Monday, April 17, 2017

Title IX

Title IX has always been something I’ve associated with a school’s athletic system and having equal funding for women’s and men’s sports teams, and it was not until last year that I learned Title IX also dealt with sexual assault and rape, specifically on college campuses. Title IX explicitly claims that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." But how does this contribute to sexual harassment and assaults? This means that a college or university can be held responsible if they neglect to report and deal with sexual assault and rape cases that occur at the college or university. This still doesn’t stop certain institutions from trying to hide what students are reporting. They respond with questions like ”Rape is like a football game, and if you look back on the game, what would you do differently in that situation?”, or “What were you wearing? How much did you drink?” which leads most victims to believe that they are to blame for everything. Then they continue to say “don't talk to anyone about this, it could be bad for everyone”.  In the documentary The Hunting Ground the women who came forward to talk about their experiences said that the when they went to the school for help and support there would be a lot of victim blaming which can end up making a lot of people afraid of coming forward.
       There is a large culture around college and going to parties and hooking up with other students and people believe that rape, and sexual assault are just things that happen, but that's not how anyone should look at it. Nowadays we learn more about avoiding these potential predators when there should really be more education for them and helping them realize the wrong in what they're capable of doing.
       In the article The College Rape Overcorrection I could see where Sterrett was coming from when he pleaded that “he was subjected to a process that was capricious, reckless, incomplete, and lacked fundamental fairness”. In no way was he able to defend himself and make contact with CB. From the beginning of the article it seemed like everything was consensual between the two which made it confusing when it was assumed that Sterrett had committed some act of sexual harassment, and/or rape.
       I believe that every case of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment should be reported because no one ever deserves something like that to happen to them, but I can see the doubt in some cases that are really tough to pick apart. I don't think there should be automatic blame put onto one person but there should be something negotiable. Someday I hope to see a place where sex crimes are dealt with appropriately and they aren't dismissed just to keep a certain reputation.

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