Title what?

Title IX was enacted to end sexual discrimination in higher education, i.e. discrimination against women and girls. The goal was to provide girls and women with resources and opportunities equal to those provided to boys and men.

We’re now in a world so fucked in the head that we have to pretend it was never about women and girls at all. Inside Higher Education has a long piece on Title IX in which the words “women” and “girls” never appear; not once. If you didn’t already know what Title IX was supposed to be, you would have little idea what the article is talking about. You would get that it’s to do with the Biden administration fixing some Trump messes, but you wouldn’t know it was specifically about the rights of women. Evasion and generality covers that up.

“The Trump-era regulations create incredible barriers for students who have experienced sexual assault to seek and achieve justice for what happened,” said Tracey Vitchers, executive director of It’s On Us.

“We really see the Biden administration releasing their rule by May as crucial to interrupt the harm that students are experiencing under the Trump administration’s Title IX regulation,” said Emma Grasso Levine, manager of Know Your IX, a survivor- and youth-led project of Advocates for Youth, a nonprofit that also signed the letter.

The department has to review and respond to substantive comments before releasing the final rule. A department spokesperson said the agency “is committed to equal educational opportunity for all students.”

The Biden administration proposed changes that would once again change how colleges investigate reports of sexual assault, make it easier for victims to report sexual harassment, end the requirement for live hearings and expand protections for LGBTQ+ students, among other changes.

We can mention LGBTQ+ students, but we can’t mention female students. Forbidden. Taboo. Don’t you dare.

The proposed regulations also would expand the definition of sexual harassment to include unwelcome conduct that’s “sufficiently severe or pervasive.” The current sexual harassment standard is unwelcome conduct that’s deemed “severe, pervasive and objectively offensive.”

What is sexual harassment? I don’t understand. Unwelcome to whom? Conduct of what kind?

“We’re encouraged to see strengthened protections for survivors and for LGBTQ students and also for pregnant or parenting students,” Levine said. “We’re also encouraged that students who experience sexual violence off campus are able to access resources, which isn’t currently guaranteed under the current rules.”

There is is again. LGBTQ students we can talk about. Female students nope nope nope nope keep your obscenities out of this article.

Parham said it is important that the administration follows through on its promise to finalize the rule by May. Otherwise, students will remain in a “Title IX limbo.”

“Students can’t wait, and this administration really needs to act now,” Parham said. “We can’t have another year of students’ basic civil rights being denied. They deserve an education that’s free from violence.”

Students. Any particular kind of students? One sex as opposed to the other for instance? Nonononononononono. Never.

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