When feminists fought to de-segregate all-male schools and allow women entry to the privileged world of the Ivy League, the argument was that girls were just as bright and ambitious as boys and deserved the opportunity to compete fairly in the most elite arenas. This was an argument based on women’s strength. Now we have colleges and universities acceding to feminist demands that women need special protection. Even though they have freedom to engage in sex, to visit boys’ rooms, to spend the night - they must be protected against the trauma (and alleged stigma) of facing the person they are accusing of forced sex. So the American right of the accused to challenge his accuser is subsumed under the rubric of shielding “victims of rape.” It will be interesting to see whether this rule applies in accusations of same-sex rape as well.
In the current case of Jack Montague, expelled from Yale during his senior year, the woman in question whose privacy is protected, had sex with him several times consensually but claims that on their fourth go-round, she did not give consent. After leaving his room subsequent to this “rape,” she returned and spent the night with him in his bed. A year later, she decided to report this non-consensual episode to the Title IX committee at Yale and the wheels of academic investigation and adjudication were set in motion. Each person was interrogated separately by the Yale Committee and a decision was reached based on the “preponderance of evidence,” which differs from the evidence needed for criminal convictions. A strong argument could be made that by expelling Jack Montague, he received a life sentence, losing both his place as captain of the Yale Basketball Team and his diploma from a university whose tuition now amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars without a graduation degree.
Furthermore, Jack Montague’s name is plastered all over the media while his consenting sex partner for 3 out of 4 encounters is treated by archaic standards - as if her reputation would be ruined by divulgence of her name, her complicity or her non-consent. Or equally old-fashioned in the age of social media, that she would be further traumatized by the public gaze added to her non-consensual rape. We know of course that there have been other instances of accusations by women that have turned out to be false - the most famous being the Duke Lacrosse team affair. What does a woman have to lose by lying if her name and background are never revealed? And if the committee had found Jack Montague’s story more believable than hers, would she have been expelled for lying and/or false accusation? Or is expulsion only the burden to be borne by male students on their wider shoulders. How easily and conveniently we slip back into stereotypes of the damsel in distress when a political agenda is at stake.
Women who feel too fragile for confrontations with men should not attend co-ed universities which permit and encourage sexual activity on campus. By choosing to attend such schools, they should be subject to equal consideration from the administrative committees set up to weigh infractions and offenses. Accusers should always face the accused and be available for cross-examination. Anything more protective is patronizing and infantilizing to women and should be anathema to people who call themselves feminist. It is also a travesty of our American system of justice and seems particularly inappropriate on a campus with a highly esteemed law school.
Jack Montague is suing Yale but he can never regain the balance of his senior year or erase the slander of his reputation. What he might succeed in doing is changing the system that allows such perversion of justice and restoring proper equality to women and men in our academic institutions.
Have PoliticalMavens.com delivered to your inbox in a daily digest by clicking here