Learning from Higher Learning

The ground for Hollywood’s current sex hysteria was being laid decades ago in higher education, where, like Hollywood, rampant messy sex presented feminists first with a crisis, and then with an opportunity: to leverage sexual abuse accusations into the loot of professorships and programs. So far the crisis it presents, to feminist theory, which no one cares about, even the feminists, has been no barrier whatsoever to that.

The very real crisis for young women wading into this sexual chaos is likewise ignored. But, give the feminists credit, they are trying, unaware, to bring sex back under control.

At least the universities once promoted moral virtue; Hollywood not so much. So the specter of that beast consuming itself in this fashion makes me think this is feminism’s inevitable end every time, hectoring impotently the sexual abandon it continually produces. But the pattern in Hollywood follows that set in the schools and boardrooms, where charges are quickly converted into seats or sinecures.

So if this practice migrated out of the same place as critical theory it’s only fitting that the prosecution of individual assault accusations should migrate out of the university and into the courts where they belong, where accusations have to meet some burden of proof.

From the New York Times:

A Yale student who had been suspended by the university was found not guilty on Wednesday of sexually assaulting a fellow student, in a rare college rape accusation to be tried in the courts. The verdict laid bare seemingly gaping divides in the national reckoning around sexual consent and assault.

Those “seemingly gaping divides” are between higher ed’s guilty-until-proven-innocent model and due process, of course, and probably don’t indicate a true divide in public opinion. Even the dependably liberal readers of the NYT were skeptical of the article’s (naturally) bias for the prosecution.

Over several grueling days on the witness stand in a New Haven courtroom, the woman described what she said was her rape by the accused student, Saifullah Khan, 25, on Halloween night 2015. The testimony, in open court, offered a glimpse into the kinds of encounters that are more often described behind closed doors, to university panels or among friends.

Indeed. Any rape allegation on campus should be treated like a rape allegation off campus; it should be reported immediately to police. Real police.
How is it universities aren’t required to report serious sexual assault allegations to police immediately any way? Because they’re not providing due process in the first place? How do they get away with that?

That the trial was happening at all was already noteworthy. Statistics on how many college rape cases go to trial are elusive, but experts agree that the number is exceedingly low; the Department of Justice estimates that between 4 percent and 20 percent of female college students who are raped report the attack to law enforcement.
But unfolding as it did in the wake of the #MeToo movement and the fierce, unresolved debate over whether campus rape cases are best handled by universities or law enforcement, Mr. Khan’s trial also took on political significance, with defense lawyers accusing Yale of making Mr. Khan a scapegoat for its own poor handling of previous sexual assault claims. Representatives from Families Advocating for Campus Equality, a group that has criticized university hearing processes as skewed in favor of accusers, attended the trial in support of Mr. Khan.
In an interview after the verdict, Norman Pattis, a lawyer for Mr. Khan, said he had tried to challenge “the outer limits of the #MeToo movement,” which he called “a form of mass hysteria.”
“Sex happens, especially on college campuses,” he said.
After a two-week trial, the six-member jury deliberated for about three hours before returning a verdict. In an interview afterward, a juror, Diane Urbano, said the #MeToo movement had not figured in the panel’s decision.
“It was not part of the case,” she said. “We put it aside.”
Instead, she said, they considered the evidence. “There was sufficient doubt on every charge,” she continued. “So we came to the verdict we did.”

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