As a wise Missourian once said,
Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force:
“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”
Mark Twain’s commentary came to mind when I read the latest report about the number of “sexual assaults” on U.S. college campuses.
The damned lie, supported by bogus statistics, is that 1 in 4 U.S. college women are victims of “sexual assault” or “sexual misconduct”.
These terms are in quotes because this is how the researchers defined “sexual assault” for their survey:
[T]he AAU [Association of American Universities], mimicking other agenda-driven surveys, asked respondents questions such as whether they had experienced “forced kissing,” unwanted sexual “touching” (which could include attempted close dancing while fully clothed), “promised rewards” for sex, threats to “share damaging information about you” with friends, and the like. Then the AAU counted every “yes” answer as a sexual assault (or “misconduct”).
The article cited above provides numerous other problems with this well-reported but obviously “agenda-driven” survey. Another article also delineates many problems with this deliberately flawed survey, but includes this statistic:
11 percent of female undergraduates said they were assaulted in a way that is consistent with criminal definitions of rape or sodomy. Half of these female undergrads said force was involved, while the other half maintained they were incapacitated by alcohol.
So regardless of whether or not politically biased “researchers” inflated their statistics for maximum effect, it still appears that nearly 5000 female students reported being victims of forcible rape or sodomy–criminal matters without a doubt. These women deserved protection and should have reported these crimes to the police as well as to university authorities. One rape victim is one too many, but the progressive left is absolutely wrong to deliberately exaggerate the incidence of rape and other actual sexual assaults on college campuses.
Let’s look at a related issue–that being a rash of apparently false accusations of sexual assault made against young men, perhaps as a direct result of exaggerating the incidence of sexual assault on campuses. Here’s one example:
In March 2014, after a night of partying, two St. Louis University students ended up in bed together at a house off-campus.
Two months later, the man got a letter from the university telling him he was under investigation for sexual assault.
The investigation carried on for months. During the inquiry, it was never disputed that the woman packed an overnight bag, willingly walked to the man’s house, got into his bed and had sex with him.
The pivotal question is whether the man knew the woman was too drunk to consent.
At first, the university officials ruled that the male student was guilty of sexual assault and at some point suspended him. The student appealed and the investigation continued. Eventually officials changed their minds and “cleared” the young man, but not before his schooling was unfairly disrupted.
The federal government issued “guidelines” telling universities and colleges how to go about such investigations, under the authority of Title IX, which is a 1972 law originally designed to ensure equity in the funding of college sports programs. The law also stresses
gender equity for boys and girls in every educational program that receives federal funding.
That Title IX is called a “living law” should be no surprise, since progressives never let a good law go to waste, if by regulation they can twist and turn and find new executive powers within the “penumbra” of the law.
Title IX has been used to create, in my opinion, a wholly unconstitutional prosecutorial system within universities that has a lower standard of proof and which can be used, and is used, to destroy the lives and careers of the accused, who must prove their innocence without the due process guaranteed by the Constitution. Consider:
When a student reports any type of sexual assault at the school’s Title IX office, the protocol is for schools to offer counseling and other resources. Additionally, schools are to advise students of their options to address the matter through the criminal justice system, the university’s administrative process or both.
Note that federal protocol is that the school should advise the alleged victims of their “options” to avail themselves of the criminal justice system. Advise is not the same as required “to address the matter through the criminal justice system.”
The accused, if neither the accuser nor the university informs the criminal justice system, may be denied the protections afforded by the criminal justice system–that is, the presumption of innocence, the right to legal counsel, the right to confront witnesses, the right of discovery, and the right to not be punished without due process, among other rights. The university administrative process outright favors the accuser. The accused is guilty and punished unless proven innocent.
Remember the child abuse scandal in the Catholic church? Whether the number of incidents of children abused by priests is exaggerated or not, as with the alleged number of college sexual assaults, one thing that was roundly criticized was how the Church handled investigations of the incidents in secret, meting out punishments and offering settlements behind closed doors, as if to hide the sorry facts from the public.
Even the UN got into the act when its “blistering” report on child sex abuse in the Catholic Church demanded that church authorities
remove all abusers from active ministry, report them to the police and open its archives on the 4,000 cases which have been referred to the Vatican.
There are laws regarding the mandatory reporting of child abuse across the country. Why no mandatory reporting of alleged sexual assaults on college campuses?
Most mandatory reporter laws aim to protect children, the elderly, the disabled. Sure. Female students on college campuses are, for the most part, legal adults. So universities, unlike the Catholic Church, can evade their responsibility to society to report sexual crimes to the criminal justice system when they learn about them, because the victims are adults. The federal Title IX guidelines simply tell them to “advise” the victim of the right to seek justice in criminal court.
However, the Title IX system followed by universities serves to treat women as if they’re not adults. It’s a paternalistic system that infantilizes women or treats them as if, like some elderly or disabled, they can’t function as complete and rational human beings.
The male student at St. Louis University who was falsely accused of sexual assault had also been drinking and was possibly still intoxicated at the time he engaged in sex with a woman who may or may not have been intoxicated herself. She says she was.
Remember that initially the university found the young man responsible for sexual assault because the woman claimed to have been too drunk to knowingly consent to sex. (This despite witnesses who said that she did not appear to be drunk and the fact that she packed a bag at her apartment, while he waited, so that she could spend the night with this total stranger.)
In the university “justice” system, the woman was not held responsible, so long as she said that she was too drunk to know what she was doing.
On the other hand, the young man was held responsible for doing what he did, whether or not he was also too drunk to exercise control over his natural instincts.
Amazingly enough, he was also held responsible for somehow knowing that the woman he was about to have sex with was too drunk to legally consent, even though he may have been too drunk himself to know what he was doing, much less remember to get righteous “consent” (whatever that amounts to, after she packed a bag and walked a mile with him to his place) or to be able to accurately ascertain the mental and physical state of the woman!
One has to wonder, given witness descriptions of the woman’s behavior, why she wasn’t charged with taking advantage of the young man. Doesn’t sexual assault work both ways?
If the young man was also drunk, why was the young woman not charged with sexual assault against him? Did he give her his consent to engage in sex? You see the conundrum?
If women are under the influence, they’re not responsible for their actions. If men are under the influence, not only are they responsible for their own actions, but they’re also responsible for the actions of women with whom they associate and who may also be under the influence.
Are women autonomous human beings or are they not? Are they to be protected by society and the law as lesser human beings, unable to control themselves if intoxicated and therefore not held responsible if they get intoxicated and end up in bed with someone they barely know? Are women in control of their own bodies or not? How about their minds? How about their choices to partake in intoxicating substances, consequences be damned?
Once upon a time, there was no birth control and there was no culture of admiration for the likes of Miley Cyrus, with her twerking and her pansexualism, but things have changed. Women now have “gender equity” with males, especially with regard to sexual freedom.
Why, then, is the onus still on the male, if this is a society with true “gender equity”?
Are females precious little special snowflakes or are they the equal of men?
Every one of these incidents that are investigated by universities as sexual assaults should be reported to and turned over to the criminal justice system.
If the event can’t stand up to criminal investigation, then was there a “sexual assault” in the first place? If there was, then the cops will find out the truth.
Certainly, universities ought to be interested in creating a safe and pleasant environment for all of their students, including an environment where boorish behavior like dancing too close, or grabbing someone’s rear, or foisting unwelcome hugs and kisses upon another is investigated and punished, if necessary (if the woman hasn’t handled it herself already by a well-placed knee, a shout, or a slug in the chops, like we older women used to do).
However, boorish incidents should not be confused with sexual assault. All cases of alleged sexual assault must be reported to the local criminal authorities as soon as the university officials learn of them.
A recent editorial in the St. Louis media espoused rather alarming views, quoted in part below, with my objections in red:
Campus authorities are trying their best to develop a system that listens to both the accused and the accuser and proceeds accordingly. They are trying to create an environment outside of the criminal justice system that is fair to everyone involved but at the same time ensures a safe campus with no tolerance for sexual assault. [If it’s truly sexual assault, then the cops should be doing the investigation.]
Colleges do not have the authority to collect and store forensic evidence nor the subpoena powers available to police and the courts. [That’s why the cops should do these investigations, especially to preserve evidence and get witnesses under oath to protect the rights of the accused.] Some schools are telling students that they have to get affirmative consent, consciously and voluntarily given, before a sexual encounter. That may be a good idea but the chances of that happening in a significant number of cases is probably not high. …
Some young men will get caught in the undertow. The accused at SLU may be one such case. [He was cleared and, besides, he’s innocent until proven guilty, which he was not. Thank goodness they don’t know or reveal his identity.] He was suspended by the university for a year [quite unfairly] as he was preparing to graduate, Mr. Addo reported. Then the university reversed itself and cleared him of blame. After his case was resolved he moved from St. Louis to Kansas City to work with a relative and is now beginning to apply to graduate schools.
This is more than a year later than he had expected to be making those applications. That is unfortunate but it is good that he is getting on with his life.
It’s “unfortunate” that he lost a year of his life and was falsely accused and unfairly punished by the university for a crime he did not commit! I wonder if the university refunded his tuition?
What if this innocent young man were that writer’s son? Would he or she be so flip about the injustice the young man suffered?
Why are universities seeking to set up a parallel system outside the criminal justice system? There’s a reason why there are constitutional protections for the accused in the USA. Innocent until proven guilty.
We already have, with this president, the accumulation of executive power far beyond what was intended by the law and the Constitution, including his many executive “actions”, his many decisions to simply not enforce various laws, and his creation of czars who function without any accountability to the people or their representatives. Do we really need an environment outside the criminal justice system in which to adjudicate alleged sexual “assaults” on college campuses?
No. What we need is for the universities to act just as the UN and most progressives in the USA expect the Catholic Church to act. Report every allegation to the police.
Then we will have truth and not lying statistics. Females will be held as responsible for their behavior as are males. Males will not be held responsible for the behavior of females, nor will they be expected to be preternatural mind readers.