How the Trump administration’s Title IX proposals threaten to undo #MeTooRoundup
tags: racism, feminism, womens history, Trump, Me Too, Title IX
Ruth Lawlor is a PhD candidate in history at the University of Cambridge and a Fox International Fellow at Yale.
The Trump administration is trying to change Title IX, the landmark federal legislation that prohibits discrimination in education on the basis of sex. Proponents of the changes claim that the new rules better protect the due process rights of accused students, while also addressing real, and long-standing, racial disparities in rape allegations.
In reality, however, the changes simply roll back protections for sexual assault victims, while doing nothing to actually address the issue of racial bias in rape cases. This is because the proposed changes center on a false dichotomy, one that frames civil rights for men of color and protections for rape victims as a zero-sum game. In doing so, the proposal relies on the persistent power of patriarchal white supremacy to divide the groups under its control and to frame their concerns as conflicting.
While white men have long evaded accountability for sexual misconduct, black men throughout history have faced trumped-up charges of rape. In fact, false allegations that black men raped white women have long been used to dehumanize and disenfranchise black men. In the 19th century, such claims were invoked as justification for lynching.
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