Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 in review: The presumptively innocent strike back

We are stranded in an era where hostility to due process when it comes to men accused of rape masquerades as women's rights. As long-time readers of this blog know, it is the rush to judgment, the assumption that an accusation is tantamount to a conviction, that underlies the injustices we write about. The rhetoric employed to justify the rush to judgment is typically a chilling echo of the lynch mobs gathered at the hanging trees of the Old South, animated by a blatant disregard of the due process rights of the presumptively innocent.

2014 was a watershed year. It was the year it finally became apparent to prominent mainstream writers and law professors that gender extremists have gone too far pushing their agendas on sexual assault. There is finally a mainstream backlash against rape culture hysteria. The rape culturalists are still winning, but for the first time, they have prominent opposition.

Rape Culture Hysteria

Before we get to the backlash, it is important to note that the year witnessed an explosion of jaw-dropping "rape culture" hysteria:

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 . . . .”

Ms. Magazine quoted Caroline Heldman, a professor at Occidental College, on suits filed by men for alleged violations of their due process rights in connection with sexual assault claims: "These lawsuits are an incredible display of entitlement, the same entitlement that drove them to rape."

Sen. Claire McCaskill circulated an extensive survey about sexual assault to 350 college and university presidents. The survey classified persons who make accusations of sexual misconduct as “victims,” and in one place called persons merely accused of sexual misconduct “offenders.” Then on page 14, it contained 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.

Feminist professors attempted to prove campus rape is an epidemic by pointing to schools where there are no rapes

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."

Gender zealots declared that they want the prosecution of rape liars to stop -- it violates human rights.

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.

Jessica Valenti mocked the efforts of three mothers who started Families Advocating for Campus Equality (FACE) that seeks to raise awareness about the injustices faced by presumptively innocent college students accused of sexual misconduct. Each of the three founders of FACE has been touched directly by campus rape injustice: their sons were ensnared by it. Valenti wrote: "Alternative name for this group: Not My Nigel." Of course, "Not My Nigel" is radical feminist shorthand to suggest that women who defend their male loved ones accused of rape or similar acts are defending rapists.

Ezra Klein evinced satisfaction that possibly innocent young men will be expelled for rapes they didn't commit: "Critics worry that colleges will fill with cases in which campus boards convict young men (and, occasionally, young women) of sexual assault for genuinely ambiguous situations. Sadly, that’s necessary for the law’s success. It’s those cases — particularly the ones that feel genuinely unclear and maybe even unfair, the ones that become lore in frats and cautionary tales that fathers e-mail to their sons — that will convince men that they better Be Pretty D–n Sure."

College orientation season saw the usual blaming of "men" for sexual assault.

Elisabeth Dee, Stanford class of 2016, one of the organizers of the “Carry that Weight” demonstration where students were urged to carry a pillow or mattress around for a day to symbolize the burden placed upon survivors of sexual assault, called on the school to reduce the burden of proof required to find someone guilty of sexual assault, which is already the lowest legally permissible, "preponderance of the evidence." Dee said that Stanford, should not be focusing on "defending the perpetrator, because essentially burden of proof is a defense of the perpetrator.”

Laura Dunn, executive director of SurvJustice, on why some colleges have pushed back against lowering the standard of proof for sexual assault cases to make it easier to hold young men accused of sexual assault: "To put it bluntly, I think it's arrogance and ingrained male privilege . . . ."

"Offensive" posters at hospitals and colleges that carry the slogan "one in three reported rapes happens when the victim has been drinking" were condemned for victim blaming.

Julia Horowitz, a journalist at University of Virginia’s school newspaper, wrote that "to let fact checking define the [sexual assault] narrative would be a huge mistake.”

Zerlina Maxwell wrote this: “Ultimately, the costs of wrongly disbelieving a survivor far outweigh the costs of calling someone a rapist.”

Jessica Valenti debated Wendy McElroy at Brown University. A live-blog reveals that a questioner suggested that the conversation had become unnecessarily adversarial, with some people supporting the accuser and others supporting the accused. Valenti responded: “. . . in the society we live in now, we need to side with the survivors. That might not be a fair and equal thing, but that’s how I think it has to be."

At the University of Virginia, the gender zealots want "private" rape trials despite the fact that, as Prof. KC Johnson said, "secret trials are anathema to the U.S. legal tradition" and "that open trials afford a critical protection to the wrongly accused."

The Columbia University Marching Band's adopted a sexual assault policy that assumes all sexual assault accusations are sexual assaults.

The University of Michigan defined "sexual violence" to include "withholding sex and affection."

An anonymous Tumblr blog called the "Hyde Park List" listed the names of six male students and alumni who allegedly have perpetrated "gender-based violence" against other students. The blog was followed by fliers with the names taped around campus.

An ESPN analyst said men need to be reprogrammed. CBS sports anchor James Brown used the Rice incident to boldly -- and bizarrely -- proclaim that when men say "you throw the ball like a girl," it leads to domestic violence against women.

Feminist pundits assumed Woody Allen is a rapist because a woman said so, even though Woody Allen denied it.

The rape culturalists got a big victory with California's "affirmative consent" law that governs sexual assault on college campuses. Under the law, the accused must show that he took "reasonable steps, in the circumstances known to the accused at the time, to ascertain whether the complainant affirmatively consented." The law also requires "affirmative" consent at each step of a sexual encounter on its college campuses. The co-author of the bill in the state assembly, Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, was asked how an innocent person is supposed to prove consent. She said: “Your guess is as good as mine."

One of the worst examples of rape culture hysteria in recent years was the Rolling Stone debacle. Sabrina Rubin Erdely, recounting an alleged gang rape of "Jackie" at a University of Virginia frat house, wrote this in Rolling Stone Magazine: "'Grab its motherfucking leg,' she heard a voice say. And that's when Jackie knew she was going to be raped. She remembers every moment of the next three hours of agony, during which, she says, seven men took turns raping her, while two more – her date, Drew, and another man – gave instruction and encouragement." And: "For men, skepticism is a form of self-protection . . . . For much of their lives, they've looked forward to the hedonistic fun of college, bearing every expectation of booze and no-strings sex. A rape heralds the uncomfortable idea that all that harmless mayhem may not be so harmless after all. Easier, then, to assume the girl is lying, even though studies indicate that false rape reports account for, at most, eight percent of reports." The Managing Editor of Rolling Stone later apologized for the story, noting with almost other-worldly understatement: ". . . there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie's account."

The Backlash

The Rolling Stone debacle might have been a tipping point, because suddenly, the mainstream media discovered that an important college "rape" story was filled with holes -- this, combined with other blows to the rape culture meme, led more and more people to realize that the Rolling Stone debacle is symptomatic of a culture that has allowed gender extremists to dominate the public discourse on sexual assault.

Early in the year, much to the chagrin of feminist pundits, RAINN, the nation's leading anti-rape organization, debunked the "rape culture" meme: "Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime." This is what we've been preaching here for years. RAINN decried the "inclination to focus on particular . . . traits that are common in many millions of law-abiding Americans (e.g., 'masculinity'), rather than on the subpopulation at fault: those who choose to commit rape." It cites the work of Dr. David Lisak, just as this blog has done, in explaining that the notion of "rape culture" is inaccurate.

More damning, the oft-repeated claim that 1-in-5 college women are sexually assaulted came under fierce attack, but not until the end of the year. Earlier in the year, George Will used the Obama administration's own stats to prove the one in five claim was too high, and he got ripped apart for being a rape apologist (by the way, an economist also proved it's way too high based on the government's own underreporting statistics). Will was a pariah, and it looked like it might be the beginning of the end of his long career.

But as the year went on, the 1-in-5 started to dissolve. The lead author of the principal one-in-five study, Christopher Krebs, told Emily Yoffe that it simply is not a representative statistic that can be relied upon when discussing American college women in general. The Washington Post concluded that the stat couldn't be relied on as representative. Then, at the end of the year, 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."

Most important, the Department of Justice said that it's not 1-in-5 college women who are sexually assaulted, it's more like 1-in 52. Naturally, folks like Tyler Kingkade (who previously wrote "It's estimated that between one-quarter and one-fifth of college women experience sexual assault . . . .") penned a column titled: "Sexual Assault Statistics Can Be Confusing, But They're Not The Point," and Sen. Claire McCaskill (who previously wrote "According to the available statistics, 19 percent of undergraduate women have been the victims of sexual assault") said: "Frankly, it is irritating that anybody would be distracted by which statistics are accurate.”

There was a mushrooming of litigation by college men accused of sex offenses -- respected lawyers were entering their appearances on behalf of young men who'd been expelled or suspended from colleges, and in suit after suit, the lawyers claimed that the young men were discriminated against because of their gender.

It was also revealed that colleges pay a lot of money to settle suits filed by men who claim they were wrongly punished for sex offenses.

The most astounding blow to rape culture excesses came on October 15, 2014, when a letter was published in the Boston Globe signed by 28 Harvard law professors -- mostly liberals -- that voiced very strong objections to the school's one-sided, feminist-inspired sexual misconduct policies. This letter was arguably the single most important statement to date on American colleges' hostility to due process when it comes to men accused of sexual misconduct. Prof. Alan Dershowitz, a titan of criminal jurisprudence, told Time Magazine "Harvard's policy was written by people who think sexual assault is so heinous a crime that even innocence is not a defense." Then, he made clear his opposition to Harvard's sexual assault policies was really "a criticism of the federal government. It’s a criticism of the Obama administration.” He added: “These rules are written to preclude a defense” for accused students.

And suddenly, even The New York Times discovered there's another side to the story. Not to be outdone by Harvard, a Yale law professor chimed in, again in the New York Times. (So, of course, Jessica Valenti suggested the Yale law professor is a rape apologist. Robby Soave responded: "People who oppose the death penalty do not sympathize with murderers. Critics of U.S. drone warfare policy are not on the side of the terrorists. Most self-identifying liberals understand this. So why do feminist liberals smear every person who dissents from their extreme, unhelpful, and legally dubious positions on preventing rape as a rape apologist?" Soave said that Valenti's piece is but "the most recent and infuriating example of this contemptible, authoritarian demonization campaign." Soave offered Valenti some sound advise: "How about this, Valenti: If you can't talk about rape without attempting to shut down the discussion about how to actually prevent rape, maybe you are the one who shouldn't talk about it.")

Law Prof. Glenn Reynolds chimed in, calling the alleged rape epidemic the "college rape hoax." Law Prof. John Banzhaf said that illegals crossing the border have more rights than college men accused of rape, echoing something this blog had previously written.

Just as astounding, Brett Sokolow, head of the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management (NCHERM), chimed in. Sokolow has done more to shape the sexual assault landscape on American college campuses than any person outside the Department of Education. Since the year 2000, NCHERM has had in excess of 3,000 college clients. No group has more effectively fought for the rights of sexual assault victims on college campuses. Yet earlier this year, even Sokolow had seen enough, and he wrote a landmark letter to his clients called "An Open Letter to Higher Education About Sexual Violence." It says what this blog has been trying to say for years, only better, and in more forceful terms. He painted a chilling picture about the hostility on American college campuses to the rights of men accused of sexual violence. The letter goes into detail about recent cases NCHERM has investigated that illustrate, beyond any question, what this blog has been saying for years: in the "hook up" culture, the evidence is often too murky to warrant charging and punishing the male accused of sexual misconduct, but that's exactly what too many schools are doing. Among many other things, the letter states that "in a lot of these cases, the campus is holding the male accountable in spite of the evidence – or the lack thereof – because they think they are supposed to, and that doing so is what OCR wants." 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."

That's not all, in a separate letter, Mr. Sokolow cautioned colleges that when a man and a woman engage in mutually tipsy sex, the school can't single out the guy for discipline. This was a letter of immense importance that was ignored in the feminist community because it took a position some prominent feminist pundits had recently attacked when the Wall Street Journal said it.

The courts also rolled back some rape hysteria excesses. The Washington Supreme Court reversed some very bad law that put the burden of proving consent in rape cases on the accused.

The Usual Nuttiness

In 2014, we saw the usual nuttiness. We saw a battle for the ages -- naked students of Harvard's 'Patriarchal Sausage-Fest' versus Harvard's Social Justice Warriors. It was the year we learned about special penis comparison software for law enforcement. In Germany, a male student was rescued from a giant vagina statue.

The year saw the usual false rape claims made for daffy reasons, like the law school graduate who claimed her boyfriend raped her 11 times so she had an excuse for failing her bar exams.

For their part, feminists also took up critical issues that oppressed women in 2014, like the need to avoid using the word "seminal," which it is "blatantly sexist" and "perpetuate[s] inequalities or marginalization." And they protested men taking up too much room on subways. And, of course, we can't forget the statue of a sleepwalking man at Wellesley College, which they said is "a source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault." That pretty much says it all.

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.

This is how stupid college students can be when they talk about rape

At the University of Virginia -- which is to "rape" what Loch Ness is to real monsters -- a council of student leaders from a variety of different organizations has put together a list of action points to battle rape. One of their suggestions calls on the state legislature to enact "Closed Criminal Trials" for rape. They write: "One hurdle to pursuing criminal resolution may be the painstaking public nature of trials. Introducing privacy could make that path more attractive."

We are raising a generation of nitwits. Too many say stupid things like this, and too many others don't object when they hear stupid things like this said.

In this case, they have it exactly backward, of course. Criminal proceedings involving rape ought to be more public, not less. The news media ought to stop shielding the identities of rape accusers as if they were children. No less an authority than Professor Alan Dershowitz has written: "People who have gone to the police and publicly invoked the criminal process and accused somebody of a serious crime such as rape must be identified. In this country there is no such thing and should not be such a thing as anonymous accusation. If your name is in court it is a logical extension that it should be printed in the media. How can you publish the name of the presumptively innocent accused but not the name of the accuser?" Prof. Dershowitz also wrote: "It is absolutely critical that rape be treated like any other crime of violence, that the names of the alleged victims be published along with the names of the alleged perpetrators, so that people who know the victim or know her reputation can come forward to provide relevant information."

Feminist Naomi Wolf once wrote: "Feminists have long argued that rape must be treated like any other crime. But in no other crime are accusers kept behind a wall of anonymity. Treating rape so differently serves only to maintain its mischaracterization as a 'different' kind of crime, loaded with cultural baggage and projections. . . . . Though children’s identities should, of course, be shielded in sex-crime allegations, women are not children. If one makes a serious criminal accusation, one must wish to be treated – and one must treat oneself – as a moral adult."

Prof. KC Johnson wrote this about the UVA actions points:
The students’ recommendations were extraordinary. The most eye-popping came in a call for UVA to use its influence with the General Assembly to change Virginia law, and make all rape trials in the state secret (on grounds that the “painstaking public nature of trials” discourages victims from reporting crimes). The students seemed unaware—or indifferent to—the fact that secret trials are anathema to the U.S. legal tradition, or that open trials afford a critical protection to the wrongly accused.
Prof. Johnson dignifies the student's idiocy with a rationale that ought to be apparent to a ten year old.

We all know that college campuses are breeding grounds for puerile groupthink and conformity to the PC meme du jour -- in their defense, the ones doing the "groupthinking" are barely older than children, and a staggering percentage of them still think like children -- but all the supposed good intentions in the world can't excuse idiocy that would put innocents at risk.

All persons of good will need to start calling these sorts of morally grotesque ideas exactly what they are: stupid, and dangerous.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Landmark Column by Law Prof. Glenn Reynolds: "THE GREAT CAMPUS RAPE HOAX"

Read it here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/12/14/campus-rape-uva-crisis-rolling-stone-politics-column/20397277/

Washington Post: It is 'misleading to suggest that [the one in five stat] is representative of the experience of all college women'

From the Washington Post:

“We know the numbers: 1 in 5 of every one of those young women who is dropped off for that first day of school, before they finish school, will be assaulted in her college years.”

— Vice President Biden, remarks on the release of a White House report on sexual assault, April 29, 2014

“It is estimated that 1 in 5 women on college campuses has been sexually assaulted during their time there — 1 in 5.”

— President Obama, remarks at White House, Jan. 22, 2014

These quotes may seem old, but the issue is not, especially in the wake of the controversy over a Rolling Stone article alleging a gang rape at the University of Virginia.

Previous reports of sexual assault on college campuses spurred the White House early in 2014 to launch a task force to examine the issue. The group’s report was issued on April 29; the first sentence echoes what both the president and vice president have asserted in public: “One in five women is sexually assaulted in college.”

Where does this oft-repeated statistic come from? The Fact Checker dug into the data so you don’t have to.

The Facts

This statistic is derived from a 2007 study, the Campus Sexual Assault Study, which was conducted for the Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice. The researchers also surveyed men, but the statistic in question focuses on women, so we will look carefully at that part of the study.

In the winter of 2006, researchers used a Web-based survey to interview undergraduates at two large public universities, one in the Midwest and one in the South. A total of 5,446 undergraduate women, between the ages of 18 and 25, participated as part of a random sample. The survey was anonymous and took about 15 minutes to complete. (Participants received a $10 Amazon.com certificate for participating.)

So, first of all, it’s important to remember that this is a single survey, based on the experiences of students at two universities. As the researchers acknowledged, these results clearly can be generalized to those two large four-year universities, but not necessarily elsewhere. Moreover, researchers acknowledged the response rate was relatively low compared to face-to-face interviewing.

The survey found that 1,073 women, or 19 percent, said that they experienced attempted or completed sexual assault since entering college. The actual breakdown was that 12.6 percent experienced attempted sexual assault and 13.7 percent experienced actual sexual assault.

The sexual assault instances were further divided into sexual assault while incapacitated from drugs or alcohol or sexual assault through physical force. Most of the sexual assaults were identified as rapes, though the report said “sexual battery” could have included “sexual touching,” such as forced kissing or fondling.

Note that the percentage of sexual assaults — 13.7 percent — was lower than the 1-in-5 figure cited by administration officials. (It is more like 1 in 7.) That’s because the president and vice president used careful phrasing that covered a student’s entire time in college. The overall survey interviewed students that included freshmen, sophomores and juniors.

In a 2009 report, the researchers released a closer look at the data. This report showed that out of the subset of seniors surveyed (1,402 women), that 19 percent (about 287) had experienced sexual assault.

In other words, information that is localized to the seniors at two colleges has now been extrapolated by politicians to the universe of college experience.

To some extent, the results depend on how questions are phrased and answers interpreted.

On its Web site, NIJ notes that rapes and other forms of sexual assault are among the most underreported crimes, but that “researchers have been unable to determine the precise incidence of sexual assault on American campuses because the incidence found depends on how the questions are worded and the context of the survey.” It said that two parallel surveys of American college women were conducted in 1997 and came up with very different results, with one survey showing rapes were 11 times higher than the percentage in the other survey. The reason appears to be because of how the questions were worded.

Earlier this month, the Bureau of Justice Statistics released a study titled “Rape and Sexual Assault Victimization Among College-Age Females, 1995–2013,” which suggested much lower levels of sexual assault than indicated in the Campus Assault Study. But questions have been raised about whether the survey used for the report, the National Crime Victimization Survey, offers an adequate measure of the incidence of rape; a National Research Council report this year recommended ways to improve it.

Still, the BJS report did indicate interesting trends over time, including the fact that sexual assault on campus had been declining in recent years — and that the incidence of sexual assault was higher for women who were not in college. The report also offered a useful guide to the differences between various studies of sexual assault on campus, including this caveat about using the Campus Sexual Assault Study: “Because of the limited population included in the CSA, it should not be assumed that findings from the survey are representative of the population of persons ages 18 to 24 or even to college students specifically.”

Given that an arm of the Justice Department now has provided this warning about the 1-in-5 statistic, The Fact Checker asked the White House to explain why the president and the vice president expressed the data in such sweeping terms.

A White House spokesperson, who asked not to be quoted, said that the 1-in-5 statistic was consistent with other studies, pointing in particular to two surveys: a 2000 Justice Department study that reported that, over a seven-month period, 2.8 percent of college women faced rape victimization (completed or attempted) and a 2014 MIT survey that found that 17 percent of female undergraduates experienced one or more unwanted sexual behaviors.

But there are issues with both surveys. The 2000 report could be interpreted as suggesting that 1 in 5 women might face rape victimization over four or five years in college, but the authors conceded in 2010 that “admittedly, these projections are speculative and await longitudinal studies that follow women throughout their college careers.”

Meanwhile, the MIT sample was based on self-selected responses, so its data could not be used as any sort of confirmation. The university itself warned that “it would be a mistake to use these numbers to generalize about the prevalence of unwanted sexual behavior in the lives of all MIT students.”

The Pinocchio Test

The White House should be applauded for calling attention to this issue; as part of its effort, the White House task force is urging colleges to undertake climate surveys and pushing for more research on the prevalence of sexual assault.

But the BJS warning about the use of CSA data demonstrates the president and the vice president went too far in suggesting the 1-in-5 statistic applied to all college students. Instead, this oft-cited statistic comes from a Web-based survey of two large universities, making it misleading to suggest that it is representative of the experience of all college women.

Given the uncertainty of the research — and various surveys and anecdotal accounts indicating there likely is a serious problem of sexual assault on college campuses — we are going to limit our ruling to a single Pinocchio. But we will monitor how the president, the vice president and other administration officials use this statistic in the future.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/one-in-five-women-in-college-sexually-assaulted-an-update-on-this-statistic/ar-BBhhtj8

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Brilliant Ashe Schow: The meme that 'one-in-five' college women are raped was all the rage -- until it proved indefensible, so now "statistics don't matter"

Please read it here. We've been saying the same thing: see here.

I would add this: As Ashe points out, the lead author of one of the principal one-in-five studies, 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. 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."

The sexual grievance industry exaggerated the prevalence of sexual assault in order to foment a public outcry. They succeeded, and the public outcry they created led to public policy solutions that are unjust to presumptively innocent male students. In the criminal law context, 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."  Exactly how unjust were the laws and policies promulgated as a result of the panic of a rape epidemic on campus? Among many, many others, twenty-eight (mainly liberal) Harvard law professors have decried the policies, as have law professors at Yale and George Washington University. The American Association University Professors has critizized 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.

Berkeley, Missouri violent protests: Another example of extremists crying "injustice" when they don't like an outcome, the facts be damned

A measure of whether someone is reasonable is whether he or she comes to a conclusion based on facts. Sadly, too many on both the angry left and the angry right are unconcerned about facts.

Woman cries rape, police cite evidence supporting the decision not to charge the accused: injustice.

A police officer kills a black teen after the teen apparently raised a gun at him: injustice.

I've seen the video in  the Berkeley, Missouri shooting, and it appears the deceased raised a gun at the police officer. This may prove incorrect, but based on what we know, a suburban St. Louis police officer shot and killed a man who pointed a gun at him. That doesn't merit violent protests. The deceased man's angry mother told reporters that the deceased "was trying to get his life back on track after getting expelled from school." Apparently pointing a gun at a police officer was part of that whole getting-his-life-back-on-track thing.

Yes, it's time to have that "national conversation" about race so many frequently call for. And that needs to include this: if you ever want to persuade middle America that what you're saying is rational, you need to learn to pick your spots.

The only "winners" from this incident are the news outlets. Sorry, Fox News et al, New York Mayor DeBlasio is right. The picture being presented to the world exacerbates conflict. When you present extremists as the norm, the actions of extremists seem more acceptable to people who otherwise wouldn't think so. If police officers have targets on their backs today, the news outlets haven't helped matters and might actually be fomenting discord.

Monday, December 22, 2014

A Victory for the Truth: Sen. Gillibrand's Sexual Assault Resources Website Drops the 'One in Five' Myth

A victory for truth: "Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has dropped an increasingly disputed sexual assault statistic from her website. . . . Gillibrand’s sexual assault resources web page no longer includes a sentence citing the National Institute of Health Campus Sexual Assault Study, which concluded that one in five college women will be subject to rape or attempted rape." Sen. Gillibrand is one of the leaders in the war on college sexual assault.

Senator Gillibrand's staff is to be applauded for acknowledging reality, a rarity in the loopy world of college sexual assault politics. The one in five stat isn't reliable, but it's constantly used to scare people into believing there is an epidemic of rape on campus when there isn't. Rhetoric -- truthful and untruthful -- molds the public's perception, the public's perception molds public policy, and public policy is used to hurt innocent young men. The infamous one in five stat became a rallying point for anti-rape advocates pushing draconian government policies that are marked by a hostility to due process for college men accused of sex offenses. See, for example, here.

The change on Sen. Gillibrand's website comes in response to a new DOJ study that shows that the real number isn't 1 in 5, it's 1-in-52.  It isn't 20 percent of all college women, it's 1.9 percent. See herehere and here.  (And even that is being overly generous because, among other things, it credits every assertion of sexual assault -- defined, incidentally, in an overly broad manner -- as an actual sexual assault despite the fact that when sexual assaults are actually reported, investigated, and tested against competing evidence of innocence, the majority can't be said to be actual assaults or non-assaults.) We suspect that if no one bothered to publicize the new study, Gillibrand's website would not have been changed. Many sites, including this site, made much of the new study, and it's our guess that Gillibrand's staff simply decided that, in order to have credibility, their resources page can't rely on a dubious stat.

The one in five stat has long had its critics, and for good reason. The lead author of the 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 said the stat couldn't be relied on as representative. The New York Times says the stat is "flawed." Scott Berkowitz, head of the national advocacy group RAINN, says the 1 in 5 stat "is probably too high."

Last September, a writer for the Huffington Post wrote: "It's estimated that between one-quarter and one-fifth of college women experience sexual assault . . . ." Then, after the new DOJ study came out, that same writer penned a column that declared statistics are "not the point."

Here's the point. The sexual grievance industry exaggerated the prevalence of sexual assault in order to foment a public outcry. They succeeded, and the public outcry they created led to public policy solutions that are unjust to presumptively innocent male students. In the criminal law context, 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."  Exactly how unjust were the laws and policies promulgated as a result of the panic of a rape epidemic on campus? Among many, many others, twenty-eight (mainly liberal) Harvard law professors have decried the policies, as have law professors at Yale and George Washington University. The American Association University Professors has critizized 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.

Sen. Gillibrand's nod to reality is a good start. All persons of good will need to go on a full-scale offensive to discredit any reliance on the one-in-five statistic.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

D.C Lawyers Matt Kaiser and Justin Dillon Are Among the Nation's Foremost Champions of Wrongly Accused College Men

They are attorneys who've handled dozens of campus sexual assault cases at 19 universities across the country, and they've written a brilliant piece explaining the atrocities faced by the wrongly accused. They are Matt Kaiser and Justin Dillon. and this is their law firm. No, I don't know them, but I admire them. Here is their article (found here).

What the Rolling Stone story tells us about campus sexual assault

By Matt Kaiser and Justin Dillon

Rolling Stone has walked away from its story about a woman it called Jackie being gang raped at a fraternity at the University of Virginia. The story was sensational and relied on Jackie’s detailed description of a brutal rape by seven members of a U.Va. fraternity. Rolling Stone apologized for the story because its reporter, her editor and its legal department blindly believed Jackie and didn’t investigate or scrutinize what she said.

Based on our experience handling dozens of campus sexual assault cases at 19 universities across the country, it looks like Rolling Stone took a page out of the playbook from most colleges when they handle allegations of sexual assault on campus. The article and the investigation that led to it was long on emotional response and short on truth-searching.

One part of the story that seems to be true is that something very traumatic happened to Jackie. Her suitemate said that after the night of the alleged rape, she withdrew into her room and didn’t talk to others. The woman who started at U.Va. as a bright and enthusiastic person transformed into a shell of herself.

That transformation is striking — and it looks like the school should have done more to help Jackie.

But, in light of the significant problems with her story, what she says happened that night just couldn’t have happened. Even her own roommate said that she feels Jackie misled her.

What this suggests to us is that the takeaway of the Rolling Stone controversy is that just because a person went through a traumatic experience — and there is no reason to doubt that Jackie had something happen to her — that person’s report of what happened shouldn’t be accepted uncritically.

***

The mantra of the recent action around campus sexual assault has been that women just don’t falsely report rape — that a person making a sexual assault claim should be believed. Jackie’s story shows the limits of that assumption.

And the Rolling Stone story isn’t the only example — at two separate schools in New Hampshire, two separate women are being prosecuted by the police for making false reports of campus sexual assaults.

We don’t know why a woman would make a false accusation. But what the discrepancies in Jackie’s story make clear is that it does happen; any system of resolving these cases that assumes otherwise is bound to be flawed.

In its apology, Rolling Stone said that it found the story of Jackie — the woman who reported the gang rape at a fraternity party — credible because she neither said nor did anything that made the reporter, or Rolling Stone’s editors and fact-checkers, question Jackie’s credibility. In the story, her friends and rape activists on campus strongly supported Jackie’s account. She had spoken of the assault in campus forums.

Outrage and emotion trumped good journalism. The magazine didn’t push to talk to the people who could have shed light on what happened because they “were trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault.” Out of a concern for victims, the magazine decided not to do its job.

This is precisely what happens at college campuses across the country as they investigate these cases. Students are accused, told only the thinnest of details about the accusations, and given no meaningful ability to investigate or present their side of the story.

Campus hearings on these cases don’t help much, either. In our experience handling these at colleges around the country, the young woman is almost uniformly distraught. The young man, believing himself to be falsely accused, usually comes across like one might expect a falsely accused college student to come across — as cold, angry, and incredulous. So the panelists at the hearing often side with — and do not closely question — the sympathetic person, while leaving their hard questions for the less sympathetic one. A search for truth, this is not.

***

Virtually every campus in America also prohibits an accused, or his attorneys, from trying to interview witnesses about what happened. The schools’ view is that if a witness is approached by someone trying to defend himself, it could be uncomfortable for the person bringing the complaint.

But schools have forgotten what Rolling Stone has just been reminded — the search for truth is often uncomfortable.

And the problems don’t stop there. Often, in campus hearings, an accused person can’t ask questions of the accusing student. In some cases, a male student is told a date but not the name of the accuser or any of the details of the accusation.

The discrepancies in Jackie’s story came out only because the case went public. Everyone read what Jackie said and critically evaluated it. We were able to see how the mere fact of trauma does not mean that everything the person who experienced the trauma says is true. But in campus cases across the country, men are accused, found guilty and expelled, without anyone knowing, seeing, or challenging what happens.

Sexual assault, on campus or elsewhere, is serious. It deserves serious discussion and attention. And women who experience trauma should receive support. But Jackie’s story shows that an experience of trauma isn’t the end of an inquiry; it’s the start.

Just as Rolling Stone shouldn’t have thrown away the practices of good journalism out of concern for victims of sexual assault, colleges shouldn’t throw out basic fairness in investigative practices when handling these cases.

If Jackie had named her attackers, they would almost certainly have been expelled and likely prosecuted. For, apparently, nothing. Yet that is exactly what’s happening at campuses across the country every day; Rolling Stone just isn’t there to cover it.

Matt Kaiser and Justin Dillon are partners at Kaiser, LeGrand & Dillon PLLC, a law firm in Washington, D.C, that has defended college students in campus disciplinary proceedings.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Female college president's photo with bare-chested male students prompts professors to question whether the college has "a casual attitude toward sexual assaults"


Before the Christmas holiday break, East Stroudsburg University President Marcia Welsh was visiting the campus' residence halls to deliver holiday cookies and she was greeted by various groups of students "showing their holiday spirit." At Hawthorn Suites, she was greeted by bare-chested male students donning Santa hats who call themselves the "Hawthorn Hotties." John Alston, one of the "Hotties," said the guys "thought it would be funny."

President Welsh posed with the young men for a photo and then tweeted it along with photos of other stops on her cookie delivery tour. The picture of Welsh with the "Hotties" is strictly PG material -- the "Hotties" didn't actually "show their holiday spirit" but kept it in their pants.

It turns out the "Hotties" are amateur erotic male dancers on campus who fund-raise for charitable causes, like prostate cancer research and awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault, and to promote other student organizations.

From the reaction to the tweet, you'd think President Welsh posed for a photo-op with the Steubenville rapists. Pennlive.com wrote: "It has professors questioning whether East Stroudsburg is a university that has . . . a casual attitude toward sexual assaults."

If you're scratching your head, or other parts of your anatomy, over that non sequitur, scratch mine, too (just my head, please).

Tying this photo to sexual assault is akin to saying that if President Welsh posed with the local fire department, it would show the school has a casual attitude toward arson. The one has nothing to do with the other.

President Welsh fired back at her critics, noting that the guys raise money for cancer research, and the criticism of the photo "is not only an insult to them but a malicious disservice to the good work they do for our university and the community."

President Welsh ought to go further. She ought to redo the photo as an "in-your-face" Christmas card for her critics, only this time, the "Hotties" ought to don thongs, and it should have a greeting like this: "Hoping you savor the holiday season as much as I savor copping a feel of sophomore John Alston's fine, tight ass!"

The critics do make one interesting point. One professor said: "I wouldn't be surprised if at a university where a male president posted such a thing he would be fired."

Given that the sexual grievance industry's hypersensitivity about men and sex borders on pathology, that wouldn't surprise me in the least.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Website counsels journalists how to cover sexual assault cases -- and to believe the "victim"

The Rolling Stone debacle ripped off an ugly scab on the biased reporting of sexual assault accusations by American news outlets. The pus it revealed is anathema to serious journalism. Most conscientious editors will not want to repeat the public relations disaster Rolling Stone has experienced, and now, for the first time in recent memory, people who write about sexual assault accusations might feel an obligation to be accountable and even-handed in their reporting.

How widespread is biased reporting on sexual assault? Regular readers of this blog know that it is is a serious problem.

Here is a website that might just be the playbook used by Sabrina Rubin Erdely when "reporting" on the alleged gang rape of "Jackie" at a University of Virginia frat house in Rolling Stone Magazine -- it's called "Know Your IX", and it advises journalists how to report on sexual assault. It's a veritable cornucopia of  how not to fairly report on the news. The gist of it seems to be that journalists are supposed to treat accusations of sexual assault as if they were proven sexual assaults. That the authors of this site expect journalists to abide by its suggestions would be laughable were it not for Erdely, Hofstra, the Baltimore Sun, and a thousand others. Here are some excerpts:

"Know Your IX has assembled a guide for reporters and editors who are covering gender-based violence, particularly on college campuses."
Use direct quotes from survivors, rather than paraphrasing their accounts, as much as possible. Direct quotes allow the survivor to retain control over the narrative of their personal experiences, which is crucial for survivors, especially those who have been revictimized by disbelieving/dismissive administrators or police departments. It will also help prevent you from accidentally leaving out details that the survivor considers important or from misrepresenting their experiences. The Columbia Spectator’s approach provides a helpful example: When the paper first covered Emma Sulkowicz’s “Carry That Weight” project, it presented it as a video, allowing Emma to talk about her project and about her assault uninterrupted. Using direct quotes also allows you to avoid using the term “allegedly”. As the Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Girls and Women points out in its excellent Reporting on Rape and Sexual Violence” toolkit (also a valuable resource for reporters looking to improve their media coverage of sexual violence), the terms “alleged” or “allegedly” carry a host of negative and positive connotations and cast unwarranted doubt in the readers’ mind as to the validity of the survivors’ story. So long as you credit the survivors’ stories to them, there shouldn’t be any legal obligation to use the term “allegedly.”
          . . . .
"Don’t give false rape reports and sexual assault equal weight; this is false equivalency." 
. . . . 

". . . if your publication has a policy against letting sources read a story before publication, talk to your editor/highers-up about making an exception for stories about sexual assault survivors." 
. . . . 
"If a survivor doesn’t want to share certain information or details you’d hoped to include, particularly about the violence or abuse itself, don’t push it."
Readers here know that we've called attention to countless incidents where journalists have called accusers "survivors" or "victims." We once convinced the New York Times to add the word "alleged" to signify that an accuser is only an "alleged" victim. Most news outlets ignore our entreaties. Maybe they won't after Rolling Stone.

Why is it a problem to call an accuser a "victim" or a "survivor"? Because readers assume that journalists have done their own investigations, so when journalists bestow these terms on accusers based on nothing more than the accuser's ipse dixit, this signals to the reader that the accuser's allegation is factual. This does a grave disservice to the presumptively innocent who are the subject of the accusations since, by necessity, they must be guilty if their accusers are, in fact, "victims."

It also does no favors to rape victims when journalists transform accusers into "victims" without substantiation because, if the accusations are shown to be doubtful -- as in the Rolling Stone story -- this not only undermines confidence in the way journalists cover these stories, it foments distrust in rape accusers.

One solution is for editors to avoid allowing ideologues to write about sexual assault. When an editor has to assign a reporter to cover sexual assault, anyone with a Women's Studies degree should be exempted, as should anyone who volunteers to write it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Pakistan terrorist attack was essentially a massacre of boys

The terrorist attack on children in Pakistan was horrifying by any measure. Throughout the day on Tuesday and this morning, we saw news report after news report stating that the school under siege is one that is attended "by boys and girls" from both military and civilian backgrounds.

What's not been a focus of attention is that it was essentially a massacre of boys.

"Boys and girls attend, though witnesses said the assailants primarily targeted upper classes made up only of boys." http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20141216-nightmare-in-pakistan-taliban-slaughter-141-at-school.ece And: "The dead included 123 male students, as well as nine staff members, including a female teacher." http://www.bdlive.co.za/world/asia/2014/12/16/taliban-assault-on-pakistani-school-ends-with-146-dead-mostly-children

It just so happened that the victims were almost entirely male, and this wasn't considered newsworthy. I find that curious.

If the assailants had targeted girls, would the media have underscored the victims' gender? Remember the "Bring Back Our Girls" hashtag?
Boko Haram gained worldwide infamy in April when its members kidnapped 276 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in northeast Nigeria. The incident was "just a drop in the bucket in the context of the total number of people kidnapped in recent years," . . . .. But it put the global spotlight on Nigeria, driven by the social media hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. This online movement gained support from Michelle Obama and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, among others.

Most hateful quotes of 2014

Phi Kappa Psi House at UVA
This year has witnessed a plethora of disturbing comments by influential mainstream writers, feminists, progressives, and others manifesting hostility to due process and college men accused of sexual assault. Which do you think is the most egregious?

1. ●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 . . . .”

2. ●Ms. Magazine quoted Caroline Heldman, a professor at Occidental College on suits filed by men for alleged violations of their due process rights in connection with sexual assault claims: "These lawsuits are an incredible display of entitlement, the same entitlement that drove them to rape."

3. ●California’s new “affirmative consent” law requires "affirmative" consent at each step of a sexual encounter on its college campuses. The co-author of the bill in the state assembly, Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, was asked how an innocent person is supposed to prove consent. She said: “Your guess is as good as mine."

4. ●Sen. Claire McCaskill circulated an extensive survey about sexual assault to 350 college and university presidents. The survey classified persons who make accusations of sexual misconduct as “victims,” and in one place called persons merely accused of sexual misconduct “offenders.” Then on page 14, it contained 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.

5. ●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."

6.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.

7. Jessica Valenti mocked the efforts of three mothers who started Families Advocating for Campus Equality (FACE) that seeks to raise awareness about the injustices faced by presumptively innocent college students accused of sexual misconduct. Each of the three founders of FACE has been touched directly by campus rape injustice: their sons were ensnared by it. Valenti wrote: "Alternative name for this group: Not My Nigel." Of course, "Not My Nigel" is radical feminist shorthand to suggest that women who defend their male loved ones accused of rape or similar acts are defending rapists.

8.Ezra Klein evinced satisfaction that possibly innocent young men will be expelled for rapes they didn't commit: "Critics worry that colleges will fill with cases in which campus boards convict young men (and, occasionally, young women) of sexual assault for genuinely ambiguous situations. Sadly, that’s necessary for the law’s success. It’s those cases — particularly the ones that feel genuinely unclear and maybe even unfair, the ones that become lore in frats and cautionary tales that fathers e-mail to their sons — that will convince men that they better Be Pretty D–n Sure."

9.Elisabeth Dee, Stanford class of 2016, one of the organizers of the “Carry that Weight” demonstration where students were urged to carry a pillow or mattress around for a day to symbolize the burden placed upon survivors of sexual assault, called on the school to reduce the burden of proof required to find someone guilty of sexual assault, which is already the lowest legally permissible, "preponderance of the evidence." Dee said that Stanford, should not be focusing on "defending the perpetrator, because essentially burden of proof is a defense of the perpetrator.”

10.Laura Dunn, executive director of SurvJustice, on why some colleges have pushed back against lowering the standard of proof for sexual assault cases to make it easier to hold young men accused of sexual assault: "To put it bluntly, I think it's arrogance and ingrained male privilege . . . ."

11. ●Julia Horowitz, a journalist at University of Virginia’s school newspaper, wrote that while the Rolling Stone "gang rape" story may be false, “from where I sit in Charlottesville, to let fact checking define the narrative would be a huge mistake.”

12.Zerlina Maxwell wrote this: “Ultimately, the costs of wrongly disbelieving a survivor far outweigh the costs of calling someone a rapist.”

13. ●Jessica Valenti, debated Wendy McElroy at Brown University. A live-blog shows a questioner suggested that the conversation had become unnecessarily adversarial, with some people supporting the accuser and others supporting the accused. Valenti responded: “. . . in the society we live in now, we need to side with the survivors. That might not be a fair and equal thing, but that’s how I think it has to be."

14. Sabrina Rubin Erdely, recounting the alleged gang rape of "Jackie" at a University of Virginia frat house in Rolling Stone Magazine: "'Grab its motherfucking leg,' she heard a voice say. And that's when Jackie knew she was going to be raped. She remembers every moment of the next three hours of agony, during which, she says, seven men took turns raping her, while two more – her date, Drew, and another man – gave instruction and encouragement." And: "For men, skepticism is a form of self-protection . . . . For much of their lives, they've looked forward to the hedonistic fun of college, bearing every expectation of booze and no-strings sex. A rape heralds the uncomfortable idea that all that harmless mayhem may not be so harmless after all. Easier, then, to assume the girl is lying, even though studies indicate that false rape reports account for, at most, eight percent of reports." (The Managing Editor of Rolling Stone later apologized for the story, noting with almost other-worldly understatement: ". . . there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie's account.")

Teen prostitute charged for falsely reporting rape after a client failed to pay her in full for services

An 18-year-old woman from Lubbock Texas has been arrested on multiple charges after police say she called to report a rape after she wasn’t paid for prostitution services.

Just after 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, officers responded to the Hyatt Hotel on East Putnam Avenue after the woman called police reporting that she was raped by a guest at the hotel.

After a police investigation in which police interviewed everyone involved, police determined that the woman had lied and fabricated the entire account of the incident. She admitted to police that she was involved in prostitution at the hotel. She was arrested and charged with falsely reporting an incident, prostitution, and interfering with a police officer. She is being held on $10,000 bond. Police said they believe the motivation for the false report was made after she failed to receive full payment for services rendered.

http://wtnh.com/2014/12/16/woman-reports-fake-rape-to-greenwich-police/

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Battle for the Ages: The Naked Students of Harvard's 'Patriarchal Sausage-Fest' Versus Harvard's Social Justice Warriors

Shortly after midnight last Thursday morning, a surreal tableau settled on Harvard Yard that pretty much illustrates everything that is wrong with our vaunted institutions of higher learning.

A group of 30 über-privileged Harvard students -- some clad in black sweatshirts with the words, “I ♥ Black People” (they might as well have worn sweatshirts that said "Some of my best friends are black people!") -- attempted to force 100 other über-privileged Harvard students to join in a four-and-a-half minute "silent demonstration" against racism, prompted by the grand jury decisions in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases.

Where did the wise silent protesters choose to stage this noble demonstration? At about the most inappropriate forum imaginable: the "Primal Scream" at Harvard Yard, a biannual school tradition where mostly male students "at times inebriated, run naked around [Harvard] Yard on the eve of the first day of exams." This event has been called a "detrimental and patriarchal sausage-fest" and a "penis parade."

The rest of the amazing story, and an NSFW photo, appear after the jump:

Photo from The Harvard Crimson
http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2014/12/12/primal-scream-protest-chaotic-exchange/
It was a surreal scene. A large group of college men, and select college women, stripped off all their clothes and were standing stark naked in freezing rain waiting to run a single lap around the Yard for reasons only college men and select college women could even begin to fathom. 

But before they could start, a much smaller group of clothed and sanctimonious PC warriors arrived and ordered the naked students to stand silent for a four-and-a-half minutes, which might as well have been an eternity to phalluses shrunken by December in New England.

The Harvard Crimson clucked that the protest "was planned with understandable intentions: to disrupt an established campus tradition and to show that injustice exists even in the most inconvenient moments."

I mean, what better way to honor blacks victimized by police than for preachy, self-important college students to disrupt naked classmates looking to blow off steam in a freezing Cambridge drizzle?

But you'd better be sitting down for this next part, because something bad happened -- something very bad: the naked students refused to be silent for their their moral superiors. This shocked the protesters, who are accustomed to fellow students marching in lockstep to their PC group-think, so they broke into chants: "Silence! Silence!”

Now, you have to understand that this protest was billed as "an invitation . . . for . . . students to stand with their classmates in solidarity and critique the entrenched privileges that they may find themselves heirs of.” As it turned out, it wasn't an "invitation" at all, it was a Royal Command Performance.

But the naked students decided this wasn't the time or the place to be silent, or to protest a serious issue, or to be preached to -- about race or anything else -- so, horrors!, the naked students started chanting the most vile hate speech imaginable. Yes, you guessed it: they started chanting “U.S.A., U.S.A.!,” drowning out the calls for silence by the protesters.

The protesters had a hissy fit because Primal Scream participants had the audacity to disrupt their attempt to disrupt the Primal Scream. Amanda D. Bradley, class of 2015, who helped organize the protest, said she felt disgusted by what the naked students were chanting. “For people to say black lives matter, and for the crowd to shout back ‘U.S.A.,’ which is upholding a system that is oppressing black people, I think that that is problematic,” she said.

Are you following this? Shout U.S.A." at Harvard Yard, and it's hate speech, because of all that "oppression" and everything. This, according to students whose parents shell out $57,000 a year for them to attend the most prestigious college in America.

But just then, something positively miraculous happened. With megaphone in hand, the Dean of the College, Rakesh Khurana, suddenly rose above the crowd like a Phoenix ascending from the ashes to silence the naked students--and mirabile dictu!--he was riding on the back of a naked man! As one writer observed: "Dean Khurana was just riding that naked man because that’s how much he cares about black people."

But not even this noblest of all gestures could quell the Primal Screamers, and chaos erupted. It was the Odessa steps scene from Battleship Potemkin all over again. A group of streakers at the back of the crowd began to run in the opposite direction around Harvard Yard. The other streakers followed, but the wily protesters cut them off, "forcing some streakers to run off the path and into the middle of the Yard." Some runners shouted obscenities.

In the end, the Harvard Crimson harrumphed: ". . . [M]any protestors left feeling threatened, disrespected, and hurt. No arguments or justifications can detract from their experiences; circumstances do not excuse insensitive behavior."

Yes, yes, of course -- it was "insensitive" for the Primal Screamers to proceed with, you know, the Primal Scream -- because self-righteous PC warriors decided to disrupt it.

I wonder, is it so terribly difficult to believe that despite their exposed phalluses and inebriation, the Primal Screamers probably care about social justice every bit as much as the smug and priggish protesters?

But no matter. It was a scene for the ages, proving that the mindless, libertine hedonism that has been a hallmark of the college experience for as long as anyone can remember can't peacefully coexist with mindless political correctness that has a hissy fit when it doesn't get its way.

All this adds up to one thing: we're raising a generation of nitwits.

For more about Harvard, see these: 

A Tale of Two Snow Penises;

Harvard Prof. Trivializes the Victimization of the Wrongly Accused;

Harvard Crimson to Men Accused of Sexual Assault: Drop Dead;

Prof. Alan Dershowitz: "Harvard's policy was written by people who think sexual assault is so heinous a crime that even innocence is not a defense."

Monday, December 15, 2014

Female assistant principal falsely accused of having sex with teen male

It started as a school rumor that accelerated into accusations.

Then, in December 2013, a 34-year-old assistant principal was arrested and accused of having sex with a male student under the age of 19 between December 2012 and November 2013.

The changes hung over her for a year. She lost her job and could not find work. She was forced to sell her home and to move in with her mother. And she has become a social outcast because of the accusation.

But then, her attorney revealed, the DNA evidence "came back negative." And now, a judge has dismissed the case and ruled that she can never face charges over the same incident in the future because, among other things, the accuser "has hereby recanted and is no longer cooperating with the prosecution of these cases," according to the court order.

"I dedicated and invested a large part of my life into [teaching]. And I loved doing what I did. To wake up and have that all taken away and gone, and have people say the things that they said about me, that were not true. And to have people turn their back on you really hurt."

This case is unusual in that the victim of the false charges is a woman and the accuser is male. While false claims of sex offenses are generally more destructive to males (the gender sentencing disparity for these offenses is substantial), that is of little consolation for the victim in this story because her life, too, has been ruined. The community of the wrongly accused must stand in solidarity with female victims the same as with male victims.

Sources: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2872314/Teary-assistant-principal-falsely-accused-having-sex-teenage-student-forced-sell-home-couldn-t-work-revealed-turned-allegations-surfaced.html

http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2014/12/student-sex_charges_dismissed.html