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how telling that this is a reasonable precaution one should take in order to comment on the philosophy profession
BL won't approve comments coming from Tor, no matter how innocuous. Does he insist on knowing everyone's identity so he can expand his influence?
Brian Leiter is a joke
I hereby move to dispel 9:24 for defamation per se.
Remove me and I will threaten you with a lawsuit in a letter from my Canadian lawyer. Don't worry, I won't have the balls to follow through with it.
I cannot fathom why people mock BL for threatening legal action against those who defame him online. If one of the NC types suggested that one of you were unfit for the profession, you would be right to be upset and right to seek legal redress. (Of course, clearly some people here *are* unfit for the profession, but that's another matter)
Filing a lawsuit isn't a matter of "balls" it's a matter of cost-benefit analysis. Personally, I would advise against. Two year statute of limitations on defamation in Canada, so this isn't over yet.
7:06pm wrote this in the old thread, and I think it's worth posting here more prominently (it sounds just about right to me):... the point of this blog becomes clearer if you know its history.A few years ago, the main blogs were Leiter, NewAPPS, Philosophy Smoker, Philosphers Anonymous, Feminist Philosphers, and WhatItsLikeToBeAWomanInPhilosophy. At the time, Leiter didn't have many comments threads, Feminist Philosophers was far more heavily moderated than today, WILTBAWIP was unsympathetic for obvious reasons, and Phil Anon was really devoted to random snark about Billy Joel and Spiros' daily life half the time: not generally a place for prolonged serious discussions of critical issues. That left NewAPPS and the Smoker for critical discussion of the political excesses and shenanigans of the so-called 'feminist' activists in the profession, which were just ramping up and becoming a much bigger force to contend with. Mr. Zero at the Smoker frequently opened discussions on the topic, but was fiercely on the side of what later became known as the 'New Consensus'. In practice, he censored out most of the comments critical of the 'feminist' side but published everything on the other side, so that the discussions were highly skewed and unfair. Someone it sinew people complained about this on Phil Anon but we're asked to take it elsewhere. NewAPPS was even worse than the Smoker, since they had fuckwits like Protevi as moderators. When the Ludlow and Colorado stories were breaking and the other blogs were cheering on the 'feminist' side, a reclusive retiree calling himself Showalter started the Laughing Philospher blog for critical discussion of the one-side coverage on the other blogs. But Laughing Philospher was short-lived, because some spillover discussion at New APPS led Brogaard, a new blogger there, to try to hunt down and destroy people connected to LP. Showalter closed up shop and disabled all comments. In the aftermath, everyone who wanted to discuss things on Laughing Philospher migrated to Philosophers Anonymous, the only blog that didn't moderate comments. Many people realized by then the growing need to critically discuss the abuses of power in the profession among the New Consensus crowd and to provide an alternative to the one-sided, anti-intellectual coverage on the other blogs. Suddenly, Phil Anon had comment threads running far into the hundreds. Spiros was less than thrilled and told us to go elsewhere if we wanted to critically discuss what was going on at the mainstream, profeminist blogs. Glaucon, a frequent commenter at Phil Anon, created the Metablog for that purpose. All the traffic then moved there. But Glaucon clearly made some enemies among the New Consensus types, since his posts made fools of the outrageously stupid and stifling things said on the profem blogs (ie every other philosophy blog). To silence him, a few NC radicals tried to guess his identity and out him online. Days later, Glaucon closed down the Metablog and again the New Consensus had an ideological monopoly on the blogosphere.After another short cycle of discussion on Phil Anon, the current blog emerged to handle these much needed discussions. This moderator, for understandable reasons, is keeping a very low profile.
Great comment, and a good reminder of why this blog, weird and distasteful as it can sometimes be, is still necessary.
I'm not singling you out here, 1:57, or even lumping you in with the people I'll talk about here, but I think something like this needs to be said.On other blogs, the posting of material often implies a kind of endorsement. This is true on some more than others, of course. But literally anyone can post nearly anything here, with no restraint from the moderators or community. So when people complain that this place is a cesspool, for instance, it just makes no damn sense. No one has to endorse anything for a comment to appear here. To complain that something is posted here can be nothing more than a complaint about freedom. People will believe the things they post here whether they post them or not. If you don't like it, argue with them or ignore them. Complaining that they're even allowed to talk somewhere is just a chickenshit move.
The difference is that the metablog commenters protest at the repeated injustices, harm and damage inflicted on the profession by prominent members of the philosophy profession, at FP, NA and DN, engaging in morally reprehensible conduct.
Good points, 2:36. Let me be clear, then. My "weird and distasteful" remark is directed, not at the blog, but at certain comments I find dumb or offensive or unhelpful. I would rather that those people didn't post those things -- but I would not want to see them censored! Put a little differently, I'm glad people have freedom to post here, but I would like to see that freedom used responsibly too.
2:41, don't you think that those commenters can do that and also think that some of the things posted here are morally reprehensible? This goes again to the point that this place has no official or unified voice. There is no tightly constituted group 'the metablog commenters.'2:50, thanks, I didn't get the sense that you were among the 'cesspool' complainants. I think we're probably on the same page about some of the things posted here, and about what should be done about that (nothing).
I always liked ProPhilosophy (http://prophilosophy.wordpress.com). Too bad it never became a main blog. Open comments on everything, and no editorializing or snark.
I'm one of the people who think the "cesspool" complaint is mostly on target. Much of the problem is the anonymity on the blog. When I write anonymous comments, I hold myself to lower standards. I'm more willing to make strong claims I can't fully defend, to provide uncharitable interpretations of my opponents, and so on. With anonymity, there is zero accountability. The same is no doubt true of many commentators here. Are people on this blog really so skeptical that sexual harassment is no big problem in philosophy? I doubt it. I think people on this blog knowingly make stronger claims than they could really defend. And harassment is just one example among many.Maybe there are advantages of the anonymity too. Maybe people's "careers would be destroyed" without it, although I sincerely doubt it. Still, even granting that there are advantages, that's one serious disadvantage: it reduces good faith argument.
Hi, 3:31. I genuinely don't believe or disbelieve that sexual harassment is a big problem in philosophy. I just don't think we have enough information to know either way. That's a skepticism that I apply equally to questions on which we similarly don't have enough information.I don't think it's irresponsible of me to take that skeptical view. I think it's deeply irresponsible for people to insist that there's definitely no big problem (but I haven't heard anyone say that) or that there's definitely a big problem (and I have heard many, many people say that). That's irresponsible in itself, and it leads and has led to many irresponsible decisions.And yes, I am saying that here because I can be anonymous. That isn't because I'm holding myself to lower epistemic or argumentative standards, but because I think my career would be derailed very quickly if it were known that I'm agnostic on that issue. I find that disturbing.
ProPhilosophy was a gem, everything DailyNous could and should have been.
3:31, arguing "in good faith" means arguing on the basis of objective evidence. Let's examine the official magazine of the "cesspool": The Nation. Reposting from the previous thread, here are several stories about false allegations of "sexual harassment" in The Nation.1. Female professor, Teresa Buchanan, accused of "sexual harassment" for saying "fuck no" in class, and fired. 2. Gay author, David Samuel Levinson, accused of "sexual harassment" for giving a female student a B+. 3. Female Colorado professor Patti Adler accused of "sexual harassment" and forced out of her job for using a sexualized skit in her teaching. And let's not forget the absurd accusations against Laura Kipnis, by two foolish NU graduate students.
3:31, ironically, is more of a cesspool contributor than the rest of us. What a low, stinking depth it brings us down to to have to cower in fear just for remaining agnostic in the face of insufficient evidence, only to be insulted for not joining in a mass panic.
Do you know what drives me up the fucking wall? People who give presentations WITHOUT HANDOUTS. These people are lazy cowards. They should be immediately dispelled from their departments and exiled to Mexico.(Feel free to add your own philosophy talk pet peeves.)
...and no, your piece of shit slideshow crammed with text that you merely cut-and-pasted from your poorly written paper, then filled with gratuitous whooshing effects and pictures of your dog or children, does not suffice.
Why don't you like my dog?! I admit the kids are kind of fugly. Specially that one with the googly eyes.
anyone know why Brogaard is taking over the PGR? Leiter has expressed confidence in her multiple times, but given the dispel fiasco, and the thinly veiled description of some of her recent shenanigans over at that ridiculous anti-philosophy blog, why should anyone think she'll do a good job of maintaining the PGR?
Brit is extraordinarily competent; she gets shit done, and she does it fast. She is a generalist who has published widely and deeply; her social network is similarly wide and deep. Brit is also more than a little strange. In this respect, she is less than extraordinary; in fact, in this respect she is like most other analytic philosophers!
Is this a joke? I actually can't tell if it is serious.
Is what a joke? The inquiry about Brogaard, or the answer 6:52 gave?
esp given her recent outing as the badly behaved speaker on this blog on another blog!
Agreed with 6:14. Brit is all that, and her strong sense of justice may push her to extremes as with the NudeChapps flop. But she is very sharp and her moral compass points mostly true north. I've known her for several years and trust her. And I'm a guy if that at all matters.
"her recent outing as the badly behaved speaker on this blog on another blog"Link? I'm woefully underinformed about shit like this, and trying to better myself.
I believe this is the relevant post. The story:"... the ‘presidential’ keynote address (delivered by the president of the XXX Society for YYY) was really a once in a lifetime experience. Seriously one of those things I never thought I’d see. This woman either was drunk, or on drugs, or mentally ill, or possibly all three. She definitely made a fool out of herself, and it seemed like all the people there were unsure about whether to laugh or cringe. The performance included slurred speech, random tangents, semi-inappropriate jokes, and what seemed like drunken laughter. She also wore a backpack during her entire talk, and was seen finishing up a beer just moments before she took the stage. I really wish there was a video of it on youtube or something so that others could see this. I cannot do it justice and it truly was unbelievable. Part of the talk centered around ‘food tongue’, which apparently is a made-up language in which food names stand in for other words. She went on and on about it being a secret language, and how she learned it, and so on….. just one of several odd and funny stories she told…. I don’t think I’ve ever read ZZZ’s work, but the name did seem familiar when I saw it on the conference program. After the keynote, she hung out at the reception talking to just one person. Everyone else seemed to be avoiding her. I sooooo wish there was a video….”"
The rabbit hole goes deeper. Brogaard has blogged on the topic of "Food-Tongue" once or twice.
I've been shocked in all these discussions of BB that not a mention has been made of her, errhm, colorful nightlife shenanigans (which are truly the stuff of legend, believe me). And impressed: I couldn't accomplish even a fraction of what she has even without a hangover. More power to her.
This gossiping is the worst thing about this blog. And I otherwise think the place is important for the profession given the state it's in.
7:57 AM,Lighten and/or grow up. There are enough scolds and/or self-styled white knights in the profession as it is. Save it for a Facebook post, where you can wring full personal benefit from it. None of the adults here care to listen to it.
Sorry bud, I don't go in for 'adult conversation' that involves publicly gossiping about individuals in our profession, by name, on an anonymous forum. And I'm not the only one who thinks this place is both valuable for some of the conversation that occurs here and debased by the puerile gossip.
I'm with 7:30. I've seen Brogaard in action- and it gets a bit MTV Spring Break or at least HBO Girls. And I used to be lame enough to think poorly of her for it. But then I realized that I was just being an uptight hater. Rock on, Brogaard. Hopefully one day I will have written one quarter as much as you have.
I'm male, staunchly anti-FP/DN, and I approve 7:57's message. The person in question is a good philosopher who has done nothing morally wrong -- or at least, the topic here isn't whether she's done something morally wrong. So there's no purpose to this discussion other than to be mean. Stop it.
OP here. Mentioning her nightlight is irrelevant, which is why I did not do so. But her role in dispel-gate is (very worrying) public knowledge. And if you show up blitzed to a professional conference in which you are the keynote, as has been alleged, then it's perfectly fine to take this into consideration when discussing whether or not we should worry about her taking the helm of PGR.For what it's worth, I could care less about a person's private drug use / nightlife / etc.
I love the presumptuous pomposity of the gossip puritans.
I love the nightlife.
Leiter makes weird judgments. He warns the entire profession against allowing SJWs to sneak in, but he puts neon-haired, man-dispelling SJW Brit Brogaard in charge of the PGR.
I love to boogie.
When it happened I was appalled. And the silence from the rest of her bloggers (with the exception of JC's awgeefellas intervention) was a fitting end to that blog's heyday. But I guess I'm also troubled that such a monumental fuckup should bar BB from taking over the PGR. And from what I've seen otherwise (I don't know her personally, nor do I work in her areas), she seems smart, thorough, and technically proficient. Why isn't that enough?Still, it is illuminating of the moral character of the New Consensus to reflect on how the usual suspects would handle the situation if someone who tried to ruin the professional career of a New Consensus acolyte was given the position. The hypocrisy is as deafening as the silence.
David Lee has to be based on Leiter.
Damn! That was kinda mean. Dammit. This blog makes me mean, and that makes me sad. Bye Felicia.
Apropos of 8:18, Letier's swipe at Peter Singer makes me wonder at how (almost) seamlessly Modest Mouse's "Bukowski" can be interpreted as about him.
Sir Rankalot's recent depreciatory remarks about Singer just show what a clown he is. But hey, we already knew that, Tom Nagel told us.
What are you talking about?
So here's something different: the practical hope for real left politics in the US will necessarily involve deemphasizing popular liberal (and often actually just) emphases on reproductive rights, gay marriage, and identity politics feel-good cosmopolitanism in general, and emphasizing pure class politics that will involve catering to many white rural and urban working-class voters that are "conservative" on the above issues. Any discussion? My own view is that current left politics is defunct in part because the prioritization of certain issues over others over the past forty years in progressive politics has made that politics unbearable for lots of people who (whatever you think of their beliefs) are essential to its future success... assuming it has a future at all, which is far from clear...
I agree.Also, I like your style.
Yes, but I'd add two things. 1) this priority of identity politics over class politics isn't accidental, it's not the left gone astray, but a cooption of the real left by a real right, a revival of the right in disguise, since identity politics allows members of the ruling and petite bourgeoisie class to identify as the principle beneficiaries of justice. Feminism and LGBTQ have become the dominant causes because wealthy white people get to be victims. There's no better symbolism of this than the triumphalism about Kaitlyn Jenner: a rich, white, former man who is even an outspoken conservative becomes the face of the new left. 2) This should not blind us to the real concerns of identity politics. The problems it raises are real, even though they are symptoms of and should be of secondary importance to economic inequality and class struggle. There is a danger that those on the left who criticize identity politics are themselves part of an unproductive backlash that just reinforces the right, when what we need to do is to combine class and identity politics with the proper priority: the first identity that matters is economic identity, the oppression of other identities follows from this first.
I agree that the New Left tends to ignore class issues and economic inequality, which should be given far more prominence than they are.That said, I think it's a stretch to say that the special problems that face women (to take an example) follow directly from economic inequality. The special problems affecting women tend to cut across class lines, though they are felt more acutely the lower down the socioeconomic ladder you go. I see no reason to think that sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic violence, and unnecessary control of reproductive rights (which, make no mistake, can lead to severe consequences for the mother and even death) are going to go away if we leveled out economic inequality The fact that the above issues tend to be exacerbated by income inequality doesn't mean that they are created by income inequality or will disappear along with it.And there are sympathetic and understandable reasons as to why identity politics often takes precedence over class inequality. The results of income inequality can feel diffuse, all-pervasive but part of everyday life. You can grow accustomed to it. It becomes the way things are. Additionally, my experience is that often middle and lower class people have no idea about the excesses of the upper middle and upper classes and thus have no idea how bad things really are; it's harder to get enraged about it. But many identity politics issues are experienced as deliberate and shocking violence, something that disrupts the day to day life and can leave one feeling shocked and angry. Think about the women beat up by their boyfriends or attacked while drunk; or the high school LBGTQ student bullied relentlessly to the point of near suicidal depression. These are the kinds of things that can enrage otherwise politically uninterested people. They are dramatic, disrupt life, and are shocking. And the villains are not a nebulous network of "rich cronies" but actual people you know, people can point to and say "they're the problem."
Nice post. I think that the dominance of identity politics has been somewhat of a disaster for the left. It's destructive to broader social solidarity. I also agree with 7:03 that its emergence is hardly accidental. It is occurring because identity politics is a form of 'leftism' that dovetails neatly with the ideology and logic of capitalism. I also think the dichotomy posed by 9:07 between 'income inequality' and the 'special problems' of identity groups is too simplistic. In too many cases identity politics distracts us from thinking generally about how power *actually* works around us, not simply through raw income but through a multitude of class and status based mechanisms. The dramatic stories of identity-based violence 9:07 cites can be true, but they it is also true that forms of violence that are connected to identity politics get selected out of the vast number of instances of violence around us and hyper-dramatized to feed the identity politics messaging machine.Adolph Reed from UPenn Political Science is fantastic on this. Don't know if I can post links here but google his essay "From Jenner to Dolezal". He lays it all out.
7:03, I agree with your post so strongly that I kinda wish we could hang out..
OP here. The comments defending her are good to see. Leiter trusting her also says a lot. Even ignoring the most recent rumors, dispel-gate seemed sufficient to worry about her taking the reins, and I was curious to know if others thought the same.
ah fuck didn't mean to start a new thread. sorry
If she apologized for trying to ruin someone's career for making mild blog comments under a pseudonym, maybe. But she's given no indication that she understands how completely beyond the pale that was or that she won't do it again.
I agree, which is why I posed the original question. Additionally, with a more powerful voice, at least in the philosophy blog world, she could likely do more damage if her 'moral compass' goes astray again.
The technical ignorance on display in that post you link to, 9:47, is simply astonishing. Despite reassurances that she is "very familiar with IP addresses", Brogaard's discussion betrays a deep confusion about these things work.Is this good evidence that Brogaard shouldn't take the PGR helm? I don't see why. There's bad judgement on display, to be sure. But even that doesn't seem to me to be the sort that would get in the way of effectively compiling numerical data from surveys, putting them into a spreadsheet, and posting results to the web. And that is, effectively, what the PGR does.
I never thought that showalter guy was a grad student. I always thought he was a guy in his 60s who lives with his partner in new jersey and has no connection with academic philosophy at all. He's well read and educated, but in a different subject. He thinks of himself as a philosopher and is a men's rights activist and has a lot of libertarian and nietzschean proclivities. He speaks English with a strong european accent.
The miscreants in the BB blog comments all deserve each other.
such a great thread: why did it have to end?
It ended because even some of the good periods at NewAPPS decided that Brogaard's actions had crossed the line, and they voted to put a stop to it. They then deleted the thread so they wouldn't be associated with a witch hunt, though apparently some NudeChaps endorsed it. This caused Brogaard to quit the blog after one week. She went to her Lemmings blog and reposted the deleted thread. There was then sinew further shakeup behind the scenes at NewAPPS. Jon Cogburn left the fold and the remaining 'Nudechaps' reposted the thread there. Certainly interesting that Brogaard's response to being told she'd gone too far even for some of the Nudechaps was to double down and part the whole thread in a way that seems meant to garner sympathy.
that's a great thread. i kinda like "dispel" over "expel".
hey im not judging - people can do what they like but i have no idea how one can get their work on!i also think it is important for us to be realistic about the work habits of philosophers. one rather famous philosophy i know has written every single paper high as a kite. others go for coke. i dont know why we have to hide these things or designate as gossip -- its life.
'dispel-gate' is genius
Signs by which we can detect the Femtroll, Part I: idiotic mimicry. She has no original thoughts, no real understanding of the issues, and nothing to contribute. But she can always try to derail. One of her favorite methods is to mindlessly copy whatever anyone just said against her or another feminidiot (*note that 'feminidiot' is short for 'feminist idiot', and acknowledges in its precisification the existence of feminist non-idiots).That's why she's now added 'evidence? ' as a senseless comment on threads where it makes no sense to ask for evidence, unlike in the original. But this failure of relevance doesn't bother or even occur to the Femtroll, who only cares about the superficial appearances. To the Femtroll, this is brilliant satire. You can almost hear her chuckle to herself at the fact that she's doing her clever, clever copying people truck again. This is the height of her intellectual powers. It's also a sign of the caliber of thinker that an education in feminist philosophy produces. Her degree is the same as ours.
Chill out. Perhaps it was a joke?
I love the detective skills on display in the post 9:47 links to. Highly Adequate, Tara Nelson, JW Showalter, and Suzanne Southam are all the same people. [update: we don't know anything about them, except that they may be a small team of trolls working closely together from the same IP address.Are you sure the IP addresses trace back to Rutgers? This sounds more like the work of the Kremlin to me.
Even in her updates to her own threads now, she admits there's no basis for linking many of these people together. She now says she was just guessing about Highly Adequate, for instance. She also now admits in the updates that the IP address was just from the central New Jersey area and she only inferred that it was therefore from Rutgers. And she also acknowledges that IP addresses can be off by great distances by fluke or fakery.Showalter, according to a pretty trustworthy source who claims to know him, is a publicity-shy retiree who used to teach hundreds of miles away from Jersey.So yeah, her investigations involved a lot of guesswork.
Is Angry Rage Guy still pretending to be "a real feminist"?
What the hell are you talking about this time?
You know, when he identified himself as an "old school feminist," and then asked himself a bunch of questions, which he enthusiastically answered with complaints about feminism in philosophy? Duh.
What 'feminist philosophers' believe in today has more or less nothing in common with old school equity feminism. So the person or more likely persons, male or female, that you call 'Angry Rage Guy' might be an old school feminist.
Yes, that's possible 5:51. But over the last year or two, I've come to know Angry Rage Guy way better than I care to admit, and I'm pretty familiar with his tactics at this point. Impersonating "real feminists" is one of his favorites.
What is with the bizarre tendency, which really seems to be a kind of mental disorder, of people who read and post on this blog to think that they can identify particular people throughout all the anonymous posts (e.g., the "Angry Rage Guy" and the "Femtroll")?
Most mentions of the "Angry Rage Guy" and the "Femtroll" do not presuppose acquaintance with their haecceities as far as I can tell.
Can't people just talk about rigid designators instead of haecceities!?!?!? For the love of all things [un]holy and reasonable! ^narrow scope on that instance of 'un'.
And I do have a lot of bizarre tendencies 1:53, so I'm not really sure what your point is.
But seriously tho, what happened to the "real feminist [sic!] philosophers"?
It just got too real.
Steadily posting to a blog is hard work; you need new topics/ideas and the time to write them up. Most blogs die after just a few posts, and RFP was no exception. "FAKE FP BAD; REAL FP GOOD" is an OK idea, but it will only get you so far in growing a regular blog audience.
We can't all keep up a constant stream of diarrhea gushing from our buttholes.
True, 8:42. But you sure can.
5:51, are you saying that philosophers who think that equity feminism doesn't exhaust the possibilities for thinking about justice, identity, and society with regard to gender aren't real philosophers? Or that they aren't real feminists? Or what?
No, 8:27. But you really need to work on understanding simple logical entailments.
I'm sorry if I came across as mean. I was trying to be supportive. But maybe as a rule, I'll just avoid referencing any particular individuals- just to be safe.
There is something revolting about showing off moral rectitude.
I bet you were hoping you'd find an opportunity to use the phrase "moral rectitude" and leapt at the first opportunity. I think there must be some department where that phrase is used a lot. If we knew the department we could start id-ing people.
I had to look up "rectitude". It's one of those words I've always passed over when reading without bothering to look up. But now I understand. Thank you, 7:38 for enhancing my semantic competence in English!
_____ | D | | | | \___| _ || _______ -( (- |_'(-------) '-' | / _____,-\__..__|_____I also had to look up "rectitude". :/
http://insearchofanideal.com/2015/06/28/three-tier-conception-of-philosophy/#commentsThis person has been blogging incessantly for a few years about the failure of US and European philosophy/academy to teach Indian and other Asian or African, etc. philosophy. Yet he does not seem to be capable of naming any philosophers that one should teach or think about, besides the usual thousands years old philosophical schools that anyone knows. Weird.
Those of you who read the Philosophy Smoker and who remember the Cabrini College APA interview debacle, please join me in silent prayer for Jennifer A. Bulcock, who got the job.
explain the debacle -- ive given up on the smoker
1) They didn't know they should pick some people to interview2) They didn't know they should have a room or table or something for the interviews3) They didn't know that they should schedule people for the interviews4) They didn't know that people who were asked to interview would think that they'd passed a pretty important hurdle and pay hundreds of dollars to get to Philly to interview5) They certainly didn't know how furious people would be to get there and find out that they didn't know any of this.Basically, they invited everyone who applied to "interview" in Philly, which consisted in running into them in the hallway and chatting a bit.
Lulz all around!
Excellent question, 11:51.
> I think the demographics of the moderators are more interesting. I am almost certain they are disaffected, white, male graduate students.I don't know who the moderators are, but this comment from July Sun is pure victim shaming.(To say nothing of the usual new-leftie casual sexism and racism.)
I think the identity of the person who said that is interesting. I am almost certain that he or she is a fucking imbecile and a pathetic failure as a human being.I'm more likely than he or she is to be right.
Lab Rats: How the Misogyny Police and Sloppy Journalists Smeared a Top Scientist
Wow, I hadn't followed the story that closely at first. I didn't realize he had been making fun of himself. Note to self: when there are SJWs around, don't make any jokes!Now seriously, <------I wonder if some of these women realize that they're making it seem like a gamble for male professors to act as mentors to female students.
That's an excellent observation, 10:31. Due to precisely this kind of consideration, I no longer meet with my female students in my office (I am a heterosexual male). Instead, we meet in a public places at my college. With my male students, I am much more comfortable closing the office door and discussing things that really matter (including my students' personal lives and struggles). That means that I'm able to form closer bonds with my male students than with my female students.It isn't fair. It isn't right. But I don't know of any other way to protect myself from, e.g., a false sexual harassment claim. Those kinds of claims seem to be rare, to be sure, but if one happened to me, I'm quite sure it would end my career. I simply can't take that risk, and so I end up investing more in my male students (especially in those personal ways that sometimes require privacy).
This is a very common reaction. I have colleagues who still meet outside of class time with students, go to lunch even, but never will meet privately with female students anymore. I don't think these people are sexist. They're just covering their asses.The pseudo feminists are probably doing far more damage to the prospects of women in philosophy than they are helping those prospects.Attractive women in philosophy are discriminated against even more, since few tenured philosophers want to be seen having a private conversation or animated discussion with them, lest the gossips ruin them. There are several female philosophers, including at least one who published on WhatItsLikeToBeAWomanInPhilosophy as I recall, who have mentioned the importance of uglifying themselves in order to get philosophers to talk to them. Male students, meanwhile, face no such problems. Thanks, 'feminist philosophers'.
Professors who are giving female students the cold shoulder, you should be ashamed of yourselves.
Taking precautions to avoid false charges may involve giving students a "cold shoulder" (though that strikes me as hyperbole -- there's nothing wrong with a policy of keeping one's office door open when meeting with students of the opposite sex). But it's also the inevitable consequence of an increasingly litigious academic culture and the recent rash of frivolous Title IX complaints. The blame for this, then, lies firmly on the shoulders of those who propagate frivolous and false complaints.
Bullshit. Keep your hands to yourself and you won't get sued. Think about that and then give your students what you owe them, an environment free of gender discrimination.
We should all take more precautions when it comes to this grave epidemic of false accusations. And by epidemic of false accusations, I mean the blight of false health accusations in our profession. One of my colleague's life was destroyed because a female student told everyone that he had constant diarrhea and that's why he was so sour in his paper comments. The administration found out and told him to get it under control. However, because he was a five year old in a forty-five year old's body, he was incapable of going to the doctor's office for fear of a receiving a vaccination. The administration did not take kindly to this, and after a final incident, in which he splattered diarrhea all over the department chair's office, he was finally trespassed from University premises. #neveragain
I work in a department (non philosophy) where someone didn't keep his hands to himself and was quite rightfully fired. However, the new policies imposed as a result include no closed door meetings with students, and, though facially neutral this is much more rigorously enforced for opposite sex students.
Oh yeah? Well my friend's life was destroyed when a female student made public his chronic wedgie condition in comments on the Facebook page belonging to an editor of a prominent journal. He never published again, and he still suffers from chronic wedgies.
6:02 idiot,The claim that if you keep your hands to yourself you won't get sued is empirical. It's also a universal claim (or else it fails to address the counterclaim as intended). As such, it can be falsified by a single case on a pain who kept his hands to himself and was sued. I personality know of several such cases. You, on the other hand, are making a chain so patently ridiculous that it implies a 100% truthfulness rate in accusations. Even feminist legal scholars that spray around false and debunked claims of 2% false aviation rates are smart enough to know not to try the extremist track you're taking. But here you are doing it, and when asked for evidence, you digress with diarrhea jokes. Very smart.
12:38, do you even lang, bro?
5:31/6:02, you have a hilariously naive view. When the costs of being -accused- are what McGinn, Ludlow, Barnett and Kipnis went through before -any- evidence was gathered, there's no way I'm taking a risk of even being -accused-. And say all you want about false accusations being rare -- they're not that rare.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/24/brian-banks-ca-football-p_n_1543992.htmlhttp://www.washingtonexaminer.com/man-receives-sex-act-while-blacked-out-gets-accused-of-sexual-assault/article/2565978http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2009/09/smeary_lines.htmlhttp://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/24/nyregion/24freed.htmlhttp://www.vnews.com/home/11337909-95/rape-trial-ends-in-acquittalhttp://reason.com/blog/2015/06/11/amherst-student-was-expelled-for-rape-buhttp://dailycaller.com/2015/05/08/surprise-minnesota-freshman-who-claimed-dorm-rape-at-knifepoint-is-lying-cops-say/http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/02/03/columbia-student-i-didn-t-rape-her.htmlhttp://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/09/25/new.york.falsely.accused/index.html?iref=24hourshttp://fox2now.com/2014/03/18/student-dismissed-from-lindenwood-after-making-false-rape-report/http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/12/everything-we-know-uva-rape-case.htmlhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_lacrosse_case
Okay I'll bite.Men who take precautions against false sexual harassment charges--what are these precautions?
Well, at least you got that down 12:38 -the bit about how counterexamples work, that is. If I remember correctly, that was a bit of a stumbling block for the "Highly Adequate" of DarknessVisible. Now, lets talk about whether or not universal claims can ever be justified empirically.....
"Keep your hands to yourself and you won't get sued."That's nice, but Dr. Hunt kept his hands to himself and still got fired.
But he said some really unpleasant, creepy things that shouldn't still be socially acceptable in this day and age. Not burst your bubble, but as revolutions go, this one is going pretty easy on the old guard.
If a 72 year old medical researcher and Nobel Laureate doesn't have a few more irons in the fire than a simple teaching gig, then I just don't know what to tell you. I will not be weeping for Tim Hunt.
Really? His wife wept for him. Remember, 4:52 and 5:02: he told a joke. His comments were not meant sincerely. He has a great track record of helping female scientists. And the feminist reporting on the event was falsified or misinformed.
"he said some really unpleasant, creepy things"Would you be inclined to say that the repeated sexual assault of a disabled man is "incredibly complicated"? Or would you think someone saying this is an example of someone saying "really unpleasant, creepy things"?
It's interesting that the same precaution (not meeting with students behind closed doors) is used to avoid false accusations sexual harassment (see 10:45 PM) as it is to prevent actual instances of sexual harassmet (see 11:30 AM). If this precaution is effective, that seems right: it would be good to eliminate both false accusations and actual cases of harassment. Whether this precaution is effective in either case, I don't know - it seems reasonable, but I don't know the evidence. Obviously, not all cases of harassment or alleged harassment arise because of closed office doors. This policy isn't relevant to any of the recent cases I can think of, though maybe by extension people would apply it to the McGinn and Ludlow grad student cases. But two points: if people are feeling the need to leave office doors open, the fault doesn't just lie at the feet of the people who have filed false accusations, it also lies at the feet of the people who are doing real harassing.If, for whatever reason, open-door policies are spreading and, like some people in this thread seem to think, that might mean that some male professors are, out of self-preservation, reserving valuable mentoring opportunities for male students only, this could be seen as an argument for making sure that there are female mentors for female students who want that same close mentoring relationship.Now, personally, I don't think things are at that point. The vast majority of false harassment cases don't fit the pattern that these precautions would prevent, ie, Prof is mentoring female student exactly as he would male student, but female student invents events and calls them harassment. The closest to this is the lit prof with a student who wanted her grade changed. McGinn and Ludlow are different: whatever else you think of the accusatons, I don't think they were mentoring those grad students exactly as if they were male students.
Okay, but when people are taking a joke by Dr. Hunt and using that to get him fired, that makes joking with others a risk. Are you talking to SJWs, or are they reasonable people? If young female students are being taught to become humorless SJWs, then interacting with them in informal situations could lead to the sort of misunderstanding that got Dr. Hunt fired. Do you not understand how this might shape professor--student interactions in a way that disadvantages women?The unsympathetic response by some here shows that some SJWs are willing to double down in their zeal, even in the face of evidence that the whole comment was a self-deprecating joke. Why shouldn't we take this as *more* reason for male profs to be more careful dealing with female students?There is a stubborn willfulness at work here that I don't get, unless this is just a political stance people take to purge those with insufficient zeal for the political fads of the day.
I (5:20pm) think it's reasonable for male profs to take precautions, at least, I don't think it's unreasonable. I don't agree with the people up-thread who are treating it as a joke. But I'm not ready to think that the situation is dire. I may be wrong.The Hunt case is horrible how it played out. It's not surprising that his comment was tweeted (what isn't, these days), but his institution's decision to immediately ask for his resignation was whack. But it may be just as much due to institutional ass-covering as to SJW-ing. Better response was the twitter campaign from other scientists, joking back. And I was glad to see quite a few articles from prominent female scientists backing up Hunt. Unfortunately, the institutional response was so fast.That said, I think treating all female students as humorless SJWs on the basis of this case is overreach. There was a lot of humor-in-kind response, which I think is appropriate when someone does something one considers lame. And for people not willing to risk it with their admin, it may be enough to avoid telling female students jokes about women being too emotional to work with. If the joke was just about, say, publishing or logic or the admin, you might not have to treat men and women differently. (Though Dan Kaufmann might say you better not joke with anyone about anything).In any case, most of the precautions people are mentioning are just normal business practices in most professional settings, so probably not a big deal, if that's what makes everyone feel less at risk.
Setting up society so that women can arbitrarily trash men's careers by making false accusations is *real* institutional sexism (unlike the stuff the feminists moan about). Our society is now set up in that way.
I think anyone can arbitrarily trash anyone's career by making false accusations. I also think anyone can arbitrarily trash anyone's career by harassing them. Both things exist, and institutions suck at handling both.
7:10,Your response seems reasonable. I think I'm a little more inclined than you are to worry about joking with female students, but you're right that being more professional seems good for several reasons. (I'm 6:24.)
I can't claim to know whether the harm prevented outweighs the harm caused when it comes to these policies, but my admittedly limited experience with them has been frustrating. I had a female student who was struggling with some issues that I myself have a lot of experience with. I tried to help the best I could in office hours, but I was worried she might harm herself. Nighttime was the worst for her, and if she was a male student I would have given her my phone number. But she wasn't, and as a male instructor I knew doing so was verboten. She ended being hospitalized briefly and after that I just said "fuck it" and gave her the number. Fortunately she never had to use it and got more comprehensive help. I don't know if I would've been able to help her, but I often wonder if I could have kept her from needing to be hospitalized if I had just told her to call me if she needs help when I first thought of it. I worry that I would have done more had she been a man and that weighs heavily on me. It's just a matter of not being to tell my favorite jokes in office hours or whatever trivializing bullshit some people think characterizes the effect of these policies. There are real consequences, though perhap more positive than negative, and I goddamn sick of people in this discipline telling me that questioning the policies shows I am insensitive to the plight of women.
Thanks for posting, 11:30. Stories like yours are thought-provoking and probably wouldn't be allowed elsewhere. That's just the sort of comment that, for me, makes the PMMB worth reading.
11:30, I feel like I should mention of flip side of your struggle. This is that, as a female student, I have a hard time separating out what is a genuine offer by a male professor to help from what might be a prelude to something that will become full blown sexual harassment. I don't mean that I confuse the two or would report something ambiguous as "sexual harassment." I mean that I often feel that there is a burden on me to make sure that I "nip" any potential harassment scenario in the bud. Consequently female students often take a lot of extra precautions around male professors or are unsure how to interpret what they're doing.I think a lot of this has to do with the cultural narrative that women are often responsible for preventing the bad behavior of men. Suppose such a scenario was a lead up to sexual harassment. Afterwards people will say things like, "Well, of course that was going to happen, what did you think he was inviting you over to his house for? Or gave you his number for?" The only thing that's new in this situation is that men are being asked to shoulder some of the risk or uncertainty. Your female students have (probably) already been wondering and worrying about these things.By the way, not to be uncharitable, but why couldn't you steer that particular student towards mental health services or a dean or administrator or another female professor? There are some issues where you're just not the best person to help a student.
11:30, here. As soon as I posted I said to my partner, "I wonder how long it takes before someone tells me how I screwed up and he/she would have handled it better." The answer is 7 hours (I came out on the low end). Wonderful. Simply saying "not to be uncharitable" doesn't make what you said any less offensive. This is part of the reason why a blog like PMMB is good-- if I knew the actual person talking shit about how I tried to help my student I'd be awfully tempted to say/do unkind things. I'll try to avoid that.First off, I wasn't a professor at the time. I was an adjunct. I've never been a professor in philosophy. I was a teaching huge ass lecture courses where maybe 5% of the students (male & female) ever went to office hours. Unless my female students were make uncomfortable by the mere sound of my voice, which admittedly is less than dulcet, there were not legions of women wondering or worrying about me. And it's not like I hand out my fucking phone number to everyone at my office hours.Second, since I wasn't a real faculty member, I didn't know any deans, administrators, or other professors to steer the student towards. It's not like I had an office or anything like that. The only person I interacted with in that department was the secretary. Third, what makes you think an arbitrary female professor would have been better equipped to help the student? I won't say anymore about my student's condition, but the problem was not her having female sex organs. As I said, the issue was one that I had experience with and I don't know of any female faculty in that department with similar experience. Should I just shuffle her off to any female professor on the assumption that she is better able to help than me?Fourth, my student was already getting professional help, but it obviously wasn't enough. Students, just like anyone else, aren't very comfortable talking about certain issues with people they've never met. Simply saying, "go see Ted down at campus services" isn't likely to do much good. I'm guessing you've never taught students, so I should tell you that even in the giant lecture students come to feel comfortable around the instructor. They're much more likely to come to you with difficult issues than the dean/counselor/liaison appointed to deal with those issues. Of course my first response in these cases is too encourage them to see the appointed individual, but often they aren't comfortable doing so or already have (as was the case in my story). Finally, the uncertainty facing female students is real, IMO, and it is a burden. In aggregate it may well exceed the difficulties on the other side. But the cases are not all that similar. My students don't feel (and shouldn't feel) an obligation to help me, their instructor. The responsibilities a teacher owes his or her students far exceed the responsibilities a student owes his or her teacher. For the most part their precautions won't put them in position to violate any obligation to me. But mine might put me in a position to violate (in my opinion) an obligation to them.
Dude, calm the fuck down. You were clearly agonizing over trying to help this student and felt that you couldn't because you were afraid of sexual harassment or feminists or whatever. But then I wondered why you didn't pursue other ways of helping her, that wouldn't put you in the line of fire. I'm more fucking pissed off that you let your phantom fears of the mass epidemic of false accusations prevent you from helping a student who was clearly direly in need. You need to own your decision to not help her, and stop blaming your cowardice on anyone but yourself.I have had students in the past, thanks.
The point of my comment was to tell you: life is messy. Women deal with this shit all the time. Ohhh one time you had to deal with wondering whether or not it was appropriate to give your phone number to a student direly in need. (News flash, it's fine.) And now you're going to blame the fact that you didn't do something because you were worried about how you would come off on the feminists. Yes that's right, it's all the feminists fault that this situation happened. No, it was your fault. You didn't pull yourself together and do the right thing. It would have been the right thing even if you got professional flack for it. Have some professional ethics.You're all fucking children. This is why philosophy is such a cesspool.
The profession is awash with false accusations, 8:25AM.
8:25: " It would have been the right thing even if you got professional flack for it."This is the next step, huh? First insist that we automatically believe accusers. Then tell people that they should do things that put them at significantly greater risk of false accusation? Fuck no. You want me to help female students, then you promise that if one of them accuses me of sexual harassment, you'll listen to my side of the story and wait until a court of law rules before pushing me out of the profession. You cannot have it both ways. Men aren't total idiots.
8:21 and 8:25, I have a hard time reading your bullshit as anything other than trolling, but I really don't care. I never blamed feminism for my decision. If I simply didn't take responsibility for it, why would I say it bothered me? I WASN'T WORRIED ABOUT A FALSE ACCUSATION FROM THE STUDENT. I don't know if you're illiterate or what, but I never said that. I was afraid of losing my job with the department for violating policy. I WAS AN ADJUNCT, SO PROFESSIONAL FLACK = NON-RENEWAL. And you'll notice that I did try to do things that would keep me "out of the line of fire." As for the rest of your post, you can go fuck yourself. I don't know how you can claim I'm being immature and that you're just telling me that life is messy while name calling and characterizing the situation as one with an obvious answer that I somehow missed. That's hypocrisy at its finest. The fact that you think people like me are the reason philosophy is a "cesspool" fucking disgusts me. The high handed, arrogant, horseshit you spewed would be laughable if it wasn't about something serious that you don't know anything about. I feel bad for your students, because having a philosophy instructor incapable of critical thought must have been difficult.
@11:30 - I'm 5:20/7:10It sounds to me like you did the best you could in a really difficult situation. I don't know how many schools have actual policies against faculty from giving phone numbers, meeting behind closed doors, etc. I've mostly thought about it in terms of individual faculty members taking those kinds of steps as precautions. But your posts have me thinking about what the right approach is, when there are actual policies in place.As I've mentioned before, these precautions are really much like what is the norm in a lot of other professional contexts, so how would they handle this? Thinking this through:Medical/psychological professions: certainly there are clear lines limiting anything that could be a(mis)interpreted as a personal relationshp. It's particularly important because the intimate nature of the professional relationship can actually make emotional attachment more likely. And it's a field where off-hours help needs can be expected to arise. So, it's established that there are off-hours phone lines, so no individual professional has to decide how to handle it.pre-college teaching No way would it be considered appropriate for teacher to give personal number to any student of either sex. Encountering students with need of emotional support is expected, so there are clear guidelines in place (a) you're a mandatory reporter, so if abuse is suspected, you must report to relevant state agency (b) for non-abuse but serious issues, you'd tell the student's parents and or school counselor. In any case, you have your own administration to give you guidance and support on how to handle it.General business environment: Professional precautions are the norm, but there's low expectation that a client or employee would have need of off-hour emotional or medical support, so typically doesn't come up, I would guess. One would expect such a client to rely on their own personal network. If on-hours discussions led into territory where personal advice was sought and given, one would have to make a decision whether (a) the relationship was now a friendship one, (b) it was time to reach out to the person's family, or (c) it was time to direct them to professional care. This is similar to the academic case in that there's not much guidance on how to proceed, but it's dissimilar in that, I expect, the advisory relationships that would lead to the situation in question are pretty rare. It's also dissimilar in that, I suspect, a decision to ignore policy and give out a phone number is less likely to come to light and be a problem.So, how should universities handle this? I think, at the minimum, if there's an actual policy that prevents particular kinds of support that are likely to arise, there needs to be a conversation about how to handle those situations, and the immediate departmental admin, who presumably also has the welfare of the students at heart, can be turned to for effective support of both the student and the faculty member who is trying to help. I don't know how often your type of situation comes up, but any department considering instituting these sorts of precautions, should certainly talk through how they intend to handle the cases that the new policies would make difficult.
8:21 / 8:25 is human shit. That's what's making the profession a cesspool. Wish we could flush.
Well said 6:24, re: the burden on women.
Bullshit, 12:18. The burden is on men, with no exceptions, ever. Women are permitted to get away with assault, harassment and rape, despite around half of perpetrators of violence and abuse coming from women. So stop lying.11:33, agreed - and others reading your account sympathize with you.
I doubt that you're right that women are permitted to "get away with assault, harassment and rape," but I'll even grant that you are. Here's the thing: it's true that women get judged for "letting themselves" get into a situation to be sexually harassed in the first place. That's messed up. But I'm afraid I can't continue this conversation with you 12:28. Have a nice day.
Perhaps we should avoid calling each other 'human shit,' which is over the top, not to mention hilariously ridiculous. I see merit in both 11:30's comment and in 6:24's response. All too many straight men think that practically any interaction indicates sexual interest on the part of the woman involved, and women are often appropriately on guard.11:30, it seems, was sincerely interested in his student's well-being, but prevented from acting rightly, at least according to his own lights.This problem is sort of a microcosm of the larger issues at play: sexual harassment in the profession leading female students to be on guard, SJW vigilantism threatening reasonable, non-harassing behavior, and adjuncts being always on the knife's edge in these situations.I'm not sure there's a clean resolution in this case, but perhaps one lesson to be drawn here is that we who occupy the 'middle ground' need to remain reasonable lest we push others into one camp or the other. Calling someone human shit is precisely the opposite of that.
"All too many straight men think that practically any interaction indicates sexual interest on the part of the woman involved, and women are often appropriately on guard."No they don't. Why do you believe this nasty sexist claim?
8.25's comment was massively inappropriate in both tone and content. But the bit that leapt out at me wasOhhh one time you had to deal with wondering whether or not it was appropriate to give your phone number to a student direly in need. (News flash, it's fine.)Where have you been the last couple of years? It's become utterly undeniable that giving a student your phone number, whatever the circumstances could, not probably but very easily, subsequently be made to sound sinister by the recipient, a colleague, a dept chair or (especially) an ODH administrator. It is not paranoid to point out that any such person might have reasons for wanting to harm you, and if they lit the right fuses in a sufficiently skilful way on FB, FP, DN etc a bunch of your students could be toting mattresses to the provost's office in no time.
Let's take the nasty claim by "a non","All too many straight men think that practically any interaction indicates sexual interest on the part of the woman involved, and women are often appropriately on guard"and just change a few words,"All too many straight women think that they can use a man to get what they want, and men are often appropriately on guard."See?
People are calling each other "human shit," and you're complaining about "news flash it's fine," and generalizations about straight men?
The remarks by 8:21/8:25 regarding the fraught situation described by 11:30 were callous, despicable and shitty. Now move on, 1:43, or go back to the FP cesspool.
The idea that my observation was a 'nasty' claim is risible. I didn't suggest that such behavior is disgusting, or even necessarily condemnable: often it's a case of mixed signals, with some willful self-deception on the man's part (though there are of course more extreme and thus condemnable cases, but those aren't the ones I was addressing) This is obviously not analogous to claiming that women use men to get whatever they want.In my experience, talking to straight women and observing straight men, this is a totally common mindset. But I'm happy to let straight women chime in, as I am not a straight woman.The larger point, however, was that the whole situation is a result of the neglectful responses to genuine harassment in the past, the rise of SJWs and their ability to sway administrators, and the tenuous situation of adjuncts. Hence the need for reasonable voices to speak up, at least so as to address the first two problems, which should end up benefitting adjuncts as well.
"In my experience, talking to straight women and observing straight men, this is a totally common mindset."No it isn't, you sexist bigot. It is a reflection of your nasty sexist bigotry. Now go away.
11:30 here, replying to 11:32. I think that exercise is helpful, though I would caution against painting the other professions with too broad a brush. In my small hometown it was pretty common to know your doctor's home phone number. Even outside of that one can have the doctor paged by the hospital. Legal clients (at least long standing ones) often have the personal cell number of their attorney, though the reason is typically not for a health related emergency. Even that caveat gets violated by some in public health and legal aid.The real difficulty which I think this brings out is where to locate the university instructors. For doctors, lawyers, accountants and so on there is no presumption of impropriety in these contacts. For pre college teachers there clearly is, though it can be overridden, I knew coaches who would call a student who seemed rather neglected by his family. College seems to fall somewhere between those two poles, but it's hard to know where. One issue is that college students don't live with or even near their parents, so at times the instructors will be better positoned to identify students who are struggling, unlike the typical pre college student.As others have noted, economics matter. My situation would have been easier if I wasn't an adjunct. Firther, it's much easier to dismiss my concerns if you adopt the increasingly common view of students as mere consumers. If teaching is just an arms length market transaction, then it's clear that I really shouldn't concern myself with the well being of my students outside of class. Rather, my primary concern should be to protect myself and my department from undue risk by following procedure.
Look 3:00, I get it, we should not denounce sexism aimed at women while allowing sexism aimed at men. I, too, am disgusted by NC types who think it's open season on white, cis gendered, heterosexual, etc etc etc - whoever is the enemy of the day.But I am not evincing bigotry by making a generalization (a generalization which I said was not necessarily condemnable) based on experience and observation, especially given that something like this willful self-deceit was operative in the McGinn case (though clearly McGinn's was far more pathological).If you want to challenge any of these points, go ahead. Do try, though, to offer something substantive.
I don't understand. What sort of substantive response should be forthcoming to your anecdata? "That hasn't fit my experience." "Okay! Good talk!" ????
That's slightly less childish; a step in the right direction!I appreciate that the plural of 'anecdote' is not data, but it's hard for me to dismiss the relevant anecdotes, from 6:24's comment above, the McGinn case, and my own experience and information from women with whom I've spoken. You are clearly free to push back by noting that this is not consistent with your experience (though it would be nice to know what your experience has been - have you been much on the receiving end of such unwanted attention in professional settings?). But replying with your obviously disingenuous remarks about bigotry is just lame and unhelpful.
A non, please meet Angry Rage Guy. He's a real mrtablog founder.
Why is Angry Rage Guy so angry, is the real question. It can only be properly answered by looking to his psychology or his biography or autobiography. Is there some event or series of events involving a woman that we need to know? Is there some sordid or humiliating memory that shades all that he now experiences, keeping him from even hoping to find a way to trust a woman again?
I feel sad for Angry Rage Guy.
a non, I'm not actually the guy who threw in the "bigotry" accusation. I agree that that's unhelpful. If you see a population trend (whether it be that men see female interest in places it doesn't actually exist, that women are poor philosophers and have constructed entire theories like standpoint epistemology to obscure this fact, or what have you), an anonymous blog like this is a fine place to air them, and accusations of bigotry are frankly beside the point. I'm just not exactly sure what you expected the resulting conversation to look like.
I've had a theory about the identity of ARG/RMF for a while. I'm not going to say more about that now, but let's think about other angry philosophy bloggers for a second- you know, to get a profile....
11:47 - I appreciate the clarification, but I think you're still missing my point, given that you appear to conflate 1. the observation that straight men often misinterpret social cues when they are attracted to a woman, with 2. the claim that women are poor philosophers.Recall, I was not claiming that 1. is necessarily condemnable, nor is it universal, it's just an observation based on my own experience and that of women I've spoken with. Again, you're free to disagree here, and since I haven't looked for any relevant data, we might just have to leave it at that. (whereas, 2. is clearly false, and the assertion of 2. would evince actual bigotry).I mentioned this in order to offer a broader explanation of 6:24's claim that many female students feel that they have to be on guard. Indeed, I've heard this from female undergraduates before (and from a male undergraduate regarding his male professor).The claim was intended to be a partial diagnosis. I can't say I expected the conversation to look one way or another. It would be nice to have a more nuanced conversation about these sorts of interactions, however, so that it doesn't become simply SJWs shouting down, say, defenders of McGinn (see a few threads below), while everyone else remains silent. We know who will win that fight.
There is no objective evidence for your sexist claim 1, "a non", other than your personal prejudices. It is false. I have never come across an example of this absurdity. You are free to believe it. But nonetheless, it is paranoid and false; it is the kind of paranoid falsity that does huge damage to the academic profession. In point of fact, most male academics are familiar with female students making advances and flirting; these advances are usually ignored. In future, please try not to confuse facts with your own prejudices.
"Those kinds of claims seem to be rare, to be sure, but if one happened to me, I'm quite sure it would end my career."The profession is awash with false allegations which are ruining people's careers. They're not "rare". They're normal. Look at what happened, to Barnett (defended a student against an injustice and was then falsely accused), Colorado more generally (department turned upside down), Kipnis (wrote an essay and was falsely accused), Ketland (told a violent stalker to stop harassing him and was falsely accused), Buchanan (said "fuck no" in class), Levinson (gave a female student a B+ and was falsely accused) and Adler (teaching based on a sexualized skit and falsely accused).
Examples alone do not show that something is widespread or rare. Only a comparison to some broader statistic can do that.
Q: At what rate are women being harassed?A: How DARE you ask for statistics?!Q: Aren't professors right to be worried about being sanctioned and/or fired for frivolous sexual harassment or Title IX claims?A: How DARE you generalize without data?!
Q: Some unknown number of people, writing anonymously, have contributed a bunch of unverified reports of sexual harassment to a website. Hence, sexual harassment epidemic. Also, I've met 300 people in the profession and the claim to have been sexually harassed. Hence, sexual harassment in philosphy is ubiquitous and condoned by anyone not figuring with us to destroy due process. A: How DARE they doubt our conclusions and exercise epistemic caution? What the fuck do they think they are, philosphers?
Point well made, I'd say.
7:14 here. In response to 4:13, I should have simply pointed out that you do not need a "broader statistic" to reasonably worry that *some* folks (administrators, SJWs, etc) are filing frivolous claims and to reasonably conclude that one ought to take appropriate precautions, lest one be the next victim.Instead I posted some snarky bullshit which, in addition to being unhelpful, was co-opted by 8:52, with whom I disagree. Sorry about that. Perhaps I should say more, so as not to give 8:52 the final word.If you've spoken with 300 people in the profession who claim to have been harassed or to have witnessed harassment, then yes, that's good evidence that there is a problem in philosophy. It does not settle the matter as to whether the problem is "ubiquitous" or "worse" than in other fields. But we don't need to settle those further questions to agree that harassment is a problem (indeed, one I've witnessed and heard tell of).I say this as someone who is very disgusted with the SJWs and the NC folks. However, it is important not to overreact and deny the problem or deny that we have good evidence that it *is* a problem.Of course, 8:52 might not be denying this - perhaps s/he is just being snarky as well. It's a little hard to tell. But this a good example of another reason to be less of a dick on anonymous forums.
The problem is that "problem" is ambiguous, in a way that plays into the hands of the sexual harassment alarmists.Everyone agrees that sexual harassment is a problem, in the sense that everyone recognizes that it sometimes occurs, everyone recognizes that when it does occur it's wrong, everyone agrees that the world would be a better place if it didn't occur, etc etc.But many people on the alarmist side want to add a stronger claim, namely that *the current institutional mechanisms for dealing with sexual harassment are inadequate and need to be reformed*. This, by contrast, is an eminently deniable claim. Of course the current institutions aren't perfect. Perfect institutions would punish all and only the guilty, and for obvious reasons of epistemic limitations, that is not an option. So there are trade-offs to be made: between false positives and false negatives, between "conviction rates" (for lack of a better term) and due process safeguards, and so on. Many people, myself included, think that there is sorely little evidence that the strong claim is true. Much of the time, its acceptance seems to derive from an illicit slide from the weak claim that sexual harassment is a problem. It obviously doesn't follow. There are plenty of cases of problematic behavior (e.g. speeding, or shoplifting, or academic plagiarism) that is more or less well-handled by current institutions.
I basically agree with both the OP and 3:07, but I take issue with a couple of points in 3:07 -1) I think it's too strong to say "everyone recognizes that when it does occur it's wrong". On some reading, that's probably true. But there are people who were serial harassers who obviously thought what they were doing was OK. And there were people who witnessed harassment and either ignored it or just warned potential victims off. (This is kind of like what we usually do with speeding; just hope the person gets out of our way and gets caught before they cause permanent damage)2) I think the stronger claim, that current institutional mechanisms don't work, isn't just on the so-called "alarmist side". Some people no doubt do come to that conclusion based solely on the fact that harassment exists. But I think some people have seen concrete institutional failures that wouldn't (or at least shouldn't) be tolerated in harassment or in your examples of speeding, shoplifting or plagiarism: repeat offenders who are not charged, shuffling problem people off to other departments to make the local problem go away, making the process of reporting a career-disrupting gauntlet, etc. What I think is needed, is people willing to really look at both sides at once - reducing the harassing and reducing the false accusations - to get to the optimal level of fairness and "safety" (for lack of a better word). I actually think Leiter would be a good one to spearhead this: he strikes me as someone who is both knowledgable and concerned about harassment rates and due process issues. (I don't mean to imply that other people aren't concerned - just that he has spoken publicly and strongly about both sides, and is in a position to understand the legal and institutional issues)
It's not evidence of anything. 'Sexual harassment' has no meaning because to get the condemnation it is presented as something just short of rape and to get the numbers up it includes love affairs that didn't go the way the woman wanted it to, love affairs that did go the way the woman wanted it to (McGinn, Ludlow) and then when the woman had got what she wanted out of the man, got herself out of it by calling in sexual harassment, and is attributed to actions as harmless saying hello in the wrong way.
Let's all just step over 5:47's comment, since what McGinn did was plainly not saying 'hello' in the wrong way. I think 5:46 nails it. The claim that institutional mechanisms are failing or are insufficient, as some SJWs claim, is an overreach, if not cover for an outright power grab.But 3:07 is downplaying the problem. For too long the appropriate institutional mechanisms haven't been invoked, if even considered. By 'appropriate' I mean something like procedurally fair processes that will sanction harassers *proportionate* to their wrongs.
Experimental philosophy: philosophy :: Rubber ducks: ducksI haven't polled anyone yet, but maybe we can start that now...
http://philosatire.tumblr.com/post/78036004593/testing-the-experimental-foundations-ofMoney quote:"These results provide strong evidence for the existence of a folk intuition that X-phi is not philosophy and, even if it is, it’s still bullshit."
Yeah man, Philosatire. Good times. What happened to that person / those people? I thought the stories about the field trip to the Statue of Liberty ('I will say that the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of everything we at the CUFA despise') and the Duke Group of 88 suing 'concerned philosophers' ('According to unreliable sources, the Group of 88 had, as early as 2007, filed for a federal patent on public exhibitions of self-righteous moral outrage in absence of knowledge of key facts. “We invented that kind of behavior. It’s our thing!"') were perfect.Thing is, the stuff that needs satirizing has clearly metastasized since Philosatire went quiet, but so, proportionately, has the po-faced, pursed-lipped finger-waggy sanctimonious militarized thought-policing. So I wonder whether Mr / Ms Philosatire shut up shop because the consequences of being outed had become too serious?[DISCLAIMER: I consider sexual harassment to be a problem in academic philosophy and probably, in a significant minority of departments, a really serious problem. I also think sexual assault is a grave evil and all reasonable (eg due-process-preserving) measures should be taken to eradicate it from academic philosophy and everywhere else. No animals were harmed in the making of this comment.]
A lot of the x-phi haters are grad students with AOS: metaphysics or epistemology who can't get jobs. And then get jelly that these new upstarts are getting publications and jobs like all over the place. Well, have fun in your armchairs, hope they're at least out of your mom's basement.
Great argument 9:57! We all look forward to philosophy becoming bad psychology.
I've always loved this quote, from a Richard Moran interview:As to ‘experimental philosophy, I can’t claim to be very well versed in it, but it seems to be a research program in its early days. I think that by now, even its practitioners are beginning to realise that simply asking people, outside of any particular context, about their “intuitions” about some concept of philosophical interest is not really going to be informative since without any philosophical background to the question, the respondents themselves can’t really know just what question they are being asked to answer, what their responses are responses to. There are just too many different things that can be meant by a question like, “‘Was such-and-such an action intentional or not?”, for example. And without further discussion or further analysis, the experimenters themselves can’t know what answers they are being given by the respondents. It’s not good data. So I can imagine experimental philosophy evolving in a way to account for this, and starting to include some philosophical background to the investigation, perhaps even some philosophical history, to provide the needed context to the particular intuitions that they are trying to expose and test for. At that point, the experimental situation might also become less one-sided, with a researcher examining a respondent, and could allow for the experimental subjects themselves to ask questions of the experimenters, including questions of clarification and disambiguation, and perhaps even challenges to the way the experimenter has framed the questions.Later it might be found useful to conduct such experiments in small groups rather than individually, with one experimenter and one subject, and instead the respondents could be encouraged to discuss the questions among themselves as well as with the experimenter. People could meet in these groups two or three times a week and perhaps some relevant reading could be assigned, to clarify and expand upon the question, and the respondents would be given time to do the reading, and asked to write something later on about the question in connection with the reading and the discussions they have had. Then the experimenter could provide “comments” on this writing for the experimental subjects themselves. I think grading the results would be optional on such an arrangement, and probably of no experimental interest, but other than that I think something like this could be the future of experimental philosophy. It’s worth trying anyway.
"these new upstarts are getting publications"This is an embarrassment to the profession. So much of it is just shit. It might be good to do an empirical study to determine how often real philosophers are asked to review work done by the experimentalists. Seems to me like there's a cozy little arrangement where the very same people who dash off papers based on surveys are asked to evaluate papers like this. It's rare to find an experimental piece that deserves to see the pages of a journal.
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