Join us on the Polecat Cast as we discuss the news of the week, from Title IX to Fake Geek Girl Cons, From US Law being discriminatory as compared to Sharia Law to Asians being too good at college. Tune in @ 6pm Eastern!
“Can food really be sexist? Yes, when it’s the product of imprisonment, rape, reproductive control, kidnapping, and abuse. Contrary to popular belief, female cows produce milk only when they’re pregnant or nursing. They make milk for the same reason that human women do: to feed their babies. Cows who are imprisoned on dairy farms are forcibly impregnated through artificial insemination again and again on rape racks… all for your milk, cheese, and yogurt.”
So apparently there is this thing called “Geek Girl Con”. It’s been hosting its annual convention in Seattle since 2011 as a registered nonprofit and draws upwards of 11,000 attendees. Geek Girl Con strives to be an inclusive space for minorities in science and geek culture. And as “inclusive” safe spaces tend to go, some people have been found more equal than others.
As a non-profit, many of the operations staff are volunteers and some drama as sprouted from vocally-resigning organizers accusing the executive director and board of mismanagement of funds and discrimination and bullying. Michele Carrico Domingo, the executive director of Geek Girl Con, was accused of circulating documents with “details of private, sexual encounters, unrelated to GeekGirlCon, in an effort to discriminate against and kink-shame a volunteer” (as cited by Geekwire).
Geek Girl Con published a response on its website assuring the Con would go on and that the resigning volunteers were only five in fifty others who are “honored to be led” by the executive director. The public letter reminded everyone the leader of the organization is a woman of color, and concluded by reaffirming its guidelines:
We are Geeks.
We savor the scientific, the logical, and the precise. We revel in the unknown, the fantastic, and the unimaginable. We exist in the-between, where ingenuity stretches possibility and transformation is born. We code, concoct, create and cosplay.
The imagination is our only limit and ours is limitless.
We are Girls.
And we are women, and femmes, and non-binary/gender non-conforming individuals, and we are allies. Our personalities are as diverse as our backgrounds and bodies. We are many voices and countless tales.
We are diversity and we defy expectations.
We are a community.
We break barriers and democratize opportunity. We provide safe spaces to do what we love: learn, connect, invent and challenge.
We are here to fearlessly and fiercely celebrate one another.
By Andrew G.
“Matt Boermeester did nothing improper against me, ever. I would not stand for it. Nor will I stand for watching him be maligned and lied about, and I implore the USC community to stand together to stop this from happening to Matt or anyone else.”
What many people fail to understand about Title IX is that for any complaint, a University must do some sort of investigation. Also, what many don’t know, is that anyone, yes quite literally “anyone,” can file a Title IX complaint against someone else. The person making a complaint doesn’t even have to be a member of the university or a direct party to the complaint, for example, what would typically be termed a “victim” or “offender.” While many cases without any merit would be dismissed or handled with a small investigation or minimal repercussions, Title IX Investigators have a lot of leeway to pursue whatever type of Investigation they want. Because of the Obama era “Dear Colleague Letter,” institutions are afraid of losing federal dollars for not handling Title IX violations on their college campuses. If they were viewed as not taking sexual assault on campus seriously, they risked losing money.
Because Universities must at least “investigate,” and we use that term extremely loosely when talking about Title IX investigations, every complaint to some degree, Universities put themselves in a bind. Even if a “victim” doesn’t want to partake in the adjudication process, or even actively opposes the action being taken against their supposed “offender,” Title IX must persist. What is also unfortunate for those being subjected to the assault of Title IX on their personal liberties is that many schools have some pretty fair, for as fair as Title IX adjudications can be when looking at due process in the U.S., rogue Title IX officials routinely ignore their school’s policies around Investigations, consistently infringing on the rights of the accused. Maybe if schools didn’t spend so much time shoving the Duluth Model, Patriarchy, and other bologna theories down their staff’s throats and actually taught Title IX officials to be impartial, the universities wouldn’t experience as many allegations of Due Process Violations.
By Andrew G.
Title IX, most recently the Dear Colleague letter of 2011 from the Department of Education, as well as subsequent clarifications, have caused much strife for students accused of sexual assault on college campuses in the United States. Many students, mostly male, have been railroaded out of their institutions on little to no evidence of wrongdoing.
A few weeks ago, Honey Badger Radio discussed the story of Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s Secretary on Education meeting with a wide range of people. DeVos met with rape survivors and their advocates, students falsely accused of sexual assault and their advocates, as well as some “specialists” on sexual assault on college campuses. Included in the meetings were also some Men’s Rights Advocates from the NCFM. By meeting with MRA’s, DeVos drew the ire of many victim advocates and feminists alike. By wanting to hear all sides in a discussion, DeVos was immediately criticized.
Weeks later, The Department of Education is requesting input to “alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens” in accordance with Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda.” The public have a great opportunity to offer their views on any aspects of the Department of Education. Specifically, we would hope that Title IX in its entirety receives a hard scrutiny, especially the Dear Colleague Letter of 2011. If you would like to offer your opinions on any part of the Department of Education, follow the links below to the “regulations.gov” website. This is a very rare opportunity for the Department of Education to hear your views on Title IX and Due Process violations that have ensued.
Trump’s administration is addressing the discriminatory outcome of race quotas at Harvard University, which may put the school’s federal funding in jeopardy.
Early reports suggested the Trump administration would launch a nationwide “assault” on affirmative-action programs, however, it has been clarified to be limited to a probe into a single complaint to the civil-rights units of Justice and the Department of Education. It was filed by 64 Asian-American groups under the banner of the Coalition of Asian-American Associations in 2015. According to the College Fix, when Harvard University faced this regulatory complaint the Obama administration gave it a pass, citing ongoing litigation on the subject.
By nature, quotas prioritize other factors over merit, and in this case, it appears Asian-American admissions are being artificially held down at Harvard. The complaint cited a book by Radford and Espenshade that reported Asian-Americans “needed SAT scores that were about 140 points higher than white students, all other quantifiable variables being equal, to get into elite schools”.
Chunyan Li, a board member of the Asian American Coalition for Education told The College Fix, “many” students and organizations had filed complaints with the two federal agencies since 2006 that allege “severe discrimination” against Asian Americans in higher education in violation of Title VI. “However, over the last ten years, the prior administrations have not conducted objective investigation into these complaints,” the statement added, thanking the Trump administration for “providing Asian American students with equal protection under the laws.”
Requiring the use of U.S. law in U.S. courtrooms deemed discriminatory By H Wallen
Several U.S. states, Montana and Michigan recently prominent among them, have passed or are considering laws barring courts, and in some cases, government agencies, from using foreign laws to inform their decisions. This would limit courts to U.S. law in both criminal and civil matters, and prevent agencies from obligating citizens to adhere to, or penalizing citizens under, non-U.S. laws. The wording of Michigan’s bill is specifically protective against the enforcement of foreign law or contract provisions if such would “result in a violation of a right guaranteed by the constitution of this state or of the United States.”
Opponents of these bills, which do not single out religious law, have dubbed them “Anti-Sharia” bills and are condemning the trend as Islamophobic.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned a 2012 Kansas law of this type as being written to target Islam, despite the fact that it did not mention Islam or Sharia law. Opponents of that bill and others like it have complained that the trend out Muslims for ridicule. They also argue both that such bans could “nullify wills or legal contracts between Muslims,” yet “are unnecessary because American laws prevail on U.S. soil.”
These self-contradictory arguments are being made in response to each bill; that if passed, these laws would affect contracts and other legal actions, yet that they are unnecessary because only U.S. laws are currently in use. The question is, if only U.S. laws are currently in use in these states, how could banning the use of foreign law affect any existing legal actions?
Uber Can’t Catch a Break
By Mike J.
Uber can’t seem to shake off the funk they find themselves in after questionable allegations of sexism and the resignation of CEO Travis Kalanick. Former Uber CEO Kalanick found himself in hot water after President Donald Trump took office as he was part of Trump’s economic advisory council. Despite severing ties with Trump, and amid allegations of impropriety, Kalanick stepped down as CEO on June 21st due to pressure from investors though he still maintains a seat on the companies board. Ever since Kalanick’s resignation Uber has been looking for a replacement and has taken heat for narrowing it’s choices down to three male candidates. Those quick to cry sexism fail to notice that of the potential candidates so far Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, General Motors’ chief executive Mary Barra, and HP’s chief executive Meg Whitman have all turned the job down. Despite this, Uber still finds their hiring practices being slammed as misogynist and sexist. Even if Uber does manage to hire on a qualified female CEO, it’s uncertain if their reputation will ever recover.