Thursday, March 25, 2004


"On campuses across North America, the merest whiff of an abuse accusation still ruins careers.

Daphne Patai is one of the few feminists to demonstrate compassion for such wrongfully accused men. In her book "Heterophobia," Patai describes the savagery of sexual misconduct policies by which the accused has no due process or presumption of innocence but must prove his non-guilt to committees with the power to ruin his life.

One of the examples Patai cites is of an over-weight professor who was both well-liked and competent. One day, in the middle of a lecture, a female student called out a comment about the extreme size of his chest. He observed that she had no similar problem and, then, continued lecturing.

The student filed sexual harassment charges against him, based solely on the classroom incident. The ensuing witch-hunt was so extreme that the professor committed suicide. Thereafter, the university administration released a statement expressing its main concern: the professor's death should not discourage other similarly "abused" women from "speaking out."

Patai also highlights Professor Ramdas Lamb, a professor of religion at the University of Hawaii. As part of a course on contemporary social issues, Lamb assigned an article from a textbook that dealt with rape. A discussion ensued in class among the students about false rape allegations.

During the back-and-forth, several female students insisted that "women never lie" and became distressed when Lamb encouraged a hearing for all sides. A complaint was filed against him. A three-and-a-half year nightmare followed with an accusation of rape being raised. The accusation was proven untrue when some of the dates cited did not mesh with Lamb's whereabouts.

Lamb later stated, "I used to love to teach. Not any more. I used to love to interact with students ... Not any more. I used to believe that university campuses promoted free speech and the truth. Not any more. I used to believe students when they would tell me things. Not any more.".....

It is now time to start talking about the ignored victims, about the wrongfully accused men. It is not enough to dismiss false accusers; restitution should be provided to those they have harmed.

What form of restitution? The possibilities range from an official apology to reinstatement and libel charges against the false accuser. Only then will the witch hunts stop."

More here

No comments: