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The Foreign Exchange Student

2019.11.05 18:34 Hannahbelle02 The Foreign Exchange Student

I was going into my sophomore year of high school and still didn’t know we had foreign exchange students. The only reason I knew we did that year is because the people I hung around were usually the kids that helped the foreigners to fit in or so. I also run Cross Country and track and one of my friends brought one of the foreign exchange student to one of our morning practices to see if he wanted to do it. This foreign exchange student was from the Netherlands so he was Dutch, 5’8 with dirty blond hair, and emerald green eyes, so every girl wanted him. He kept showing up to our practice and eventually became a part of our team. He was an all around guy too, everyone loved him. Once he found out that most of the girls from scottsboro liked him he said he had a girlfriend in the Netherlands which didn’t stop some girls including me. He’s been dating this girl Pom for a little over a year and then he came to America. Some time goes by and I dm him on Instagram a few times trying to spark a conversation but he really wasn’t interested. Apparently my friend Belle was doing the same thing I was doing and the FE told Hal (the dude that brought him to the first practice) “these two crazy American girls won’t leave me alone”. We ended up growing on the foreign exchange student and I became best friends with him but we both gradually started to get feelings for each other. He later on tells me the him and Pom broke up right before he left because they thought it would be for the better while he was in America. Homecoming was coming around and he was going to ask me but about two weeks before we got into a fight and I said it would probably be best if you leave me alone hoco night and he said ok. One of my xc friends ( Noah) asked me to the dance and I said yes even though I didn’t want to. Hoco night comes around and Noah comes to pick me up. As soon as we get to the dance I go to find my friends as I’m dancing with my friends one of my friends from my xc team (swayyy) grabs my waist and starts to dance with me. I didn’t really want to do that but I wasn’t going to be rude because I was really good friends with him. Anyway, as I’m dancing with swayyy I look over and the FE is looking at me. He’s got a girl named Abby on him (she’s one of those girls that tries to get with every cute boy) and I could tell he didn’t want to dance with her but when I looked back over he was gone. A few moments go by and the FE comes up to swayyy and says “can I dance with Hannah for a minute”? Swayyy kept arguing with him so I told swayyy I’m going to dance with the FE for a little while. So swayyy backed off and let me dance with him. The FE put his hands on my hips and said “I couldn’t not dance with you tonight” so we start dancing and we dance the rest of the night. The dance ended at 12:00pm so me and the FE was in the school hall and we are slow dancing to no music just talking and neither of us realized it. Once my Brother Brandon which is one year older than me told me he was ready go I said ok and the FE looked at me and kissed me on my forehead and said goodnight. After that night we would text all the time but something hit me hard. It was like I just started understanding what a Foreign Exchange student was. In my head I was telling my self he would leave and it would hurt to much to let him go because I would never see him again. I started distancing my self from him and we got into a big fight and I didn’t talk to him for four months straight. Time goes by and indoor track is about to end and outdoor is about to begin. He starts trying to talk to me and I would talk to him too. He was my best friend those last few months he was there and we both still loved each other so when he left it hurt like hell. He was the love of my life and six month later I still cry my self to sleep because I know I’ll never see him again. Six month later and I can’t date anyone because my heart is still broken from him leaving. I was in love with a foreign exchange student.... Timo Van Der Linden and there’s nothing I can do about it.
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2019.09.06 23:21 SpitFyre8513 Alabama landlord sold property, but daughter has rent-to-own stipulated in her lease contract

I’m posting for my bonus daughter, as she doesn’t have reddit.
TLDR is the title
My daughter found out today that her landlord sold the property and all rental units on the property (trailer park) to a neighboring park/company. While her lease/RtO agreement states the amount to be paid every month for the residence, as well as the lot rent, there is no agreed upon end date in the contract. This part was scratched out/left blank. There is a payoff amount listed in the contract.
My daughter is worried because there is bad blood between her family and who will be the new landlord. Would the new landlord be able to change anything in the agreed upon terms and/or outright refuse to continue the rent to own part of the agreement? My daughter and her fiancé have put their hard-earned money into fixing up the residence with the hope of buying their own property and living in the residence while they build their “forever home.”
What exactly are her rights in this situation? I do have a copy of the agreement if anything needs clarification.
This residence is located in Scottsboro, AL.
submitted by SpitFyre8513 to legaladvice [link] [comments]


2019.09.06 20:26 Thingstodo919 Things to do in Raleigh this weekend: 9/06/19-9/08/19

FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY


Join the Thingstodo919 events email list here. Doing anything interesting this weekend? Let us know your plans below or discuss in the chat.
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2019.07.22 22:49 DA1414 Is America Racist or was the KKK right about black Americans

Let me begin by saying there are a lot of essays and articles out there that give themselves attention grabbing headlines in order to stand out from the crowd, yet the tone of the actual writing is far less controversial. This is not one of those instances. The title is exactly what this essay is about, either there is a racial bias in America, or the KKK is correct in their assessment of black America and black Americans in general.
Second, I want to stress that this is not an anti-white essay. I grew up in the Midwest in a very conservative, very white area, and I had a great childhood full of great friends and memories. Someone once told me you don’t have to reach across the aisle if you reach across the dinner table, and I’ve seen that first hand. In other words, it is absolutely okay to be white. I’m not writing this to cause racial conflict, but to point out that there are issues that need to be addressed if we are going to have racial progress.
Third, this essay isn’t just for people who already agree with it and nod their head in agreement and the world moves on to the next story. The news cycle moves on, bigotry doesn’t. This is a call to hold our leaders, our influencers, our ruling class, our media, and those who should with the loudest voices accountable and to ask them this question and make them give a real, solid answer devoid of the usually sidesteps. A great many of our leaders get away with going their whole careers without substantially answering these questions, and so they fester and lead to division. It not bringing them to the light that breeds anger, its allowing them to hide in the darkness.
Finally, I am not a scholar. I’m not secretly some famous talking head, celebrity, politician, or activist. I’m a utility worker. I spend my time around people of all colors making it through the day trying to do the best for their families. I just try to listen and learn while I’m alive.
During the 2008 presidential campaigns, coworker and I were talking about the candidates and she asked me, point blank, if there was still racism in America. I was a bit confused by the question and slowly nodded yes. She seemed equally confused by my answer and thought for a moment. She then agreed there were probably a few traces hidden here and there that we couldn’t see. I just told her yeah and moved on.
Flash forward to Pres. Obama’s win, and the words post racial were everywhere, to my disbelief. As if in a literal 24 hour period, a spell was cast that banished all the negative racial animus in the country. I mean, that would have been nice, but I didn’t think it had happened. So I was left a bit confused after that election cycle.
I continued to listen, and I continued to learn.
I do want to add that this essay is not to excuse for bad individual behavior, or as people like to say these days, to absolve personal responsibility. This is a look at the big picture. To centralize the various arguments and to see the forest instead of getting lost in the trees. Once again, please do not view this as an attack on white America, or even an attack on America itself. It is just an observation that there is a problem, and the people who have the greatest power are ignoring it.
In 1915, a movie called Birth of a Nation was released. In short, it painted the Reconstruction south as a not just a failure, but a catastrophe, and the biggest reason for that failure was Black Americans running loose and wreaking havoc across the land. It painted African Americans as subhuman brutes who needed to be stopped by the brave knights, especially before the rape and murder of the local women.
This review of the movie is not just a left wing smear against it for not being politically correct. It was a mass success, and the first movie to ever be shown within the walls of the white house. With its success came drastic consequences. People saw the movie, and believed it to be a true representation of free Black Americans. A preacher by the name of William Joseph Simmons saw the movie and took it as a call to action. He is now considered the father of the modern KKK, and would lead it not just to resurgence, but to membership numbers previously unseen.
Of course, the movie did not create racism. But it is a short hand for the basis of the argument the KKK and other groups have used throughout history to terrorize, harass, and murder black men, women, and children throughout its history of existence. In broad strokes, it painted Black Americans as lazy, violent, and just plain stupid. It may sound less insulting to say intellectually inferior, but the sentiment is supposed to be insulting, so it is best to keep it simple. Just a reminder, this was the movie, I’m not blaming anyone today for its creation.
So, what does that have to do with America today? Let us dive right in to the big question. Is America racist? That’s really three questions in one. Is there racism in America? Is America at its core bias against Black Americans? And, if there is a bias, does it matter?
Let’s start with the multitude of arguments against the existence of systematic racism against Black Americans that are used is daily conversation/comments brawl:
-someone’s white privilege was their hard work
-The Civil Rights movement ended in the 60s, we should get over it
-We live in a capitalist society, and the only color that matters in the end is green
-The soft bigotry of low expectations
-Affirmative Action is racism and bias against whites and Asians
-Everything welfare related, especially that is has led to dependency
-Black families are breaking apart; also, teenage pregnancy is the reason for woes in the black community
-Violence in the inner cities, clearly specifically Chicago
-13/90, which comes up in every comments section featuring black Americans
-Racism would just go away if the people complaining about it would just stop complaining about it
-The US fought a war to end slavery
-Blacks voting Democrat in mass/it is just black America falling for Identity politics
-The real crime against the black community is the genocide of abortion
-This is not an issue that affects the working class (you can substitute real America in there, they seem to be used interchangeably)
-Irish slaves had it worse
-There are black celebrities/millionaires/ a black president
Let’s come back to these various arguments later. First, let’s go back to the questions above. The first question, is there racism in America, is the easiest to answer unfortunately because the answer has been written in blood. Just from 1999 to 2016 the number of hate groups in the country nearly doubled, from 457 to 917, with fatal consequences.
From Dylann Roof to Gregory Bush to James Alex Fields to James Jackson, while every victim from every race is absolutely important and the situation always tragic, these acts of violence show that not only did racism not end, but ignoring it to make it go away is not only fatally naïve, but erases the victims and the lives they lost.
I also want to reiterate that the point of this essay is not to inflame the divisions in our culture and country. Despite the sensational stories of fake crimes that have been in the news, in the last four years especially, we are in the very real peak of a long rise in actual, very real hate crimes with very real victims. The highest numbers in a decade. These aren’t people yelling slurs and hurting people’s feelings, but vandalism, assault, and murder, with 15 individuals being killed last year.
The FBI puts the number at 7,000 incidents last year. The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates the number of hate crimes a year could be closer to 250,000. Even with the more conservative FBI take, that’s 20 hate crimes a day. With about 2 dozens instances of false reports or hoaxes in the last number of years, the numbers bear out that hate crimes are an abundantly increasing problem, and this hate is coming from somewhere.
According to the FBI, about 58 percent of single-bias incidents (which make up the great majority of hate crimes) in 2017 were motivated by race, and around 28 percent of all single-bias incidents were anti-black in particular. Nearly 16 percent were motivated by sexual orientation, and most those incidents targeted gay men.
I included these sobering facts because I have seen so many times people suggesting that the only thing keeping racism alive are people talking about it, specifically people complaining about it. Others claim that we should just accept it, that everyone is racist and it is just a natural in humanity. Racism is not a gland, organ, or tissue that we are born with. It is not part of the air we breathe, nor does it grow in the ground. It is not a naturally occurring; we create it just like we create the monuments we admire. These statistics show that we have been creating it at greater levels the last few years, whether we talk about it or not.
The next question, I believe, is the one that gets to the heart of a vast majority of the disagreement. Does America, as a nation, have a real, tangible bias against African Americans? This is the issue that is argued, almost comically endlessly, back and forth with no side really gaining any ground on the other.
It has proven to be an incredibly inflammatory issue, and this essay is not going to resolve it.
When it comes to wealth there is a massive gap between black and white Americans, and that is when you take individuals with similar background, education, and credentials. The statistics are alarming, but there are some the really stand out and show a problem and a pattern. When you look at black in white males who grow up in the same neighborhood and parents have similar wealth, in 99 percent of America the black male ends up poorer than his white counterpart. 99 percent.
Now, the argument once again goes that the US is a meritocracy, and that the best candidate will be hired. With such an eye-popping statistic though, it leads to the assumption that there is a national epidemic of unqualified black men, considering the sheer scope of the issue. Which falls into the argument that they are either lazy or stupid as an inherent trait. Of course there is the thought that maybe they really are just less qualified and they should have worked harder before applying for the job.
You should know that there is another statistic coming for that argument. When it comes to education for instance, at every level black Americans make significantly less. I will let the economic policy institute spell it out:
"while a college education results in higher wages—both for whites and blacks—it does not eliminate the black-white wage gap. African Americans are still earning less than whites at every level of educational attainment. A recent EPI report, Black-white wage gaps expand with rising wage inequality, shows that this gap persists even after controlling for years of experience, region of the country, and whether one lives in an urban or rural area. In fact, since 1979, the gaps between black and white workers have grown the most among workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher—the most educated workers. More school will certainly increase wages, but education alone is not enough to overcome the effects of racial discrimination in pay."
If fact, blacks with college degrees reported being subjected to racial slurs at a higher rate that blacks without those degrees.
That is of course, if they even get there foot in the door. How many studies are there out there that show that when everything else is controlled, resumes with ethnic sounding names consistently received less callbacks that resumes with “whitened” names.
So, in summary, from the beginning, African Americans with almost the exact same background as their white peers make substantially less in lifetimes earnings almost one hundred percent of the time. If they decide to even the playing field by getting their education, even with more education they still make less. That’s even if they get an interview, because if their parents gave them a black sounding name, that disproportionately affects them more than all of the work they did to put on their resume. Once they get into the career of their white peers, they make less and are promoted less often. Last but not least, they argument that affirmative action is the culprit by putting too many unqualified blacks into schools and jobs they don’t deserve, is actually used more by the white community to get ahead. This isn’t just a few disgruntled black people complaining about life being unfair, this is the norm that has been, and continues to play out across the entire country, every state, from sea to shining sea.
Next, let’s talk about crime. I’m not naïve enough to think I’m going to break some groundbreaking news on the topic of race and the criminal justice system. I also know that people on both sides are aware that it is a topic that has been on and off the national radar for decades. But for the argument, I do want to do a bit of summarizing some of the issues that Black Americans face.
Going to the beginning, traffics stops make an incredibly large percentage of interactions between citizens and law enforcement. Two different studies, one looking at data 20 million traffic stops since 2002 and another looking at 100 million, relative to their population, blacks are between 20-50% more likely to be pulled over by the police, and four times more likely than their white counterparts to be searched for contraband.
The arguments could be made that blacks live in high crime areas, and that skews the results and keep those neighborhoods safer. But of course there’s a catch. Blacks, especially young males, are pulled over more than their white peers when from the same area. The other argument is that police have to do what keeps the streets safe and don’t have time to be politically correct. The counter-argument for that is both illegal firearms and contrabands are found at a higher percentage at traffic stops of white citizens than black citizens, 36% compared to 33% respectively. (22% for Hispanics, just throwing that out there.)
There are of course many factors that play in to these stops, and every state, city, and district is different, but once again, on a national level, the numbers shows something is going on.
Once they are arrested, blacks are 75% more likely to carry a charge than white Americans. One truly alarming statistic within that number is that blacks are far more like to be wrongly convicted of a crime, which is a true miscarriage of justice and a truly frightening situation for a man or woman of any color. For violent crimes, blacks are 50% more likely to be innocent than others who are convicted, three and a half times more likely to be innocent and falsely convicted of sexual assault than whites, and 12 times more likely to be convicted of false drug charges than whites. The Central Park Five, Ed Johnson, and the Scottsboro Boys are famous examples. Then there’s this:
‘”Since 1989, more than 1,800 defendants have been cleared in “group exonerations” that followed 15 large-scale police scandals in which officers systematically framed innocent defendants. The overwhelming majority were African-American defendants framed for drug crimes that never occurred.” Race and Wrongful Convictions in the United States
Once in custody, blacks are not only assigned monetary bail amounts at a greater percentage than whites, but the bail amounts per similar crimes in routinely higher to the tune of between $7,000-9000. Which is something since we just covered that black Americans generally makes far less money than white Americans. This also leads to a disproportionate amount of African Americans being incarcerated before even being convicted of any crime, which lead to terrible situations like that of 16 year old Kaleif Brown who committed suicide after spending 3 years in Rikers Island for the accusation of stealing a backpack.
Multiple studies, eyewitness accounts, and records show what happens next. African Americans not only are found guilty at a higher rate than white Americans, they are routinely given longer sentences for similar crimes when accounted for similar backgrounds. This is including capital punishment, as blacks are given the death penalty at a higher rate than white Americans.
One argument could be that it is to protect blacks and be a deterrent to black on black crime. Two things, blacks are still more likely to be found guilty of a crime they did not commit and secondly, crimes in which a white individual was killed had a statistically higher chance of the death penalty being applied then when the murder victim was black.
So, black are stopped more even though whites have a greater chance of having illegal items, they are charged more for bail even though they have less money, given longer sentences even though they have a higher chance of being falsely convicted, and given the death penalty more unless the victim of the crime was a fellow African American.
So there is a problem. A very real, clear issue that is not in the imagination of so called social justice warriors. There is an imbalance that is playing out on a nationwide scale. The first step in solving a problem is identifying that there is one, and right now America has not decided if there is an issue or not. Well, there is an issue.
Those are a lot of statistics and specific scenarios but I wanted to drive home the point the when blacks do actually go to school, go to college, stay out of trouble, come from similar backgrounds and do everything society tells us all to do to get ahead in this life, they are routinely given far, far less as a reward at a truly alarming rate. When they do something wrong and get in trouble, they are punished far, far more harshly. They even have a greater chance at being punished even if they never did anything wrong at all simply based on the color of their skin.
There a countless essays, books, lectures, and great content that deal with all of these issues and more, and they do need to be addressed. This essay, though, brought all of that up for one reason, so the people in charge and the voices speaking the loudest can answer one question. Is all of these imbalances happening consistently all across the nation the fault of a bias in American society, or was the KKK right and blacks are inherently low IQ, violent, and lazy? In fact, let us now go back to the earlier common arguments and see how they fit into this view.
-The Civil Rights movement ended in the 60s, we should get over it: Black people are lazy/low IQ. Most Americans, almost 66%, had a negative opinion of Martin Luther King Jr. before his death. America was still weary of the Civil Rights Movement and Nixon even ran a Law and Order campaign against it.
-We live in a capitalist society, and the only color that matters in the end is green: Black people are lazy/low IQ. This ignores business discrimination from almost the beginning of the Nation, through Jim Crow Laws, and towards business these days who won’t serve Minorities or the LBGTQIA community
-The soft bigotry of low expectations: Blacks are lazy/low IQ. Usually a phrase used to ignore a problem. If a chemical plant known to cause cancer opens up near a city and cancer rates rise, it’s a good chance you should start looking at the plant. If there are laws that seem like they are designed to target minorities and once implemented disproportionately affect minorities, maybe you should look at the laws.
-Affirmative Action is racism and bias against whites and Asians: Blacks and lazy/low IQ. The biggest beneficiaries of Affirmative Action are white women, not African Americans. You can look that one up.
-Everything welfare related, especially that is has led to dependency: Blacks are lazy. This is not going to be an essay that bashes the poor. So two things, 18% of blacks make up the welfare pool as opposed to 43% whites. Blacks may be over represented but the wage numbers play a role in the national picture.
-Black families are breaking apart; also, teenage pregnancy is the reason for woes in the black community: Blacks are lazy. First, this ignores the facts that show black families make far less than white Americans when their family stays intact. Secondly, minority teenage birth rates have been dropping continuously for the last two decades.
-Violence in the inner cities, clearly specifically Chicago: Blacks are violent. Only a third of black Americans even live in ANY city, let alone inner cities. They have issues that do not have anything to do with what is happening in the inner city.
-13/90, which comes up in every comments section featuring black Americans: Blacks are violent. An exaggerated statistic that equates every black American with violence. Also, over 80% of violent crimes against white Americans are committed by fellow white Americans, since a vast majority of violent crimes are committed by people who knew their victim.
-Racism would just go away if the people complaining about it would just stop complaining about it. Blacks are lazy/low IQ. The number of hate groups and hate crimes exploded in the late 2000s. Bigotry is a sickness. Ignoring doesn’t make it go away; it gives it room to grow.
-The US fought a war to end slavery: Blacks are all of the above. The US was fighting against the US. Those feelings didn’t just disappear after the war was over. Which is why that KKK, Jim Crow Laws, and States Rights became things afterwards.
-Blacks voting Democrat in mass/it is just black America falling for Identity politics: Blacks are low IQ. Most people point to the southern strategy and Barry Goldwater, but that ignores the Black community of today, which politicians and the media are both guilty of because it is taken for granted. Instead of just viewing black Americans as a hive mind, as the Blexit and all the “Get off the democrat plantation” and “Wake up” movements have done, maybe ask why blacks generally view an entire political party as being against their interests.
-The real crime against the black community is the genocide of abortion: Blacks are low IQ. Abortion is a whole issue in itself, but America does ignore the fact that black mothers are 3-4 times as likely to die in childbirth as white mothers. More care and attention to mothers before and after birth may be good for the babies as well.
-This is not an issue that affects the working class (you can substitute real America in there, they seem to be used interchangeably): Blacks are all of the above. Also, believe it or not, black Americans are in the working class. This argument also assumes that black culture is not American culture but a culture apart from it. This leads to blacks instead of being considered default Americans, being seen as an “other” group.
-Irish Slaves had it worse: Blacks are lazy. This was a popular saying in the secessionist south as a way to delegitimize was African Americans were going through during slavery and the civil war. No group deserves to be oppressed, but it was used as a weapon to pit one group against another.
-There are black celebrities/millionaires/ a black president: Blacks are lazy. There were blacks who were world famous, rich, acclaimed, and in power during Slavery, the Civil War, the Reconstruction period, the national rise of the KKK, The creation of the Jim Crow south, and the Civil Rights movement. Just because there were African Americans who were able to accomplish and earn a great in America didn’t mean there were no racial issues. A billionaire leader recently said he was the avatar of anger for the lower classes. Being well of doesn’t mean you should ignore what is happening in the rest of the world.
So now it is time to answer the last question. If there is a bias, does it matter?
Black Americans are dying. There is violence happening at greater frequencies, and white supremacists are attacking multiple groups as their hatred and reach grows. These acts of violence mentioned earlier did not happen in a vacuum. They were radicalized, and just as a mainstream, critically acclaimed movie radicalized men to commit heinous acts of violence against their fellow citizens, there is an entire hate industry online that creates killers. These websites paint a picture of minorities as a threat to society, civilization itself.
If this country silently accepts that there is a fatal flaw in Black Americans, then it fuels the propaganda and recruitment. Hate doesn’t naturally have to exist in the fringes; it can be celebrated by the masses at large. A lesson learned by many nations throughout human history. If it has happen multiple times before, there is no objective reason to believe it just naturally met its expiration date because of our Gregorian calendar.
That is why it is important to actually put in work in finally getting to the root of the problem. It has real life, tangible consequences. Putting it in the background has only helped the people who would never be affected by it. Talking around it has only helped the people who get paid to continue to argue about it. The news, politicians, and even us citizens acting like it is just the natural order of things will continue to let the problem exist well past our lifetimes and the lifetimes of our grandchildren.
Once again, if it is not racism, we need the people who have decided to have the loudest microphones and the greatest influence to tell us what they think it is, and the solutions to solve it. There will be a lot of talking around it, ignoring it, and of course the use of false statistics. But if we as a nation are as serious as we say we are every MLK day, it is time for the straight talk.
People say that hate crime data is unreliable, microaggresions aren’t real or they are exaggerated, that black anger is just fed from a biased news cycle and we are sheep being led to slaughter. But that ignores our own voices, our experiences, the evidence our communities have tried to show the world. Social media has given black anger over injustice a voice and a platform for the citizens themselves.
You can dismiss them; there is no law that says you have to believe what you hear. But to dismiss so many black voices saying the same thing is to label them liars, or blacks en masse are too lazy to pick ourselves up, or too stupid to see through being duped in ways no other race is.
If this essay achieves “viral” fame, I think that’s the popular term these days, there off course will be many people who will either twist the words of the essay, pick out single parts and use one controversial stat or sentence to ignore the entire thing, or the favorite, distract with other issues. Inner city violence is always a go to. So is abortion in the black community.
Just to reiterate, the whole point of the essay is to cut through the clutter and finally get to the big questions and make some progress by actually getting a firm take from our not only our leaders, but the loudest voices out there. Real progress is only going to come by getting real answers, and the ones who dodge and go back to talking in circles have no interests in finally putting it out on the table.
There are also those who would say that this essay comes at a particularly bad time. As if there has been a great time in American history to have a national discussion on race. They see anger on both sides and see extremism taking over the country. Both sides just need to come together in the middle and see they have more in common than what separates us. When looking at the people harassed, attacked, and killed by white supremacy, those are positions of privilege the victims were not afforded, and while you may not be a part of the problem, you are certainly not making yourself part of the solution.
This essay is not meant to trivialize or erase the trials and tribulations of any other group. I certainly don’t want to minimize the struggles anyone is going through on a day to day basis. Women, other people of color, women of color, the LBGTIA community, and many other groups have unique problems that need to be addressed. There is a common defense that it is okay to be white, and I will agree. This isn’t an attack on white men. Between the financial crisis and the opioid epidemic along with the laundry list of terrible events and misfortune that can happen to anyone, everyone has their own battle going on.
So, of course that brings the final question. If it is systematic, institutional, embedded racism in the national DNA, what are we supposed to do about it? That is a question that has a multitude of answers, and those answers will come from all segments of society. But the only way to get to real answers is to accept that there is a real problem. The whole point of this essay was to show that there is a real issue, and it is not passive or dying down. We have all the evidence of the symptoms; we just finally need to diagnose the problem.
submitted by DA1414 to u/DA1414 [link] [comments]


2019.05.09 22:08 Stiix72 I want to get an idea of a build for later.

What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.
Gaming, playing high end games like fallout 4... Can't think of any other examples at the moment...
What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?
$3000-$3500 USD, flexible.
When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.
I just want to kinda know what the pc would be like, I'll no doubt make another post in about 8 months when I have the money.
What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc)
Tower, Windows 7(Probably have a windows 7 disk lying around somewhere but please list it as well.), keyboard, mouse, speakers.
Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?
United States, Alabama, Scottsboro, I have no idea where or what a microcenter is.
If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.
I have two monitors right now, I'll be taking the good one for the new pc and using the old setup as a gaming PC for any siblings who want to hang out or for myself to watch movies on.
Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?
As with most people, I have a fear of overclocking stemming from temperature regulation. It seems like whenever I run a mid-sized game the temperature goes up to 150-160, and I've had my graphics card melted and replaced under warranty several times. I'd like the option to, but if it saves $150 or more, then I'll pass.
Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)
A big SSD, I saw someone recommend a One-Terrabyte SSD for $500, I think it'd be worth it. No idea what a RAID setup is, but I'd like to know.
Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?
Not really, but see-through cases are cool.
Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?
I've used windows XP, 7, 8, and 10. I prefer 7.
I suppose the most important things are high framerate with high-very high graphics in most games and keeping the temperature down. Is NVidia any good for the price?
submitted by Stiix72 to buildapcforme [link] [comments]


2019.03.30 14:41 assessment_bot [ Non-Fatal ] [ 02/28/2019 ] SIKORSKY HH-60L, TULLAHOMA/ TN

On February 28, 2019, about 1500 central standard time, a Sikorsky HH-60L, N260MW, was substantially damaged when it struck trees and terrain in Tullahoma, Tennessee. The two commercial pilots received serious injuries. The ferry flight departed the Scottsboro Municipal Airport (4A6), Scottsboro, Alabama, at an unknown time, destined for the Tullahoma Regional Airport (THA), Tullahoma, Tennessee, and was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site, and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed.
According to the ferry permit application, the purpose of the flight was to reposition the helicopter for maintenance and inspection. The special airworthiness certificate and ferry flight permit were issued for the flight from Enterprise Municipal Airport (EDN), Enterprise, Alabama, to THA, which included a restriction for visual flight rules operation.
According to the pilot-in-command, the crew departed EDN earlier that morning, destined for THA. They had stopped at 4A6, which was about 42 miles from the destination, for fuel and lunch. He recalled that the weather at that time appeared to be clear. They departed from 4A6 with no issues. While enroute to THA, the pilot recalled that they had encountered weather and were attempting to turn around when the accident occurred. He said there were no problems or issues with the helicopter. He did not recall any further details about the accident sequence.
A witness located about one-half nautical mile from the accident site was outside her home when she heard the sound of a helicopter nearby. She could not see the helicopter due to the clouds, and she noted that it was raining lightly at the time. She said the helicopter sounded "really loud and low, as if it were trying to land behind her house." She heard the helicopter for about 30 seconds before hearing a loud "whump whump" sound followed by a loud boom.
Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)inspector revealed that all major components of the helicopter were present at the accident site. The fuselage came to rest on its left side and nearly inverted, at the edge of a wooded area. The majority of the tailboom was in an adjacent tree about 30 feet above the ground. The main rotor blades were all separated from the hub, fragmented, and strewn across an area about 100 yards in diameter.
Both the pilot and the copilot held commercial rotorcraft certificates with instrument ratings, and both held type ratings for the accident helicopter make and model. The pilot was issued an FAA second-class medical certificate on August 1, 2018, at which time he reported 6,300 hours of total flight experience. The copilot was issued an FAA second-class medical certificate on March 3, 2018, at which time he reported 6,800 hours of total flight experience.
The 1455 weather conditions reported at the THA, located about 2.5 nautical miles northeast of the accident site at an elevation of 1,084 ft mean sea level (MSL), included an overcast cloud ceiling at 300 ft above ground level (AGL), visibility 2.5 (statute) miles in mist, temperature 13 C, dew point 12 C. The visibility had reduced to 1 mile at the next recorded observation at 1515. A review of the graphical aviation forecast issued by the National Weather Service at 1302 revealed that overcast skies were expected in the area around the time of the accident with cloud bases at 1,100 ft MSL and tops at 9,000 ft MSL. Two airmen's meteorological information advisories were issued at 1200 and 1500, warning of instrument meteorological conditions expected in the area of the accident.
Category Data Category Data Category Data
Event Id: 20190228X71730 Investigation Type: Accident Accident Number: ERA19TA110
Event Date: 02/28/2019 Location: TULLAHOMA, TN Country: United States
Latitude: 35.345833 Longitude: -86.270278 Airport Code: THA
Airport Name: Tullahoma Rgnl Arpt/Wm Norther Injury Severity: Non-Fatal Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Aircraft Category: Helicopter Registration Number: N260MW Make: SIKORSKY
Model: HH-60L Amateur Built: No Number of Engines: 2
Engine Type: Turbo Shaft FAR Description: Part 91: General Aviation Schedule:
Purpose of Flight: Ferry Air Carrier: Total Fatal Injuries:
Total Serious Injuries: 2 Total Minor Injuries: Total Uninjured:
Weather Condition: IMC Broad Phase of Flight: CRUISE Report Status: Preliminary
Publication Date: 03/28/2019
http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20190228X71730
submitted by assessment_bot to NTSB_database [link] [comments]


2019.02.11 16:55 GiversBot /u/swayzee2301 [COMPLETED] was deleted from /r/borrow on 2019-02-11 (t3_am8tei up 9.64 days, ACCOUNT DELETE/SHADOWBAN)

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[REQ] ($100) - (#Scottsboro, Al, USA), ($135 on 2/8/2019), (PayPal or Venmo)

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Needing to pay car insurance to keep from getting canceled. Have Facebook. Have paycheck stub showing amount earned each week and date paid. Willing to provide any information needed to assure lender they will be paid back in full and on time. Trying my hardest to not do a payday loan. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Just discovered this subreddit and think it’s pretty awesome that the reddit community helps take care of one another!
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2018.10.27 04:19 Bjorn2bwilde24 Metoo will lead to an increase in African American Men being jailed because of their race.

Metoo. A movement that started out to bring to light past sexual assaults and rapes that happened years ago. This movement lead to a major change in how sexual assault, rape, and power dynamics are viewed by the media and the public. But sadly one of the few things that gets swept under the rug is the use of metoo to get revenge on individuals for multitude of reasons (bad date, regrettable sex, rejection, etc). In this movement that wants people to "believe survivors" or at the very least take sexual assault/rape more seriously, I can think of one group that stands to lose much from: African American Men.
African Americans have made tremendous gains in the US from the right to vote to becoming President. Yet, there are still racial discrimination in key areas of society. One of the biggest areas is the justice system, where African Americans are more likely to be punished and be punished more severely then other groups. And if an African American man was to rape, assault, or even just whistle at a white women, he would be jailed or worse killed. The Scottsboro Boys, Emmett Till, Tom Robinson in To Kill A Mockingbird, to name a few. African American Men who were accused and convicted of harassing white women just because of the color of their skin and racial prejudice. A huge injustice
Now in the Metoo era where a sexual assault/rape accusation can destroy a man's life and reputation regardless of guilt. I can only wonder if the racial problems in American will end up using Metoo to destroy the lives of African American Men, whether intentional because of racism or unintentional because we are to "believe accusers." An unforseen consequence that is perhaps overlooked or perhaps because we naively believe racism won't rear it's ugly face into this movement. Time will tell, but for African American Men, it should be a frightening thought.
submitted by Bjorn2bwilde24 to unpopularopinion [link] [comments]


2018.10.19 12:49 chellperry Coal Creek Bridge ch 1

"Holy hell!"
Dani Braden nearly ran a stoplight when her cell phone screamed to life with the opening "Ai, ai, ai!" of Ozzy Osbourne’s "Crazy Train."
Lex, the young DJ interning with her this summer, had gently told her after his second week on the job that it was dorky for an alt-rock jock to have a Nick Jonas ringtone. He’d taken it upon himself to periodically change it for her ever since. He must’ve done it this morning before her big pow-wow with Trent.
"Sorry, Lex," she said under her breath. "My nerves can’t take it today." She flipped the phone to vibrate and checked the Caller ID before answering. "Hey, Maddie. What’s going on?"
"You tell me," her sister said. "I called the station looking for you and was transferred to your boss. He said you were off this week. What gives? You took your vacation last month."
Dani hesitated, wondering how much she should tell her. Maddie would freak. Before she could decide, Maddie said, "It’s that Henry guy, isn’t it? What did he do this time?"
Cradling the phone with her shoulder and chewing an already ragged silver thumbnail, Dani said, "Death threat."
"What?" Maddie screeched.
The panic in Maddie’s voice made Dani feel guilty. She should’ve kept her big yap shut.
"It’s all right, Mad. He was just pissed that I didn’t show for his last dinner invite, so he called the station and gave me an earful."
"What exactly did he say?"
"Ah, I don’t remember. Some off-the-wall crap, but Trent freaked, told me to go see the cops, then lay low for a few days."
"Did you? See the cops, I mean."
"Yeah, and a judge. I got a restraining order. No big deal. That’ll probably scare him off," Dani said, with more conviction than she felt. "After I finished there, I stopped by the mall to pick up those strappy black wedges I told you about—"
"You went to the mall?" Horror pitched Maddie’s voice an octave higher.
"I’m not going into hiding, Mad. I didn’t do anything wrong."
"I know you didn’t, but that doesn’t matter. This guy is crazy. Who knows what he’ll try."
Almost Trent’s words verbatim. Admittedly, her manager’s reaction had unnerved her. Trent was usually the most laid back boss on the planet, never blinking when she showed up for the early weekend shift in Tinkerbell pajamas and flip flops, but this Henry Matthews deal had thrown him for a loop. Despite her pleading, he’d told her in no uncertain terms to stay away from the station for at least a week. The ‘at least’ part bothered her. She needed this job. She loved this job. And she’d be damned if—
"Dani, are you even listening to me?"
"Sure. Look, I promise to be careful. I’m keeping an eye out."
"Will you come stay with me for a few days?"
"A friend’s already asked."
Maddie paused. "Really?"
"Really."
She didn’t tell Maddie that the friend was Lex, and that she had no intention of taking him up on his offer. Lex was nineteen and lived in a tiny room over his parents’ garage. If Henry did come after her, there was no way she was going to put her family and friends in his path as well. Plus, she’d seen the inside of Lex’s car and she didn’t even want to think about what his apartment looked like.
"So, you’re really okay?"
"Fo’ Shizzle."
"What does that mean?"
Dani grinned and adjusted her sunglasses in the rearview. "I’m okay. I’m better than okay. I’m cool as the other side of the pillow."
Maddie giggled, and something occurred to Dani. "Wait! Why were you looking for me?"
Despite Dani’s constant reassurances that it was okay, Maddie seldom called her at work.
"Oh, I wanted to tell you to wish Poppy a Happy Birthday on the air."
Dani chuckled. "You really think an old guy like Poppy rocks out to my station while eating his Cream of Wheat?"
"Wouldn’t doubt it. You know you’re his favorite."
They both laughed, because she did know it. He was her favorite too. She loved that old man every bit as much as he loved her. She glanced at the present on the seat beside her. Man, she couldn’t wait to see his face when he opened it.
"Are you going to see him? I’m almost there now," Dani said, and checked her rearview mirror for the thousandth time. No red Mustang. No Weird Henry. She didn’t really think he was following her, and even if he were, she didn’t think he’d try anything at the retirement village—too many people around—but she couldn’t help but be on the lookout. Earlier at the mall, she’d felt uneasy, conspicuous and vulnerable even in the throng of Friday morning shoppers.
Being a scaredy cat sucked.
"Can’t make it today. Ty’s got that virus that’s going around. It’s practically wiped out his class, so I knew we were in for it when he got off the bus yesterday and I saw how flushed his face was.”
“Oh, poor thing. Anything you need? I can run by the store or pharmacy for you.”
“Nah, just give Poppy a kiss for me. I called and told him I’ll be by to visit as soon as I can. As for you … take care of yourself, Sis. I’ll give you a call on your cell tonight."
Dani hung up and checked the rearview again. What a mess her life had become in the past few weeks. Hard to believe this had started over a couple of Chris Cornell tickets. Henry Matthews had been the seventh caller on a WZYX Winning Weekend and had inexplicably become obsessed with her after coming by the station to pick the tickets up.
Okay, so she knew she wasn’t a dog, but come on … He’d caught her in all her usual Saturday morning glory, sans makeup and sporting a haphazard ponytail. To beat it all, he’d been introduced to her by Missy, a flashy redheaded receptionist with double Ds who looked like an extra in an Aerosmith video. Generally, Dani couldn’t have gotten a man’s attention with a bazooka and a tambourine band when Missy was around, but apparently ole Henry had been coming off the rails of the crazy train. He’d asked her if she wanted to go to the concert with him. She’d politely declined. This had led to a barrage of follow-up invitations, gifts and phone calls. Things had escalated to the point where she couldn’t even play I am the Highway over the air because Henry thought she was sending him secret messages. That reeked because, dammit, she loved Chris Cornell.
In downtown Scottsboro, Dani turned at the light and entered the gates of Sunnydale Retirement Village. She parked her truck and grabbed the boxes from seat beside her. She smiled and called out a greeting to Mr. Jarvis, who was creeping down the sidewalk with his walker, then she casually tucked the smaller package under her arm before stepping through the automatic doors.
La, la, la, la, don’t look at me, she thought, as she passed the nurses’ desk. If she’d been a cartoon character, she’d have been staring at the sky and whistling. She felt somewhat guilty, but hey … diet schmiet. On his hundredth birthday, a man had a right to a little butter cream icing.
She slipped in her great-grandfather’s room and gently shut the door behind her. He sat by the window with his eyes closed, face upturned in the morning sun. As she drew nearer, she heard his soft snoring.
"Bless your heart," she whispered in a rush of affection. She caressed the papery skin on his hand and was backing to the chair by his bedside when his eyes fluttered open.
"Lily!" he said breathlessly.
"No, Poppy. It’s me, Dani."
For an instant, disappointment flickered in his eyes, but Dani didn’t take it personally. All her life, he’d spoken of her uncanny resemblance to his late sister, a woman who’d died over half a century before Dani was born. Maybe that was the reason he’d always doted on her. It didn’t matter much. This man had shown her more love and kindness than anyone else in her life, including her parents.
He blinked and gave her a sleepy smile. "Dani! I’m sorry, hon. How’s the world is treating my favorite girl?"
"Just fine," she lied, leaning to brush a kiss on his wrinkled cheek. "Happy Birthday, Poppy!"
She whipped open the box to reveal the two cupcakes inside and giggled at his gleeful expression. He was like her, a sugar fiend.
"Shhhh!" He grinned. "If Nurse Winnie catches us with these—"
"I know …" Dani made a face of mock horror. "It’s both our asses."
Rummaging through her pocketbook, she extracted the disposable lighter and a yellow candle.
"You’ll set off the smoke alarm," he chided, but his eyes were twinkling. "Hurry!"
"Yeah, yeah. Men are so impatient." She stuck the candle in the cupcake and tried to get the lighter to strike.
On the fourth try, the flame caught and held. Lighting the candle, she said, "Make a wish. And make it good. Number one hundred has to count for something."
He furrowed his brow, closed his eyes and blew it out.
"Yay!" She grinned and clapped her hands softly. "Now dispose of the evidence."
They demolished the cupcakes in seconds, then laughed at each other.
"Umm, hey," he said, smacking his lips. "That was great. But I thought those things came in six packs, or dozens … or something."
"Don’t push it, old man. They’ve had you on the blech diet so long, I’m scared you’ll go into sugar shock on me any second."
He pretended to quiver.
"I got you something else too." She rummaged through her purse and extracted a slim silver box. As he opened the lid, she said, "Well, I didn’t really get it, but—"
He exhaled and lifted the pocket watch from the black velvet lining. The watch smith had not only fixed the timepiece, but polished it to a gleaming pale gold. From the date inscribed on the back of it, it was at least 75 years old, but it looked new.
"My brother and sister gave me this on my 19th birthday," he said, his eyes misting. "I didn’t know what had happened to it."
"Dad found it in the attic a couple of months ago, after you moved here." She didn’t tell him that she’d had to rescue it from the trash. "It’s taken me this long to find someone who could fix it."
He flipped it over and smiled at the inscription on the back.
For Jimmy Blue Eyes, Love Lily & Duane
"Has Dad called today?" she asked, perching on the edge of his bed.
"No, but I know he’s been busy lately. Maddie called, though."
Dani felt a flash of anger at her father. She didn’t know why he didn’t give Poppy more of his time. Poppy had raised him after his father, Poppy’s only son, had been killed in World War II.
"Would you like to get out of here for awhile?" she asked. "We could go to a movie or maybe go to the park … hey, I know. The marquee at the mall advertised that the senior exercise class is having a mall walk today." She wagged her eyebrows. "You could check out the chicks."
He laughed. "Not the mall walkers. I can’t keep up with them."
"Wanna come home with me for the weekend? We could go back to my apartment and eat S’mores until we lay in the floor twitching."
"I love you," he said suddenly, fervently, and Dani felt tears spring to her eyes. She squeezed his hand.
"I love you too."
He cleared his throat. "There is somewhere I’d like to go … if you have the time."
"You bet I do. Name the place."
"Home," he said simply.
She looked at him, confused. "But Poppy … your old house is gone now."
"Not that home. The old home place in Tennessee, where I grew up. ‘Course, it could be gone by now too, but I’d sure like to see it one more time before I die."
"Poppy, don’t—"
"Now, girl. It’s gotta happen sometime. I’m closer to dust than diapers these days." He winced. "At least, I hope."
Dani laughed. "Okay, daylight’s a-wastin, cowboy. Let’s blow this Popsicle stand."
After a twenty minute lecture from the head nurse, they were on their way.
“Now, young lady,” Dani said in a mock stern voice. “The staff and residents have gone through a lot of trouble to prepare a birthday celebration …” She paused. “You sure you want to miss your party, Poppy?”
“Party!” he scoffed. “A lopsided cake with artificial sweetener and a bunch of old geezers like me, singing ‘Happy Birthday’—except for Melvin, who always sings ‘God Save the Queen.’ ”
“Wonder what Winnie the Shrew will do when we’re not back by lunch time?" Dani asked, as she helped him into her truck.
Poppy grinned. "Call out the National Guard, probably."
"Scottsboro to Gruetli-Laager will probably take us—what, an hour and a half, two hours each way?"
"Something like that. And it doesn’t matter about Winnie. I’m on her short-list anyway."
Dani saw the mischief in his eyes and glanced Heavenward. "What did you do to her this time?"
"Tell you after you get me out of this godforsaken place."
Dani saluted him and hurried around her side of the truck. After they were safely through them main gate, he said, "You know those cashews you sent me a couple of times, the big ones? I love those things. About the only good thing they let me have on this stupid diet. Anyway, I kept them in a bowl by the bed. Every time she’d come in to check my vitals, she’d grab a handful of them. Drove me crazy. That’s what was sending my blood pressure through the roof, and she knew it. I thought about hiding them from her, but then I thought, ‘What am I, a squirrel?’"
Dani giggled, and he winked. "She cleaned me out yesterday, then had the gall to say, ‘Oops, sorry. Maybe she’ll bring you some more.’ I told her it wasn’t a big deal, that since I’d lost my teeth, all I could do was suck the chocolate off them anyway. She turned three shades of green."
Dani howled with laughter. "Poppy, you are a baaaad man!" she gasped, once she managed to catch her breath.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw his countenance change. His smile disappeared and his eyes filled with tears. "If you only knew," he said, his voice scarcely more than a whisper.
Alarmed, she reached over to take his hand. "Poppy, what’s wrong?"
"If you knew how bad I was, you wouldn’t love me anymore."
The conviction in his voice spooked her. Whatever this was about, he was serious.
"Get this straight, old man: there is nothing—absolutely nothing—you could ever do to make me stop loving you."
"I’m gonna tell you something, girl, something I never told no one." His Tennessee accent, already thick, deepened when he was upset. "Your great-grandma knew, but she never said nothing either. We just didn’t talk about it. Sometimes I think that’s why the Good Lord has let me live as long as I have, so I’d have plenty of time to think about what I’ve done."
A sense of foreboding fell over the truck. It took some effort for Dani to speak. "What did you do, Poppy?"
His rheumy eyes met hers. "I killed my brother and sister."
For the second time that morning, Dani nearly ran a stoplight.
submitted by chellperry to u/chellperry [link] [comments]


2018.10.05 22:58 mreowbox This weekend events in Huntsvill! (10/05 - 10/07)

Good Afternoon Everyone!
Per request I will be posting a weekly, weekend or monthly schedule of events for our city. I gather this information for work purposes but gladly have posted it here since this is a simple copy and paste from me!
If anyone wants links to event details let me know and I can attach that for future list and just pull that with my research from work.
Edit: omg! u/wepo thank you for the gold! T.T
Edit 2: update me bot now will send subscriptions for this sub! To use the bot: You can send a message to UpdateMeBot with the subject: Update
Type out: SubscribeMe! HuntsvilleAlabama u/mreowbox
Then Everytime I make a post (like the event ones) in this sub you will get a message for the post :)

OCTOBER 5TH 2018

OCTOBER 6TH 2018

OCTOBER 7TH 2018

submitted by mreowbox to HuntsvilleAlabama [link] [comments]


2018.09.24 09:03 JoannaJKelly [Kindle] Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll

[Kindle] Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll

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Details of Book
Author : Jen Doll
ISBN : B078X1SWCQ
Number of pages : 384 pages
Editor : Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Date of Publication : September 18th 2018

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2018.05.21 13:19 FinnagainsAwake Sexe, contrôle et répression sur les campus Projet de loi 151 : Gouvernement, hors des activités sexuelles consentantes ! - République ouvrière nº 2 - Printemps/été 2018

https://archive.li/t2KWz
République ouvrière nº 2 Printemps/été 2018
Sexe, contrôle et répression sur les campus
Projet de loi 151 : Gouvernement, hors des activités sexuelles consentantes !
(Femmes et Révolution)
Nous réimprimons la traduction d’un article écrit par nos camarades américains du journal Workers Vanguard, paru dans le no 1121 (3 novembre 2017). Il s’agit d’une critique du récent livre de l’universitaire américaine Laura Kipnis, qui se décrit comme une féministe de gauche. Kipnis a pris position publiquement contre l’interdiction des relations entre professeurs et étudiants et s’est opposée au climat anti-sexe qui règne de plus en plus sur les campus universitaires américains.
Depuis la présidence d’Obama, un nombre important de régulations sont venues encadrer ou interdire les relations sexuelles consentantes sur les campus via le Title IX (Titre IX). Le Titre IX est une politique adoptée dans les années 1970, en réponse à des luttes sociales, entre autres pour interdire la discrimination de genre dans le financement public des universités. Mais au cours des dernières décennies, le Titre IX s’est vu confier un usage plus vaste, en s’attaquant notamment à un large éventail de comportements sexuels jugés « inappropriés » et en forçant les écoles à « répondre et remédier aux environnements d’éducation hostiles ». En 2011, l’administration Obama s’est lancée dans une interprétation zélée de ces lignes directrices, tout en leur conférant une définition de violence sexuelle si large qu’elles mettent les agressions et tout ce qui est jugé comme une conduite sexuelle inopportune, y compris des remarques ou commentaires, sur le même plan.
République ouvrière a choisi de réimprimer cet article puisque le gouvernement libéral du Québec vient d’adopter, en décembre dernier, son projet de loi 151, qui prétend s’attaquer aux violences sexuelles sur les campus. Mais sous le prétexte de contrer ces manifestations brutales de l’oppression des femmes, ce projet de loi vise en réalité à rendre impossibles les relations sexuelles consentantes entre professeurs et étudiants, via des « codes de conduite » qui seront mis en place dans chaque établissement. Les prétentions de l’État capitaliste à vouloir « protéger les femmes » avec ses lois sont hypocrites et frauduleuses. C’est ce même État qui s’est attaqué aux femmes musulmanes avec la loi 62 raciste interdisant la réception de services publics pour les femmes au visage voilé. C’est aussi cet État qui fait des coupes d’austérité massives dans les garderies. Et ce sont les flics de l’État qui agressent et persécutent les femmes autochtones, comme les révélations récentes à Val-d’Or l’ont montré de façon révoltante. La réalité est que l’État bourgeois et ses administrations scolaires, qui veulent maintenant contrôler la sexualité sur les campus, ont pour rôle de maintenir et de renforcer ce système violent, répressif et anti-femmes.
Cela n’a pas empêché l’Union étudiante du Québec et la Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec de critiquer le projet de loi en disant qu’il n’allait pas assez loin ! Celles-ci réclament carrément une interdiction légale de toute relation amoureuse entre professeurs et étudiants. En tant que marxistes, nous nous opposons au projet de loi 151 ainsi qu’à tous les efforts de l’État et de ses administrations scolaires à vouloir réguler ou interdire des relations sexuelles consentantes. Notre principe dans toute relation est le consentement effectif, c’est-à-dire l’accord et la compréhension mutuelle, peu importe l’âge, le genre ou la « situation d’autorité » des personnes impliquées.
Tout comme la nouvelle application du Titre IX dénoncée par Kipnis, la définition dans le projet de loi 151 de « violence à caractère sexuel » est très large. Elle met dans la même catégorie des crimes comme le viol, ainsi que des « paroles » ou « attitudes à connotation sexuelle non désirée ». De plus, les « codes de conduite » prévus par le projet de loi 151 incluent aussi tout un lot de mesures visant à enrégimenter la sexualité sur les campus comme l’encadrement des « activités sociales ou d’accueil » et l’ajout de « mesures de sécurité » supplémentaires, ce qui ouvre la porte à davantage de flics et d’agents de sécurité.
Ce projet de loi ne changera rien à l’oppression brutale des femmes, qui est enracinée dans les fondements du système capitaliste et de la famille, et appuyée ici par des siècles de répression de l’Église catholique archi-réactionnaire. Ce projet de loi ne fera que renforcer l’arsenal répressif de l’État bourgeois, s’immiscer dans les relations privées et créer un climat de conformisme social étouffant. Gouvernement et administrations scolaires, hors des activités sexuelles consentantes !
Unwanted Advances
Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus
Une critique
Le spectre du sexe hante-t-il les campus ? Sous prétexte de cibler le harcèlement et les agressions sexuelles, les administrations universitaires ont créé un climat de peur et imposé des valeurs néo-victoriennes. Comme le soutient le livre récent Unwanted Advances — Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus [Avances non désirées — La paranoïa sexuelle envahit les campus] (HarperCollins Publishers, avril 2017), « non seulement les nouveaux codes des campus n’empêchent pas les rapports sexuels non consensuels, mais ils les produisent ». Rédigé par Laura Kipnis, professeure de l’Université Northwestern et qui se définit comme une féministe de gauche, le livre expose les définitions considérablement élargies de l’agression sexuelle, qui criminalisent tout, des relations ivres à la romance entre professeurs et étudiants, et permettent même que le consentement soit retiré rétroactivement.
Kipnis se joint à d’autres qui ont dénoncé le dispositif d’enquête sur l’« inconduite sexuelle » du Titre IX. Le Titre IX avait été à l’origine promulgué en 1972 pour interdire la discrimination sexuelle dans les institutions financées par le gouvernement fédéral, pour augmenter le financement des sports collégiaux féminins et l’inscription des femmes dans les facultés de médecine et de droit. Maintenant, il a été transformé en un gigantesque tribunal bidon sans aucun semblant de procédure régulière pour l’accusé. En 2011, l’administration Obama a publié une « Lettre cher collègue » contenant des directives révisées sur l’application du Titre IX, auxquelles les collèges et les universités devaient se conformer s’ils ne voulaient pas perdre leur financement fédéral. La plus frappante de ces directives est l’adoption de la norme de preuve la plus basse, une « prépondérance de la preuve », dans les audiences sur les agressions sexuelles sur les campus. Selon cette norme, l’accusé peut être déclaré coupable si la probabilité de culpabilité dépasse les 50 %, par opposition à la norme « hors de tout doute raisonnable » dans les affaires criminelles. Des étudiants se sont vu retirer leur bourse et ont été expulsés, et des professeurs ont vu leur carrière détruite sur la base de simples spéculations.
Avec le harcèlement sexuel vaguement défini comme « une conduite inopportune », les bureaucrates d’universités ont poursuivi des enseignants ainsi que des étudiants pour des commentaires controversés et des blagues ou des compliments malavisés. Et bien qu’il soit difficile de trouver du sexe sur un campus sans un certain état d’ébriété, selon les directives de l’ère Obama, tout acte sexuel sous influence est considéré comme non consensuel.
Kipnis a été elle-même témoin privilégiée d’un processus qui est normalement couvert d’un voile de secret, lorsqu’elle est devenue la cible d’une enquête de Titre IX pour avoir écrit un essai. Des étudiants se sont plaints qu’elle avait créé un environnement hostile avec son article dans la Chronicle of Higher Education, « Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe » [La paranoïa sexuelle frappe le milieu académique] (février 2015), qui s’opposait aux interdictions des relations étudiants-professeurs et autres codes sexuels draconiens sur les campus. Après avoir documenté ce sinistre cirque dans un essai de suivi intitulé « My Title IX Inquisition » [Mon inquisition en vertu du Titre IX] (mai 2015), Kipnis est devenue la porte-parole involontaire d’innombrables victimes de la bureaucratie anti-sexe.
Certes, le viol et le harcèlement sexuel se produisent, et les universités sont passées maîtres pour balayer sous le tapis les cas de violence sexuelle criminelle pour préserver leur réputation. Kipnis fait tout son possible pour prouver qu’elle n’est pas indulgente par rapport au viol. Mais ça n’aide en rien les victimes d’abus réels lorsque des actes volontaires et involontaires sont regroupés sous la dénomination parapluie d’« inconduite sexuelle », c’est-à-dire lorsqu’on ne fait aucune distinction entre l’inconfort et la coercition. Comme nous l’écrivions à la suite de l’adoption de la loi « yes means yes » [oui c’est oui] en Californie : « L’idée qu’un malentendu — ou, d’ailleurs, du sexe ordinaire ou déplaisant — équivaut au viol est non seulement grotesque, mais elle banalise dangereusement la violence sexuelle réelle » (« Sex and Consent on Campus » [Sexe et consentement sur les campus], Workers Vanguard no 1056, 14 novembre 2014).
Lorsque la secrétaire [ministre fédérale] de l’éducation, Betsy DeVos, a annoncé en septembre qu’elle abrogerait les directives d’Obama, les féministes et les politiciens du Parti démocrate se sont empressés de dénoncer cette mesure qu’ils considéraient comme une nouvelle attaque par un gouvernement ouvertement raciste et ultraconservateur. Trump et ses acolytes de droite ont un sinistre programme pour éliminer le droit des femmes à l’avortement et mener une guerre raciste contre le peu de mesures d’« actions positives » [promouvant l’insertion des femmes et des minorités] qui restent. Mais les démocrates représentent les intérêts de la même classe bourgeoise que les républicains, et avancent aussi un programme anti-femmes, y compris la répression sexuelle. En fait, le renforcement des pouvoirs du gouvernement et de ses agents dans l’administration universitaire — effectué de façon cynique au nom de la défense des personnes vulnérables — profite aux forces réactionnaires qui visent à démanteler le Titre IX et à s’attaquer aux droits civiques en général.
Les usages et les abus du Titre IX
La campagne anti-sexe actuelle est enracinée dans le démantèlement bipartite [républicain et démocrate] des acquis limités, mais néanmoins réels obtenus à travers les luttes à la fin des années 1960 et au début des années 1970, lors de la radicalisation qui a accompagné les luttes pour les droits des noirs et contre la guerre du Vietnam. Mais des concessions importantes, telles que le droit légal à l’avortement, ont depuis été minées ou annulées par la bourgeoisie, par exemple avec l’érosion massive de Roe vs Wade [jugement de la Cour suprême qui légalisa l’avortement]. Les réformes sont toujours réversibles lorsque le pouvoir reste entre les mains des exploiteurs capitalistes.
Dans les années 1980, des libéraux et féministes ont joué un rôle auxiliaire lors d’une offensive de « valeurs familiales » de la droite, et se sont mis à promouvoir la panique sur le « date rape » [assimilant des expériences sexuelles désagréables au viol] sur les campus. L’appareil du Titre IX est devenu le dernier outil en date de la croisade anti-sexe de la bourgeoisie (qui dure depuis des dizaines d’années) pour justifier l’augmentation des forces de police de l’État et légitimer l’intrusion dans la vie privée — depuis les accusations démentielles d’abus sataniques rituels portées contre les travailleurs de garderies dans les années 1980, jusqu’à l’ostracisme permanent de centaines de milliers de personnes marquées « délinquants sexuels » aujourd’hui. Attiser l’anxiété de masse présente l’avantage de détourner le mécontentement de la majorité de la société des horreurs de la vie : le chômage, la chute des salaires et l’envolée des coûts du logement, des soins de santé et de l’éducation.
Mis à part la propre histoire de Kipnis, qu’elle raconte avec une finesse d’esprit impressionnante, le cas central de Unwanted Advances est celui de Peter Ludlow, professeur de philosophie titulaire très respecté à Northwestern. Ludlow a été chassé de l’université par les autorités du Titre IX qui l’ont reconnu coupable de harcèlement sexuel dans deux affaires. L’une impliquait une étudiante de premier cycle qui l’accusait de l’avoir forcée à boire de l’alcool et de l’avoir attouchée ; dans l’autre, une étudiante diplômée a affirmé qu’il y avait eu un acte non consensuel au cours de leur relation de plusieurs mois. Ludlow a nié toutes les accusations. Au cours de longues procédures de type « Chambre étoilée » [instances souvent secrètes où l’accusé a peu ou pas de droits], il a été banni du campus et sali dans la presse en tant que violeur. Mis sur liste noire, Ludlow a démissionné et a déménagé au Mexique, complètement ruiné par les frais juridiques. Il a remis tous ses documents à Kipnis, ce qui a confirmé les soupçons de celle-ci que l’affaire était un coup monté.
Kipnis décrit l’inquisition d’inconduite sexuelle, page après page, dans un détail captivant : l’accusé n’a pas le droit de connaître les accusations, ni qui les a faites, ce qui veut dire que c’est presque impossible de se défendre de manière efficace ; les audiences se déroulent en secret et se terminent habituellement par une ordonnance de bâillon à l’accusé ; les enquêteurs agissent en tant que juge et jury, et peuvent soulever des accusations basées sur le ouï-dire. Kipnis expose le parti pris quasi systématique des officiers du Titre IX en faveur des femmes qu’ils appellent « survivantes », un terme qui présuppose que les accusations soient vraies (et que l’homme soit l’agresseur).
En examinant le cas de Ludlow, Kipnis a découvert dans les coulisses de l’affaire une conseillère qui a joué un rôle néfaste dans de nombreuses autres enquêtes en vertu du Titre IX, la professeure Heidi Lockwood. Défiant toute logique, Lockwood nie que le consentement soit le facteur décisif pour déterminer si le sexe est consensuel. Dans son schéma, partagé par de nombreuses personnes dans les milieux académiques féministes, le consentement n’existe pas s’il y a des « différences de pouvoir ». Selon la logique de Lockwood, les femmes ne sont jamais des êtres indépendants pendant les rapports hétérosexuels puisque nous vivons dans un patriarcat.
Le sexe — qui, sous la moralité bourgeoise, est coloré par la honte, la peur et le dogme religieux, sans parler des inégalités de classe et de race — est souvent confus et compliqué. Mais nous ne pensons pas que quelqu’un qui est tout simplement plus âgé, qui a un meilleur emploi ou qui se trouve dans une position d’autorité, transforme inévitablement son « subordonné » en automate passif. Tant que les participants sont consentants au moment de l’acte, personne d’autre, et encore moins les administrateurs de l’État ou du campus, n’a le droit de leur dire si ou comment ils peuvent s’exécuter. Pour les marxistes, le principe directeur des relations sexuelles est le consentement effectif : ce que deux personnes (ou plus) acceptent de faire, indépendamment de l’âge, du sexe ou de la préférence sexuelle, ne relève pas du gouvernement ou des autorités du campus.
Dans son livre et ses essais récents, Kipnis s’oppose à ce que les étudiantes soient infantilisées et traitées de victimes impuissantes des professeurs avec qui elles ont eu des relations sexuelles. Elle revient sur ses propres années en tant qu’étudiante, avant que les rapports sexuels ne soient considérés comme dangereux et lorsque baiser des professeurs « faisait plus ou moins partie du programme scolaire ». Les étudiants et enseignants qui ont été séduits les uns par les autres et ont agi en conséquence au cours des années sont légion. La condamnation de ces actes est une tentative flagrante de contrôler et de criminaliser le sexe (ou tout ce qui pourrait s’en approcher) entre individus consentants. Nous nous opposons à toutes les lois sur « l’âge du consentement », qui interdisent les relations sexuelles consentantes au nom de la « protection » de la jeunesse : nous n’accordons pas à l’État capitaliste le droit de décréter un âge arbitraire auquel les gens peuvent expérimenter, désirer ou batifoler. De même, nous nous opposons à toutes les lois contre les « crimes sans victimes » tels que la prostitution, le jeu, la consommation de drogue ou la pornographie.
L’hystérie anti-sexe recoupe l’oppression raciale au cœur du capitalisme américain. Dans un pays où il suffit simplement d’être un homme noir pour que les flics montent de fausses allégations contre vous, les noirs et les minorités sont particulièrement ciblés et considérés comme des prédateurs présumés. La panique à propos de la sexualité masculine noire et du sexe interracial a longtemps été utilisée comme justification de la terreur de la corde à lyncher (légale ou extralégale) — voir en preuve les Scottsboro Boys et Emmett Till. Unwanted Advances mentionne en passant l’histoire d’un athlète d’université noir accusé d’agression sexuelle pour avoir fait un « hickey » à sa petite amie. Il s’agissait de l’affaire de Grant Neal, étudiant à l’Université d’État du Colorado. Bien que la femme ait signalé avec insistance qu’aucun acte non consensuel n’avait eu lieu, un ou une de ses « amis » a signalé le hickey aux autorités du Titre IX. Grant fut suspendu, sa bourse d’études sportive révoquée et aucune autre université n’a voulu l’admettre. Plus tard, il a poursuivi l’université pour discrimination, et conclu une entente à l’amiable.
Comme l’a rapporté la journaliste Emily Yoffe dans un article intitulé « The Question of Race in Campus Sexual-Assault Cases » [La question de la race dans les cas d’agression sexuelle sur les campus] (Atlantic, 11 septembre), l’Université Colgate a récemment fait l’objet d’une enquête pour discrimination raciale lors des processus d’instruction de plaintes d’agression sexuelle. Sur un campus où seuls 4 % des étudiants sont noirs, au cours de l’année scolaire 2013-14, les garçons noirs représentaient la moitié des personnes accusées de violences sexuelles. Les étudiants noirs et immigrants, qui manquent le plus souvent de ressources financières pour organiser une défense juridique efficace, sont exceptionnellement vulnérables face aux procureurs fanatiques et zélés. Le Titre IX a également été utilisé pour condamner des homosexuels et des militants de gauche.
Le mythe de la « culture du viol » : panique sexuelle et contrôle social
Le contexte idéologique de la paranoïa sexuelle sur le campus est la notion de « culture du viol ». Kipnis conteste deux affirmations très répandues : une étudiante sur cinq est victime d’une agression sexuelle et seulement 2 % des allégations de viol sont fausses. En fait, contrairement à l’idée que les universités seraient les fiefs de violeurs et de prédateurs, les étudiants connaissent en réalité des taux de violence sexuelle plus faibles que leurs homologues non universitaires. Dans les années 1990, Katie Roiphe, une étudiante diplômée de Princeton, a contesté l’idée d’une soi-disant « épidémie » de date rape sur les campus dans son livre frondeur, The Morning After : Sex, Fear, and Feminism on Campus [Le lendemain matin : Sexe, peur et féminisme sur les campus] (voir « La question du ‘‘date rape’’ : hystérie féministe et chasse aux sorcières anti-sexe », Women and Revolution no 43, hiver 1993-printemps 1994).
La fausse donnée du « un sur cinq » est tirée du livre de Susan Brownmiller, Against Our Will : Men, Women and Rape [Contre notre volonté : hommes, femmes et viol] (1975), qui est tristement célèbre parce que Brownmiller soutient que le viol ou la menace de viol est le principal moyen par lequel tous les hommes contrôlent toutes les femmes. Rempli de saletés racistes et anti-sexe, le livre est équivoque par rapport à la défense d’Emmett Till, un jeune noir de 14 ans qui avait été kidnappé et lynché pour avoir prétendument sifflé une femme blanche. Brownmiller présente le sifflet de Till — dont le meurtre était un incident qui avait galvanisé le mouvement des droits civiques — comme une « insulte délibérée s’approchant de l’agression physique ».
Kipnis soutient avec perspicacité que la « culture du viol » est devenue la contrepartie universitaire des attentats du 11 septembre qui ont servi de justification à la destruction massive des libertés civiles sous prétexte de la « guerre contre le terrorisme » :
« Sur les campus, le terme de culture du viol, comme le terme de terrorisme, est devenu la rhétorique de l’urgence. La peur devient la directive, provoquant davantage de peur […]. La guerre échouée exacerbe les peurs, ce qui justifie le renforcement de l’État de sécurité : dépenses énormes, niveaux de bureaucratie supplémentaires, surveillance, restitutions secrètes, justice sommaire — comme le fait d’expulser un étudiant de première année pour ‘‘coercition émotionnelle’’. »
Unwanted Advances aborde le contexte social et économique de la régulation du sexe. Aujourd’hui, où même un misérable 15 $ de l’heure est hors de portée pour des millions de travailleurs, les adultes d’âge collégial voient un avenir précaire. L’emploi bien rémunéré est loin d’être garanti même avec un diplôme de quatre ans, ce qui, de toute façon, laisse aux diplômés d’énormes dettes et les enchaîne au logement et à l’assurance maladie de leurs parents. Combinez cela avec le souci qu’une rencontre amoureuse pourrait aboutir à ce qu’on se fasse marquer comme « criminel sexuel », et vous avez un moyen solide pour la bourgeoisie d’imposer la conformité sociale.
Si Kipnis a été capable de maintenir son sang-froid pendant son propre procès loufoque en vertu du Titre IX, c’est en partie parce qu’en tant que professeure titulaire, elle sentait que son emploi était stable. Aujourd’hui, la majorité des professeurs ne sont pas aussi chanceux. Plus de la moitié de tous les enseignants universitaires sont des auxiliaires à temps partiel — des employés contractuels faiblement rémunérés, sans représentation syndicale ni sécurité d’emploi. Si un enseignant auxiliaire fait face aux moindres accusations d’inconduite sexuelle, sa carrière est immédiatement en jeu.
Les vendettas du Titre IX contre les « délinquants sexuels » renforcent le pouvoir des administrations universitaires réactionnaires des campus de dépouiller les professeurs titulaires et le personnel des quelques protections dont ils disposent. Les étudiants, les professeurs et les travailleurs des campus devraient avoir plus de moyens de se défendre contre les allégations d’inconduite, pas moins. La lutte pour obtenir et étendre les protections sociales sur les campus, y compris les droits syndicaux, nécessite de lutter contre l’administration, qui dirige l’université au nom de la bourgeoisie anti-femmes, anti-noire et anti-ouvrière.
Féminisme bourgeois contre marxisme révolutionnaire
Dans la société capitaliste, il y a peu de chance que les réelles victimes de viol obtiennent justice. Les femmes qui signalent un viol sont régulièrement harcelées par la police et sont presque jugées elles-mêmes lorsque les tribunaux les interrogent sur leur « moralité ». Dans le système juridique bourgeois, la poursuite des infractions sexuelles n’a pas grand-chose à voir avec la protection des femmes contre la violence, mais sert plutôt à maintenir leur asservissement au sein de la famille. L’institution de la famille est la principale source de l’oppression des femmes et des enfants. Pour la bourgeoisie, la famille sert à transmettre la propriété à la génération suivante. Pour les travailleurs, la famille — dans laquelle les femmes sont confinées à la gestion du foyer et à l’éducation de la génération suivante — inculque et renforce l’idéologie et la morale bourgeoises et, surtout, l’obéissance à l’autorité.
Non seulement les chasses aux sorcières anti-sexe renforcent la famille, mais elles servent également de base idéologique à la répression de l’État. Pour les marxistes, l’État capitaliste — comprenant les flics, les tribunaux et les prisons — est l’instrument des exploiteurs pour réprimer les exploités et les opprimés. Avec la famille et la religion organisée, il joue un rôle important pour maintenir l’oppression des femmes et des jeunes. Les féministes, même celles qui sont radicales ou « socialistes », fonctionnent entièrement dans le cadre de la domination capitaliste et rejettent cette conception. Il y a d’ailleurs aujourd’hui une forme de féminisme que l’on appelle « féminisme carcéral » parce que ces féministes réclament plus d’interventions policières, de poursuites judiciaires et de peines de prison comme solution à la violence contre les femmes.
Kipnis dénonce le féminisme carcéral et le féminisme paternaliste, c’est-à-dire le concept selon lequel les femmes devraient être protégées et les hommes policés, et soutient le « féminisme adulte ». Pour elle, le féminisme de sa génération a été « détourné ». Dans les années 1960 et 1970, des étudiants et étudiantes se sont battus pour mettre fin aux prérogatives in loco parentis [où les autorités universitaires agissent « à la place des parents »] des administrations du campus, tandis qu’aujourd’hui ses étudiants à elle invitent plutôt les fouines de l’administration universitaire dans leurs chambres à coucher.
Pourtant, les féministes se sont souvent rangées du côté de certains des réactionnaires les plus virulents, y compris en s’alliant avec des fondamentalistes religieux, pour soutenir les chasses aux sorcières anti-sexe de la bourgeoisie — de la censure de la porno à la criminalisation du sexe « déviant ». Le féminisme est basé sur la fausse conscience des femmes bourgeoises et petites-bourgeoises qui cherchent à entrer dans le club masculin hétérosexuel du pouvoir et du privilège. Leur stratégie a été de compter sur le Parti démocrate capitaliste pour défendre les femmes, ce qui ne sert qu’à démobiliser les combattants pour les droits des femmes.
Alors que Kipnis déplore le fait que les droits à l’avortement, l’égalité des salaires, la garde des enfants et les congés de maternité ont été relégués à de simples questions secondaires, elle compte encore sur le féminisme pour répondre à ces préoccupations. En fait, la lutte pour des revendications comme des services de garde de qualité gratuits et ouverts 24 heures sur 24, le principe « à travail égal, salaire égal », la contraception et l’avortement gratuits doit être liée à la lutte pour renverser le système économique qui est la source de l’oppression des femmes. Pour obtenir la libération des femmes, il faut une révolution socialiste, qui déracinera le système de propriété privée et remplacera la famille par des services de garde et de tâches ménagères socialisés, intégrant ainsi pleinement les femmes dans la vie sociale et politique.
Les pseudo-socialistes adhèrent à la frénésie anti-sexe
La majorité de la gauche a ignoré, ou alors traité avec mépris, la publication d’Unwanted Advances, ce qui témoigne du climat politique réactionnaire. Kipnis a plutôt été saluée par des groupes libertaires de droite comme FIRE et Reason, tous deux liés aux frères Koch [milliardaires américains qui financent des groupes de droite]. Ces groupes se font passer pour des champions du (faux) programme de « liberté d’expression » sur le campus pour couvrir des provocations racistes et sexistes. Kipnis est perplexe devant ces éloges venant de ceux qui veulent détruire la gauche. En confiant à l’État capitaliste des pouvoirs qui seront inévitablement utilisés contre eux, les libéraux et les féministes ont tendu des armes à la droite. Lorsque les socialistes réformistes marchent au même pas que les féministes (lire : Démocrates) pour promouvoir les codes de comportement bourgeois, cela montre à quel point ils se sont adaptés aux « valeurs familiales » puritaines. Dans l’article « DeVos Is Turning the Clock Back on Survivors » [DeVos fait reculer les survivantes] (Socialist Worker, 13 septembre), l’International Socialist Organization (ISO) se plaint de la dernière action de DeVos, qui selon eux fait partie d’une « série d’attaques contre les survivantes par l’administration actuelle ». Ils déclarent : « Nous ne reviendrons pas en arrière ». L’ISO salue la « Lettre cher collègue » d’Obama et publie des statistiques douteuses sur l’agression sexuelle afin de rejoindre ce qu’ils considèrent comme un mouvement « de plus en plus important » contre la violence sexuelle sur le campus. Ce mouvement fait la promotion du système éducatif bourgeois raciste, sexiste et élitiste et le présente comme un « espace » dans lequel les femmes, les personnes transgenres ou les minorités raciales peuvent être « à l’abri » de l’oppression.
Socialist Alternative (SAlt) [lié à Alternative socialiste au Québec] s’est accrochée au même mouvement, en particulier à l’UCLA [Université de Californie à Los Angeles], où ils ont été actifs lors du cas Titre IX de Gabriel Piterberg. Professeur d’histoire israélien pro-palestinien, Piterberg a été accusé en 2014 de harcèlement sexuel par deux étudiantes diplômées. Tout en niant les accusations, il a conclu un règlement avec l’université, qui comprenait une amende, une suspension d’un trimestre sans salaire, et son licenciement du poste de directeur du Center for Near Eastern Studies [Centre d’études sur le Proche-Orient] de l’université. Mais cela ne suffisait pas à SAlt et à ses cohortes du « Bruins Against Sexual Harassment » féministe. Des manifestants étudiants ont fait annuler ses cours à plusieurs reprises, fulminant que l’UCLA protégeait un « prédateur sexuel ».
Quoi qu’il se soit passé entre Piterberg et ses accusatrices, nous nous opposons à la punition éternelle, qui revient à être marqué à vie comme un délinquant sexuel. Piterberg est également un défenseur bien connu du peuple palestinien opprimé, et est visé depuis des années par de puissantes forces sionistes. Son traitement pose la question de savoir si les dispositifs du Titre IX sont en train d’être utilisés pour faire le sale boulot des sionistes.
Alors que personne ne peut résoudre tous les problèmes des relations sexuelles dans cette société pourrie, nous nous opposons à toute tentative d’adapter la sexualité humaine à des « normes » préétablies. Créer des relations véritablement égales entre les êtres humains dans tous les domaines, y compris le sexe, requiert rien de moins que la destruction du système capitaliste à travers une série de révolutions socialistes au niveau international, ouvrant la voie à la création d’un monde communiste. Dans une société sans classes, les contraintes sociales et économiques sur les relations sexuelles seront inexistantes et, selon les mots de Friedrich Engels : « Alors, il ne reste plus d’autre motif que l’inclination réciproque. »
http://www.icl-fi.org/francais/ro/2/campus.html
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2018.04.24 01:02 FinnagainsAwake Title IX Witchhunts, Anti-Sex Frenzy and Bourgeois Feminism (Workers Vanguard) 3 Nov 2017

https://archive.is/eKZbm
Workers Vanguard No. 1121 3 November 2017
Title IX Witchhunts, Anti-Sex Frenzy and Bourgeois Feminism
(Women and Revolution pages)
Unwanted Advances
Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus
A Review
Is the specter of sex haunting the campus? Under the pretense of targeting sexual harassment and assault, university administrations have been whipping up a climate of fear and imposing neo-Victorian values. As the recent book Unwanted Advances—Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus (HarperCollins Publishers, April 2017) argues, “The new campus codes aren’t preventing nonconsensual sex; they’re producing it.” Written by Northwestern University professor and self-described left-wing feminist Laura Kipnis, the book exposes the vastly expanded definitions of sexual assault, which criminalize anything from drunken hook-ups to student-professor romance and even allow for consent to be withdrawn retroactively.
Kipnis joins others who have blown the whistle on the Title IX “sexual misconduct” investigation apparatus. Title IX was originally enacted in 1972 to outlaw sex discrimination in federally financed institutions, to increase funding for women’s college sports and women’s enrollment in medical and law schools. Now it has been turned into a mammoth kangaroo court without any semblance of due process for the accused. In 2011, Obama’s administration issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” containing revised Title IX guidelines with which colleges had to comply or risk losing federal funding. Most striking of these guidelines was the adoption of the lowest standard of proof, a “preponderance of evidence,” in campus sexual assault hearings. By this standard, the accused can be convicted based on anything over a 50 percent likelihood of guilt, as opposed to “beyond a reasonable doubt” in criminal cases. Students have had their scholarships withdrawn and been expelled, and professors have had their careers destroyed based on mere speculation.
With sexual harassment vaguely defined as “unwelcome conduct,” university bureaucrats have gone after teachers and students alike for controversial comments and misguided jokes or compliments. And though one would be hard pressed to find sex on campus that doesn’t involve some level of intoxication, under the Obama-era guidelines, any sexual act under the influence is treated as nonconsensual.
Kipnis herself witnessed firsthand a process that is normally cloaked in a veil of secrecy after she became a target of a Title IX investigation for having written an essay. Students complained that she had created a hostile environment with her Chronicle of Higher Education piece, “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe” (February 2015), which opposed prohibitions on student-faculty relationships and other draconian campus sex codes. After documenting this sinister circus in a follow-up essay, “My Title IX Inquisition” (May 2015), Kipnis became an unintentional spokesperson for countless victims of the anti-sex bureaucracy.
To be sure, rape and sexual harassment happen, and universities are well versed in sweeping cases of criminal sexual violence under the rug to preserve their reputations. Kipnis goes out of her way to prove she’s not “soft” on rape. But it is no help to victims of real abuse for voluntary and involuntary acts to be lumped together under the umbrella-like designation of “sexual misconduct,” i.e., to make no distinction between discomfort and coercion. As we wrote following the implementation of “yes means yes” legislation in California: “The suggestion that a misunderstanding—or for that matter, bad or unpleasant sex—is equivalent to rape is not only ludicrous but dangerously trivializing of actual sexual violence” (“Sex and Consent on Campus,” WV No. 1056, 14 November 2014).
When Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced in September that she would rescind Obama’s guidelines, feminists and Democratic Party politicos were quick to decry the move as yet another attack by an overtly racist and ultra-conservative administration. Trump and his right-wing cohorts have a sinister program to eliminate women’s right to abortion and to wage a racist war on what little remains of affirmative action. But the Democrats represent the interests of the same bourgeois ruling class as the Republicans, and also push an anti-woman agenda, including sexual repression. In fact, expanding the powers of the government and its agents in the university administration, cynically done in the name of defending the vulnerable, is a gift to the reactionary forces that aim to dismantle Title IX and go after civil rights wholesale.
The Uses and Abuses of Title IX
The current anti-sex campaign is rooted in the bipartisan rollback of the limited but real gains won through struggles in the late 1960s and early ’70s amid the radicalization during the fight for black rights and against the Vietnam War. But important concessions, such as the legal right to abortion, have since been undermined or overturned by the ruling class—see the massive erosion of Roe v. Wade. Reforms are always reversible when power remains in the hands of the capitalist exploiters.
In the 1980s, a right-wing “family values” offensive was joined by a liberal/feminist auxiliary that went on to promote panic over “date rape” on campuses. The Title IX apparatus has become the latest tool in the rulers’ decades-long anti-sex crusade to justify augmenting the police forces of the state and legitimize intrusion into private life—from the demented accusations of satanic ritual abuse against day-care workers in the 1980s to the permanent ostracizing of hundreds of thousands of people branded “sex offenders” today. Stirring up mass anxiety conveniently diverts discontent away from the horrors of life for the bulk of society: unemployment, plunging wages and soaring costs of housing, health care and education.
Aside from Kipnis’s own story, which she relates with impressive wit, the central case of Unwanted Advances is that of Peter Ludlow, a highly regarded, tenured professor of philosophy at Northwestern. Ludlow was driven out of the university by the Title IX authorities who found him guilty of sexual harassment in two cases. One involved an undergraduate who accused him of forcing her to drink alcohol and groping her; in the other, a graduate student claimed there had been a nonconsensual act during their months-long relationship. Ludlow denied all accusations. During drawn-out Star Chamber procedures, he was banned from campus and smeared in the press as a rapist. Blacklisted, Ludlow resigned and moved to Mexico, dead broke from legal fees. He handed over all his documentation to Kipnis, which confirmed her suspicion that the case was a frame-up.
In page after page of engrossing detail, Kipnis describes the sexual misconduct inquisition: the accused has no right to know the charges, nor who made them, which makes mounting an effective defense nearly impossible; hearings are conducted in secret and typically conclude with a gag order on the accused; the investigators act as judge and jury, and can raise accusations based on hearsay. Kipnis exposes the rampant bias of the Title IX officers in favor of women they call “survivors,” a term that presupposes the charges to be true (and the man to be the aggressor).
In reviewing Ludlow’s case, Kipnis discovered a backstage adviser in the affair who has played a nefarious role in many other Title IX investigations, Professor Heidi Lockwood. Defying all logic, Lockwood denies that consent is the decisive factor in determining whether sex is consensual. In her schema, widely shared in feminist academia, consent does not exist if there are “differentials in power.” The logic of Lockwood’s construct is that women are never independent beings during heterosexual sex since we live in a patriarchy.
Sex—which under bourgeois morality is colored by shame, fear and religious dogma, not to mention class and racial inequality—is often messy and complicated. But we do not believe that someone who is simply older, has a better job or is in a position of authority inevitably turns his or her “subordinate” into a passive automaton. As long as those participating consent at the time, nobody else, least of all the state or campus administrators, has the right to tell them if or how they can do it. For Marxists, the guiding principle in sexual relations is effective consent: what two (or more) people agree to do, regardless of age, gender or sexual preference, is no business of the government or campus authorities.
In her recent book and essays, Kipnis challenges how female students are infantilized as helpless victims of professors with whom they’ve had sexual relations. She harks back to her own years as a college student, before sex was considered dangerous and when screwing professors “was more or less part of the curriculum.” The number of students and teachers who have fallen for each other and acted on it over the years is legion. To condemn these acts is a blatant attempt to control and criminalize sex (or anything hinting of it) between consenting individuals. We oppose all “age of consent” laws that prohibit consensual sexual relations in the name of “protecting” youth; we do not accord the capitalist state the right to decree an arbitrary age at which people can experiment, desire or fool around. Likewise, we oppose all laws against “crimes without victims” such as prostitution, gambling, drug use or pornography.
Anti-sex hysteria intersects the racial oppression that is central to U.S. capitalism. In a country where simply being a black man is enough for the cops to frame you up for something, blacks and minorities are particularly targeted as supposed predators. Panic over black male sexuality and interracial sex has long been used as a justification for (legal or extralegal) lynch rope terror—look at the Scottsboro Boys and Emmett Till. Unwanted Advances mentions in passing the story of a black college athlete charged with sexual assault for giving his girlfriend a hickey. The case was that of Colorado State University student Grant Neal. Although the woman emphatically reported that no nonconsensual act had taken place, a “friend” of hers reported the hickey to the Title IX authorities. Grant was suspended, his athletic scholarship was revoked, and no other college would admit him. He later sued the university for discrimination, settling out of court.
As reported by journalist Emily Yoffe in an article, “The Question of Race in Campus Sexual-Assault Cases” (Atlantic, 11 September), Colgate University was recently investigated for race discrimination in its sexual assault adjudication process. On a campus where only 4 percent of students are black, during the 2013-14 academic year black male students made up half of those accused of sexual violations. Black and immigrant students, who more often than not lack the financial resources to mount an effective legal defense, are exceptionally vulnerable in the face of bigoted and zealous prosecutors. Title IX has also been used to railroad gay people and leftists.
The Myth of “Rape Culture”: Sex Panic as Social Control
The ideological backdrop to sexual paranoia on campus is the notion of “rape culture.” Kipnis challenges two ubiquitous claims: that one in five college women is a victim of sexual assault, and that only 2 percent of rape allegations are false. In fact, contrary to the image of universities as a hotbed for rapists and predators, students actually experience lower rates of sexual violence than their non-college counterparts. As far back as the 1990s, Princeton grad student Katie Roiphe challenged the notion of a so-called “epidemic” of date rape on campuses in her defiant book, The Morning After: Sex, Fear, and Feminism on Campus (see “The ‘Date Rape’ Issue: Feminist Hysteria, Anti-Sex Witchhunt,” Women and Revolution No. 43, Winter 1993-Spring 1994).
The false “one in five” figure originates from Susan Brownmiller’s 1975 book Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, which infamously contended that rape or threat of rape is the main way in which all men control all women. Pervaded with racist and anti-sex filth, the book equivocated on the defense of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black youth who was kidnapped and lynched for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Brownmiller presented the whistle by Till—whose killing was a galvanizing incident for the civil rights movement—as a “deliberate insult just short of physical assault.”
Kipnis shrewdly argues that “rape culture” has become the university counterpart of the September 11 attacks that have been used as the justification for the wholesale shredding of civil liberties under the guise of the “war on terror”:
“On campus, the term rape culture, like the term terrorism, has become the rhetoric of emergency. Fear becomes the guidelines, promulgating more fear…. The failed war exacerbates the fears, which becomes the rationale for further expanding the security state: vast expenditures, increased layers of bureaucracy, surveillance, secret renditions, summary justice—like expelling a freshman for ‘emotional coercion’.”
Unwanted Advances touches on the social and economic backdrop to the regulation of sex. Today, where even a miserable $15 an hour is out of reach for millions of workers, college-age adults see a precarious future. Decent-paying employment is far from guaranteed even with a four-year degree, which in any case leaves graduates saddled with debt, chained to their parents’ housing and health insurance. Combine that with concern that a romantic encounter could end up with one being marked a “sex criminal,” and you have a solid means for the ruling class to push social conformity.
Part of why Kipnis was able to maintain her composure during her own farcical Title IX trial was because, as a tenured professor, she felt her job was secure. Today, the bulk of professors are not so lucky. Over half of all university instructors are part-time adjuncts—low-paid contract employees with no union representation or job security. If an adjunct instructor is brought up on even the flimsiest charges of sexual misconduct, their career is immediately on the line.
Title IX “sex offender” vendettas strengthen the power of the reactionary campus administrations to strip tenured faculty and staff of the few protections they have. Students, professors and campus workers should have more defense against misconduct allegations, not less. The fight to gain and extend protections on campus, including union rights, requires a fight against the administration, which runs the university on behalf of the anti-woman, anti-black, anti-worker ruling class.
Bourgeois Feminism vs. Revolutionary Marxism
In capitalist society, the prospects of justice for actual victims of rape are bleak. Women who report rape are routinely harassed by the police and practically put on trial themselves while the courts inspect their “morality.” In the bourgeois legal system, the prosecution of sexual offenses has little to do with protecting women against violence and more to do with maintaining their subjugation within the family. The institution of the family is the main source of the oppression of women and children. For the bourgeoisie, the family is used to pass property on to the next generation. For working people, the family—in which women are consigned to running the household and rearing the next generation—inculcates and reinforces bourgeois ideology and morals and, above all, obedience to authority.
Anti-sex witchhunts not only bolster the family, but also provide an ideological basis for state repression. For Marxists, the capitalist state—including the cops, courts and prisons—is the instrument for the suppression of the exploited and oppressed by the exploiters. Alongside the family and organized religion, it plays a key role in enforcing the oppression of women and youth. Feminists, even radical or “socialist” ones, operate entirely within the framework of capitalist rule and reject this understanding. In fact, one form of feminism today is called “carceral feminism” because it pushes for more policing, prosecution and imprisonment as the solution to violence against women.
Kipnis denounces carceral feminism and paternalist feminism, i.e., the concept that women should be protected and men policed, and argues in favor of “grown-up feminism.” For her, the feminism from her generation has been “hijacked.” She notes that college students in the 1960s and ’70s fought to end the in loco parentis prerogatives of campus administrations, while her students today invite college administration snoops into their bedrooms.
Yet feminists have often lined up with some of the most virulent reactionaries, including allying with religious fundamentalists, to support the bourgeoisie’s anti-sex witchhunts—from censoring porn to criminalizing “deviant” sex. Feminism is based on the false consciousness of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois women who seek to enter the straight male club of power and privilege. Their strategy has been to rely on the capitalist Democratic Party to defend women, which serves only to demobilize fighters for women’s rights.
While Kipnis bemoans the fact that abortion rights, equal pay, childcare and maternity leave have been relegated to mere side issues, she still relies on feminism to address such concerns. In fact, the fight for things like free, quality 24-hour childcare, equal pay for equal work, and free contraception and abortion must be tied to a struggle to overthrow the economic system that is the source of women’s oppression. The liberation of women requires a socialist revolution, which will uproot the private property system and replace the family with socialized childcare and housework, bringing women fully into social and political life.
Fake Socialists Join Anti-Sex Frenzy
It is a mark of the reactionary political climate that Unwanted Advances has either been ignored or treated with contempt by the bulk of the left. Kipnis has instead been lauded by right-wing libertarian groups like FIRE and Reason, both with ties to the Koch brothers. These groups have been promoting the faux “free speech” agenda on campus as a cover for racist, sexist provocations. Kipnis is perplexed by such praise from those who want to destroy the left. By entrusting the capitalist state with powers that will inevitably be used against them, liberals and feminists have handed a weapon to the right wing. It is a measure of how much reformist socialists have adapted to puritanical “family values” that they march in lockstep with the feminists (read: Democrats) to promote bourgeois behavior codes.
In the article “DeVos Is Turning the Clock Back on Survivors” (Socialist Worker, 13 September), the International Socialist Organization (ISO) laments DeVos’s latest action as one of a “series of attacks against survivors by the current administration,” and declares: “We will not go back.” The ISO hails Obama’s “Dear Colleague Letter” and retails dubious statistics about sexual assault in order to join what they hail as a “growing” movement against sexual violence on campus. That movement plugs the inherently racist, sexist and elitist bourgeois education system as a “space” in which women, transgender people or racial minorities can be “safe” from oppression.
Socialist Alternative (SAlt) has latched onto the same movement, in particular at UCLA, where they have been active around the Title IX case of Gabriel Piterberg. An Israeli, pro-Palestinian professor of history, Piterberg was charged with sexual harassment by two grad students in 2014. While denying the charges, he made a settlement with the university, which included being fined, suspended for a quarter without pay, and removed from his position as director of the university’s Center for Near Eastern Studies. But this was not enough for SAlt and its cohorts in the feminist Bruins Against Sexual Harassment. Student protesters repeatedly shut down his classes, railing that UCLA was protecting a “sexual predator.”
Whatever happened between Piterberg and his accusers, we oppose eternal punishment, akin to being branded a sex offender for life. Piterberg is also a well-known defender of the oppressed Palestinian people who has been targeted for years by powerful Zionist forces. His treatment raises the question of whether the Title IX apparatus is being used to do the Zionists’ dirty work.
While no one can fix all the problems of sexual relations in this rotten, decaying society, we oppose all attempts to fit human sexuality into pre-ordained “norms.” To create genuinely equal relations between people in all spheres, including sex, requires nothing less than the destruction of the capitalist system through a series of socialist revolutions internationally, opening the way to the creation of a communist world. In a classless society, social and economic constraints on sexual relations will be nonexistent, and in the words of Friedrich Engels, “There is no other motive left except mutual inclination.”
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1121/kipnis_review.html
submitted by FinnagainsAwake to true_politics [link] [comments]


2018.02.15 10:38 FinnagainsAwake Title IX Witchhunts, Anti-Sex Frenzy and Bourgeois Feminism

https://archive.is/eKZbm
Workers Vanguard No. 1121 3 November 2017
Title IX Witchhunts, Anti-Sex Frenzy and Bourgeois Feminism
(Women and Revolution pages)
Unwanted Advances
Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus
A Review
Is the specter of sex haunting the campus? Under the pretense of targeting sexual harassment and assault, university administrations have been whipping up a climate of fear and imposing neo-Victorian values. As the recent book Unwanted Advances—Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus (HarperCollins Publishers, April 2017) argues, “The new campus codes aren’t preventing nonconsensual sex; they’re producing it.” Written by Northwestern University professor and self-described left-wing feminist Laura Kipnis, the book exposes the vastly expanded definitions of sexual assault, which criminalize anything from drunken hook-ups to student-professor romance and even allow for consent to be withdrawn retroactively.
Kipnis joins others who have blown the whistle on the Title IX “sexual misconduct” investigation apparatus. Title IX was originally enacted in 1972 to outlaw sex discrimination in federally financed institutions, to increase funding for women’s college sports and women’s enrollment in medical and law schools. Now it has been turned into a mammoth kangaroo court without any semblance of due process for the accused. In 2011, Obama’s administration issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” containing revised Title IX guidelines with which colleges had to comply or risk losing federal funding. Most striking of these guidelines was the adoption of the lowest standard of proof, a “preponderance of evidence,” in campus sexual assault hearings. By this standard, the accused can be convicted based on anything over a 50 percent likelihood of guilt, as opposed to “beyond a reasonable doubt” in criminal cases. Students have had their scholarships withdrawn and been expelled, and professors have had their careers destroyed based on mere speculation.
With sexual harassment vaguely defined as “unwelcome conduct,” university bureaucrats have gone after teachers and students alike for controversial comments and misguided jokes or compliments. And though one would be hard pressed to find sex on campus that doesn’t involve some level of intoxication, under the Obama-era guidelines, any sexual act under the influence is treated as nonconsensual.
Kipnis herself witnessed firsthand a process that is normally cloaked in a veil of secrecy after she became a target of a Title IX investigation for having written an essay. Students complained that she had created a hostile environment with her Chronicle of Higher Education piece, “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe” (February 2015), which opposed prohibitions on student-faculty relationships and other draconian campus sex codes. After documenting this sinister circus in a follow-up essay, “My Title IX Inquisition” (May 2015), Kipnis became an unintentional spokesperson for countless victims of the anti-sex bureaucracy.
To be sure, rape and sexual harassment happen, and universities are well versed in sweeping cases of criminal sexual violence under the rug to preserve their reputations. Kipnis goes out of her way to prove she’s not “soft” on rape. But it is no help to victims of real abuse for voluntary and involuntary acts to be lumped together under the umbrella-like designation of “sexual misconduct,” i.e., to make no distinction between discomfort and coercion. As we wrote following the implementation of “yes means yes” legislation in California: “The suggestion that a misunderstanding—or for that matter, bad or unpleasant sex—is equivalent to rape is not only ludicrous but dangerously trivializing of actual sexual violence” (“Sex and Consent on Campus,” WV No. 1056, 14 November 2014).
When Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced in September that she would rescind Obama’s guidelines, feminists and Democratic Party politicos were quick to decry the move as yet another attack by an overtly racist and ultra-conservative administration. Trump and his right-wing cohorts have a sinister program to eliminate women’s right to abortion and to wage a racist war on what little remains of affirmative action. But the Democrats represent the interests of the same bourgeois ruling class as the Republicans, and also push an anti-woman agenda, including sexual repression. In fact, expanding the powers of the government and its agents in the university administration, cynically done in the name of defending the vulnerable, is a gift to the reactionary forces that aim to dismantle Title IX and go after civil rights wholesale.
The Uses and Abuses of Title IX
The current anti-sex campaign is rooted in the bipartisan rollback of the limited but real gains won through struggles in the late 1960s and early ’70s amid the radicalization during the fight for black rights and against the Vietnam War. But important concessions, such as the legal right to abortion, have since been undermined or overturned by the ruling class—see the massive erosion of Roe v. Wade. Reforms are always reversible when power remains in the hands of the capitalist exploiters.
In the 1980s, a right-wing “family values” offensive was joined by a liberal/feminist auxiliary that went on to promote panic over “date rape” on campuses. The Title IX apparatus has become the latest tool in the rulers’ decades-long anti-sex crusade to justify augmenting the police forces of the state and legitimize intrusion into private life—from the demented accusations of satanic ritual abuse against day-care workers in the 1980s to the permanent ostracizing of hundreds of thousands of people branded “sex offenders” today. Stirring up mass anxiety conveniently diverts discontent away from the horrors of life for the bulk of society: unemployment, plunging wages and soaring costs of housing, health care and education.
Aside from Kipnis’s own story, which she relates with impressive wit, the central case of Unwanted Advances is that of Peter Ludlow, a highly regarded, tenured professor of philosophy at Northwestern. Ludlow was driven out of the university by the Title IX authorities who found him guilty of sexual harassment in two cases. One involved an undergraduate who accused him of forcing her to drink alcohol and groping her; in the other, a graduate student claimed there had been a nonconsensual act during their months-long relationship. Ludlow denied all accusations. During drawn-out Star Chamber procedures, he was banned from campus and smeared in the press as a rapist. Blacklisted, Ludlow resigned and moved to Mexico, dead broke from legal fees. He handed over all his documentation to Kipnis, which confirmed her suspicion that the case was a frame-up.
In page after page of engrossing detail, Kipnis describes the sexual misconduct inquisition: the accused has no right to know the charges, nor who made them, which makes mounting an effective defense nearly impossible; hearings are conducted in secret and typically conclude with a gag order on the accused; the investigators act as judge and jury, and can raise accusations based on hearsay. Kipnis exposes the rampant bias of the Title IX officers in favor of women they call “survivors,” a term that presupposes the charges to be true (and the man to be the aggressor).
In reviewing Ludlow’s case, Kipnis discovered a backstage adviser in the affair who has played a nefarious role in many other Title IX investigations, Professor Heidi Lockwood. Defying all logic, Lockwood denies that consent is the decisive factor in determining whether sex is consensual. In her schema, widely shared in feminist academia, consent does not exist if there are “differentials in power.” The logic of Lockwood’s construct is that women are never independent beings during heterosexual sex since we live in a patriarchy.
Sex—which under bourgeois morality is colored by shame, fear and religious dogma, not to mention class and racial inequality—is often messy and complicated. But we do not believe that someone who is simply older, has a better job or is in a position of authority inevitably turns his or her “subordinate” into a passive automaton. As long as those participating consent at the time, nobody else, least of all the state or campus administrators, has the right to tell them if or how they can do it. For Marxists, the guiding principle in sexual relations is effective consent: what two (or more) people agree to do, regardless of age, gender or sexual preference, is no business of the government or campus authorities.
In her recent book and essays, Kipnis challenges how female students are infantilized as helpless victims of professors with whom they’ve had sexual relations. She harks back to her own years as a college student, before sex was considered dangerous and when screwing professors “was more or less part of the curriculum.” The number of students and teachers who have fallen for each other and acted on it over the years is legion. To condemn these acts is a blatant attempt to control and criminalize sex (or anything hinting of it) between consenting individuals. We oppose all “age of consent” laws that prohibit consensual sexual relations in the name of “protecting” youth; we do not accord the capitalist state the right to decree an arbitrary age at which people can experiment, desire or fool around. Likewise, we oppose all laws against “crimes without victims” such as prostitution, gambling, drug use or pornography.
Anti-sex hysteria intersects the racial oppression that is central to U.S. capitalism. In a country where simply being a black man is enough for the cops to frame you up for something, blacks and minorities are particularly targeted as supposed predators. Panic over black male sexuality and interracial sex has long been used as a justification for (legal or extralegal) lynch rope terror—look at the Scottsboro Boys and Emmett Till. Unwanted Advances mentions in passing the story of a black college athlete charged with sexual assault for giving his girlfriend a hickey. The case was that of Colorado State University student Grant Neal. Although the woman emphatically reported that no nonconsensual act had taken place, a “friend” of hers reported the hickey to the Title IX authorities. Grant was suspended, his athletic scholarship was revoked, and no other college would admit him. He later sued the university for discrimination, settling out of court.
As reported by journalist Emily Yoffe in an article, “The Question of Race in Campus Sexual-Assault Cases” (Atlantic, 11 September), Colgate University was recently investigated for race discrimination in its sexual assault adjudication process. On a campus where only 4 percent of students are black, during the 2013-14 academic year black male students made up half of those accused of sexual violations. Black and immigrant students, who more often than not lack the financial resources to mount an effective legal defense, are exceptionally vulnerable in the face of bigoted and zealous prosecutors. Title IX has also been used to railroad gay people and leftists.
The Myth of “Rape Culture”: Sex Panic as Social Control
The ideological backdrop to sexual paranoia on campus is the notion of “rape culture.” Kipnis challenges two ubiquitous claims: that one in five college women is a victim of sexual assault, and that only 2 percent of rape allegations are false. In fact, contrary to the image of universities as a hotbed for rapists and predators, students actually experience lower rates of sexual violence than their non-college counterparts. As far back as the 1990s, Princeton grad student Katie Roiphe challenged the notion of a so-called “epidemic” of date rape on campuses in her defiant book, The Morning After: Sex, Fear, and Feminism on Campus (see “The ‘Date Rape’ Issue: Feminist Hysteria, Anti-Sex Witchhunt,” Women and Revolution No. 43, Winter 1993-Spring 1994).
The false “one in five” figure originates from Susan Brownmiller’s 1975 book Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, which infamously contended that rape or threat of rape is the main way in which all men control all women. Pervaded with racist and anti-sex filth, the book equivocated on the defense of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black youth who was kidnapped and lynched for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Brownmiller presented the whistle by Till—whose killing was a galvanizing incident for the civil rights movement—as a “deliberate insult just short of physical assault.”
Kipnis shrewdly argues that “rape culture” has become the university counterpart of the September 11 attacks that have been used as the justification for the wholesale shredding of civil liberties under the guise of the “war on terror”:
“On campus, the term rape culture, like the term terrorism, has become the rhetoric of emergency. Fear becomes the guidelines, promulgating more fear…. The failed war exacerbates the fears, which becomes the rationale for further expanding the security state: vast expenditures, increased layers of bureaucracy, surveillance, secret renditions, summary justice—like expelling a freshman for ‘emotional coercion’.”
Unwanted Advances touches on the social and economic backdrop to the regulation of sex. Today, where even a miserable $15 an hour is out of reach for millions of workers, college-age adults see a precarious future. Decent-paying employment is far from guaranteed even with a four-year degree, which in any case leaves graduates saddled with debt, chained to their parents’ housing and health insurance. Combine that with concern that a romantic encounter could end up with one being marked a “sex criminal,” and you have a solid means for the ruling class to push social conformity.
Part of why Kipnis was able to maintain her composure during her own farcical Title IX trial was because, as a tenured professor, she felt her job was secure. Today, the bulk of professors are not so lucky. Over half of all university instructors are part-time adjuncts—low-paid contract employees with no union representation or job security. If an adjunct instructor is brought up on even the flimsiest charges of sexual misconduct, their career is immediately on the line.
Title IX “sex offender” vendettas strengthen the power of the reactionary campus administrations to strip tenured faculty and staff of the few protections they have. Students, professors and campus workers should have more defense against misconduct allegations, not less. The fight to gain and extend protections on campus, including union rights, requires a fight against the administration, which runs the university on behalf of the anti-woman, anti-black, anti-worker ruling class.
Bourgeois Feminism vs. Revolutionary Marxism
In capitalist society, the prospects of justice for actual victims of rape are bleak. Women who report rape are routinely harassed by the police and practically put on trial themselves while the courts inspect their “morality.” In the bourgeois legal system, the prosecution of sexual offenses has little to do with protecting women against violence and more to do with maintaining their subjugation within the family. The institution of the family is the main source of the oppression of women and children. For the bourgeoisie, the family is used to pass property on to the next generation. For working people, the family—in which women are consigned to running the household and rearing the next generation—inculcates and reinforces bourgeois ideology and morals and, above all, obedience to authority.
Anti-sex witchhunts not only bolster the family, but also provide an ideological basis for state repression. For Marxists, the capitalist state—including the cops, courts and prisons—is the instrument for the suppression of the exploited and oppressed by the exploiters. Alongside the family and organized religion, it plays a key role in enforcing the oppression of women and youth. Feminists, even radical or “socialist” ones, operate entirely within the framework of capitalist rule and reject this understanding. In fact, one form of feminism today is called “carceral feminism” because it pushes for more policing, prosecution and imprisonment as the solution to violence against women.
Kipnis denounces carceral feminism and paternalist feminism, i.e., the concept that women should be protected and men policed, and argues in favor of “grown-up feminism.” For her, the feminism from her generation has been “hijacked.” She notes that college students in the 1960s and ’70s fought to end the in loco parentis prerogatives of campus administrations, while her students today invite college administration snoops into their bedrooms.
Yet feminists have often lined up with some of the most virulent reactionaries, including allying with religious fundamentalists, to support the bourgeoisie’s anti-sex witchhunts—from censoring porn to criminalizing “deviant” sex. Feminism is based on the false consciousness of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois women who seek to enter the straight male club of power and privilege. Their strategy has been to rely on the capitalist Democratic Party to defend women, which serves only to demobilize fighters for women’s rights.
While Kipnis bemoans the fact that abortion rights, equal pay, childcare and maternity leave have been relegated to mere side issues, she still relies on feminism to address such concerns. In fact, the fight for things like free, quality 24-hour childcare, equal pay for equal work, and free contraception and abortion must be tied to a struggle to overthrow the economic system that is the source of women’s oppression. The liberation of women requires a socialist revolution, which will uproot the private property system and replace the family with socialized childcare and housework, bringing women fully into social and political life.
Fake Socialists Join Anti-Sex Frenzy
It is a mark of the reactionary political climate that Unwanted Advances has either been ignored or treated with contempt by the bulk of the left. Kipnis has instead been lauded by right-wing libertarian groups like FIRE and Reason, both with ties to the Koch brothers. These groups have been promoting the faux “free speech” agenda on campus as a cover for racist, sexist provocations. Kipnis is perplexed by such praise from those who want to destroy the left. By entrusting the capitalist state with powers that will inevitably be used against them, liberals and feminists have handed a weapon to the right wing. It is a measure of how much reformist socialists have adapted to puritanical “family values” that they march in lockstep with the feminists (read: Democrats) to promote bourgeois behavior codes.
In the article “DeVos Is Turning the Clock Back on Survivors” (Socialist Worker, 13 September), the International Socialist Organization (ISO) laments DeVos’s latest action as one of a “series of attacks against survivors by the current administration,” and declares: “We will not go back.” The ISO hails Obama’s “Dear Colleague Letter” and retails dubious statistics about sexual assault in order to join what they hail as a “growing” movement against sexual violence on campus. That movement plugs the inherently racist, sexist and elitist bourgeois education system as a “space” in which women, transgender people or racial minorities can be “safe” from oppression.
Socialist Alternative (SAlt) has latched onto the same movement, in particular at UCLA, where they have been active around the Title IX case of Gabriel Piterberg. An Israeli, pro-Palestinian professor of history, Piterberg was charged with sexual harassment by two grad students in 2014. While denying the charges, he made a settlement with the university, which included being fined, suspended for a quarter without pay, and removed from his position as director of the university’s Center for Near Eastern Studies. But this was not enough for SAlt and its cohorts in the feminist Bruins Against Sexual Harassment. Student protesters repeatedly shut down his classes, railing that UCLA was protecting a “sexual predator.”
Whatever happened between Piterberg and his accusers, we oppose eternal punishment, akin to being branded a sex offender for life. Piterberg is also a well-known defender of the oppressed Palestinian people who has been targeted for years by powerful Zionist forces. His treatment raises the question of whether the Title IX apparatus is being used to do the Zionists’ dirty work.
While no one can fix all the problems of sexual relations in this rotten, decaying society, we oppose all attempts to fit human sexuality into pre-ordained “norms.” To create genuinely equal relations between people in all spheres, including sex, requires nothing less than the destruction of the capitalist system through a series of socialist revolutions internationally, opening the way to the creation of a communist world. In a classless society, social and economic constraints on sexual relations will be nonexistent, and in the words of Friedrich Engels, “There is no other motive left except mutual inclination.”
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1121/kipnis_review.html
submitted by FinnagainsAwake to WorkersVanguard [link] [comments]


2017.11.08 23:48 FinnagainsAwake Title IX Witchhunts, Anti-Sex Frenzy and Bourgeois Feminism (Workers Vanguard) 3 Nov 2017

https://archive.is/eKZbm
Workers Vanguard No. 1121 3 November 2017
Title IX Witchhunts, Anti-Sex Frenzy and Bourgeois Feminism
(Women and Revolution pages)
Unwanted Advances
Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus
A Review
Is the specter of sex haunting the campus? Under the pretense of targeting sexual harassment and assault, university administrations have been whipping up a climate of fear and imposing neo-Victorian values. As the recent book Unwanted Advances—Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus (HarperCollins Publishers, April 2017) argues, “The new campus codes aren’t preventing nonconsensual sex; they’re producing it.” Written by Northwestern University professor and self-described left-wing feminist Laura Kipnis, the book exposes the vastly expanded definitions of sexual assault, which criminalize anything from drunken hook-ups to student-professor romance and even allow for consent to be withdrawn retroactively.
Kipnis joins others who have blown the whistle on the Title IX “sexual misconduct” investigation apparatus. Title IX was originally enacted in 1972 to outlaw sex discrimination in federally financed institutions, to increase funding for women’s college sports and women’s enrollment in medical and law schools. Now it has been turned into a mammoth kangaroo court without any semblance of due process for the accused. In 2011, Obama’s administration issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” containing revised Title IX guidelines with which colleges had to comply or risk losing federal funding. Most striking of these guidelines was the adoption of the lowest standard of proof, a “preponderance of evidence,” in campus sexual assault hearings. By this standard, the accused can be convicted based on anything over a 50 percent likelihood of guilt, as opposed to “beyond a reasonable doubt” in criminal cases. Students have had their scholarships withdrawn and been expelled, and professors have had their careers destroyed based on mere speculation.
With sexual harassment vaguely defined as “unwelcome conduct,” university bureaucrats have gone after teachers and students alike for controversial comments and misguided jokes or compliments. And though one would be hard pressed to find sex on campus that doesn’t involve some level of intoxication, under the Obama-era guidelines, any sexual act under the influence is treated as nonconsensual.
Kipnis herself witnessed firsthand a process that is normally cloaked in a veil of secrecy after she became a target of a Title IX investigation for having written an essay. Students complained that she had created a hostile environment with her Chronicle of Higher Education piece, “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe” (February 2015), which opposed prohibitions on student-faculty relationships and other draconian campus sex codes. After documenting this sinister circus in a follow-up essay, “My Title IX Inquisition” (May 2015), Kipnis became an unintentional spokesperson for countless victims of the anti-sex bureaucracy.
To be sure, rape and sexual harassment happen, and universities are well versed in sweeping cases of criminal sexual violence under the rug to preserve their reputations. Kipnis goes out of her way to prove she’s not “soft” on rape. But it is no help to victims of real abuse for voluntary and involuntary acts to be lumped together under the umbrella-like designation of “sexual misconduct,” i.e., to make no distinction between discomfort and coercion. As we wrote following the implementation of “yes means yes” legislation in California: “The suggestion that a misunderstanding—or for that matter, bad or unpleasant sex—is equivalent to rape is not only ludicrous but dangerously trivializing of actual sexual violence” (“Sex and Consent on Campus,” WV No. 1056, 14 November 2014).
When Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced in September that she would rescind Obama’s guidelines, feminists and Democratic Party politicos were quick to decry the move as yet another attack by an overtly racist and ultra-conservative administration. Trump and his right-wing cohorts have a sinister program to eliminate women’s right to abortion and to wage a racist war on what little remains of affirmative action. But the Democrats represent the interests of the same bourgeois ruling class as the Republicans, and also push an anti-woman agenda, including sexual repression. In fact, expanding the powers of the government and its agents in the university administration, cynically done in the name of defending the vulnerable, is a gift to the reactionary forces that aim to dismantle Title IX and go after civil rights wholesale.
The Uses and Abuses of Title IX
The current anti-sex campaign is rooted in the bipartisan rollback of the limited but real gains won through struggles in the late 1960s and early ’70s amid the radicalization during the fight for black rights and against the Vietnam War. But important concessions, such as the legal right to abortion, have since been undermined or overturned by the ruling class—see the massive erosion of Roe v. Wade. Reforms are always reversible when power remains in the hands of the capitalist exploiters.
In the 1980s, a right-wing “family values” offensive was joined by a liberal/feminist auxiliary that went on to promote panic over “date rape” on campuses. The Title IX apparatus has become the latest tool in the rulers’ decades-long anti-sex crusade to justify augmenting the police forces of the state and legitimize intrusion into private life—from the demented accusations of satanic ritual abuse against day-care workers in the 1980s to the permanent ostracizing of hundreds of thousands of people branded “sex offenders” today. Stirring up mass anxiety conveniently diverts discontent away from the horrors of life for the bulk of society: unemployment, plunging wages and soaring costs of housing, health care and education.
Aside from Kipnis’s own story, which she relates with impressive wit, the central case of Unwanted Advances is that of Peter Ludlow, a highly regarded, tenured professor of philosophy at Northwestern. Ludlow was driven out of the university by the Title IX authorities who found him guilty of sexual harassment in two cases. One involved an undergraduate who accused him of forcing her to drink alcohol and groping her; in the other, a graduate student claimed there had been a nonconsensual act during their months-long relationship. Ludlow denied all accusations. During drawn-out Star Chamber procedures, he was banned from campus and smeared in the press as a rapist. Blacklisted, Ludlow resigned and moved to Mexico, dead broke from legal fees. He handed over all his documentation to Kipnis, which confirmed her suspicion that the case was a frame-up.
In page after page of engrossing detail, Kipnis describes the sexual misconduct inquisition: the accused has no right to know the charges, nor who made them, which makes mounting an effective defense nearly impossible; hearings are conducted in secret and typically conclude with a gag order on the accused; the investigators act as judge and jury, and can raise accusations based on hearsay. Kipnis exposes the rampant bias of the Title IX officers in favor of women they call “survivors,” a term that presupposes the charges to be true (and the man to be the aggressor).
In reviewing Ludlow’s case, Kipnis discovered a backstage adviser in the affair who has played a nefarious role in many other Title IX investigations, Professor Heidi Lockwood. Defying all logic, Lockwood denies that consent is the decisive factor in determining whether sex is consensual. In her schema, widely shared in feminist academia, consent does not exist if there are “differentials in power.” The logic of Lockwood’s construct is that women are never independent beings during heterosexual sex since we live in a patriarchy.
Sex—which under bourgeois morality is colored by shame, fear and religious dogma, not to mention class and racial inequality—is often messy and complicated. But we do not believe that someone who is simply older, has a better job or is in a position of authority inevitably turns his or her “subordinate” into a passive automaton. As long as those participating consent at the time, nobody else, least of all the state or campus administrators, has the right to tell them if or how they can do it. For Marxists, the guiding principle in sexual relations is effective consent: what two (or more) people agree to do, regardless of age, gender or sexual preference, is no business of the government or campus authorities.
In her recent book and essays, Kipnis challenges how female students are infantilized as helpless victims of professors with whom they’ve had sexual relations. She harks back to her own years as a college student, before sex was considered dangerous and when screwing professors “was more or less part of the curriculum.” The number of students and teachers who have fallen for each other and acted on it over the years is legion. To condemn these acts is a blatant attempt to control and criminalize sex (or anything hinting of it) between consenting individuals. We oppose all “age of consent” laws that prohibit consensual sexual relations in the name of “protecting” youth; we do not accord the capitalist state the right to decree an arbitrary age at which people can experiment, desire or fool around. Likewise, we oppose all laws against “crimes without victims” such as prostitution, gambling, drug use or pornography.
Anti-sex hysteria intersects the racial oppression that is central to U.S. capitalism. In a country where simply being a black man is enough for the cops to frame you up for something, blacks and minorities are particularly targeted as supposed predators. Panic over black male sexuality and interracial sex has long been used as a justification for (legal or extralegal) lynch rope terror—look at the Scottsboro Boys and Emmett Till. Unwanted Advances mentions in passing the story of a black college athlete charged with sexual assault for giving his girlfriend a hickey. The case was that of Colorado State University student Grant Neal. Although the woman emphatically reported that no nonconsensual act had taken place, a “friend” of hers reported the hickey to the Title IX authorities. Grant was suspended, his athletic scholarship was revoked, and no other college would admit him. He later sued the university for discrimination, settling out of court.
As reported by journalist Emily Yoffe in an article, “The Question of Race in Campus Sexual-Assault Cases” (Atlantic, 11 September), Colgate University was recently investigated for race discrimination in its sexual assault adjudication process. On a campus where only 4 percent of students are black, during the 2013-14 academic year black male students made up half of those accused of sexual violations. Black and immigrant students, who more often than not lack the financial resources to mount an effective legal defense, are exceptionally vulnerable in the face of bigoted and zealous prosecutors. Title IX has also been used to railroad gay people and leftists.
The Myth of “Rape Culture”: Sex Panic as Social Control
The ideological backdrop to sexual paranoia on campus is the notion of “rape culture.” Kipnis challenges two ubiquitous claims: that one in five college women is a victim of sexual assault, and that only 2 percent of rape allegations are false. In fact, contrary to the image of universities as a hotbed for rapists and predators, students actually experience lower rates of sexual violence than their non-college counterparts. As far back as the 1990s, Princeton grad student Katie Roiphe challenged the notion of a so-called “epidemic” of date rape on campuses in her defiant book, The Morning After: Sex, Fear, and Feminism on Campus (see “The ‘Date Rape’ Issue: Feminist Hysteria, Anti-Sex Witchhunt,” Women and Revolution No. 43, Winter 1993-Spring 1994).
The false “one in five” figure originates from Susan Brownmiller’s 1975 book Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, which infamously contended that rape or threat of rape is the main way in which all men control all women. Pervaded with racist and anti-sex filth, the book equivocated on the defense of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black youth who was kidnapped and lynched for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Brownmiller presented the whistle by Till—whose killing was a galvanizing incident for the civil rights movement—as a “deliberate insult just short of physical assault.”
Kipnis shrewdly argues that “rape culture” has become the university counterpart of the September 11 attacks that have been used as the justification for the wholesale shredding of civil liberties under the guise of the “war on terror”:
“On campus, the term rape culture, like the term terrorism, has become the rhetoric of emergency. Fear becomes the guidelines, promulgating more fear…. The failed war exacerbates the fears, which becomes the rationale for further expanding the security state: vast expenditures, increased layers of bureaucracy, surveillance, secret renditions, summary justice—like expelling a freshman for ‘emotional coercion’.”
Unwanted Advances touches on the social and economic backdrop to the regulation of sex. Today, where even a miserable $15 an hour is out of reach for millions of workers, college-age adults see a precarious future. Decent-paying employment is far from guaranteed even with a four-year degree, which in any case leaves graduates saddled with debt, chained to their parents’ housing and health insurance. Combine that with concern that a romantic encounter could end up with one being marked a “sex criminal,” and you have a solid means for the ruling class to push social conformity.
Part of why Kipnis was able to maintain her composure during her own farcical Title IX trial was because, as a tenured professor, she felt her job was secure. Today, the bulk of professors are not so lucky. Over half of all university instructors are part-time adjuncts—low-paid contract employees with no union representation or job security. If an adjunct instructor is brought up on even the flimsiest charges of sexual misconduct, their career is immediately on the line.
Title IX “sex offender” vendettas strengthen the power of the reactionary campus administrations to strip tenured faculty and staff of the few protections they have. Students, professors and campus workers should have more defense against misconduct allegations, not less. The fight to gain and extend protections on campus, including union rights, requires a fight against the administration, which runs the university on behalf of the anti-woman, anti-black, anti-worker ruling class.
Bourgeois Feminism vs. Revolutionary Marxism
In capitalist society, the prospects of justice for actual victims of rape are bleak. Women who report rape are routinely harassed by the police and practically put on trial themselves while the courts inspect their “morality.” In the bourgeois legal system, the prosecution of sexual offenses has little to do with protecting women against violence and more to do with maintaining their subjugation within the family. The institution of the family is the main source of the oppression of women and children. For the bourgeoisie, the family is used to pass property on to the next generation. For working people, the family—in which women are consigned to running the household and rearing the next generation—inculcates and reinforces bourgeois ideology and morals and, above all, obedience to authority.
Anti-sex witchhunts not only bolster the family, but also provide an ideological basis for state repression. For Marxists, the capitalist state—including the cops, courts and prisons—is the instrument for the suppression of the exploited and oppressed by the exploiters. Alongside the family and organized religion, it plays a key role in enforcing the oppression of women and youth. Feminists, even radical or “socialist” ones, operate entirely within the framework of capitalist rule and reject this understanding. In fact, one form of feminism today is called “carceral feminism” because it pushes for more policing, prosecution and imprisonment as the solution to violence against women.
Kipnis denounces carceral feminism and paternalist feminism, i.e., the concept that women should be protected and men policed, and argues in favor of “grown-up feminism.” For her, the feminism from her generation has been “hijacked.” She notes that college students in the 1960s and ’70s fought to end the in loco parentis prerogatives of campus administrations, while her students today invite college administration snoops into their bedrooms.
Yet feminists have often lined up with some of the most virulent reactionaries, including allying with religious fundamentalists, to support the bourgeoisie’s anti-sex witchhunts—from censoring porn to criminalizing “deviant” sex. Feminism is based on the false consciousness of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois women who seek to enter the straight male club of power and privilege. Their strategy has been to rely on the capitalist Democratic Party to defend women, which serves only to demobilize fighters for women’s rights.
While Kipnis bemoans the fact that abortion rights, equal pay, childcare and maternity leave have been relegated to mere side issues, she still relies on feminism to address such concerns. In fact, the fight for things like free, quality 24-hour childcare, equal pay for equal work, and free contraception and abortion must be tied to a struggle to overthrow the economic system that is the source of women’s oppression. The liberation of women requires a socialist revolution, which will uproot the private property system and replace the family with socialized childcare and housework, bringing women fully into social and political life.
Fake Socialists Join Anti-Sex Frenzy
It is a mark of the reactionary political climate that Unwanted Advances has either been ignored or treated with contempt by the bulk of the left. Kipnis has instead been lauded by right-wing libertarian groups like FIRE and Reason, both with ties to the Koch brothers. These groups have been promoting the faux “free speech” agenda on campus as a cover for racist, sexist provocations. Kipnis is perplexed by such praise from those who want to destroy the left. By entrusting the capitalist state with powers that will inevitably be used against them, liberals and feminists have handed a weapon to the right wing. It is a measure of how much reformist socialists have adapted to puritanical “family values” that they march in lockstep with the feminists (read: Democrats) to promote bourgeois behavior codes.
In the article “DeVos Is Turning the Clock Back on Survivors” (Socialist Worker, 13 September), the International Socialist Organization (ISO) laments DeVos’s latest action as one of a “series of attacks against survivors by the current administration,” and declares: “We will not go back.” The ISO hails Obama’s “Dear Colleague Letter” and retails dubious statistics about sexual assault in order to join what they hail as a “growing” movement against sexual violence on campus. That movement plugs the inherently racist, sexist and elitist bourgeois education system as a “space” in which women, transgender people or racial minorities can be “safe” from oppression.
Socialist Alternative (SAlt) has latched onto the same movement, in particular at UCLA, where they have been active around the Title IX case of Gabriel Piterberg. An Israeli, pro-Palestinian professor of history, Piterberg was charged with sexual harassment by two grad students in 2014. While denying the charges, he made a settlement with the university, which included being fined, suspended for a quarter without pay, and removed from his position as director of the university’s Center for Near Eastern Studies. But this was not enough for SAlt and its cohorts in the feminist Bruins Against Sexual Harassment. Student protesters repeatedly shut down his classes, railing that UCLA was protecting a “sexual predator.”
Whatever happened between Piterberg and his accusers, we oppose eternal punishment, akin to being branded a sex offender for life. Piterberg is also a well-known defender of the oppressed Palestinian people who has been targeted for years by powerful Zionist forces. His treatment raises the question of whether the Title IX apparatus is being used to do the Zionists’ dirty work.
While no one can fix all the problems of sexual relations in this rotten, decaying society, we oppose all attempts to fit human sexuality into pre-ordained “norms.” To create genuinely equal relations between people in all spheres, including sex, requires nothing less than the destruction of the capitalist system through a series of socialist revolutions internationally, opening the way to the creation of a communist world. In a classless society, social and economic constraints on sexual relations will be nonexistent, and in the words of Friedrich Engels, “There is no other motive left except mutual inclination.”
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1121/kipnis_review.html
submitted by FinnagainsAwake to newswithouthate [link] [comments]


2017.11.08 13:25 FinnagainsAwake Title IX Witchhunts, Anti-Sex Frenzy and Bourgeois Feminism (Workers Vanguard) 3 Nov 2017

https://archive.is/eKZbm
Workers Vanguard No. 1121 3 November 2017
Title IX Witchhunts, Anti-Sex Frenzy and Bourgeois Feminism
(Women and Revolution pages)
Unwanted Advances
Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus
A Review
Is the specter of sex haunting the campus? Under the pretense of targeting sexual harassment and assault, university administrations have been whipping up a climate of fear and imposing neo-Victorian values. As the recent book Unwanted Advances—Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus (HarperCollins Publishers, April 2017) argues, “The new campus codes aren’t preventing nonconsensual sex; they’re producing it.” Written by Northwestern University professor and self-described left-wing feminist Laura Kipnis, the book exposes the vastly expanded definitions of sexual assault, which criminalize anything from drunken hook-ups to student-professor romance and even allow for consent to be withdrawn retroactively.
Kipnis joins others who have blown the whistle on the Title IX “sexual misconduct” investigation apparatus. Title IX was originally enacted in 1972 to outlaw sex discrimination in federally financed institutions, to increase funding for women’s college sports and women’s enrollment in medical and law schools. Now it has been turned into a mammoth kangaroo court without any semblance of due process for the accused. In 2011, Obama’s administration issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” containing revised Title IX guidelines with which colleges had to comply or risk losing federal funding. Most striking of these guidelines was the adoption of the lowest standard of proof, a “preponderance of evidence,” in campus sexual assault hearings. By this standard, the accused can be convicted based on anything over a 50 percent likelihood of guilt, as opposed to “beyond a reasonable doubt” in criminal cases. Students have had their scholarships withdrawn and been expelled, and professors have had their careers destroyed based on mere speculation.
With sexual harassment vaguely defined as “unwelcome conduct,” university bureaucrats have gone after teachers and students alike for controversial comments and misguided jokes or compliments. And though one would be hard pressed to find sex on campus that doesn’t involve some level of intoxication, under the Obama-era guidelines, any sexual act under the influence is treated as nonconsensual.
Kipnis herself witnessed firsthand a process that is normally cloaked in a veil of secrecy after she became a target of a Title IX investigation for having written an essay. Students complained that she had created a hostile environment with her Chronicle of Higher Education piece, “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe” (February 2015), which opposed prohibitions on student-faculty relationships and other draconian campus sex codes. After documenting this sinister circus in a follow-up essay, “My Title IX Inquisition” (May 2015), Kipnis became an unintentional spokesperson for countless victims of the anti-sex bureaucracy.
To be sure, rape and sexual harassment happen, and universities are well versed in sweeping cases of criminal sexual violence under the rug to preserve their reputations. Kipnis goes out of her way to prove she’s not “soft” on rape. But it is no help to victims of real abuse for voluntary and involuntary acts to be lumped together under the umbrella-like designation of “sexual misconduct,” i.e., to make no distinction between discomfort and coercion. As we wrote following the implementation of “yes means yes” legislation in California: “The suggestion that a misunderstanding—or for that matter, bad or unpleasant sex—is equivalent to rape is not only ludicrous but dangerously trivializing of actual sexual violence” (“Sex and Consent on Campus,” WV No. 1056, 14 November 2014).
When Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced in September that she would rescind Obama’s guidelines, feminists and Democratic Party politicos were quick to decry the move as yet another attack by an overtly racist and ultra-conservative administration. Trump and his right-wing cohorts have a sinister program to eliminate women’s right to abortion and to wage a racist war on what little remains of affirmative action. But the Democrats represent the interests of the same bourgeois ruling class as the Republicans, and also push an anti-woman agenda, including sexual repression. In fact, expanding the powers of the government and its agents in the university administration, cynically done in the name of defending the vulnerable, is a gift to the reactionary forces that aim to dismantle Title IX and go after civil rights wholesale.
The Uses and Abuses of Title IX
The current anti-sex campaign is rooted in the bipartisan rollback of the limited but real gains won through struggles in the late 1960s and early ’70s amid the radicalization during the fight for black rights and against the Vietnam War. But important concessions, such as the legal right to abortion, have since been undermined or overturned by the ruling class—see the massive erosion of Roe v. Wade. Reforms are always reversible when power remains in the hands of the capitalist exploiters.
In the 1980s, a right-wing “family values” offensive was joined by a liberal/feminist auxiliary that went on to promote panic over “date rape” on campuses. The Title IX apparatus has become the latest tool in the rulers’ decades-long anti-sex crusade to justify augmenting the police forces of the state and legitimize intrusion into private life—from the demented accusations of satanic ritual abuse against day-care workers in the 1980s to the permanent ostracizing of hundreds of thousands of people branded “sex offenders” today. Stirring up mass anxiety conveniently diverts discontent away from the horrors of life for the bulk of society: unemployment, plunging wages and soaring costs of housing, health care and education.
Aside from Kipnis’s own story, which she relates with impressive wit, the central case of Unwanted Advances is that of Peter Ludlow, a highly regarded, tenured professor of philosophy at Northwestern. Ludlow was driven out of the university by the Title IX authorities who found him guilty of sexual harassment in two cases. One involved an undergraduate who accused him of forcing her to drink alcohol and groping her; in the other, a graduate student claimed there had been a nonconsensual act during their months-long relationship. Ludlow denied all accusations. During drawn-out Star Chamber procedures, he was banned from campus and smeared in the press as a rapist. Blacklisted, Ludlow resigned and moved to Mexico, dead broke from legal fees. He handed over all his documentation to Kipnis, which confirmed her suspicion that the case was a frame-up.
In page after page of engrossing detail, Kipnis describes the sexual misconduct inquisition: the accused has no right to know the charges, nor who made them, which makes mounting an effective defense nearly impossible; hearings are conducted in secret and typically conclude with a gag order on the accused; the investigators act as judge and jury, and can raise accusations based on hearsay. Kipnis exposes the rampant bias of the Title IX officers in favor of women they call “survivors,” a term that presupposes the charges to be true (and the man to be the aggressor).
In reviewing Ludlow’s case, Kipnis discovered a backstage adviser in the affair who has played a nefarious role in many other Title IX investigations, Professor Heidi Lockwood. Defying all logic, Lockwood denies that consent is the decisive factor in determining whether sex is consensual. In her schema, widely shared in feminist academia, consent does not exist if there are “differentials in power.” The logic of Lockwood’s construct is that women are never independent beings during heterosexual sex since we live in a patriarchy.
Sex—which under bourgeois morality is colored by shame, fear and religious dogma, not to mention class and racial inequality—is often messy and complicated. But we do not believe that someone who is simply older, has a better job or is in a position of authority inevitably turns his or her “subordinate” into a passive automaton. As long as those participating consent at the time, nobody else, least of all the state or campus administrators, has the right to tell them if or how they can do it. For Marxists, the guiding principle in sexual relations is effective consent: what two (or more) people agree to do, regardless of age, gender or sexual preference, is no business of the government or campus authorities.
In her recent book and essays, Kipnis challenges how female students are infantilized as helpless victims of professors with whom they’ve had sexual relations. She harks back to her own years as a college student, before sex was considered dangerous and when screwing professors “was more or less part of the curriculum.” The number of students and teachers who have fallen for each other and acted on it over the years is legion. To condemn these acts is a blatant attempt to control and criminalize sex (or anything hinting of it) between consenting individuals. We oppose all “age of consent” laws that prohibit consensual sexual relations in the name of “protecting” youth; we do not accord the capitalist state the right to decree an arbitrary age at which people can experiment, desire or fool around. Likewise, we oppose all laws against “crimes without victims” such as prostitution, gambling, drug use or pornography.
Anti-sex hysteria intersects the racial oppression that is central to U.S. capitalism. In a country where simply being a black man is enough for the cops to frame you up for something, blacks and minorities are particularly targeted as supposed predators. Panic over black male sexuality and interracial sex has long been used as a justification for (legal or extralegal) lynch rope terror—look at the Scottsboro Boys and Emmett Till. Unwanted Advances mentions in passing the story of a black college athlete charged with sexual assault for giving his girlfriend a hickey. The case was that of Colorado State University student Grant Neal. Although the woman emphatically reported that no nonconsensual act had taken place, a “friend” of hers reported the hickey to the Title IX authorities. Grant was suspended, his athletic scholarship was revoked, and no other college would admit him. He later sued the university for discrimination, settling out of court.
As reported by journalist Emily Yoffe in an article, “The Question of Race in Campus Sexual-Assault Cases” (Atlantic, 11 September), Colgate University was recently investigated for race discrimination in its sexual assault adjudication process. On a campus where only 4 percent of students are black, during the 2013-14 academic year black male students made up half of those accused of sexual violations. Black and immigrant students, who more often than not lack the financial resources to mount an effective legal defense, are exceptionally vulnerable in the face of bigoted and zealous prosecutors. Title IX has also been used to railroad gay people and leftists.
The Myth of “Rape Culture”: Sex Panic as Social Control
The ideological backdrop to sexual paranoia on campus is the notion of “rape culture.” Kipnis challenges two ubiquitous claims: that one in five college women is a victim of sexual assault, and that only 2 percent of rape allegations are false. In fact, contrary to the image of universities as a hotbed for rapists and predators, students actually experience lower rates of sexual violence than their non-college counterparts. As far back as the 1990s, Princeton grad student Katie Roiphe challenged the notion of a so-called “epidemic” of date rape on campuses in her defiant book, The Morning After: Sex, Fear, and Feminism on Campus (see “The ‘Date Rape’ Issue: Feminist Hysteria, Anti-Sex Witchhunt,” Women and Revolution No. 43, Winter 1993-Spring 1994).
The false “one in five” figure originates from Susan Brownmiller’s 1975 book Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, which infamously contended that rape or threat of rape is the main way in which all men control all women. Pervaded with racist and anti-sex filth, the book equivocated on the defense of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black youth who was kidnapped and lynched for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Brownmiller presented the whistle by Till—whose killing was a galvanizing incident for the civil rights movement—as a “deliberate insult just short of physical assault.”
Kipnis shrewdly argues that “rape culture” has become the university counterpart of the September 11 attacks that have been used as the justification for the wholesale shredding of civil liberties under the guise of the “war on terror”:
“On campus, the term rape culture, like the term terrorism, has become the rhetoric of emergency. Fear becomes the guidelines, promulgating more fear…. The failed war exacerbates the fears, which becomes the rationale for further expanding the security state: vast expenditures, increased layers of bureaucracy, surveillance, secret renditions, summary justice—like expelling a freshman for ‘emotional coercion’.”
Unwanted Advances touches on the social and economic backdrop to the regulation of sex. Today, where even a miserable $15 an hour is out of reach for millions of workers, college-age adults see a precarious future. Decent-paying employment is far from guaranteed even with a four-year degree, which in any case leaves graduates saddled with debt, chained to their parents’ housing and health insurance. Combine that with concern that a romantic encounter could end up with one being marked a “sex criminal,” and you have a solid means for the ruling class to push social conformity.
Part of why Kipnis was able to maintain her composure during her own farcical Title IX trial was because, as a tenured professor, she felt her job was secure. Today, the bulk of professors are not so lucky. Over half of all university instructors are part-time adjuncts—low-paid contract employees with no union representation or job security. If an adjunct instructor is brought up on even the flimsiest charges of sexual misconduct, their career is immediately on the line.
Title IX “sex offender” vendettas strengthen the power of the reactionary campus administrations to strip tenured faculty and staff of the few protections they have. Students, professors and campus workers should have more defense against misconduct allegations, not less. The fight to gain and extend protections on campus, including union rights, requires a fight against the administration, which runs the university on behalf of the anti-woman, anti-black, anti-worker ruling class.
Bourgeois Feminism vs. Revolutionary Marxism
In capitalist society, the prospects of justice for actual victims of rape are bleak. Women who report rape are routinely harassed by the police and practically put on trial themselves while the courts inspect their “morality.” In the bourgeois legal system, the prosecution of sexual offenses has little to do with protecting women against violence and more to do with maintaining their subjugation within the family. The institution of the family is the main source of the oppression of women and children. For the bourgeoisie, the family is used to pass property on to the next generation. For working people, the family—in which women are consigned to running the household and rearing the next generation—inculcates and reinforces bourgeois ideology and morals and, above all, obedience to authority.
Anti-sex witchhunts not only bolster the family, but also provide an ideological basis for state repression. For Marxists, the capitalist state—including the cops, courts and prisons—is the instrument for the suppression of the exploited and oppressed by the exploiters. Alongside the family and organized religion, it plays a key role in enforcing the oppression of women and youth. Feminists, even radical or “socialist” ones, operate entirely within the framework of capitalist rule and reject this understanding. In fact, one form of feminism today is called “carceral feminism” because it pushes for more policing, prosecution and imprisonment as the solution to violence against women.
Kipnis denounces carceral feminism and paternalist feminism, i.e., the concept that women should be protected and men policed, and argues in favor of “grown-up feminism.” For her, the feminism from her generation has been “hijacked.” She notes that college students in the 1960s and ’70s fought to end the in loco parentis prerogatives of campus administrations, while her students today invite college administration snoops into their bedrooms.
Yet feminists have often lined up with some of the most virulent reactionaries, including allying with religious fundamentalists, to support the bourgeoisie’s anti-sex witchhunts—from censoring porn to criminalizing “deviant” sex. Feminism is based on the false consciousness of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois women who seek to enter the straight male club of power and privilege. Their strategy has been to rely on the capitalist Democratic Party to defend women, which serves only to demobilize fighters for women’s rights.
While Kipnis bemoans the fact that abortion rights, equal pay, childcare and maternity leave have been relegated to mere side issues, she still relies on feminism to address such concerns. In fact, the fight for things like free, quality 24-hour childcare, equal pay for equal work, and free contraception and abortion must be tied to a struggle to overthrow the economic system that is the source of women’s oppression. The liberation of women requires a socialist revolution, which will uproot the private property system and replace the family with socialized childcare and housework, bringing women fully into social and political life.
Fake Socialists Join Anti-Sex Frenzy
It is a mark of the reactionary political climate that Unwanted Advances has either been ignored or treated with contempt by the bulk of the left. Kipnis has instead been lauded by right-wing libertarian groups like FIRE and Reason, both with ties to the Koch brothers. These groups have been promoting the faux “free speech” agenda on campus as a cover for racist, sexist provocations. Kipnis is perplexed by such praise from those who want to destroy the left. By entrusting the capitalist state with powers that will inevitably be used against them, liberals and feminists have handed a weapon to the right wing. It is a measure of how much reformist socialists have adapted to puritanical “family values” that they march in lockstep with the feminists (read: Democrats) to promote bourgeois behavior codes.
In the article “DeVos Is Turning the Clock Back on Survivors” (Socialist Worker, 13 September), the International Socialist Organization (ISO) laments DeVos’s latest action as one of a “series of attacks against survivors by the current administration,” and declares: “We will not go back.” The ISO hails Obama’s “Dear Colleague Letter” and retails dubious statistics about sexual assault in order to join what they hail as a “growing” movement against sexual violence on campus. That movement plugs the inherently racist, sexist and elitist bourgeois education system as a “space” in which women, transgender people or racial minorities can be “safe” from oppression.
Socialist Alternative (SAlt) has latched onto the same movement, in particular at UCLA, where they have been active around the Title IX case of Gabriel Piterberg. An Israeli, pro-Palestinian professor of history, Piterberg was charged with sexual harassment by two grad students in 2014. While denying the charges, he made a settlement with the university, which included being fined, suspended for a quarter without pay, and removed from his position as director of the university’s Center for Near Eastern Studies. But this was not enough for SAlt and its cohorts in the feminist Bruins Against Sexual Harassment. Student protesters repeatedly shut down his classes, railing that UCLA was protecting a “sexual predator.”
Whatever happened between Piterberg and his accusers, we oppose eternal punishment, akin to being branded a sex offender for life. Piterberg is also a well-known defender of the oppressed Palestinian people who has been targeted for years by powerful Zionist forces. His treatment raises the question of whether the Title IX apparatus is being used to do the Zionists’ dirty work.
While no one can fix all the problems of sexual relations in this rotten, decaying society, we oppose all attempts to fit human sexuality into pre-ordained “norms.” To create genuinely equal relations between people in all spheres, including sex, requires nothing less than the destruction of the capitalist system through a series of socialist revolutions internationally, opening the way to the creation of a communist world. In a classless society, social and economic constraints on sexual relations will be nonexistent, and in the words of Friedrich Engels, “There is no other motive left except mutual inclination.”
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1121/kipnis_review.html
submitted by FinnagainsAwake to LibertarianFeminism [link] [comments]


2017.11.08 12:26 FinnagainsAwake Title IX Witchhunts, Anti-Sex Frenzy and Bourgeois Feminism (Workers Vanguard) 3 Nov 2017

https://archive.is/eKZbm
Workers Vanguard No. 1121 3 November 2017
Title IX Witchhunts, Anti-Sex Frenzy and Bourgeois Feminism
(Women and Revolution pages)
Unwanted Advances
Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus
A Review
Is the specter of sex haunting the campus? Under the pretense of targeting sexual harassment and assault, university administrations have been whipping up a climate of fear and imposing neo-Victorian values. As the recent book Unwanted Advances—Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus (HarperCollins Publishers, April 2017) argues, “The new campus codes aren’t preventing nonconsensual sex; they’re producing it.” Written by Northwestern University professor and self-described left-wing feminist Laura Kipnis, the book exposes the vastly expanded definitions of sexual assault, which criminalize anything from drunken hook-ups to student-professor romance and even allow for consent to be withdrawn retroactively.
Kipnis joins others who have blown the whistle on the Title IX “sexual misconduct” investigation apparatus. Title IX was originally enacted in 1972 to outlaw sex discrimination in federally financed institutions, to increase funding for women’s college sports and women’s enrollment in medical and law schools. Now it has been turned into a mammoth kangaroo court without any semblance of due process for the accused. In 2011, Obama’s administration issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” containing revised Title IX guidelines with which colleges had to comply or risk losing federal funding. Most striking of these guidelines was the adoption of the lowest standard of proof, a “preponderance of evidence,” in campus sexual assault hearings. By this standard, the accused can be convicted based on anything over a 50 percent likelihood of guilt, as opposed to “beyond a reasonable doubt” in criminal cases. Students have had their scholarships withdrawn and been expelled, and professors have had their careers destroyed based on mere speculation.
With sexual harassment vaguely defined as “unwelcome conduct,” university bureaucrats have gone after teachers and students alike for controversial comments and misguided jokes or compliments. And though one would be hard pressed to find sex on campus that doesn’t involve some level of intoxication, under the Obama-era guidelines, any sexual act under the influence is treated as nonconsensual.
Kipnis herself witnessed firsthand a process that is normally cloaked in a veil of secrecy after she became a target of a Title IX investigation for having written an essay. Students complained that she had created a hostile environment with her Chronicle of Higher Education piece, “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe” (February 2015), which opposed prohibitions on student-faculty relationships and other draconian campus sex codes. After documenting this sinister circus in a follow-up essay, “My Title IX Inquisition” (May 2015), Kipnis became an unintentional spokesperson for countless victims of the anti-sex bureaucracy.
To be sure, rape and sexual harassment happen, and universities are well versed in sweeping cases of criminal sexual violence under the rug to preserve their reputations. Kipnis goes out of her way to prove she’s not “soft” on rape. But it is no help to victims of real abuse for voluntary and involuntary acts to be lumped together under the umbrella-like designation of “sexual misconduct,” i.e., to make no distinction between discomfort and coercion. As we wrote following the implementation of “yes means yes” legislation in California: “The suggestion that a misunderstanding—or for that matter, bad or unpleasant sex—is equivalent to rape is not only ludicrous but dangerously trivializing of actual sexual violence” (“Sex and Consent on Campus,” WV No. 1056, 14 November 2014).
When Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced in September that she would rescind Obama’s guidelines, feminists and Democratic Party politicos were quick to decry the move as yet another attack by an overtly racist and ultra-conservative administration. Trump and his right-wing cohorts have a sinister program to eliminate women’s right to abortion and to wage a racist war on what little remains of affirmative action. But the Democrats represent the interests of the same bourgeois ruling class as the Republicans, and also push an anti-woman agenda, including sexual repression. In fact, expanding the powers of the government and its agents in the university administration, cynically done in the name of defending the vulnerable, is a gift to the reactionary forces that aim to dismantle Title IX and go after civil rights wholesale.
The Uses and Abuses of Title IX
The current anti-sex campaign is rooted in the bipartisan rollback of the limited but real gains won through struggles in the late 1960s and early ’70s amid the radicalization during the fight for black rights and against the Vietnam War. But important concessions, such as the legal right to abortion, have since been undermined or overturned by the ruling class—see the massive erosion of Roe v. Wade. Reforms are always reversible when power remains in the hands of the capitalist exploiters.
In the 1980s, a right-wing “family values” offensive was joined by a liberal/feminist auxiliary that went on to promote panic over “date rape” on campuses. The Title IX apparatus has become the latest tool in the rulers’ decades-long anti-sex crusade to justify augmenting the police forces of the state and legitimize intrusion into private life—from the demented accusations of satanic ritual abuse against day-care workers in the 1980s to the permanent ostracizing of hundreds of thousands of people branded “sex offenders” today. Stirring up mass anxiety conveniently diverts discontent away from the horrors of life for the bulk of society: unemployment, plunging wages and soaring costs of housing, health care and education.
Aside from Kipnis’s own story, which she relates with impressive wit, the central case of Unwanted Advances is that of Peter Ludlow, a highly regarded, tenured professor of philosophy at Northwestern. Ludlow was driven out of the university by the Title IX authorities who found him guilty of sexual harassment in two cases. One involved an undergraduate who accused him of forcing her to drink alcohol and groping her; in the other, a graduate student claimed there had been a nonconsensual act during their months-long relationship. Ludlow denied all accusations. During drawn-out Star Chamber procedures, he was banned from campus and smeared in the press as a rapist. Blacklisted, Ludlow resigned and moved to Mexico, dead broke from legal fees. He handed over all his documentation to Kipnis, which confirmed her suspicion that the case was a frame-up.
In page after page of engrossing detail, Kipnis describes the sexual misconduct inquisition: the accused has no right to know the charges, nor who made them, which makes mounting an effective defense nearly impossible; hearings are conducted in secret and typically conclude with a gag order on the accused; the investigators act as judge and jury, and can raise accusations based on hearsay. Kipnis exposes the rampant bias of the Title IX officers in favor of women they call “survivors,” a term that presupposes the charges to be true (and the man to be the aggressor).
In reviewing Ludlow’s case, Kipnis discovered a backstage adviser in the affair who has played a nefarious role in many other Title IX investigations, Professor Heidi Lockwood. Defying all logic, Lockwood denies that consent is the decisive factor in determining whether sex is consensual. In her schema, widely shared in feminist academia, consent does not exist if there are “differentials in power.” The logic of Lockwood’s construct is that women are never independent beings during heterosexual sex since we live in a patriarchy.
Sex—which under bourgeois morality is colored by shame, fear and religious dogma, not to mention class and racial inequality—is often messy and complicated. But we do not believe that someone who is simply older, has a better job or is in a position of authority inevitably turns his or her “subordinate” into a passive automaton. As long as those participating consent at the time, nobody else, least of all the state or campus administrators, has the right to tell them if or how they can do it. For Marxists, the guiding principle in sexual relations is effective consent: what two (or more) people agree to do, regardless of age, gender or sexual preference, is no business of the government or campus authorities.
In her recent book and essays, Kipnis challenges how female students are infantilized as helpless victims of professors with whom they’ve had sexual relations. She harks back to her own years as a college student, before sex was considered dangerous and when screwing professors “was more or less part of the curriculum.” The number of students and teachers who have fallen for each other and acted on it over the years is legion. To condemn these acts is a blatant attempt to control and criminalize sex (or anything hinting of it) between consenting individuals. We oppose all “age of consent” laws that prohibit consensual sexual relations in the name of “protecting” youth; we do not accord the capitalist state the right to decree an arbitrary age at which people can experiment, desire or fool around. Likewise, we oppose all laws against “crimes without victims” such as prostitution, gambling, drug use or pornography.
Anti-sex hysteria intersects the racial oppression that is central to U.S. capitalism. In a country where simply being a black man is enough for the cops to frame you up for something, blacks and minorities are particularly targeted as supposed predators. Panic over black male sexuality and interracial sex has long been used as a justification for (legal or extralegal) lynch rope terror—look at the Scottsboro Boys and Emmett Till. Unwanted Advances mentions in passing the story of a black college athlete charged with sexual assault for giving his girlfriend a hickey. The case was that of Colorado State University student Grant Neal. Although the woman emphatically reported that no nonconsensual act had taken place, a “friend” of hers reported the hickey to the Title IX authorities. Grant was suspended, his athletic scholarship was revoked, and no other college would admit him. He later sued the university for discrimination, settling out of court.
As reported by journalist Emily Yoffe in an article, “The Question of Race in Campus Sexual-Assault Cases” (Atlantic, 11 September), Colgate University was recently investigated for race discrimination in its sexual assault adjudication process. On a campus where only 4 percent of students are black, during the 2013-14 academic year black male students made up half of those accused of sexual violations. Black and immigrant students, who more often than not lack the financial resources to mount an effective legal defense, are exceptionally vulnerable in the face of bigoted and zealous prosecutors. Title IX has also been used to railroad gay people and leftists.
The Myth of “Rape Culture”: Sex Panic as Social Control
The ideological backdrop to sexual paranoia on campus is the notion of “rape culture.” Kipnis challenges two ubiquitous claims: that one in five college women is a victim of sexual assault, and that only 2 percent of rape allegations are false. In fact, contrary to the image of universities as a hotbed for rapists and predators, students actually experience lower rates of sexual violence than their non-college counterparts. As far back as the 1990s, Princeton grad student Katie Roiphe challenged the notion of a so-called “epidemic” of date rape on campuses in her defiant book, The Morning After: Sex, Fear, and Feminism on Campus (see “The ‘Date Rape’ Issue: Feminist Hysteria, Anti-Sex Witchhunt,” Women and Revolution No. 43, Winter 1993-Spring 1994).
The false “one in five” figure originates from Susan Brownmiller’s 1975 book Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, which infamously contended that rape or threat of rape is the main way in which all men control all women. Pervaded with racist and anti-sex filth, the book equivocated on the defense of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black youth who was kidnapped and lynched for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Brownmiller presented the whistle by Till—whose killing was a galvanizing incident for the civil rights movement—as a “deliberate insult just short of physical assault.”
Kipnis shrewdly argues that “rape culture” has become the university counterpart of the September 11 attacks that have been used as the justification for the wholesale shredding of civil liberties under the guise of the “war on terror”:
“On campus, the term rape culture, like the term terrorism, has become the rhetoric of emergency. Fear becomes the guidelines, promulgating more fear…. The failed war exacerbates the fears, which becomes the rationale for further expanding the security state: vast expenditures, increased layers of bureaucracy, surveillance, secret renditions, summary justice—like expelling a freshman for ‘emotional coercion’.”
Unwanted Advances touches on the social and economic backdrop to the regulation of sex. Today, where even a miserable $15 an hour is out of reach for millions of workers, college-age adults see a precarious future. Decent-paying employment is far from guaranteed even with a four-year degree, which in any case leaves graduates saddled with debt, chained to their parents’ housing and health insurance. Combine that with concern that a romantic encounter could end up with one being marked a “sex criminal,” and you have a solid means for the ruling class to push social conformity.
Part of why Kipnis was able to maintain her composure during her own farcical Title IX trial was because, as a tenured professor, she felt her job was secure. Today, the bulk of professors are not so lucky. Over half of all university instructors are part-time adjuncts—low-paid contract employees with no union representation or job security. If an adjunct instructor is brought up on even the flimsiest charges of sexual misconduct, their career is immediately on the line.
Title IX “sex offender” vendettas strengthen the power of the reactionary campus administrations to strip tenured faculty and staff of the few protections they have. Students, professors and campus workers should have more defense against misconduct allegations, not less. The fight to gain and extend protections on campus, including union rights, requires a fight against the administration, which runs the university on behalf of the anti-woman, anti-black, anti-worker ruling class.
Bourgeois Feminism vs. Revolutionary Marxism
In capitalist society, the prospects of justice for actual victims of rape are bleak. Women who report rape are routinely harassed by the police and practically put on trial themselves while the courts inspect their “morality.” In the bourgeois legal system, the prosecution of sexual offenses has little to do with protecting women against violence and more to do with maintaining their subjugation within the family. The institution of the family is the main source of the oppression of women and children. For the bourgeoisie, the family is used to pass property on to the next generation. For working people, the family—in which women are consigned to running the household and rearing the next generation—inculcates and reinforces bourgeois ideology and morals and, above all, obedience to authority.
Anti-sex witchhunts not only bolster the family, but also provide an ideological basis for state repression. For Marxists, the capitalist state—including the cops, courts and prisons—is the instrument for the suppression of the exploited and oppressed by the exploiters. Alongside the family and organized religion, it plays a key role in enforcing the oppression of women and youth. Feminists, even radical or “socialist” ones, operate entirely within the framework of capitalist rule and reject this understanding. In fact, one form of feminism today is called “carceral feminism” because it pushes for more policing, prosecution and imprisonment as the solution to violence against women.
Kipnis denounces carceral feminism and paternalist feminism, i.e., the concept that women should be protected and men policed, and argues in favor of “grown-up feminism.” For her, the feminism from her generation has been “hijacked.” She notes that college students in the 1960s and ’70s fought to end the in loco parentis prerogatives of campus administrations, while her students today invite college administration snoops into their bedrooms.
Yet feminists have often lined up with some of the most virulent reactionaries, including allying with religious fundamentalists, to support the bourgeoisie’s anti-sex witchhunts—from censoring porn to criminalizing “deviant” sex. Feminism is based on the false consciousness of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois women who seek to enter the straight male club of power and privilege. Their strategy has been to rely on the capitalist Democratic Party to defend women, which serves only to demobilize fighters for women’s rights.
While Kipnis bemoans the fact that abortion rights, equal pay, childcare and maternity leave have been relegated to mere side issues, she still relies on feminism to address such concerns. In fact, the fight for things like free, quality 24-hour childcare, equal pay for equal work, and free contraception and abortion must be tied to a struggle to overthrow the economic system that is the source of women’s oppression. The liberation of women requires a socialist revolution, which will uproot the private property system and replace the family with socialized childcare and housework, bringing women fully into social and political life.
Fake Socialists Join Anti-Sex Frenzy
It is a mark of the reactionary political climate that Unwanted Advances has either been ignored or treated with contempt by the bulk of the left. Kipnis has instead been lauded by right-wing libertarian groups like FIRE and Reason, both with ties to the Koch brothers. These groups have been promoting the faux “free speech” agenda on campus as a cover for racist, sexist provocations. Kipnis is perplexed by such praise from those who want to destroy the left. By entrusting the capitalist state with powers that will inevitably be used against them, liberals and feminists have handed a weapon to the right wing. It is a measure of how much reformist socialists have adapted to puritanical “family values” that they march in lockstep with the feminists (read: Democrats) to promote bourgeois behavior codes.
In the article “DeVos Is Turning the Clock Back on Survivors” (Socialist Worker, 13 September), the International Socialist Organization (ISO) laments DeVos’s latest action as one of a “series of attacks against survivors by the current administration,” and declares: “We will not go back.” The ISO hails Obama’s “Dear Colleague Letter” and retails dubious statistics about sexual assault in order to join what they hail as a “growing” movement against sexual violence on campus. That movement plugs the inherently racist, sexist and elitist bourgeois education system as a “space” in which women, transgender people or racial minorities can be “safe” from oppression.
Socialist Alternative (SAlt) has latched onto the same movement, in particular at UCLA, where they have been active around the Title IX case of Gabriel Piterberg. An Israeli, pro-Palestinian professor of history, Piterberg was charged with sexual harassment by two grad students in 2014. While denying the charges, he made a settlement with the university, which included being fined, suspended for a quarter without pay, and removed from his position as director of the university’s Center for Near Eastern Studies. But this was not enough for SAlt and its cohorts in the feminist Bruins Against Sexual Harassment. Student protesters repeatedly shut down his classes, railing that UCLA was protecting a “sexual predator.”
Whatever happened between Piterberg and his accusers, we oppose eternal punishment, akin to being branded a sex offender for life. Piterberg is also a well-known defender of the oppressed Palestinian people who has been targeted for years by powerful Zionist forces. His treatment raises the question of whether the Title IX apparatus is being used to do the Zionists’ dirty work.
While no one can fix all the problems of sexual relations in this rotten, decaying society, we oppose all attempts to fit human sexuality into pre-ordained “norms.” To create genuinely equal relations between people in all spheres, including sex, requires nothing less than the destruction of the capitalist system through a series of socialist revolutions internationally, opening the way to the creation of a communist world. In a classless society, social and economic constraints on sexual relations will be nonexistent, and in the words of Friedrich Engels, “There is no other motive left except mutual inclination.”
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1121/kipnis_review.html
submitted by FinnagainsAwake to liberalstupidity [link] [comments]


2017.11.08 11:07 FinnagainsAwake Title IX Witchhunts, Anti-Sex Frenzy and Bourgeois Feminism (Workers Vanguard) 3 Nov 2017

https://archive.is/eKZbm
Workers Vanguard No. 1121 3 November 2017
Title IX Witchhunts, Anti-Sex Frenzy and Bourgeois Feminism
(Women and Revolution pages)
Unwanted Advances
Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus
A Review
Is the specter of sex haunting the campus? Under the pretense of targeting sexual harassment and assault, university administrations have been whipping up a climate of fear and imposing neo-Victorian values. As the recent book Unwanted Advances—Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus (HarperCollins Publishers, April 2017) argues, “The new campus codes aren’t preventing nonconsensual sex; they’re producing it.” Written by Northwestern University professor and self-described left-wing feminist Laura Kipnis, the book exposes the vastly expanded definitions of sexual assault, which criminalize anything from drunken hook-ups to student-professor romance and even allow for consent to be withdrawn retroactively.
Kipnis joins others who have blown the whistle on the Title IX “sexual misconduct” investigation apparatus. Title IX was originally enacted in 1972 to outlaw sex discrimination in federally financed institutions, to increase funding for women’s college sports and women’s enrollment in medical and law schools. Now it has been turned into a mammoth kangaroo court without any semblance of due process for the accused. In 2011, Obama’s administration issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” containing revised Title IX guidelines with which colleges had to comply or risk losing federal funding. Most striking of these guidelines was the adoption of the lowest standard of proof, a “preponderance of evidence,” in campus sexual assault hearings. By this standard, the accused can be convicted based on anything over a 50 percent likelihood of guilt, as opposed to “beyond a reasonable doubt” in criminal cases. Students have had their scholarships withdrawn and been expelled, and professors have had their careers destroyed based on mere speculation.
With sexual harassment vaguely defined as “unwelcome conduct,” university bureaucrats have gone after teachers and students alike for controversial comments and misguided jokes or compliments. And though one would be hard pressed to find sex on campus that doesn’t involve some level of intoxication, under the Obama-era guidelines, any sexual act under the influence is treated as nonconsensual.
Kipnis herself witnessed firsthand a process that is normally cloaked in a veil of secrecy after she became a target of a Title IX investigation for having written an essay. Students complained that she had created a hostile environment with her Chronicle of Higher Education piece, “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe” (February 2015), which opposed prohibitions on student-faculty relationships and other draconian campus sex codes. After documenting this sinister circus in a follow-up essay, “My Title IX Inquisition” (May 2015), Kipnis became an unintentional spokesperson for countless victims of the anti-sex bureaucracy.
To be sure, rape and sexual harassment happen, and universities are well versed in sweeping cases of criminal sexual violence under the rug to preserve their reputations. Kipnis goes out of her way to prove she’s not “soft” on rape. But it is no help to victims of real abuse for voluntary and involuntary acts to be lumped together under the umbrella-like designation of “sexual misconduct,” i.e., to make no distinction between discomfort and coercion. As we wrote following the implementation of “yes means yes” legislation in California: “The suggestion that a misunderstanding—or for that matter, bad or unpleasant sex—is equivalent to rape is not only ludicrous but dangerously trivializing of actual sexual violence” (“Sex and Consent on Campus,” WV No. 1056, 14 November 2014).
When Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced in September that she would rescind Obama’s guidelines, feminists and Democratic Party politicos were quick to decry the move as yet another attack by an overtly racist and ultra-conservative administration. Trump and his right-wing cohorts have a sinister program to eliminate women’s right to abortion and to wage a racist war on what little remains of affirmative action. But the Democrats represent the interests of the same bourgeois ruling class as the Republicans, and also push an anti-woman agenda, including sexual repression. In fact, expanding the powers of the government and its agents in the university administration, cynically done in the name of defending the vulnerable, is a gift to the reactionary forces that aim to dismantle Title IX and go after civil rights wholesale.
The Uses and Abuses of Title IX
The current anti-sex campaign is rooted in the bipartisan rollback of the limited but real gains won through struggles in the late 1960s and early ’70s amid the radicalization during the fight for black rights and against the Vietnam War. But important concessions, such as the legal right to abortion, have since been undermined or overturned by the ruling class—see the massive erosion of Roe v. Wade. Reforms are always reversible when power remains in the hands of the capitalist exploiters.
In the 1980s, a right-wing “family values” offensive was joined by a liberal/feminist auxiliary that went on to promote panic over “date rape” on campuses. The Title IX apparatus has become the latest tool in the rulers’ decades-long anti-sex crusade to justify augmenting the police forces of the state and legitimize intrusion into private life—from the demented accusations of satanic ritual abuse against day-care workers in the 1980s to the permanent ostracizing of hundreds of thousands of people branded “sex offenders” today. Stirring up mass anxiety conveniently diverts discontent away from the horrors of life for the bulk of society: unemployment, plunging wages and soaring costs of housing, health care and education.
Aside from Kipnis’s own story, which she relates with impressive wit, the central case of Unwanted Advances is that of Peter Ludlow, a highly regarded, tenured professor of philosophy at Northwestern. Ludlow was driven out of the university by the Title IX authorities who found him guilty of sexual harassment in two cases. One involved an undergraduate who accused him of forcing her to drink alcohol and groping her; in the other, a graduate student claimed there had been a nonconsensual act during their months-long relationship. Ludlow denied all accusations. During drawn-out Star Chamber procedures, he was banned from campus and smeared in the press as a rapist. Blacklisted, Ludlow resigned and moved to Mexico, dead broke from legal fees. He handed over all his documentation to Kipnis, which confirmed her suspicion that the case was a frame-up.
In page after page of engrossing detail, Kipnis describes the sexual misconduct inquisition: the accused has no right to know the charges, nor who made them, which makes mounting an effective defense nearly impossible; hearings are conducted in secret and typically conclude with a gag order on the accused; the investigators act as judge and jury, and can raise accusations based on hearsay. Kipnis exposes the rampant bias of the Title IX officers in favor of women they call “survivors,” a term that presupposes the charges to be true (and the man to be the aggressor).
In reviewing Ludlow’s case, Kipnis discovered a backstage adviser in the affair who has played a nefarious role in many other Title IX investigations, Professor Heidi Lockwood. Defying all logic, Lockwood denies that consent is the decisive factor in determining whether sex is consensual. In her schema, widely shared in feminist academia, consent does not exist if there are “differentials in power.” The logic of Lockwood’s construct is that women are never independent beings during heterosexual sex since we live in a patriarchy.
Sex—which under bourgeois morality is colored by shame, fear and religious dogma, not to mention class and racial inequality—is often messy and complicated. But we do not believe that someone who is simply older, has a better job or is in a position of authority inevitably turns his or her “subordinate” into a passive automaton. As long as those participating consent at the time, nobody else, least of all the state or campus administrators, has the right to tell them if or how they can do it. For Marxists, the guiding principle in sexual relations is effective consent: what two (or more) people agree to do, regardless of age, gender or sexual preference, is no business of the government or campus authorities.
In her recent book and essays, Kipnis challenges how female students are infantilized as helpless victims of professors with whom they’ve had sexual relations. She harks back to her own years as a college student, before sex was considered dangerous and when screwing professors “was more or less part of the curriculum.” The number of students and teachers who have fallen for each other and acted on it over the years is legion. To condemn these acts is a blatant attempt to control and criminalize sex (or anything hinting of it) between consenting individuals. We oppose all “age of consent” laws that prohibit consensual sexual relations in the name of “protecting” youth; we do not accord the capitalist state the right to decree an arbitrary age at which people can experiment, desire or fool around. Likewise, we oppose all laws against “crimes without victims” such as prostitution, gambling, drug use or pornography.
Anti-sex hysteria intersects the racial oppression that is central to U.S. capitalism. In a country where simply being a black man is enough for the cops to frame you up for something, blacks and minorities are particularly targeted as supposed predators. Panic over black male sexuality and interracial sex has long been used as a justification for (legal or extralegal) lynch rope terror—look at the Scottsboro Boys and Emmett Till. Unwanted Advances mentions in passing the story of a black college athlete charged with sexual assault for giving his girlfriend a hickey. The case was that of Colorado State University student Grant Neal. Although the woman emphatically reported that no nonconsensual act had taken place, a “friend” of hers reported the hickey to the Title IX authorities. Grant was suspended, his athletic scholarship was revoked, and no other college would admit him. He later sued the university for discrimination, settling out of court.
As reported by journalist Emily Yoffe in an article, “The Question of Race in Campus Sexual-Assault Cases” (Atlantic, 11 September), Colgate University was recently investigated for race discrimination in its sexual assault adjudication process. On a campus where only 4 percent of students are black, during the 2013-14 academic year black male students made up half of those accused of sexual violations. Black and immigrant students, who more often than not lack the financial resources to mount an effective legal defense, are exceptionally vulnerable in the face of bigoted and zealous prosecutors. Title IX has also been used to railroad gay people and leftists.
The Myth of “Rape Culture”: Sex Panic as Social Control
The ideological backdrop to sexual paranoia on campus is the notion of “rape culture.” Kipnis challenges two ubiquitous claims: that one in five college women is a victim of sexual assault, and that only 2 percent of rape allegations are false. In fact, contrary to the image of universities as a hotbed for rapists and predators, students actually experience lower rates of sexual violence than their non-college counterparts. As far back as the 1990s, Princeton grad student Katie Roiphe challenged the notion of a so-called “epidemic” of date rape on campuses in her defiant book, The Morning After: Sex, Fear, and Feminism on Campus (see “The ‘Date Rape’ Issue: Feminist Hysteria, Anti-Sex Witchhunt,” Women and Revolution No. 43, Winter 1993-Spring 1994).
The false “one in five” figure originates from Susan Brownmiller’s 1975 book Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, which infamously contended that rape or threat of rape is the main way in which all men control all women. Pervaded with racist and anti-sex filth, the book equivocated on the defense of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black youth who was kidnapped and lynched for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Brownmiller presented the whistle by Till—whose killing was a galvanizing incident for the civil rights movement—as a “deliberate insult just short of physical assault.”
Kipnis shrewdly argues that “rape culture” has become the university counterpart of the September 11 attacks that have been used as the justification for the wholesale shredding of civil liberties under the guise of the “war on terror”:
“On campus, the term rape culture, like the term terrorism, has become the rhetoric of emergency. Fear becomes the guidelines, promulgating more fear…. The failed war exacerbates the fears, which becomes the rationale for further expanding the security state: vast expenditures, increased layers of bureaucracy, surveillance, secret renditions, summary justice—like expelling a freshman for ‘emotional coercion’.”
Unwanted Advances touches on the social and economic backdrop to the regulation of sex. Today, where even a miserable $15 an hour is out of reach for millions of workers, college-age adults see a precarious future. Decent-paying employment is far from guaranteed even with a four-year degree, which in any case leaves graduates saddled with debt, chained to their parents’ housing and health insurance. Combine that with concern that a romantic encounter could end up with one being marked a “sex criminal,” and you have a solid means for the ruling class to push social conformity.
Part of why Kipnis was able to maintain her composure during her own farcical Title IX trial was because, as a tenured professor, she felt her job was secure. Today, the bulk of professors are not so lucky. Over half of all university instructors are part-time adjuncts—low-paid contract employees with no union representation or job security. If an adjunct instructor is brought up on even the flimsiest charges of sexual misconduct, their career is immediately on the line.
Title IX “sex offender” vendettas strengthen the power of the reactionary campus administrations to strip tenured faculty and staff of the few protections they have. Students, professors and campus workers should have more defense against misconduct allegations, not less. The fight to gain and extend protections on campus, including union rights, requires a fight against the administration, which runs the university on behalf of the anti-woman, anti-black, anti-worker ruling class.
Bourgeois Feminism vs. Revolutionary Marxism
In capitalist society, the prospects of justice for actual victims of rape are bleak. Women who report rape are routinely harassed by the police and practically put on trial themselves while the courts inspect their “morality.” In the bourgeois legal system, the prosecution of sexual offenses has little to do with protecting women against violence and more to do with maintaining their subjugation within the family. The institution of the family is the main source of the oppression of women and children. For the bourgeoisie, the family is used to pass property on to the next generation. For working people, the family—in which women are consigned to running the household and rearing the next generation—inculcates and reinforces bourgeois ideology and morals and, above all, obedience to authority.
Anti-sex witchhunts not only bolster the family, but also provide an ideological basis for state repression. For Marxists, the capitalist state—including the cops, courts and prisons—is the instrument for the suppression of the exploited and oppressed by the exploiters. Alongside the family and organized religion, it plays a key role in enforcing the oppression of women and youth. Feminists, even radical or “socialist” ones, operate entirely within the framework of capitalist rule and reject this understanding. In fact, one form of feminism today is called “carceral feminism” because it pushes for more policing, prosecution and imprisonment as the solution to violence against women.
Kipnis denounces carceral feminism and paternalist feminism, i.e., the concept that women should be protected and men policed, and argues in favor of “grown-up feminism.” For her, the feminism from her generation has been “hijacked.” She notes that college students in the 1960s and ’70s fought to end the in loco parentis prerogatives of campus administrations, while her students today invite college administration snoops into their bedrooms.
Yet feminists have often lined up with some of the most virulent reactionaries, including allying with religious fundamentalists, to support the bourgeoisie’s anti-sex witchhunts—from censoring porn to criminalizing “deviant” sex. Feminism is based on the false consciousness of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois women who seek to enter the straight male club of power and privilege. Their strategy has been to rely on the capitalist Democratic Party to defend women, which serves only to demobilize fighters for women’s rights.
While Kipnis bemoans the fact that abortion rights, equal pay, childcare and maternity leave have been relegated to mere side issues, she still relies on feminism to address such concerns. In fact, the fight for things like free, quality 24-hour childcare, equal pay for equal work, and free contraception and abortion must be tied to a struggle to overthrow the economic system that is the source of women’s oppression. The liberation of women requires a socialist revolution, which will uproot the private property system and replace the family with socialized childcare and housework, bringing women fully into social and political life.
Fake Socialists Join Anti-Sex Frenzy
It is a mark of the reactionary political climate that Unwanted Advances has either been ignored or treated with contempt by the bulk of the left. Kipnis has instead been lauded by right-wing libertarian groups like FIRE and Reason, both with ties to the Koch brothers. These groups have been promoting the faux “free speech” agenda on campus as a cover for racist, sexist provocations. Kipnis is perplexed by such praise from those who want to destroy the left. By entrusting the capitalist state with powers that will inevitably be used against them, liberals and feminists have handed a weapon to the right wing. It is a measure of how much reformist socialists have adapted to puritanical “family values” that they march in lockstep with the feminists (read: Democrats) to promote bourgeois behavior codes.
In the article “DeVos Is Turning the Clock Back on Survivors” (Socialist Worker, 13 September), the International Socialist Organization (ISO) laments DeVos’s latest action as one of a “series of attacks against survivors by the current administration,” and declares: “We will not go back.” The ISO hails Obama’s “Dear Colleague Letter” and retails dubious statistics about sexual assault in order to join what they hail as a “growing” movement against sexual violence on campus. That movement plugs the inherently racist, sexist and elitist bourgeois education system as a “space” in which women, transgender people or racial minorities can be “safe” from oppression.
Socialist Alternative (SAlt) has latched onto the same movement, in particular at UCLA, where they have been active around the Title IX case of Gabriel Piterberg. An Israeli, pro-Palestinian professor of history, Piterberg was charged with sexual harassment by two grad students in 2014. While denying the charges, he made a settlement with the university, which included being fined, suspended for a quarter without pay, and removed from his position as director of the university’s Center for Near Eastern Studies. But this was not enough for SAlt and its cohorts in the feminist Bruins Against Sexual Harassment. Student protesters repeatedly shut down his classes, railing that UCLA was protecting a “sexual predator.”
Whatever happened between Piterberg and his accusers, we oppose eternal punishment, akin to being branded a sex offender for life. Piterberg is also a well-known defender of the oppressed Palestinian people who has been targeted for years by powerful Zionist forces. His treatment raises the question of whether the Title IX apparatus is being used to do the Zionists’ dirty work.
While no one can fix all the problems of sexual relations in this rotten, decaying society, we oppose all attempts to fit human sexuality into pre-ordained “norms.” To create genuinely equal relations between people in all spheres, including sex, requires nothing less than the destruction of the capitalist system through a series of socialist revolutions internationally, opening the way to the creation of a communist world. In a classless society, social and economic constraints on sexual relations will be nonexistent, and in the words of Friedrich Engels, “There is no other motive left except mutual inclination.”
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1121/kipnis_review.html
submitted by FinnagainsAwake to LiberalRegressives [link] [comments]


2017.11.08 10:32 FinnagainsAwake Title IX Witchhunts, Anti-Sex Frenzy and Bourgeois Feminism

https://archive.is/eKZbm
Workers Vanguard No. 1121 3 November 2017
Title IX Witchhunts, Anti-Sex Frenzy and Bourgeois Feminism
(Women and Revolution pages)
Unwanted Advances
Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus
A Review
Is the specter of sex haunting the campus? Under the pretense of targeting sexual harassment and assault, university administrations have been whipping up a climate of fear and imposing neo-Victorian values. As the recent book Unwanted Advances—Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus (HarperCollins Publishers, April 2017) argues, “The new campus codes aren’t preventing nonconsensual sex; they’re producing it.” Written by Northwestern University professor and self-described left-wing feminist Laura Kipnis, the book exposes the vastly expanded definitions of sexual assault, which criminalize anything from drunken hook-ups to student-professor romance and even allow for consent to be withdrawn retroactively.
Kipnis joins others who have blown the whistle on the Title IX “sexual misconduct” investigation apparatus. Title IX was originally enacted in 1972 to outlaw sex discrimination in federally financed institutions, to increase funding for women’s college sports and women’s enrollment in medical and law schools. Now it has been turned into a mammoth kangaroo court without any semblance of due process for the accused. In 2011, Obama’s administration issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” containing revised Title IX guidelines with which colleges had to comply or risk losing federal funding. Most striking of these guidelines was the adoption of the lowest standard of proof, a “preponderance of evidence,” in campus sexual assault hearings. By this standard, the accused can be convicted based on anything over a 50 percent likelihood of guilt, as opposed to “beyond a reasonable doubt” in criminal cases. Students have had their scholarships withdrawn and been expelled, and professors have had their careers destroyed based on mere speculation.
With sexual harassment vaguely defined as “unwelcome conduct,” university bureaucrats have gone after teachers and students alike for controversial comments and misguided jokes or compliments. And though one would be hard pressed to find sex on campus that doesn’t involve some level of intoxication, under the Obama-era guidelines, any sexual act under the influence is treated as nonconsensual.
Kipnis herself witnessed firsthand a process that is normally cloaked in a veil of secrecy after she became a target of a Title IX investigation for having written an essay. Students complained that she had created a hostile environment with her Chronicle of Higher Education piece, “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe” (February 2015), which opposed prohibitions on student-faculty relationships and other draconian campus sex codes. After documenting this sinister circus in a follow-up essay, “My Title IX Inquisition” (May 2015), Kipnis became an unintentional spokesperson for countless victims of the anti-sex bureaucracy.
To be sure, rape and sexual harassment happen, and universities are well versed in sweeping cases of criminal sexual violence under the rug to preserve their reputations. Kipnis goes out of her way to prove she’s not “soft” on rape. But it is no help to victims of real abuse for voluntary and involuntary acts to be lumped together under the umbrella-like designation of “sexual misconduct,” i.e., to make no distinction between discomfort and coercion. As we wrote following the implementation of “yes means yes” legislation in California: “The suggestion that a misunderstanding—or for that matter, bad or unpleasant sex—is equivalent to rape is not only ludicrous but dangerously trivializing of actual sexual violence” (“Sex and Consent on Campus,” WV No. 1056, 14 November 2014).
When Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced in September that she would rescind Obama’s guidelines, feminists and Democratic Party politicos were quick to decry the move as yet another attack by an overtly racist and ultra-conservative administration. Trump and his right-wing cohorts have a sinister program to eliminate women’s right to abortion and to wage a racist war on what little remains of affirmative action. But the Democrats represent the interests of the same bourgeois ruling class as the Republicans, and also push an anti-woman agenda, including sexual repression. In fact, expanding the powers of the government and its agents in the university administration, cynically done in the name of defending the vulnerable, is a gift to the reactionary forces that aim to dismantle Title IX and go after civil rights wholesale.
The Uses and Abuses of Title IX
The current anti-sex campaign is rooted in the bipartisan rollback of the limited but real gains won through struggles in the late 1960s and early ’70s amid the radicalization during the fight for black rights and against the Vietnam War. But important concessions, such as the legal right to abortion, have since been undermined or overturned by the ruling class—see the massive erosion of Roe v. Wade. Reforms are always reversible when power remains in the hands of the capitalist exploiters.
In the 1980s, a right-wing “family values” offensive was joined by a liberal/feminist auxiliary that went on to promote panic over “date rape” on campuses. The Title IX apparatus has become the latest tool in the rulers’ decades-long anti-sex crusade to justify augmenting the police forces of the state and legitimize intrusion into private life—from the demented accusations of satanic ritual abuse against day-care workers in the 1980s to the permanent ostracizing of hundreds of thousands of people branded “sex offenders” today. Stirring up mass anxiety conveniently diverts discontent away from the horrors of life for the bulk of society: unemployment, plunging wages and soaring costs of housing, health care and education.
Aside from Kipnis’s own story, which she relates with impressive wit, the central case of Unwanted Advances is that of Peter Ludlow, a highly regarded, tenured professor of philosophy at Northwestern. Ludlow was driven out of the university by the Title IX authorities who found him guilty of sexual harassment in two cases. One involved an undergraduate who accused him of forcing her to drink alcohol and groping her; in the other, a graduate student claimed there had been a nonconsensual act during their months-long relationship. Ludlow denied all accusations. During drawn-out Star Chamber procedures, he was banned from campus and smeared in the press as a rapist. Blacklisted, Ludlow resigned and moved to Mexico, dead broke from legal fees. He handed over all his documentation to Kipnis, which confirmed her suspicion that the case was a frame-up.
In page after page of engrossing detail, Kipnis describes the sexual misconduct inquisition: the accused has no right to know the charges, nor who made them, which makes mounting an effective defense nearly impossible; hearings are conducted in secret and typically conclude with a gag order on the accused; the investigators act as judge and jury, and can raise accusations based on hearsay. Kipnis exposes the rampant bias of the Title IX officers in favor of women they call “survivors,” a term that presupposes the charges to be true (and the man to be the aggressor).
In reviewing Ludlow’s case, Kipnis discovered a backstage adviser in the affair who has played a nefarious role in many other Title IX investigations, Professor Heidi Lockwood. Defying all logic, Lockwood denies that consent is the decisive factor in determining whether sex is consensual. In her schema, widely shared in feminist academia, consent does not exist if there are “differentials in power.” The logic of Lockwood’s construct is that women are never independent beings during heterosexual sex since we live in a patriarchy.
Sex—which under bourgeois morality is colored by shame, fear and religious dogma, not to mention class and racial inequality—is often messy and complicated. But we do not believe that someone who is simply older, has a better job or is in a position of authority inevitably turns his or her “subordinate” into a passive automaton. As long as those participating consent at the time, nobody else, least of all the state or campus administrators, has the right to tell them if or how they can do it. For Marxists, the guiding principle in sexual relations is effective consent: what two (or more) people agree to do, regardless of age, gender or sexual preference, is no business of the government or campus authorities.
In her recent book and essays, Kipnis challenges how female students are infantilized as helpless victims of professors with whom they’ve had sexual relations. She harks back to her own years as a college student, before sex was considered dangerous and when screwing professors “was more or less part of the curriculum.” The number of students and teachers who have fallen for each other and acted on it over the years is legion. To condemn these acts is a blatant attempt to control and criminalize sex (or anything hinting of it) between consenting individuals. We oppose all “age of consent” laws that prohibit consensual sexual relations in the name of “protecting” youth; we do not accord the capitalist state the right to decree an arbitrary age at which people can experiment, desire or fool around. Likewise, we oppose all laws against “crimes without victims” such as prostitution, gambling, drug use or pornography.
Anti-sex hysteria intersects the racial oppression that is central to U.S. capitalism. In a country where simply being a black man is enough for the cops to frame you up for something, blacks and minorities are particularly targeted as supposed predators. Panic over black male sexuality and interracial sex has long been used as a justification for (legal or extralegal) lynch rope terror—look at the Scottsboro Boys and Emmett Till. Unwanted Advances mentions in passing the story of a black college athlete charged with sexual assault for giving his girlfriend a hickey. The case was that of Colorado State University student Grant Neal. Although the woman emphatically reported that no nonconsensual act had taken place, a “friend” of hers reported the hickey to the Title IX authorities. Grant was suspended, his athletic scholarship was revoked, and no other college would admit him. He later sued the university for discrimination, settling out of court.
As reported by journalist Emily Yoffe in an article, “The Question of Race in Campus Sexual-Assault Cases” (Atlantic, 11 September), Colgate University was recently investigated for race discrimination in its sexual assault adjudication process. On a campus where only 4 percent of students are black, during the 2013-14 academic year black male students made up half of those accused of sexual violations. Black and immigrant students, who more often than not lack the financial resources to mount an effective legal defense, are exceptionally vulnerable in the face of bigoted and zealous prosecutors. Title IX has also been used to railroad gay people and leftists.
The Myth of “Rape Culture”: Sex Panic as Social Control
The ideological backdrop to sexual paranoia on campus is the notion of “rape culture.” Kipnis challenges two ubiquitous claims: that one in five college women is a victim of sexual assault, and that only 2 percent of rape allegations are false. In fact, contrary to the image of universities as a hotbed for rapists and predators, students actually experience lower rates of sexual violence than their non-college counterparts. As far back as the 1990s, Princeton grad student Katie Roiphe challenged the notion of a so-called “epidemic” of date rape on campuses in her defiant book, The Morning After: Sex, Fear, and Feminism on Campus (see “The ‘Date Rape’ Issue: Feminist Hysteria, Anti-Sex Witchhunt,” Women and Revolution No. 43, Winter 1993-Spring 1994).
The false “one in five” figure originates from Susan Brownmiller’s 1975 book Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, which infamously contended that rape or threat of rape is the main way in which all men control all women. Pervaded with racist and anti-sex filth, the book equivocated on the defense of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black youth who was kidnapped and lynched for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Brownmiller presented the whistle by Till—whose killing was a galvanizing incident for the civil rights movement—as a “deliberate insult just short of physical assault.”
Kipnis shrewdly argues that “rape culture” has become the university counterpart of the September 11 attacks that have been used as the justification for the wholesale shredding of civil liberties under the guise of the “war on terror”:
“On campus, the term rape culture, like the term terrorism, has become the rhetoric of emergency. Fear becomes the guidelines, promulgating more fear…. The failed war exacerbates the fears, which becomes the rationale for further expanding the security state: vast expenditures, increased layers of bureaucracy, surveillance, secret renditions, summary justice—like expelling a freshman for ‘emotional coercion’.”
Unwanted Advances touches on the social and economic backdrop to the regulation of sex. Today, where even a miserable $15 an hour is out of reach for millions of workers, college-age adults see a precarious future. Decent-paying employment is far from guaranteed even with a four-year degree, which in any case leaves graduates saddled with debt, chained to their parents’ housing and health insurance. Combine that with concern that a romantic encounter could end up with one being marked a “sex criminal,” and you have a solid means for the ruling class to push social conformity.
Part of why Kipnis was able to maintain her composure during her own farcical Title IX trial was because, as a tenured professor, she felt her job was secure. Today, the bulk of professors are not so lucky. Over half of all university instructors are part-time adjuncts—low-paid contract employees with no union representation or job security. If an adjunct instructor is brought up on even the flimsiest charges of sexual misconduct, their career is immediately on the line.
Title IX “sex offender” vendettas strengthen the power of the reactionary campus administrations to strip tenured faculty and staff of the few protections they have. Students, professors and campus workers should have more defense against misconduct allegations, not less. The fight to gain and extend protections on campus, including union rights, requires a fight against the administration, which runs the university on behalf of the anti-woman, anti-black, anti-worker ruling class.
Bourgeois Feminism vs. Revolutionary Marxism
In capitalist society, the prospects of justice for actual victims of rape are bleak. Women who report rape are routinely harassed by the police and practically put on trial themselves while the courts inspect their “morality.” In the bourgeois legal system, the prosecution of sexual offenses has little to do with protecting women against violence and more to do with maintaining their subjugation within the family. The institution of the family is the main source of the oppression of women and children. For the bourgeoisie, the family is used to pass property on to the next generation. For working people, the family—in which women are consigned to running the household and rearing the next generation—inculcates and reinforces bourgeois ideology and morals and, above all, obedience to authority.
Anti-sex witchhunts not only bolster the family, but also provide an ideological basis for state repression. For Marxists, the capitalist state—including the cops, courts and prisons—is the instrument for the suppression of the exploited and oppressed by the exploiters. Alongside the family and organized religion, it plays a key role in enforcing the oppression of women and youth. Feminists, even radical or “socialist” ones, operate entirely within the framework of capitalist rule and reject this understanding. In fact, one form of feminism today is called “carceral feminism” because it pushes for more policing, prosecution and imprisonment as the solution to violence against women.
Kipnis denounces carceral feminism and paternalist feminism, i.e., the concept that women should be protected and men policed, and argues in favor of “grown-up feminism.” For her, the feminism from her generation has been “hijacked.” She notes that college students in the 1960s and ’70s fought to end the in loco parentis prerogatives of campus administrations, while her students today invite college administration snoops into their bedrooms.
Yet feminists have often lined up with some of the most virulent reactionaries, including allying with religious fundamentalists, to support the bourgeoisie’s anti-sex witchhunts—from censoring porn to criminalizing “deviant” sex. Feminism is based on the false consciousness of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois women who seek to enter the straight male club of power and privilege. Their strategy has been to rely on the capitalist Democratic Party to defend women, which serves only to demobilize fighters for women’s rights.
While Kipnis bemoans the fact that abortion rights, equal pay, childcare and maternity leave have been relegated to mere side issues, she still relies on feminism to address such concerns. In fact, the fight for things like free, quality 24-hour childcare, equal pay for equal work, and free contraception and abortion must be tied to a struggle to overthrow the economic system that is the source of women’s oppression. The liberation of women requires a socialist revolution, which will uproot the private property system and replace the family with socialized childcare and housework, bringing women fully into social and political life.
Fake Socialists Join Anti-Sex Frenzy
It is a mark of the reactionary political climate that Unwanted Advances has either been ignored or treated with contempt by the bulk of the left. Kipnis has instead been lauded by right-wing libertarian groups like FIRE and Reason, both with ties to the Koch brothers. These groups have been promoting the faux “free speech” agenda on campus as a cover for racist, sexist provocations. Kipnis is perplexed by such praise from those who want to destroy the left. By entrusting the capitalist state with powers that will inevitably be used against them, liberals and feminists have handed a weapon to the right wing. It is a measure of how much reformist socialists have adapted to puritanical “family values” that they march in lockstep with the feminists (read: Democrats) to promote bourgeois behavior codes.
In the article “DeVos Is Turning the Clock Back on Survivors” (Socialist Worker, 13 September), the International Socialist Organization (ISO) laments DeVos’s latest action as one of a “series of attacks against survivors by the current administration,” and declares: “We will not go back.” The ISO hails Obama’s “Dear Colleague Letter” and retails dubious statistics about sexual assault in order to join what they hail as a “growing” movement against sexual violence on campus. That movement plugs the inherently racist, sexist and elitist bourgeois education system as a “space” in which women, transgender people or racial minorities can be “safe” from oppression.
Socialist Alternative (SAlt) has latched onto the same movement, in particular at UCLA, where they have been active around the Title IX case of Gabriel Piterberg. An Israeli, pro-Palestinian professor of history, Piterberg was charged with sexual harassment by two grad students in 2014. While denying the charges, he made a settlement with the university, which included being fined, suspended for a quarter without pay, and removed from his position as director of the university’s Center for Near Eastern Studies. But this was not enough for SAlt and its cohorts in the feminist Bruins Against Sexual Harassment. Student protesters repeatedly shut down his classes, railing that UCLA was protecting a “sexual predator.”
Whatever happened between Piterberg and his accusers, we oppose eternal punishment, akin to being branded a sex offender for life. Piterberg is also a well-known defender of the oppressed Palestinian people who has been targeted for years by powerful Zionist forces. His treatment raises the question of whether the Title IX apparatus is being used to do the Zionists’ dirty work.
While no one can fix all the problems of sexual relations in this rotten, decaying society, we oppose all attempts to fit human sexuality into pre-ordained “norms.” To create genuinely equal relations between people in all spheres, including sex, requires nothing less than the destruction of the capitalist system through a series of socialist revolutions internationally, opening the way to the creation of a communist world. In a classless society, social and economic constraints on sexual relations will be nonexistent, and in the words of Friedrich Engels, “There is no other motive left except mutual inclination.”
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1121/kipnis_review.html
submitted by FinnagainsAwake to mildlyconcerning [link] [comments]


2017.11.08 02:43 FinnagainsAwake Title IX Witchhunts, Anti-Sex Frenzy and Bourgeois Feminism (Workers Vanguard) 3 Nov 2017

https://archive.is/eKZbm
Workers Vanguard No. 1121 3 November 2017
Title IX Witchhunts, Anti-Sex Frenzy and Bourgeois Feminism
(Women and Revolution pages)
Unwanted Advances
Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus
A Review
Is the specter of sex haunting the campus? Under the pretense of targeting sexual harassment and assault, university administrations have been whipping up a climate of fear and imposing neo-Victorian values. As the recent book Unwanted Advances—Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus (HarperCollins Publishers, April 2017) argues, “The new campus codes aren’t preventing nonconsensual sex; they’re producing it.” Written by Northwestern University professor and self-described left-wing feminist Laura Kipnis, the book exposes the vastly expanded definitions of sexual assault, which criminalize anything from drunken hook-ups to student-professor romance and even allow for consent to be withdrawn retroactively.
Kipnis joins others who have blown the whistle on the Title IX “sexual misconduct” investigation apparatus. Title IX was originally enacted in 1972 to outlaw sex discrimination in federally financed institutions, to increase funding for women’s college sports and women’s enrollment in medical and law schools. Now it has been turned into a mammoth kangaroo court without any semblance of due process for the accused. In 2011, Obama’s administration issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” containing revised Title IX guidelines with which colleges had to comply or risk losing federal funding. Most striking of these guidelines was the adoption of the lowest standard of proof, a “preponderance of evidence,” in campus sexual assault hearings. By this standard, the accused can be convicted based on anything over a 50 percent likelihood of guilt, as opposed to “beyond a reasonable doubt” in criminal cases. Students have had their scholarships withdrawn and been expelled, and professors have had their careers destroyed based on mere speculation.
With sexual harassment vaguely defined as “unwelcome conduct,” university bureaucrats have gone after teachers and students alike for controversial comments and misguided jokes or compliments. And though one would be hard pressed to find sex on campus that doesn’t involve some level of intoxication, under the Obama-era guidelines, any sexual act under the influence is treated as nonconsensual.
Kipnis herself witnessed firsthand a process that is normally cloaked in a veil of secrecy after she became a target of a Title IX investigation for having written an essay. Students complained that she had created a hostile environment with her Chronicle of Higher Education piece, “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe” (February 2015), which opposed prohibitions on student-faculty relationships and other draconian campus sex codes. After documenting this sinister circus in a follow-up essay, “My Title IX Inquisition” (May 2015), Kipnis became an unintentional spokesperson for countless victims of the anti-sex bureaucracy.
To be sure, rape and sexual harassment happen, and universities are well versed in sweeping cases of criminal sexual violence under the rug to preserve their reputations. Kipnis goes out of her way to prove she’s not “soft” on rape. But it is no help to victims of real abuse for voluntary and involuntary acts to be lumped together under the umbrella-like designation of “sexual misconduct,” i.e., to make no distinction between discomfort and coercion. As we wrote following the implementation of “yes means yes” legislation in California: “The suggestion that a misunderstanding—or for that matter, bad or unpleasant sex—is equivalent to rape is not only ludicrous but dangerously trivializing of actual sexual violence” (“Sex and Consent on Campus,” WV No. 1056, 14 November 2014).
When Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced in September that she would rescind Obama’s guidelines, feminists and Democratic Party politicos were quick to decry the move as yet another attack by an overtly racist and ultra-conservative administration. Trump and his right-wing cohorts have a sinister program to eliminate women’s right to abortion and to wage a racist war on what little remains of affirmative action. But the Democrats represent the interests of the same bourgeois ruling class as the Republicans, and also push an anti-woman agenda, including sexual repression. In fact, expanding the powers of the government and its agents in the university administration, cynically done in the name of defending the vulnerable, is a gift to the reactionary forces that aim to dismantle Title IX and go after civil rights wholesale.
The Uses and Abuses of Title IX
The current anti-sex campaign is rooted in the bipartisan rollback of the limited but real gains won through struggles in the late 1960s and early ’70s amid the radicalization during the fight for black rights and against the Vietnam War. But important concessions, such as the legal right to abortion, have since been undermined or overturned by the ruling class—see the massive erosion of Roe v. Wade. Reforms are always reversible when power remains in the hands of the capitalist exploiters.
In the 1980s, a right-wing “family values” offensive was joined by a liberal/feminist auxiliary that went on to promote panic over “date rape” on campuses. The Title IX apparatus has become the latest tool in the rulers’ decades-long anti-sex crusade to justify augmenting the police forces of the state and legitimize intrusion into private life—from the demented accusations of satanic ritual abuse against day-care workers in the 1980s to the permanent ostracizing of hundreds of thousands of people branded “sex offenders” today. Stirring up mass anxiety conveniently diverts discontent away from the horrors of life for the bulk of society: unemployment, plunging wages and soaring costs of housing, health care and education.
Aside from Kipnis’s own story, which she relates with impressive wit, the central case of Unwanted Advances is that of Peter Ludlow, a highly regarded, tenured professor of philosophy at Northwestern. Ludlow was driven out of the university by the Title IX authorities who found him guilty of sexual harassment in two cases. One involved an undergraduate who accused him of forcing her to drink alcohol and groping her; in the other, a graduate student claimed there had been a nonconsensual act during their months-long relationship. Ludlow denied all accusations. During drawn-out Star Chamber procedures, he was banned from campus and smeared in the press as a rapist. Blacklisted, Ludlow resigned and moved to Mexico, dead broke from legal fees. He handed over all his documentation to Kipnis, which confirmed her suspicion that the case was a frame-up.
In page after page of engrossing detail, Kipnis describes the sexual misconduct inquisition: the accused has no right to know the charges, nor who made them, which makes mounting an effective defense nearly impossible; hearings are conducted in secret and typically conclude with a gag order on the accused; the investigators act as judge and jury, and can raise accusations based on hearsay. Kipnis exposes the rampant bias of the Title IX officers in favor of women they call “survivors,” a term that presupposes the charges to be true (and the man to be the aggressor).
In reviewing Ludlow’s case, Kipnis discovered a backstage adviser in the affair who has played a nefarious role in many other Title IX investigations, Professor Heidi Lockwood. Defying all logic, Lockwood denies that consent is the decisive factor in determining whether sex is consensual. In her schema, widely shared in feminist academia, consent does not exist if there are “differentials in power.” The logic of Lockwood’s construct is that women are never independent beings during heterosexual sex since we live in a patriarchy.
Sex—which under bourgeois morality is colored by shame, fear and religious dogma, not to mention class and racial inequality—is often messy and complicated. But we do not believe that someone who is simply older, has a better job or is in a position of authority inevitably turns his or her “subordinate” into a passive automaton. As long as those participating consent at the time, nobody else, least of all the state or campus administrators, has the right to tell them if or how they can do it. For Marxists, the guiding principle in sexual relations is effective consent: what two (or more) people agree to do, regardless of age, gender or sexual preference, is no business of the government or campus authorities.
In her recent book and essays, Kipnis challenges how female students are infantilized as helpless victims of professors with whom they’ve had sexual relations. She harks back to her own years as a college student, before sex was considered dangerous and when screwing professors “was more or less part of the curriculum.” The number of students and teachers who have fallen for each other and acted on it over the years is legion. To condemn these acts is a blatant attempt to control and criminalize sex (or anything hinting of it) between consenting individuals. We oppose all “age of consent” laws that prohibit consensual sexual relations in the name of “protecting” youth; we do not accord the capitalist state the right to decree an arbitrary age at which people can experiment, desire or fool around. Likewise, we oppose all laws against “crimes without victims” such as prostitution, gambling, drug use or pornography.
Anti-sex hysteria intersects the racial oppression that is central to U.S. capitalism. In a country where simply being a black man is enough for the cops to frame you up for something, blacks and minorities are particularly targeted as supposed predators. Panic over black male sexuality and interracial sex has long been used as a justification for (legal or extralegal) lynch rope terror—look at the Scottsboro Boys and Emmett Till. Unwanted Advances mentions in passing the story of a black college athlete charged with sexual assault for giving his girlfriend a hickey. The case was that of Colorado State University student Grant Neal. Although the woman emphatically reported that no nonconsensual act had taken place, a “friend” of hers reported the hickey to the Title IX authorities. Grant was suspended, his athletic scholarship was revoked, and no other college would admit him. He later sued the university for discrimination, settling out of court.
As reported by journalist Emily Yoffe in an article, “The Question of Race in Campus Sexual-Assault Cases” (Atlantic, 11 September), Colgate University was recently investigated for race discrimination in its sexual assault adjudication process. On a campus where only 4 percent of students are black, during the 2013-14 academic year black male students made up half of those accused of sexual violations. Black and immigrant students, who more often than not lack the financial resources to mount an effective legal defense, are exceptionally vulnerable in the face of bigoted and zealous prosecutors. Title IX has also been used to railroad gay people and leftists.
The Myth of “Rape Culture”: Sex Panic as Social Control
The ideological backdrop to sexual paranoia on campus is the notion of “rape culture.” Kipnis challenges two ubiquitous claims: that one in five college women is a victim of sexual assault, and that only 2 percent of rape allegations are false. In fact, contrary to the image of universities as a hotbed for rapists and predators, students actually experience lower rates of sexual violence than their non-college counterparts. As far back as the 1990s, Princeton grad student Katie Roiphe challenged the notion of a so-called “epidemic” of date rape on campuses in her defiant book, The Morning After: Sex, Fear, and Feminism on Campus (see “The ‘Date Rape’ Issue: Feminist Hysteria, Anti-Sex Witchhunt,” Women and Revolution No. 43, Winter 1993-Spring 1994).
The false “one in five” figure originates from Susan Brownmiller’s 1975 book Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, which infamously contended that rape or threat of rape is the main way in which all men control all women. Pervaded with racist and anti-sex filth, the book equivocated on the defense of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black youth who was kidnapped and lynched for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Brownmiller presented the whistle by Till—whose killing was a galvanizing incident for the civil rights movement—as a “deliberate insult just short of physical assault.”
Kipnis shrewdly argues that “rape culture” has become the university counterpart of the September 11 attacks that have been used as the justification for the wholesale shredding of civil liberties under the guise of the “war on terror”:
“On campus, the term rape culture, like the term terrorism, has become the rhetoric of emergency. Fear becomes the guidelines, promulgating more fear…. The failed war exacerbates the fears, which becomes the rationale for further expanding the security state: vast expenditures, increased layers of bureaucracy, surveillance, secret renditions, summary justice—like expelling a freshman for ‘emotional coercion’.”
Unwanted Advances touches on the social and economic backdrop to the regulation of sex. Today, where even a miserable $15 an hour is out of reach for millions of workers, college-age adults see a precarious future. Decent-paying employment is far from guaranteed even with a four-year degree, which in any case leaves graduates saddled with debt, chained to their parents’ housing and health insurance. Combine that with concern that a romantic encounter could end up with one being marked a “sex criminal,” and you have a solid means for the ruling class to push social conformity.
Part of why Kipnis was able to maintain her composure during her own farcical Title IX trial was because, as a tenured professor, she felt her job was secure. Today, the bulk of professors are not so lucky. Over half of all university instructors are part-time adjuncts—low-paid contract employees with no union representation or job security. If an adjunct instructor is brought up on even the flimsiest charges of sexual misconduct, their career is immediately on the line.
Title IX “sex offender” vendettas strengthen the power of the reactionary campus administrations to strip tenured faculty and staff of the few protections they have. Students, professors and campus workers should have more defense against misconduct allegations, not less. The fight to gain and extend protections on campus, including union rights, requires a fight against the administration, which runs the university on behalf of the anti-woman, anti-black, anti-worker ruling class.
Bourgeois Feminism vs. Revolutionary Marxism
In capitalist society, the prospects of justice for actual victims of rape are bleak. Women who report rape are routinely harassed by the police and practically put on trial themselves while the courts inspect their “morality.” In the bourgeois legal system, the prosecution of sexual offenses has little to do with protecting women against violence and more to do with maintaining their subjugation within the family. The institution of the family is the main source of the oppression of women and children. For the bourgeoisie, the family is used to pass property on to the next generation. For working people, the family—in which women are consigned to running the household and rearing the next generation—inculcates and reinforces bourgeois ideology and morals and, above all, obedience to authority.
Anti-sex witchhunts not only bolster the family, but also provide an ideological basis for state repression. For Marxists, the capitalist state—including the cops, courts and prisons—is the instrument for the suppression of the exploited and oppressed by the exploiters. Alongside the family and organized religion, it plays a key role in enforcing the oppression of women and youth. Feminists, even radical or “socialist” ones, operate entirely within the framework of capitalist rule and reject this understanding. In fact, one form of feminism today is called “carceral feminism” because it pushes for more policing, prosecution and imprisonment as the solution to violence against women.
Kipnis denounces carceral feminism and paternalist feminism, i.e., the concept that women should be protected and men policed, and argues in favor of “grown-up feminism.” For her, the feminism from her generation has been “hijacked.” She notes that college students in the 1960s and ’70s fought to end the in loco parentis prerogatives of campus administrations, while her students today invite college administration snoops into their bedrooms.
Yet feminists have often lined up with some of the most virulent reactionaries, including allying with religious fundamentalists, to support the bourgeoisie’s anti-sex witchhunts—from censoring porn to criminalizing “deviant” sex. Feminism is based on the false consciousness of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois women who seek to enter the straight male club of power and privilege. Their strategy has been to rely on the capitalist Democratic Party to defend women, which serves only to demobilize fighters for women’s rights.
While Kipnis bemoans the fact that abortion rights, equal pay, childcare and maternity leave have been relegated to mere side issues, she still relies on feminism to address such concerns. In fact, the fight for things like free, quality 24-hour childcare, equal pay for equal work, and free contraception and abortion must be tied to a struggle to overthrow the economic system that is the source of women’s oppression. The liberation of women requires a socialist revolution, which will uproot the private property system and replace the family with socialized childcare and housework, bringing women fully into social and political life.
Fake Socialists Join Anti-Sex Frenzy
It is a mark of the reactionary political climate that Unwanted Advances has either been ignored or treated with contempt by the bulk of the left. Kipnis has instead been lauded by right-wing libertarian groups like FIRE and Reason, both with ties to the Koch brothers. These groups have been promoting the faux “free speech” agenda on campus as a cover for racist, sexist provocations. Kipnis is perplexed by such praise from those who want to destroy the left. By entrusting the capitalist state with powers that will inevitably be used against them, liberals and feminists have handed a weapon to the right wing. It is a measure of how much reformist socialists have adapted to puritanical “family values” that they march in lockstep with the feminists (read: Democrats) to promote bourgeois behavior codes.
In the article “DeVos Is Turning the Clock Back on Survivors” (Socialist Worker, 13 September), the International Socialist Organization (ISO) laments DeVos’s latest action as one of a “series of attacks against survivors by the current administration,” and declares: “We will not go back.” The ISO hails Obama’s “Dear Colleague Letter” and retails dubious statistics about sexual assault in order to join what they hail as a “growing” movement against sexual violence on campus. That movement plugs the inherently racist, sexist and elitist bourgeois education system as a “space” in which women, transgender people or racial minorities can be “safe” from oppression.
Socialist Alternative (SAlt) has latched onto the same movement, in particular at UCLA, where they have been active around the Title IX case of Gabriel Piterberg. An Israeli, pro-Palestinian professor of history, Piterberg was charged with sexual harassment by two grad students in 2014. While denying the charges, he made a settlement with the university, which included being fined, suspended for a quarter without pay, and removed from his position as director of the university’s Center for Near Eastern Studies. But this was not enough for SAlt and its cohorts in the feminist Bruins Against Sexual Harassment. Student protesters repeatedly shut down his classes, railing that UCLA was protecting a “sexual predator.”
Whatever happened between Piterberg and his accusers, we oppose eternal punishment, akin to being branded a sex offender for life. Piterberg is also a well-known defender of the oppressed Palestinian people who has been targeted for years by powerful Zionist forces. His treatment raises the question of whether the Title IX apparatus is being used to do the Zionists’ dirty work.
While no one can fix all the problems of sexual relations in this rotten, decaying society, we oppose all attempts to fit human sexuality into pre-ordained “norms.” To create genuinely equal relations between people in all spheres, including sex, requires nothing less than the destruction of the capitalist system through a series of socialist revolutions internationally, opening the way to the creation of a communist world. In a classless society, social and economic constraints on sexual relations will be nonexistent, and in the words of Friedrich Engels, “There is no other motive left except mutual inclination.”
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1121/kipnis_review.html
submitted by FinnagainsAwake to CommunismAnarchy [link] [comments]


2017.11.08 01:49 FinnagainsAwake Title IX Witchhunts, Anti-Sex Frenzy and Bourgeois Feminism (Workers Vanguard) 3 Nov 2017

https://archive.is/eKZbm
Workers Vanguard No. 1121 3 November 2017
Title IX Witchhunts, Anti-Sex Frenzy and Bourgeois Feminism
(Women and Revolution pages)
Unwanted Advances
Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus
A Review
Is the specter of sex haunting the campus? Under the pretense of targeting sexual harassment and assault, university administrations have been whipping up a climate of fear and imposing neo-Victorian values. As the recent book Unwanted Advances—Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus (HarperCollins Publishers, April 2017) argues, “The new campus codes aren’t preventing nonconsensual sex; they’re producing it.” Written by Northwestern University professor and self-described left-wing feminist Laura Kipnis, the book exposes the vastly expanded definitions of sexual assault, which criminalize anything from drunken hook-ups to student-professor romance and even allow for consent to be withdrawn retroactively.
Kipnis joins others who have blown the whistle on the Title IX “sexual misconduct” investigation apparatus. Title IX was originally enacted in 1972 to outlaw sex discrimination in federally financed institutions, to increase funding for women’s college sports and women’s enrollment in medical and law schools. Now it has been turned into a mammoth kangaroo court without any semblance of due process for the accused. In 2011, Obama’s administration issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” containing revised Title IX guidelines with which colleges had to comply or risk losing federal funding. Most striking of these guidelines was the adoption of the lowest standard of proof, a “preponderance of evidence,” in campus sexual assault hearings. By this standard, the accused can be convicted based on anything over a 50 percent likelihood of guilt, as opposed to “beyond a reasonable doubt” in criminal cases. Students have had their scholarships withdrawn and been expelled, and professors have had their careers destroyed based on mere speculation.
With sexual harassment vaguely defined as “unwelcome conduct,” university bureaucrats have gone after teachers and students alike for controversial comments and misguided jokes or compliments. And though one would be hard pressed to find sex on campus that doesn’t involve some level of intoxication, under the Obama-era guidelines, any sexual act under the influence is treated as nonconsensual.
Kipnis herself witnessed firsthand a process that is normally cloaked in a veil of secrecy after she became a target of a Title IX investigation for having written an essay. Students complained that she had created a hostile environment with her Chronicle of Higher Education piece, “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe” (February 2015), which opposed prohibitions on student-faculty relationships and other draconian campus sex codes. After documenting this sinister circus in a follow-up essay, “My Title IX Inquisition” (May 2015), Kipnis became an unintentional spokesperson for countless victims of the anti-sex bureaucracy.
To be sure, rape and sexual harassment happen, and universities are well versed in sweeping cases of criminal sexual violence under the rug to preserve their reputations. Kipnis goes out of her way to prove she’s not “soft” on rape. But it is no help to victims of real abuse for voluntary and involuntary acts to be lumped together under the umbrella-like designation of “sexual misconduct,” i.e., to make no distinction between discomfort and coercion. As we wrote following the implementation of “yes means yes” legislation in California: “The suggestion that a misunderstanding—or for that matter, bad or unpleasant sex—is equivalent to rape is not only ludicrous but dangerously trivializing of actual sexual violence” (“Sex and Consent on Campus,” WV No. 1056, 14 November 2014).
When Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced in September that she would rescind Obama’s guidelines, feminists and Democratic Party politicos were quick to decry the move as yet another attack by an overtly racist and ultra-conservative administration. Trump and his right-wing cohorts have a sinister program to eliminate women’s right to abortion and to wage a racist war on what little remains of affirmative action. But the Democrats represent the interests of the same bourgeois ruling class as the Republicans, and also push an anti-woman agenda, including sexual repression. In fact, expanding the powers of the government and its agents in the university administration, cynically done in the name of defending the vulnerable, is a gift to the reactionary forces that aim to dismantle Title IX and go after civil rights wholesale.
The Uses and Abuses of Title IX
The current anti-sex campaign is rooted in the bipartisan rollback of the limited but real gains won through struggles in the late 1960s and early ’70s amid the radicalization during the fight for black rights and against the Vietnam War. But important concessions, such as the legal right to abortion, have since been undermined or overturned by the ruling class—see the massive erosion of Roe v. Wade. Reforms are always reversible when power remains in the hands of the capitalist exploiters.
In the 1980s, a right-wing “family values” offensive was joined by a liberal/feminist auxiliary that went on to promote panic over “date rape” on campuses. The Title IX apparatus has become the latest tool in the rulers’ decades-long anti-sex crusade to justify augmenting the police forces of the state and legitimize intrusion into private life—from the demented accusations of satanic ritual abuse against day-care workers in the 1980s to the permanent ostracizing of hundreds of thousands of people branded “sex offenders” today. Stirring up mass anxiety conveniently diverts discontent away from the horrors of life for the bulk of society: unemployment, plunging wages and soaring costs of housing, health care and education.
Aside from Kipnis’s own story, which she relates with impressive wit, the central case of Unwanted Advances is that of Peter Ludlow, a highly regarded, tenured professor of philosophy at Northwestern. Ludlow was driven out of the university by the Title IX authorities who found him guilty of sexual harassment in two cases. One involved an undergraduate who accused him of forcing her to drink alcohol and groping her; in the other, a graduate student claimed there had been a nonconsensual act during their months-long relationship. Ludlow denied all accusations. During drawn-out Star Chamber procedures, he was banned from campus and smeared in the press as a rapist. Blacklisted, Ludlow resigned and moved to Mexico, dead broke from legal fees. He handed over all his documentation to Kipnis, which confirmed her suspicion that the case was a frame-up.
In page after page of engrossing detail, Kipnis describes the sexual misconduct inquisition: the accused has no right to know the charges, nor who made them, which makes mounting an effective defense nearly impossible; hearings are conducted in secret and typically conclude with a gag order on the accused; the investigators act as judge and jury, and can raise accusations based on hearsay. Kipnis exposes the rampant bias of the Title IX officers in favor of women they call “survivors,” a term that presupposes the charges to be true (and the man to be the aggressor).
In reviewing Ludlow’s case, Kipnis discovered a backstage adviser in the affair who has played a nefarious role in many other Title IX investigations, Professor Heidi Lockwood. Defying all logic, Lockwood denies that consent is the decisive factor in determining whether sex is consensual. In her schema, widely shared in feminist academia, consent does not exist if there are “differentials in power.” The logic of Lockwood’s construct is that women are never independent beings during heterosexual sex since we live in a patriarchy.
Sex—which under bourgeois morality is colored by shame, fear and religious dogma, not to mention class and racial inequality—is often messy and complicated. But we do not believe that someone who is simply older, has a better job or is in a position of authority inevitably turns his or her “subordinate” into a passive automaton. As long as those participating consent at the time, nobody else, least of all the state or campus administrators, has the right to tell them if or how they can do it. For Marxists, the guiding principle in sexual relations is effective consent: what two (or more) people agree to do, regardless of age, gender or sexual preference, is no business of the government or campus authorities.
In her recent book and essays, Kipnis challenges how female students are infantilized as helpless victims of professors with whom they’ve had sexual relations. She harks back to her own years as a college student, before sex was considered dangerous and when screwing professors “was more or less part of the curriculum.” The number of students and teachers who have fallen for each other and acted on it over the years is legion. To condemn these acts is a blatant attempt to control and criminalize sex (or anything hinting of it) between consenting individuals. We oppose all “age of consent” laws that prohibit consensual sexual relations in the name of “protecting” youth; we do not accord the capitalist state the right to decree an arbitrary age at which people can experiment, desire or fool around. Likewise, we oppose all laws against “crimes without victims” such as prostitution, gambling, drug use or pornography.
Anti-sex hysteria intersects the racial oppression that is central to U.S. capitalism. In a country where simply being a black man is enough for the cops to frame you up for something, blacks and minorities are particularly targeted as supposed predators. Panic over black male sexuality and interracial sex has long been used as a justification for (legal or extralegal) lynch rope terror—look at the Scottsboro Boys and Emmett Till. Unwanted Advances mentions in passing the story of a black college athlete charged with sexual assault for giving his girlfriend a hickey. The case was that of Colorado State University student Grant Neal. Although the woman emphatically reported that no nonconsensual act had taken place, a “friend” of hers reported the hickey to the Title IX authorities. Grant was suspended, his athletic scholarship was revoked, and no other college would admit him. He later sued the university for discrimination, settling out of court.
As reported by journalist Emily Yoffe in an article, “The Question of Race in Campus Sexual-Assault Cases” (Atlantic, 11 September), Colgate University was recently investigated for race discrimination in its sexual assault adjudication process. On a campus where only 4 percent of students are black, during the 2013-14 academic year black male students made up half of those accused of sexual violations. Black and immigrant students, who more often than not lack the financial resources to mount an effective legal defense, are exceptionally vulnerable in the face of bigoted and zealous prosecutors. Title IX has also been used to railroad gay people and leftists.
The Myth of “Rape Culture”: Sex Panic as Social Control
The ideological backdrop to sexual paranoia on campus is the notion of “rape culture.” Kipnis challenges two ubiquitous claims: that one in five college women is a victim of sexual assault, and that only 2 percent of rape allegations are false. In fact, contrary to the image of universities as a hotbed for rapists and predators, students actually experience lower rates of sexual violence than their non-college counterparts. As far back as the 1990s, Princeton grad student Katie Roiphe challenged the notion of a so-called “epidemic” of date rape on campuses in her defiant book, The Morning After: Sex, Fear, and Feminism on Campus (see “The ‘Date Rape’ Issue: Feminist Hysteria, Anti-Sex Witchhunt,” Women and Revolution No. 43, Winter 1993-Spring 1994).
The false “one in five” figure originates from Susan Brownmiller’s 1975 book Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, which infamously contended that rape or threat of rape is the main way in which all men control all women. Pervaded with racist and anti-sex filth, the book equivocated on the defense of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black youth who was kidnapped and lynched for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Brownmiller presented the whistle by Till—whose killing was a galvanizing incident for the civil rights movement—as a “deliberate insult just short of physical assault.”
Kipnis shrewdly argues that “rape culture” has become the university counterpart of the September 11 attacks that have been used as the justification for the wholesale shredding of civil liberties under the guise of the “war on terror”:
“On campus, the term rape culture, like the term terrorism, has become the rhetoric of emergency. Fear becomes the guidelines, promulgating more fear…. The failed war exacerbates the fears, which becomes the rationale for further expanding the security state: vast expenditures, increased layers of bureaucracy, surveillance, secret renditions, summary justice—like expelling a freshman for ‘emotional coercion’.”
Unwanted Advances touches on the social and economic backdrop to the regulation of sex. Today, where even a miserable $15 an hour is out of reach for millions of workers, college-age adults see a precarious future. Decent-paying employment is far from guaranteed even with a four-year degree, which in any case leaves graduates saddled with debt, chained to their parents’ housing and health insurance. Combine that with concern that a romantic encounter could end up with one being marked a “sex criminal,” and you have a solid means for the ruling class to push social conformity.
Part of why Kipnis was able to maintain her composure during her own farcical Title IX trial was because, as a tenured professor, she felt her job was secure. Today, the bulk of professors are not so lucky. Over half of all university instructors are part-time adjuncts—low-paid contract employees with no union representation or job security. If an adjunct instructor is brought up on even the flimsiest charges of sexual misconduct, their career is immediately on the line.
Title IX “sex offender” vendettas strengthen the power of the reactionary campus administrations to strip tenured faculty and staff of the few protections they have. Students, professors and campus workers should have more defense against misconduct allegations, not less. The fight to gain and extend protections on campus, including union rights, requires a fight against the administration, which runs the university on behalf of the anti-woman, anti-black, anti-worker ruling class.
Bourgeois Feminism vs. Revolutionary Marxism
In capitalist society, the prospects of justice for actual victims of rape are bleak. Women who report rape are routinely harassed by the police and practically put on trial themselves while the courts inspect their “morality.” In the bourgeois legal system, the prosecution of sexual offenses has little to do with protecting women against violence and more to do with maintaining their subjugation within the family. The institution of the family is the main source of the oppression of women and children. For the bourgeoisie, the family is used to pass property on to the next generation. For working people, the family—in which women are consigned to running the household and rearing the next generation—inculcates and reinforces bourgeois ideology and morals and, above all, obedience to authority.
Anti-sex witchhunts not only bolster the family, but also provide an ideological basis for state repression. For Marxists, the capitalist state—including the cops, courts and prisons—is the instrument for the suppression of the exploited and oppressed by the exploiters. Alongside the family and organized religion, it plays a key role in enforcing the oppression of women and youth. Feminists, even radical or “socialist” ones, operate entirely within the framework of capitalist rule and reject this understanding. In fact, one form of feminism today is called “carceral feminism” because it pushes for more policing, prosecution and imprisonment as the solution to violence against women.
Kipnis denounces carceral feminism and paternalist feminism, i.e., the concept that women should be protected and men policed, and argues in favor of “grown-up feminism.” For her, the feminism from her generation has been “hijacked.” She notes that college students in the 1960s and ’70s fought to end the in loco parentis prerogatives of campus administrations, while her students today invite college administration snoops into their bedrooms.
Yet feminists have often lined up with some of the most virulent reactionaries, including allying with religious fundamentalists, to support the bourgeoisie’s anti-sex witchhunts—from censoring porn to criminalizing “deviant” sex. Feminism is based on the false consciousness of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois women who seek to enter the straight male club of power and privilege. Their strategy has been to rely on the capitalist Democratic Party to defend women, which serves only to demobilize fighters for women’s rights.
While Kipnis bemoans the fact that abortion rights, equal pay, childcare and maternity leave have been relegated to mere side issues, she still relies on feminism to address such concerns. In fact, the fight for things like free, quality 24-hour childcare, equal pay for equal work, and free contraception and abortion must be tied to a struggle to overthrow the economic system that is the source of women’s oppression. The liberation of women requires a socialist revolution, which will uproot the private property system and replace the family with socialized childcare and housework, bringing women fully into social and political life.
Fake Socialists Join Anti-Sex Frenzy
It is a mark of the reactionary political climate that Unwanted Advances has either been ignored or treated with contempt by the bulk of the left. Kipnis has instead been lauded by right-wing libertarian groups like FIRE and Reason, both with ties to the Koch brothers. These groups have been promoting the faux “free speech” agenda on campus as a cover for racist, sexist provocations. Kipnis is perplexed by such praise from those who want to destroy the left. By entrusting the capitalist state with powers that will inevitably be used against them, liberals and feminists have handed a weapon to the right wing. It is a measure of how much reformist socialists have adapted to puritanical “family values” that they march in lockstep with the feminists (read: Democrats) to promote bourgeois behavior codes.
In the article “DeVos Is Turning the Clock Back on Survivors” (Socialist Worker, 13 September), the International Socialist Organization (ISO) laments DeVos’s latest action as one of a “series of attacks against survivors by the current administration,” and declares: “We will not go back.” The ISO hails Obama’s “Dear Colleague Letter” and retails dubious statistics about sexual assault in order to join what they hail as a “growing” movement against sexual violence on campus. That movement plugs the inherently racist, sexist and elitist bourgeois education system as a “space” in which women, transgender people or racial minorities can be “safe” from oppression.
Socialist Alternative (SAlt) has latched onto the same movement, in particular at UCLA, where they have been active around the Title IX case of Gabriel Piterberg. An Israeli, pro-Palestinian professor of history, Piterberg was charged with sexual harassment by two grad students in 2014. While denying the charges, he made a settlement with the university, which included being fined, suspended for a quarter without pay, and removed from his position as director of the university’s Center for Near Eastern Studies. But this was not enough for SAlt and its cohorts in the feminist Bruins Against Sexual Harassment. Student protesters repeatedly shut down his classes, railing that UCLA was protecting a “sexual predator.”
Whatever happened between Piterberg and his accusers, we oppose eternal punishment, akin to being branded a sex offender for life. Piterberg is also a well-known defender of the oppressed Palestinian people who has been targeted for years by powerful Zionist forces. His treatment raises the question of whether the Title IX apparatus is being used to do the Zionists’ dirty work.
While no one can fix all the problems of sexual relations in this rotten, decaying society, we oppose all attempts to fit human sexuality into pre-ordained “norms.” To create genuinely equal relations between people in all spheres, including sex, requires nothing less than the destruction of the capitalist system through a series of socialist revolutions internationally, opening the way to the creation of a communist world. In a classless society, social and economic constraints on sexual relations will be nonexistent, and in the words of Friedrich Engels, “There is no other motive left except mutual inclination.”
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1121/kipnis_review.html
submitted by FinnagainsAwake to WomenLiberation [link] [comments]


2017.11.08 01:46 FinnagainsAwake Title IX Witchhunts, Anti-Sex Frenzy and Bourgeois Feminism

https://archive.is/eKZbm
Workers Vanguard No. 1121 3 November 2017
Title IX Witchhunts, Anti-Sex Frenzy and Bourgeois Feminism
(Women and Revolution pages)
Unwanted Advances
Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus
A Review
Is the specter of sex haunting the campus? Under the pretense of targeting sexual harassment and assault, university administrations have been whipping up a climate of fear and imposing neo-Victorian values. As the recent book Unwanted Advances—Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus (HarperCollins Publishers, April 2017) argues, “The new campus codes aren’t preventing nonconsensual sex; they’re producing it.” Written by Northwestern University professor and self-described left-wing feminist Laura Kipnis, the book exposes the vastly expanded definitions of sexual assault, which criminalize anything from drunken hook-ups to student-professor romance and even allow for consent to be withdrawn retroactively.
Kipnis joins others who have blown the whistle on the Title IX “sexual misconduct” investigation apparatus. Title IX was originally enacted in 1972 to outlaw sex discrimination in federally financed institutions, to increase funding for women’s college sports and women’s enrollment in medical and law schools. Now it has been turned into a mammoth kangaroo court without any semblance of due process for the accused. In 2011, Obama’s administration issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” containing revised Title IX guidelines with which colleges had to comply or risk losing federal funding. Most striking of these guidelines was the adoption of the lowest standard of proof, a “preponderance of evidence,” in campus sexual assault hearings. By this standard, the accused can be convicted based on anything over a 50 percent likelihood of guilt, as opposed to “beyond a reasonable doubt” in criminal cases. Students have had their scholarships withdrawn and been expelled, and professors have had their careers destroyed based on mere speculation.
With sexual harassment vaguely defined as “unwelcome conduct,” university bureaucrats have gone after teachers and students alike for controversial comments and misguided jokes or compliments. And though one would be hard pressed to find sex on campus that doesn’t involve some level of intoxication, under the Obama-era guidelines, any sexual act under the influence is treated as nonconsensual.
Kipnis herself witnessed firsthand a process that is normally cloaked in a veil of secrecy after she became a target of a Title IX investigation for having written an essay. Students complained that she had created a hostile environment with her Chronicle of Higher Education piece, “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe” (February 2015), which opposed prohibitions on student-faculty relationships and other draconian campus sex codes. After documenting this sinister circus in a follow-up essay, “My Title IX Inquisition” (May 2015), Kipnis became an unintentional spokesperson for countless victims of the anti-sex bureaucracy.
To be sure, rape and sexual harassment happen, and universities are well versed in sweeping cases of criminal sexual violence under the rug to preserve their reputations. Kipnis goes out of her way to prove she’s not “soft” on rape. But it is no help to victims of real abuse for voluntary and involuntary acts to be lumped together under the umbrella-like designation of “sexual misconduct,” i.e., to make no distinction between discomfort and coercion. As we wrote following the implementation of “yes means yes” legislation in California: “The suggestion that a misunderstanding—or for that matter, bad or unpleasant sex—is equivalent to rape is not only ludicrous but dangerously trivializing of actual sexual violence” (“Sex and Consent on Campus,” WV No. 1056, 14 November 2014).
When Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced in September that she would rescind Obama’s guidelines, feminists and Democratic Party politicos were quick to decry the move as yet another attack by an overtly racist and ultra-conservative administration. Trump and his right-wing cohorts have a sinister program to eliminate women’s right to abortion and to wage a racist war on what little remains of affirmative action. But the Democrats represent the interests of the same bourgeois ruling class as the Republicans, and also push an anti-woman agenda, including sexual repression. In fact, expanding the powers of the government and its agents in the university administration, cynically done in the name of defending the vulnerable, is a gift to the reactionary forces that aim to dismantle Title IX and go after civil rights wholesale.
The Uses and Abuses of Title IX
The current anti-sex campaign is rooted in the bipartisan rollback of the limited but real gains won through struggles in the late 1960s and early ’70s amid the radicalization during the fight for black rights and against the Vietnam War. But important concessions, such as the legal right to abortion, have since been undermined or overturned by the ruling class—see the massive erosion of Roe v. Wade. Reforms are always reversible when power remains in the hands of the capitalist exploiters.
In the 1980s, a right-wing “family values” offensive was joined by a liberal/feminist auxiliary that went on to promote panic over “date rape” on campuses. The Title IX apparatus has become the latest tool in the rulers’ decades-long anti-sex crusade to justify augmenting the police forces of the state and legitimize intrusion into private life—from the demented accusations of satanic ritual abuse against day-care workers in the 1980s to the permanent ostracizing of hundreds of thousands of people branded “sex offenders” today. Stirring up mass anxiety conveniently diverts discontent away from the horrors of life for the bulk of society: unemployment, plunging wages and soaring costs of housing, health care and education.
Aside from Kipnis’s own story, which she relates with impressive wit, the central case of Unwanted Advances is that of Peter Ludlow, a highly regarded, tenured professor of philosophy at Northwestern. Ludlow was driven out of the university by the Title IX authorities who found him guilty of sexual harassment in two cases. One involved an undergraduate who accused him of forcing her to drink alcohol and groping her; in the other, a graduate student claimed there had been a nonconsensual act during their months-long relationship. Ludlow denied all accusations. During drawn-out Star Chamber procedures, he was banned from campus and smeared in the press as a rapist. Blacklisted, Ludlow resigned and moved to Mexico, dead broke from legal fees. He handed over all his documentation to Kipnis, which confirmed her suspicion that the case was a frame-up.
In page after page of engrossing detail, Kipnis describes the sexual misconduct inquisition: the accused has no right to know the charges, nor who made them, which makes mounting an effective defense nearly impossible; hearings are conducted in secret and typically conclude with a gag order on the accused; the investigators act as judge and jury, and can raise accusations based on hearsay. Kipnis exposes the rampant bias of the Title IX officers in favor of women they call “survivors,” a term that presupposes the charges to be true (and the man to be the aggressor).
In reviewing Ludlow’s case, Kipnis discovered a backstage adviser in the affair who has played a nefarious role in many other Title IX investigations, Professor Heidi Lockwood. Defying all logic, Lockwood denies that consent is the decisive factor in determining whether sex is consensual. In her schema, widely shared in feminist academia, consent does not exist if there are “differentials in power.” The logic of Lockwood’s construct is that women are never independent beings during heterosexual sex since we live in a patriarchy.
Sex—which under bourgeois morality is colored by shame, fear and religious dogma, not to mention class and racial inequality—is often messy and complicated. But we do not believe that someone who is simply older, has a better job or is in a position of authority inevitably turns his or her “subordinate” into a passive automaton. As long as those participating consent at the time, nobody else, least of all the state or campus administrators, has the right to tell them if or how they can do it. For Marxists, the guiding principle in sexual relations is effective consent: what two (or more) people agree to do, regardless of age, gender or sexual preference, is no business of the government or campus authorities.
In her recent book and essays, Kipnis challenges how female students are infantilized as helpless victims of professors with whom they’ve had sexual relations. She harks back to her own years as a college student, before sex was considered dangerous and when screwing professors “was more or less part of the curriculum.” The number of students and teachers who have fallen for each other and acted on it over the years is legion. To condemn these acts is a blatant attempt to control and criminalize sex (or anything hinting of it) between consenting individuals. We oppose all “age of consent” laws that prohibit consensual sexual relations in the name of “protecting” youth; we do not accord the capitalist state the right to decree an arbitrary age at which people can experiment, desire or fool around. Likewise, we oppose all laws against “crimes without victims” such as prostitution, gambling, drug use or pornography.
Anti-sex hysteria intersects the racial oppression that is central to U.S. capitalism. In a country where simply being a black man is enough for the cops to frame you up for something, blacks and minorities are particularly targeted as supposed predators. Panic over black male sexuality and interracial sex has long been used as a justification for (legal or extralegal) lynch rope terror—look at the Scottsboro Boys and Emmett Till. Unwanted Advances mentions in passing the story of a black college athlete charged with sexual assault for giving his girlfriend a hickey. The case was that of Colorado State University student Grant Neal. Although the woman emphatically reported that no nonconsensual act had taken place, a “friend” of hers reported the hickey to the Title IX authorities. Grant was suspended, his athletic scholarship was revoked, and no other college would admit him. He later sued the university for discrimination, settling out of court.
As reported by journalist Emily Yoffe in an article, “The Question of Race in Campus Sexual-Assault Cases” (Atlantic, 11 September), Colgate University was recently investigated for race discrimination in its sexual assault adjudication process. On a campus where only 4 percent of students are black, during the 2013-14 academic year black male students made up half of those accused of sexual violations. Black and immigrant students, who more often than not lack the financial resources to mount an effective legal defense, are exceptionally vulnerable in the face of bigoted and zealous prosecutors. Title IX has also been used to railroad gay people and leftists.
The Myth of “Rape Culture”: Sex Panic as Social Control
The ideological backdrop to sexual paranoia on campus is the notion of “rape culture.” Kipnis challenges two ubiquitous claims: that one in five college women is a victim of sexual assault, and that only 2 percent of rape allegations are false. In fact, contrary to the image of universities as a hotbed for rapists and predators, students actually experience lower rates of sexual violence than their non-college counterparts. As far back as the 1990s, Princeton grad student Katie Roiphe challenged the notion of a so-called “epidemic” of date rape on campuses in her defiant book, The Morning After: Sex, Fear, and Feminism on Campus (see “The ‘Date Rape’ Issue: Feminist Hysteria, Anti-Sex Witchhunt,” Women and Revolution No. 43, Winter 1993-Spring 1994).
The false “one in five” figure originates from Susan Brownmiller’s 1975 book Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, which infamously contended that rape or threat of rape is the main way in which all men control all women. Pervaded with racist and anti-sex filth, the book equivocated on the defense of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black youth who was kidnapped and lynched for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Brownmiller presented the whistle by Till—whose killing was a galvanizing incident for the civil rights movement—as a “deliberate insult just short of physical assault.”
Kipnis shrewdly argues that “rape culture” has become the university counterpart of the September 11 attacks that have been used as the justification for the wholesale shredding of civil liberties under the guise of the “war on terror”:
“On campus, the term rape culture, like the term terrorism, has become the rhetoric of emergency. Fear becomes the guidelines, promulgating more fear…. The failed war exacerbates the fears, which becomes the rationale for further expanding the security state: vast expenditures, increased layers of bureaucracy, surveillance, secret renditions, summary justice—like expelling a freshman for ‘emotional coercion’.”
Unwanted Advances touches on the social and economic backdrop to the regulation of sex. Today, where even a miserable $15 an hour is out of reach for millions of workers, college-age adults see a precarious future. Decent-paying employment is far from guaranteed even with a four-year degree, which in any case leaves graduates saddled with debt, chained to their parents’ housing and health insurance. Combine that with concern that a romantic encounter could end up with one being marked a “sex criminal,” and you have a solid means for the ruling class to push social conformity.
Part of why Kipnis was able to maintain her composure during her own farcical Title IX trial was because, as a tenured professor, she felt her job was secure. Today, the bulk of professors are not so lucky. Over half of all university instructors are part-time adjuncts—low-paid contract employees with no union representation or job security. If an adjunct instructor is brought up on even the flimsiest charges of sexual misconduct, their career is immediately on the line.
Title IX “sex offender” vendettas strengthen the power of the reactionary campus administrations to strip tenured faculty and staff of the few protections they have. Students, professors and campus workers should have more defense against misconduct allegations, not less. The fight to gain and extend protections on campus, including union rights, requires a fight against the administration, which runs the university on behalf of the anti-woman, anti-black, anti-worker ruling class.
Bourgeois Feminism vs. Revolutionary Marxism
In capitalist society, the prospects of justice for actual victims of rape are bleak. Women who report rape are routinely harassed by the police and practically put on trial themselves while the courts inspect their “morality.” In the bourgeois legal system, the prosecution of sexual offenses has little to do with protecting women against violence and more to do with maintaining their subjugation within the family. The institution of the family is the main source of the oppression of women and children. For the bourgeoisie, the family is used to pass property on to the next generation. For working people, the family—in which women are consigned to running the household and rearing the next generation—inculcates and reinforces bourgeois ideology and morals and, above all, obedience to authority.
Anti-sex witchhunts not only bolster the family, but also provide an ideological basis for state repression. For Marxists, the capitalist state—including the cops, courts and prisons—is the instrument for the suppression of the exploited and oppressed by the exploiters. Alongside the family and organized religion, it plays a key role in enforcing the oppression of women and youth. Feminists, even radical or “socialist” ones, operate entirely within the framework of capitalist rule and reject this understanding. In fact, one form of feminism today is called “carceral feminism” because it pushes for more policing, prosecution and imprisonment as the solution to violence against women.
Kipnis denounces carceral feminism and paternalist feminism, i.e., the concept that women should be protected and men policed, and argues in favor of “grown-up feminism.” For her, the feminism from her generation has been “hijacked.” She notes that college students in the 1960s and ’70s fought to end the in loco parentis prerogatives of campus administrations, while her students today invite college administration snoops into their bedrooms.
Yet feminists have often lined up with some of the most virulent reactionaries, including allying with religious fundamentalists, to support the bourgeoisie’s anti-sex witchhunts—from censoring porn to criminalizing “deviant” sex. Feminism is based on the false consciousness of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois women who seek to enter the straight male club of power and privilege. Their strategy has been to rely on the capitalist Democratic Party to defend women, which serves only to demobilize fighters for women’s rights.
While Kipnis bemoans the fact that abortion rights, equal pay, childcare and maternity leave have been relegated to mere side issues, she still relies on feminism to address such concerns. In fact, the fight for things like free, quality 24-hour childcare, equal pay for equal work, and free contraception and abortion must be tied to a struggle to overthrow the economic system that is the source of women’s oppression. The liberation of women requires a socialist revolution, which will uproot the private property system and replace the family with socialized childcare and housework, bringing women fully into social and political life.
Fake Socialists Join Anti-Sex Frenzy
It is a mark of the reactionary political climate that Unwanted Advances has either been ignored or treated with contempt by the bulk of the left. Kipnis has instead been lauded by right-wing libertarian groups like FIRE and Reason, both with ties to the Koch brothers. These groups have been promoting the faux “free speech” agenda on campus as a cover for racist, sexist provocations. Kipnis is perplexed by such praise from those who want to destroy the left. By entrusting the capitalist state with powers that will inevitably be used against them, liberals and feminists have handed a weapon to the right wing. It is a measure of how much reformist socialists have adapted to puritanical “family values” that they march in lockstep with the feminists (read: Democrats) to promote bourgeois behavior codes.
In the article “DeVos Is Turning the Clock Back on Survivors” (Socialist Worker, 13 September), the International Socialist Organization (ISO) laments DeVos’s latest action as one of a “series of attacks against survivors by the current administration,” and declares: “We will not go back.” The ISO hails Obama’s “Dear Colleague Letter” and retails dubious statistics about sexual assault in order to join what they hail as a “growing” movement against sexual violence on campus. That movement plugs the inherently racist, sexist and elitist bourgeois education system as a “space” in which women, transgender people or racial minorities can be “safe” from oppression.
Socialist Alternative (SAlt) has latched onto the same movement, in particular at UCLA, where they have been active around the Title IX case of Gabriel Piterberg. An Israeli, pro-Palestinian professor of history, Piterberg was charged with sexual harassment by two grad students in 2014. While denying the charges, he made a settlement with the university, which included being fined, suspended for a quarter without pay, and removed from his position as director of the university’s Center for Near Eastern Studies. But this was not enough for SAlt and its cohorts in the feminist Bruins Against Sexual Harassment. Student protesters repeatedly shut down his classes, railing that UCLA was protecting a “sexual predator.”
Whatever happened between Piterberg and his accusers, we oppose eternal punishment, akin to being branded a sex offender for life. Piterberg is also a well-known defender of the oppressed Palestinian people who has been targeted for years by powerful Zionist forces. His treatment raises the question of whether the Title IX apparatus is being used to do the Zionists’ dirty work.
While no one can fix all the problems of sexual relations in this rotten, decaying society, we oppose all attempts to fit human sexuality into pre-ordained “norms.” To create genuinely equal relations between people in all spheres, including sex, requires nothing less than the destruction of the capitalist system through a series of socialist revolutions internationally, opening the way to the creation of a communist world. In a classless society, social and economic constraints on sexual relations will be nonexistent, and in the words of Friedrich Engels, “There is no other motive left except mutual inclination.”
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1121/kipnis_review.html
submitted by FinnagainsAwake to WorkersVanguard2 [link] [comments]


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