Outside investigations found that school officials had failed to investigate reports of sexual violence or provide the support to victims required by Title IX laws.
On Wednesday, as more information about the alleged assaults the university's response poured out in the news media, fan favorite "Bachelor" contestant Sean Lowe took the opportunity to tweet the following:
When some followers questioned his decision to tweet about the ongoing sexual assault crisis at Baylor, Lowe continued to unequivocally stand up for women, responding to a man who tweeted at him that "The real issue is alcohol on campus" with "No, I'd say the real issue is women being raped."
@chrismoseley no I'd say the real issue is women being raped. — Sean Lowe (@SeanLowe09) May 20, 2016
He then went on to share a link to a woman's personal story about her experience with sexual assault at Baylor and tell the above follower that he was "more concerned about sexual assaults going unheard at Baylor than your follow on Twitter..."
While any guy, even one who is a former "Bachelor" fave, doesn't get a gold medal just for being a decent human being who doesn't hate women, it's still so rare to see male allies going to bat for women, especially in such an unequivocal way, especially in the wild of misogynistic Internet culture. Of course, many many men and women are doing much more to prevent sexual assault. than sending out a few tweets, but there's still merit to a man using his protected status in society to defend women.
So many men seem fundamentally unwilling to "believe women" when it comes to public rape accusations, especially when they involve beloved sports team or figures. They often don't seem to understand the huge risks of harassment and public scrutiny that go along with making such an accusation, especially against a powerful player or institution.
As a former college football player, Lowe could have identified with the accused (and several convicted) men in this instance and ignored the accusations or outright challenged them. He could have assumed the women were lying for "attention" or trying to make money, as so many accuse during high-profile rape cases. But instead he used his straight male privilege to dispel myths about the nature of rape accusations, shut down victim-blaming and remind women who come forward that they will not always be disbelieved. He used his voice to make women safer.
Even though it's what everyone should be doing, they often don't. So it feels good to see a former reality star like Lowe use his public profile to stand up for women. Maybe it's no surprise he's one of the few "Bachelor" stars who's actually married to his bachelorette.