by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings gave the public a crash course in campus-rape ideology. It is about to get another. … Education Secretary Betsy DeVos released a proposed federal rule that corrects the worst procedural abuses of campus-rape tribunals. It hews closely to judicial precedent and is fair to all parties, yet the feminist establishment has reacted with hysteria, characterizing the draft regulation as an assault on sexual-assault “survivors.” Maintenance of the campus-rape myth, it turns out, is incompatible with due process. Whether feminism itself is compatible with Enlightenment values appears increasingly doubtful.
Opposition to the Kavanaugh nomination was based on the principle that self-professed “survivors” must be believed and that accused males must be condemned, regardless of the paucity of evidence against them. That principle, already ubiquitous on college campuses, got an assist from the federal government in 2011, when the Obama administration released a so-called guidance (an informal federal directive of murky legal status) on college rape proceedings. The guidance strongly discouraged cross-examination of the accuser and required schools to use the lowest possible standard of proof for finding a defendant guilty of sexual assault. …
… The proposed Education Department regulation tries to end these abuses. Ironically, in an administration regularly charged with ignoring the law, the DOE has carefully followed the legal framework for promulgating new federal rules. The 2011 Obama guidance was issued as a fait accompli; Donald Trump’s DOE, by contrast, is giving the public the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule before it becomes final.
And the feminist establishment is responding as it does to any challenge to its ideological hegemony: with an attack of the vapors.