Monday, June 30, 2014

Man wrongly imprisoned for sexual assault amid "terrible climate" for presumptively innocent men. Anti-sexual assault advocate says there is nothing wrong with "silence, secrecy and shame finally being challenged" and "if that is making some people uncomfortable then tough luck."

According to a news report, a man wrongly imprisoned for almost a year on false claims of sexual assault was released only after police dismissed another case where his accuser said she was gang-raped by a car-load of men. The man is suing the police, claiming they knew the sexual assault report was probably untrue. His accuser had told police that the man was circumcised when, in fact, he wasn't. Nevertheless, they persisted in strip-searching and humiliating him, and then they locked him up for months for something he didn't do.

The news report of the suit quotes a veteran attorney about the "terrible climate" for men accused of sexual assault, the worst he's ever seen. "The way in which sexual assault cases are being prosecuted, there is a real risk of miscarriage of justice. In this case, but for the false complaints that were made about other people, [the accused man] might be languishing in prison for crimes he didn't commit."

But then, the news report veers off into dark territory in the interest of generating heat. It quotes anti-pedophilia activist Hetty Johnston, who "said there was nothing wrong with 'silence, secrecy and shame finally being challenged'." She continued: "If that is making some people uncomfortable then tough luck."

I would like to see the actual question posed to Hetty Johnston that elicited this declaration. Did the reporter tell her that her quote would be used in connection with the case of a man wrongly imprisoned for almost a year? Regardless, Hetty Johnston's comments are jarringly insensitive in the context of this story. "Tough luck" that a man could be wrongly imprisoned for almost a year? This attitude is emblematic of a hostility to due process that not only imperils presumptively innocent men and boys but does no favors for rape victims. The public loathes rapists but does not tolerate callously mocking the rights of innocent men and boys in the name of waging war on rape.

But wait, the article isn't finished. It also quotes an anti-abuse campaigner named Anthony Foster who, the article says, "questioned whether lawyers were simply worried they were 'losing control' because it was becoming harder to discredit victims in sexual assault cases."

No, Mr. Foster, I'd say the veteran lawyer quoted in the story wasn't bemoaning the fact that he can't help rapists beat the rap. He was bemoaning the fact that a man was wrongly deprived of his liberty for almost a year.

If anti-rape advocates want the public to get behind their efforts, they need to denounce rape lies because every rape lie diminishes the perceived integrity of every rape victim, and they need to come up with more appropriate reactions when the lives of presumptively innocent men and boys are destroyed by selfish rape lies and incompetent police.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Woman jailed for perverting the course of justice

A 30-year-old woman from South Gloucestershire has today been jailed for three-and-a-half years after making a series of false allegations of rape, assault and false imprisonment against her former partner.

Rhiannon Brooker, of Frampton Cotterell, was found guilty of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice following an 11-week trial at Bristol Crown Court.

After deliberating all 20 charges for over a week, the jury was unable to reach a decision on a further eight charges and they will lie on file.

The conviction is the result of a long and complex investigation into allegations first made to police three years ago.

Officers were called to the Royal United Hospital in Bath in May 2011 after Brooker attended the hospital with injuries and claimed to have been attacked outside her home in South Gloucestershire.
She was taken to a police station in Bath and subsequently made a series of allegations of domestic and sexual assault against her partner Paul Fensome.

Her allegations were supported by friends and fellow students in whom she had confided, injuries she had sustained and other medical evidence, resulting in Mr Fensome being arrested and charged in August 2011.

Further independent evidence subsequently came to light which disproved and undermined her allegations, resulting in the charges being dropped against Mr Fensome in January 2012.

A new investigation team was appointed, led by Det Ch Insp Carolyn Belafonte, and as a result of a complex and detailed investigation, including mobile phone, background checks and specialist forensic evidence, Brooker was arrested in November 2012 and later charged with offences of perverting the course of justice.

Ch Supt Sarah Crew, Force lead for rape and sexual offences, said: “Rhiannon Brooker has proved herself to be a very calculating and manipulative woman whose allegations resulted in an innocent man being charged with serious offences and remanded in custody awaiting trial.

“She made a series of false allegations of rape, sexual assault and domestic violence against her partner, which she claimed took place between April 2009 and August 2011.

“Like many other people who encountered her in a professional capacity, we too were initially taken in by her allegations.

“Mr Fensome has been through a difficult and traumatic ordeal over the past three years and I would like to thank him for supporting these court proceedings. We will continue to offer him all the help and support he needs.

“I understand cases like this can cause real concern for victims about whether they will be believed when they come forward. It would be a travesty if this case were to undermine the confidence and experiences of victims.

“We’re working closely and extensively with our partners, including organisations such as The Bridge Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support (SARSAS), Next Link, and a network of other service providers which offer independent support and counselling to victims. We want to increase confidence in the investigative and criminal justice process so that more victims come forward and more offenders face the justice they deserve.

“We want to assure all victims of rape, sexual assault and domestic abuse that we will listen to and support you every step of the way.”

CPS Crown Advocate, James Ward said: “Rhiannon Brooker was charged with perverting the course of justice after making extremely serious and false allegations of rape and assault against her then partner. The jury agreed with the prosecution’s case that Ms Brooker had fabricated events and returned guilty verdicts on 12 counts.

“This case was brought both to protect the integrity of genuine rape allegations and victims of rape and because of the devastating effects false allegations of sexual offending can have on genuine victims, innocent people so accused and their families.  There are occasions where a complainant will no longer support the prosecution process for various reasons.  This does not mean the victim will be prosecuted for making the allegation, providing the allegation was genuine.

“In March 2013, we published a report that demonstrated that false allegations of rape and domestic violence are perhaps more rare than previously thought, and that in only a very small number of cases it was considered that there was sufficient evidence and that it was in the public interest to prosecute a person suspected of making a false allegation of rape or domestic violence.

“Rape victims need to know that we take their complaints extremely seriously. We work very closely with the police and support organisations to make sure all victims are given the help they need throughout the process.

“Where there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to do so the CPS will work with the police to prosecute sexual offenders and those who commit domestic violence.”

“Charging someone who claims to have been raped is not a decision we take lightly and we will only do so if the evidence to support a prosecution meets the tests under the Code for Crown Prosecutors and our guidance on charging perverting the course of justice in such circumstances.

Earlier this year, a campaign was jointly launched by Avon and Somerset Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner, councils and the NHS, aimed at tackling domestic abuse and rape.

As part of the campaign, a new website called was launched featuring advice on recognising abuse, as well as information on the help and support available to victims. It includes common myths used by people to excuse abuse and challenges those myths as entirely untrue.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Male student rescued from giant vagina statue in Germany

Well, as it turned out, the feminists were wrong after all.

It wasn't the snow penis at Harvard Yard, the sleepwalking man statue at Wellesley College, the clock tower logo at Brooklyn College, or the husky dog logo at UConn that people should fear, despite their patriarchal trappings.

It's the giant vagina statue in Germany.

A young male American in Tübingen, Germany had to be rescued by 22 firefighters after getting trapped inside a giant sculpture of a vagina called Chacán-Pi (Making Love) by Peruvian artist Fernando de la Jara.

A newspaper account explained: "Police confirmed that the firefighters turned midwives delivered the student 'by hand and without the application of tools.'"

We will leave it to our readers to draw from this what they want.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Economist: the government's one-in-five number doesn't add up -- using the government's own numbers

Mark Perry, an economics professor for the University of Michigan and a visiting scholar at the AEI, said this: "If you look at virtually any university in America and take the number of reported sexual assaults, and use that number in conjunction with the White House's under-reporting percentage, you don't get one-in-five. Nowhere near." See here

Prof. Perry's information is important because the one-in-five canard is routinely trotted out to justify diminishing the due process rights of presumptively innocent men who are accused of sexual assault. A recent blog post at Ms. Magazine Blog is an example of this blatant hostility to due process -- read it here -- it starts off with this: "One in five college women are sexually assaulted . . . ." (But read the comment after the story by "Fran," who identifies as a feminist -- she sums up the problem better than we could.)

In his recent infamous column on rape, George Will relied on Prof. Perry's study, and was attacked for it. One writer said this: "Will’s interpretation of the data, which relies on a dubious analysis from the American Enterprise Institute — a right-wing group that has a long history of downplaying campus sexual assaults." In fact, Prof. Perry is principally associated with the University of Michigan, but it sounds more evil to tie him to a conservative group. One attack on Prof. Perry's analysis claimed that many sexual assault reports don't make it to campus authorities when local police handle a case. Professor Perry answered their criticisms: It's the White House that claimed the numbers added up in the first place, he said. "If you think there's a problem with these statistics, then you should be looking at the White House."

The fact is, rape laws and policies are shaped by surveys where every rape allegation is uncritically accepted. So uncritically, in fact, that rape victims' advocates don't bother to make sure the one-in-five number is consistent with their own numbers about underreporting.

But there is another, even more troubling, problem about relying on rape surveys where every allegation is uncritically accepted:  none of the claims reported in surveys are tested against competing claims of innocence. Dr. Lisak's work shows us that the majority of rape claims that are reported can't be classified as actual rapes or non-rapes, so why is every claim on a survey -- the majority of which were not reported -- uncritically accepted?

A recent scientific study shows that some women lie on surveys to minimize their consensual sexual encounters, likely because of societal double-standards that find it acceptable for men, but not women, to engage in sexual activity. These lies are designed to bring women in sync with their expected gender role. When women believe they can lie and get away with it, they understate the number of their sexual partners. In contrast, when women are hooked up to a polygraph and believe their lies will not go undetected, they generally report more sexual partners than when they felt no such compulsion to be honest.

Should it surprise anyone, then, that some women report in surveys that they've been subjected to unwanted sex even when the sex was consensual in order to be in sync with societal expectations about gender roles?

The study shows men lie too -- but in the opposite direction: they exaggerate the number of sexual partners when they think their lies won't be detected. Is it any wonder that men don't report that they've been sexually assaulted? Such a claim would not be in keeping with the masculine "ideal" that men are up for sex all the time.

In any event, the impact of sexual assault surveys on public policy is significant, even draconian. Perhaps the best example is that the infamous April 4, 2011 "Dear Colleague" letter cited one such survey as a justification to diminish the due process protections afforded persons accused of sexual misconduct on college campuses (almost always young men). That letter stated: "A report prepared for the National Institute of Justice found that about 1 in 5 women are victims of completed or attempted sexual assault while in college."

It is time for a national conversation about the uncritical acceptance of sexual assault surveys that produce the one-in-five number, and for a critical, unbiased look at their reliability.Unfortunately, the sexual assault milieu is so terribly politicized that attempts even to broach the subject typically are met with vitriol and name calling, not serious, much less respectful, dialogue.

Sexual assault is a serious problem; diminishing due process rights, and justifying it with dubious numbers, is not the way to attack it.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Professor warns about young men who seek legal redress for false rape claims

Former Iowa State University basketball player Bubu Palo has filed a civil action for defamation against the woman who accused him of sexual assault two years ago. Criminal sexual assault charges had been brought against Palo, but they were dismissed before trial. A forensic analysis of a blouse the alleged victim wore the night of the incident determined it had been torn after the alleged assault, contrary to statements the alleged victim had made under oath.

The local newspaper that reported the story quotes a Stanford law professor named Michele Landis Dauber, who said this about the Palo lawsuit: “I think that there are valid public policy reasons that a judge might want to look very carefully at such a case and make sure that there’s really good evidence to support (the defamation claim), because otherwise it is going to be very harassing of sexual assault victims."

Dauber's comments are the legal equivalent of gobbledygook. The standard of proof for defamation claims is preponderance of the evidence. "Really good evidence" has no legal meaning, and law professors from Stanford ought to know better.

Does Dauber mean that a judge should require Mr. Palo to produce evidence beyond a "preponderance of the evidence"? If Dauber didn't mean to suggest that, why did she bother making the statement? The implication of Dauber's quote is that because the alleged defamation arose in the context of a sexual assault claim, the plaintiff should be subjected to a different -- presumably enhanced -- standard that does not apply to plaintiffs in any other defamation action. (If Dauber meant something different, she can tell us, and we will happily report it.)

The preponderance of the evidence standard is the same standard that rape victims' advocates tell us is fair to use to judge young men in campus disciplinary tribunals involving sexual assault. But somehow, that standard is not fair when those same young men sue because they claim they were wrongly accused? It is well to note that in a civil defamation action, the defendant is afforded all manner of prophylactic safeguards -- including the right to cross-examine her accuser -- that are not available in college hearings.

In other news reports, Dauber is said to advocate for expulsion in cases of sexual assault. In cases that might end in life-altering expulsion, we wonder if Dauber believes the university should be required to "make sure that there's really good evidence to support" the charge? Because -- you know -- "otherwise it is going to be very harassing of" presumptively innocent young men? Or do Dauber's concerns only run one way?

Dauber is also on record opposing the right of persons accused of sexual assault to cross-examine their accusers. Here is a quote attributed to her: "Having the 18-year-old rape victim be cross-examined by the guy who raped her? That's just wrong, wrong, wrong," she said.

But what about the 18-year-old man who is wrongly accused of rape? Dauber's policy also assumes it is "wrong, wrong, wrong" for him to cross-examine his accuser in an attempt to establish his innocence. Perhaps the idea that a young man might be wrongly accused of sexual assault never crossed Dauber's mind. Or perhaps there aren't enough of them for Dauber to worry about. Therein lies the injustice in her advocacy.

The local newspaper reporting on the Palo case also quoted someone named Beth Barnhill, executive director of the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, who said that that lawsuits against alleged victims are “really unfortunate.” And: “I think it can discourage reporting. It’s a terrible precedent, and I think that there are a very small number of false reports.”

Barnhill's comments are staggering in their hostility to fundamental notions of fairness. Young men who are defamed should be deprived of their right to legal redress -- so long as the defamation occurred in the context of a false rape claim.  Only in the loopy milieu of gender politics are such statements uttered with a straight face. Sadly, such puerility is about par for the public discourse when it comes to sexual assault.

This sums up this blog's message. Enough said.

I don't think I can top this and think I'll stop with this post. Here is a comment by a woman who identifies as a feminist under the Ms. Magazine blog entry we've recently written about:

Fran says:  
I always am confronted with a personal hypocrisy (to use my own words) when it comes to issues like these. 
As a liberal, I sympathize with a biased judicial system where defendants are often on the short end of the stick, stigmatized for life with felon status, and often have their constitutional rights infringed before, during, and after trial. This sentiment and concern I feel is often a “liberal” idea as potentially demonstrated by the “liberal” SCOTUS justices often siding with broader protections for criminal defendants than their conservative counterparts. 
However, as a feminist, I often see in myself and many liberal organizations an irrational position that sex crimes are different. I scream loudly for fair trials, right to confront witnesses, and for an impartial jury and judge. However, I see the exact opposite when it comes to sex crimes. We demonize the defendant before a finding of guilt, we sympathize with the victim to the point where we suggest she shouldn’t have to testify because of trauma (in the face of the Confrontation Clause) and protest when a jury returns a verdict in favor of the defendant that we disagree with. 
I speak for myself but recognize that many organizations of the liberal kind that promise fair trials and demand justice for defendants sentenced to death, long prison sentences, etc. However, we hypocritically dismiss the rights of sexual assault defendants and, in my opinion, ask that we bend the constitutional protections to shield victims at the expense of a fair justice system for defendants who are innocent until proven guilty. 
I’m not saying in the context of college review that the full force of a judicial system needs to be in place, but the pessimistic and negative view that I feel is inherent in this article is a little disconcerting. If college campuses persecuted thieves and drug addicted students under this standard, ruining the lives of many, I think Ms. would be write an article with a different tone than the present one’s.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Occidental College professor ratchets up the hostility to college men accused of sex offenses

"Welcome to Caroline Heldman's Facebook page! She is a professor of politics, Occidental College." And here is a snapshot from that Facebook page today:

Heldman was recently quoted in a Ms. Magazine blog entry about the spate of lawsuits filed by men who claim their colleges denied them their due process rights in connection with sexual assault claims. She said this: "These lawsuits are an incredible display of entitlement, the same entitlement that drove them to rape." Read her full comments in that blog entry for yourself. We read them to indicate that she believes the young men's civil actions are frivolous.

There is no indication in the referenced sites that Heldman has information about the actual evidence pertinent to any of the specific cases she has prejudged. If she does, she did not share it. That doesn't stop her from convicting young men she's never met in the court of last resort -- the radical feminist blogosphere -- based on nothing more than her righteous ipse dixit.

I wrote about Heldman's comments in this blog earlier this week. I had hoped that Heldman would come forward and explain that her comments were taken out of context.

Alas, on her Facebook page yesterday, Heldman posted a link to the blog post that quoted her, and it only confirmed my concerns. It points out that campus predators are rarely brought to justice, and that now "they" (the campus predators) are suing. Heldman assumes the young men suing are guilty. Don't take my word for it -- I do not want to be unfair to Heldman -- read it yourself.

Heldman's pronouncements sweep over the rights of the presumptively innocent like a high-speed rail, and she doesn't for an instant consider even the possibility that some their claims might have validity. It is one thing to assert that rape is too common and that too many rapists get away with it. All persons of good will should agree with that. It is quite another to suggest, as Heldman does, that the young men who've filed suit are guilty as a class merely because too many rapists in general get away with it. Most unsettling is her dismissive tone that paints all of the young plaintiffs with the same broad brush, reduces them to vile caricature, and treats their cases as fungible, the facts be damned. I know nothing about Heldman aside from the quotes on the internet sites I've referenced, but it is unfathomable that a professor of politics at an American college could be so terribly unschooled in, or so terribly hostile to, notions of fairness that are foundational to our traditions of justice. Just as all persons of good will should be outraged when anyone is raped, Heldman's morally grotesque rush to judgment should be widely censured.

We note in passing that the nation's leading authority on the subject of campus rape justice, Brett Sokolow of NCHERM (who, incidentally, has done more to advance the cause of eradicating rape on campus than anyone) says there is a problem for young men on campus. He says that in "a lot" of cases, schools are holding young men "accountable in spite of the evidence – or the lack thereof – because they think they are supposed to . . . ." And that in "case-after-case . . . sincere victims believe something has happened to them that evidence shows absolutely did not . . .." And: "We see complainants who genuinely believe they have been assaulted, despite overwhelming proof that it did not happen." We've written a lot about Mr. Sokolow's views lately.

Professor  Heldman's comments are appalling. She owes the presumptively innocent young men she has unjustly prejudged, and the entire Occidental College community, a sincere apology.

Brett Sokolow: some colleges "have let the pendulum swing too far in the wrong direction"

From this source. Excerpt:
In responding to concerns raised on their campuses, some colleges "have let the pendulum swing too far in the wrong direction," said Brett Sokolow, CEO of the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management Group, a law and consulting firm. He said he has taken on some sexual assault cases on behalf of men in which both parties had been drinking heavily before having sex. "It's a trend that really needs to be nipped quickly. We have to provide equal dignity for all students," Sokolow said.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Colleges' dirty little secret: Their insurers are paying out a lot of money to settle false rape claims

United Educators is an insurance company owned by more than 1,000 colleges and universities. 54 percent of the claims it receives come from students who say they were falsely accused of sexual assault. A full 72 percent of the insurer's payouts -- almost three quarters -- go to students who were falsely accused.

See the right side of page 2 here.

Add these to the misandry hall of fame

The year isn't half over, yet we've already seen a rash of kooky statements that evince a disturbing hostility to men and maleness. It is perplexing that these sorts of assertions are rarely widely denounced. What follows are some pretty disturbing quotations collected from just this year alone:

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, noting that she "was asking a question—a provocative one—meant to generate dialogue around complex issues for which answers are necessary to continue to strengthen and promote fair and equitable processes at all colleges and universities.”

Ms. Magazine blog intern Emily Shugerman says that men who are suing colleges for alleged violations of their due process rights in connection with sexual assault claims are just "playing the victim" and that their suits are a "backlash" in the "face of this rising tide of feminist action."

The Ms. Magazine blog also quotes someone named Caroline Heldman, a professor at Occidental College: "These lawsuits are an incredible display of entitlement, the same entitlement that drove them to rape."

California’s Senate Bill 967 would codify the use of the low “preponderance of the evidence” standard (50.01% likelihood) in sexual assault cases on campus and mandate “affirmative consent” at every step of a sexual encounter. The co-author of the bill in the Assembly, Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, said when she was asked how an innocent person is supposed to prove consent: “Your guess is as good as mine. I think it’s a legal issue. Like any legal issue, that goes to court.

Stanford grad students Anna Ninan and Jonny Dorsey wrote: "While an alleged sexual assault is under investigation, the principle of innocence until proven guilty and the right of all students to pursue their education free from fear or intimidation may be in conflict." They said: "Stanford needs a process for considering the balance of harms in adjudicating such conflicts." How do Ninan and Dorsey propose that the "balance" be struck? By "tak[ing] the survivor's perspective," of course. Specifically: "Stanford should . . . consider the option of removing accused students from campus on a case-by-case basis . . .."

Jenny Davis said the use of the word "seminal" is "blatantly sexist" and "perpetuate[s] inequalities or marginalization."

A petition to ban a statue of a sleepwalking man at Wellesley College said the statue was "a source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault for many members of our campus community," and "a source of undue stress for many Wellesley College students."

Zoe Magid, a Wellesley College junior, said this about the statue ". . . it's making students on campus feel unsafe . . . ."

Tracey Spicer wrote: "I know it's sexist. But I don't want my kids sitting next to a man on a plane."

Sen. Claire McCaskill circulated an extensive survey about sexual assault to 350 college and university presidents. The survey classifies persons who make accusations of sexual misconduct as “victims,” and in one place calls persons merely accused of sexual misconduct “offenders.” Then on page 14, it contains this query: "Below is a list of policies and procedures that may discourage victims from disclosing and reporting assaults at some schools . . . . 1. Disclosure of offender’s rights in the adjudication process . . . ." The implication: it is somehow improper to insure that students accused of serious sexual offenses are aware of their rights.

A jury acquitted former Dartmouth student Parker Gilbert of raping a female student at the school in a "he said/she said" dispute. A juror told a reporter “(The woman’s) story of how the night played out, the evidence wasn’t there to support that." And: “There is tons and tons of evidence that just doesn’t add up.” But WISE, an organization that seeks to empower victims of domestic and sexual violence, issued a formal statement: "Today’s decision in the Dartmouth rape trial of Parker Gilbert is devastating and there is no doubt that it sends a terrible message to survivors of sexual assault."

James Taranto wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal in which he said that it is unjust to hold only the male responsible for sexual assault when sex partners engage in mutually reckless, drunken sex; that is, when they engage in precisely the same conduct and the only difference is that one has a penis and one has a vagina. Tara Culp-Ressler twisted Taranto's words beyond recognition: "In a Wall Street Journal column published on Monday," Culp-Ressler wrote, "conservative commentator James Taranto argued that a 'balanced' approach to the college sexual assault crisis involves placing equal blame on rapists and their victims, if both of them were drinking alcohol." (Shortly after that, the nation's leading authority on campus sexual violence, Brett Sokolow, cautioned colleges that when a man and a woman engage in mutually tipsy sex, the school can't single out the male for discipline because that would be discrimination against him.)

Duke University Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek was asked what would happen if two students got drunk to the point of incapacity, and then had sex. "Assuming it is a male and female, it is the responsibility in the case of the male to gain consent before proceeding with sex," said Wasiolek.

Pamela Geller had a conniption because major universities are instituting "non-gender specific bathrooms" that have both stalls and urinals. Geller explained that unless your daughter is the type who will "fellate any guy who asks her to, and if she actually respects herself, her body and her self-worth, this could be – sexually traumatic."

●A male student writing in The Technician, student daily newspaper of North Carolina State University, said that "as men, we have no right to tell women what rape is. We have no right to weigh in on the logistics of what constitutes rape. Our role is to shut up and stop raping people."

I think the reason that these sorts of outlandish, anti-male sentiments are largely given a free pass in the mainstream media, while less egregious comments about women are immediately denounced, is because the media treats groups that are perceived to be disadvantaged with greater sensitivity. A couple of years ago, the BBC's director-general admitted that Christianity is treated with far less sensitivity than other religions because it is "pretty broad shouldered."  Since most positions of authority are occupied by males, comments like the ones quoted above are largely ignored.

The problem is, of course, that while men are more likely than women to occupy positions of authority, there are also more men than women at the bottom rungs of society. For virtually every social pathology, more men than women are afflicted.

The mainstream media's insensitivity to issues affecting men is a misplaced and outmoded remnant of an era long since passed. The aforementioned statements, and many others like them, ought to evoke far greater scrutiny by the mainstream media.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

This article is among the most hostile to due process I've ever seen

Ms. Magazine blog writer Emily Shugerman says that men who are suing colleges for alleged violations of their due process rights in connection with sexual assault claims are just "playing the victim" and that their suits are a "backlash" in the "face of this rising tide of feminist action." Then the magazine quotes someone named Caroline Heldman, a professor at Occidental College: "These lawsuits are an incredible display of entitlement, the same entitlement that drove them to rape."

It is well to note that neither Shugerman nor Heldman bother to discuss the actual merits of any of the cases -- you know, silly little things like evidence -- because they can't. That doesn't stop them from rushing headlong to judgment and assuming the plaintiffs are guilty by reason of penis. Because rape happens too often in entirely unrelated cases, these particular men can't possibly have valid claims. They are just "playing the victim" and are "entitled."

It would be difficult to imagine a more shocking hostility to due process, or to men.

Shugerman proceeds to exclaim that "according to the FBI, only eight percent of rape reports are unfounded." The implication is that 92 percent of all claims are actual rapes, and the FBI never said that. In fact, as Dr. David Lisak has shown, the majority of rape claims can't be classified as true or false. But why left the facts get in the way of a good radical feminist rant?

The nation's leading authority on the subject of campus rape justice, Brett Sokolow of NCHERM, says there is a problem for young men on campus. He says that in "a lot" of cases, schools are holding young men "accountable in spite of the evidence – or the lack thereof – because they think they are supposed to . . . ." And that in "case-after-case . . . sincere victims believe something has happened to them that evidence shows absolutely did not . . .." And: "We see complainants who genuinely believe they have been assaulted, despite overwhelming proof that it did not happen."

Both Shugerman and Heldman come off like Harvard Lampoon caricatures of angry, irrational feminists. Most appalling is the arrogance of these ideologues, who deign to prejudge judicial actions without bothering to deal with the facts.  Is it any wonder that so few people -- including so few women -- identify as feminist? It is unfortunate that leading feminist pundits don't call them out on their intolerance because they engender disrepute of the entire movement.

And, of course, they do rape victims no favors: hostility to the fair administration of justice undermines confidence in the system and fuels a growing belief -- which Mr. Sokolow has verified -- that college disciplinary proceedings can be hostile places for young men. The more prevalent that belief is, the greater the likelihood that persons adjudicating these disputes will be wary about finding even guilty men responsible for their actions.

Teacher's defense: boy is the aggressor because he nagged her for sex

Read about it here. The boy "wore down her defenses." The teacher's defense adopts the unfortunate memes of radical feminists who want to make nagging for sex a punishable offense. On many college campuses, such nagging is grounds for discipline. Read about that sad trend here.

It is both comical and frightening when women who are not victims adopt the memes of victimhood. Remember the false rape accuser who declared the following when she was arrested for her lie: "That's why women don't report rape."

To malign Hillary Clinton, right wing channels radical feminism's nutty hostility to due process

Have you read the news about the Hillary tapes? Go read it here. Heaven forbid, she once actually defended an accused rapist when she was a public defender, and a recording has surfaced where she recounted the case.

To score political points, the law and order zanies on the right are suggesting that criminal defendants are not worthy of a defense if the defense doesn't mesh with radical feminist platitudes.

These are the same sort of kooks who joined hands with radical feminist kooks to give us the much maligned Fed.R.Evid. 413, among the most unjust laws on the books.

Hillary Clinton's long record on the national stage furnishes plenty of ammunition for her opponents -- from Whitewater to her tall-tale about landing in Bosnia under sniper fire to the security lapses in Benghazi. Larry David -- no conservative -- mocked her famous 2008 television ad about the phone ringing in the White House at 3 a.m.: "Here's an idea for an Obama ad: a montage of Clinton's Sybillish personalities that have surfaced during the campaign with a solemn voiceover at the end saying, 'Does anyone want this nut answering the phone?'" The last thing Hillary's opponents should do to make their case against her is to channel radical feminism's nutty hostility to due process.

The progressive media and left wing is no less two-faced. When, for example, Julian Assange and Al Gore were accused of sexual assault, left-wingers suddenly became the defenders of due process and fairness, roles they happily abandon whenever the accused are college-age men unworthy of the left's fealty (can you say Duke lacrosse and Hofstra?).

There is too much at stake to entrust sexual assault and the due process owed to men accused of it to ideologues. The kooks on the right and the kooks on the left need to stop using these issues to advance their kooky agendas.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Off topic: Hung jury mistakenly acquits defendant in burglary case, defendant is killed one hour later

Almost too bizarre for words. Bobby Lee Peason must have felt like the luckiest man in the world after he was accidentally acquitted by a hung jury.

His luck lasted just one hour. He was killed in a fight with his sister's boyfriend.

Read it here.

'Nearly Choked to Death'==Two Versions

By John Leo. This appeared in Minding the Campus:
In the Brown University rape-charge scandal, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has declared that the complaining student was "nearly choked to death."

The male involved says the "choking" was minor and meant to be affectionate:

"Both (the female and male students, Lena Sclove and Daniel Kopin) acknowledge that Sclove had an intensely negative reaction when Kopin put his hand on her neck while they were kissing and touching each other in the street....According to Kopin, he (again) put his hand on her neck, in a "gentle manner," while she was giving him oral sex--at which point she stopped and told him she did not want to be touched that way, and he apologized.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Apology to Brett Sokolow

Brett Sokolow is doing more to advance the rights of young men on campus than anyone I know, just as he's done more to advance the rights of sexual assault victims on campus over the past 15 years. In our predecessor blog, we misjudged Mr. Sokolow, based on the limited information available to us, as someone hostile to the due process rights of persons accused of sexual assault. In fact, in writing after writing, we see that Mr. Sokolow is concerned about fairness.

I don't agree with all of his positions. In my opinion, his views on sexual coercion are on shaky legal ground, but he is someone whose good faith needs to be acknowledged and credited. I will be writing about the standard of review on campus in the next few days -- we have criticized him in the past on this. The issue is more complicated than most want to acknowledge.

Mr. Sokolow, you have our apology, our best wishes for your continued success, and our hope that you keep up the fight for fairness for all students. I am linking NCHERM to this blog.

Here is the latest news on Sokolow:
Since April, he says, at least 55 young men have asked him to represent them in disputes with their colleges or universities. So far, Mr. Sokolow has taken on 11 of those cases.

He believes that the rising number of complaints from men stems in part from increasing pressure on colleges to hold students responsible for sexual misconduct, and the mistaken belief among administrators that this means they should find more young men responsible. "All of this pressure from the White House and OCR has been communicated, and these university panels believe they are supposed to vote a certain way now," says Mr. Sokolow. "Campuses are saying, We have to comply with Title IX, so we have to side with the victim."

How can a student prove consent to sexual activity under California's proposed "affirmative consent" law? The bill's co-author says: "Your guess is as good as mine."

California’s Senate Bill 967 would codify the use of the low “preponderance of the evidence” standard (50.01% likelihood) in sexual assault cases on campus and mandate “affirmative consent” at every step of a sexual encounter.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) says the proposed law is "a confusing and legally unworkable standard for consent to sexual activity." Under this bill, a student can be found responsible for sexual assault even if there was actual consent, simply because he could not prove he obtained consent in the prescribed manner.

FIRE sums it up: "Under this mandate, a student could be found guilty of sexual assault and deemed a rapist simply by being unable to prove she or he obtained explicit verbal consent to every sexual activity throughout a sexual encounter."

The law is about to become a guessing game for young men on California campuses. If you think that's an exaggeration, read what the co-author of the bill in the Assembly, Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, said when she was asked how an innocent person is supposed to prove consent: “Your guess is as good as mine. I think it’s a legal issue. Like any legal issue, that goes to court.”

And that about sums it up. SB 967 threatens to turn innocent young men into pariahs who will be expelled from college and have their goods names blackened simply for failing to meet a confusing and unworkable legal standard.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Balance, balance, balance . . . finally, some voices in the mainstream media are having an adult discussion about serious issues

Read Daniel Drezner's Washington Post piece here.

An example of lousy news reporting of an alleged rape

Too often, news reporting destroys the good name of presumptively innocent men accused of sexual assault. Rape is widely regarded as the loathsome of all acts (for many people, even more loathsome than murder), so the stigmatization of a false rape claim is unique and can be severe, even life altering. This blog receives requests from wrongly accused men to remove their names from stories reported on our site even though the stories portray them as victims. They tell us that having stories appear on-line that allude to a rape accusation against them -- even though the accusation was shown to be false -- harms their reputations. We always comply.

The following is an almost verbatim news story about a false rape claim that appeared in the Newark Advocate, see here. The only change I made to the story is that I am not posting the name of the accused man. When I first read the news story, one fact was painfully obvious: inexplicably, the accuser is not named, but the accused is. The news story recounts an atrocious lie the woman allegedly told about the man. First, read the story:
Rape charge against Newark man dismissed after woman admits to lying
NEWARK — A rape charge against a 22-year-old Newark man was dismissed Monday after the woman who filed the report told law enforcement officers she lied about being sexually assaulted. 
______________ had been charged with the first-degree felony May 20 following the woman’s report and an interview with police. The woman reportedly told police ______________ had held her down and covered her mouth while engaging in sexual conduct with her. 
According to a Newark Division of Police report, the woman who reported the sexual assault admitted to police Monday morning that she had lied. 
Assistant Licking County Prosecutor Chris Reamer filed a motion to dismiss Monday and ______________ was released from the Licking County Justice Center. In his motion, Reamer said the possibility the woman had lied was made known to law enforcement after Facebook communications had been brought to the attention of police. 
The woman could face falsification charges for filing a false police report.
At the time I am writing this post, there are ten comments under the story. Presumably, these are regular readers, not civil libertarians or "men's rights advocates." The comments are typical for news stories like this -- they express outrage and a desire to punish the false accuser. Four of the comments want the woman named. One reader wrote: "She should face jail and be publically [sic] named, the advocate had no issue giving the real victims name in this case[.]" Another wrote: "She is no longer a victim. She should be named and charged" Another wrote: "again, you name the poor guy who gets blamed, but protect the woman who made the claim,,NAME HER for darn sake[.]"

But wait, that's not the end of the story. Last month, before the woman recanted, the Newark Advocate ran a story reporting the alleged rape in which it splashed the young man's mugshot on its site and even provided his address for anyone interested. See here. But in the original news story, the following passage appears (again I am redacting the name of the accused): "______________ allegedly admitted to the assault during a police interview and said he knew the victim did not want to engage in the sexual conduct, 'but because he had consumed alcohol and was sexually aroused, he had sex with her anyway.' The victim may have some mental handicaps, according to the statement of facts."

In the most recent news story where the woman recanted, the Newark Advocate doesn't bother to mention the alleged admission of the accused or the accuser's purported mental handicaps. If the man admitted to the assault, and if the woman has mental handicaps, should law enforcement be crediting her recantation? Or was the original story wrong? Did the Advocate question police about why the recantation of a supposedly mentally challenged young woman has been credited in the face of the accused's purported admission? Isn't that something that readers of the Advocate would want to know? And if the recantation was worthy of being credited, why on earth does the Advocate print the man's name but not the woman's in the latest story?

The Newark Advocate doesn't bother to tell us any of it. We are left with only questions because, we fear, this story wasn't "big" enough to investigate thoroughly even if it was life-altering for either the man or the woman involved. Sadly, that's all too common for stories like this.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

List of lawsuits by male students alleging due process violations in adjudicating sexual assault

A Voice for Male Students has published an excellent list of lawsuits by male students alleging due process violations in adjudicating sexual assault charges. Here is the list, with some modifications to make the description of the documents consistent with legal terminology:

List of Lawsuits Against Colleges and Universities Alleging Due Process and Other Violations in Adjudicating Sexual Assault

Plaintiff’s Attorney
Key Documents / Summary
CaliforniaOccidental CollegeJohn DoeMark Werksman,Mark Hathaway(1) Complaint, part I, (2) Complaint, part II (includes screenshots of text messages between accuser / accused), (3) article by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)Pending.
DelawareDelaware State UniversityAndre L. HenryDaniel C. HerrStory from Inside Higher Ed.Pending.
IndianaDePauw UniversityBenjamin KingStory in the university newspaper (page 1 and page 3).Pending.
MassachusettsCollege of the Holy CrossEdwin BleilerNicole Collby Longton(1) Complaint, (2) Answer, (3) article by FIRE.Bleiler was acquitted, the school’s “finding” (judgment) against him was overturned, and he was reinstated.
MassachusettsWilliams CollegeJohn DoeComplaint (fee required).Pending.
MichiganUniversity of Michigan – Ann ArborDrew SterrettDeborah GordonComplaint.Pending.
New JerseyDrew UniversityKevin ParisiSolomon RubinStory in
New YorkColumbia UniversityJohn Doe
New YorkVassar CollegePeter Yu
(1) Complaint, (2) AnswerPending.
North CarolinaDuke UniversityLewis McLeodRachel B. Hitch(1) Complaint, (2) Wall Street Journal article, (3) order granting injunction to prevent expulsionPending.
North CarolinaDuke UniversityReade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, David Evans(1) Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson. New York: St. Martin’s Press. 2007, (2) Durham-in-WonderlandPlayers declared innocent, received settlement; 2007.
OhioDenison UniversityZackary HuntEric RosenbergArticle in The Denisonian (Denison U Student Newspaper)Confidential settlement; 2014
OhioKenyon CollegeStephen ZingarelliGregory O’Brien, Eric WeissArticle in The Collegian (Kenyon College student newspaper)Pending.
OhioUniversity of CincinnatiEthan PeloeAmended complaint.Pending.
OhioXavier UniversityDezmine WellsPeter GinsbergComplaint.Confidential settlement; 2014.
PennsylvaniaBucknell UniversityReed DempseyStephen BeckerMemorandum of court.Charges against the university dismissed. Charges against police department pending.
PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia UniversityAnthony VillarStory in Philadelphiamagazine.Pending.
PennsylvaniaSaint Joseph’s UniversityBrian HarrisKenneth DubrowComplaint.Pending.
PennsylvaniaSwarthmore CollegeJohn DoePatricia HamillComplaint.Pending.
Rhode IslandBrown UniversityAdam LackStory in the Brown Daily Herald.Confidential settlement; 1998
Rhode IslandBrown UniversityWilliam McCormickJ. Scott KilpatrickStory in the Brown SpectatorConfidential settlement; 2011
TennesseeSewanee, The University of the SouthJohn DoeCharles Wayne, Elisha KingDoe v. Univ. of the S., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35166 (E.D. Tenn. 2011)University found negligent; plaintiff awarded $26k; 2011