December 22, 2013

SPOOFING THE SYSTEM: Occidental College has been barraged with bogus allegations of sexual assault in recent days after two groups, one claiming to represent ‘men’s rights’ set out to undermine the school’s anonymous reporting system. “There’s also a controversy at Occidental about its failure to meet federal standards in reporting reports of sexual assault, so the school needs some kind of system for encouraging reports. But those who fear false reports are motivated to create pressure against any system that makes it too easy to make a false report. This particular protest, however, if it is what it appears to be, seems to entail making false reports as a way to demonstrate the harms of false reports. It’s possible that the reports from men against women are not false, but are reports of conduct that fits the schools definition of sexual assault but that men normally refrain from reporting. I’m thinking of unwanted fondling, hugging, and kissing, which women may impose on men, assuming the men must really want it and/or counting on the tendency of men to silently endure these low-level assaults.”

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