An Unblinking Look at Sexual Assaults on CampusFour-term United States Senator Barbara Boxer of California is of course not part of “the power on the status quo side,” she’s a plucky underdog battling against the rapey power structure.
‘The Hunting Ground,’ a Film About Rape Culture at Colleges
By BROOKS BARNES JAN. 25, 2015
PARK CITY, Utah — “The Hunting Ground,” set for release in theaters and broadcast on CNN, was billed by the Sundance Film Festival as a “piercing, monumental exposé of rape culture on campuses.” Judging by viewer reaction at the film’s premiere and the comments of two United States senators afterward, festival programmers might have undersold it.
Though the subject has been explored in depth by some publications, the response testified to the power of film. At the premiere here on Friday, audience members repeatedly gasped as student after student spoke on camera about being sexually assaulted — and being subsequently ignored or run through endless hoops by college administrators concerned about keeping rape statistics low.
“The power on that status quo side, you’re going to see it in response to this film,” said Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, at a related panel discussion on Saturday.
She added, “Believe me, there will be fallout.”Okay, now finally, a paragraph acknowledging that some readers will vaguely recall some kind of hitch in the narrative:
… Ms. Boxer was joined on the panel here on Saturday by Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Democrat of New York. Both are backing legislation intended to curb the startling number of sexual assaults on college campuses. The measure would require schools to make public the result of anonymous surveys concerning assaults, and would impose significant financial burdens on universities that fail to comply with some of the law’s requirements.
In the near term, severe public shaming will arrive via Mr. Dick’s film, which mentions dozens of schools by name and focuses on six. “The Hunting Ground” will be released in theaters on March 20 by Radius-TWC, a division of the Weinstein Company, which is known for stirring controversy to support film releases. “The Hunting Ground” poster resembles an ad for a horror movie.
CNN could provide a global megaphone. …
“We’re not afraid,” Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide, said after the panel, when asked about a potentially forceful response from higher education officials to “The Hunting Ground.” …
A spokeswoman for the United States Department of Education did not respond to a query on Sunday.
Mr. Dick and his producing partner, Amy Ziering, are known for their documentary “The Invisible War,” which put a spotlight on rape in the United States military and was nominated for best documentary at the 2013 Academy Awards.
The Department of Education, according to Mr. Dick’s film, is investigating 90 colleges for their handling of sexual assault complaints. Ms. Boxer, citing urgency created by “The Hunting Ground,” vowed to meet with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan “immediately, next week” during her panel remarks. She said she planned to say, “You guys, get out ahead of this, because this is going to come back to your door after everyone sees this film.”
Underscoring the degree to which media scrutiny of campus rape can provoke swift and severe pushback, Rolling Stone in November was forced to step away from a provocative article focused on accusations of a gang rape at the University of Virginia. The magazine acknowledged that it had erred in relying solely on the word of the accuser, named only as Jackie, and did not try to contact the men she accused.“Swift and severe pushback …” *
Oh, yeah, now I remember. It just proves that the insidious and all-powerful white male power structure is totally in control except for a few rebel desperados like Barbara Boxer, How else could the power structure so swiftly and severely push back against some perhaps technically erring journalistic methodology.?What deep reserves of indomitable character allow Senator Boxer to stand up to the swift and severe pushback of Richard Bradley and Steve Sailer?
Haven Monahan was unavailable for comment.
* By the way, to put some perspective on just how “swift and severe” the pushback was, I sat on Richard Bradley’s November 24, 2014 blog post “Is the Rolling Stone Story True?” for about four days until finally having the confidence to link to it on November 29 (which opened the doors to mainstream criticism beginning on December 1).