DeVos Speaks To Men’s Rights Activists On Campus Issues

REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Ian Miles Cheong Contributor
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Betsy DeVos, who leads the Department of Education under Donald Trump’s administration, is speaking to a variety of unconventional victims’ rights organizations to help address the problem of sexual violence on campus. In doing so, she’s earned the ire of feminists all across the Internet — some of whom have declared it a “slap in the face to the victims” of rape.

Under President Obama, colleges implemented new guidance to the Title IX statute that has greatly contributed to the climate of sexual paranoia across institutions nationwide. Laura Kipnis, a professor at Northwestern University, faced a Title IX query for describing sexual misconduct investigations as “witch hunts.” The rules have been used to silence academic critics of campus social justice, and allowed for one-sided judgments to be rendered against men accused of sexual misconduct.

To that end, DeVos is meeting with several key organizations to discuss the issue, including Know Your IX, End Rape on Campus, and the National Women’s Law Center. She also intends to speak to the National Coalition for Men — a men’s rights organization, which Slate’s Christina Cauterucci describes with no shortage of bias as “shameless.” The organization supported a Republican version of the Violence Against Women Act in 2012, which stood in stark contrast to the Democratic version that excluded heterosexual men as potential victims of domestic abuse.

Likewise, DeVos is also speaking to organizations like Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE), and Families Advocating for Campus Equality (FACE), the latter of which states on its official website that male students across college campuses are less likely to receive fair trials and are judged guilty based on accusations alone in today’s political climate.

Oxygen lead with a headline calling her meetings “a slap in the face to victims of campus sexual assault.” The Daily Beast tripled down with an even worse headline, calling some of the men’s rights activists “accused rapists” for sharing their personal stories about being falsely accused of crimes they did not commit.

While the claims of these men’s rights organizations — like any other organizations’ claims — are a matter of debate, it’s important to note that Betsy DeVos is reaching out to a wide variety of organizations, and not merely a select few. Women are not the only victims of sexual violence on campus, and many men at the receiving end of abuse do not have the same support groups as their female counterparts.

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter.