Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is using her office to legitimize a misogynist organization that has dedicated itself to defending rapists, attacking female victims of sexual assault, and promoting the conspiracy theory that domestic violence is exaggerated.
Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump's secretary of education, is scheduled to meet with a group that has made a name for itself by casting doubt on rape cases, questioning the existence of domestic violence, and promoting conspiracy theories about women.
DeVos is meeting with several groups that have been critical of the Title IX guidance on campus rape. Those policies were put in place by the Obama administration to protect woman on college campuses from sexual assault.
Among those meeting with DeVos is the National Coalition for Men. The group is part of the so-called "men's rights" movement, which exists to promote misogynist ideas and to continually push back on the fight for women's equality.
The website for the group's North Carolina chapter offers legal guidance to accused rapists and publishes photographs of women the group claims have falsely accused men of rape. The technique serves as an intimidation tactic toward victims: If you speak up, you will be exposed and attacked.
Daily Tarheel columnist Alice Wilder noted that the group has "a clear animosity toward feminists and anyone who advocates for an end to gender-based violence."
The National Coalition for Men has been behind tons of nuisance lawsuits alleging sex discrimination toward men, including one that said events attempting to bring more women into the technology industry were "anti-male."
Attorney Al Rava, who filed the lawsuit and serves as the group's press secretary, told a reporter working on the story he would not talk to her, saying, "I do not trust you will quote me correctly or in the proper context given your leftwing, pro-female, anti-male bias."
Harry Crouch, president of National Coalition for Men, defended NFL player Ray Rice after surveillance video captured him dragging his then-fiancée after allegedly knocking her out in an elevator. Crouch said, "If she hadn’t aggravated him, she wouldn’t have been hit."
In the same conversation, he complained about the NFL's annual breast cancer awareness campaign.
"Football is always happy to put on pink suits to celebrate women," he said. "Why can't they have a week, or just one day, where they celebrate men?"
National Coalition for Men even sued Trump National Golf Course in 2011 for promoting breast cancer awareness, arguing that to do so was discriminatory towards men.
The group also whined that the movie "Sully" discriminated against men, because it did not depict women and children exiting the crashed airplane first, as part of a feminist plot.
Crouch told the L.A. Times that men are "disadvantaged in almost every way."
DeVos is also meeting with SAVE — Stop Abusive and Violent Environments — which has also sided with domestic abusers. SAVE pushed for lawyers to have the power to ask domestic violence victims "detailed, often intrusive questions about the accuser’s prior sexual history."
DeVos' nomination was among the most contentious of Trump's cabinet selections, largely thanks to her demonstrated ignorance of important education issues. Since squeezing by into office, those concerns have been validated by her open hostility toward LGBTQ students, her support for budget cuts helping disabled students, and now, this sad decision to grant misogynists the official blessing of the federal government.