The Department of Justice is trying to take a more serious stance on Title IX violations. Those are the provisions that prevent students from being sexually assaulted or harassed at university. The attempt to take a more serious stance comes from an incident where a student at the University of Montana had their complaints of rape being dismissed pretty much entirely (they were told “not to expect much.”) Going forward, the University of Montana has reached an agreement with the DOJ that will define sexual harassment as ”
So, that’s a good thing, right? Many members of the GOP do not think so.
Over at Jezebel, they note that “John McCain is jumping on the fallacious bandwagon in a letter he sent to the DOJ last week criticizing the University of Montana-Missoula Title IX agreement.” What could his concern be? Why would it be bad to have provisions in place where people can feel safe to report having been raped?
Here are his concerns:
Could the following scenarios constitute “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature” and demonstrate reasonable grounds for filing a sexual harassment complaint under the new definition:
a. A professor assigning a book or showing a movie that contains content of a sexual nature.
b. A student who makes a joke of a sexual nature to a friend and is overheard by another student.
c. A student asking another student on a date.
d. A student listening to music that contains content of a sexual nature overheard by others.
e. A student giving another student a Valentine’s Day card.
f. A student or professor using masculine terms for generic pronouns (e.g., “Each student must bring his own laptop to the exam.”)
No. They could not. And gay marriage still does not mean that dogs are going to be marrying hamburgers.
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