Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Feminist wants campus crime alerts to be issued for accusations of acquaintance sexual assualt

Jennifer Freyd, who is paid to teach at the University of Oregon but who seems to inject herself into public disputes involving sexual assault, is not happy that her college only issues crime alerts -- which are supposed to be issued for cases involving serious or ongoing threat to the campus community -- for cases where an unknown rapist allegedly is on the loose.

It seems Ms. Freyd would have the school issue crime alerts every time a woman makes a sexual assault accusation, even after a drunken encounter where the accused's identity is known, even where no report has been made to law enforcement, and even where the facts are in dispute. See here.

Since campus crime alerts, more formally called "timely warnings," are supposed to provide sufficient information to promote safety against serious harm, does this mean that the name of the young man accused of acquaintance rape should also be included in the alert? It would seem necessary to include his name if, in fact, a "timely warning" is warranted and it is to have its intended effect. The implication is that a young man accused of sexual assault after a drunken encounter with an acquaintance automatically would have his reputation destroyed on the basis of an accusation while, of course, the accuser's identity would be shielded. It's Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Scarlet Letter" with the genders reversed.

Ms. Freyd and some female doctoral students want "timely warnings" to be issued for acquaintance sexual assault accusations because, they posit, the current practice may lead to misguided assumptions about the crime. “Unfortunately, providing alerts about only certain types of sexual assault (such as dark alley assaults) while ignoring more common sexual assaults (often off campus at parties, for example) leads to a misunderstanding among students and the community about both the prevalence and locale of sexual assaults,” said Ms. Freyd in an email.

Get it? "Timely warnings" are teachable moments, less about providing needed information to insure safety from serious harm and more about promoting a feminist Nirvana on campus where every sexual assault accusation is automatically believed and is deemed a serious and ongoing threat to the community -- even if the accuser (in feminist parlance, the "survivor") doesn't think it's sufficiently serious to take it to the police, and even if the accused might, in fact, be innocent.

Freyd and her posse have already achieved one great PC triumph: "timely warnings" no longer encourage people to keep their distance from strangers. Instead they state that “no action or inaction by a crime survivor makes that person responsible for his or her victimization.” Isn't that great? Why use "timely warnings" to, you know, promote safety when you can parrot feminist mantras instead?

When will persons of good will stand up and say "enough!"? One commentator wrote this "the level of absurdity surrounding the sexual violence discussion is starting to hit critical mass. . . . The debate . . . is hitting a point in which people are wanting changes where no change is needed, or should occur. In an article posted in the Ol’ Dirty, there was a complaint that campus crime alerts are reinforcing rape myths. This is ridiculous and can be added to the long list of absurd claims made by people that have somehow become the gate keepers of sexual assault prevention." And this: "Using the crime alerts to announce events in which the accused predator is known violates the whole premise of innocent till proven guilty and due process. I realize this is not a big deal to those in academia."