Yale

Global women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who was  rejected by Brandeis University as a graduation speaker last May because of her criticism of Islam – which is certainly justified after she suffered female genital mutilation and a forced marriage at the hands of that religion – is again under fire from self righteous campus activists.

Apparently any criticism of Islam is immediately dubbed “hate speech.”

Now she is set to give a talk at Yale University on Monday, invited after the brouhaha at Brandeis by student conservatives at Yale who are interested in hearing her out.

Predictably, the Muslim student group at Yale and its many politically correct supporters have decried the visit and even tried to force the conservative students to limit what Hirsi Ali could talk about, or at the very least have a pro-Muslim speaker on hand who could offer counterpoints.

Really, do Muslim campus guest speakers have to have Jews at all their talks for counterpoints?

At any rate, the controversy has been covered by the Yale Daily News, National Review and other news outlets, and perhaps the best part of these reports are not the articles themselves, but the quips at the end in the comments section. Without further ado, here’s a highlight reel:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali and her stupid white male Christian privilege.

No surprise that the Muslim student groups are attacking a person who has spoken out against female genital mutilation.

Good lord — this is Yale. I was under the impression that this was an institution where we chose to embrace free speech. Though many students on this campus may disagree with Hirsi Ali’s views on Islam, I would like to believe that as a Harvard fellow, award-winning journalist, and former Member of Parliament, we might all be able to learn something from her.

Once you begin to realize that the Muslim Students Association was set up by the Muslim Brotherhood, then this whole mess makes more sense.

Never, never, never give as much as a millimetre to the totalitarian ideology that is truly Islam.

What’s hilarious is that these supposed “best and brightest” fail to see the hypocrisy in their calling for censorship while saying they’re upholding free speech and diversity of opinion.

The Muslim group wants Hirsi Ali to “…speak only to her personal experiences …” Fine. She could still enlighten with personal experience of genital mutilation and death threats.

The Yale Buckley Program members, who invited Hirsi Ali, have pledged to allow her to speak – despite the protest and without a counterpoint speaker. Score one for Lux et Veritas.

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There’s been an outpouring of “solidarity” on college campuses across the nation for Michael Brown, even as new data and reports reveal that the initial narrative — that an innocent black teenager was murdered by an angry white cop — is a far cry from reality.

At recent observances at the University of Georgia, UCLA and Yale, for example, students marched in protest or posed for pictures en masse with their hands up and “don’t shoot” signs. Some students suggested the recent incident is by no means isolated, and is more indicative of a pattern of violence by white cops against black victims.

The gathering in Georgia, for example, aimed to express “solidarity” with Brown, and discussed other matters such as “issues of inequality,” and “unrest over acts of violence committed toward minority groups,” The Red and Black student newspaper reports.

At UCLA on Thursday, the call to students declared “Come out with your fellow Bruins and take a stand as a community against police brutality and the extra-judicial killings of young men and women throughout this country. We’re tired of turning on the news and scrolling through our Facebook feeds and hearing of another Black or Brown individual being senselessly executed.” (Emphasis added.)

On Tuesday, students at Yale held a Michael Brown-themed rally in New Haven, Connecticut. The image under the headline shows signs with the slogans “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and the more head-scratching “Murder Is Illegal.” Aside from the “no, really?” aspect of the latter, it clearly pre-determines the outcome of what happened in Ferguson: Officer Darren Wilson murdered Michael Brown.

Art student Henry Chapman came right out and said as much (emphasis added):

… the violent outbursts of some protesters in Ferguson and the looting didn’t make a difference to him – murder is still murder, he said.

“The real issue here is structural racism,” he said. “And the real looting is the structural looting of minorities.”

Another student, Dolores Colon, believed Wilson would be found innocent — not because he acted justifiably, but because “If you are of color, you get the hammer.” She added, “It’s a double standard. (People of color) suffer at the hands of people who are there to protect them.”

The rallies come even as news reports now indicate Brown was shot from the front, and not killed execution-style from behind as initial reports suggested. What’s more, the incident — which has prompted more than a week of riots and unrest in Missouri — has brought renewed scrutiny on crime statistics.

USA Today notes that out of an average of 400 police shootings per year across the US, ninety-six of the victims are black.

Despite the paper’s attempt at a gasp-inducing first sentence (“Nearly two times a week in the United States, a white police officer killed a black person during a seven-year period ending in 2012 …”) note that this is twenty-four percent of the total. While that’s almost double the percentage of the African-American population in the US (13%), it fails to take into account the large disproportionate (violent) crime rate of that population. As such, is that 24 percent actually “out of balance?”

Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute has written extensively on race and crime, and many of her articles debunk the left-wing conventional wisdom about race “disproportionality” with regards to policing and incarceration.

On Wednesday, in a segment about the media coverage of the Brown shooting and Ferguson protests, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly pointed out that the 400 shootings per year figure is out of an average of approximately 12 million police arrests per year.

Left-wing MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, who had taken on O’Reilly a year ago about race and crime stats and gotten some basic facts wrong, made an interesting comment after his correction:

But never fear, white America, because we also overestimated the number of white murder victims killed by black assailants in total. According to data from the FBI, as far as we know, there were only 447 white victims killed by black offenders in 2010. That is in a country of over 200 million white people.

It should be noted that if Hayes’ figure is correct, that actually would be roughly half of the yearly average for the previous ten years of 2000-2009. Nevertheless, it would be refreshing if liberals and the media looked at the actual statistics and applied Hayes’ “never fear” attitude to situations like that of Michael Brown.

(College Fix editor Jennifer Kabbany contributed to this article.)

Dave Huber is an assistant editor of  The College Fix. You can follow him on Twitter @ColossusRhodey.

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Yale University’s new report on campus sexual misconduct shows how the school is investigating accused students based on “hearsay,” giving unusually light punishments for supposed assaults and even punishing those it exonerates, according to a professor who co-wrote a book about the Duke University lacrosse rape case.

The twice-annual report – created under an agreement between Yale and the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights – illustrates that Yale’s procedures for dealing with complaints of sexual misconduct are “transparently rigged,” Brooklyn College history professor K.C. Johnson told The College Fix.

The University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct (UWC) report covers January through June and also updates cases that were unresolved in previous reports. It describes 64 complaints, compared to 70 for the previous report covering July through December.

The vast majority are classified as “sexual assault” and all but a handful involve undergraduates.

Many Varieties of ‘Assault’  – and Non-Reciprocal Oral Sex Recommended

The UWC’s formal process, its informal process and the Title IX coordinator handled similar numbers of sexual-assault complaints, though the coordinator handled the vast majority of sexual-harassment complaints.

The descriptions of the formal complaints span a few male-on-female scenarios without consent: “touching of a sexual nature”; “sexual intercourse”; “sexual activities”; and “certain acts without her consent during otherwise consensual sexual activity.” Only one says a female alleged the male “sexually assaulted” her.

Punishments included suspensions, restricted contact, “sexual consent training,” withheld degrees, and, in two updated cases, men who were expelled. But eight of the 13 formal complaints are listed as “pending,” and in just two did the school lack “sufficient evidence” against the accused.

Yale University LibraryThe informal complaints more often list “unwanted advances” or “unwanted communications,” and punishments tend toward counseling and restricted contact. Only one out of 12 remains pending. The 25 cases handled by the Title IX coordinator were far more varied, involving same-gender complaints, complaints against Yale faculty, staff, contractors and non-Yale students, allegations of “unwanted attention” and touching, and many “inappropriate comments.”

All but one of the 18 cases referred to the Yale Police Department ended with police giving the accuser “information on safety and victim services.”

Confusion over how Yale defines “nonconsensual sex” led the school last fall to release “scenarios” that would result in punishment, but some of them – which include a trigger warning and gender-neutral names for couples – are less than straightforward.

One suggests that sexual partners, who may both be drunk, must pay close attention to each other’s nonverbal cues, like showing less interest in sex than the other person, or risk penalties from “multi-semester suspension to expulsion.” Another counsels students not to reciprocate oral sex without getting “unambiguous agreement,” which could lead to a “reprimand.”

UWC Chair David Post, from the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, declined to comment specifically on the group’s work, instead providing UWC procedural materials to The College Fix. Yale’s communications office has not responded to questions.

Exonerated Student Punished, Lighter Penalty Suggests ‘Assault’ Was Not

The new report shows the public how Yale’s process is rigid and does not allow for a fair trial for the accused, Brooklyn College’s Johnson told The College Fix.

“Few people … would argue that a student’s due process rights are respected” under Yale’s complaint process, Johnson said by email. An accused male “can’t cross-examine his accuser, he has limited discovery rights, he can’t have a lawyer representing him in the process, and he can be branded a rapist based on a 50.01% belief in guilt by the disciplinary panel,” a lower legal standard known as preponderance of the evidence.

The UWC, which can vote on whether to move a complaint forward or not, is made up of 30 faculty, students and managerial or professional employees, according to Post. A background in law or law enforcement is not required to serve on the committee and any questions must be asked and approved by the hearing panel.

KC-Johnson-brooklyn.Biersaufer.WMCJohnson noted several irregularities in an essay for Minding the Campus, a Manhattan Institute project.

The informal process was used in seven assault cases this past semester, and zero in the previous report, Johnson said. He called it a “Scarlet Letter” approach in which an accused student’s inability to present evidence makes it “almost impossible” to avoid “being branded a rapist,” but the penalties are more limited, Johnson said.

One of the two accused students found “not culpable” – meaning Yale judged it “more likely than not he was the subject of a false allegation” – was still punished, Johnson noted.

The one-way no-contact order means that “if the two happen to enroll in the same course, the accused student would need to drop the class; or if the two happened to be assigned to the same dorm, the accused student would have to move,” Johnson said.

“In the several years” of the Yale reports, “there never has been any indication that Yale has punished even one student for filing a false claim of sexual assault,” Johnson said.

Yale also appears to have an “extraordinarily broad” definition of sexual assault, as shown by a lighter punishment – a one-year suspension – given to one student found guilty, Johnson said. The punishment “strongly suggests that his actual offense was not ‘sexual assault’” and yet the finding will likely prevent him from getting “any job that involves a background check that would access his college transcript.”

Even worse for another student was Yale expelling him after his accuser went to an administrator but declined to file a formal complaint, Johnson said: Yale continued the case, relying on the “hearsay” of the administrator to the Title IX coordinator.

And in one “Orwellian” example in the report, Johnson said, the Title IX coordinator is pursuing an accused student as a “serial rapist … even though none of the females he allegedly raped have filed a complaint, or have even been identified.”

Why Harvard Doesn’t Use ‘Affirmative Consent’

Following Yale’s lead, Harvard University recently set up its own Office for Sexual and Gender-Based Dispute Resolution. Harvard declined to comment to The College Fix but provided an article from the Harvard Gazette, the school’s official news outlet.

The new office is tasked with investigating “sexual misconduct complaints against students, ranging from persistent or pervasive harassment in a lab environment, for instance, to a rape,” Mia Karvonides, the school’s Title IX officer and former Office of Civil Rights lawyer, told the Gazette.

The Gazette pressed Karvonides on why Harvard didn’t adopt an “affirmative consent” standard for sexual relations, the subject of a California bill. She responded that “there is no standard definition of affirmative consent” and the only school to have anything close is Antioch College, where “consent is given step by step at every point of engagement during an intimate encounter.”

College Fix contributor Matt Lamb is a student at Loyola University-Chicago.

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Apparently because all the big issues surrounding us today are resolved, the National Science Foundation is shelling out $202,000 to study Wikipedia’s “systematic gender bias.” The Washington Free Beacon reports:

The government has awarded two grants for collaborative research to professors at Yale University and New York University to study what the researchers describe as “systematic gender bias” in the online encyclopedia.

“Wikipedia was launched in 2001 and has since become the world’s single most important reference tool and information clearinghouse,” the grant states. “Unlike traditional encyclopedias, which are controlled by experts, Wikipedia was supposed to have democratized knowledge.”

“Under-representation of female scholars and associated scholarship reduces the quality and completeness of Wikipedia, imposing significant costs on the millions of readers who rely on it,” it said. “The findings from this research should clarify where in the complex chain of knowledge gender disparities arise.

“Imposing significant costs” on readers …? Really? Aren’t facts facts and knowledge knowledge, no matter who contributes? Apparently not:

["Media technologist” Deanna] Zandt argues that Wikipedia is biased because the majority of its editors are “young, white, child-free men.”

“It’s not enough to sit back and hope for the best when finding sexist, racist, homophobic, trans*phobic, etc., language or information on Wikipedia,” she said. “In order to fix it, we need lots of different kinds of people to jump in and start editing Wikipedia, too.”

One of the examples of Wikipedia’s “gender bias,” cited by The New York Times’ Noam Cohen, is that the episode synopses for Sex in the City aren’t nearly as long and detailed as those for The Sopranos.

Well! Count me sold on this grant, then!

Read the full article here.

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The topic of rape on college campuses is all over the media recently. There are two opposing views out there at the moment, generally speaking. The first view is that rape isn’t as big of a problem as it is sometimes made out to be, instead statistics are inflated and confused by the ambiguities of “drunk sex” and the sex-with–near-strangers norm of the college hookup culture, and, in some cases, hyped, up by politically-motivated feminists who show little concern for the due process rights of young men who may be falsely accused. The second view is that there is an epidemic of rape on campus and that victims are often denied justice, criminals walk away free, while an indifferent society ends up blaming the victims.

Both of these views, opposite though they may be, have an element of truth in them. As someone who has written quite a bit about sexual assault on campus and about the college sexual culture  in general, I often find myself caught in the middle between these two sides, which too often seem to take an all-or-nothing approach to the argument. Feminists, for example, are almost never willing to admit something as simple as the fact that when two people get drunk, consent can become a much more murky question by the time the two wake up the next morning. Conservatives, on the other hand, sometimes sound as if they believe rape almost never happens on campus.

The truth of the matter, I believe, lies between these two extremes. Rape is startlingly common on college campuses and rapists do get away with their crimes far too often. But on-campus rape is made more prevalent by the rampant abuse of inhibition-lowering alcohol, and by the fact that the modern hookup culture has radically transformed sexual expectations among casual acquaintances–two factors that do a lot to muddy the lines of sexual consent. Anyone who points this out is at risk of being castigated for “blaming the victim.”

I think both sides of this debate could benefit from thinking more deeply about the other side. For the rabid feminists out there, I recommend a thoughtful reading of Heather Mac Donald’s recent essay exposing some of the fallacies of the feminist side:

The campus rape movement highlights the current condition of radical feminism, from its self-indulgent bathos to its embrace of ever more vulnerable female victimhood. But the movement is an even more important barometer of academia itself. In a delicious historical irony, the baby boomers who dismantled the university’s intellectual architecture in favor of unbridled sex and protest have now bureaucratized both. While women’s studies professors bang pots and blow whistles at antirape rallies, in the dorm next door, freshman counselors and deans pass out tips for better orgasms and the use of sex toys. The academic bureaucracy is roomy enough to sponsor both the dour antimale feminism of the college rape movement and the promiscuous hookup culture of student life. The only thing that doesn’t fit into the university’s new commitments is serious scholarly purpose.

The campus rape industry’s central tenet is that one-quarter of all college girls will be raped or be the targets of attempted rape by the end of their college years (completed rapes outnumbering attempted rapes by a ratio of about three to two). The girls’ assailants are not terrifying strangers grabbing them in dark alleys but the guys sitting next to them in class or at the cafeteria…

If the one-in-four statistic is correct—it is sometimes modified to “one-in-five to one-in-four”—campus rape represents a crime wave of unprecedented proportions. No crime, much less one as serious as rape, has a victimization rate remotely approaching 20 or 25 percent, even over many years. The 2006 violent crime rate in Detroit, one of the most violent cities in America, was 2,400 murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults per 100,000 inhabitants—a rate of 2.4 percent. The one-in-four statistic would mean that every year, millions of young women graduate who have suffered the most terrifying assault, short of murder, that a woman can experience. Such a crime wave would require nothing less than a state of emergency—Take Back the Night rallies and 24-hour hotlines would hardly be adequate to counter this tsunami of sexual violence. Admissions policies letting in tens of thousands of vicious criminals would require a complete revision, perhaps banning boys entirely. The nation’s nearly 10 million female undergrads would need to take the most stringent safety precautions. Certainly, they would have to alter their sexual behavior radically to avoid falling prey to the rape epidemic.

None of this crisis response occurs, of course—because the crisis doesn’t exist. During the 1980s, feminist researchers committed to the rape-culture theory had discovered that asking women directly if they had been raped yielded disappointing results—very few women said that they had been. SoMs. commissioned University of Arizona public health professor Mary Koss to develop a different way of measuring the prevalence of rape. Rather than asking female students about rape per se, Koss asked them if they had experienced actions that she then classified as rape. Koss’s method produced the 25 percent rate, which Ms. then published…

I recommend that everyone read Mac Donald’s article in full over at City Journal.

For skeptics, who may be tempted to dismiss all talk of a college “rape culture” as nonsense–just another example of identity politics-loving feminists seeking power with an onslaught of victimhood rhetoric–I would ask you to take your blinders off and look at the reality of rape on campus today. It is a problem, perhaps even an epidemic (although Mac Donald would surely disagree with that term). And an essay in NY Mag by Amanda Ruggeri, entitled “I Was Raped, and I Stayed Silent,” offers a poignant example:

The first part of the evening was clear. I had started the night by meeting a friend, whom I’ll call T., her boyfriend, and his friend in their college’s rec room; we’d each had a single beer and played a couple of games of pool. We left for a good friend’s get-together, where I drank a margarita (not very strong). An hour or so later, we headed to another party, in a neo-Gothic building overlooking the freshman quad. It was February 2005, the snow on the courtyard was two feet deep, and our breath puffed out in curls. We didn’t know anyone at the party, but at Yale, that never seemed to matter; everyone was safe, and everyone was welcoming. When we walked in, the rooms were already crowded with people laughing, talking, dancing. A guy offered my friend and me shots. We assumed he was the host. For both of us, it was the third drink of the night.

From there, my memory runs like a strobe light: blackness, with the occasional moment lit up. Dancing. Making out with T. on a flight of stairs. Falling down them. (I had the bruises and cuts for two weeks; the scars took five years to fade.) And then, suddenly, I remember nothing — except for a single moment, lit up like the pop of a flashbulb…

Read Ruggeri’s full essay here. She and I overlapped for a short time at Yale. Although I don’t recall ever having met her, her story mirrors every other rape story I’ve ever heard from my college days–the alleged perpetrator is a casual acquaintance, not a stranger, not a boyfriend. Alcohol was involved. In this case, she suspects, she was drugged. Oftentimes though, copious alcohol consumption is enough to set up precisely the same scenario.  And, finally, there’s the fact that she didn’t go to the police and only went to some designated campus adviser. That’s also typical, in my experience.

I think it is important for anyone who steps out to criticize (often with good reason) the exaggerations and extremes of the feminist crusade against “rape culture” to realize that stories like Ruggeris are very common on a typical Friday night on American college campuses. Sure it’s just anecdotal evidence. But I’ve heard too many of these stories to believe this is a rare scenario. And while it is fair to criticize the feminist movement for it’s part in destroying the sexual morals that once helped protect women from precisely the kinds of situations that increase their odds of being raped, it isn’t necessary or right to pretend that these rapes aren’t happening.

Just imagine if Ruggeri was your daughter or sister or mother. And then understand that what she says happened to hear is happening to far too many young women. You don’t have to buy into the feminist hyperbole about “rape culture” to realize there is an element of truth to what feminists are saying, even if feminists are as much a part of the problem as anyone. If there is a “rape culture” feminists have quite a bit to help create it by demonizing the institution of marriage among the young, praising the alcohol-fueld hookup culture for its ability help prevent young women from having their careers derailed by love, and by making the casting off of sexual restraint as a chief goal of women’s liberation.

In the end, none of the valid criticisms of feminism out there should keep us from recognizing that the modern campus sexual culture, the “hookup” culture, in other words, is a kind of “rape culture” at least in the sense the the ingredients that make rape more likely (coupling of casual acquaintances, extreme prevalence of inhibition-lowering alcohol abuse) are fundamental to modern sexual culture on campus in a way they weren’t two decades ago. But this so-called “rape culture” isn’t the product of rampant misogyny in our culture, as the feminist movement would have you believe. Instead, it is the natural consequence of our society’s rejection of sexual restraint in favor of an anything-goes-so-long-as-it-is-consensual moral system. We shouldn’t be surprised that the “consensual” part of that system gets thrown out so easily now that the norms of sexual behavior have been so lowered that sex between near strangers is seen as a likely possibility on a typical alcohol-drenched college campus. Or we shouldn’t be surprised, at least, that the lines of consent get blurry somewhere between the first drink, the fifth drink, another few drinks, the make-out session in the near-stranger’s dorm room, and the eventual blackout.

That’s the reality of the modern campus hookup culture.

Little did feminists realize, when they destroyed the moral restraints that they believed were restricting women, that they would also destroy the moral restraints that helped protect women. “Rape culture,” if you want to use that term, is a natural consequence of sexual liberation’s culminating triumph–the college hookup culture. That doesn’t make rapists any less responsible for their crimes, it just means that their crimes are much easier to carry out and get away with now.

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanHarden

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Yale!

CNN reports:

And the winner is … Yale.

That was the selection made Wednesday by Kwasi Enin, the New York high school student accepted by the eight Ivy League schools — Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Princeton and Cornell.

He made his pick in style, staging a news conference in the gym of William Floyd High School and delivering the big announcement before teachers and members of the media.

A visit to the New Haven, Connecticut, campus helped him decide.

“My Bull Dog Days experience last week was incredible,” he said. “I met geniuses from all across the world. And everyone there was so friendly and inviting. … And I believe that their deep appreciation and love for music, like I have, was very critical for me deciding to go there.”

Read more.

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