Duke University, whose faculty and president rushed to judgment against lacrosse players falsely accused of rape, has adopted a revised sexual misconduct policy. Stuart Taylor argues that the new policy “makes a mockery of due process and may well foster more false rape charges by rigging the disciplinary rules against the accused.”
The revised policy requires the involvement of the University’s Women’s Center (about which more below) in the dispciplinary process for all known allegations of sexuall misconduct, and empowers the Office of Student Conduct to investigate even if the accuser does not want to proceed.
Moreover, according to Taylor, Duke’s rules define sexual misconduct “so broadly and vaguely as to include any sexual activity without explict ‘verbal or nonverbal’ consent, which must be so ‘clear’ as to dispel ‘real or perceived power differentials between individuals ]that] may create an unintentional atmosphere of coercion.'” One wonders what consent could be clear enough to dispel “perceived power differentials” in the mind of the ideologues responsible for this definition.
Finally, Taylor says the disciplinary rules deny the accused the right to have an attorney at the hearing panel or to confront his accuser. The accuser is also permitted to make opening and closing statements, but the accused is not.
Taylor reports that the new rules are a response, in part, to a slight decline in reported cases of sexual misconduct at Duke. A rational person would welcome this development and, if anything, consider it a reason not to adopt more draconian rules. But for Duke’s Women’s Center, whose turf includes allegations of sexual misconduct, the decline in “business” is unwelcome. Its representative argues that the decline in reports of sexual misconduct is the result of a rise in unreported misconducted. This must be true, she maintains, because Duke has a “rape culture.” The same culture, presumably, that produced the non-rape by the Duke lacrosse players.
But here’s my favorite part of the story. Ada Gregory, director of the Women’s Center, argues that “higher IQ males” like those who populate Duke are particularly effective at “manipulation and coercion.” Hence their ability to “rape” women without them even realizing it.
It is my understanding that Duke also admits “higher IQ females.” But if you’re a radical feminist, women must always be clueless and helpless, no matter how intelligent they might seem.
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