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Letters to the Editor

Letter: In defense of U.’s handling of McCormick

Sunday, November 13, 2011

To the Editor:

Hunter Fast ’12, in his opinion column related to the alleged William McCormick sexual assault incident at Brown (“It can’t happen here,” Nov. 11), forgets an important issue that supports the University’s management of the unfortunate incident: Women have always been at an extreme disadvantage when faced with sexual aggression. What is rape all about? It is the physical coercion of a man seeking sexual domination over a woman. It is one of the historical tragedies in the history of mankind that has never been resolved. As such there is no level playing field in sexual relationships. Women who have been raped have to deal with a male-dominated and biased justice system, a male-dominated and biased police force, and yes, even a male-dominated and biased student body that at one time included McCormick.

The University is to be applauded for its attempt to level this playing field. It has chosen not to expose the female student to the inequality of the justice system. The message to all males is: “You need to check your behavior carefully before you enter into a relationship with a woman. There will be no due process if you are accused of rape. The woman’s version of what happened will always be accepted over the man’s account.”

If a male student knew that was the policy hopefully this would serve as a check on sexually aggressive behavior. McCormick might have backed away from this relationship, knowing the consequences he might face. He might well have remained a part of the student body, and everyone would be wiser.

Tom Bale ’63

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