The statistics behind rapes on college campuses as shown in the film The Hunting Ground were horrifying to me, especially in the part where they showed elite schools with the amount of rapes reported next to the amount of expulsions for rape- most schools had close to no expulsions. Even though people have made the argument that a lot of rapes are falsely reported, there have been no studies done showing more than 8% of rape reports are false. It seems wrong that over 90% of rape reports are valid and yet less than 10% of college men who rape face expulsion. The documentary listed a series of ridiculous list of real punishments colleges have given students accused of rape, including writing an essay about how they feel about the incident, making a list of 10 ways to approach women, a one-day suspension, a suspension over summer break, and "expulsion after graduation". We have a major problem with administrations not taking accusations seriously. In a press conference, a woman who I believe was the Dean of UNC-Chapel Hill literally stated that all of the accusations by many women over several years that were not investigated were "false" and "untrue". That is just unacceptable, and it delegitimizes the victims' experiences. These colleges jump through hoops to save the reputations of male students, valuing them over the female students they rape due to athletic or academic contributions. Allowing their rapists to stay at the school puts women's safety and ability to function in jeopardy.
In doing a little bit of research about Title IX, I found that very recently, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that Title IX covers a transgender student's rights to use the bathroom of the gender they identify as. I thought this was pretty cool, and interesting as that's not what one would typically associate with Title IX- we generally think about collegiate sports and budget related issues. It is, though, in the end, a law that deals with discrimination based on gender, which transgender students definitely face.
It's funny because at Gov's, we clearly have equal budgets for male and female athletics programs, and yet I think we place a disproportionate emphasis on boys' sports teams-- this mirrors a worldwide trend. Men's sports are "real" sports, but women's sports must always be qualified by "women's" before their names. Men's basketball is just basketball, but women's basketball is women's basketball. This was just a thought I had.
Colleges in America clearly have a huge problem with rape, but worse than the fact that rape happens on college campuses is the fact that the colleges don't do anything when rapes are reported. These problems can only be covered up for so long. The girls in The Hunting Ground were so ignored in the college's investigational and disciplinary programs that they had no choice but to file a Title IX claim so they could even have their problem looked at. I have to say, the film did help me feel a little bit better about going to an all-girls school (I'm pretty sure I'm actually supposed to call it a "women's college").