"Yes, the cultural change is already in progress. DeVos doesn’t run the Hollywood studios that are putting out Wonder Woman. She doesn’t run the million millennial women blogs that take this issue really, really seriously. She’s not in the mind of girls who really want gender equality and see total sexual equality — that is a prioritization of their boundaries and their desires — as part of that plan. So I do think, whatever she decides to do, it’s more a symbolic shift than a practical one. She specifically wants to change the campus court system, which is an important part of this. But it’s only one part if it.
"It’s an ironic title. I set out to write a national book about sex and sexual assault on American campuses. This is really a macro, sweeping book. I cover everything from what happened at Vanderbilt when three football players were put away for 15 and 17 years with no parole, to what happened with Rolling Stone’s now-questionable reporting at University of Virginia to the "mattress girl" at Columbia. I also cover various women on campus, like the anonymous blogger at Syracuse University who calls herself Blackout Blonde. She’s a really slick girl who is sexually empowered and says 'I would never call myself a victim,' even though she’s had experiences that, when described, sound like sexual assault. I covered everybody from her to women who have broadened the definition of sexual assault to the point where a lot of heterosexual sex starts to become somewhat suspect. This movement really is about re-defining consent, re-defining sexual assault, and trying to make the lines clear and uniform — when they’re not yet.
"When I went back to Wesleyan I did interview a lot of people who made me feel I’m talking to myself at 22. There are a lot of ways in which college is the same and kids at 22 really haven’t changed that much.
"A real false report on campus is a vastly, vastly unique situation. If you think you’re going to find a bunch of women who are lying about being assaulted you’re going to come up empty-handed.
"They have been talking about this in law school for a long time. They haven’t come up with the solution, so I don’t know if I can either. It’s an incredibly hard situation but what you want to do is have guys (because it is largely guys who are doing this) think to themselves: I need to be an ethical actor on my college campus. There’s a way that people treat each other on campus.
Because I really do think if somebody feels violated, then they’re violated. But at the same time, I have as hard of a time as any journalist reading some of these cases and not saying, I really don’t think this guy should be kicked out of school. Real shit is at stake.
"Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe there’s a low level of assault on campus. I’m also not saying the punitive measures haven’t proven difficult here, as all punitive measure are. But again, thinking about this in terms of 'what is ethical sex?' is a really useful way of thinking about why campus courts need to stay. Plagiarism, which is in every campus’ code of conduct and can be punishable by expulsion is a good comparison: It’s about ethics. This is about ethics, too: You must have sexual respect. You must respect your fellow student. You must get a yes. All of those things are part of our student code of conduct, and if you violate them you go to a campus court. This is completely logical.
"Michael Kimmel, the author of Guyland is the one who told me, 'There is no more gender equal institution in the United States today than the American college campus, and yet it is also marked by dramatic gender inequality.' What this boils down to is: Guys get the kegs, guys have the drugs, guys play the sports on the weekend that students are going to see. The National Panhellenic Council [the governing body of many sororities on campus] says that all national sororities can’t have alcohol in the chapters, can’t have parties in the chapter house. You also can’t have the party in the dorm because you’ll immediately get busted. So where’s the party?