Thursday, December 29, 2011

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education Takes Note of Harassment of Marquette Warrior

From the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education: an article on the fact that Marquette has “investigated” a complaint from a student who accused us of sexual harassment based on gender for our debunking of feminists’ bogus statistics on campus rape.

FIRE notes that the incident:
. . . provides a good example of how unwarranted investigations of campus speech can cause a deeply problematic “chilling effect” at a university. Universities must not pursue investigations of protected expression just because someone submits a complaint; as soon as it is clear that the expression in question is protected speech, the inquiry must end, even if there are other factual disputes. Prolonging the investigation tells everyone on campus that the university will pursue charges against you no matter how frivolous or malicious the complaint. The likely result is that people self-censor and keep their mouths shut rather than risk such investigation and a possible punishment.
Of course, for the politically correct types on campus, this is the point. They are deeply hostile to free and open debate.

FIRE goes on the quote Marquette’s own Student Handbook on the legitimacy of differences of opinion:
It is clearly inevitable, and indeed essential, that the spirit of inquiry and challenge that the university seeks to encourage will produce many conflicts of ideas, opinions and proposals for action.
Of course, Marquette’s Student Handbook also includes several very dangerous and over-broad statements that could be used to stifle speech. For example:
Harassment is defined as verbal, written or physical conduct directed at a person or a group based on color, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation where the offensive behavior is intimidating, hostile or demeaning, or which could or does result in mental, emotional or physical discomfort, embarrassment, ridicule or harm.
Read at face value, this could mean that if a frank discussion of ghetto crime makes a black student feel “discomfort” that could be harassment. Of course, a feminist talking about the evils of male sexism could make a male student feel uncomfortable, but the odds of anybody seeing any problem with that are nil.

FIRE concludes:
Yet by pursuing this investigation, Marquette is letting a single student entangle a professor in disciplinary proceedings simply due to protected classroom expression. How many professors at Marquette are now going to steer clear of sensitive topics just to avoid an Ethics Point investigation?
The truth, of course, is that even without this kind of inquisition, any prudent junior faculty member, wanting to get tenure, better stifle any urge to say anything politically incorrect. And a lot of tenured people, not wanting to “make waves” or generate hostility, tend to “lay low” and keep their opinions to themselves.

Welcome to the modern politically correct university.

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Anonymous James Pawlak said...

I have saved myself much grief by not becoming an academic. With my views of male homosexuals (As disease vectors), Islam (As NOT a religion, but a criminal-terrorist movement), anti-gun and anti-military protesters (As pathological pacifists), expectations that females should behave as "Ladies" (And males as "Gentlemen") and like views, I suspect that my university career would be very short.
I do wonder if the ACLU and various academic-freedom groups would have gone-to-bat for me.

7:22 AM  
Anonymous Pierce Harlan said...

The one-in-three/four/five/six canard is belied by what can aptly be called the sexual grievance industry's own figures on alleged underreporting of rape. A Pittsburgh Post-Gazette blog irrefutably demonstrated this by applying a 90 percent underreporting figure (significantly higher than even RAINN's percentage) to the numbers of sexual assaults actually reported at various colleges. Even using their own underreporting percentage (on the high end), this blog showed (brilliantly, I think) that one-in-five college women are not raped; the real number is not even in that universe.

Virtually every study I've seen on the prevalence of rape (and I believe I have seen every such "serious" study) is misleading for a reason that goes beyond the obvious that the studies are conducted by persons whose careers and livelihoods depend on the existence of the purported campus rape epidemic conduct; that they deign to characterize the results to find "rape" even when the respondents didn't think rape occurred; that these studies often employ self-selecting respondents, a big no-no.

OK, we all know all that. Here's the real problem that is so fundamental it is almost always overlooked. These studies often conclude that only a small percentage of claims are false because, the researchers say, only that small percentage of claims can be definitively determined to be false. The problem is this: the persons who conduct the studies invariably disingenuously suggest that the remainder of all claims must have been actual rapes. That, of course, doesn't match the reality of any objective examination of actual claims. We can be reasonably certain that, for any randomly selected universe of rape claims, only a relatively small percentage were false claims, AND only a relatively small percentage were actual rapes. What the researchers don't tell you--because it doesn't fit the preferred narrative--is that if such universe of rape claims were subjected to an objective review of the evidence on both sides, most would fall into a vast, gray, middle area where no one--aside from the participants--could say exactly what happened, and even the participants might be murky about it. That's the nature of a typical rape claim -- e.g., she claims she was incapacitated by alcohol, he claims she was merely impaired; she claims that she allowed him to climb into bed naked with her but not to have sex, he claims she consented (I actually defended a kid in the latter scenario). Instead, the rape researcher adopts the default rule that if it can't be definitively ruled out as a false or gray claim, a fortiori, it must have been an actual rape, whether or not it really was. Hence, the one-in-four canard, which is based on accepting at face value -- and even then, mischaracterizing it -- only one side of the story.

A leading feminist legal scholar has correctly acknowledged this irrefutable fact: ". . . the statistics on false rape accusation widely vary and 'as a scientific matter, the frequency of false rape complaints to police or other legal authorities remains unknown.'" A. Gruber, Rape, Feminism, and the War on Crime, 84 Wash. L. Rev. 581, 595-600 (November 2009) (citation omitted).

What some feminists can't grapple with is that we can all agree rape is a problem without lying about it.

7:32 AM  
Blogger david said...

great comment, Pierce.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous blogger bontang said...

I usually take everything any politician says with a grain of salt, but once in a while I get surprised. Today, MN State Rep. Steve Simon made me proud to live in Minnesota.

A constitutional amendment was recently proposed in Minnesota to officially declare marriage as a union between a man and a woman. You've heard all the arguments about how gay people should be allowed to be as miserable as all the other married folks, how divorce is rampant and the institution of marriage is a sham nowadays anyway, but I have never heard someone so eloquently defend a person's right to love another. Right around the 1:00 mark is when he really got me. The gist of what Steve Simon said is as follows: if there's any chance that sexuality is innate, and not a product of environment...if it's even POSSIBLY TRUE, then ask yourself what that does to your moral argument against gay marriage? If there's even a remote chance, how does your argument hold up?

2:28 AM  

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