Cultural Revolutions

Campus Love

How often have you heard “Don’t make a federal case of it”?  What in the world could that mean?  Everything’s federal these days—not least female modesty, or whatever passes for that once-prized commodity.

Here’s Wendy Murphy, sharing her delight that the White House has—finally!—come around to combating sexual violence on college campuses.  Miss Murphy, I should explain, is a law professor, author, and former sex-crimes prosecutor who consults and lectures on, among other things, sex crime.

Moving right along, we find her celebrating a new “advisory” under Title IX of the civil-rights laws—the one used to police college policies relating to women’s participation in sports.  The new “advisory,” announced by Vice President Biden at the University of New Hampshire, is big stuff.  In a column for, Murphy says it will “compel university officials to do a better job responding to sex crimes on campus; an important concern given that 1-5 students is victimized while in college.”  That’s a pretty improbable statistic until you reflect on the spaciousness of the words victim and victimized.  It often seems 75 percent of Americans, not a mere 20 percent, are definitionally victims of one thing or another—bias, bullying, fast-food advertising, slighting remarks by strangers. ...

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