Sexual Assault and the Benefit of the Doubt
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Issued under the authority of Title IX, which is designed to further sex equality, the U.S. Department of Education’s April 2011 “Dear Colleague” Letter (DCL) coerced American colleges and universities into adopting specified procedures for use in sexual assault cases. The withdrawal of the DCL last year under the Trump Administration and the resulting protests from feminists and campus activists invite a fresh look at how sexual assault claims should be understood. Of particular interest in this space is, how should women best be “heard”? Can the university become a “safe space” for women?
That a man (and a 76-year-old one at that) is weighing in on issues of special concern to young women should not present a problem for most people. Few can seriously profess that responsibility for debate in any area should be delimited by sex (or age). Men as fathers, brothers, uncles, and grandfathers of female college students have at least as much stake in campus safety as unrelated faculty and...