August 11, 2013

IT’S NOT “GOING ON OFFENSE,” IT’S STANDING UP FOR GENDER EQUALITY:

With increasing frequency, women are filing federal complaints against colleges accused of failing to address sexual assault. Heightened awareness of students’ rights and colleges’ obligations under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination, has led to a wave of protests.

Now, two men who left two different colleges after being accused of sexual assault have filed their own lawsuits alleging that administrators violated their due process by mishandling the investigations and campus judicial proceedings that led to their expulsion and withdrawal.

It’s an unusual (but not unprecedented) legal approach, utilizing a federal statute designed to protect the people who historically have been victimized by institutional discrimination. To make a successful case under Title IX, the men must demonstrate that they were discriminated against based on their status as males.

Lawyers and Title IX experts say that’s unlikely.

Really? I’d like to see how colleges treat complaints about female behavior, whether they make clear that such complaints are welcome, whether their training is gender-neutral, and a lot more before I reached that conclusion. I suspect that it would be easy to prove that these programs are based on outdated stereotypes of men as predators, stereotypes that aren’t supported by research.

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