Consider the recent case of the male student in Cornell University’s double jeopardy, where after accusing first, he was denied the typically Title IX “first come, first innocent” approach. To add to the sexism, the university did not grant the male student an “adversarial hearing,” as required by New York state law. But given the predominance of men accused on campuses, we must ask whether men will ever receive justice in a system so obviously rigged against them, even when they complain or report first.
Let’s admit it: Men are in a world of hurt. Most prisoners are men. Most suicides are men. Most murder victims are men. And most of the accused defendants in our justice system are men. And so it only follows, according to many social justice warriors, that most perpetrators of sexual misconduct on university campuses are men.
This predetermined outcome of misbehaving men heavily influences Title IX investigations. And even when men accuse women of sexual misconduct on a university campus, men are most often still found to be at fault. This sexist reversal back to men as perpetrators and women as innocent victims is a common trope in Title IX inquisitions, a method driven by a new brand of chivalry that still believes in the perfection of femininity, that still holds women up as the better angels of our species. It is an “Alice in Wonderland” circularity of logic, a gynocentric brain twist that (at best) looks like this:
Since women are virtuous, we only have men to blame when women feel dishonored or rebuffed. And since men (and only men) are to be blamed, they are by definition sexual predators in the arena of sexuality. And so it follows that male college students in any sexual misconduct case are, by their very nature, sexual predators. We can conclude, therefore, that women (and only women) are always the victims of men’s sexual behavior.
This logic produces a self-fulfilling reality out of touch with observable reality on campuses. Yet this self-fulfilling reality has yet to be legally challenged seriously. And until that argument is made, the pervasive ideology of male-hatred and male-shaming will continue to expand and dominate, and the logic of men and only men are sexual predators will serve as the governing principle for Title IX investigators.
But there is a way. However, it will require making the most serious Constitutional claim men have to make. This claim goes beyond defamation and tit-for-tat lawsuits. This way involves demanding DUE PROCESS rights for college and university students.
Without DUE PROCESS (which is already afforded to everyone else in our society, including military personnel and K-12 students at public schools), college men are screwed before they start, because higher education has currently built itself on an ideology of open sexism against men as a social justice movement. Thus, I assert that the only way to reverse the course of the Title IX inquisition of young men and attacks on speech freedoms is to begin now and forever to make the claim that all students accused under Title IX be granted DUE PROCESS rights.
My opponents will argue that Title IX deals with various kinds of sexual misconduct that would just never see the light of day in criminal courts or civil courts. That may be true for some cases. But for those cases that deserve the seriousness that a court of law brings, currently Title IX’s adjudicating process is far too weak as one is not guaranteed DUE PROCESS rights for the accused. Along with denying DUE PROCESS, Title IX also treats the accuser automatically as the “victim.” As the “victim,” she is both advocated for and adjudicated for by a Title IX agent. When the “victim” is a heterosexual man, the rules seem to change, so that Title IX agents do not take such reversed gender cases as seriously. Indeed, the agents tend to look at them with suspicion. Or as a college Title IX investigator told me candidly last year when I suggested otherwise, “Every sexual assault is done by a guy. Come on!” So when Title IX investigators begin with that assumption (along with statistics like the flawed 1 in 5 women sexually assaulted by men in college), men will always get a raw deal.
So how should young men proceed? Start by claiming DUE PROCESS as our right under the U.S. Constitution. Remind university administrators that DUE PROCESS originated in the Magna Carta, granting each individual needed protection against tyrants and mean-spirited or falsely-informed accusers. Remind them that Title IX (and the entire Civil Rights Act) was legislated to articulate and secure the very rights that due process falls under, the Fourteenth Amendment: “No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law … nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” And remind them that since the university is federally funded by Title IX, it must be viewed as a “state actor,” which means that the university cannot deny you DUE PROCESS rights.
This point is important. Because a public college or university acts on behalf of the federal government (also a state government), it is by definition a “state actor.” To be even clearer, because the public and most private colleges/universities are compelled or forced to follow federal guidelines, your school must not deny DUE PROCESS.
As you may know, law for public school students (K-12) has been settled some time ago on DUE PROCESS so that a public school district (“state actor”) must grant DUE PROCESS rights even to non-adult students. I am hopeful that soon the court will take up and decide in favor of DUE PROCESS rights for publicly funded universities. Many lawyers and legal scholars are already pressuring the courts to take action. But it will take young men who have been accused to stand up for their DUE PROCESS rights, and when denied, ask for a full explanation that should be put in writing (and if not in writing, audio or video recorded). Denying DUE PROCESS is the most serious crime against a citizen.