Because, according to someone employed by Occidental College and rejoicing in the name of Danielle Dirks, who is identified as a professor, a student accused of sexual assault “fit the profile of other rapists on campus in that he had a high GPA in high school, was his class valedictorian, was on [a sports] team, and was ‘from a good family.'” Ah yes: The smart ones, the ones who can reason their way through written sexual conduct policies and have memories sufficiently capacious to keep them in mind while half-looped and trying to get some . . . those are the ones you’ve got to come down on. Professor Dirks is an assistant professor of sociology, concerning herself “with fundamental questions about justice and inequality in America, with a special focus on racial and gender inequality.” Which of course makes her a perfect person to evaluate whether two drunk kids screwing in a dorm room is a quasi-criminal offense. <sound of blowing snot>
After the police investigated the girl’s accusations and the district attorney’s office determined, “Witnesses were interviewed and agreed that the victim and suspect were both drunk, however, that they were both willing participants exercising bad judgment …. It would be reasonable for [Doe] to conclude based on their communications and [the accuser’s] actions that, even though she was intoxicated, she could still exercise reasonable judgment,” and declined to prosecute for that reason (remember, Gentle Reader, that mutual consent means as a matter of law that no sexual assault took place; under civil law a “battery” is an offensive intentional touching and an “assault” is the intentional placing in reasonable fear of imminent bodily harm, and if you consent to it then it defies all logic to assert that it was either offensive or caused you fear; all of which is to say that it didn’t happen), the student accused was put through the Holder-era DOJ-mandated kangaroo kampus kourt process.
Occidental hired an outside investigator and then an outside lone ranger “adjudicator” to run a due-process-free farce in which the accused had no effective right of confrontation. The “adjudicator” found that “more likely than not” the accuser in fact gave every indication she wanted to have sex, but that because she was drunk (so was the accused, remember) her consent was ineffective. This is notwithstanding Occidental’s own definition of “incapacitated”: “cannot make an informed and rational decision to engage in sexual activity because s/he lacks conscious knowledge of the nature of the act (e.g., to understand the who, what, when, where, why or how of the sexual interaction) and/or is physically helpless.” All the above quotations are taken from this report from F.I.R.E. (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a 501(c)(3) eminently worthy of Gentle Reader’s donation and support), and at the link they quote the district attorney’s summary of the accuser’s protracted written communication with the accused, including expressing an intention to sneak out of her dorm and into his for the purpose of having sex.
Occidental expelled the accused, who has filed a lawsuit. Bless the judge’s little pointy head, a stay has issued, so for the time being the accused is still enrolled. The accused student has enlisted F.I.R.E.’s support, and I hope they provide it with gusto. As their vice president’s letter to the college president observed, using the “standard” (I decline to give it the dignity of omitting quotation marks) and the evidence on hand, the girl was guilty of sexually assaulting the guy. The college promised a response by mid-May; none has been forthcoming.
This story terrifies me. I have, as I have mentioned repeatedly on this blog, three boys who more likely than not will attend college at some point. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I would anticipate they’re going to want to get laid at some point along the line. These are the stakes, though, if they either make the effort or succeed. What makes it all the more frightening is that at least one of my boys has emotional development issues which impair his ability to read social cues. Oh sure, he’s not a recluse, or socially inappropriate or anything, but he will never have the finely-tuned sensibilities to make on-the-fly accurate assessments of what other people are telling him with their expressions, tones, body language, meta-conversations, whatever. He’ll have to think his way through them one step at a time, every step of the way, according to algorithms that he will have to sit down and work out. And he will make mistakes.
Add in the complexity of not just social interaction, but sexually-overtoned social interaction, and the degree to which these judgment decisions (“Does she want to or not?”) are nearly invariably made at the very outer margins of social awareness and my boy is going to step on landmines. Not because he’s evil or a sexual predator, but because he’s mis-read the “thanks but no thanks,” response that was given to his advances. And he’s mis-read them not because he’s interpreting through the prism of a sexual perversion but because he lacks the wiring to read them in the first place. As surely as night follows the day, unless one stumbles across a woman of the sort who generally does not exist off the set of a pornographic movie (I once, 25 or so years ago, saw a tongue-in-cheek article on “The Ontology of Porn,” and I wish now I’d kept it; a brief Google search was unsuccessful), he is going to end up doing something that could very easily put him on the wrong end of one of these farcical processes.
To borrow a recent observation from Instapundit, “These lawsuits seem to be a growth industry. If I were a plaintiff’s lawyer in a college town, I’d be putting ads on park benches: FALSELY ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ASSAULT? SUE THE B*ST*RDS!” I’d not only sue the college itself, but I’d sue the accuser and every last individual involved in the process, including the Danielle Dirkses, these lone ranger “adjudicators,” and the outside “investigators.” Remind them that “justice” necessarily contemplates the possibility that your accuser is not telling the truth, and “equality” means no one is exempt from having to be confronted by the accused.
Let’s eat into those endowments and the dear professors’ home equity in seven-figure bites and see how long before they start to push back against the DOJ.