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“Shut Up culture” takes on dissent over campus “rape culture”

“Shut Up culture” takes on dissent over campus “rape culture”

Is campus “rape culture” off the list of acceptable debate?

Last week we featured Mark Steyn’s column about forced intellectual conformity on campus:

Universities are no longer institutions of inquiry but ‘safe spaces’ where delicate flowers of diversity of race, sex, orientation, ‘gender fluidity’ and everything else except diversity of thought have to be protected from exposure to any unsafe ideas….

As American universities, British playwrights and Australian judges once understood, the ‘safe space’ is where cultures go to die.

Almost as if on cue, some students at Cornell have sought to shut down a dissenting view on campus “rape culture.”

The spark was a column in The Cornell Daily Sun by student Julius Kairey, which we featured at College Insurrection.  That column, titled The Truth About “Rape Culture” took issue with the statistics behind claims of an epidemic of sexual assault, and the related rush to strip the accused of due process rights:

I would be less concerned about the exaggerated statistics about “rape culture,” and thus less inclined to criticize it, if it were not causing concrete harm to students. But the belief that rape must be prevented by “any means necessary” has been used to justify the elimination of key protections for students accused of rape in campus judicial systems. Some want the claims of the alleged victims of rape to be accepted as true, and not scrutinized in a fair legal proceeding. Just two years ago, Cornell stripped those accused of sexual offenses of the right to retain an attorney in University proceedings and the right to cross-examine their accusers. A student accused of a sexual offense at Cornell is now not able to directly ask the person who is making a potentially life-ruining accusation a single question about the incident. This is an inexcusable erasure of the fundamental right to confront one’s accuser, a right that has existed for all of our country’s history. Such rights are not superfluous. They protect us against arbitrary action by those who hold the levers of power.

To make matters worse, the University has dropped the standard of proof in sexual assault cases from “clear and convincing evidence” to “preponderance of the evidence.” This means that a Cornell student accused of a violent offense that is sexual in nature will not have the legal safeguards given to others whose alleged offenses were non-sexual. With the punishment being so severe and so much on the line for the accused, how can we accept such a low standard of proof?

Given that this university has a tremendous power to punish students, we have an obligation to make sure that the innocent do not get hurt….

The loss of due process rights for students accused of sexual assault is a topic we have addressed many times here and at College Insurrection:

The response to Kairey’s column was fairly predictable, as we noted at College Insurrection.  A group of Cornell students castigated The Daily Sun for running the column, and accused Kairey of fomenting further sexual assaults, The Danger of Rape Culture Denial:

We disagree with the decision to publish “The Truth About ‘Rape Culture,’” by Julius Kairey ’15. Kairey blatantly disrespected a sensitive subject by reducing and delegitimizing the scarring experiences of survivors. This newspaper erred in publishing this article and should now also take responsibility for the harmful, triggering effects that articles like these cause. We hope that in the future, the Cornell Daily Sun makes a conscious effort to ensure that their columnists treat subjects like sexual assault with respect. We call for an apology from Kairey and the Cornell Daily Sun…..

Rape culture describes the systematic denial of justice for victims of sexual assault: The deck is always stacked against the survivor, and the ignorant defend this status quo. Those, like Kairey, who have the power to create change by advocating for survivors instead choose to ignore their voices, erase their rights and refuse to hold perpetrators accountable….

Read the whole thing. 

It nicely fits with what Steyn called the “shut up” culture on campuses.


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Q: What kind of person would attend a liberal school to begin with?
A: A non-achiever

    DINORightMarie in reply to Roy Rogers. | April 21, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Reminder: the Professor is a Cornell Law professor.

    Solid, rational, conservative people still DO get admitted to and attend these schools; and, as the Professor exhibits quite well, there are still good professors, although a rare breed indeed.

    Cornell U is an Ivy League school, and is very tough to get into…….which today, sadly, often means indoctrinated young people, and leftist professors. But there are notable, wonderful exceptions!

    indiethink in reply to Roy Rogers. | April 21, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    UC Berkeley’s 22 Nobel Prize winners

    in Chemistry, Physics and Economics

      RickCaird in reply to indiethink. | April 21, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      Does that include Robert Reich in Economics?

      Ragspierre in reply to indiethink. | April 21, 2014 at 4:52 pm

      Your point is taken, but…

      Yassser (That’s My Baby) Arafat,


      Barackah Hussain Obama and

      Jimmah Caaaaater all took Nobel Prizes.

      Which kind of reduces them to meaninglessness in some respects.

The accused must be preemptively executed due to the seriousness of the charge. Genderism and parking ticket survivors stand in solidarity with alleged rape survivors.

    Ragspierre in reply to Immolate. | April 21, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    “The accused must be preemptively executed…”

    Ah, but NOT before they have had a chance to repudiate themselves and confess.

    Otherwise, they need to be tortured until they realize their sinfulness.

    THEN they can have a nice execution. Timing is critical.

DINORightMarie | April 21, 2014 at 2:04 pm

The left is using the university campus to test out their fascist, rights-limiting tactics, like a “scientist” working on petrie-dish “specimens,” or testing Pavlovian theories on dogs. “How to undermine and eliminate the Bill of Rights by ‘noble cause’ fiat 101” – with stealth, making it look like the “noble cause” of victim protection. Similar to using “civil rights” to push the fascist-militant gay agenda.

Unfortunately, these tactics and such have all been tried before, under numerous regimes – all with fatal, horrific consequences.

The myopia and infantile sanctimony displayed in the counter-column is nauseating: “Those, like Kairey, who have the power to create change by advocating for survivors instead choose to ignore their voices, erase their rights and refuse to hold perpetrators accountable…”

Did it ever occur to the author that this is not a zero-sum situation? That, it is possible — and desirable, actually, from standpoints of integrity and fairness to all parties concerned — to simultaneously treat accusations of sexual assault seriously, while also providing a procedural framework which protects the rights of accused students? Why are universities afraid of instituting and respecting due process in their disciplinary proceedings, in favor of hugely one-sided procedures which can ruin the lives of those who are falsely accused? Why does demonstrating fairness matter to an alleged victim, but, not to an alleged wrongdoer?

It appears to me as though the universities are simply too afraid of getting involved in messy procedural jousting, with the time-consuming and labor-intensive involvement that they necessarily require; it’s so much easier and efficient to stack the deck against the accused; ask the Soviets or the North Koreans. Well, that’s the natuare of a fair legal framework — it is messy and time-consuming, and, far from infallible, but, it’s better than the alternative, to wit, speedy show trials.

Has anyone refused the punishment metted out by one of these show trials?

I wonder how things would end up were a student falsely accused but convicted and expelled in such a scenario to refuse to leave the campus and continue to attend classes.

Oh, and if the statistics commonly thrown out on assault are true, why do we allow for co-ed campuses.

Supposedly your average liberal arts college is now more dangerous for women then Detroit or DC, by orders of magnitude.

If true there is no way to justify the current status quo, and the only way to immediately rectify it is to create separate male and female colleges.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to 18-1. | April 21, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    “…more dangerous for women then Detroit or DC, by orders of magnitude.”

    No campus is more dangerous for women than Detroit. Five years ago, investigators found 10,000 rape kits that were never sent to the lab for testing. 10,000 sexual assaults ignored. Not important.

      Ragspierre in reply to Henry Hawkins. | April 21, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      I also bet you could count on one hand the self-respecting rape victims of Detroit who got snot-slinging drunk in a frat house full of ramping ill-bred young studs, and then…sha—-ZAM…discovered they had had sex that was not “consensual” in the highest definition of feminist “PIV” intercourse (which is ALWAYS rape, OK?)

PersonFromPorlock | April 21, 2014 at 3:45 pm

The photo brings to mind the old song:

“High above Cayuga’s waters,
There’s an awful smell….”

I thought that “rape culture” was something the lab rats from CSI peered at under a microscope.

Henry Hawkins | April 21, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Everything ugly thing we hear about today’s American universities and colleges is exactly as it should be – given they are run by students aged 18-21.

Thinking and acting is much easier when all is seen as either black or white and one pretends no gray areas exist. Reasonable doubt means nothing. Too complicated. Let’s just pontificate for the rolling cameras, call it justice, and hang the bastard already.

Dissent “triggers” hurt feelings so must be eliminated.

Why would universities be “prosecuting” crimes anyway? Isn’t rape a felony in every state? It’s not a matter for a student mock court.

But any of this as a private institution using only their own private funds and the voluntary fees of their customers might be within their rights. Unfortunately, they don’t do that. They suck the blood of the taxpayer to support their anti-American leftist faculties and their anti-American Kafkaesque “judicial proceedings.”

Get the federal government OUT of the higher education business. Let these schools prioritize how they spend their own money, not the taxpayers’.

Juba Doobai! | April 21, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Deny justice to give justice. Constitutional rights don’t end at the university’s doors.

Juba Doobai! | April 21, 2014 at 6:43 pm

The first student to sue the university, his accuser, and the lynch mob will bring an end to this denial of justice to give justice nonsense.

This reminds me of the old feminist line, “you don’t get it”. That term has always seemed to me to be the cry of the bully.

Didn’t the current idea start when newspapers stopped publishing the names of rape victims, denying the accused of possible exculpatory witnesses?

And then the was the professor in a Maryland college that printed random names of male students, claiming they were all potential rapists?

Breach of contract is not a private affair.

And I think it’s time to defund academia. All of it.

It seems to me that the anti-rape activists are only using the “shut up” culture that colleges (and society) have subjected rape survivors to for centuries (and still to this day). But it’s only an issue for the right when the tables are turned and men (seemingly the majority) are negatively affected?

That said, I don’t really understand why these charges aren’t being tried in criminal court. Does the college provide rape kits and perform DNA testing? Rape is a serious crime and should be charged to the full extent of the law.