By David Futrelle
Sorry I was out of commission yesterday! This is part of the reason why: my latest piece on The Cut about education secretary Betsy DeVos’s new campus rape policy, which turns out to be not really much of a policy at all.
Here’s the basic argument, minus most of the fun details about the terrible Men’s Rights activists and other reactionaries whose bad ideas she’s basically absorbed.
DeVos had been widely expected to use her speech today at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia to announce a rollback of the Obama administration’s guidance on how colleges should deal with accusations of rape. This she did, declaring the 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter — requiring that colleges take rape accusations more seriously — basically null and void. …
So what does DeVos propose as a replacement for this “failed system?” She’s got nothing.
That’s right. After torpedoing the “Dear Colleague” letter, she offers college administrators precisely zero guidance on how the Department of Education expects them to fulfill their Title IX responsibilities. …
Instead of guidance, DeVos offers only a promise that her department “will launch a transparent notice-and-comment process to incorporate the insights of all parties in developing a better way.”
So the “era of ‘rule by letter’” is over, but the “better way” is yet to come. What exactly are college administrators expected to do in the in-between days? More to the point: what are victims of sexual assault on college campuses supposed to do?
Betsy DeVos literally has no answer.
It’s going to be a mess.
Naturally, the MRAs are thrilled. More on that tomorrow.