Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Feminist Mugged by Reality

What happens when a feminist is mugged by reality?

Writing in the Wall Street Journal  today Judith Grossman wears her feminist bona fides proudly:

I am a feminist. I have marched at the barricades, subscribed to Ms. magazine, and knocked on many a door in support of progressive candidates committed to women's rights. Until a month ago, I would have expressed unqualified support for Title IX and for the Violence Against Women Act.

But then, her son:

…  a senior at a small liberal-arts college in New England, was charged—by an ex-girlfriend—with alleged acts of "nonconsensual sex" that supposedly occurred during the course of their relationship a few years earlier.

To her dismay Grossman discovered that when a male college student is accused of sexual misconduct his case is heard before a tribunal that, to me resembles a Star Chamber.

Grossman’ son was deprived of many of his constitutional rights, like rights to the due process of law.

Under what rules does the tribunal operate? As it turns out, none.

Grossman learned that like:

…the proverbial 800-pound gorilla, the tribunal does pretty much whatever it wants, showing scant regard for fundamental fairness, due process of law, and the well-established rules and procedures that have evolved under the Constitution for citizens' protection. Who knew that American college students are required to surrender the Bill of Rights at the campus gates?

These procedures are government policy. Or better, they represent what happens when feminist ideology becomes policy. Grossman explains the procedure:

… my son informed me that not only had charges been brought against him but that he was ordered to appear to answer these allegations in a matter of days. There was no preliminary inquiry on the part of anyone at the school into these accusations about behavior alleged to have taken place a few years earlier, no consideration of the possibility that jealousy or revenge might be motivating a spurned young ex-lover to lash out. Worst of all, my son would not be afforded a presumption of innocence.

 In fact, Title IX, that so-called guarantor of equality between the sexes on college campuses, and as applied by a recent directive from the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, has obliterated the presumption of innocence that is so foundational to our traditions of justice. On today's college campuses, neither "beyond a reasonable doubt," nor even the lesser "by clear and convincing evidence" standard of proof is required to establish guilt of sexual misconduct.

These safeguards of due process have, by order of the federal government, been replaced by what is known as "a preponderance of the evidence." What this means, in plain English, is that all my son's accuser needed to establish before a campus tribunal is that the allegations were "more likely than not" to have occurred by a margin of proof that can be as slim as 50.1% to 49.9%.

Grossman continues to show that the system derives from the folly called political correctness:

Across the country and with increasing frequency, innocent victims of impossible-to-substantiate charges are afforded scant rights to fundamental fairness and find themselves entrapped in a widening web of this latest surge in political correctness. Few have a lawyer for a mother, and many may not know about the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which assisted me in my research.

The process rests on a sad irony. Many years ago feminists decided strong, independent liberated women do not need to be protected by men. Not by their fathers, not by their brothers, not by their husbands.

As a matter of fact, a gentleman who offered a small courteous gestures of respect was routinely denounced by feminists as a gross insult. He was treating a woman as a member of the weaker sex. 

If a man opened a door for a woman, he was called a sexist for assuming that the woman could not open the door herself.

The feminist message was clear: modern women can take care of themselves.

Well, not exactly. Since men are predators, prone to abuse and molest strong, independent women, these women need an extra level of protection: they need to have an extra-judicial procedure that can inflict serious punishment on any male who would see fit to ill-treat them.

No one needs to worry that women might abuse the privilege by bringing unfounded charges against certain men. No, it can’t happen. Women always tell the truth.

Apparently, the problem of violence against women is so bad that the criminal justice system cannot deal with it. It is so out-of-control that the civil justice system cannot do the job.

The fault, Grossman says, lies with feminism. It’s not the feminism that she signed on to those many years ago, but it seems to be what feminism has become:

I fear that in the current climate the goal of "women's rights," with the compliance of politically motivated government policy and the tacit complicity of college administrators, runs the risk of grounding our most cherished institutions in a veritable snake pit of injustice—not unlike the very injustices the movement itself has for so long sought to correct. Unbridled feminist orthodoxy is no more the answer than are attitudes and policies that victimize the victim.


Leo G said...

And so we are pushed back to the time, when sex is reserved for marriage. If enough of these baseless suits occur, eventually men will wisen up, put their peckers back into their pants, and refuse to have sex until there is a ring on their finger.

Wonderful irony!

David Foster said...

What happens if the complainant is a woman who is not a student at the university, but the male she's accusing *is* a student? Does the preponderance of evidence rule still apply?

JP said...

"If enough of these baseless suits occur, eventually men will wisen up, put their peckers back into their pants, and refuse to have sex until there is a ring on their finger."

No, they won't.

Sam L. said...

Doesn't even have to get it out of his pants. The accusation is so serious that Nothing. Else. Matters.

I've been reading this for around 5 years, IIRC. Likely more than 5.

Dennis said...

As I have stated on a number of occasions, I liked and agreed with the early feminists. Everyone should expect to get equal pay for equal work and be treated in the same manner as everyone else. Also no matter the issue that needs to be addresses by society it will eventually be taken over by radicals and will NOT be recognizable by those who began the movement. It exist now for the garnering of power and no other.
It should not surprise anyone that many women now find that the people who are a part of their family are now subject to the excesses of what feminism has morphed. I remember reading a number of years ago seeing a cover of a women's magazine that read, "It's A BOY, What Now?"
Interesting some women really believed that it was nurture and not nature that controlled a significant portion of how people reacted to their environment. There are very good reasons for that.
So like good little feminists they taught their boys to be like girls and almost immediately their sons, at 5 and 6 years old, were being called sexual predators. It is difficult for me to believe that anyone except a radical or one who suffers from misandry could believe such nonsense, but they did.
There has to come a point in which most women who would have been feminists now see it as a dangerous philosophy that wants to control their actions and want not to be associated with it. As I have stated before feminism will destroy itself. The only thing that will give it a little more life is its identification with the state and that won't last long. Liked all failed groups they eventually need the state in order to exist.
One has to recognize that most women are good people just trying to live their lives the best they can, find love and feel that their lives have substance. No so different than most men. To get mad at them for the actions of a very, very small minority is to blame the wrong people and to become just like the feminists. If one really wants to put a "stake in the heart" of radical feminism then one needs to love and honor the women who would be our wives, lovers, friend, daughters, et al. A woman who loves for the man you are is far less likely to believe in or want to be part of what feminism has become.
We will solve far more problems together than apart and live far better lives.

Sam L. said...

Dennis, I hear very few Muslims are Islamists and/or jihadists. Bet there are still enough of them to tarnish the others.

Dennis said...


Exactly my point. It does not take very many people to ruin an organization, a cause, or any other human endeavor. Tp paraphrase, "The squeaky wheel gets the attention" whereas that which works well within its environment does not.
When one wants to perform surgery one operates to remove the cancer, not kill the body so that it can better meet the challenges of life in a manner more conducive to its survival. The same is true when one has to deal with cancers on the body politic.
It should not be a surprise that the "body politic" has gained a significant number of cancerous growths especially at the core of its being and at its "head" that if we do not address it will lead to the death of the body. Sadly, many people do the same thing that they do to their own bodies. They ignore it until it is so bad that they cannot ignore it any more.

Anonymous said...

As I recall, organizations against such wrongful accusations have been denounced as hate sites by the SPLC. Enjoy.