Tuesday, May 26, 2015

State charges alleged serial false rape accuser, but she disappears

An assistant attorney general for Montana says that 24-year-old Christina Nadine Nelson, formerly Christina Mark, made a string of alleged false accusations against three men between 2009 and 2012. A total of five medical rape exams were conducted on her, and she made two reports of assault. "Christina had a motive or pattern of accusing young men that she had dated of raping her and assaulting her when no such rape or assault had occurred," prosecutors have stated in court documents. At least one of the young men has been scarred for life.

Now, finally, she's being charged with felonies in connection with two of the allegations she made. Except there's a problem: authorities can't find her. Nelson did not appear for her initial appearance on May 21. She wasn't required to appear in person but by telephone. An assistant attorney general said Friday that Nelson’s whereabouts aren’t known, even by her own attorney. Nelson was supposed to appear last week in Yellowstone County as well but didn’t show. An assistant attorney general fears she might be in Europe.

How was this woman permitted to leave the country?

The incidents we know about are disturbing. Read on.

2009 PROM

In 2009, when Nelson was a German high school foreign exchange student studying in the United States, she said she was raped and cut with a knife by her date on the way to their prom. But detectives found inconsistencies with her statements. An investigation found she suffered no cuts on the night of her prom. When detectives asked if there was blood on her prom dress from the cuts, Nelson told them there was blood but she had washed it off.

Despite the inconsistencies, the boy Nelson accused was charged by police and expelled from school and was not allowed to return to campus. "He moved out of state because he felt that his reputation was destroyed by Christina's allegations," according to court documents filed by the prosecution. A month after the prom, Nelson stated she wanted to drop the charges against her date, and the charges were dropped, too late to spare the young man from the scars of an apparent false rape claim.


On August 10, 2012, Nelson told police that she was leaving her job at Planned Parenthood at about 5:30 p.m. when a former boyfriend approached her in the parking area. She said she told him she was married now and to go away. She alleged that he became violent. He supposedly slapped her in the face and punched her in the stomach nine times--presumably she was carefully counting. Then he took her to a vehicle where he raped her. After the supposed rape, Nelson joined friends at a downtown brewery for a drink and she got home about 7 p.m. She then went to a gym with her husband to work out. After showering, they sat in a sauna and hot tub. They returned home and had unprotected sex. Then she told her husband about the alleged rape at about 10 p.m., and he took her to a clinic.

A detective spoke to the former boyfriend, who met Nelson at Rocky Mountain College and dated her from November 2009 to about June 2011. The man proved he was in Seattle from Aug. 9 through Aug. 18. He had receipts and photos to back up his account. Surveillance video from Nelson’s workplace showed her and a co-worker getting into their vehicles and driving away and no sign of the former boyfriend or his vehicle. (Thankfully, rape victims no longer require corroborative evidence, but in too many cases, now men and boys accused of rape need corroborative evidence to be cleared.) A detective reported having trouble re-contacting Nelson until she sent an e-mail on Aug. 29 saying she didn’t want to press charges.


In two April 2012 reports, Nelson had reported to law enforcement that she had been assaulted at her residence in Billings, although the SANE reports indicated that Nelson reported the rapes had occurred in dorm rooms at Rocky Mountain College. Law enforcement further learned that in April 2012, Nelson reported that the same former boyfriend she accused in August 2012 supposedly raped her.

This site has chronicled the news reports of many serial false rape accusers--see here.

False rape accusers are rarely treated as serious criminals. The sexual grievance industry has made a concerted effort to have police and prosecution stop charging false rape accusers because they assume that prosecuting false rape accusers somehow puts off rape victims from reporting or takes away from the effort to prosecute rapists, as if it were a zero sum game. Some claim that prosecuting false rape accusers violates women's human rights.

Aside from the inexcusable injustice to the men and boys whose lives are damaged or destroyed by a false rape accusation, failing to treat false accusers as serious criminals does no favors for rape victims. Every rape lie diminishes the perceived integrity of every rape accuser. The public loathes both rape and rape lies, and when the public perceives that false accusers are permitted to lie with impunity, it undermines confidence in the way rape is handled. As a result, juries are all the more reluctant to find even guilt in rape cases even when it may be deserved.

Society has made innumerable efforts in the past few years to get women to report their rapes, often at the expense of the due process rights of the men and boys accused. False accusers take advantage of these efforts. A few years ago, a woman arrested for falsely crying "rape" had the audacity to borrow a meme of the sexual grievance industry and proclaim, "That's why women don't report rape."






Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mattress girl Emma Sulkowicz makes yet another questionable accusation -- this time, against the university president

Columbia University graduate Emma Sulkowicz, the mattress-toting face of the sexual grievance industry and the purveyor of a highly questionable rape claim lodged against a male classmate subsequently cleared of wrongdoing by both the university and the district attorney, has made yet another questionable accusation against yet another presumptively innocent male at Columbia. This time, it's the president of the University, Lee Bollinger. Read on--there might be an important lesson here.

Here's what happened. Sulkowicz graduated from the University on Tuesday, and the University discouraged her from bringing her ugly old mattress to the graduation ceremony. An email was circulated Monday from the Columbia administration asking students not to bring "large objects which could interfere with the proceedings or create discomfort to others in close, crowded spaces shared by thousands of people" to the ceremony. But Sulkowicz being Sulkowicz brought the mattress anyway, and the University allowed it even though the man she accused was also in attendance to receive a diploma. (His family was devastated, but no one seems concerned about them.)  Sulkowicz was told by university officials moments before she crossed the stage that she was not allowed to carry the mattress as she received her diploma, but, of course, she ignored the instruction, and she and a gaggle of enablers toted the awful thing onstage.

It's what happened next that is disputed. Video shows President Bollinger standing on stage a few feet away from a dean. Each of the passing graduates shook the hands of the dean and then President Bollinger.

Sulkowicz's name was called out and her classmates let loose a high pitched cheer and gave her a standing ovation. Sulkowicz and her minions proceeded to walk across the stage with the big old mattress. They trotted right past the dean without bothering to stop or to shake his hand. As the mattress brigade approached President Bollinger, Bollinger looked away, either being distracted or more likely pretending to be distracted. Sulkowicz moved her head for an instant, perhaps in an effort to make defiant eye contact with the man who was recently sued because of her mattress stunt, and then she and her minions trotted right past him, too, mattress and all--without attempting to shake his hand.

The BBC's on-line report of the incident had this headline: Rape protest student 'snubbed' at graduation

The New York Times recites Sulkowicz's account:
As Ms. Sulkowicz and her friends ascended the stage, Mr. Bollinger, who had been shaking the students’ hands, turned his back and leaned down as though to pick something up from his seat. Ms. Sulkowicz leaned over the mattress, trying to catch his eye, then straightened up and kept walking, shrugging with her free hand. ...
“I even tried to smile at him or look him in the eye, and he completely turned away,” she said later. “So that was surprising, because I thought he was supposed to shake all of our hands.”
Sulkowicz's account is curious because it suggests President Bollinger refused to shake her hand. Sulkowicz's claim doesn't withstand scrutiny. The video shows that Sulkowicz and her friends made no effort to shake the dean's hand just a moment before they approached President Bollinger. The dean was not in any way distracted, and there is no indication that he would have refused to shake their hands.

For his part, if President Bollinger was momentarily distracted, whether for real or for pretend, and if Sulkowicz was intent on shaking his hand, she could have done what every other graduate did -- extend her arm to shake his hand. She didn't do it. She kept walking with that big, stupid mattress in between her and the president. Nevertheless major news outlets have taken Sulkowicz's side and are reporting that Bollinger snubbed Sulkowicz.

The University said there was no intended snub and that Bollinger couldn't shake Sulkowicz's hand because the mattress was between them. The University also took issue with the New York Times' story in this statement:
The Times story about Columbia College Class Day reflects a highly selective and strained interpretation of actual events. President Bollinger participated in the Class Day ceremony, as he does every year, to honor all graduating students. As thousands of people saw in person and video of the event illustrates, the students who chose to carry a mattress in their hands marched right past Dean Valentini and President Bollinger rather than pausing for traditional handshakes with either the College Dean or University President. That is their right, but the idea that there was any intended “snub” is incorrect and does not ring true to anyone who knows President Bollinger and his graciousness.
On the one hand, Bollinger runs the risk that women's groups will accuse him of being a "rape denier" for snubbing the public face of campus rape. On the other hand, my guess is that he was happy Sulkowicz kept walking so that he didn't have to give her a photo-op that could be construed as a tacit endorsement of her puerile mattress stunt.

But President Bollinger did not refuse to shake her hand. Emma Sulkowicz wasn't looking for a handshake, she was looking for one last curtain call with her mattress, because it's all about her. The fact that President Bollinger didn't flash her a big, affirming smile was not just understandable but appropriate, given her open defiance of the university's request that she leave the mattress home.

There's an important lesson here. Sulkowicz put a questionable spin on a "he said-she said" interaction that lasted less than two seconds, and important news outlets ran with it because it fit their preferred narrative of "college woman oppressed by patriarchy." And this incident happened in broad daylight before hundreds of spectators and any number of video cameras. If President Bollinger could be wrongly convicted in the court of public opinion for this minor transgression under these not-very-murky and very public circumstances, think how easy it would have been to smear Paul Nungesser for a sexual interaction that happened in the privacy of  Sulkowicz's dorm room in August 2012.

Perhaps this is a teachable moment for Bollinger and his university. They have been given a very, very, very small taste of what Paul Nungesser has gone through for years. To quote the dreaded Catherine Comins, "it is not a pain that I would necessarily have spared [him]. I think it ideally initiates a process of self-exploration."

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The people upset about the posters calling mattress woman a "liar" have no moral standing to object

The man college student Emma Sulkowicz accused of rape was cleared of any responsibility for it, and Sulkowicz just can't accept that. Her anger over it borders on pathology. To protest that the man wasn't expelled from the school, the school permitted her carry a mattress around campus for months and months (and she got college credits for doing it). Not only was the man Sulkowicz accused cleared of wrongdoing, but Sulkowicz's claims were seriously called into question by Cathy Young and by the suit filed by the presumptively innocent man she accused. Nevertheless, Sulkowicz has been feted as a feminist champion, the facts be damned.

This week, a few posters sprang up around campus calling Emma Sulkowicz a "pretty little liar," and Jezebel says they are "gross" and a form of harassment. (Jezebel has been one of Sulkowicz's cheerleaders.) Salon calls it "despicable."

The only surprise about these posters is that nothing like this happened a lot sooner.

Here's the bottom line: either the accused is a false rape victim, or the accuser is a rape victim. None of us knows whether Sulkowicz is a "pretty little liar," or if the accused did, in fact, rape her. Our legal process is the most advanced in the history of the world--it isn't perfect, for sure, but it's as good as there is. And once a murky "he said-she said" dispute like this one is vetted by the system, for better or for worse, and once an accused man has been cleared, people of good will need to accept the outcome and move on.

But that's not what happened here. Lamentably, the feminist community decided that Emma Sulkowicz was raped just because she said so, and just because she had the temerity to turn her case into an international spectacle. Worse, the feminist community ignores or disparages the processes that cleared the accused man, not to mention the extremely troubling evidence that has recently come to light that casts enormous doubt on Sulkowicz's claim. Instead, they've turned her into a feminist icon and branded the man she accused a "rapist."  And now, it's looking more and more and more like the man she accused was, indeed, wrongly accused.

And they're upset about these posters? Seriously? 

You know what's a lot worse than an anonymous poster calling someone a "liar" -- I mean in a different galaxy kind of worse? Fomenting a witch hunt that enables a United States Senator and scores of very prominent feminists to brand a presumptively innocent man a "rapist" over and over and over for months on end. That's what's much, much worse.

It's unjust to call the accused man a rapist, and it's patently absurd to treat Emma Sulkowicz as a poster child for rape victims. Rape victims ought to tell her to shut the hell up, it's not all about her. Regardless, the crowd that's upset about the "pretty little liar" posters has no moral standing to insist they are "despicable" or a form of harassment. They're the same goofs who cheered on Emma Sulkowicz when she toted that idiotic mattress around campus and smeared a presumptively innocent man.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Radical feminism has triumphed: Even quasi-mainstream news outlets "always believe the woman," even when the facts suggest such belief is misplaced

To normal people who aren't drunk on gender politics, carrying a mattress around campus and waging a one-woman crusade over a supposed rape that is surrounded by very, very serious questions is simply nutty, but not to Salon.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Writer says that some who believe college rape cases should be handled by the criminal justice system are practicing 'a subtle misogny'

I am late discussing Alexandra Brodsky's jaw-dropping piece about campus rape that appeared a few months ago in The American Prospect. It starts off with a veneer of reasonableness but quickly reveals itself to be yet another tired piece advocating that we should just believe rape accusers and stop getting so hung up over fairness for the accused.

Brodsky takes issue with those who suggest campus kangaroo sex tribunals can't provide justice in "he said-she said" sex cases and that that the only venue where justice is properly meted out is the criminal justice system. She writes: ". . . for some but not all, this devotion to the criminal law response suggests a subtle misogyny that many focusing on this issue have internalized."

There they go again. No, dear reader, this is not The Onion--this is what passes for public discourse about campus sexual assault in 2015. If you dare mention "due process" or the criminal justice system in connection with college rape claims, your credentials for fairness to women are called into question. Can the discourse get any loonier, any more hateful, any less productive than this? Add Brodsky's quote to the list.

Brodsky's piece devolves to tired feminist cliches."No one cries foul when a student is expelled for cheating on an exam based on the preponderance of the evidence." And: "Why do we think an accusation of sexual assault is any more likely to be false than an accusation of a punch in the face?"

First, with respect to the "preponderance of the evidence" standard, it is well to note that the Department of Education has not mandated, under the threat that schools will lose their Federal funding, that cheating or punching someone in the face be adjudicated by the preponderance of the evidence standard. Only sex offenses (which almost always are lodged against male students) are subject to that mandate. Many schools still adjudicate cheating and claims of being punched in the face using the much higher "clear and convincing evidence" standard.

Second, Brodsky compares college kangaroo sex tribunals to civil courts where, generally, only money damages are sought and the preponderance of the evidence standard is employed. Here's a deal for you, Brodsky: we'll take the civil standard for campus sex offenses so long as it comes with the protections provided to the defendant in civil proceedings. In civil cases, the defendant is afforded all manner of evidentiary protections that colleges routinely deny young men accused of sex offenses. In civil cases, defendants are allowed to be fully represented by counsel at every stage of the proceeding. They are permitted to vigorously depose prior to trial, and vigorously cross-examine during trial, the accuser and any other pertinent witnesses. Aside from depositions, they are also permitted to engage in all manner of discovery, including proffering requests for admissions, requests for production of documents, and interrogatories. And if the plaintiff fails to respond to proper discovery requests, she is sanctioned by the court, up to and including dismissal of her case and requiring her to pay the other side's attorney's fees. Hearsay evidence is excluded, as is evidence whose probative value is outweighed by its prejudicial effect to a party. Trial and appellate judges are lawyers bound by centuries of common law precedent. And the defendant has a hand in picking the jury in order to insure fairness in the adjudication. The college kangaroo sex proceeding has no relation to the orderly administration of justice in civil court.

Third, show me any serious law enforcement official who thinks investigating a typical claim for a punch in the face is anywhere near as difficult as a typical, murky, "he said-she said," alcohol-fueled college sexual assault case involving student acquaintances who may or may not have been intimate. Show me even one. As one writer recently explained: "Rape cases are among the most difficult to prove, and no amount of ideology-fueled wishful thinking can clear memories fogged by alcohol or reconcile the different perceptions of people navigating all the complexities of the most intimate of human interactions." Does Brodsky really need me to chronicle the college sex cases that turned out to false or at the very least, very questionable, the past few years? She can start with Hofsta and work her way up to "Jackie" at UVA and the mattress girl at Columbia.

Brodsky expects her readers to believe that greater caution is exercised in charging and finding guilt in rape cases than in certain kinds of other cases because of "the differing confidence placed in different kinds of victims." Here's where she loses all credibility with anyone looking at the issue objectively. Rape cases are difficult to prove because they are difficult to prove. Period. The gender of the alleged victim has nothing to do with it.

The fact is, rape is regarded as an abomination in our culture, and even its accusation is enough to trigger demands for retribution, sometimes even vigilante "justice."  But justice cannot be meted out in response to a public outcry. Nor can it be administered by pretending that rape cases are open-and-shut cases that begin and end with the word of the accuser. That sort of thinking was prevalent in the shade of the hanging trees of the Old South.

If we are to have a serious discussion about how to fairly handle college rape cases, we need to ditch the simple-minded mantras and stop insisting that anyone who acknowledges the difficulties in investigating rape cases must hate women. Brodsky is yet another one who has exiled herself from the adult table on this issue.

Friday, May 15, 2015

The most prestigious legal body in America is considering changing the Model Penal Code to criminalize holding your girlfriend's hand on a date

The American Law Institute is the most important and most prestigious organization of legal scholars and prominent attorneys in the United States. The ALI drafts model laws that become statutes and Restatements of the Law that are widely cited as authority in judicial opinions.

Next week, the ALI is considering a proposed revision to the sexual assault provisions of the Model Penal Code that represents both a grotesque expansion of criminal law and an attempt to transform gender relations by punishing male conduct that has long been socially acceptable.

A group of very prominent legal scholars who have no political agenda are fighting back. They've written a stinging memorandum exposing the injustices in the proposed revision, That memorandum is set forth at the end of my post. I don't have the intellectual firepower to add anything to it, but a few items jumped out:

The proposed revision to the Model Penal Code would turn a young man on a date into a criminal if he timidly reaches out to hold his date's hand without her prior positive agreement. (Because the proposed revision is written in gender neutral terms, theoretically, the young woman would be guilty if she initiated the contact, but in a society where gender roles are largely defined by pursuer and "hard to get," and where male complaints of sexual assault are hardly ever reported and even less likely to be believed, this proposed law is intended to punish, and change, traditional male behavior.)

The revised law would also require "prior positive agreement" -- akin to the murky and unjust "affirmative consent" that's all the rage on college campuses. Passivity would not be a defense. By putting the burden on the male to prove that the female consented, the proposed law would compel the accused to waive his right not to testify.

The drafters of the proposed revision acknowledge that the proposed revision does not comport with current social norms. The idea seems to be that by punishing males for behavior that is now socially acceptable, eventually, males will conform to the new norms. Social engineering, at the expense of hapless young men.

I'll quote one paragraph from the memo:
As is well known, the criminal law has an unfortunate history of excessive punishment in the name of protecting women especially when issues of race are present. . . . Equal Rights Advocates, Inc., In Support of Petitioner (acknowledging the history of rape prosecutions as both racist and sexist and rejecting “the notion that destruction of men’s lives served to protect and honor women”). As with other areas of criminal law, expanding the statutes in the ways set forth in the draft would fall particularly hard on individuals of color who are represented disproportionally at each stage of the criminal justice system.
I've only scratched the surface -- read the memo below.


Date: May 12, 2015

From: Undersigned ALI Members and Advisers
To: ALI Director, Deputy Director, Project Reporters, Council and Members
Subject: Revisions to Sexual Assault Provisions of the Model Penal Code

Dear Colleagues:

As you are aware, the American Law Institute (ALI) has undertaken a review of the sexual assault provisions of the Model Penal Code. The undersigned members of ALI are concerned about the direction the project has taken. Although the drafts have generated little attention outside of the project itself and although the project has been criticized for late distribution of drafts (see e.g., ALI Reporter, Summer 2014 at 23), we hope that you will consider our concerns both before and during the upcoming Annual Meeting session on Tuesday, May 19 at 9:00 a.m. when Discussion Draft No. 2 dated April 28, 2015 will be considered.

If there is political consensus on anything in the United States today, it is the consensus that our government has overcriminalized and overincarcerated the American public. See, e.g., http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/28/us/politics/being-less-tough-on-crime-is-2016-consensus.html?emc=edit_th_20150428&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=58186502 andhttp://www.bipartisansummit.org. In his message to the Bipartisan Summit, President Obama said that, “[T]here is an increasing realization that what we’re doing is wrong.”http://www.cut50.org/summit1. The ABA also is actively working to reduce overcriminalization and you are aware that ALI itself is running a project to revise the Model Penal Code provisions on sentencing and to reduce the collateral consequences of criminal convictions. Earlier this year in Yates v. United States, No. 13-7451, Slip op. (U.S. February 25, 2015), http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/13-7451_m64o.pdf, a decision in which all nine justices agreed that overcriminalization needs to be reined in, Justice Kagan wrote:

That brings to the surface the real issue: overcriminalization and excessive punishment in the U.S. Code…. §1519 is a bad law -- too broad and undifferentiated, with too high maximum penalties, which give prosecutors too much leverage and sentencers too much discretion. And I’d go further: in those ways, §1519 is unfortunately not an outlier, but an emblem of a deeper pathology in the federal criminal code. (Id. at 18-19, dissenting on other grounds).

Against this political consensus and judicial backdrop, the current ALI draft is an extreme deviation, focused on expanding criminal sanctions for sexual behavior and expanding the problems cataloged by Justice Kagan.

Some of the flaws in the draft are described in comments already posted to the ALI website by Professor Abbe Smith, Professor Laird Kirkpatrick, Professor Kimberly Ferzan, George Liebmann, Guy Struve and others to which the undersigned invite your attention. Because of the length of the draft (250 single-spaced pages), this memorandum can only address a modest subset of the problems found in the draft as a whole.

To understand the draft, please consider a most common behavior in the following hypothetical: Person A and Person B are on a date and walking down the street. Person A, feeling romantically and sexually attracted, timidly reaches out to hold B’s hand and feels a thrill as their hands touch. Person B does nothing, but six months later files a criminal complaint. Person A is guilty of “Criminal Sexual Contact” under proposed Section 213.6(3)(a).

How can this be? The draft explains:

Section 213.0(5) defines “sexual contact” expansively, to include any touching of any body part of another person, whether done by the actor or by the person touched. Any kind of contact may qualify; there are no limits on either the body part touched or the manner in which it is touched…. (Discussion Draft No. 2, Substantive Material, at 31).

The offense arises because Person A failed to obtain the draft’s requisite prior “positive agreement” to the “sexual contact.” Section 213.0(3). The draft repeatedly “makes clear that when a complainant’s behavior has been passive—neither expressly inviting nor rebuking the defendant’s sexual advances, that behavior cannot be considered sufficient to show affirmative permission.” (Discussion Draft No. 2, Substantive Material, at 54) Person A’s guilt is absolute because, “feeling romantically and sexually attracted” and feeling “a thrill as their hands touch,” Person A has no defense against the accusation that the touch included the “purpose of sexual gratification… or sexual arousal.” Section 213.0(5).

The draft purports to preserve mens rea as an element of the offense, but that is no comfort because it is proven with barely an effort from the prosecutor: “Person A, When walking down the street side by side with your date, you knew, or knew of the risk, that Person B had not expressed prior positive agreement that you could reach out and hold B’s hand, didn’t you? In fact, that’s exactly why you were “timid” about it, right?” To avoid making the prosecutor’s task so simple, Person A must not testify but, as shown below, Person A will have great need to testify because of the shifting of the evidentiary burden that is caused by the “positive agreement” standard. Note that Person A is still guilty even if they were both wearing gloves. Section 213.0(5) (“clothed or unclothed”)

Consider the same couple, but now Person B responds to the criminal hand-holding by pausing to kiss Person A on the cheek. Person A remains guilty since there is no mechanism for retroactive consent, but now Person B is also guilty because Person A has not expressed prior positive agreement for this particular escalation. Under this scenario, the actions of both A and B would satisfy the elements of the offenses. Thus, they would be adjudicated as sex offenders, would be required in many states to register as such and would suffer the other collateral consequences of conviction for a sex offense.

At every stage of every physical relationship, the “perpetrator” is at risk with no safe harbor of any type. If the initiator got positive agreement “sufficient to show affirmative permission” (Discussion Draft No. 2, Substantive Material, at 54) to initiate a kiss, the initiator is still at risk because the accuser can always counter by asserting, “I didn’t say you could kiss me that way.” If the initiator got positive agreement “sufficient to show affirmative permission” and did the kiss the right way, the initiator is still at risk with the next identical kiss because, “I didn’t say you could kiss me twice.” The draft acknowledges that its standard “requires the fact finder to focus on the existence of consent regarding each of the disputed sex acts.” Id. and Section 213.0(3).

With passivity expressly disallowed as consent, the initiator quickly runs up a string of offenses with increasingly more severe penalties to be listed touch by touch and kiss by kiss in the criminal complaint. This sweeping standard would bring in countless individuals for conduct that heretofore has been innocent.

Objectors to the foregoing analysis might say that prosecution of these offenses and the other examples provided throughout this memorandum would surely be declined or dismissed, but that would require an assumption that every prosecutor, judge, and jury in the country would ignore the Black Letter Law endorsed by ALI. It would also ignore the real problems of strategic accusations that already plague divorce and child custody matters. An accusation can be devastating even when no prosecutor chooses to pick up the accusation in a formal indictment. The draft is devoid of concern for any of these matters despite such factors as the long recognized reason for the elimination of “heart balm” torts:

Those actions for interference with domestic relations which carry an accusation of sexual misbehavior—that is to say criminal conversation, seduction, and to some extent alienation of affections—have been peculiarly susceptible to abuse. . . it is notorious that they have afforded a fertile field for blackmail and extortion by means of manufactured suits in which the threat of publicity is used to force a settlement… and that no preventive purpose is served, since such torts seldom are committed with deliberate plan. (Prosser and Keeton, Torts (5th ed. 1984) sec.124, at 929).

There is also the long acknowledged problem of sexual defamation for political and other purposes. See, e.g., David Reisman, Democracy and Defamation, Fair Game and Fair Comment, 42 COLUM. L. REV. 1085, 1282 (1942). The draft here proposes to bring back the power of sexual accusation but this time as part of the criminal code and in a very expansive way.

The expansive definitions of the offenses also work to reshape the evidentiary burden when the prosecutor needs merely to say, “Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, you must find for the prosecution because there has been no evidence presented to prove that prior positive agreement was obtained.” With guilt as the default outcome in the absence of evidence, the Defendant will be pressed to waive Fifth Amendment rights and testify, trying to cobble together recollections of subtle behaviors sufficient to create a reasonable doubt that, perhaps, “positive agreement” that is “sufficient to show affirmative permission” (not passivity) did occur. The lowered standards for what constitutes a crime become doubly worrisome when considered together with the uniquely restrictive rules of evidence that limit the presentation of defensive evidence only in sex crime trials.

None of this is inadvertent or the result of loose drafting. To the contrary, the intentionality of the draft is fully disclosed in the announcement that its purpose is to create very expansive statutes and standards with a “default position” of overcriminalization:
[T]he appropriate default position clearly is to err in the direction of protecting individuals against unwanted sexual imposition. (Discussion Draft No. 2, Substantive Material, at 53). 
Of course, a legal standard requiring the affirmative expression of consent to sex will—inevitably—entail many false negatives, in the form of findings of unwillingness when in fact passionate desire was present. But the contrary standard now prevalent in American law will—just as inevitably—entail many false positives, assumptions of willingness and subsequent sexual intrusion when such intimacy was entirely unwanted. Section 213.2(2) reflects the judgment that the harms that arise under the latter standard present far greater reason for concern. (Id.).
The draft also expressly states that its intention is to equate silence with unwillingness and criminal victimization:

The argument has been made—and no doubt will be repeated—that equating silence with unwillingness, as Section 213.2(2) does, "patronizes" or "infantilizes" women, treating them as if they were incapable of expressing their own desires. (Id.).

The draft defends this rule by equating it to a doctor obtaining “informed consent” before performing surgery (Id.), but it does not acknowledge any of the differences between the risks of surgery and ordinary human contact. Most importantly, the claimed analogy fails to recognize that medical informed consent is a precaution chosen by the doctor as a safeguard against possible civil damages for malpractice, not as a required behavior to avoid criminal liability.

The draft also acknowledges that it is not reflecting any existing social norm or consensus about behavior that should be deemed so extreme as to warrant criminal sanction. Instead, it clearly states that its intention is to coerce conformity to its own choice of new norms for behavior:
On the one hand, it is customary—at least for serious felonies—to reserve the social opprobrium and strong penalties of the criminal law for conduct that is universally condemned as intolerable. By this measure it would be acceptable, perhaps even obligatory, to define the sexual offenses quite narrowly, restricting them to clearly aberrational behavior and declining to attach penal sanctions to conduct that significant segments of our society regard as predictable, harmless, or even valuable in some circumstances. On the other hand, a vitally important function of the criminal law is to identify and seek to deter behaviors that pose unjustifiable risks, even when those risks are not yet universally understood…. [The law] must often be called upon to help shape those norms by communicating effectively the conditions under which commonplace or seemingly innocuous behavior can be unacceptably abusive or dangerous. (Discussion Draft No. 2, General Commentary, at 11).
Beyond the draft’s “positive agreement” problem, the draft’s expansion of criminal liability includes many elevations in the seriousness of existing crimes and the creation of many new crimes between competent, consenting individuals. Among other offenses, the draft criminalizes conduct between professionals (mental health providers, lawyers, executives, etc.) and those under their supervision or in their care. Indeed, the relationship creates a per se rule, a conclusive presumption of criminality. The issues are complex, far more complex than the draft suggests.

For example, Section 213.4(2)(a) creates a per se felony if the actor “is engaged in providing professional treatment, assessment or counseling for a mental or emotional illness, symptom or condition,” regardless of whether the provider is in a position that requires professional licensing, and engages in a sexual relationship “substantially contemporaneous” with the time of the treatment period. Likewise, Section 213.4(2)(b), creates a per se felony for criminal defense lawyers and for domestic relations lawyers who enter a sexual relationship with a client.

The draft asserts that existing licensing rules, ethical requirements, and civil liabilities are not sufficient to catch all of the cases that should be caught but, if so, the solution is not necessarily an expansion of criminal liability, and a substantial one at that. According to the draft’s comments, there are approximately one million mental health providers in the United States, of whom about 20 percent (200,000) have become sexually active with a client at some point in their careers. Discussion Draft No. 2, Substantive Material, at 87.

In all of these cases, the draft creates a conclusive presumption that the relationship constitutes felonious sexual exploitation regardless of whether the relationship has continued through years of marriage, and regardless of whether the “victim” objects to any prosecution. The draft acknowledges that these new crimes, “are largely a new departure for American law” (Discussion Draft No. 2, Substantive Material, at 100) and worries that critics will say it "patronizes" or "infantilizes" its mandatory victims. Id. at 53. That worry is well placed.

Perhaps least well defined and very much subject to abuse is Section 213.4, Sexual Intercourse by Coercion, particularly Section 213.4(1)(a)(iii), which creates a third degree felony (ten years) where the actor “obtains that person’s consent by threatening to take or withhold action in an official capacity, whether public or private, or cause another person to take or withhold action in an official capacity, whether public or private.” The commentary acknowledges that extortion, criminal coercion, and other laws already exist to deal with such things as corrupt officials (Discussion Draft No. 2, Substantive Material, at 75-76), but the draft explicitly states its intent to create new sex crimes on top of the existing law. Id.

The draft has no de minimis threshold for a “threat” that is criminalized so long as the complainant claims that the “threat” was the cause of the consent to sexual intercourse, thereby nullifying the coerced consent. Section 213.4(1)(a)(iii). Suppose that Person A “threatens” to vote for the contestant not preferred by Person B, the sex partner of Person A, during the viewer voting phase of the television show “American Idol.” Six months later, Person B files a criminal complaint alleging that this “threat” was the means by which Person A “obtains consent” to sexual intercourse with Person B. Person A is guilty of a ten-year felony because of this “threat” to “cause another person [the recorder of “American Idol” votes] to take or withhold action in an official capacity, whether public or private.” Id. Yes, that is an absurd result but this model statute intended for promulgation to the states invites this result as well as many others that would work to overcriminalize and overincarcerate.

The draft states that it is difficult to distinguish “threats” from mere “offers” of a benefit to which the benefitted party is not entitled and, accordingly, the draft chooses to treat “offers” as the equivalent of “threats.” Id. at 77-80. Thus, an offer to vote in favor of your sex partner’s preferred “American Idol” contestant is also a third degree felony if the complainant later asserts that the offer was the cause of the consent to sexual intercourse. The draft candidly admits that it “represents a largely new direction for legislation in this area.” Id. at 75.

As this memorandum is being circulated, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Johnson v. United States, Docket No. 13-7120, argued April 20, 2015, has under consideration the question of whether the Armed Career Criminal Act so completely fails to articulate what conduct it punishes as to be unconstitutionally vague. See, e.g.,http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/court-considers-limits-to-vagueness-in-statutes/2015/04/20/80bd39b2-e78a-11e4-9767-6276fc9b0ada_story.html. That statute is a model of clarity (and restraint) in comparison to proposed Section 213.4(1)(a)(iii).

In addition to creating new offenses, other offenses are elevated up to and including life imprisonment for “aggravating factors.” For example, Section 213.8 elevates rape to the level of first degree murder if the rape occurs in conjunction with a commercial sex act. Section 213.1(1)(b) elevates rape to the level of first degree murder if the rapist utilized a lookout. Many other elevations are found throughout the draft without any demonstration of need for even longer sentences in a prison system that is already over-burdened with geriatric prisoners. See, e.g., Jamie Fellner, Graying Prisoners, N.Y. TIMES, August 18, 2013. The multiplication and elevation of offenses also magnifies the problem identified in the quotation by Justice Kagan (above) about statutes that “give prosecutors too much leverage” and coerce pleas to lesser offenses. See also Jed S. Rakoff, Why Innocent People Plead Guilty, N.Y. REV. OF BOOKS, Nov. 20, 2014.

As is well known, the criminal law has an unfortunate history of excessive punishment in the name of protecting women especially when issues of race are present. See Coker v. Georgia, 433 U.S. 584 (1977) (holding death penalty to be unconstitutionally excessive in case of rape of adult women); Brief Amici Curiae of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Organization for Women Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Women's Law Project, the Center for Women Policy Studies, the Women's Legal Defense Fund, and Equal Rights Advocates, Inc., In Support of Petitioner (acknowledging the history of rape prosecutions as both racist and sexist and rejecting “the notion that destruction of men’s lives served to protect and honor women”). As with other areas of criminal law, expanding the statutes in the ways set forth in the draft would fall particularly hard on individuals of color who are represented disproportionally at each stage of the criminal justice system.

We invite the ALI Council and Members to thoroughly examine the proposed draft. At virtually every turn, the draft creates new sex crimes and elevates the punishment of existing sex crimes, with all of this occurring at the same time as the rest of the nation and ALI itself (in the Sentencing Project) have become united in recognition of the need to reduce overcriminalization and overincarceration.

The United States is “indisputably the world leader in locking up human beings behind bars.” David Cole, Punitive Damage, N.Y. TIMES, May 18, 2014, at BR24. Even after the release from prison, the consequences of a conviction linger long and burdensome with approximately seven million currently on post-release supervision. See Lauren E. Glaze & Erinn J. Herberman, Correctional Populations in the United States, 2012, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Dec. 19, 2013,http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=4843 and Too Many Laws, Too Many Prisoners: Never in the Civilized World Have So Many Been Locked Up for So Little, THE ECONOMIST, July 22, 2010, http://www.economist.com/node/16636027.

Federal and state data uniformly show that sexual assaults are decreasing. See, e.g., U.S. Department of Justice. National Crime Victimization Survey. 1993-2013,http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=dcdetail&iid=245. Even the draft concedes that “victimization rates for sexual assault, like those for violent crime generally, have dropped significantly in recent decades.” Preliminary Draft No. 4, Substantive Material, at 20.

The ALI should not be working so aggressively to create new crimes and to elevate the punishment of existing crimes. This is particularly the case where the draft’s commentary does so little to show that the current law is inadequate and does so little to consider non-criminal options for less serious behavior where some would like to see a shift in social norms. Among other deficiencies, the current draft contains no acknowledgement of the ongoing ALI project to revise the Restatement on Intentional Torts to Persons which clearly can provide an adequate remedy for many concerns about sexual behavior. Further, the draft contains no analysis of its impact on convictions and imprisonment contrary to standard practice in most revisions of criminal offenses. Accordingly, ALI members are left with no idea of how many thousands or millions of new sex offenders are being created by the draft proposal.

We believe that the Sexual Assault Project needs a fundamental rethinking. While the Project is not strictly limited as would be the case with a proposed Restatement, we believe that the stunning expansion of criminalization proposed by the draft is unwise, unjust, and contrary to the national consensus regarding the need to reduce the already existing problem of overcriminalization and overincarceration.

We urge the ALI Council and members to become more fully involved because it will be you and your organization whose names will be on the final product. We hope that you will attend and speak at the Annual Meeting on May 19, 2015 and that you will submit comments on the draft. We hope that you share our concerns about the dramatic expansion of criminal liability contained in the current draft.

To facilitate communication with any interested member, we invite you to contact Chris at sa.mpc.revisionconcerns@gmail.com to allow efficient routing of inquiries to our group.

John M. Burkoff
University of Pittsburgh School of Law
Pittsburgh, PA

Paul D. Carrington
Harry R. Chadwick, Sr. Professor Emeritus of Law
Duke University School of Law
Durham, NC

Roger S. Clark
Board of Governors Professor
Rutgers School of Law
Camden, NJ

Donna Lee Elm
Tampa, FL

Theodore H. Frank
Washington, DC

Eric M. Freedman
Siggi B. Wilzig Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Rights
Hofstra University School of Law
Hempstead, NY

Judge Nancy Gertner (Ret.)
Senior Lecturer
Harvard University School of Law
Cambridge, MA

Ronald Henry
Washington, DC

Kathryn M. Kase
Houston, TX

George Liebmann
Liebmann & Shively, P.A.
Baltimore, MD

Henry R. Lord
Partner Emeritus
DLA Piper LLP (U.S.)
Baltimore, MD

Christopher B. Mueller
Henry S. Lindsley Professor of Law
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO

David Patton
New York, NY

Michael Pinard
University of Maryland School of Law
Baltimore, MD

William Reynolds
Jacob A. France Professor of Judicial Process
University of Maryland School of Law
Baltimore, MD

D. Michael Risinger
ALI Life Member

John J. Gibbons Professor of Law
Associate Director,
Last Resort Exoneration Project
Seton Hall University School of Law
Newark, NJ

David Rudovsky
Senior Fellow, Penn Law School
Founding Partner, Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing, and Feinberg, LLP
Philadelphia, PA

Stephen A. Saltzburg
ALI Life Member
Washington, DC

Jon Sands
Phoenix, AZ

Felicia Sarner
Philadelphia, PA

Virginia E. Sloan
Washington, DC

Abbe Smith
Professor of Law
Director, Criminal Defense & Prisoner
Advocacy Clinic and Co-Director,
E. Barrett Prettyman Fellowship Program
Georgetown University Law Center
Washington, DC

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Campus activist who claims she was raped despite serious questions is feted as a hero; campus activist who exposed injustice in the school's handling of sexual assault claims is treated as a pariah

This is a tale of two campus activists. One wants the world to believe she was raped despite serious questions about her claim; the other is concerned about systemic injustice to men accused of campus rape. Can you guess which one is regarded as a hero, and which a pariah?


First, we have Columbia student Emma Sulkowicz, who claims a fellow student named Paul Nungesser sexually assaulted her. Sulkowicz is now a bona fide feminist icon because she carried her "rape" mattress around campus in a loony "performance art" demonstration of her self-proclaimed victimhood. Professor KC Johnson summed it up: "Even though [Paul Nungesser] was found not culpable in Columbia’s accuser-friendly adjudication process; and even though the NYPD declined to pursue Sulkowicz’s claims; and even though Nungesser’s advisor cast doubt on Sulkowicz’s portrayal of the Columbia disciplinary process; and even though flirtatious e-mails from Sulkowicz to Nungesser seemed irreconcilable with Sulkowicz’s claim that Nungesser violently attacked her—media portrayals offered up Sulkowicz as a 'survivor.'”

Worse, the school has actively supported Sulkowicz's one-woman witch hunt. The president has expressed sympathy for her, and the professor who supervised the mattress insanity called it "an amazingly significant and poignant and powerful symbol . . .." Even a United States Senator got swept up in the Emma-frenzy, branding the man she accused a "rapist" based on nothing more than the mattress toter's say-so.

Some people know better, but there is tremendous pressure on them not to say so. The former editorial page editor of the school's student newspaper, the Columbia Spectator, candidly admitted that the campus news media didn't cover Sulkowicz's story impartially, critically, or thoroughly. He said that if he had written that due process should be respected, he would have been excoriated and branded as someone harming survivors.


Next, we have Professor David Barnett at the University of Colorado. When Prof. Barnett took it upon himself to investigate the school's handling of a sexual assault claim against a former student of his and “became convinced that [the school] had intentionally and systematically manipulated the evidence in order to support a finding of guilt,” instead of applauding him for exposing injustice, the University decided to fire him, claiming he retaliated against the female student.

Prof. Barnett appealed. A faculty panel said he did not retaliate against the female student, and recommended that he not be terminated. Before the school's president acted on the recommendation, the school paid Prof. Barnett $290,000 to leave. The School said it just wanted him off campus for so long as the female student at issue remained a student, to "protect her learning environment," but Barnett is certain the school's president was intent on terminating him permanently.

Prof. Barnett still believes the university has a "flawed system" for investigating sexual misconduct claims and said he wishes the university would devote "comparable resources" to establishing an appeal process for those found responsible of sexual misconduct. "It grants the accused no right to see the evidence against him or her, no right to a hearing and no right to appeal," he said.

Prof. Barnett is merely voicing the same concerns expressed by numerous (almost entirely liberal) law professors the past few months. Their voices have been almost entirely ignored except on sites like this one.

And there you have it, a microcosm of the inexplicable campus "rape culture" insanity that has swept this nation the past few years. A self-proclaimed rape "survivor" is feted as a hero despite serious questions about her claim; a professor concerned about injustice to the accused is reviled as a pariah despite serious flaws in the system he's exposed. We are so far down the rabbit hole, not even the rabbits can survive at this depth. No one cares whether Emma Sulkowicz was actually raped, or whether Paul Nungesser is actually innocent or about protecting his "learning environment."  All that matters is the theater, the spectacle, of simple-minded gender morality plays, where the scripts are written long before the facts are known, and the heroes and villains are selected based on whether the players have a vagina or a penis.

If, indeed, the world has gone mad, one thing is certain: it started on the campuses of American colleges and universities.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Supporters make matters worse for Saida Grundy

Saida Grundy, the incoming Boston University assistant professor of sociology and African-American studies who expressed disdain for white college men, has backed away from her comments, saying she regrets them.

Boston University President Robert Brown defended her right to make the comments but made clear he isn't pleased she made them. "[W]ords have power," Brown said, "and the words in her Twitter feed were powerful in the way they stereotyped and condemned other people."

But some foolish Grundy supporters don't have the sense to back off. They've started an on-line petition that says this: "Racism extends to virtually every institution in American society - including higher education. Calling Professor Grundy's tweets racist minimizes the very real effects of racism for people of color in the United States."

No, dear petitioners, it is Professor Grundy's tweets that minimize the real effects of racism for people of color in the United States. Her tweets served to affirm the wrongheaded notion that it is ever acceptable to reduce to vile caricature an entire group based on the misconduct of a small percentage of that group. Grundy's tweets endorsed the very thing she, and every other right-thinking person, opposes: stereotyping based on race and gender.

You can't have it both ways. If it's somehow fair, just, or proper to be prejudiced--and Grundy's remarks wrongly suggest it is--white bigots can find reason enough to be prejudiced against blacks, and especially black males. But prejudice is never fair, just, or proper to the vast majority of the group being prejudged, whether the group is black males or white males.

Give it a rest. Grundy was wrong, and you are just making matters worse.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Is this what they mean when they say women who cry rape can't get justice in the criminal justice system?

Story reported here.

An Adams County woman is facing a first-degree misdemeanor after allegedly filing a false report of rape.

An affidavit filed with the Hillsboro Municipal Court states that Alexandrea Sons, 20, Seaman, contacted the Hillsboro Police Department on April 29. At that time, she allegedly reported that “she had been raped four days prior,” according to the affidavit.

She also allegedly said that she had been at a friends’ residence when a male was “invited over to ‘hang out’ with her,” the affidavit states.

The affidavit adds that Sons allegedly told officers that she and the male “were lying on the couch, (and) he started making sexual advances toward her, and she was raped.”

During an investigation, officers spoke with the male. They also obtained text messages that “show(ed) normal and happy conversation between Sons and (the male),” according to the affidavit.

The affidavit further states that the officer “received information … that disputed the complainant’s allegations.” The officer also reports that Sons’ “account of events … changed at different times.”

The affidavit adds that “the sexual encounter was found to be consensual.”

On Friday, Sons allegedly came to the police department and “requested that the investigation be ended and she did not want to pursue any criminal charges as a result of police action,” the affidavit states.

The officer also reports that when he asked to speak with Sons privately, she refused. The affidavit adds that he “attempted to advise her of what (his) findings … (were) and that it appeared she had accused (the male) falsely.”

According to the officer, Sons then requested the life squad for medical issues and went to the hospital. The officer filed a warrant for her arrest.

On Monday, Sons appeared in the municipal court on first-degree misdemeanor falsification.

Sorry, Mr. State's Attorney, but the woman who had two innocent men arrested for a rape lie is not a victim 'crying out for help'

Two brothers, ages 24 and 19, were arrested and criminally charged in connection with a rape that supposedly occurred on May 5, 2015. The brothers were named by the local news media; the woman who accused them of rape was not named.

But now, the brothers have been released because the Wicomico County State’s Attorney said the woman who accused them had not been truthful (translation, she lied). The woman might be charged with a crime, but she still isn't being named.

The State’s Attorney made the usual comments about how "he hopes the actions of this one person do not discourage rape victims from coming forward." But he didn't stop there. He added that "detectives are actively trying to find out why the woman made these accusations in the first place."

Come again?  The crime has been solved, and, thankfully, two wrongly accused young men have been released. To divert scarce taxpayer resources to discover the root cause of this crime isn't just irresponsible, it's wholly unnecessary. The reasons women lie about rape are well-known--they lie primarily to explain a consensual sexual liaison they know will not be acceptable in their familial or social circles if it is revealed. The root cause of false rape claims is explained by the "regret asymmetry" that separates young men and young women, and everyone who follows the subject understands this.

But wait, the State's Attorney isn't finished. “This is also a person crying out for help,”  he said.

Actually, sir, do you know who was crying out for help? The wrongly accused brothers. Because of a rape lie, they were charged with very serious crimes that threatened to destroy their lives. There's not one word, not one concern expressed, about their ordeal. The State's Attorney's sole concern is that the criminal is "crying out for help."

But wait, he still isn't finished. Here comes the coup de grĂ¢ce:

“There’s a reason why a person does this, so another interest to the state is trying to get that person some assistance as well.”

When the brothers were arrested for rape, did the State's Attorney suggest that the rape meant they were crying out for help? Such a comment, of course, would have been political suicide. When CNN dared to humanize the Steubenville teen rapists after they were found guilty merely by pointing out that their misdeeds had shattered their promising futures, CNN was widely attacked for showing even a hint of sympathy for the boys. Mind you, CNN did not suggest that the boys were treated unfairly, it merely pointed out the wreckage they had brought on themselves. Can you imagine the outrage if CNN had suggested the boys were crying out for help?

Yet it's somehow acceptable to treat a false rape accuser as a victim who is "crying out for help." This is a meme concocted by the sexual grievance industry to suggest that rape lies are aberrational and that they are prompted by deeply seated psychological disorders, not evil or traditionally criminal motives. See. e.g., here and here. Unfortunately, this blog is replete with reports of false rape claims prompted by the most callous of reasons: e.g., young women sometimes falsely accuse cab drivers of rape to avoid paying a fare--women who tell rape lies not because of psychological disorders but because they can. Unfortunately, some politicians buy into the meme to give them "cover" for daring to call a rape lie a rape lie.

The meme is grossly unjust to false rape victims who are put through hell waiting for the rape lie to be uncovered. But it also does no favors for rape victims because it's part of a mentality that undermines the public's confidence in the way rape claims are handled. Treating criminals as victims not fully accountable for their misconduct based solely on whether they have a penis foments resentment--a sort of backlash--among a general public that sees through politically correct bullshit. And when jurors are rightly concerned about whether men and boys accused of rape are treated fairly, this makes them all the more wary of convicting defendants for rape. If we want rape to be treated as the serious crime that it is, for starters, we need to stop treating rape accusers as if they were the victims.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Fire Saida Grundy--not for expressing a controversial opinion, but for her anti-intellectualism

Incoming Boston University assistant professor of sociology and African-American studies Saida Grundy should have the freedom to publicly express her opinions on controversial topics. That's not in dispute.

Boston University should not employ as a professor someone who engages in vile racial and gender stereotyping. That should not be in dispute, either.

Grundy, you see, has a problem with white college men as a class. “White masculinity isn’t a problem for America’s colleges, white masculinity is THE problem for America’s colleges,” Grundy tweeted in March. In another tweet she wrote: “Why is white America so reluctant to identify white college males as a problem population?” she asked.

The university responded to concerns about Grundy's fitness to teach white males with a yawn. “Professor Grundy is exercising her right to free speech and we respect her right to do so,” Boston University spokesman Colin Riley said.

Would Boston University hire the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan to teach sociology?  Of course not, and for good reason. We won't even talk about politically correct double standards here.

More to the point, would Boston University hire someone who claims the sun revolves around the earth to teach astronomy? Someone who teaches geocentrism isn't engaging in "controversial speech," he is espousing a view that is not consonant with the intellectual rigors of the modern academy. In layman's terms, he's a wacko.

Singling out "white college males" as a class and dubbing them "THE" problem in American academia--based, presumably, on the misconduct of a very small percentage of white college males--manifests a similar absence of intellectual rigor. Grundy seems blissfully ignorant of the fact that a not insignificant percentage of the American populace--who also should not be hired to teach at a major university--think that black males, as a class, are "THE" problem in America. For all her writings on the black experience, Grundy somehow missed the lesson about vile stereotyping. Go figure.

As the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." Our Founding Fathers did not intend for the First Amendment to whitewash people's stupidity or that it protect inane speech from all consequence.

Universities routinely refuse to hire folks who espouse anti-intellectual ideas--except when such ideas are tinged with political correctness. You see, on modern American college campuses, any kooky, hateful, and even other-worldly idea about race or gender is just fine, so long as it is consistent with the preferred narrative.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Woman who consented to sex claims she was 'raped by rape culture'

If you want to see how inane the public discourse about college rape has become, look no further than the student newspaper of Claremont McKenna College, The Forum. A female college student recounts an incident where she found herself in a man's dorm room after a party. He asked, “is this ok?” -- meaning, was she okay with having sex. She admits that she said "yes" and that there wasn't any coercion or imminent threat of violence, and "not a lot" of inebriation.

But now she says she secretly didn't want to have sex, even though the young man would have no way of knowing that, so she declares in the student newspaper that she was  -- wait for it -- “raped by rape culture.”

You read that right: "raped by rape culture." It's a term coined by the young woman and her friends to describe the purported experience where a woman's agreement to have sex is "coerced by the culture that had raised us and the systems of power that worked on us . . . ."

If you think that makes no sense, just wait, she's not finished. "Consent is a privilege, and it was built for wealthy, heterosexual, cis, white, western, able-bodied masculinity," she posits.

Can it get any loopier?  Keep reading.

What forced this poor soul to say "yes" when she secretly meant "no"? Among other things, she explains that "there was obligation from already having gone back to someone’s room, not wanting to ruin a good friendship, loneliness, worry that no one else would ever be interested . . . an understanding that hookups are 'supposed' to be fun."

Get it? It is the fault of evil white straight males that she had sex because she's lonely, didn't want to ruin a friendship, has low self-esteem, or believed that hook-ups are supposed to be fun.

In days long gone, when rationality, literacy, and logic were still valued even a little, this sort of writing would be called exactly what it is--idiotic. But on our modern, vaunted American college campuses, it's "well-written and so important," "beautiful," and "so perfect," as several comments put it.

Actually, a couple of comments beneath the article did nail it. One guy wrote: "There's a fella out there for you: Mongo the Mind-Reader." Another reader explained: "Modern feminism has taught generations of young women (and young men) that . . . women should 'embrace' their sexuality and have casual sex with as many partners as they like, without any consequences. . . . . Who taught you to say yes? It wasn't some wealthy, heterosexual, cis, white, western, able-bodied boogeyman. It was the very movement you now align yourself with who 'coerced' you into believing that 'hookups are supposed to be fun.'"

And those responses are far more than this piece of idiocy deserves.

If feminists wonder why their movement isn't widely embraced in middle America and why so few people (including so few women) identify as "feminists," they need look no further than extreme silliness like this. Add it to the misandry hall of fame.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Baltimore, Baltimore, Baltimore

It is just awful -- and terribly unfair -- that Baltimore has been tarnished by the Freddie Gray incident. Tourists should have no fear about visiting the historic town, including the world famous Inner Harbor. After all, you probably won't get your spine severed unless you're a black male and you do something terribly stupid, like make eye contact with a police officer.

Seriously? I wouldn't mind if they closed up Baltimore permanently, and made it as vacant as Camden Yards when the Orioles played that game without fans the other day. How does someone get picked up by police for no reason and end up with his spine severed?

It's time for Baltimore, and every other city in America, to get the thugs off the police force--even if it means loosening the death grip of municipal unions, which make weeding out the bad police so terribly difficult.

What happened to Freddie Gray is an atrocity, and all persons of good will ought to be disgusted.

When will the liberal community finally stand up and denounce the rush-to-judgment hysterics on college campuses?

I have come to the conclusion that the angriest, least rational, and least tolerant people in America are college students. We have raised a generation of nitwits.