Title IX Faces Rollbacks and ERA Resistance



Thanks to Women's eNews for its recent story on the effects of rape on women's education, a young woman's doorway into economic prosperity. Imagine having to graduate with your rapist because your college hasn't taken your report of assault seriously, or having to drop out because of the trauma. Christina  Shaman's terrific story tracks the tales of two students, one who got help with Title IX, and one who didn't know it existed. The latter has since created an organization called Know Your IX  www.knowyourix.org. Since 2015, 100 plaintiffs have filed lawsuits, alleging their schools "violate their rights in the pursuit of investigating and adjudicating sexual assault," according to Title IX For All, which keeps a data base ( www.titleixforall.com). 

Women's eNews documents the Trump administration's steady rollback of protections. First came the withdrawal of protection under Title IX for transgender students; then came the news that budget constraints at the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) , which administers Title IX, meant cut backs on investigations, followed by the news that Candice Jackson, Acting Ass't. Sec'y of OCR, planned to hide from the public the list of schools under investigation. Then came the news that Betsy DeVos planned to meet with "men's rights" organizations to discuss Title IX.  Know Your IX calls these groups "right-wing hate groups," and says their members are outraged at DeVos choosing to spend time with these groups rather than with women's groups. 

Said the young woman who had been helped by Title IX when she was raped: "That those are the people she's choosing to meet with, from the get-go, sends a message that she does not care about survivors and....she doesn't believe survivors. The idea that they are going to make it even harder for survivors is just, truthfully, dangerous. It really, really scares the shit out of me." 

Some good news from the same article  is a resurgence in young women's support of the ERA. It would make it harder to undermine Title IX, among other really basic issues. Nevada became the 36th state to ratify the amendment in March and the ERA Coalition and NOW (National Organization for Women) have included ratification in their mission. Find links to all these outrages and courageous responses here: womensenews.org/2017/08/update-the-era-and-title-ix/ 

Our daughters deserve protection, just as our sons need education about rape in a game culture that celebrates it. It's not sex without consent.