What DO They Teach Them At Those Schools? Sexual Scandal At Catholic Universities

ACTION ITEM: Now you can read and sign a petition to FUS administration here.

Stupid articles require snarky rebuttals.

Proceeding yesterday’s article from the National Catholic Reporter about Franciscan University of Steubenville’s (FUS) failure to support student victims of sexual assault, FUS professor and associate director of FUS-housed Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life, Dr. Stephen M. Krason had already laid out the toxic ideologies that help perpetuate victimizing women in Catholic arenas.

I had the pleasure of pulling apart his infamous Crisis article – which rebuttal you can read in full here.  But if you want the highlights, may I present…

Also Read:Sexual Assault and the Failure of Catholic Schools.”

But Moses Supposes Erroneously

In the second paragraph of the article, after calling the repercussions of #metoo a “frenzy,” Krason states:

“[F]undamental fairness demands that there be genuine proof that a person engaged in an act—to say nothing that the act even occurred—before he’s labeled a miscreant.”

Krason’s desire is for facts before conviction.  And certainly, “innocent until proven guilty” is an important tenant of American jurisprudence – despite not being found in any American foundational document, including the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States.  The earliest use of this maxim in America appears to have been around the 1800’s, and has since been informally adopted worldwide.  (See full article.)

Regardless, presumption of innocence is important for any judge and jury in a court of law.  However, in order to get to the court of law, the defendant must be accused of a crime, which requires a presumption of guilt.  If everyone in the world were presumed innocent no matter what, I’d be able to go out to my local bodega, smash through their window, and just grab a box of Triscuits right now.  Because you must presume I’m innocent.

All of which is to say, “innocent until proven guilty” is only applicable to a trial proper – not a trial popular.

Dem Bitches Be Crazy!

Despite the numerous allegations which have been investigated and corroborated, Krason still dismisses them out of hand, with:

“[M]ere allegations—often backed up by nothing more than the fact that a woman, often out of the blue, made them—are held to equal proof.” (Emphasis mine.)

First, Krason presumes that allegations are not a necessary part of jurisprudence (“mere allegations”).  Then he dismisses the allegations, saying that they were made by “a” single person – when in most cases, there are multiple allegations with similar predatory patterning, which is more than sufficient proof for an employer to take action, much less to put before a court of law.  (If that’ll even happen.  Rather than paying the predator millions and sending him on vacation.)

Rather more tellingly, Krason dismisses the allegations because they are made by women which, in cases of sexual harassment and assault against women…who else are they going to come from?  This statement alone should disqualify Krason as a person capable of writing on the subject of male-on-female sexual harassment.  (If his views on women’s fashion weren’t sufficient.)

However, to presume mere ignorance on Krason’s part (which ignorance of recent events would be almost extraordinary), I shall point him towards the excellent and Pulitzer Prize worthy investigative journalism done by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey about Weinstein’s sexual predation in the New York Times.  Or if he must hear the same and from a man (whose own sister was similarly abused and silenced), he can read the corroborating exposé by Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker.  Perhaps this is not enough.  I haven’t time to link every single article from the Fall of Powerful Predators, but here’s a good start.  (You’ve got to do some of your own homework, Krason.)

As to the point that these allegations came “out of the blue.”  No, no they really don’t.  They may seem “out of the blue” to you, because you weren’t looking, weren’t listening to what your sisters and your students were screaming at the top of their lungs – or whispering on shared Excel sheets – but that willful ignorance is on you – as even The Onion rightly noted.

Truly.  It is the end times when The Onion is serious journalism.

 

And I Don’t Give A Damn About My Bad Reputation

To finish off Krason’s first major paragraph (so many fallacies, so little time), he writes:

“[T]he stakes are high indeed: the destruction of careers and livelihoods, the permanent damaging of reputations…”

To which I reply with:

Oh, at last!  You lovely man.

YES!  Thank you, YES!  Women’s careers and livelihoods are at stake!  In fact, one of the great realizations to come out of the #metoo movement is just how damaging these sexual predators have been upon their female victims’ careers.  Women will leave a position where they are unsafe rather than stay, often leaving the field altogether.  These women will then take jobs in “safe” (read: female dominated) careers which are paid even less than the usual salary discrepancy.

As for women’s reputations being destroyed by sexual predators.  Indeed they are.  Whether being blacklisted within their chosen industry, shamed into silence, or sustaining multiple traumas which leave them in a broken life that no longer allow them sufficient credibility in the eyes of the people…there is, in fact, everything at stake.

Well said, sir.  You are a true American hero.

Plot twist!

Oh.  Wait.  Wait.You meant for men.

You are worried about the men.  Not the actual victims who are suffering; but potential “victims” who are of your gender.  Just like it’s standard practice in emergency rooms not to deal with the person bleeding out in front of you, but to tell them to wait just in case the president comes in with an ear ache.

Alright, well I’ll throw you a bone – and cite your sources for you (wow, this is getting tiresome) – that we have not, in fact, figured out best practices regarding date rape and rape culture on college campuses.  And that, indeed, it is a more nuanced conversation than merely getting consent (more on that in a minute).  However, this does not give you carte blanche to dismiss every woman who is finally brave enough to stop excusing her abuser and declare the truth as it actually is.  In this case, statistically, the odds of “fake news” are simply not in your favor.


Read the full article.

Read “Sexual Assault and the Failure of of Catholic Schools.”


Image courtesy of Python (Monty) Pictures and The Onion.  Gifs courtesy of Giphy.

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  • Allyson Cosgrove

    So Krason expects men guilty of sexually assaulting, raping or harassing someone to report themselves? I guess if for some unknown reason that’s not happening then the women who have just been assaulted, raped or harassed might happen to walk into an office and make a report *out of the blue*. . .

  • EXACTLY. Because criminals ALWAYS turn themselves in always. That’s totally how justice works, right? 😉