Title IX: Protecting women, or targeting men? Part 2 | HBR Talk 46

Last week we began looking at some of the information shared at the 2018 Rowan University Title IX research and resources conference, a gathering for university administrators and employees involved in the application of campus policy related to Title IX’s current status, its implications, and its on-campus applications. The presentation we’ve seen so far has had some hits and some misses. The techniques under discussion for trauma informed investigation include methods that could be instrumental in getting to the truth behind an allegation, but the slides we saw still show that those involved are approaching these ideas through an ideological filter: That of the feminist victim narrative.

Accusers are referred to as victims. Even witnesses to a crime are referred to as victims. The accuser’s other experiences, which may or may not have anything to do with the allegation in question, must be considered. The presumption of innocence for the accused is thrown out of the window, never to be seen for the entirety of the investigation. If the way this method of investigation is being discussed is any clue, the issues this technique was created to address aren’t going away. Campus administrators are still beginning with a conclusion to which they are then fitting their methods and the evidence. 

They embark on an investigation that by nature, cannot be performed objectively. Do they get all of the information they need, or do their attempts at coddling the accuser leave them with an incomplete, biased picture? Do they give the accused the same consideration, or does the ideological outlook behind the Dear Colleague guidance prejudice the process? 

The most important question is, should the campus location even make universities the primary investigative institution when a crime is alleged? Why not the real police?

It’s becoming obvious from the information coming out of the Title IX conference that ideologues are using universities to build their own alternative judicial system in which allegations more easily lead to a finding that imposes culpability on the accused, but also in which culpability does not serve to remove its supposed “convicts” from the streets. A falsely accused student has little recourse within the university system to clear his or her name. The student may be subject to traumatic experiences during the investigation, or if wrongfully found “responsible,” penalties, that can spell an end to his or her education, a career-destroyer… a change that impacts one’s entire life. There is no recourse to be had against an accuser who filed a false complaint, lied to investigators, and entered false testimony or other evidence into the hearing. There is no process for holding the false accuser accountable at all.

An accused student who is guilty faces no incarceration. His or her life will change, and that change will be punitive, but not in the same way as a convict in the criminal court system, nor with the same goals or effects intended. The perpetrator will not be removed from society, because again, no incarceration... but only from the academic environment in which the crime was committed. He or she will remain at large, then, able to perpetrate again at will. There will be nobody monitoring the perpetrator’s activities as there would be following a criminal sex crime conviction. 

There will be no court-ordered assessment of the offender, no examination of his mental state, no determination of whether the crime was committed in part due to mental health issues, and therefore no state-ordered mental health treatment intended to prevent future criminal violations. These factors are absent in the university system, leaving accusers who are actual victims unprotected. Yes, their perpetrator will face some punishment, but will in the end remain at large, could continue to reside locally in the community where the victim attends school, and has not been stopped from obtaining a next victim, and a next after that one, and so on. 

This is a lose-lose situation, in which the only real beneficiaries are those who make their living creating, informing, and filling positions involved in initiatives like these on university campuses. While outcomes are guaranteed to be bad for everyone else, there is money to be had from jobs in the industry, and it’s being capitalized on by folks like the designers of the presentation we’re discussing tonight, and those whose job it is to implement and apply the policies shared in events like this conference. Move over, women in STEM. Women’s studies majors are moving in, armed to the teeth with the science of victimhood.

Good news feminists! There’s money to be made on university campuses if you can just convince the public that students don’t have due process riii-un!