December 13, 2015

"It is a near-religious teaching among many people today that if you are against sexual assault, then you must always believe individuals who say they have been assaulted."

"Questioning in a particular instance whether a sexual assault occurred violates that principle. Examining evidence and concluding that a particular accuser is not indeed a survivor, or a particular accused is not an assailant, is a sin that reveals that one is a rape denier, or biased in favor of perpetrators. This is the set of axioms on which one might build a suggestion that challenging the accuracy of 'The Hunting Ground' contributes to a hostile environment on campus. If I am a student at a school where professors seem to disbelieve one accuser’s account, then it is possible that they could disbelieve me if I am assaulted. That possibility makes me feel both that I am unsafe and that my school is a sexually hostile environment. Under this logic, individuals would not feel safe on campus unless they could know that professors are closed off to the possibility that a particular person accused of sexual misconduct may be innocent or wrongly accused. But, then, what would be the purpose of a process in which evidence on multiple sides is evaluated?"

From "Shutting Down Conversations About Rape at Harvard Law," by Jeannie Suk, in The New Yorker.

43 comments:

glenn said...

Worth pointing out (or maybe not) that the last three really high profile University rape cases were bogus from start to finish.

MadisonMan said...

I look forward to seeing what happens next.

I'm grateful that someone is pointing out the illogic in always believing an accusation.

YoungHegelian said...

Is there a shortage of feminists who think that any & all hetero intercourse is tantamount to rape? Seems to me that's now a truism among a certain school of 3rd Wave feminism. If one seeks to dissuade heterosexual intercourse by all means possible, why would one want to permit men their day in court & full legal rights? That's just the patriarchy at work, and it'll just muddy the waters.

Is there anyone out there that thinks that the purpose of a Maoist self-criticism or "struggle" session was to permit the accused to have his say? The purpose was to implicate the whole community in the crushing of any dissension, so that not only did everyone know what would happen to them if they got out of line, but also so that their hands, too, would be stained with blood.

It's pretty much the same here, except the Identity Lefties haven't gotten a chance to start killing people. Yet.

PB said...

Dangerous times. Schumer and Cuomo support using the no-fly and terrorist watch lists to deny civil rights. Certain Democrats think Trump supporters should be summarily shot so they can't vote.

Dangerous times.

Hari said...

"Under this logic, individuals would not feel safe on campus unless they could know that professors are closed off to the possibility that a particular person accused of sexual misconduct may be innocent or wrongly accused."

Also, under this logic, a student will never feel safe off campus, so long as the criminal justice system is not closed off to the possibility that a particular person accused of sexual misconduct may be innocent or wrongly accused.

Michael K said...

Hillary was asked about whether Bill's accusers should be believed.

Hmmmm.

Big Mike said...

@MadMan, I still would like to look over some of your recent pubs, if you don't mind giving me links.

Anyway, student rape is handled very easily by Sharia law. The girl claims to have been raped. She is therefore guilty of adultery. She gets executed. Problem solved.

etienne said...

I believe most diamond thefts are due to diamond displays.

robother said...

The dynamics of the Southern lynch mob are being recreated on every campus in the USA, courtesy of Title IX, right down to the racial identity of the accused. As she recounts the majority of men accused on Harvard's campus are minorities.
Jes' Democrats being Democrats, I guess.

Gahrie said...

Which is why i have been telling the senior boys all year long not to date while at college, but wait until they come back home.

Of course if enough young men follow that advice, men will soon begin to be criticized for not dating young college girls.

Zach said...

I'm oddly reminded of the old claim by spiritualists that a seance wouldn't work in the presence of a skeptic.

The difference being that the spiritualists were committing the fraud themselves. But there were also sincere believers who would never commit fraud but had no objection to benefiting from fraud committed by others.

It is always very dangerous to decide in advance what you are willing to believe without evidence. Bad people will take advantage of that on purpose. Hysterical people won't even do it on purpose, they'll just make up stories that get a strong response and aren't challenged.

The Rolling Stone "Jackie" story sounds to me like a case of someone seeking sympathy who ended up telling people exactly what they wanted to hear, combined with an audience that was studiously opposed to questioning a rape claim.

Anonymous said...

The fact that some people - women included - have lied about sexual assault means that always believing the accuser will injure some number of innocents. Such a system can be called many things, but it cannot be called justice, nor can it be considered fair and impartial.

Sorry, but the evidence has to be more substantial than just "she said." If it is physically obvious, then fine, I'm all for throwing the book at the guy, and similarly if it can be reasonably demonstrated from witnesses or video/audio. If the evidence isn't there though...then there's not much we can do in that case. It sucks, but like with any other crime, find me the evidence that proves it.

The quickest academia gets cured of this little witch hunt of theirs though is likely to be if the accusations start landing on the sacred cows of the progressives. It's one thing to go after a frat boy, but I wonder how long this would last if the targets started being deans, liberal professors, or Democrat politicians? We know from Bill Clinton's troubles that the left is perfectly willing to turn on a woman accuser if there's a powerful member of the team to protect. I suspect the same would happen again and the matter would disappear from the public conversation.

Bruce Hayden said...

The funny thing here for me is that those who take this believe the "survivor" mentality are also very likely to be Hillary Clinton voters. But, she, of course, ran the bimbo eruption operation, where they would destroy, by any means, any woman brave enough to claim that her husband had sexually assaulted them. When recently confronted with this hypocrisy, Clinton essentially said (if I remember correctly) that yes, she initially trusts other women to be honest about being sexually assaulted. The next obvious questions then are why she didn't believe Juanita Broderick, Kathleen whatever, Jennifer Flowers, and who can forget, Monica of the blue dress? She never really answered that one, but I have little doubt that these instance will be brought out whenever she pushes the sexual assault angle too hard during the general election.

Bob Loblaw said...

Worth pointing out (or maybe not) that the last three really high profile University rape cases were bogus from start to finish.

Yep. Real rape victims don't make a circus out of it.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Everywhere, on the Left, you see attacks on American values: attacks on free speech, attacks on due process, attacks on freedom of religion, attacks on freedom of association. And their fearless leader -- a man who thinks America's greatest enemies are Americans -- lectures us on what are and what are not 'American values.'

hoyden said...

Liberals championed licentiousness in the 60's and 70's and now they are the biggest prudes. Liberals manufacture a crisis and then assiduously ensure it won't go to waste.

rhhardin said...

The definition of rape confuses women.

Eliminate it as a crime and just go with assault and battery, the definition of which so far is easier to understand.

rhhardin said...

Being shot doesn't keep you from voting. It just keeps you from voting republican.

Shouting Thomas said...

You failed to acknowledge the primary subject of this essay, which is that the majority of rape offenders on campus are black men. The author ties herself in a knot trying to find a way to say this in a manner indirect enough to avoid the ritual denunciation.

What's the cause of your decision to sidestep the primary subject of the article?

I suspect that your lifelong scam of playing the "I'm a nigger, too!" game is the explanation.

The great gap in your game, prof, is this lifelong game of lying that started with the feminism bullshit and then multiplied with the gay bullshit. Your vaunted intellect disintegrates whenever you need to keep reinforcing the lie.

Rick said...

YoungHegelian said...
Is there a shortage of feminists who think that any & all hetero intercourse is tantamount to rape? Seems to me that's now a truism among a


That has always been a fringe belief even among feminists. The mainstream feminist justification seems to be that since women have been mistreated in the past mistreating accused men is an acceptable price for ending women's mistreatment.

Rae said...

Modern feminism needs victims. If it can't find any, it will manufacture them.

Rick said...

glenn said...
Worth pointing out (or maybe not) that the last three really high profile University rape cases were bogus from start to finish.


The why is the most interesting to me though. Vanderbilt experienced a horrifying rape last year. A woman was drunk and her boyfriend first had sex with her and then invited his friends to do the same. She was passed out and never knew about the friends - they were caught only because it started in a dorm hallway where video caught it and campus police found it later looking for an unrelated theft suspect.

This story didn't have nearly the publicity of Duke or UVA though for two reasons:

1. It shows society does react to rape which undermines feminist mantra that it is tolerated as an effort to control or intimidate women.

2. The rapists were football team members and several were black which conflicts with feminists political goals. It's no coincidence frat and lacross stories made news for months when more rapes occur in dorms than frats. They have their targets.

lgv said...

And yet people like Gillibrand embrace mattress girl, whose texts (which were not allowed to be presented) indicate she asked for the sex that Laslo loves.

Once they get rid of all the male students who are assaulting 20-25% of all female students, everything will be OK. I keep wondering if false accusers don't realize their actions will follow them around for the rest of their lives. Mattress girl must now make a career out of victimhood art.

Quaestor said...

Conversation is not all the Left wants to shut down. Today I learned that Norman Lear is "scared to death" by Donald Trump, which is the first whinging peep we've heard from that quintessential bleeder in years. The collapse of basic human rights at our premier universities moves him not a whit, but The Donald makes him crap his nappy. This should tell us something important about the fashionable class -- what they value and what they fear.

This inspired me to degree what I call the Archie Bunker Corollary: We know what they think of us, and we can surmise what they'd do to us if only they had the power.

damikesc said...

What OTHER crimes does the Left want to do away with due process for?

And why aren't the Republicans running on the Democrats' War on Due Process?

Also, under this logic, a student will never feel safe off campus, so long as the criminal justice system is not closed off to the possibility that a particular person accused of sexual misconduct may be innocent or wrongly accused.

Also, under their current theories, the Scottsboro boys case wasn't a miscarriage of justice.

Want to know how to crack the Dem lock on the black vote? Remind blacks that Democrats have a long history of using false rape claims to attack young black men and they are trying to re-start the band with that.

Brando said...

The SJW Left is giving us a pretty good demonstration of modern fascism. The very concept of saying "you must believe us" rather than "examine the evidence and investigate it fairly" shows just how far off the deep end we've come.

Vet66 said...

So much for "Due Process." I look forward to the debates with Hillary and whoever the Republican Machine kicks out. It is my fervent hope that the victims of her husband's activities dominate the news. She might call acts of terror; terror eruptions which she would handle the same as "bimbo eruptions." Apparently the evidence of that would be on Lewinsky's iconic blue dress.

Sebastian said...

"It is a near-religious teaching among many people today that if you are against sexual assault, then you must always believe individuals who say they have been assaulted."

It is a near-religious teaching among many people today that if you are against racism, then you must always believe and accede to demands made by black protesters.

It is a near-religious teaching among many people today that if you are in favor of SSM, then you must always believe that anyone who cannot find it in the constitution is beyond the pale.

It is a near-religious teaching today that if you are against Islamophobia, then you must always believe individuals who say that another Muslim has been slighted.

JCC said...

The author says something revolutionary. "Fair process must be open to the possibility that either side might turn out to be correct." Quite amazing that we all recognize that this is something that has to be said out loud.
She, of course, qualifies her anti-feminist stance with this history lesson: " rape victims were systematically disbelieved and painted as liars, sluts, or crazies..." Says who? When was this? Or is she referring to the criminal defense bar, inside a courtroom, like the graduates of Harvard Law School.
Or this: "dismantling the historical bias against victims, particularly black victims..." Again, where's the basis for this?
Or this howler: "to recognize that most rape claims are true" If we define 'rape claim' as meeting the standards for a criminal prosecution, I suggest this is false. Most (college) rape claims, in fact, are one-on-one claims from some consensual meeting that are reported after the fact, do not involved a visit to a medical facility and thus have no physical evidence, no independent witnesses, and really present no basis for a factual judgment.
And finally: "The dynamics of racially disproportionate impact affect minority men in the pattern of campus sexual-misconduct accusations." So, minority men are accused more often than others? She cites anecdotal evidence.
Finally: "We should be attentive to our history and context." What does that mean? Dismiss a percentage based on racial stats maybe? Free passes by ethnicity? Rape claims by overall population? There's an idea for the ages.

What a load of tripe.

Lewis Wetzel said...


JCC wrote:'Finally: "We should be attentive to our history and context." What does that mean?'
First, it doesn't mean 'we'. It means 'you'. 'History' and 'context' mean narrative.

Rick said...

cyrus83 said...
I wonder how long this would last if the targets started being deans, liberal professors, or Democrat politicians?


It's no coincidence the campus based "reasonable" feminist skepticism and pushback against campus rape extremism started in the last year. The Sabrina Erdely UVA rape hoax article accused a Title IX Administrator (Associate Dean Nicole Eramo) of a cover up and other activists tried to use the process against feminist professor Laura Kipnis.

This particular instance began because these Harvard Law Professors saw a black man being mistreated, would they have spoken out had he been white or in a white fraternity? There's no evidence to suggest they would. Many false and outrageous accusations have been made against more acceptable political targets without provoking a response. Literally none of the Duke Group of 88 (who made politically inflammatory remarks in support of a rape hoax) were negatively impacted by their outrageous behavior or by their revealing their extremism. These people are welcome in the university system because of their political radicalism, not in spite of it.

Peter said...

"Sexual assault is a serious and insidious problem that occurs with intolerable frequency on college campuses and elsewhere. Fighting it entails, among other things, dismantling the historical bias against victims, particularly black victims ..."

Would not the statement be far more accurate regarding victims of false rape accusations, on-campus and elsewhere? How many black men were lynched because some white woman didn't want to admit to having an affair with a black guy?

chillblaine said...

"...racially disproportionate impact affect minority men in the pattern of campus sexual-misconduct accusations..."

Maybe minority men would fare better at "slower-track schools."

mikee said...

The witch trials will continue until only the powerful witches remain, in control of the trials.

Sammy Finkelman said...

closed off to the possibility that a particular person accused of sexual misconduct may be innocent or wrongly accused.

If you are closed off to the possibility that an accusation may be false, then you'll get more and more false accusations.

And fewer true ones, because the offense just won't be happening. People will become too afraid to do it, and anyone not afraid will get railroaded.

In Stalin's Russia, there weren't many people actually engaging in deliberately defacing portraits of Stalin.

Now nobody is afraid to do that, if any can be found. While once almost every such accusation was false, or an accident, now almost every such claim should be true.

Example 2: In Pakistan, nowadays, there are no people who curse Mohammed. There are accusations of things like that, but pretty much every one of them is false.

Sammy Finkelman said...

It was aaid at one time and was true at one time that chldren do not make false accusaitons of sexual impropriety or worse.

That changed, however in the 1980s. (Of course didn't know much about it, taht didn't change, but they got prompted to say things)

Sammy Finkelman said...

The Bible is concerned with false accusations - it's one of the 10 commandments even - and this also has long roots in modern day legal philosophy.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The easy point that few seem to make (loudly, anyway) is that while it's true in theory that a climate that doesn't automatically believe any accusers can be construed as "hostile" to potential accusers, it's simultaneously equally true that a climate that automatically believes all accusers is hostile to the accused. Since both may be members of the university community both are clearly unfair and don't give any reason for preferring one paradigm over the other (based on the inherent characteristics of either, anyway).

The fact that most accusers are women and most of the accused are men is really the only reason to prefer one systemic posture over the other (in clear contravention of the normal "innocent until proven guilty" idea, no less), but since that's impermissibly sexist none dare admit it openly.

cubanbob said...

If rape is such a severe problem at Harvard why would any parent send their daughters there?

Bruce Hayden said...

The fact that most accusers are women and most of the accused are men is really the only reason to prefer one systemic posture over the other (in clear contravention of the normal "innocent until proven guilty" idea, no less), but since that's impermissibly sexist none dare admit it openly.

Which is really why this assumption of guilt is a violation of Title IX. And, people are going to start winning these cases in court for just that reason.

Bruce Hayden said...

The problem is that women are just as likely, and, I would argue more likely, to lie than men, and esp. in this sort of situation where it is not viewed as criminal. Indeed, I think that it can be argued that women lying about having had sex is notably more common than men lying about it. Why? Much of our culture, and embedded in our genes, is that women are wired for two different sexual strategies. The one is to get a mate (typically a beta) so he can help raise her children. And, the second is that women tend to prefer the sperm from alpha males to their beta mates. We know this because women apparently prefer better looking, more dominant, more alpha males during and around ovulation, and their beta mates the rest of the month. We also know this from the different ways that societies tend to treat cheating, depending on the gender of the cheater. Feminine modesty (including the Muslim dress), slut shaming, stoning adulteresses, are all a direct result of women cheating on their mates. Much of this is a result of females cheating on their beta mates, and then lying about it. Because, of course, those beta mates aren't going to voluntarily spend their resources raising the children of other men, when their posterity requires that they spend it raising their own biological children.

campy said...

"Which is really why this assumption of guilt is a violation of Title IX. And, people are going to start winning these cases in court for just that reason."

Only until Hillary! appoints more misandrist appellate judges.

Brando said...

"If rape is such a severe problem at Harvard why would any parent send their daughters there?"

It sort of proves that no one really believes those stats. The numbers they suggest would make college campuses far less safe from a violent assault standpoint than the worst neighborhoods in Baltimore. And yet, I don't see these young women clamoring to live in the relative safety of the slums.