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CHRISTOFF’S GUIDE

ABOLISHING AFFIRMATIVE ACTION FOR WOMEN


Q&A

DISCLAIMER: Please note that my opinion is no substitute for legal


counsel. Any opinions promulgated in this document can be amended
and/or abrogated by an authorized spokesperson of the United States at
any time.

Q1: What is affirmative action?


A1: Affirmative action is positive discrimination towards a class of persons, often for racial
minorities or women. The term is broad in meaning, but it is often associated with colleges.

Q2: Are there any ethical reasons for justifying affirmative action for women?
A2: No. Women are a solid majority in American colleges: their numbers are increasing, not
decreasing.1 Also, younger women are making more money than men.2 Offering special
opportunities to an ever-increasing majority is irrational.

Q3: Can you summarize the legal situation concerning racial affirmative action, compared to
affirmative action for women?
A3: The specific scope of affirmative action on the basis of race is covered by Supreme Court
rulings. The Supreme Court has found affirmative action on the basis of race to be
constitutional, if for a limited time period, while finding racial quotas to be unconstitutional.3
Some states have banned it nevertheless.4 There is no Supreme Court basis for affirmative
action for women. The Supreme Court has clarified on multiple occasions that discrimination
against men is unconstitutional.5 While the Department of Education circulated a Dear
Colleague Letter (2015) which justified sex-selective scholarships for the “underrepresented
sex,” this Letter is now of dubious value because women are no longer the underrepresented
sex in colleges.6

Q4: My educational institution offers initiatives and programs which are available to women
only. What can I do about this?
A4: You have multiple choices.
 You can file an internal Title IX complaint with your University. Title IX is a federal
law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.
 You can file a Title IX complaint with The Office for Civil Rights [OCR], a function
of the Department of Education. It might make sense to attempt to solve the problem
with your University first; if they dismiss your concerns, do file an OCR complaint.
 State law remedies may be available.
                                                            
1
https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d16/tables/dt16_322.20.asp
2
http://fortune.com/2016/04/12/women-are-out-earning-men
3
Grutter v. Bolinger and Gratz v. Bollinger.
4
For example, California.
5
Craig v. Boren (1987) and Sessions v. Morales-Santana (2016).
6
The Dear Colleague Letter does not cite adequate case law and it was in violation of the
Administrative Procedure Act.

 
Q5: Can I file a complaint about any program if men are excluded?
A5: There are certain exceptions in which sex-selective programs are allowed.
 Athletic scholarships and resources are subject to a different inquiry.
 Fraternities and sororities are exempt from Title IX.7 This may seem obvious, but
there are activists who want to abolish the Greek system.
 A program that is entirely external is not covered by Title IX. The program/initiative
must either receive money from the University, or it must be using campus space,
in order to qualify as receiving “significant assistance.”

Q6: What kind of programs can violate Title IX?


A6: Here are some of the programs and initiatives that may violate Title IX.

 Any scholarship/award that is available to women only. Any female-only


scholarships are very likely to violate Title IX, especially since
scholarships for men are very rare (i.e. no balancing effect).
 Any training that is available to women only. For example, does your
college offer any kind of training that men cannot attend for any reason?
The training is likely to violate Title IX. Example: a high school STEM
training session for girls only. Example: “sexual aggression training” that
is for women only, implying men cannot be victims.
 Women’s Studies. Does the program have no male faculty members? Does
the program have no male students? Does the program have any
scholarships which no male has ever received? If any question can be
answered with a “yes,” you should file a Title IX complaint and see what
happens. You would have an even stronger case if you have a male student,
or faculty, who is willing to testify that they were denied admission.
 Any conference, initiative, gathering, or event that is available to women
only. Any kind of on-campus activity from which men are excluded is
highly likely to violate Title IX. For example: “a panel for women in
business.” You would have a stronger case if the campus offers no
equivalent initiatives for men.
 Any campus space that is available to women only. For example, does
your University have a lounge or library that men cannot enter? It is very
likely to violate Title IX.
 Any evidence that women receive preferential treatment in admission or
scholarships. If such information is available to you, go ahead and file a
complaint. A student has obtained such information at Stanford University,
for example.8

Q7: Who can file a Title IX complaint with the Office for Civil Rights?
A7: Anyone can file a complaint against any institution. You do not have to be a lawyer to file
a Title IX complaint against your institution, or any institution. This has been official OCR
policy during the Obama administration, i.e. not a new rule.

                                                            
7
As per an internal memorandum from 1989.
8
https://www.wsj.com/articles/meet-the-student-whistleblower-who-pushed-stanford-to-
rethink-financial-aid-1517425678

 
Q8: Do I need to spend money?
A8: OCR will not charge you for filing a complaint.

Q9: Is it easy to file an OCR complaint?


A9: Yes. You do not have to follow a specific legal format, and you do not need to hire legal
counsel. All you need is a written narrative, clear and brief, explaining the discrimination. If
you need any kind of help with your written narrative, please contact
titleixstudentadvocacy@gmail.com and I will offer you extensive help.

Q10: What if people take negative action against me?


A10: You may file an OCR complaint anonymously: indicate that you do not give your consent
to OCR to release your personal information to the institution.9 In addition, if you have
evidence that the University (or any other person) takes negative action against you because
you filed the complaint, you can file a retaliation claim with OCR.

Q11: What kind of information do I need to supply?


A11: The following information is useful.
 Any website links. For example, is being a woman explicitly stated as a criterion? For
example: “this scholarship is available to women in STEM” may violate Title IX. New
civil rights data published by the Department of Education does not support the
justification of such programs.10
 Does the program have any pictures of events/initiatives in which all participants and
decision-makers are women? If so, that is evidence of discrimination.
 You may send e-mails to the programs to inquire whether they have ever had male
participants. If the answer is “no” or if they only have token participation, that is
evidence of discrimination.
 Witness statements from individuals who were denied admission/initiatives;
alternatively, witness statements from individuals who considered applying, but who
were dissuaded from doing so on account of the discriminatory language. For example:
“I am male and I would have applied to this scholarship if not for the fact that the
scholarship is advertised as for women only.”

Q12: Do you have a template that I can use in order to file such a complaint?
A12: Yes. Please e-mail me at titlestudentadvocacy@gmail.com.

Q13: The Department of Education has dismissed aspects of your complaint. Is this decision
final?
A13: No. These are complex legal issues. If additional evidence of disparate treatment
emerges, I will amend the complaint accordingly. Please contact me at
titlestudentadvocacy@gmail.com if you possess such evidence. Other persons who possess
such evidence may be able to abolish more programs in other institutions. In addition, state
laws may be more restrictive than federal law in terms of abolishing such programs (for
example, California’s Unruh Act).

                                                            
9
https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintform.pdf
10
https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-releases-2015-16-civil-
rights-data-collection