W O M E N , P O W E R , A N D R A P E C U L T U R E 8 purported problem—false accusations of sexual assault—that was orders of magnitude less prevalent than the problem of sexual assault itself. By defining actionable sexual misconduct as being necessarily “severe, per- vasive, and objectively offensive” the preferred Trump administration policy centered men’s rights and contributed to silencing survivors of sex- ual assault, who are mostly women and who mostly don’t report anyway, often out of a sense of shame or for fear of being disbelieved. In our chapter “The Campus Context: Proving Ground for Power,” we interview the leaders of half a dozen organizations focused on mitigat- ing the problem of campus sexual assault. We consider various types of policy options—preventative, restorative, and retributive—and the target populations at whom they are aimed, whether survivors or perpetrators. Discussions with these organizational leaders highlighted the fact that the two primary policy instruments in place to address campus sexual assault—the Clery Act and Title IX—were not, in fact, created expressly for that purpose, explaining, in part, their imperfect nature for the task at hand. Neither was designed to prevent sexual violence or to support survivors, two primary goals that our interviewees identified as critical, thus pointing to the need for transformational policy change that doesn’t center the assailant, whether for exoneration or punishment (the latter being the carceral approach). In order to implement envisioned change that includes survivor support and prevention along with community accountability, our investigation suggested that better data collection is needed at the local campus level to substantiate the extent of the problem and devise appropriate evidence-based solutions. Further, culture change is needed to address pervasive rape myths and sexism that contribute to advancing policies that fail to prevent the educational setbacks and atten- dant career obstacles that women experience in the wake of sexual assault. Those whose interests are privileged by policy and tend to prevail in the campus context can ascend to positions of power as lofty as the presi- dency, a seat on the Supreme Court, or as a member of Congress. Donald Trump, despite allegations of sexual misconduct in the decades preceding his bid for the presidency, won the post nonetheless and served a term during which he successfully nominated Brett Kavanaugh to serve on the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh succeeded in being confirmed in October 2018, even after allegations that he had committed sexual assault as a high school student. In the economy of credibility, whether in the campus or wider context, men tend to enjoy a surplus, whereas women are often looked at askance. Those holding a gatekeeping role, such as the mem- bers of the Senate Judiciary Committee, have routinely looked with favor
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