Commentary

Students at Harvard Want Kavanaugh Banned from Public Life, Because of #MeToo

Kelsey Harkness
By Kelsey Harkness | October 4, 2018 | 9:06 AM EDT

(Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Day by day, the #MeToo movement’s credibility is getting chipped away.

The allegation being peddled by porn actress Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, is one obvious example.

Accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of spiking girls’ drinks and running a gang-rape ring at parties in high school isn’t only not credible, it’s offensive and undermines the more plausible allegations brought by Christine Blasey Ford. (Although, according to the memorandum prepared for Republican senators by Arizona sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, Ford handled the job of undermining her credibility herself.)

Tragically, the same thing is happening on a smaller, less obvious scale elsewhere. According to The Harvard Crimson, “several students filed formal complaints alleging Kavanaugh’s presence in Cambridge would violate Harvard’s policy prohibiting sexual and gender-based harassment.”

By using Title IX, the federal law that outlaws gender-based discrimination in schools, the students contend that if Kavanaugh were to return to campus, sexual assault survivors wouldn’t feel safe.

The complaints were brought by Jacqueline L. Kellogg and Julia B. Wiener, both in the graduating class of 2019. They argued Kavanaugh’s “presence on campus would create a ‘hostile environment’ as defined in Harvard guidelines related to sexual harassment.”

The strategy was designed several days before Harvard announced that Kavanaugh wouldn’t be returning to teach at the law school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he has lectured since 2008.

“If you had a meeting in Wasserstein [Hall], you don’t know if [Kavanaugh is] going to be there,” Wiener told the Crimson. “It would be pretty terrifying for any survivor or any person to walk into a building on campus and see someone who has been alleged of a very serious crime.”

The Crimson reported that at least 48 students got on board with the highly misguided, if not dangerous, strategy.

On one hand, the strategy shouldn’t come as a surprise. Liberal activists for years have attempted to use Title IX to strip away due process for the accused, and as a weapon to advance identity politics.

What’s new, however, is Harvard’s attempt to use Title IX in the #MeToo era. What these students are really saying is that unless we #BelieveAllWomen, they can’t feel safe on college campuses—and anything less qualifies as gender-based discrimination.

Ford’s claims are uncorroborated, inconsistent, and now, directly refuted. In a matter of days, an FBI investigation could clear Kavanaugh’s name. Despite that, some Harvard students still want Kavanaugh banned from teaching, and ultimately, from public life.

If that is the direction in which the #MeToo movement is heading, only the most radical will be on board. And as a result, real victims of gender discrimination and sexual abuse will suffer.

One would think when it comes to something as important as Title IX’s role in #MeToo, the “smartest” students in the world wouldn’t act so stupid.

Kelsey Harkness is a senior news producer at The Daily Signal and co-host of "Problematic Women," a podcast and Facebook Live show. Send an email to Kelsey.

Editor's Note: This piece was originally published by The Daily Signal.


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