This is one of the big ways in which sexism is a much more tractable problem than racism and less potentially explosive. Women and men both have members of the opposite sex that they genuinely love. I have heard that fathers with daughters make for a very tough jury in rape cases. A lot of the opposition to these title ix courts has come from mothers worried about their sons being falsely accused.
With racism, there is a pretty good chance that in some areas, a person of one race has virtually no one of another race that they genuinely love. This allows racial discrimination to last longer, and has the danger that when base emotions get appealed to by demagogues, there is less resistance.
There was a recent episode of "Hidden Brain" on NPR that talked about this .
This part is particularly interesting:
> In a thought experiment, Mahzarin and her colleagues have extended the trend lines of the data to see how long it would take for bias to be entirely eliminated. To be clear, this isn't a prediction about what is going to happen. It just shows you the speed at which different biases are changing.
What they found is that this would have anti-gay bias all but eliminated in 9 more years. By contrast, it's about 60 more years for anti-black biases to be eliminated, 140 years for skin tone biases against darker skin to go away. Biases against the elderly and the disabled and the overweight do not go away within the next 150 years.
Most families include the elderly and the overweight, so the idea that familiarity breeds acceptance would predict that those biases should be going away quicker than biases against gays.
(To reiterate, the timeframes aren't predictions of what will happen. They are just comparisons of the rates that those biases are changing right now).
This is becoming increasingly less true because it is becoming safer and more respectable to be out. This creates a tight feedback loop of acceptance which makes people feel safer coming out.
What I'm about to say is not meant to provide a justification for discriminatory behavior, it's just an armchair-anthropologist's attempt at explaining this discrepancy. We might have a very deep bias against old people; if a group of animals has to decide who gets a split of food, and some of them have a dramtically shorter life expectancy, I could imagine there being a biological tendency to care about the young over the old. A similar calculation might be made about the disabled, since a wounded companion is less helpful than an able-bodied one. Weight, I have a number of ideas about. There's a disease correlation, of course. We also might ostracize overweight people because overweight people were more likely to be hoarding food in our deep past, and sharing with those who don't share back is a bad strategy. Even if the specifics of my armchair-anthropology are utter horseshit, I could see factors similar to these out-weighing the familiarity bias without discounting it.
We probably have a bias against unhealthy people because they'd drain the time and resources of a tribe. And they'd be less likely to help with physical activities like hunting, gathering and war.
Obesity is a very new phenomenon but not wanting to include or associate with people who seem sick or unhealthy is probably pretty old.
Online dating has proven to help gays with successfully finding relationships. Gays can be openly gay online while protecting their privacy. This has helped give people some exposure to gays and their problems who wouldn't otherwise have similar exposure in meat space.
I also think the trend to identify as asexual where such people were probably historically viewed as committed bachelors has probably helped take some of the discomfort out of the equation. Historically, not being interested in sex was not a sexual identity. Now it is.
And that takes the concept of sexual identity into new territory that I think makes it less threatening because it casts light on the fact that sexual identity can be about you and not about other people per se, if that makes sense.
I would turn it around and say that the acceptance of homosexuality has created the space for a spectrum of sexuality.
If I were to categorize the elderly as generally less capable than say, a man in his 40s, I would also generally be right. Age comes with it's demerits, and recognizing this would not be anti-elderly bias.
From what I gather, bias is an issue when it unfairly penalizes people for factors outside their control that do not significantly impact their capability.
IOW - Elderly people who can actually code get discriminated against all the time (for basic coding jobs, but obviously everyone thinks they got the next Microsoft brewing). This gets justified in many ways around 'agility', 'flexibility' etc. but in essence it is bias.
In some cases there might be actual reasons like you say, problem comes when it is a summary judgment. In general people don't like being judged I guess, and when necessary - like to be judged based on their actual impact. (Granted there are probably also folks who will cry discrimination when there are actual reasons ... I guess we just funded hr eh :).
I have heard same goes for overweight people.
Why the distinction? Will black people still be facing skin tone biases in 61 years? What even is a skin tone bias? I'm pretty sure this isn't a bias against people who come back from holiday with a tan, which suggests it's not about skin tone, so racism?
Among Indians https://theconversation.com/bleached-girls-india-and-its-lov...
Among African-Americans https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1988-35485-001
Among East Asians https://nextshark.com/east-asian-pale-skin-beauty-standard/
Difference Between Racism and Colorism: https://time.com/4512430/colorism-in-america/
I still question whether this should be an ism though. The West kind of has/had these divisions. Pre 20th century having a tan was looked down on because it indicated you had to work in a field for a living. In the 20th century that kind of reversed because the rich could afford foreign holidays, now we have a situation where half of people wear fake tan, the other half look down on it. That all appears to be classism to me, rather than colourism?
And if the colour difference is genetic, is that not racism? If I treat a black person differently it's racism, if I treat a person of mixed origin differently, that's also racism? If a black person treats a mixed origin person differently, is that not equally racism? It's tempting to think of all Indians or Africans as the same 'race' but I as a western European can be racist towards Eastern Europeans, and Jews, and Gypsies, if I were racist towards an Italian because they had a tan, that would be racism, not colourism?
Is there something I'm missing?
Real life example of someone like this would be John Cleese, who moves from London to Bath after London lost its English identity.
Compare: People who eat burgers like burgers more than people who don't. Is it because eating burgers makes you like burgers, or because only people who like burgers will choose to eat burgers?
I think it's clear he's fine with foreigners, and that London quote got way overinterpreted.
That seems more like an example of how easily statements get exaggerated and take on a life of their own. Cleese said something that was way overinterpreted, but he didn't move because of what he claimed. I'm not sure where you got that idea.
I think the general sentiment was more about the neutral people who hold a view but could be accepting of something different, rather than the people who are staunchly against something.
Well-put. One need only think of how many men love their individual wives/sisters/mothers while otherwise being deeply misogynistic.
If you want to understand how to overcome prejudice, it begins with acknowledging historical reality for what it was and not trying to bend your understanding of events to correspond to foundational myths and deifications.
When Jefferson was appointed has the US envoy to France and spent over two years living in Paris, he took Sally Hemings with him. This was before he started having sex with her.
France had abolished slavery, and under French law at the time if you brought a slave into France they had the right to leave slavery and remain in France if they wished.
Jefferson and Hemings started their sexual relationship while in Paris. When Jefferson went back to the US, she agreed to go with him (and thus return to slavery) in exchange for his agreeing to certain conditions, including that any children they had together would be freed.
By contrast, there's nothing stopping racial groups from tending towards being fully segregated from one another, to the point that people stop thinking of the other race as full humans instead of fuzzy stereotypes.
<gestures to entire history of sexism> .. I mean, the Saudi king has lots of wives but until recently wouldn't allow any of them to drive?
For a closer example, there are plenty of married Republican politicians who are willing to make statements on abortion that imply they have no idea how the reproductive system works.
If you think the abortion issue as simple as men oppressing women, you're horrendously misinformed, in a bubble of ideological ignorance, or both, given that women skew a decent amount less pro-choice than men.
(I say that as someone who's strongly pro-choice and, to my knowledge, has never met someone who's pro-life. I just don't think my bubble comprises the world or even the country)
> <gestures to entire history of sexism>
I'm not even sure where to start with this unsurprisingly unnuanced response to my model. Again, if your model of gender roles throughout history is as simple as "men lording power over women because they were able", you should pick up a history book.
This middle-school model of history fails to explain the historical imbalance in torture, mutilation, violence, and early death (with corresponding imbalances on the other side in sexual violence, lack of agency, etc). There's no such two-sidedness inherent to racism, historically or theoretically, no analogue to things like "women and children first" that belie, as I said, "full dehumanization".
(I'm not remotely interested in comparing the levels of gender role oppression, historically or currently, because it doesn't have anything to do with my point, which was that there's no corresponding force pushing towards humanization of the victims of racism)
One is not plenty, last time I checked.
No surprise, then, that it shows up in the segment of men who are not "adjacent" to any women.
You're never going to entirely escape from those who are just shitty people, but at the societal level, sexism is unique in that the groups of potential victims and potential perpetrators are intimately forced together, ij a way that isn't necessarily the case for racism or homophobia (when gay people are forced into the closet).
Generally speaking, if you want to nail a rapist to the wall, you should fill it with middle aged men, whether they have children or not, and actively avoid women.
Middle aged men remember what Randy jerks they were capable of being. Even if they have no daughters, they have mothers, sisters, wives or girlfriends and they want their women protected.
Women will say to themselves "I wouldn't have worn that outfit/gone to that bar/been in that part of town after dark." Women will try to convince themselves it was somehow the victim's fault so they can feel safe and in control of their lives.
Or so I've read.
And yet those men are still sexist, but in a protective way.
I've long believed the antidote to "bad men" is "good men." In contrast, a lot of rape victims simply conclude all men are evil and it becomes a barrier to recovery.
I think they don't know another way to feel safe. It seems like the safe bet to them: just don't trust any men.
That wasn't my reaction.
Humans try to rationalize a world full of unknowns most often with their own lenses.
I think we desperately need to work on the societal problems that foster situations like that. Far too often, there is a crucible of social baggage involved.
My takeaway: Have private relationships and don't let the world butt into them. It's hard enough for two people to agree what's okay. It gets vastly harder when other parties get involved.
I read one article where two college students hooked up, everything was initially fine, then the girl's mother basically talked her into charging the guy with rape.
If you weren't there, I don't want your opinion of what happened to me. You can apply your personal baggage to your own sex life/experiences. Keep it out of mine.
She did not had choice in whether she can stay in contact with her rapist, tho, despite the money. But it is nice she did not had to marry him, have children with him and be dependent on his income.
Unfortunately, an increasing number of the laws we are subjected to in the United States are bureaucratic edicts removed several levels from democratic checks and balances. It appears to me that these are more readily steered by lobbying groups -- which by their nature agglomerate polarized supporters.
How else can you explain this Title IX perversity?
Consider how women couldn't vote in the US until 1919 -- a half century after blacks.
And a more modern example that was on display for all to see: the confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh. There were not a lot of facts available -- no date, no place, no witness that could remember. Yet millions were ready to brand him a rapist to the whole nation and pressure him out of political office.
Not letting women vote is arguably not necessarily a marker of sexism. It is more a marker of the relationship between a country's military leadership and institutions.
Originally originally (~400BC) voting was basically for the army to decide when and where it would fight; hence male-only because men are the physically big ones who can fight. I don't know exactly how it changed over time, but the linkages are probably quite sticky. This modern concept of a government heavily invested in daily life wouldn't have been practical before modern communication and transportation, so needs and viewpoints on what the government is would have been radically different.
2 - That's irrelevant anyway unless you're suggesting that it was still the case up to 1919.
3 - Even if it was, why does women not fighting imply they can't have opinions and thoughts on when and where the army fights? For sure it still affects them.
There is a massive link between being involved in the military and having political power, even without suffrage. There are 2,500 years of history and women got the vote around the time that the repeatable firearm was perfected.
Creating a female military draft raise some major concerns in 1918, one being that women had not voted to enter the war in the first place. It was seen as a bit unfair to then demand them to help fix the situation. Thus the right to vote.
Then the war suddenly ended and the bill got postponed. The female draft part was dropped but the idea of women vote continued with force and a year later it passed.
Most historians agree that the world war 1 was the catalyst for the women suffrage movement, through there are some disagreement. Some points to the fact that the movement existed before the war, but how significant their political influence was at that point is far from clear.
This simply isn't true, since other topics were definitely voted on. For example, rather famously, there were votes on whether a person should be exiled from the city in ancient Greece.
"Only adult male Athenian citizens who had completed their military training as ephebes had the right to vote in Athens."
I was a bit vague in my original comment, but the point I'm going for is that this looks lot like the army being in charge. The criteria wasn't "men because we like men". The criteria was questions like "are you going to be lining up to fight the Persians with me?" and "Can you build ships?". And a hint of nationalism/classism. If it were feasible to field women on the battlefield in 404BC they would have been voting too.
And indeed, as soon as we reach a level of technology where it is feasible for women to be policepersons and military contributors they start getting suffrage. It was still a battle, but the timing is highly suspicious.
Not voting doesn't have a huge effect on people's lives, which is why millions don't do so.
Perhaps more importantly, the accusations were impossible to defend against.
None of this means the events didn't happen. They might have. But the process was fundamentally unfair, and we need a better way to deal with uncertainty.
Lining up on party lines -- a kind of "vote for the truth" -- is ridiculously unfair to the accused. We need to agree on a process, including standards of evidence. When that process plays out, we should be able to basically come together on the outcome.
I see this in a lot of forums, such as r/twoxchromosomes on reddit
The outspoken members there are women who assume their negative life experience is all women's experience. That they are speaking for the injustice of all women. Disagreeing with that version of reality is the worst sin of all. Offering a different perspective is at best tacit consent for the status quo or at worst advocating for the victimhood of women, intentionally(?) ignoring any other possibility. Offering a different perspective if you do not have two X chromosomes is mansplaining, no matter what the content is.
This is called an echo chamber. People don't realize they don't have as much consensus on reality as they believe.
I think one way to short circuit this is to reveal that the lack of consensus perpetuates the oppression of women. There are men willing to be allies and help create a gradient of collaboration, but given the censorship it is equally as entertaining watching a fragmented cause get nowhere due to its own balkanization that the echo chambers doesn’t even even seem to notice.
And this is all exacerbated because people aren't treating each other as individuals, and instead trying to speak for entire groups. The irony is that you can't even address this conundrum without grouping the people who do this together.
I'm not saying its right to draw the conclusion "black people are overrepresented in crime therefore black people/culture must be bad", but I think it is human nature to do so. Going further, if an individual has had a negative experience with a person of another race (e.g. being mugged, living next to an addict, etc.) then there is also likely to be an emotional component that is difficult to overcome.
Again, I want to emphasize that I'm not saying that this is right, just that it's human nature.
You can think that women aren't responsible enough to vote, or to hold certain jobs while still loving your daughter. You can kick it back with your black friend on the weekend while still not wanting black people in your neighborhood, your friends is just "one of the good ones".
Most of human society throughout history has been profoundly sexist by modern standards, and we still have entire countries that are structurally sexist by the standards of the west. None of that was destabilized because everyone had a mother, and most fathers had daughters.
> The notion that fathers who have daughters can't be sexist towards women
You're misrepresenting what the person said.
I don't see how that has anything at all to do with the issue. The durability of sex-based discrimination in throughout the history of human societies demonstrably has nothing to do with that.
It is a massive exaggeration, if not an outright fabrication, to expand this to "the notion that fathers who have daughters can't be sexist towards women" - what you wrote your original comment in this chain. The grandparent comment stated that fathers with daughters give deference towards women in a very specific situation. No reasonable reading of this comment can be interpreted as denying the ability of fathers with daughters to be sexist towards women.
It can be inferred that they're proposing a mechanism by which sexism can be eradicated, not just marginally improved. Otherwise it wouldn't be a tractable problem.
Perhaps I'm still misreading it, but I can't see how it can be understood differently, and how I'd be misrepresenting it by rephrasing the idea as "the notion that fathers who have daughters can't be sexist towards women".
If we suppose that fathers only became marginally less sexists towards women by having a daughter, then it follows that sexism really isn't a tractable problem. Even if we were to follow the GP's logic that sexism or racism can be narrowly understood as the sort of discrimination that would cause discrimination by a jury.
What I'm pointing out is that even if we follow that argument that's taking a very narrow view of those -isms.
> It can be inferred that they're proposing a mechanism by which sexism can be eradicated, not just marginally improved. Otherwise it wouldn't be a tractable problem.
Once again you're misrepresenting what they said. They said:
"This is one of the big ways in which sexism is a much more tractable problem than racism and less potentially explosive." which contradicts your claim that "they're proposing a mechanism by which sexism can be eradicated"
I'm not a native English speaker, my understanding of the word "tractable" is "solvable". E.g. arranging some blocks on my desk with the tower of Hanoi algorithm using chopsticks is a tractable problem, doing so with my hands is more tractable, but the end result is the same.
In any case, whether the GP meant "completely solved" or "partial progress can be made" I think the point I was trying to make stands regardless.
That point is that even if you say achieve 100% equality of justice among jurors regardless of the sex of the defendant, you can't say you've achieved much if any progress on sexism in general.
It is misrepresenting them to claim, as you're continuing to do ("even if you say achieve 100% equality of..."), that what they said is somehow an absolute statement, or that it was some statement just about juries.
Nowhere was that written in the above comment
"No one will ever win the battle of the sexes; there's too much fraternizing with the enemy."
--- Henry Kissinger
Hello, I spent a decade of my life learning just how difficult it is to become an expert in my very narrow field. In fact I spend most of my time helping undergrads refine their rank speculation into tractable problems to potentially guide them to a deeper understanding of even a tiny slice of my narrow specialty.
What's that? You'd like me to serve on a jury for the school? No not on a jury, but instead to serve as a kind of combination panel judge and amateur lawyer? For what may be criminal allegations against a student? And you say there's no actual trained judicial expert to lead and constrain the process, but instead a handbook that will teach me in about an hour how to question a witness?
Sorry, it's my minimal sense of civic and academic integrity calling. I really have to take this...
I have to wonder how much life experience someone has who thinks that...
At a large public institution near me they had some lawyers review their processes.
The resulting suggestions were pretty shocking. Things like, educating the accused as to what the process even was. Notifying the accused that there was an appeal (they apparently didn't do that all the time). Allowing all parties legal representation. And more detailed recording of testimony, mostly due to cases that involved concerns from accused students that their testimony that was recorded was inaccurate and had only been recorded by hand written notes taken by another student. In some cases their efforts to correct what they said seemed to be interpreted as lying... because it conflicted with the original notes (but not any factual conflict).
It is mind boggling that any of the suggestions were needed.
In the meantime the folks running the department investigating the reports are also tasked with writing the rules, investigating, judging....and on their own time advocating for various policies surrounding sexual assault.
I was in a student court for something stupid and it was kafkaesque. I had to sit and hear a professor accuse me. I was not able to object or ask questions despite the professor making factually incorrect statements about how the phone company worked. However, when I spoke the professor was able to object, cross examine and refute me.
It was so weird and professors just sat there in the jury tolerating it.
There’s a lot of fake BS in college besides the knowledge. I just avoided all that stuff because how they would make these unjust systems and be totally cool with it.
I ended up talking with the Dean and he said he wasn’t interested in whether the process was fair he just wanted to find out if I “did it.”
If anyone I know gets into a similar situation I’ll advise getting a lawyer and not speaking at all.
Without distracting with any specific cases, it's very clear that the modern world is shifting away from the presumption of innocence. This, combined with an internet that remembers forever and a total disregard for free speech, will have predictably disastrous results. The set of punishable behavior is growing wider every day, whilst the standards of evidence are becoming shallower and shallower.
It's infuriating that every major US news site is being flooded with stories about increasing loneliness, plummetting sexual activity, increasing suicides, etc., but seem more than happy to contribute to the new character assassination of the day. Has it clicked for anyone yet that maybe today's youth are becoming shut-in's because they have a brain, and they know one mistake can ruin their entire life?
The commonly repeated reasons for this status-quo are pitiful.
Journalists aren't part of the judicial system, so it's alright if they pick a side without physical evidence --- as if that somehow makes their claims more likely to be true. Does not caring about science make a person's scientific claims more valid? Why even care about the news if the news doesn't care about the facts?
The 1st amendment applies only to the government, not private institutions --- so what? Is having a closed mind now a desirable personality trait? I'd hope that private individuals are working to preserve free speech as well, even if they aren't forced to do so. Besides that, many of the private institutions that this argument is applied to are in fact receiving special government funding / support (universities are a prime example, large payment processors are another). Can the government freely disregard your constitutional rights as long as it uses a private-sector middle-man?
...I can fire him. I mean, obviously I need to go through the proper HR procedures, follow local employment law, respect the terms of his contract, etc., but I have no obligation to keep him employed if I think he's a net negative to my company. Arguably I have an obligation to not keep him employed. And I certainly have no requirement to wait until he has been convicted of a crime; it's not even clear any of the above is a crime.
Similarly, if I run a resort, and one of the guests is so unpleasant they're driving away other guests, or if I run a restaurant, and one of the guests is making other guests uncomfortable, or I run an apartment building, and one of the tenants is behaving poorly.
A university is a business. People come and pay money in exchange for a service, and if someone is interfering with the ability of other people to receive that service, or making people reluctant to come and pay money, it's perfectly fine for them to be asked to leave. If what they're doing happens to be a crime, then by all means, also report them to the police, but it's kind of odd to suggest that you shouldn't expel students except if they've been convicted of a crime.
That being said, I think universities are doing a terrible job here, and I think that given the extreme importance of a university education in modern life, the disruption that being expelled entails, and the stigma that will follow someone if they are expelled, we need to be very careful about the process here. My local dollar store will ban you from the store if they think you shoplifted, and I assume they get it wrong sometimes, but it's fine, because being unjustly banned from a dollar store does not ruin your life. Being unjustly expelled from university could! Things are broken and need fixing. But a world where you can only be expelled on conviction of a crime makes no sense either. The discussion need to be about the correct amount of protection needed.
This is a massive false equivalence. For one thing, most of the "employees" in your metaphor are eighteen to twenty-two years old. Not to mention the fact that students are regularly put through the ringer and expelled on the first accusation. It's hardly akin to the "repeat offense" scenario you outlined in your first example. And comparing being expelled for an alleged sexual assault to being asked to leave a resort for rude behavior? Come on.
This is a different situation than anything you described. Universities have much more of a guardian and stewardship role than an employer, and rape is a fucking crime. It should be handled by the mechanism we've created to handle crimes, i.e. criminal courts of law.
The fact that two things share a superficial attribute does not make them equivalent.
At a university, dating other students is so commonplace that a large portion of people meet their spouses that way.
Title IX may want to treat dating at universities with the same disdain as in the workplace, but it's not going to be an easy cultural shift.
And at a restaurant, being in a relationship with a fellow patron is quite common. Similarly, no legal or cultural ban against dating your room mate when you rent a house (much to the relief of married couples everywhere).
Students are (mostly) not employees of the university, but they are customers of educational services and (quite often) tenants. A university has a number of relationships to students, and a number of responsibilities, both to the (alleged) predators and to the larger student body.
I mentioned a startup situation in the hopes it would seem relevant to many here (surely we've all had at least one co-worker that was disruptive?), but trying to view this purely through the lens of employment law will get you nowhere.
This is to say that of course the poll at age 40 gives a very different result from the same poll at age 25.
The strange thing is that it is precisely this type of law that has created this situation. The Feds assert that if a university does not apply these extraordinarily dubious adjudication rules for sexual harassment and rape, then it is discriminating against women and is subject to losing any federal funding, including student loans, which effectively shuts down the university.
You're still a business if you're a non-profit.
> Almost all of them take Federal money
You're still a business if you accept government contracts.
> Classifying them as a business isn't accurate.
I mean, they act like businesses, and in most cases they very explicitly legally are businesses. They accept money in exchange for services. If not a business, what would you classify them as?
By that definition every nearly single non-governmental organization is explicitly legally a business, so stating that an organization is a "business" is meaningless.
A church, a soup kitchen, and fraternal lodge are also explicitly legally businesses as well, but it's not useful to classify them alongside for profit businesses.
Many very well off schools don't even charge students who make below a certain income, and the vast majority of their operating expenses come from donations--saying they charge money in exchange for a service isn't a very useful description of what they do.
This would be a valid comparison if the company in question were receiving massive amounts of federal funding, in which case, I would say yes the accused _does_ have a reasonable expectation of fair treatment. Why? Well the accused is also paying for the regulatory system in question.
It's not really possible to deny that these universities receive "massive amounts of federal funding" either, considering that receiving federal funding is the explicit motivation of performing these title IX tribunals in the first place.
Are you in the right as an employer to fire employee B without serious due diligence? To potentially ruin employee B’s life or reputation? Instead of letting it escalate to a real court case (if applicable)?
-Failing you from classes you are in with 0 refund.
-Permanent mark on your academic transcript you supposedly can't escape.
-Having to report to future employers you plagiarized.
Which is essentially asking guests to leave and utterly destroying half a decade of their lives and tens of thousands of their dollars in many cases. This is the part I take issue with. The dollar store you shoplifted from according to one "witness" has now come into your house, took all the groceries in it, and beat up your fridge.
Most universities and businesses (corporations) are government chartered and entitled enterprises.
And students can already be expelled without being convicted of a crime, e.g., if they get bad grades.
A state organization is legally bound to offer certain equal rights and due process protections, which is one of the trade-offs of having state schools.
That doesn't mean anything, one way or another, about how well these university tribunals work. It's just pointing out deficiencies in the existing court system.
Another way to think of it is balancing false negatives and false positives. The court system, ideally, errs on the side of minimizing false positives, because of how damaging they are for the accused. That inherently means more false negatives, and aspects of the process that are also much more burdensome for victims to navigate. Universities are trying to create an alternative system, where more false positives are accepted and consequences are less severe, and more focused on making sure the victim doesn't have to confront their rapist in day-to-day life than on life-altering consequences for the accused or protecting the public more generally from repeat offenses.
Now, you might disagree with this approach to any/all of the above, but this is the reason that answers your question.
Source: I work in higher ed technology, at times very closely with some of the disciplinary groups.
Sexual assault is much more complicated. If the accuser doesn't want to report it to law enforcement and press charges, the maximum penalty the school can inflict is expulsion. Historically this has been a problem in a variety of ways. First, schools have sometimes been accused of discouraging the accuser from going to the police. That problem has resulted in dedicated sexual assault response plans to avoid that sort of thing and work with the accuser to connect them to appropriate resources, counseling, etc. Beyond that, the school is in a bind: prior to either legal action or a school-based disciplinary hearing for violation of the code of conduct, it is punitive to inflict punishment like suspension or force schedule changes to avoid the accused coming into contact with their alleged victim. At the same time, if there was an assault, it can very much exacerbate the harm to the victim to keep things as they are. I don't know of a good solution to this. It often results in the accuser being the one that has to change their schedule or drop out to avoid coming into contact with their alleged attacker.
Again, I don't have an answer that both completely protects a victim from further trauma at the same time that it provides the accused with protection from penalty until they are found guilty. Personally, I think it helps the situation when the accuser is willing to go to the police because that opens up other options like a restraining order that can both protect the victim but also provides judicial review before the accused's rights and privileges are abridged. That is still far from ideal in many cases though. No easy answers here.
Student A and Student B have a class together. Their dorms are next door to each other. Student A rapes Student B. Is Student B expected to attend class every day with their rapist? To live next door to them? How could one expect Student B to maintain their academic performance in that sort of environment?
Currently the de facto assumption is whoever files a Title IX report first is the victim and whoever files second is the rapist. I'm sure you can see how this system can be abused: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/06/title-ix-i...
Let's even admit that forcing a rape victim to live in the same dorm as their rapist is untenable. So that option is off the table and one of them should leave, but in that case it would be the same burden (of leaving) on each class of victim and the tiebreaker should be innocent until proven guilty. On top of that, it may be possible to live in a different dorm or take different classes while remaining at the same school, which is a lesser burden than an innocent victim being forced out of the entire school.
Student A and B have consensual sex and then student B regrets it and claims student A raped her. Student A is now considered guilty from the onset and is banned from attending class and given no opportunity to read the charges against him or to refute his accuser.
Outside of universities, we've decided on a particular balance between the rights of the accused and the psychological well-being of the accuser. Perhaps we should change the system everywhere to more greatly favor the accuser and to lower the standard for guilt in cases of sexual assault, but I don't see why universities should have a different standard than the rest of society.
There absolutely should be a different standard for “can continue to be in this school”
and “can continue to walk down the public sidewalk”, and also decided by different people.
But having a lower standard of proof means expelling people who haven't actually done what you're expelling them for. That's a whole other thing, and I'm very hesitant about it.
Of course, when the expulsions almost only happen to members of one gender, on the say-so of members of the other gender, it gets extra complicated.
>We’ll argue that this sort of deference is mistaken, for at least two kinds of reasons. One is that, as anti-rape activists have often emphasized, law enforcement procedures themselves are deeply flawed when it comes to their practice of dealing with sexual assault. Another has to do with the connections between knowledge and action, and between knowledge and knowledge ascriptions. We also think that these disparate considerations are more closely interconnected than it may at first appear.
Totally agreed. That doesn't justify instituting another unjust system to somehow counterbalance the existing unjust system. This just shifts the injustice to another class of people, it doesn't eliminate it, and human nature being what it is, people will exploit it for selfish ends.
You can only eliminate injustice by specifically addressing the injustice, not by moving it around.
No, I'm actually presuming that injustice cannot be weighed and compared. Statements like "equally or more unjust" are fallacious. If injustice is demonstrable, then we know where the injustice is and so where to focus our efforts, since presumably our goal ought to be eliminating injustice.
How does creating a whole new system that introduces its own problems and its own injustice further the agenda of eliminating injustice? Now you have two unjust systems.
This is HN, so consider the question of when it's appropriate to throw out a buggy program and rewrite it all from scratch, as opposed to gradually evolving the buggy system to a better state. Rewrites are occasionally justified, but it's widely recognized that this is a rare exception, and I'd argue for many of the same reasons.
> after all, it is undoubtedly easier to change the laws of a university body than to change them in society as a whole
That's not a priori a good thing. Laws should be hard to change. Attempting to bypass this process ignores all the reasons why laws must be hard to change.
The central position taken by the authors comes from MacKinnon's Marxist Theory of the State which argues that such change cannot happen within the state as it exists, with all the relations which have constructed it - the argument being that sexist injustice exists prior to the law, and in the law's veneer of equality, it assumes that there is no fundamental injustice to be corrected - the dogma that justice is blind works against justice, not for it. A system in which justice isn't so poorly sighted, and which, according to the authors, starts from the recognition of injustice prior to the law of the state, would be a just one. I'm not convinced that it's fallacious to talk of being "more" or "less" just, since I'm comfortable saying that a Western European country's legal system is more just than Saudi Arabia's.
>as opposed to gradually evolving the buggy system to a better state
Critical legal theory takes the metalegal position that this gradual evolution is impossible given the totality of relations which determine the law. That is to say, the law is a reflection of the society it rules over, its relations of power, of property, of information, knowledge and other things.
>Laws should be hard to change.
It's hard for me to take that as a priori a good thing when laws as they exist in any system reinforce a likely unjust status quo. The law being hard to change seems like a bad situation to be in if you were a Saudi Arabian woman who wanted to drive five years ago. Nevertheless, it circles back to the main point: there are different standards for the law governing society and the law governing a university.
I've read many fallacious arguments with a veneer of plausibility, but in the end, speculation must explain the facts. The fact is that sporadic revolution followed by iterative refinement only is the only approach that has enjoyed any reliable measure of success in any sphere of human knowledge. The law is not exempt from this.
> Critical legal theory takes the metalegal position that this gradual evolution is impossible given the totality of relations which determine the law.
The clear evidence of social and cultural progress must be remarkably inconvenient for critical legal theory.
> That is to say, the law is a reflection of the society it rules over, its relations of power, of property, of information, knowledge and other things.
And the law only has power in so far as the governed consent to be ruled by it. If you attempt to change it too quickly, you will instead induce bloody conflict. Social and cultural inertia exist.
> Nevertheless, it circles back to the main point: there are different standards for the law governing society and the law governing a university.
I'm sure there are. I still don't see the justification for it, but thanks for the attempt.
This is a really hard problem because you want victims to be helped and not have to go through a grueling process for something they didn’t bring upon themselves, but simultaneously you don’t want to enable false accusations which would put undue burden on someone who didn’t bring that upon themselves either.
The question at hand is whether or not things have gone too far.
I think it's fairly clear that it has, at this point.
1. Sexual assault is defined so broadly it's virtually impossible to legal have sex. "Can I hug you?" "Yes" "Can I kiss you?" "Yes" "Can I squeeze your butt?" "Yes" etc. Did you kiss their neck without asking for and receiving positive, enthusiastic consent? That's sexual assault.
2. There's no recourse if there's an accusation. Notification of a complaint is stated in the form of expulsion. Once expelled, there's no appeals process.
There can and should be an extra judicial system to expect offenders. But this is the wrong one.
Asking whether it has gone too far is like asking if someone died too much. This problem currently has no good solution -barring a true “lie detector”, but even that is insufficient because people can believe things that didn’t happen as they recall, etc., you’d need something more like a “reconstruct the scenario do we the jury can interpret”
The exceptions are related to things like civil asset forfeiture, which are of questionable constitutionality and are similar to the rules we're discussing insofar as they are both worthy of contempt.
The protections afforded to both the accused and the accuser are to provide safeguards for everyone involved.
Because it's not a law, it can't be ruled on in court.
Because it can't be ruled on, they use this form of arbitration to solve what would be a civil matter if the school was a private entity.
Its not nearly as unreasonable as you make it seem.
The point in this case is that it isn't. Both the policy and the procedural rules are imposed by federal requirements.
If it was actually a policy of the school then it would be non-uniform and students could avoid schools with unreasonable policies, or push for changes to the local policy that are more achievable than it is for an individual to change federal policy.
See footnotes 10 and 12, which lay out the precedent that sexual assault alone could create a hostile environment.
What apparently did change was that prior to the letter some schools applied a "clear & convincing" standard to adjudicating harassment complaints, while the letter demands (citing some precedent) that the proper standard is "preponderance of the evidence". See pp 10-11.
But I don't think that's the critical change. From what I can piece together, the Obama letter was basically a notice that regulators were going to put more effort into enforcing the existing law. This type of shift of emphasis is common. When that notice went out, colleges did as all large organizations do to show obeyance--they made a show of reviewing their procedures and requiring completion of more sexual harassment training by their personnel.
Coincidentally (or maybe not so coincidentally) there was some new "science" about the psychology of sexual assault that had begun to dominate the discourse. And one researcher in particular, Dr. Rebecca Campbell, gained widespread recognition and invitations to "educate" college administrators on matters of sexual assault. Dr. Campbell's ideas have since been roundly rebuked (if not completely rejected), but for a few years they figured heavily into how some colleges designed and applied their adjudication procedures. See https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2017/09/the-ba... for the long story.
But for this bad "science" making the rounds, I think the Obama-era increased enforcement would have mostly gone unnoticed, save for marginal changes in the speed and resolution of sexual assault complaints.
EDIT: And there it is in this article: "But she also described with astonishment a training session she had attended in which the concept of 'trauma-informed investigation' was taught." That's the Dr. Campbell research, likely presented by Dr. Campbell herself.
Remember, the defendant as far as the law is concerned is the university, not the accused student(s). These rules are about requiring the school to provide procedures to address its own conduct; namely, permitting a hostile school environment. Which brings up another point: can a school even be considered to have permitted a hostile environment if they haven't been given the chance to remediate things before initiation of a federal lawsuit? Thus, these rules for internal, administrative adjudication are also about setting standards for judging whether a school has willfully or negligently permitted a hostile environment.
The problem is that in their zeal to avoid being adjudged as having permitted a hostile environment they've in some cases crafted administrative procedures that unfairly treat the accused. But the accused can also make similar claims against the university--that the adjudication procedures sexually discriminated against them. So there's back pressure, it just requires time for things to settle into an equilibrium. (See my post elsethread about the cause for the recent radical shifts.)
I'm confused, a student being racist against another student is not a crime as far as I know. A student raping another student is a crime. How are these remotely comparable?
A rape is a crime, but a rape followed by the ongoing presence of the rapist also equates (under legal precedent) to a hostile environment for the student victim, which is how Title IX comes into play.
The question was why are universities conducting these investigations. Rape plus ongoing presence of the rapist is considered a form of sexual discrimination by the university, in so far as the university willfully permits the rapist's ongoing presence. Thus the university is put into the position of judging the credibility of any allegations.
In this way it's also identical to the racial epithet scenario. Shouting racial epithets isn't a crime or even illegal, but a university that doesn't stop such ongoing behavior among its students is considered to be illegally racially discriminatory against the target of the epithets.
This doesn't follow. The sexes of victim and perpetrator can be changed arbitrarily without affecting the argument, in which case this has nothing to do with the sex of those involved. So in what way is this sexual discrimination, even if it is a "hostile" environment for the victim?
> Shouting racial epithets isn't a crime or even illegal, but a university that doesn't stop such ongoing behavior among its students is considered to be illegally racially discriminatory against the target of the epithets.
Except we come again to the fact that racial epithets are literal expressions of racial discrimination, but as per above, I don't see how the rape scenario qualifies under any defined legal term of sexual discrimination.
The people pushing this aren't in it for fairness or due process.
"This ideology is a successor to liberalism. It brandishes terms that superficially resemble normative liberalism—terms like diversity and inclusion—but in fact seeks to supplant it. This new regime, in which administrative power has been fashioned into a blunt instrument of deterrence, marks off a crucial distinction—between the liberal rule of law, and the punitive system of surveillance rooted in identity politics known as 'social justice.'”
... but I felt that coverage was a bit thin and-- lacking a better phrase-- subjective. Perhaps the continuation of this series will be more substantive, it seems off to a good start.
And movie distributors and Boy Scouts are not the government. And when a private organization deals unfairly with a private person, due process is still available in the form of a court proceeding (e.g. a suit for unfair termination), but in this case that would either be dismissed (e.g. because the school was following federal requirements) or put the school in an impossible situation where the federal requirements require them to use an unreasonable procedure that subjects them to legal liability by an innocent accused person.
Consider, for example, the premise of 'rape culture' which was popularized a few years ago. If such a claim concerning culture is to be made, then it implies the judicial systems external to the institution are reinforcing that culture, and the only way to prevent that from being a part of the institution is to override it with your own judicial system.
Similar logic could be used regarding other sociological claims made in private institutions that they must reinforce in this way.
Zooming out a bit, I don't think the civil/criminal courts failure to be suitable for handling an academic complaint constitutes a reinforcement of rape culture or anything else. That's akin to saying "by not doing something about [some injustice] you're complicit" which is not necessarily true.
True, but nothing prevents an internal committee from simply acquiring the results of the court and applying sanctions on that base. In fact you don't even need an internal committee, you just need a general rule that applies automatically.
Any number of institutions have their own committees to judge bad behavior - civil courts of all sorts multiply in a bureaucratic society and colleges just one example of a bureaucracy and one strongly connected to many others in this society.
They do all take federal money though...
See, I want to believe that, but I'm not sure there is a way to know whether or not that is actually true. In much the same way that there is rarely evidence of guilt when an accusation is true there isn't likely to be evidence when an accusation is false. I keep seeing people say some variant of "X% of rape accusations are false" but none of the sources I have ever seen have had a particularly accurate way of gathering data... because one doesn't exist. The proportion of unproven accusations that happen to be false is unknowable in practical terms, and I get frustrated by people variously flat out stating it is high/low.
I personally would not say that 3/4 is "most", but I don't think any kind of blanket statement can occur below 7/8, and usually I prefer to think in nines or other logarithmic scales very close to certainty or uncertainty.
We need to have evidence before we can make certain reasoned decisions. Without evidence, we need to listen, consider, and keep ourselves open to possibilities.
* Neither of us really know what's going on
* Both of us have done private research
* We came up with some numbers
* I shared my numbers, you didn't share yours
Your complaint is that I'm not delegating the numbers to some authority. My complaint is that, regardless of which authority you choose, you're still choosing an authority.
I'm not saying that I'm right; in fact, part of the point of choosing priors is to be wrong. However, when we publicize the process of selecting priors, we of course embarrass each other: If the priors were already well-known and well-agreed-upon, then by Aumann's Agreement, we would have nothing to discuss.
What would be the equivalent extremities of the opposite camp? I'm not hearing from many opponents that sexual assault should be tolerated. It's more common to hear that they should be immediately escalated to law enforcement.
It wasn't that long ago that a literal parade of college students were chanting "No means yes! Yes means anal!"
Fortunately, that behavior isn't common. But it also isn't fair to insinuate that the other side doesn't exist.
Nor too long ago that a parade of college students were chanting "Die Cis Scum." Bizarrely (to me), detailed reporting showed that neither groups actually believed the words they were chanting - most people shouting "No means yes! Yes means anal" didn't believe rape was ok and most people shouting "Die Cis Scum" didn't believe murder was ok. Such cultural phenomenon deserve more than the surface glance you've given them.
But at least two frats were using the first one as an initiation ritual.
The former is the high ground, the latter is the low ground. Full stop.
I have empathy for accusers and the accused. But I don't have any empathy for people pushing guilty-until-proven-innocent.
> there is rarely any evidence
while also saying that:
> Most accusations are real
This feels like a contradiction. We can only know whether an accusation is real or not when there is enough evidence. I think that doing extrapolation exercises based on no evidence is a bad idea.
Folks like the current Vice-President of the US, saying that he will only meet with a woman in the presence of others may become more prevalent and "correct" to limit the risk of liability. In the long run, this may lead us to fall back into segregation of sex similar to Islamic doctrine, where segregation is needed to ensure the protection of families and society.
Most may not be thinking about it, but change can happen slowly, but sometimes it happens abruptly like the changes we have been seen lately. I encourage everyone to use their minds to help build an environment that better suits the current times, before we go back in time and all we have to blame is ourselves.
Turns out the girl was ashamed she voluntarily slept with him. She admitted it to friends a couple months later. That was too late, of course. She received zero punishment. He was "lucky" that the police weren't notified on Day 1.
People like about horrible things all the time to hide things that they think are more horrible.
Worse, some people don't care about anyone but themselves, and will lie for any advantage or benefit.
Back then, the status quo was "if you're a woman and you got raped, good luck getting justice".
Believe everyone when they say that they were assaulted, full stop. Everyone is entitled to compassion and care. In terms of making sure no one else is assaulted by the same person who assaulted them again? Collect all evidence, with all care, every single time, process it in a speedy manor and let the usual standards of criminal justice apply, as they always must. Anything less is a direct menace to society.
If you are not in a position of judgement or power, give all parties the benefit of the doubt -- accuser and accused -- and show compassion. Especially if they are personally right in front of you.
If you are in a position of judgement or power, like a reporter, a judge, a prosecutor, or a juror; then use a fair and impartial process.
It's eye opening about how hard it is to be believed about even a "classic" masked stranger, home invasion rape.
Having read that (and watched a couple of episodes of the Netflix adaption) I'm more likely to believe the original commenter's friend commited a rape and the victim was just compelled to deny it, possibly suffering twice.
I think there's a likelihood that someone will lie about being raped, and a likelihood of them identifying a named individual (two numbers that should be considered seperately, since young girls who fall pregnant may lie to avoid blame, while not trying to blame anyone in particular).
I think that similarly, there's a percentage of retractions that will also be false, for various reasons.
This is similar to the statistics question about whether someone has cancer when a test comes back positive. It depends on the accuracy of the test and the base rate.
I could easily believe that there's more false retractions than false accusations (both as a percentage and an absolute number) so I'm not sure a retraction actually increases my belief in their not being a rape, particularly if a specific person is named, without taking into account other specific evidence.
The negative ramifications of this mindset for the accused are hard to overstate.
We have no information besides a third party report of an accusation and a retraction.
My understanding of the world is that false accusations are rarer than many people think and false retractions are more common.
There's negative ramifications that are hard to overstate to that as well.
If someone shares a story like this you politely believe them and move on, comfortable in the knowledge that it may or may not be true.
"Your understanding" is purely anecdotal.
You have a very different understanding of the word "believe" than I do.
When I believe someone I am making a judgement that they are not deceiving me, not that they are infallible.
That's why each individual case is being judged individually according to evidence, facts gathered and etc.
With the same mindset you could say that if a member of some group is accused of murder, he must probably be guilty because this group of people statistically are convicted more that exonerated?
This is also a possibility, but it's pretty much universally accepted that it's better to let a criminal go than to punish an innocent person.
I mean, we have Marsy's Law being added to state constitutions left and right. One of its provisions is that the victim can refuse a deposition before trial. This obviously conflicts with the accused's right to access all the evidence, does it not?
Another provision limits the amount of time a convicted person can seek post-conviction relief. The goal here is to remove stress from the victim, but again, we have seen many convicted people be exonerated due to DNA evidence, or other evidence that arises after the fact. Again, this is a statement of values - that the deprivation of liberty is less important than the desire of the victim to not feel anxious about the perpetrator's possible release.
 I would argue that calling a complainant a victim undermines the presumption of innocence. If you're a victim, it follows that the accused is a perpetrator.
This happened to a classmate of mine in high school but it was reported to the police. He shot himself in the head.
Too often witness are unreliable. There's a gray area where only a patient and wise (ideally) judiciary system can make sense of all this. Otherwise.. it backfires in mobthink.
I am not saying that false accusations do not happen. I'm saying these kind of hearsay stories are not even evidence for the people that tell them.
If you're a kid in this position, wondering whether it's dangerous to have sex, the answer is yes, it's one of the most dangerous things you can possibly do. Wasn't that long ago that having sex could put you in an early grave with an uncurable disease.
So just add "false accusation of rape" to the ever growing list of things that can happen to you if you're not careful with your jubbly bits.
Get everything in order before you start having sex. If you're in school, make sure your grades are decent, you know how to wrap it, line up someone who you know is interested and already have a friendly rapport with.
To go about it in any other way at all is to invite grave danger. It's always been this way, there has been no point in at least the last 1000 years, probably even longer that sex couldn't royally ruin your life.
The flaw is that you can't equate natural and artificial dangers. Natural dangers are equal-opportunity dangers. Artificial dangers can be used to oppress people.
Also, avoiding behavior X is not enough to avoid the danger. There's not much evidence that Brett Kavanaugh was ever alone with Christine Blasey-Ford, but he still faced serious danger from her.
I don't do drugs recklessly. I don't have reckless sex. I do not think these things should be okay to do until and unless you take the proper care to do them without causing harm to others. If you don't take the proper care, then it doesn't matter whether the danger you run afoul of is "natural" or "artificial". Taking the proper care obviates both types of dangers.
Don't be reckless, or the life you ruin might not be your own.
You can be very careful, and still end up on the wrong side of a baseless claim. Could be anything from a lie, to a dream, to mistaken identity, to a drug dog sneezing. Without due process, anything goes, and being careful isn't enough, because suspicion becomes guilt and by the time you sort anything out the damage is done.
And artificial versus natural does matter. It's the difference between misfortune and injustice.
In the OP's situation, basic sexual hygiene would have prevented the whole thing. It will for everyone that doesn't put themselves first and foremost in a shooting gallery.
You can use the concept of herd defense to contemplate how to remain safe in these sorts of situations.