An Epidemic Too Far?

It’s been less than inspirational to see Mario’s little boy, Andy, trying desperately to keep up with California’s Governor Brown in trying to pander to the tough-on-crime and neo-feminists at the same time.  Why can’t New York be leader on the road to perdition, Andy?  Oh right, because someone has to tip you off as to which progressive concerns are at the top of today’s agenda.

But in his rush to prove Berkeley isn’t the center of the universe of crazy, did New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in his excess of zeal to win the hurt hearts of neo-feminists, take it a step too far?

A law signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo last month allocates $4.5 million for what officials have said is a first-in-the-nation police unit that will train college officials and local police units to respond better to sexual assaults on campus.

The law, which has been touted as the most progressive in the country, also requires all colleges in the state to implement a uniform definition of affirmative consent, distribute a students’ bill of rights and adopt a policy that grants victims immunity for drug and alcohol violations.

A uniform definition of affirmative consent?  Check. Problematic as there is likely no way this standard can be constitutionally defined and applied, but whatever.  A “student’s” bill of rights, previously referred to as the “victim’s bill of rights,” shifting the rights that had historically been given the accused in progressive-world to the “survivors” under the new world order? Check.

Immunizing “victims” from their own wrongs, because victims?  Check.  After all, individual responsibility cannot apply to victim culture, so why not go whole hog and give them a pass on anything short of murder.  And maybe even murder won’t count, though that may prove a little trickier to implement.

But specialized police unit that will train college officials and local police?  If you’re waiting to hear the loud applause of women at law enforcement suddenly taking their complaints seriously, don’t hold your breath.  Sure, they have long accused the police of ignoring their cries, of demeaning their excuses for why they neglected to mention that they were raped until weeks, months later, after a nice chat with a women’s studies professor, of not showing the sensitivity to their feelings that is due a survivor.

No, there will be no applause.  There will be no statue of Andy Cuomo erected where the humor section of a feminist bookstore should be. No, they are not pleased.

Many student advocates support other aspects of the law, but worry that victims might not be comfortable reporting to police.

“Students do not trust state police to respond effectively to reports of gender-based violence,” said Zoe Ridolfi-Starr, a Columbia University graduate and campaign director for Carry That Weight, an advocacy group for people who have suffered sexual assault and domestic violence.

Putting aside the absurdity of an advocacy group being named for a childish performance by a girl whose accusations have been dismissed, and has since gone on to produce bad porn, the complaint reveals a gap of reality permeating the issue, that it really has nothing to do with criminal conduct, and everything to do with elevating women’s irrational feelings to legal status.

“The police are not in a position to be training campus officials on how to handle sexual assault cases because they cannot do so themselves,” Ridolfi-Starr said.

By “cannot do so themselves,” she means can’t do it the way she wants it done, with a facile excuse for every failure, an expectation of stupid patriarchal stuff like evidence, and an overarching, unshakeable belief that no woman’s accusation can be wrong.  The police are really bad at being the altar boys to the neo-feminist religion, and the High Priestesses are not amused.

Victims’ advocates say police have too often ignored or disbelieved sexual assault victims, dismissing attacks as a byproduct of sometimes alcohol-fueled campus cultures.

Meghan Racklin, a New York University student, said some survivors prefer to have an avenue to report an assault other than the criminal justice system.

“They’re asking for their right to education in a place that is safe and fair, and that’s not the same as a criminal proceeding,” she said.

Indeed, the core issue isn’t one having to do with anything remotely resembling the commission of a crime, as the word “rape” and “sexual assault” have stringent and highly charged definitions under the law, but are meaningless throw-away words on campus.

What of female students’ right to accuse at will, without reason or proof, when their consensual conduct gets harshed by the guy not calling for a second date, the guy finding another woman he prefers more, the girl being instructed by a survivor advocate that her great night two weeks ago was rape because the pair shared beers?

The police will never understand. The police will never have the sympathy, the empathy, that forms the core of their accusations.  Hell, police might even disbelieve them because of something so obviously wrong, like the few dozen post coital texts from the woman about how consensual it was, how much she enjoyed it, how much she wants to do it again, and ending with the angry text about how dare he kiss some other girl?

No, the cops will never get it, and now Andy Cuomo, Lady Gaga’s partner in feelz, has stuck his nose in by doing everything they could conceivably demand of a governor, plus one step too far, and has gone and spoiled what could have been their clear path to a “safe and fair” Nirvana.

Curiously, some see a split-the-baby solution as a possibility. Joe Cohen of FIRE, while urging that rape be addressed through the criminal law,

thinks the Safe Campus Act should be changed “to allow non-punitive accommodations to remain available to students who decide not to report accusations to authorities.”

That good old “non-punitive” deprivation of civil rights?  This is a sad dip in the pool of lunacy from an organization that typically doesn’t pander to the stupid, but apparently lacks the will to question the rape epidemic narrative.

It’s not that a safe campus is hard to achieve, particularly since it’s been overwhelmingly safe if one is talking about actual crime, but having pushed the rape epidemic button too many times, too hard, it’s disingenuous to whine that Andy is taking it too seriously by bringing police into the mix. If it’s an “epidemic of rape,” then criminal law must be applied.  If it’s an epidemic of sad feminist feelz, then it’s time to stop crying rape when it’s not.

11 thoughts on “An Epidemic Too Far?

  1. Wrongway

    “The police are not in a position to be training campus officials on how to handle sexual assault cases because they cannot do so themselves,” Ridolfi-Starr said.

    Aren’t the Police just the 1st step in any criminal case ??
    It’s not the police who prosecute or judge any criminal, they just address the initial offense, present the evidence, yadda yadda…
    So maybe it’s not the police they need to be talking to for help in any assault, it’s the prosecutors.
    I don’t know, just a thought..
    (Delete if it’s a dumb thought..)

    1. SHG Post author

      The “survivors” don’t want law at all, as it’s insensitive to their “legal” worldview based on their feelings. Reality and feelings don’t mix well anywhere in the system.

  2. Nigel Declan

    Maybe if Andy Cuomo provided funding for training parrots to repeat the phrases “guilty” and “expelled” while dressed in little quasi-judicial robes and then creating an Aviary of Student Discipline program, the malcontents would be placated. For now.

    1. Fubar

      These courts need a judge that is true
      To their name, and a parrot won’t do.
      The courtroom should feature
      Its nominal creature.
      For the judge, get a young kangaroo!

  3. Sara

    “thinks the Safe Campus Act should be changed “to allow non-punitive accommodations to remain available to students who decide not to report accusations to authorities.””

    They’re concerned with accommodations for students who decide *not* to report the accusations to authorities; in other words, that *victims* can still have the ability to change their class schedule, move their dorm room, etc. even if they don’t report to the police.

    At least that’d be my interpretation.

    1. SHG Post author

      First, I commend your use of asterisks to assist the hard of reading. That’s very inclusive of you.

      Second, there can be no victim unless and until a wrong has been found. I know, this is is politically unpalatable, but words have definitions. Don’t blame me.

      Third, your açcomodations implicate the male student’s world as well. Where he can go, live, study, etc. Depriving him of his right to do as he pleases to accommodate the female student’s unscrutinized whims is unacceptable.

      That’s my interpretation.

      1. Sara

        So I should call all the gunshot and murder victims in Baltimore what?

        Your third point doesn’t follow from the wording I’ve seen FIRE support.

        But nevermind.

        1. SHG Post author

          How passive aggressive of you.

          A dead body is indisputable evidence of death. A bullet hole is indisputable evidence of a shooting. An accusation of sexual assault is indisputable evidence of nothing. Your attempt at an analogy was, shall we say, somewhat unpersuasive.

          As for what you read at FIRE, not even FIRE gets to alter how the panoply of açcomodations happen. They are no more entitled to mention one side and pretend it doesn’t come hand in hand with its counterparts than you are.

          But never mind. See? I can play passive aggressive too!

    1. SHG Post author

      I still respect and admire FIRE and the great stuff it’s done. I just disagree with this piece. I suspect this is a little giveaway to make FIRE appear less harsh toward accusers, particularly those who want to accuse, want accommodations (including the counterpart of the male student be ordered not to go within x feet of the female, the notation in his school record, the stay out of her dorm order and the like), but don’t want their accusation to undergo scrutiny.

      If a wrong happened, that’s fine. If a wrong is merely alleged, then it’s wrong to support orders limiting the guys freedoms when the girl refuses to subject her accusations to scrutiny. And frankly, I’m shocked that FIRE would give away male students rights to try to make its own position appear more palatable to its opposition. But that doesn’t mean I otherwise don’t like FIRE.

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