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sex on campus
DeVos Opens Door to Title IX Rethink

At her confirmation hearing yesterday afternoon, Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos signaled that the new administration is prepared to reconsider the Obama administration’s Title IX mandates that have encouraged campuses to create growing sex bureaucracies and tilt their disciplinary processes against students accused of sexual assault. The Guardian reports:

Betsy DeVos, nominated by Donald Trump to serve as the next education secretary, refused on Tuesday to state whether she would uphold the Obama administration’s guidance on how to handle campus sexual assault.

DeVos – a Republican megadonor, philanthropist and eager patron of charter schools – cast taking a position on the issue as “premature” during her confirmation hearing before the Senate committee on health, education, labor and pensions.

“If confirmed, I look forward to understanding the past actions and current situation better, and to ensuring that the intent of the law is actually carried out in a way that recognizes both the victim … as well as those who are accused.”

There have traditionally been differences in the way Republican and Democratic administrations handle Title IX regulation. While the Bush administration took a relatively laissez-faire approach and even explicitly reminded colleges that sexual harassment guidelines did not require colleges to infringe on civil liberties, the Obama administration’s Office for Civil Rights in Education used an aggressive interpretation of the law to unilaterally engineer wide-ranging changes at colleges across the country. It seems likely that when the ideological gender warriors in the current Department of Education bureaucracy depart and Trump appointees take their place, at least some of the Obama-era regulatory guidance—which was never enshrined in legislation—will be summarily reversed.

But that doesn’t mean that the situation on campuses will necessarily grow any more level-headed. As we’ve noted before, Trump’s election, which was met with shock and horror in American academia, may be taken as evidence of the necessity of aggressive identity politics initiatives, rather than a repudiation of them. So it’s entirely possible that campuses will maintain or even expand the same ideological policies they have implemented in recent years.

Unless, that is, the new administration actually goes to war with campus bureaucrats by declaring that Title IX forbids left-wing campus policies that undermine due process. In that case, things could get interesting. But the best approach, by far, would be to merely undo the Obama administration’s gratuitous dictates and work with the legislature to pass legislation clarifying the requirements of Title IX once and for all. This would reduce the amount of uncertainty and administrative whiplash in the higher education system the next time the Democrats come to power.

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  • QET

    The “Dear Colleague” letter and every fruit of that poisonous tree should be entirely withdrawn, repealed, negated effective as of the instant Trump’s hand is off the Bible. Then the entirety of Title IX should be repealed by Congress, as having served its purpose admirably. In the future, if women are once again relegated to the status they endured 50+ years ago, then a new Title IX can be adopted. All Title IX is right now is a sharp sword in the hands of bitter resentful feminists who seek only to punish men simply for being men.

    Sometimes, things really are that simple, and this is one of those times.

    • Jim__L

      To top it all off, Title IX isn’t actually all that effective at things like, say, keeping men who are women’s track coaches from behaving like absolute beasts to them.

      The whole structure is ineffective, and needs to be completely rethought.

  • Beauceron

    I was not opposed to title IX 8 years ago.

    To be honest, I didn’t think about it much, and to the extent I did, I think I felt relatively positive about it. I certainly want women to have equal opportunities and to be treated fairly and respectfully.

    But then Obama came. And as with everything on the Left, it was weaponized as a tool to promote their far-Left policies and to hammer their supposed enemies.

    And so now, I have to say I agree. We have seen what can be done with Title IX. How it can be used to strip men of their rights, how it creates an atmosphere of gross inequality and injustice.

    Wipe it off the books.

  • FriendlyGoat

    I have long maintained that Trump—-IF—–IF—-he decided to get into any governmental reversals on this issue at all——would get a woman to do the slapping of other women.

    • CapitalHawk

      Always a good idea. Women get such sublime pleasure from taking down other women. And we want our women to be happy, don’t we?

      • FriendlyGoat

        Maybe you would enjoy living with a woman whose greatest desire is to fight with other women. I wouldn’t.

        • CapitalHawk

          All women want to fight with other women. And win. They just don’t fight the way men do and we often don’t even recognize that the women are actually in conflict.
          If you’ve ever worked with a large group of women, you would know what I mean. Alternatively, if you’ve ever watched a bunch of crabs in a bucket, you can see the same sort of interactions.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Yes, when I was in my very early twenties, I became a supervisor of several women in an office (some of whom were then nearly old enough to be my mother) and I remained in that job for two decades. I learned why it would be IDIOTIC of me to be amused by them carping at each other since my success was dependent on their work which was, in turn, dependent on them not going into nutty conflicts with each other. It was a life-long education for me on how, among other things, to NEVER speak of women’s supposed tendencies in the kinds of generalities you are describing.

            The point of my comment is that Trump—–IF—-IF—-he thinks men are somehow being railroaded by college policies on sexual matters—–will probably get some woman to do the telling. This should not be a catfight between feminists and whomever Trump sends out as the messenger. If—-IF—-it happens at all, it should be a reminder for the feminists to disregard the messenger and call out the “p____-grabber” in person.

          • CapitalHawk

            FG – Maybe I’m misunderstanding you, but it sounds like you are agreeing with me as to the nature of (most) women, but you have learned that saying it out loud is a really bad idea. Fair enough, but I believe you once said you are retired, and if so, you can feel free to state the truth now.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I am retired. The truth is that the more you criticize and demean women, the worse they behave. It is a good way to have trouble at work and trouble in families. I’m not up for it.

      • seattleoutcast

        H.L. Mencken:

        “Misogynist: A man who hates women as much as women hate one another.”

  • Gugliemus

    Is there a better example of the overreach of the Administrative State than its use of Title IX to regulate the sexual conduct of individual men and women on American university campuses? This is lunacy, and the almost perfect example of the exhaustion of the liberal agenda.

  • LarryD

    Congress cannot pass a law requiring the violation of the Constitution, and certainly did not intend Title IX to be such. The guilt lies with Obama and his appointees in the Office of Civil Rights. Lawsuits ought to be forthcoming.

    And universities need to be taught that a “Dear Colleague” letter does not absolve them of their legal obligations to respect the rights of their students. Any recalcitrant universities should have any federal funding withdrawn.

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