Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Title IX

In the readings given by Ms. Kobus, Title IX, which states that students should not” be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program.” Similarly, in the presentation given a couple weeks ago on Roe v. Wade, people interpreted the Constitution in different ways, and regarding sexual assault, a few girl’s were able to interpret Title IX to also apply to cases of sexual assault, and fight to protect their rights’ under this federal law. In the reading about Drew Sterrett, he felt like his rights’ as the accused had been violated as the accused. I do think that due process is necessary, but I also think there is a fine line between presuming someone innocent and blaming the victim. While the victims are often belittled and forced to defend themselves, theses cases have the same low percentage of false reporting as any other crime in the US. Most rape accusations are true, but it is pretty sad how little justice is served, if any at all. We do take caution when approaching these cases, and that is why nothing ever seems to come from the hundreds of sexual assaults reported on any given campus per year.
In class, the movie, The Hunting Ground, gave us an in-depth look at college campus sexual assault. Looking at the statistics regarding sexual assault was disheartening, and to be frank, terrifying. Most women don’t report, and if they do, rarely get justice. I was intrigued by the movie, so I decided to watch the rest of it and I found the case involving Jameis Winston quite bothersome. Jameis was the rising freshmen QB for Florida State, and was considered an extremely valuable member of the Florida State community. His accuser, Erica Kinsman, was tormented and ridiculed at Florida State, and eventually had to drop out. I remember reading about this case a couple years ago, and seeing that this case will never go to court, and he would most likely get away with it. After continuous push-back from the authorities and the school, Jameis was found to be in no violation of student conduct code, and the state attorney, Willie Meggs, chose not to prosecute.
There was hesitation every step of the way with this case and Erica’s case might as well not have even existed. The prosecutor conducted an interview in the movie where he basically said he does not think Jameis was innocent; he just couldn’t prove he was guilty. I understand to some degree the difficulty in prosecuting some cases, but I do think cases involving any DI athletes, like Jameis, are simply ignored and swept under the rug. The ridiculous arrogance and entitlement around perpetrators of sexual assault is mainly the reason that it a vicious cycle that will be nearly impossible to end.  Erica’s life has been changed forever, and her life has been opened up for brutal criticism, and where is Jameis? He is living out his dream in the NFL. When I typed in both of their names into Google, this is what came up.
jameis winston stats
jameis winston age
jameis winston college stats

erica kinsman lies
erica kinsman cleat chasers
erica kinsman settlement

Erica, just last year, came to a settlement and Florida State University agreed to pay her 950,000.  This was her compensation for being raped, blamed, forced to leave school (sounds like a violation of Title IX), and ultimately broken, and it will never be enough. What any victim ultimately wants is justice, not a settlement. This case is like thousands every year, ultimately with absolutely no justice served, and while the accused will be remembered for his stats, and his Heisman trophy, this is what Erica will be remembered for. It's cases like this that make me question our society and what we value. The reason I felt so passionately about this case is because I honestly feel like it could have happened to anyone, and that made it very real for me to picture how she must have felt. I find it hard to believe that this will ever end, but I do also understand this is an issue that is not an “easy fix”, but strides and being made, and victims are speaking up and fighting back, which gives me hope. With the new concept around Title IX, I hope more legislation will be passed, and ultimately enforced.

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