of the idea that "its real", but - to be sure - not the big-deal activists would have you believe

    (*re: the UVA rape-hoax, he referenced a "culture of seemingly rampant sexual assault" going unaddressed, whether or not the specific Jackie claims were true. This was sort of the standard M.O. = don't actually deny the claims of the rape-culture-mongers, but suggest that you sympathize, and that there are different/better ways of 'fixing' them than Title IX witch hunts)

  • BYODB||

    its hard to defend a charge i never made.


    And a follow up story to that = "The How Journalists Conveniently Pivot to "Debunking" the Same Narratives They Actively Pumped Whenever Audiences Become Skeptical", which involves lots of self-congratulation as truth-tellers serving the public interest.

    Maybe you can see how one would infer something here, but it's nice to see that your following paragraphs confirm that you were trying to make the point you claim you weren't trying to make.

    Make up your mind, because I can't read it.

  • GILMORE™||

    my point was that fact that "rape culture" is ever referenced at all is - in my opinion - the consequence of a victim-mongering press

    i wasn't leveling that charge @ Reason. that was your interpretation. I only bothered to consider that question because you brought it up.

    if this is confusing to you, i'm sorry to hear that.

  • BYODB||

    I can see that you just wanted to vent, and you used gross hyperbole to do so. That's about the only thing I see.

    If you want to blame journalists for the brain child of bored activist academics looking for fame, be my guest. It seems like misallocated blame though, since those academics are probably doing these studies with Federal grant money. The Press is what it's always been; a mouthpiece for the owner that is intended to make a profit.

    This high and noble bullshit about what the Press should be is, and always has been, a fantasy. Are you just realizing this now?

  • GILMORE™||

    I can see that you just wanted to vent, and you used gross hyperbole to do so. That's about the only thing I see.

    I don't think its "venting" at all. I think its actually a pretty uncontroversial observation about how the press invents fake crises all the time.

    The fact that the term "rape culture" is even used in America is preposterous. And i don't think pointing this out requires any hyperbole at all.

    How many legit-news organizations *still* publish stories with the "1 in 5" statistic, and attempt to validate it by conducting surveys which dilute definitions down in effort to reach those high-figures?

    e.g. years ago the CDC ran a study on "Sexual Violence" which arrived at similar hyperbolic claims of their own.... never mind that they include things like, "unwanted conversations, facebook posts, voicemail messages" etc. in the definition of "violence"

    I don't recall making any high and noble bullshit claims about what the press "should be" either. I was just noting what 'is'. And no, this isn't a fresh discovery; its something i've been aware of for years now. I'm only slightly surprised it hasn't worn off in this specific case.

    For a guy who thinks rape isn't a crime, you seem to be over reacting to a pretty banal comment.

  • BYODB||


    For a guy who thinks rape isn't a crime, you seem to be over reacting to a pretty banal comment.

    Irony, they name art Gilmore. I'll admit it's been fun watching your endless goal post shifting, but once you're making my own arguments against yourself I think it's time to walk.

  • GILMORE™||

    I'll admit it's been fun watching your endless goal post shifting

    I've literally made one point.

  • Luxferia||

    I have scarcely seen anyone miss the point in one thread as much as BYODB as here.

  • Zeb||

    It's fucking incredible that people are still going around repeating the "1 in 5 college students raped or sexually assaulted" statistic and not being mocked for the absurdity. If I'm reading your link right, the actual number is 6.1 out of 100,000 if you include all the categories.

    People go around believing some ridiculous shit, but that one really stretches the limits of credibility.

  • GILMORE™||

    Yes. when i said, "journalists" i really meant most of the MSM outlets where you see that absurd statistic being tossed around constantly.

    i can't remember who pointed it out, (maybe iowahawk), but they said something like

    "The Millenial View of College: 1) Has more rape than the Congo, and 2) Should be free so more people can go"

  • Cyto||

    6.1??? .6.1 out of 5 college students are raped every year? Holy crap!

    And only half of all college students are women, so the real number is probably 12.2 out of 5 women are raped every year.

    And not every male is an alt-right misogynist. There are lots who support the cause. So they probably only rape women every couple of years, leaving the rest of the raping to the guys who aren't down with the cause. Which means those evil alt-right libertarians are probably raping 24 out of every 5 college students every year.

    Heck, with numbers like that, Zeb probably raped 3 people and a goat this morning...

  • ||

    "6.1 out of 100,000 if you include all the categories" is what the rest of that sentence said.

  • GILMORE™||

    (hands backup sarc-meter)

  • Cyto||

    Yeah..... if more than 1:1 didn't make the joke clear, 24 out of 5 should have done it. Or 3 people and a goat.

    text-only communication is tough. I was about to comment that we've gotten a lot better since the early flame wars days, and definitely better than the old Usenet days.

    Then I remembered that we are still doing "frist post" here at HnR, and I decided that I'd best just not say anything.

  • freedomlover||

    I'll bet if I take an office poll here at work, at least 75% will buy the 1 in 5 mantra. I've already heard some of the female staffers saying they were raped. I walk far away if that topic comes up lest I be charged with sexual harassment or something akin for even using words related to sexual activity.

  • Longtobefree||

    Yeah, never ask a female employee to 'come' to a meeting! Always say 'attend'.
    And all that other BS I left behind when I retired.

  • MollyGodiva||

    People like Annaleigh Curtis ignore the fact that the opaque campus kangaroo courts can cut both ways. Once these processes are established and declared legal they can take a turn that she would not like. It is just as easy for a campus administrator to use these processes to suppress campus rape and let perpetrators off the hook as it is for them to railroad innocent students. It is not hard to imagine a campus tribunal ignoring evidence, not talking to witnesses and relying solely on the report of a single individual to clear a star football player of rape. The school will then claim that all is kosher because the process was followed.

    Due process protects everyone. I wish that Annaleigh Curtis would remember that.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    And she's a lawyer! The mind boggles at the malpractice her clients must be thinking of.

  • Dillinger||

    >>>kangaroo courts can cut both ways

    this. what is the alternative for the liars? tar/feathering?

  • damikesc||

    Black folks should be ecstatic that Progressives like this weren't around 100 years ago.

    The Scottsboro boys would be held up as justice and not a travesty.

  • Paloma||

    Or the Central Park Five in the 90s

  • damikesc||

    Curtis is right––female victims are often treated unfairly.

    "Why can't the accused just give up and suffer the consequences?"

    Man Reason has become shitty.

    Want to know who is questioned really heavily? People accusing others of murder. Should we just assume they are right, too?

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Man Reason has become shitty.

    More likely damikesc's reading comprehension.

  • damikesc||

    Read the entire column. So, thanks for your concern, but it is a bit misguided.

    What the author calls "shitty" treatment is what is called "investigating a claim" for literally every other crime out there.

    Investigators are supposed to start with the assumption that the accused was innocent and the accuser must demonstrate otherwise, Only in rape cases is this, somehow, "unfair".

    Using the logic of modern feminists, I have committed a crime when I tell my sons to clean their rooms because they never say "yes" to the request. I force them to do it.

  • Zeb||

    Umm, you are the one who made up some shit that no one said (and that is really irrelevant to the actual quote you are bitching about) and then put it in quotation marks.

    I think it is true that historically rape victims have been treated poorly in many cases. I don't know how true it is now, but it's not obviously false as you seem to assume. And there is no reason to assume that treating the victim or accused perpetrator justly is an either/or proposition. It may well be that there are problems on both sides.

  • Cyto||

    Yes, the "rape victims historically treated shitty" notion is grounded in a history of officials doubting that an actual rape had occurred. Not "he-said, she-said" cases of date rape vs. morning after remorse, but actual "stranger in the bushes" rape or "guy at bar drags her into car" rape. Terms like "asking for it" got tossed around.

    Very different than what we are talking about now. The language used to defend rape victims during that era has morphed into a bizarre set of marching orders for today that includes "the victim must always be believed". Somehow they've transformed a social worker emotional support mantra into a standard of innocence and guilt. So in the minds of many, the accusation is all that is required to prove guilt.

    Unfortunately, college campuses are ground zero for this sort of thought. So unsuspecting and ill-equipped 19 year old young adults are getting ground up and spit out by the new reality of gender politics. But let's at least let it be a cautionary tale - they are trying to push this sort of standard into the criminal courts, after all.

  • MarkLastname||

    I'd avoid beinsay the extent to which this was ever the case is very much exaggerated, to the point of being more mythology than history.

    "Victim blaming" was certainly real, but was done more than anything to motivate women to avoid being raped or sexually promiscuous; it was not commonly used to give the rapist a pass. Often a the same men who scolded the woman for being a slut would go out and lynch the man he accused without a trial.

    Legends like the rape of Lucretia and the wife of Bath from Canterbury Tales suggest that even ancient and medieval societies were (again, quite harshly even) decidedly anti-rape; that harshness also translated to poor treatment of victims.

    Again, evenin 'old times' the feminist characterization of attitudes toward rape is at best a caricature.

  • MarkLastname||

    *I'd question; not I'd avoid beinsay.

    Autocorrect is fucking me hard today.

  • Cyto||

    I was gonna say..... what have you got against Bein Say anyway?

  • MarkLastname||

    I don't talk tagalog :(

  • damikesc||

    I think it is true that historically rape victims have been treated poorly in many cases. I don't know how true it is now, but it's not obviously false as you seem to assume. And there is no reason to assume that treating the victim or accused perpetrator justly is an either/or proposition. It may well be that there are problems on both sides.

    Sorry, but the accused has a far more pressing right to fair treatment than the accuser (the punishment for rape DWARFS the punishment for filing a false claim, for example). Assumption of innocence is vital and feminists wish to end that, entirely, for rape claims.

    Again, if I say you murdered some guy, would it be wrong for the investigators to grill me on what happened and what I saw? I'd say no...but doing that to somebody accusing somebody of rape is now "treating them poorly".

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Feminists who describe ours as a "Rape Culture" should be airdropped, naked, into an Islamic country where they could come to grips with the real thing.

  • BYODB||

    You know that feminism is bankrupt when they talk about the hijab as 'freeing'. Seriously.

  • MarkLastname||

    Even (especially?) Muslim countries are anti-rape; so much so that they punish both perpetrator and victim.

    I think this point has to be made if only to demonstrate that, while primitive countries may be barbaric, they are barbaric in ways that contradict, rather than confirm, their narrative about the anthropology of gender relations.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    We need a 'right to never be noticed' law.

  • XM||

    Where is Robby Soave, what have you done to him.

  • Zeb||

    Eaten by bears.

  • freedomlover||

    What doesn't kill you, will make you stronger. Well, except for bears. Bears will kill you!

    The Timothy Treadwell theorem.

  • Longtobefree||

    That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable. Dispair.com (retired poster)

  • GamerFromJump||

    The whole "reptilian aliens in disguise among us" conspiracy theory is looking more and more plausible. The writer of that article is definitely a Cardassian.

  • Mark22||

    Here are the lizard people you want: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QihkWmS7dTI

  • Azathoth!!||

    Are college students and professors who demand increased due process protections for students accused of sexual misconduct really just supporting rape culture on their campuses?

    Not "increased' due process, just due process.

  • Cyto||

    Just defending rape culture? No, not just defending rape culture. But it is a nice bonus feature!

    They are also misogynistic tools of the patriarchy. And they want to oppress women. And they are probably alt-right racists and anti-semites, just for good measure.

    But worst of all.... they are probably libertarians! (the word "libertarian" must be said in voice dripping with a combination of disdain and disgust... nay, revulsion.)

  • Nominalis||

    Any student of unrevised history should know that modern western culture is the least rapey culture ever. "Rape Culture" is the sexual version of "Reefer Madness" for people who are overly concerned with prohibiting male sexuality. Like all wars the War on Male Sexuality is propaganda driven

  • Cyto||

    Anyone who would dare even read this post, let alone author it, is definitely an alt-right MRA and can safely be dismissed.

    Now say three hail Dworkins and go forth and sin no more.

  • freedomlover||

    Here here!

    You speak the truth Nominalis.

    Forgive this old man. I had to go into San Francisco today and, comparing the guys working on all the construction projects SOMA with the metro-sexual techies walking around there, had me really wondering whatever happened to masculinity in our society?

    I even had a cute young thing smile and try to cajole me into the chivalrous act of giving up my seat to a lady on BART. Only, I wasn't having it. Sorry sister. You compete with me for jobs and promotions. You even want to be a warrior on the battlefield. I am not compelled to yield to my competitor based on gender only.

  • Longtobefree||

    First, my condolences on having to go into San Francisco.

    wondering whatever happened to masculinity in our society? - we retired.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Wondering whatever happened to masculinity in our society?

    This--

    I even had a cute young thing smile and try to cajole me into the chivalrous act of giving up my seat to a lady on BART. Only, I wasn't having it. Sorry sister.

    Social justice warriors killed it.

    What? You're not an SJW? Then why are you holding the cute girl smiling at you responsible for the actions of feminists? That's what social justice is.

  • Longtobefree||

    No doubt about it, those guys who wrote the constitution were all rapists.

  • tommhan||

    Hard to understand how anyone would think due process is not always proper when someone is accused of crimes. It is a fact that many so called victims turned out to be lying after the accused has been put through the ringer.

  • Mark22||

    Curtis is right––female victims are often treated unfairly. They're regularly dragged through the mud, depicted as asking for it or too slutty, or suspected of lying.

    That's because of the expansive and vague definition of "rape" that we have, that includes "post-date nightcap went from kissing to sex that I may not have wanted", "I passed out drunk at a frat house and woke up feeling fucked", and "My girlfriends are making fun of me for sleeping with that guy."

    People won't make fun of any "female victim" who gets violently attacked on the street by a stranger, goes to the hospital, and then to the police.

  • MaleMatters||

    You may like:

    "How We Waded Into The Sexual Harassment Quagmire and How to Dig Out" http://malemattersusa.wordpres.....-quagmire/

    This may be the most thorough analysis you can find of what I think has for many decades been the sexes' most alienating and destructive behavioral difference. I believe this difference results in much of what is called sexual assault of women.

  • Eric Bana||

    "language and society have developed in tandem in ways that ultimately harm and exclude victims of sexual assault

    This just reeks of the bloviating of the modern humanities and social sciences.

  • Bra Ket||

    She's just articulating the unpacking of the dialogue.

  • Finrod||

    The only "rape culture" in the United States is in its prisons and it's not women that primarily get the brunt of that.

  • MaleMatters||

    Obama wanted to gin up campus rape statistics to prove the 1-in-4. If male students were dragged through a nightmare and punished for years, he cared not. In his mind, only females count.

    That's why he approved a White House Council on Women and Girls but rejected Warren Farrell's proposal for a White House Council on Men and Boys.

    See http://whitehouseboysmen.org/

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online