At the University of Virginia -- which is to rape what Loch Ness is to real monsters -- fraternities celebrated "bid night" Saturday night, but unlike previous years, sorority sisters did not go house to house sharing drinks with friends. This year, in the wake of the hysteria ginned up by the Rolling Stone article about a gang rape that never happened, the sorority sisters were ordered by their national chapters to stay home. The sorority sisters had a conniption because it dawned on them that they are being treated like children in the "war on rape."
The sorority sisters were the last to find out. The fact is, the premise and the animating impulse of the "war on rape" from the outset has been to treat women like children, and men like predators. The fact that some women are just noticing this suggests it didn't affect them until now.
The sexual grievance industry has modeled its approach to waging the war on campus rape on the law's treatment of child victims. Child victims are rightfully treated differently by our justice system, and there are special rules in criminal and civil law to foster the reporting of harm to children (because children are unlikely to report the harm to themselves) and to insure that the process treats children with sensitivity.
The centerpiece of the President's war on campus rape -- the "It's On Us" campaign -- is premised on absolving young women of responsibility for their own well-being when it comes to sexual assault (because that would be "victim blaming") while placing that burden on -- no, not the rapists -- innocent young men who are told it's their responsibility to rescue tipsy damsels-in-distress from sexual assault. The sorority sisters of the University of Virginia probably thought they were independent, strong women who can chart their own courses. Now they realize they are, in fact, the pathetic children of "Its On Us" who need daddy-surrogates to save them. Little did they know.
Like children, women can't be counted upon to report their own victimization, according to the sexual grievance industry, so to encourage them, policies have been enacted to diminish and even eliminate the due process rights of college men accused of sexual assault. The thinking goes, if it's easier to find men responsible for sexual assault, more women will report. (What the sexual grievance industry didn't bother to consider is that their policies also make it easier to find the innocent responsible for rapes they didn't commit -- but, of course, under the prevailing narrative, there are no "innocents" accused of sexual assault.) As a result, we have a rule mandating that the standard of proof for sexual assault -- but for no other infraction -- be lowered to the lowest possible: preponderance of the evidence.
To make it even easier for women to report, California's new "affirmative consent" law, which governs sexual assault on college campuses and is being copied on campuses around the country, shifts the burden of proving consent from the school to the accused. The very essence of rape law is the absence of consent, so shifting the burden of proving the sine qua non of rape to the accused makes rape a presumptive crime any time there's an accusation. (The Washington Supreme Court recently held that a law in that state that shifted this burden of proving consent in criminal rape cases was unconstitutional, and hopefully the California law will also be overturned.)
When college men and women engage in mutually tipsy sex, many schools improperly single out the man for discipline -- because that fits the prevailing narrative that when it comes to sex, the man is not only a predator, he's the only adult in the room. (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.) Even Brett Sokolow, the most prominent anti-rape advocate on American college campuses, says this practice is discrimination against men.
The reformers are hard at work to make sexual assault proceedings even more child-friendly for women. At Syracuse University, a sexual-violence work group wants the school to dispense with actual "hearings" and structure the investigation of sexual assault claims to "limit the retelling of the incident" -- because, you see, in "he said-she said" disputes where an adjudication of guilt can be life-altering for the accused and typically depends on the accuser's account of the incident, the accuser's delicate sensitivities trump any silly old search for truth and justice.
At Stanford, one of the organizers of a demonstration called “Carry that Weight” ant-rape demonstration wants to eliminate the burden of proof for rape altogether "because essentially burden of proof is a defense of the perpetrator.”
At the University of Virginia, a council of student leaders wants the state legislature to enact "Closed Criminal Trials" for rape.
What's happening on college campuses is nothing new. In the criminal context, the sexual grievance industry has been hard at work for decades making law and public policy as child-friendly for women as possible.For example, everyone would agree that a child accuser should be anonymous, but should adult accusers be anonymous in the news media? Of course not, and they aren't -- except when it comes to rape. Feminist Naomi Wolf maintains that allowing rape accusers to be anonymous treats them like children in need of coddling. "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."
In addition, laws are constantly being amended to lengthen and eliminate statutes of limitations for sex crimes (much to the chagrin of the ACLU) because women are told they need not report their victimization until they are "ready" (meanwhile, a rapist preys on other women), even if this is for decades. This policy sometimes allows convictions for decades-old alleged offenses even though the passage of time effectively forecloses the accused from mounting a meaningful or fair defense. It is, after all, usually impossible to produce evidence of an alibi for a given night 20 years ago, no matter how innocent you are.
Laws were enacted that exempt rape accusers from taking polygraph tests as a condition to proceeding with the rape investigation, but men accused of rape are often still required to take polygraphs. In addition,
Fed.R.Evid. 413 and similar state laws were promulgated that allow evidence that the defendant committed prior sexual assaults to show he has a propensity to commit the crime at issue (note that for no other crime is this allowed). This rule, which is unique in all of American jurisprudence and widely condemned by legal scholars, allows the jury to hear about the defendant's prior acts whether or not the defendant takes the stand, regardless of when they supposedly occurred, and even if the defendant was acquitted of them.
The premise underlying the "war on rape" -- that women are children and men are rapists-in-waiting -- is absurd, but we heard few complaints about it from women's groups so long as women weren't being inconvenienced. In contrast, this blog has chronicled atrocity after atrocity to men stemming from this unjust premise.
If some women are now just noticing the ill-conceived premise of the "war on rape," they should insist that the "war" be waged as if they are adults, and as if men accused of rape were presumed innocent.