'Feminism is in control of America’s colleges and universities, where its principles at least are held as dogmas unquestioned and unopposed. Yet in what should be a paradise with those principles at work, women speak of a “rape culture” that sounds like the patriarchal hell we thought we’d left behind. One woman at Harvard (my place of work), an apparent victim of sexual assault, writing anonymously but very publicly in an open letter to the student newspaper that gained everyone’s attention, felt obliged to call herself “hopeless, powerless, betrayed and worthless.” In reaction, the university, already on alert, has sprung into action and created several new committees to consider what to do. The federal government is at hand to help provide what it describes as “significant guidance” to universities in this sort of situation, in which a single act of sexual assault can engender a “hostile environment."
In a “quick hit,” The Daily Tar Heel asserts that George Will said “being a victim of sexual assault is a coveted status,” calling this the sexist rant of a crazy old man.
Actually Will said that “when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate.” He was criticizing the claimed epidemic of campus rapes and the absurd claim that “one in five women is sexually assaulted while in college.”
He also deplored the low standard of proof now required — “preponderance of the evidence” rather than “beyond a reasonable doubt.”'
'Columnist George Will wrote a column recently that has attracted a tremendous amount of ire, including calls that the Washington Post fire him. The St. Louis Dispatch has now announced that it’s replacing Will with Michael Gerson. The announcement reads in part: “The change has been under consideration for several months, but a column published June 5, in which Mr. Will suggested that sexual assault victims on college campuses enjoy a privileged status, made the decision easier. The column was offensive and inaccurate; we apologize for publishing it.”
Putting aside for the moment any other concerns that critics may have with Will’s column, the latter allegation, that he specifically suggested that sexual assault victims on college campuses enjoy a privileged status, is false.
So Will is making two points here. First, that university culture encourages students to perceive themselves as victims, and those that can credibly claim victimhood are sometimes given higher status. I don’t think that’s reasonably debatable, as it’s exactly what the apparently common trope, “check your privilege” is about; students seen as “privileged” by dint of skin color, sex, wealth, etc., should shut up and let the more authentic and wise voices of members of societies’ victim classes proliferate. And the general rule is, if you subsidize something, you get more of it, and there’s no reason to think this wouldn’t include self-perceptions of victimhood or self-identification as a victim. It’s notable that a recent well-circulated column by a Princeton student taking exception to the “check your privilege” meme took pains to note that the author himself is the grandchild of Holocaust survivors, the quintessential victims.'
'But if this becomes law, the ramifications might not be so funny. The bill essentially turns all sexual behavior into a potential sexual-assault unless there is a clear, affirmative series of “stop and consent” moments. (It seems to have been penned by someone with only a textbook understanding of how such relationships usually unfold.)
There’s a big difference between a romantic tryst that lacks the requisite affirmative approvals (and perhaps later results in remorse and recrimination) and an assault where one person proceeds against the other person’s will.
The right law, Manly adds, would halt state funds to any colleges that systemically covered up such abuses, but he doesn’t think legislators have the courage to take on powerful lobbies. The state has still not enacted a law making it easier to remove sexual predators from K-12 schools two years after a horrific case in a Los Angeles elementary school. And that’s a more clear-cut matter than this one.
So, instead of confronting the problem directly, critics say the Legislature is advancing a bill that blurs the distinction between an assault and consensual sex and is likely to lead to more confusion and allegations about some decidely intimate moments. This bill may be hypocritical, but that may be the least of its problems.'
'A Superior Court judge rejected a request from two Brown University football players accused of sexual assault to seal a court file related to the allegations.
Superior Court Judge Luis Matos declined to seal the record because, he said, much of the information, namely a Providence police report about the allegations, is publicly available by other means.
“The court doesn’t really see how it’s going to accomplish anything,” Matos said.
Under state Supreme Court precedent, court records should be sealed only when the request is narrowly tailored or if protecting the file is the only reasonable alternative, Matos said. The football players’ request had not met those standards, but the judge invited their lawyer, John R. Grasso, to more closely tailor his request about exactly what information he wished to protect.
“However, I do understand the defendants’ concern” about never having an opportunity to respond to the allegations, Matos said.
Matos granted that restraining order ex parte, meaning that he heard only from the woman.
On May 19, the football players filed a counter action accusing her of making “false and defamatory statements” about them “in reckless disregard of the truth… .”
Grasso, who represents one of the men — he had argued on behalf of both of them Wednesday — moved to question the PC woman under oath. Her lawyer, Thomas G. Briody, objected.
“I didn’t want to expose my client to two aggressive defense lawyers” before a grand jury investigation might be getting under way, Briody said.'
'Some privileges are permissible topics for discussion on campus and in the media.
For example, White Privilege is the obsession of some faculty and students.
George Will pointed out that there is another privilege on campuses — false or contrived claims of victim status. Will did not argue that real victims, be it of actual racism or sexual assault, share some special privilege, but rather, that there are people who contrive or encourage others to falsely create victimhood where none exists.
We see it in theories such as microaggression, where in the absence of proof of actual racism, critical race theorists find racism in routine everyday interactions where the participants do not even realize they are being “racist,” much less have any racist intent.
We also see it in the lowering of the standards of proof and definitions of what constitutes sexual assault.
I think everyone agrees that sexual assault as used in the criminal law deserves condemnation and punishment. But colleges, under pressure from the Justice Department and supposedly feminist groups, have started using definitions of sexual assault that can reach absurd results.'
'Prostitution laws are one rare issue where I’ve essentially no opinion. I have never even thought of visiting a prostitute, let alone amassed the knowledge or committed the time to adequately consider this complex issue. In general, though, I think that such activities debase sexual relations—the proper preserve of committed, emotionally-invested couples—whatever this might imply for its legality. So I’m not here to discuss the bill, but rather to point out Mallick’s heartless characterization of men, which undergirds her belief in punishing johns but not prostitutes: “[It] promotes gender equality,” she writes, “and shifts a legal burden from exploited women directly onto the pathetic men who buy sex.”
"[The bill’s] online reactions were almost entirely from men . . . one letter writer saying the law should cater to men without access to “mainstream sexual outlets” like spouses or friends.
The “need” to buy women is not a “law of nature,” as he wrote, presumably with a straight face. Me? Arrested? The overall level of male entitlement was striking."
Call me sensitive, but I detect a seething hostility here, which reflects Mallick’s modus operandi of blaming men first, for everything. It is ridiculous to say that prostitution simply amounts to “buying women”, as if prostitutes had no agency and could place no limits on what occurs in the transaction. But the conclusion drawn from her prejudice is actually less concerning than the prejudice itself.'
'Following plenty of ruckus, men’s rights activist group A Voice for Men announced their first international conference would be moved from its initial location to a venue about 14 miles away at The Veterans of Foreign Wars outpost in St. Clair Shores.
However, conference organizer Dean Esmay tells the Metro Times that the conference required a larger facility, and that about 300 people had signed up so far, while Doubletree would only allow 275 attendees. He adds that some of the $32,000 raised will still be used for security, but the rest will be used to help pay for next year’s conference. Donors who want their money back can contact AVFM, according to Esmay.
The conference is planned to run the same schedule, and there will be a press conference at the VFW outpost June 26. Esmay says the likes of The Washington Post and Time are expected to be present.
AVFM is also prompting conference attendees to stay in local hotels in the nearby Roseville area and offering a shuttle to and from the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, but has asked attendees not to disclose their exact location for fear of drawing more media attention. Esmay says he is expecting subsequent protests at the new venue, and that he would be “surprised if there was nothing.” Esmay refused to comment on the purported threats.'
'For people my age, the freedom to get drunk or high and then have sex with someone was a right guaranteed by the sexual revolution of the Sixties.
A great number of my friends (both genders) vigorously exercised that right, knowing it was not something our parents or their parents were especially free to do, particularly the women.
The Obama government in fact insists upon that more stringent approach, telling educatorsin a special White House report to use a "more likely than not" test to decide whether sexual assault or harassment has occurred.
That is a much looser measure than the previous standard of "clear and convincing," and certainly far more likely to produce a guilty verdict than the "beyond a reasonable doubt" test applied in a criminal courtroom.
Further, the White House now recommends that schools should adjudicate cases without allowing any cross-examination of testimony.
Presumably, the government has decided that the need to avoid further traumatizing victims trumps an accused's right to question the accuser.
The intent behind all this is laudable. I say that as the father of a daughter who just graduated from university.
But what the universities are doing is also frightening, and I say that as the father of a son who is going into his senior year.
Not only are universities all over America substituting their administrators for police and courts, they are attempting, with the best of intentions, to parse and regulate human behaviour down to the least gesture and syllable.'
'There are so many different types of family – from close knit, to extended, even polygamists – and so many different practical and emotional reasons why a family may break up, that it is very difficult to lay down hard rules when it comes to parenting.
So it’s not surprising that many fathers are upset this week after reading that psychologist Penelope Leach thinks no father, whatever the circumstances, should be allowed to host his own child overnight if a marriage breaks down and he has left the family home. Leach is said to have suggested that taking a child away from the mother for even one night before the age of four can damage their emotional development.
But this is a gross over-simplification. We need to have much more insight into why couples are living separately before we judge where a child is safest and happiest. Did the marriage break down through sexual violence or because of a new partner? A woman could be genuinely fearful of her child going to spend the night at the home of his or her father – if he is known to be violent or controlling. And even where this is not the case, some men may not have much confidence and insist on imposing ''tough’’ male values on their children.'
The newest program at the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium is focused on getting girls excited about math and science. To that end, no boys are allowed and it's run almost entirely by women – mentors who can show the girls they, too, can excel in those fields.
"Young girls for some reason don't see themselves as scientists," said Kate Arrizza, chief operating officer at the science center and the club's director. "We have to get them young and erase that stereotype."
Called Girls Excelling in Math and Science – GEMS, for short – it's one of more than 40 chapters across the U.S. and the first of its kind in the area. The free, after-school club is open to third- through eighth-grade girls throughout Palm Beach County and beyond, with a capacity of about 80. The first of the monthly sessions is July 29.'
Article here. This modern-day human rights crisis is getting some media attention, but not a lot. It's easy to understand why: the victims are all men. In this particular story, sometimes the victims are referred to as men, but usually as "people". Had all these victims been women, the word "woman" assuredly would have been used. But as for the murderers, they are consistently called "gunmen". Shouldn't they be called "gunpeople", as the victims, all men, are typically referred to genderlessly as well? But it isn't that simple. So of course, I have more to say. First comment if you care to read. Excerpt:
"Somali militants who murdered 48 people in a Kenyan village as they watched the World Cup went door to door asking residents if they were Muslim or spoke Somali - and shot them dead if either answer was 'no', witnesses revealed today.
The attack on the coastal village of Mpeketoni, about 30-miles southwest of the tourist centre of Lamu, came at the end of a weekend of bloodshed that has exposed the world to the shocking depravity of terrorists, apparently emboldened by each other's acts.
Witnesses told how about 30 gunmen - believed to be members of Somali terror group al-Shabaab - arrived in the town in minibuses at 8pm yesterday before bursting into residents homes, shooting dead any man they thought was not Muslim.
'They came to our house at around 8pm and asked us in Swahili whether we were Muslims,' said Anne Gathigi. 'My husband told them we were Christians and they shot him in the head and chest.'"
'Sir Owen Glenn's independent inquiry into family violence suggests shifting the burden of proof in "domestic" cases so that alleged perpetrators are considered guilty unless they can prove they are innocent.
The first report from the $2 million inquiry, issued today, has found "overwhelming agreement" among the 500 people who gave evidence that New Zealand's current court system is "dysfunctional and broken".
"The court system structure and processes, and the people working within it, revictimise and retraumatise victims," it says.
The first report, called "The People's Report", does not make specific recommendations, which are expected in a final report by the end of this year.
But it offers "ideas for change" from those who gave evidence, including "a major review of the court system". Ideas include:
• "Revisit the burden of proof so that it lies with perpetrators not victims."'
'It has never been clearer that American society is in desperate need of a generation of feminist men. Not men who will take over the women’s rights cause and “mansplain” what feminists are doing wrong but true allies who will hold other men accountable and are committed to gender equality and the eradication of misogynistic violence.
According to the World Health Organization, 30 percent of women who have been in a relationship report having experienced a form of physical or sexual violence by their partner. The United Nations has found that intimate partner violence accounts for 40 to 70 percent of murdered women in the United States. One in four U.S. college women reports surviving rape or attempted rape since her 14th birthday. Just two weeks ago, Elliot Rodger went on a killing spree in Isla Vista, California — a devastating culmination of his hatred of women.
It’s not just about violence. The gender wage gap persists, and women’s contributions are often devalued. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, in 2012 full-time female workers made only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. Women, on average, earn less than men in nearly every single occupation. Though women outnumber men in college by 10 percent and hold almost 52 percent of all professional jobs, they fall significantly behind in leadership positions.'
'Karen DeCrow, the feminist attorney and author who served as president of the National Organization for Women from 1974 to 1977, died of melanoma last Friday at 76. Although her passing was widely noted in the media, most the obituaries and tributes overlooked the more unorthodox aspects of her work. A lifelong champion of women’s rights, DeCrow was nonetheless skeptical about many key aspects of latter-day feminism, including its focus on sexual violence and male abuse of women. She was also, for much of her career, a men’s-rights activist.
DeCrow raised eyebrows in 1981 when she served as defense counsel to Frank Serpico, the former New York detective and whistleblower, in a paternity suit. Serpico claimed the plaintiff had used him as a “sperm bank” and lied about being on the Pill while knowingly trying to conceive, and asserted that he had a constitutional right not to become a parent against his will. (The family-court judge, a woman, ruled in Serpico’s favor, but he lost on appeal.)
DeCrow, by then a lawyer in private practice in Syracuse, New York, endorsed Serpico’s argument on feminist grounds. “Just as the Supreme Court has said that women have the right to choose whether or not to be parents, men should also have that right,” she told The New York Times, calling this “the only logical feminist position to take.”
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