Jesus this is scary

IN 1997, I was sexually assaulted by a fellow student at the University of Virginia. At a closed hearing, the university’s committee on sexual assault found him responsible. His punishment? A letter in his file.

It’s not clear how many women have won their cases through the university’s system since they were first allowed to enroll as undergraduates in 1970. I am one of the women who won, but winning wasn’t really winning, was it?

The hearing on my case took place in March 1998, two months after a criminal trial that ended in disappointment and frustration for me when the judge dismissed the charge that the Commonwealth of Virginia had filed against my attacker.

OK, the criminal case:

In May 1997, after a preliminary hearing, a local grand jury formally indicted the man who sexually assaulted me. The commonwealth attorney in charge of prosecuting the case asked me to refrain from pursuing a complaint at the university until after the criminal trial. In January 1998, halfway through my third year, I took the stand as a witness in the criminal case. I sat in front of a judge, the jury and a courtroom packed with university students and locals, including my friends, some of his friends and fraternity brothers, as well as both of our families and a sexual assault education coordinator from the university’s women’s center, who was there to support me, not as a representative of the school.

My whole body shook as I testified. I was on the stand for a few hours, answering questions about how much alcohol I had drunk and whether or not I had been aroused during the assault. Responding to an archaic system that put my credibility on trial, the prosecutor had three character witnesses testify on my behalf. Experts were called to the stand to discuss the evidence, including my physical state and the presence of tranquilizing drugs in my system.

After the prosecution rested, the defense made a motion to strike the commonwealth’s case. The judge granted the motion, dismissing the charge. My attacker’s fraternity brothers cheered. The judge concluded that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that the defendant knew that I was incapacitated and that he was acting against my will. The defense never had to call a single witness. The man who assaulted me walked away.

OK, investigation, charge, trial, no case to answer. The solution to this is?

In the late 1990s, I followed the rules, spoke up and fought for a place within both the criminal and university systems, but found no justice in either. The university listened and believed me, but did nothing about it other than a meaningless letter in a long forgotten file. They didn’t care that I had to walk past my attacker’s Lawn room on the way to class, that I felt physically sick when I saw him on the grounds.

Many people believe that university sexual assault hearings are fatally flawed, and that these cases should be handled by criminal courts. Despite my experience at the University of Virginia, I disagree. The burden of proof in a criminal trial is often unattainable in typical sexual assault cases, where the assault occurs between people who know each other, in private quarters with no witnesses, often with alcohol involved. Many colleges, including the University of Virginia, use definitions of sexual assault that differ from those of the legal jurisdictions of which they are a part. The burden of proof on college campuses, typically framed as a preponderance of evidence, is more realistic.

The punishment for a guilty verdict in a criminal setting is jail time; the punishment for being held “responsible” on a college campus should be expulsion.

she wants people to be punished without there having been proved that a crime took place nor that the accused committed the crime?

Seriously?

Shit, let’s just bring back the ducking stool why don’t we?

39 thoughts on “Jesus this is scary”

  1. Well, it’s the Mackinnon Doctrine[1] which in a nutshell defines liberal[2] jurisprudence, and enlightenment epistemologies more generally, as patriarchal and masculine by their nature as predicated upon an objectivist[3] view of reality; therefore jurisprudence must be modified to a feminine/feminist (feminism considers these two things synonymous) subjective. In other words, that the question of whether a woman has been raped should not be decided upon whether a rape actually occurred, which is the male “objective” view of liberal jurisprudence, but on whether the woman feels or believes that a rape took place, the feminine subjective view of Mackinnon’s feminist jurisprudence. Of course, since it is impossible to know what somebody actually feels or believes (without telepathy) in practise this means that guilt should be decided on whatever the woman states she feels or believes. If she says she is a victim, she is a victim. Case closed.

    Very few people seem to know, by the way, that this is what feminism is referring to when it talks of “objectification” of women. Most people use it vernacularly as a synonym for “looking in a sexual manner”. It actually means the imposition of the male objectivist view, which reduces everything the male looks at to “mere objects”; wordplay as philosophy. As she puts it-

    Objectivity, as the epistemological stance of which objectification is the social process, creates the reality it apprehends by defining as knowledge the reality it creates through its way of apprehending it.

    All you see in feminist policy is basically Mackinnon. She is undoubtedly the most influential feminist theorist, in terms of results, of the second wave.

    ___
    [1] Feminism, Marxism, Method And The State: Towards Feminist Jurisprudence, Catharine Mackinnon.

    [2] In the classical sense.

    [3] In the “opposed to subjectivist”, rather than Randian, sense.

  2. She’s calling for expulsion, not criminal punishment. Would a college always require a criminal standard of proof for expelling a student for other offences? cheating in exams, vandalising college property, whatever.

  3. I suspect they’d require at least the standard civil “balance of probabilities” to avoid getting sued good & hard.

  4. Would a college always require a criminal standard of proof for expelling a student for other offences? In the US they would, otherwise they’d be hit with a lawsuit. Don’t know about the UK.

  5. “She’s calling for expulsion, not criminal punishment”

    Oh that’s alright then.

    “The burden of proof in a criminal trial is often unattainable in typical sexual assault cases, where the assault occurs between people who know each other, in private quarters with no witnesses, often with alcohol involved. ”

    Also the exact circs beloved of false accusers. Even as they are smashed through glass-topped coffee tables in pitch dark rooms by swarming multiple attackers.

    No additional proof equals no conviction–either in court or anywhere else. No one should be convicted on the unsupported word of another. No one. There are too many liars in this world, too many nutters and too many pukes who will seek their own advantage (cash compensation or any other kind) by lying. That’s it and tough luck for the proportion of genuine cases.

  6. Hmm, rustication is a fairly significant punishment. It does sort of put a bit of a downer on your career prospects, especially if it is publicised why you were awarded the University’s “Order of the Boot.”

    Paul Nungesser was cleared by his University. Ask him how being openly portrayed as a rapist and general scumbag in a piece of widely lauded performance art has affected his life. Not well.

  7. Don’t go into rooms alone with men late at night unless you want him to fuck you. Seriously, why the hell do women do otherwise? You can drink coffee in Starbucks.

    Your place/his place? It’s his word against yours.

    And yes, it’s not right. Sorry, real world isn’t a nice place. I wouldn’t walk around Moss Side at night, even though I should have the right to.

  8. So Much for Subtlety

    The Stigler – “Don’t go into rooms alone with men late at night unless you want him to fuck you.”

    Although, in all fairness, you can go into a bedroom with a man hoping he will do the deed, but he still manages to fail at the last minute.

    But I agree, especially if you have been drinking and using prescription drugs.

    Someone’s behaviour needs to be modified here. Either we can try to stop young men thinking that girls at parties like them and want to sleep with them, or we can try to stop young women going to parties and giving boys the idea that they like them and want to sleep with them. Both situations are made much worse by large amounts of alcohol. We need clearer messages.

  9. Call me old-fashioned, but I remember when the US left wanted the state out of the bedroom.

    Now, they want it in there not only paying for contraception, but also dictating in minute detail the rules of interraction, even in function of the level of consumption of mind-altering substances.

  10. Knew a young girl at uni, by her own count she had sex with over a hundred people in her 4 years there. Usually after drinks, sometimes after a nice meal. She enjoyed it, it was her choice. She likes sex, likes variety.
    Her choice not others. If in some instances she was so out of her mind drunk she had no clue who she was having sex with that didn’t bother her.
    Nice girl, now engaged.

  11. SMFS,

    “Someone’s behaviour needs to be modified here. Either we can try to stop young men thinking that girls at parties like them and want to sleep with them, or we can try to stop young women going to parties and giving boys the idea that they like them and want to sleep with them. Both situations are made much worse by large amounts of alcohol. We need clearer messages.”

    I’m not bothered about the messages. Stuff will be misunderstood all the time. I do think that a lot of parents just don’t give kids the sort of talks they should when they leave home. A lot of girls have no clue that that “nice guy” hanging around with them is looking to see if there’s an opportunity for sex with them, rather than interested in personality or intellect. In the vast majority of cases, only with consent, but for a tiny percentage, without.

  12. So Much for Subtlety

    The Stigler – “I’m not bothered about the messages. Stuff will be misunderstood all the time. I do think that a lot of parents just don’t give kids the sort of talks they should when they leave home.”

    But isn’t that talk basically about messages? Tell the girl not to send a message she does not mean. To think about how what she does looks to a boy.

    “A lot of girls have no clue that that “nice guy” hanging around with them is looking to see if there’s an opportunity for sex with them, rather than interested in personality or intellect. In the vast majority of cases, only with consent, but for a tiny percentage, without.”

    I think that sex without consent is so rare it is hardly worth talking about. Although if you get so drunk you can hardly stand, when surrounded by boys who are so drunk they can hardly see, some bad things may happen.

    I think the basic problem is that we have pushed a simple standard on boys – consent. Yes means yes. Fine. Boys can, of course, work to make that consent happen. A few drinks will certainly make it more likely. What we lack is a belief that boys should be gentlemen and not take undue advantage. The Left hated that ethos of personal moral responsibility. They destroyed it. So young men are not gentlemen. OK. Fine. Then the standard we have is that yes means yes. No matter how that yes was achieved.

  13. Abcab
    “I suspect they’d require at least the standard civil “balance of probabilities” to avoid getting sued good & hard.”

    Is that true? I don’t know. My query was whether colleges do/should expel people on the “balance of probabilities”, and if so, why is that different for rape than for cheating in exams?

    I agree it’s probably hard to explain away an expulsion for rape on the grounds that “it was just on the basis of balance of probabilities, not beyond reasonable doubt.” But the same goes for cheating in exams.

  14. The full article is even worse than Tim’s quotes. Suspension on accusation, reversal of the burden of proof, etc.

    That said, I think this blog has got a bit “boys will be boys”. It’s up to us fathers to try to make our sons gentlemen. Yes means yes, eurgh means not when I’m drunk, and no means no.

  15. Bloke in Costa RIca

    Luke, it’s generally a damn sight easier to prove cheating in an exam than what actually happened in a he said/she said case of alleged sexual assault. And the opprobrium that even an unproven accusation draws is so much more in the latter than in the former.

  16. By the way guys, my little girl won the departmental (county) first prize in gym today. So yesh I ave bin drinkin.

    I’ll check with the wife whether she gave her full consent when I’ve soberdeded up a bit.

  17. So Much for Subtlety

    bloke in france – “That said, I think this blog has got a bit “boys will be boys”. It’s up to us fathers to try to make our sons gentlemen. Yes means yes, eurgh means not when I’m drunk, and no means no.”

    Boys will be boys. Which doesn’t mean they will be rapists but they are encouraged to be sexually active before they are mature enough to consider the consequences.

    However raising a son to be a gentleman is not a good idea. Ideally all sons would be, of course, but in the modern world, that will just mean he is exposed to another set of sexism claims and his career will suffer. Also it allows feminists to have a win-win – they can play the gentleman card when it works, the sexism card when it doesn’t. Men are handicapped by chivalry.

    No, this is the world they wanted. They should have all of it.

  18. SMfS – no, we should raise our sons to be gentlemen. I did (to the best of my ability), and so far it is working out quite well. I am not sure what “gentleman card” is in play; could you elaborate on what that is and how it works?

  19. This has nothing to do with balance of propabilities versus beyond reasonable doubt. The feminists just want people discussing that as a means to implicitly accept a lower standard of proof in sex cases. If you get involved in that argument, you’ve already given them the ground they want. Their aim is the simple acceptance of every claim as proof of guilt. Because of the beliefs I outlined in my first post.

    Rape is a matter for a properly constituted criminal court with a jury of peers. End of story.

  20. SMFS-

    What we lack is a belief that boys should be gentlemen and not take undue advantage. The Left hated that ethos of personal moral responsibility. They destroyed it.

    Men these days are as much, if not more, gentlemanly as they ever were. That is, most of the time but not all the time.

  21. So Much for Subtlety

    dcardno – “no, we should raise our sons to be gentlemen. I did (to the best of my ability), and so far it is working out quite well. I am not sure what “gentleman card” is in play; could you elaborate on what that is and how it works?”

    The gentleman card is played every time a woman expects a man to open a door. Which is fine, if it is part of a larger system. It is not when women expect doors to be opened for them *AND* affirmative action or whatever else feminists are claiming this week. That is, they will take whichever system works to their best advantage.

    Ian B – “Men these days are as much, if not more, gentlemanly as they ever were. That is, most of the time but not all the time.”

    I don’t think so. They are whipped and brow beaten. Too afraid to say or do anything their mother would not approve of. That is not gentlemanly.

  22. However raising a son to be a gentleman is not a good idea. Ideally all sons would be, of course, but in the modern world, that will just mean he is exposed to another set of sexism claims and his career will suffer. Also it allows feminists to have a win-win – they can play the gentleman card when it works, the sexism card when it doesn’t. Men are handicapped by chivalry.

    No, this is the world they wanted. They should have all of it.

    Absolutely.

  23. They are whipped and brow beaten. Too afraid to say or do anything their mother would not approve of. That is not gentlemanly.

    That is precisely what gentlemanly is.

  24. So Much for Subtlety

    Ian B – “That is precisely what gentlemanly is.”

    No it isn’t. A gentleman could always slap a woman around. But he doesn’t. Think of anything starring Humphrey Bogart.

  25. Men should be gentlemen. To be otherwise is to accept that the left has won in propagating the war of all against all. There are still many many decent women out there – the majority (in my class) I think. We shouldn’t give in to thinking that all is as the Guardian or the Mail portrays it. One day we may get our country back and we should be prepared for that.

  26. I have to agree with Ian B again. Gentlemanliness is behaving as your mother might like (assuming your mother isn’t a leftist harridan or low life scut).

  27. SMFS

    “The gentleman card is played every time a woman expects a man to open a door. Which is fine, if it is part of a larger system. It is not when women expect doors to be opened for them *AND* affirmative action or whatever else feminists are claiming this week. That is, they will take whichever system works to their best a”

    This is precisely what a gentleman does – puts others first. Men still do ok.

  28. I agree with Interested again. I think it’s important to distinguish between good behaviour and PC, even if PC have “captured” it, as with the rest of society.

    Good behaviour is what my (small “c” conservative) Mum taught me; be a gentleman, don’t be prejudiced, treat others with kindness as best you can. I still remember a stern telling off for teasing a girl with Down Syndrome at my little primary school, and the lesson I learned from that. I would have been about six at the time.

    Me, at the risk of disappointing some commenters here; I’ve never hit a woman, never bullied one. I’ve never raped, sexually assaulted or “taken advantage” of one.

    And as Interested says, we must always remember (even frothing anti-feminists like me) that women should not be collectively judged on the malign behaviours of a minority.

  29. SMFS et al–There is a difference between being a man of good manners and a sap–to use a Bogart phrase. Bogart –or the hero characters he played–were well-behaved around women –but if the woman violated her side of the tacit contract of good behaviour he didn’t just take it. In the Maltese Falcon for example he explicitly refuses to be a mug and take the fall for a murder wilfully committed by the woman.

  30. So Much for Subtlety

    Ian B – “No, a gentleman doesn’t slap a woman around.”

    I specifically said he doesn’t. But he could. That is the difference between a rooster and a capon. British men have become gutless. They couldn’t defend themselves if they had to. They are eunuchs. See the difference?

    Interested – “Men should be gentlemen. To be otherwise is to accept that the left has won in propagating the war of all against all.”

    Well the Left has won. Pretending they have not won’t make it go away – and teaching your son to lay down and be walked on is asking for trouble.

    “One day we may get our country back and we should be prepared for that.”

    No we won’t. We will be a minority without our lifetimes.

    Interested – “This is precisely what a gentleman does – puts others first.”

    Puts ladies first perhaps.

    Ian B – “And as Interested says, we must always remember (even frothing anti-feminists like me) that women should not be collectively judged on the malign behaviours of a minority.”

    Then apply a test – any woman who rejects feminism and behaves like a lady should be treated like one. Conversely anyone who rejects standards should receive none. This is the world they wanted. It is insane not to play it to the end.

    Mr Ecks – “There is a difference between being a man of good manners and a sap–to use a Bogart phrase.”

    My point precisely. You are a sap if you can’t do anything about it. You are a gentleman if you can and choose not to.

  31. I don’t sons, I have daughters.

    The left has only won if you believe it has. I think there’s a war worth fighting, hence my presence here and elsewhere.

  32. Turning the other cheek (a subset of gentlemanly behaviour) is not just for Easter, it’s a strategy that works, long term.

    Look at the reiterated Prisoners’ Dilemma game. Tit for tat works to begin with, then tit for two tats starts making ground to become the dominant strategy.

  33. Men should be gentlemen. To be otherwise is to accept that the left has won in propagating the war of all against all

    What war? The left I recognize wants everyone to help everyone else. The caricature of a feminist which is the target of so many comments on this forum bears no relation to any of the many women I know who describe themselves as feminists.

    Men should be gentlemen in Robert E Lee’s sense “forbearing or inoffensive use of … power or authority, … nobleness of self and mildness of character…”. And so should women.

  34. “The left I recognize wants everyone to help everyone else”

    The plane boss– the plane!

    That line of bullshit is as bogus as Ricardo Montalban’s hair. Maybe your average “My Dad voted Labour all his life” ZaNu-supporting nitwit thinks that’s what socialism is. What Christianity is supposed to be (and isn’t) , minus God with extra-added sanctimonious bullshit. “Everybody taking care of everybody else” as a silly cow of my acquaintance once put. Although her stupidity was not great enough to quite fully swallow the lies “Never works out that way though” she added as a coda.

    The Left is a core of truly evil scum. Who would certainly qualify as followers of Satan –if such an entity exists–that peddle sanctimonious and clichéd bullshit to draw in the hard-of-thinking.

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