Why Doesn’t the Campus Accountability and Safety Act (CASA) Treat Rape Like a Crime?


December 15, 2016

Campus rape is a crime – pretty much everyone agrees with that. So why doesn’t the Campus Accountability and Safety Act (CASA – S. 590 and H.R. 1310) contain a single provision that would assure the involvement of criminal justice officials in the investigation, adjudication, and punishment of these offenses?

The answer comes from understanding the philosophy of Catherine MacKinnon, a law professor at the University of Michigan. MacKinnon argued the Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson case before the U.S. Supreme Court, and is credited with elucidating sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination.

Rape an Outgrowth of Patriarchy?

MacKinnon has written extensively about the problem of rape. The central thesis of her work is that in a “patriarchal” society, most heterosexual intercourse is rape because women are unable to give meaningful consent.

In MacKinnon’s own words:

  • “I call it rape whenever a woman has sex and feels violated.” — A Rally Against Rape
  • “Compare victims’ reports of rape with women’s reports of sex. They look a lot alike.” — Sexuality, Pornography, and Method
  • Heterosexuality “institutionalizes male sexual dominance and female sexual submission.” — Feminism, Marxism, Method, and the State

Many have ridiculed MacKinnon’s formulations. Political scientist Wendy Brown lamented MacKinnon’s “undemocratic, perhaps even anti-democratic, political sensibility.” Daphne Patai has claimed that MacKinnon’s goal is the “dismantling of heterosexuality altogether.” Nina Hartley opined, “I do believe anger and fear and jealousy and resentment and frustration and out-and-out prudery are what drive her.”

This Explains Why CASA Doesn’t Promote Police Involvement

Most persons view rape as the heinous actions committed by a handful of sexual predators.

But if you believe, as MacKinnon does, that rape is a natural result of patriarchy, and if you really believe that men have “all the power,” then the logical response would be to focus on removing the due process rights of persons accused of sexual assault.

Of course, there would be no need to refer sexual assault cases to local police. As a result, campus rapists don’t spend a day behind bars. They only get expelled.

Solution is CEFTA

SAVE has developed a model bill designed to restore fairness and justice to the campus sexual assault issue. Titled the Campus Equality, Fairness, and Transparency Act (CEFTA), the bill supports the rights and interests of both the complainant and accused student, and encourages the involvement of local criminal justice authorities.

The New York Post editorial board has described CEFTA as a “common sense” approach to stopping campus rape.

More information on CEFTA can be found here: http://www.saveservices.org/sexual-assault/cefta/