Monday, December 29, 2014

Sen. Claire McCaskill needs to resign: she finds it 'irritating that anybody would be distracted by' the truth about the prevalence of campus rape

Sen. Claire McCaskill was asked about the infamous statistic that one in five college women are sexually assaulted in light of the overriding evidence that it's not a reliable statistic. What's the overriding evidence?  A new DOJ study shows that the real number isn't 1 in 5, it's 1-in-52 -- that means it isn't 20 percent of all college women, it's 1.9 percent. Beyond that, the lead author of the principal one-in-five study, Christopher Krebs, recently told Emily Yoffe that it simply is not a representative statistic that can be relied upon when discussing American college women in general. Even before that, the Washington Post concluded that the stat couldn't be relied on as representative. Over the weekend, The Washington Post said it is "misleading to suggest that [the one in five stat] is representative of the experience of all college women." The New York Times says the stat is "flawed." And even Scott Berkowitz, head of the national advocacy group RAINN, says the 1 in 5 stat "is probably too high." And see this.

How did Sen. Claire McCaskill react to this overriding evidence? Did she explain that she needs to carefully consider it?  That it might actually be good news because the problem is not as severe as the White House and others have insisted?

She did not. McCaskill said this: "Frankly, it is irritating that anybody would be distracted by which statistics are accurate.”

Let us explain why this comment is so terribly inappropriate for anyone, much less someone in McCaskill's position. McCaskill is spearheading legislation in response to the supposed campus rape epidemic. It is clear that this effort is premised, in large measure, on the one in five stat (a stat that should not be relied on). Back in April, McCaskill wrote this: "According to the available statistics, 19 percent of undergraduate women have been the victims of sexual assault. Because many crimes aren't reported, though, that number is probably higher."  (Likewise, a co-sponsor of her sexual assault legislation, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, also bought into the one in five canard: "A college woman has a chance of one in five to be raped during her college career," Gillibrand wrote. Gillibrand's website recently dropped the one in five canard and it is not clear if she still buys into it.)

So can you guess what is irritating to us, Senator McCaskill? That you are pursuing legislation based, at least in part, on an unreliable stat that could hurt innocent male students. And when asked about it, you said you find it "irritating that anybody would be distracted by" the truth.

The public outcry over the one in five canard has already led to public policy solutions that are grossly unjust to presumptively innocent male students (e.g., reducing the standard of proof to preponderance of the evidence, which makes it easier to punish the innocent for rapes they didn't commit). And no doubt, McCaskill's own legislative "solution" to the phony epidemic will pile more injustice atop the existing injustice.

We've had enough policy made on the basis of lies, Senator. Exactly how unjust are the existing laws and policies promulgated as a result of the phony campus rape epidemic? Among many, many others, twenty-eight (mainly liberal) Harvard law professors have decried the policies, as have law professors at Yale, Univ. of Tennessee, and George Washington University. The American Association University Professors has criticized the "Dear Colleague" letter. Even Brett Sokolow, the head of NCHERM and the foremost advocate for rape victims on American college campuses, says colleges are treating men unfairly when it comes to sex charges.

Innocence Project guru Prof. Mark A Godsey has explained that "the risk of wrongful conviction is the highest when there’s public outcry. Most of the exonerations and wrongful convictions have occurred in rape cases."

Beyond that, McCaskill said something back in April that is downright weird even by the standards of the sexual grievance industry. She claimed that the "number is probably higher" than one in five -- because of alleged underreporting. This is how terribly uninformed she is on the subject, despite the fact she is spearheading legislation on it: the one in five stat takes underreporting into account. Yet her statement suggests she thinks that 19 percent is the percentage of REPORTED sexual assaults when, in fact, the percentage of reported sexual assaults is a tiny fraction of that.

The one in five canard, along with the "rape culture" meme, are the wicked twin sisters of the sexual grievance industry. Both need to be challenged at every turn. Because she is helping to foment a public outcry based on a phony epidemic, Claire McCaskill is unfit to serve as a United States Senator.