What can't be said in today's academe:http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20151012/NEWS/151019796The President of Brown, in all of Herself, and two of her minions, inveigh against two "deeply offensive" opinion pieces by a Brown student (a woman, as it happens, and someone who had in an earlier piece identified herself as being on the autistic spectrum).Here is one of the pieces:http://www.browndailyherald.com/2015/10/05/maier-17-the-white-privilege-of-cows/and here is the other -- deemed so offensive it had to be removed from the website, so it's available only as an image:https://unthinkablethoughtblog.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/columbian-exchange-day.jpgExercise for the reader: try to find the particular sentence or paragraph in either piece that clearly states something false and outrageous. Second exercise: why is the piece that was removed from the website more offensive than the other?It's good, of course, that the President and her minions went on the attack against this young woman's opinion pieces, and, in punishment, left her twisting in the wind. It would be truly horrible if powerful forces were allowed to wreak damage on vulnerable parties.
Is there a more Orwellian word these days than "conversation" or "dialogue"?
"Exercise for the reader: try to find the particular sentence or paragraph in either piece that clearly states something false and outrageous."The following from the second piece is not offensive, but it is false and a bit outrageous: "Just about every plant imaginable ... is Old World in origin." Indeed, Maier immediately lists a bunch of counterexamples to his own claim: potatoes, corn, tomatoes, chocolate. Indeed, corn production now exceeds the production of any other grain. We should also add many beans, including the common bean and the peanut; the avocado; and peppers, especially hot peppers, absolutely central to the cooking of many Old World cultures in hotter climates. And not only are there important food plants that originated in the New World. Upland cotton, which accounts for 90% of world cotton production, is of New World origin. Rubber. Tobacco. "Just about every plant..." my ass.It makes you wonder about any and all of his factual claims.
Ice ice baby,Yeah I puzzled over that sentence myself. Given that the author (a she, not a he) immediately provides examples that seem to contradict her assertion, I can only guess she had in mind in that sentence something other than what she actually wrote -- maybe something like the number of plants of interest coming from the Old World is significantly greater than the number from the new world. She makes a number of weird, confusing statements like that in her writing -- maybe it's just being an undergraduate that's making for the sloppiness. But that sloppiness is all the more reason not to jump to an interpretation of what she wrote as being deliberately offensive -- though I frankly can't see how anything she wrote might have any kind of natural or even rather strained interpretation that should be regarded as offensive.
it's a truly lousy article -- poorly written. meandering, unclear, lots of unsubstantiated claims. But the Crimethink attacks on it are scary because of what they say about how low the bar is for accusations of racism and resulting pressures for censorship, personal destruction, etc.
"It does stand as fact that English colonists in Africa were able to tame zebras to be ridden or driven, and there is a long history of elephant use in Southeast Asia. Yet it is also fact that wild animals in Africa and the New World were left untapped, while some wild Eurasian animals were domesticated."This, which I take to be the bulk of the conclusion in the piece, is false.In the New World, guinea pigs, llamas, turkeys, ducks, dogs, etc. were all domesticated prior to European arrival. Donkeys and guineafowl were domesticated in Africa. English colonists in Africa concluded that zebras were poorly suited to domestication. Africa obviously has many large herbivores, but they all evolved alongside some of the deadliest predators on Earth: lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, crocodiles, and, maybe most importantly, humans. Result: large African herbivores are aggressive, deadly, and don't fuck with people. It's a lot easier to domesticate animals that haven't spent millions of years evolving to avoid you. Given this, I do think the "White Privilege of Cows" piece is pretty offensive. Issuing a correction was completely appropriate.
12:50,So is that the point of "offensiveness" in the piece -- the claim that, say, zebras were, or could be, domesticated, or the claim that there were a number of wild beasts in Africa and the New World that might have been domesticated, but weren't?Seriously, this factual claim is "offensive"? Can any science be done in these domains if one answer to the question is regarded a priori as "offensive"?And apparently there were some attempts by English colonialists to tame zebras with partial success:http://www.thomsonsafaris.com/blog/taming-zebras-domestication-attempts/Yes, they weren't able to domesticate them in herds. But so what? Anybody who has read about the domestication of horses (or wolves) understands that it was a long term process. Wild horses were first used for meat. They were, over time, "domesticated" in the sense of being herded, but only, again, for the purpose of providing meat, not for riding. Over a still longer period of time, they were finally rendered tame enough that they could be used for riding, etc. No one believes that they could have been fully domesticated in one fell swoop, across one or two generations. Evolution and selection typically take many generations to achieve their effect.There's no reason to believe that Zebras were more intractable in this way then the original wild horses.
What's offensive is ignoring the domestication that did happen and portraying the domestication that didn't happen as more possible than it really was in pursuit of a not-quite-stated-but-obviously-implied conclusion that white and asian people are just more innovative or something: "It is still a question whether or not evolution endowed Eurasians with skills utilized to capitalize on the good luck of livestock animals, or whether Eurasian features just happen to be a poor man’s clue to agricultural history.... Yet it is also fact that wild animals in Africa and the New World were left untapped, while some wild Eurasian animals were domesticated." Come on. That link repeats exactly what I said: English colonialists concluded that zebras were poorly suited to domestication. They are too aggressive and don't want to fuck with people, presumably because they evolved alongside humans and other extreme predators. "Partial success" at taming is the same thing we have with lions. They're poorly suited to domestication as well.
(If the "evolved alongside humans" thing seems irrelevant to you, remember that it's a common hypothesis about so much megafauna went extinct shortly after human arrival while african megafauna survived. It seems reasonable to expect that traits that make you harder to hunt would also make you harder to tame.)
Christ in Heaven, 10:02, do you get anything?Look, the author of the piece is not clearly saying that Europeans and Asians were able to domesticate certain animals because of any "biological" advantage they may have had. As best I can make out -- although on any of these points, it's unclear what she really has in mind -- she's saying it's entirely possible that they were able to do so only because of some fluke of their history. This possibility is not terribly different from what Jared Diamond argued in Guns, Germs, and Steel, which is about as politically correct a book as is possible. So where, exactly, is the offense, if she allows for that possibility? Because she may be saying (though this too is unclear) that it also might NOT be just some fluke, but rather might reflect a biological difference between the populations? So just to suggest that as a possibility is now just too offensive for anyone to read? We, and scientists who investigate these possibilities, just can't even entertain and talk about these possibilities, because they are inherently "offensive"? Is that how you envision science on such matters proceeding, making sure that every potential conclusion that might be "offensive" simply is not entertained?But maybe the worst part of your response is your utter lack of understanding of how evolution works. I repeat my previous point: domestication of any species is a multi-generational process. There is simply no reason to believe that the original wild horses in the Asian steppes were any less fierce and seemingly untamable than zebras. For both, their primary defenses as prey were to run fast away from predators, not to engage in fights. Moreover, even wolves were able to be domesticated -- and they are obviously fierce predators, not merely prey animals as are horses and zebras, and so almost inherently far more ferocious. There was indeed a recent experiment that demonstrated that within about 35 generations, through artificial selection, it was possible to take entirely wild foxes and turn their progeny into entirely tame animals: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Domesticated_Red_FoxDo you comprehend, then, that the only partial success in taming zebras -- presumably without any artificial selection involved at all -- is pretty good evidence that they would be able to be fully tamed over many generations if an effort were made to select only the tamer of any given brood? Lions, of course, as an extremely aggressive predator with no obvious use if domesticated, could hardly be regarded as a reasonable prospect for such efforts. Likely, over many, many generations they could be rendered tame -- but why undergo the threat and difficulties they pose early on if there is no obvious payoff when tamed?
BTW, the domestication of the donkey took place in Africa, but not in subSaharan Africa, but rather in what is modern day Egypt, near Cairo.So this hardly counts as relevant to the question, since it is well known that SubSaharan Africa has been well isolated from Northern Africa.
Weird, I randomly had a conversation with a (black, undergraduate) friend of a friend at Brown about this last weekend, and she also thought that the response from the administration was subpar; according to her, it would have been better for the administration not to cave in to pressure and retract the article, and instead allow people to respond to it and create a dialogue. The retraction/apology response was seen as cowardly. Take that as you will, just reporting something I found interesting.
Just for clarification: the administration did not retract the article (opinion piece); the Daily Herald did. Lots and lots of people responded to it. Whether the result deserves to be called a "dialogue" is another question.For that matter, the president doesn't "inveigh" against anything or "attack" anyone in the article linked.
No, the administration did not retract the article, because, of course, it wasn't an article they published. But here is what they did say:"In our view, the current leadership of The Herald has forthrightly owned that they caused harm and did not live up to the expectations of the Brown community."So they are clearly on the record saying that that article both did "harm", and should not have been published. And all of the blather in their letter before that point and after is intended to make clear just why the things said in that article were indeed beyond the pale of acceptability -- though, of course, they couldn't actually state clearly what exactly the article might have said that was offensive, because there just isn't anything like a smoking gun or even a loaded gun they can point to. Whether one wants to describe this letter as "inveighing against" those two articles, I don't see how anyone can dispute that they saw those articles as so harmful that they shouldn't be published, and were, in their cowardly anodyne way, expressing a very deep and harsh criticism of them.Not a word, of course, about the importance of academic freedom, and free expression of unorthodox ideas.http://www.browndailyherald.com/2015/10/09/paxson-p19-locke-carey-91-ma06-an-open-letter-to-students-on-power-learning-and-responsibility/
Here's the broader quote from the letter:"At the same time, The Herald, like any student organization, is an educational activity. Students learn by doing, and doing inevitably involves mistakes. The test of character of any individual or institution is the learning that follows the mistake. In our view, the current leadership of The Herald has forthrightly owned that they caused harm and did not live up to the expectations of the Brown community."The only way to understand this quote is that these administrators regard the publication of the the articles in question as a "mistake".
Oh, come on, you said they inveighed against the two opinion pieces and in fact they did not. You said they attacked the author, and they didn't.Come on, own up, you were wrong. Don't blow smoke. I hate that bullshit.There isn't any freedom of expression issue here. Nobody is being prevented from expressing their opinion. God, the hysterical reaction is just as bad as the coalition of students' reaction to the original opinion pieces.
"In our view, the current leadership of The Herald has forthrightly owned that they caused harm and did not live up to the expectations of the Brown community."Who did "harm"? How is an article "harm"?
2:59,Look, if you don't like the word "inveigh against" given what they wrote, and is an hyperbole, fine. So it's something of an hyperbole. I'm not going to insist on the word -- though I will say that the ugliness of what they did say has to taken in the context of who they are -- high level college administrators -- and, for such people, their clear statement that the articles caused such harms that they should not have been published is about as strong language as any they are capable of institutionally. And nowhere did I say that they directly attacked the author -- just what she wrote. Yet certainly they couldn't fail to be aware of how their weighing in as they did might impact negatively on that author, leaving her twisting in the wind, as, indeed, it is clear that she has been. (Not exactly cool, I'd think, to do to an author who had already made it clear in previous contributions that she struggled mightily with social situations because she is, or least regards herself, as being on the autistic spectrum.)And you also claim that there's no freedom of expression issue here, when one the pieces has been removed, and the other has been vilified all around the campus, as well as disowned by the Herald?Do you even understand how the concept of freedom of expression is supposed to work?
The McGinn emails that are now coming out are pretty damning, IMO (and I say this as someone who was pretty sceptical at first).
Agreed. The only thing that could explain and excuse them, would be equally explicit emails from the accusing student. The complaint, of course, doesn't include any communication like that. The reply will, though. What a shitshow this will be.
Curiously, in the legal complaint (66 pages), the following facts are not disclosed. Morrison called McGinn "dearest", and wrote to McGinn,- "you have an incredibly sexy mind"- “Colin! My prehensive companion! How I miss you!”- “sending you virtual hugs,” - “I send you a hand squeeze,”Did not Wilhemena Black (Executive Director of the Office of Equality Administration, Miami) conclude, after looking at the evidence, that it was a "consensual romantic relationship"?
Indeed, 5:28. Comments like this from Morrison are crucial to interpreting what McGinn says. Without them, it all appears very damning for McGinn, but that could change once everything comes to light. Without all the evidence (emails from both McGinn AND Morrison), I don't understand how anyone could come to any firm conclusions about the situation. But, surprise surprise, many philosophers have already come to firm conclusions about the situation.
I can't believe you people are taking this line, unless you are actually McGinn. The HP account makes it clear that Morrison did not respond to some of the worst texts (eg 'I expect a hand job... I've got a slight erection') and emails (eg 'what about wearing shorts or a skirt one day...so I can actually see [your legs]'). In response to the notorious 'sex 3 times' email, she texted him 'I am in no mood to continue talking about our relationship. And I don't know what more you expect to come from an extended discussion...the past two days have made me feel increasingly uncomfortable with the situation.'Two days after she resigned as his research assistant, he emailed her saying 'you are much better off with my support than without it. So please think carefully about your actions.'I think the game is up.
One thing that is confirmed by this is that mutually beneficial quid pro quo relationships are a real possibility, despite repeated denials by the fems.
I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. That's really the take-home message for you of McGinn's disgusting texts and emails? Isn't his insinuation of quid pro quo likely to be exactly one of the things she is 'increasingly uncomfortable' about? How does 'I am in no mood to continue talking about our relationship' fit with a picture of her using the relationship for her own gain?
Without all the evidence (emails from both McGinn AND Morrison), I don't understand how anyone could come to any firm conclusions about the situation.This is an excellent example of the "due process culture" Ruth Chang is talking about. As far as the legal process goes, sure, you can't make a decision until all you have all of the evidence and the proper procedures have been followed. And I'm open to being wrong about McGinn and changing my mind later. But I'm not going to suspend judgment entirely about what McGinn's done pending that information. That's because I find it extremely unlikely that any further information about what the student said in her e-mails to McGinn is going to end up exculpating McGinn, given the information we already have about what he said to her and how she replied--or did not reply--to those messages.
I don't think there's a serious question of McGinn being fully exculpated here. There aren't many who think he didn't go beyond the bounds of what his role allowed. It's more of a question of just how much blame and punishment (formally or informally) he should receive.The problem with the feminist side of this is that it is, as always, regarded only in black and white -- if he did something wrong, then he must be effectively cast from the profession. It is the reaction of fanatics.And one thing that's obvious: we haven't heard from McGinn his side of the story at the comparable level of detail and argument as in the Morrison legal complaint.If you don't understand that we need to hear that side before we come to firm conclusions as to his exact blameworthiness and the exact level of proportionate punishment, then indeed the importance of due process is lost on you. You are simply allowing your own moral panic and hysteria to prevail over a sense of justice.
(New commentator) But we have heard McGinn's side--literally thousands of words. He's had more than enough airtime to explain himself.
No, we have not heard from McGinn in the level of detail and argument one would see in a legal brief, with full disclosure of all relevant emails and other documentation. He has printed a few emails/texts, but we certainly have no larger sense of the context.Really, are we supposed to believe the complaint written by Morrison's lawyer -- which couldn't be more obviously skewed to put Morrison in the best possible light -- at face value, and as presenting an entirely fair and balanced picture of what went on between McGinn and Morrison? Only a fanatic would believe that -- and a fanatic who had so little respect for the concept of due process that they thought that it would not be important to hear both sides of the story.
(I'm another new poster.) I, for one, was originally skeptical about McGinn being forced to resign, and suspected it was a PC overreaction. I think it's now clear that my original stance was incorrect. He behaved shamefully, regardless of what the student said or did, and deserved to lose his job.
10:08 again. I had this sort of thing in mind (From McGinn's blog, Jan 16):"there is all the difference in the world between a faculty member and a student having a romance in the context of an ongoing supervisory relationship and one not conducted in such a context...In my case, I was not the student’s supervisor, and not even her mentor..."And yet she was his ongoing personal RA and indeed he claims the relationship only soured after an "academic failure." Not in a supervisory relationship? These are his words, not her lawyers.
(Also new commenter here)And one thing that's obvious: we haven't heard from McGinn his side of the story at the comparable level of detail and argument as in the Morrison legal complaint.This is literally speaking true. However, we can also weigh the likelihood that the rest of the emails contain examples of Morrison behaving similarly to McGinn: As one does in a mutual, consensual relationship, is she writing to him about how she masturbates while thinking about him, asking him to come to their meetings with less clothes on, invitinhg him for sexual encounters, vaguely threatening that she won't do her work unless he gives her sexual favors (that's oddly a strange thing on either side of a truly consensual relationship). Is she ever agreeing to his suggestions? Is she ever doing anything beyond the equivocating that one might expect from an employee who wants to keep their job while hoping their boss will either get back on track on their own or take an obvious hint. It's possible that her emails will show parallel participation, but we haven't seen anything like that yet, and it seems, to me, wreckless of her lawyers to go forward with this if that evidence exists. So like others, I want to see the results of the full investigation, but I also consider this evidence fairly damning.... if he did something wrong, then he must be effectively cast from the profession This may well be the reaction and intention of some. But speaking as someone outside of philosophy, I think this perception is also colored by the fact that the job opportunities for professional philosophers are relatively limited. Imagine an engineering professor who did similar things with similar sanctions. That person could easily be now employed in a private sector firm or running their own consulting company. Perhaps the people who feel it is proper that McGinn be removed from his position at Miami just think he shouldn't be teaching anymore. Should philosophy students be more at risk than engineering students simply because it's harder for philosophers to find employment as philosophers outside the academy? (Obviously, I'm not saying anyone claims this, but i do think the philosophy employment situation makes it a far riskier move to violate your institution's policies)
10:08,What do you think your quote from McGinn proves? I have no idea what McGinn had in mind when he wrote those words, but I'd expect he'd have some account of them which kept them from being outright lies, even if that account was an absurd strain.But even if he's outright lying there, it doesn't entail that he (or his lawyer) wouldn't have something important to say in his defense against Morrison's complaint.People endowed with a sense of fairness seek to hear both sides of a story before they pass judgment. That is, at minimum, what due process entails.
You have no idea what he means? But, as he writes, his points are so elementary! I think it means he is saying something so obviously false that it seriously damages his credibility: We all know he was indeed in an "ongoing supervisory relationship" when he wrote those emails. By his own admission, this "makes all the difference in the world." This isn't a question of due process. These are his own statements on the matter of supervisory relationships. Let him choke on them.
"He behaved shamefully, regardless of what the student said or did, and deserved to lose his job."Excuse me, on what grounds does McGinn deserve to lose his job, especially regardless of what he student said or did?To begin with, this is, so far as we know, McGinn's first such offence. In any reasonable scheme of justice, that is a signficant factor in reducing punishment.And of course what the student said and did is relevant to the severity of the punishment. Normal people, not subjected to endless brainwashing on sexual harassment, realize that there are both very real cases in which, say, a male boss sexually harasses his female employee, but also cases in which female employees sexually manipulate their bosses to get favors they wouldn't otherwise receive. Normal people also realize that there are cases with some of both. We just don't know where this case falls. But if the student in this case actually was happy to humor McGinn, or even encourage him, on the prospect that he would grant her favors, that is an important component in how his actions should be judged and punished. Now of course most people in philosophy, and certainly virtually all feminists, will regard any overtly sexual suggestions on McGinn's part to be unforgivable, and worthy of the greatest punishment the profession can exact: being effectively cast out of philosophy. But that is just the moral panic talking. In the days of the daycare pedophilia panic, every even slightly off behavior by a daycare provider was damned as worthy of firing. Nowadays, the panic having mostly receded, we aren't so much inclined to go nuclear on any perceived infraction.And the important question here is: what real harm did Morrison suffer at McGinn's, well, hands? I don't mean the hysterical, "OMG he said something sexually suggestive!" sort of harm. I mean the real, concrete harm she endured by getting these texts? Did she suffer reprisals for not going along with his suggestions? Not so far as we know yet. If we can't take into account what that real harm might be, and must see it through the distorting lens of our current hysteria over sexual harassment, then how do we pretend to be upholding justice?
9:47, this is NOT an example that shows a problem with the 'due process culture'.You judge that McGinn's emails are not only suggestive, but are themselves so bad that there is no further explanation that could conceivably exonerate him in light of those emails. Fine: I agree with you. But that's not an example of abandoning due process. Rather, it's a case of FOLLOWING due process and then, once you've seen enough to be confident that nothing could exonerate McGinn, judging that he's guilty of wrongdoing.If you had merely heard an oft-repeated allegation, with no supporting evidence, that McGinn had acted improperly, and condemned McGinn in your mind and/or in conversation MERELY on the basis of that evidence, THAT would be an abandonment of the moral standards of due process. And it would be very bad. But that's not what's going on here.
When the allegations first came out, my credence was at .7 that McGinn has sexually harassed a student. When some of the correspondence was leaked and McGinn responded, it went up to .8 or so. After this, it's around .99. I think there's almost no chance that there was anything consensual. I expect McGinn to produce documents that show a scared young woman trying to keep her head above water in the midst of constant sexual harassment. I think there is a small chance that McGinn is delusional enough to think the relationship was consensual, but that his evidence all pointed to it not being so. And I am fine if delusional sexual predators are driven from the profession.It shouldn't matter, but I'm a white man.
There's a relevant distinction to be made here between predatory and clueless. McGinn seemed initially to fall into the latter category, which quickly turned into predatory when he disregarded the student's wishes and began the threats.https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/worked-work/201209/predatory-and-clueless-behavior-there-is-difference
Carth, this is black-and-white thinking. The objective evidence contains McGinn's randy and sexually provocative messages and Morrison's own messages, which are the crucial evidence. You need to prove, not merely assert, non-consensuality.So, given what you need to prove, please explain the meaning of - "you have an incredibly sexy mind", - “Colin! My prehensive companion! How I miss you!”,- “sending you virtual hugs”,- “I send you a hand squeeze”- and "I see no reason that we can't continue the beautiful and unique relationship that we have developed"?Why did Morrison say their relationship was "beautiful and unique" and why did she say "how I miss you"?
People, a relationship that starts out as consensual can become non-consensual. Seems to me that's most likely what happened here. There are also these stories about the woman not completing her RA work and so playing the harassment card, but then McGinn was a contemptible idiot for offering a quid pro quo and continuing to harass Morrison rather than distance himself from her. He probably hope that her academic failure would improve his negotiating hand, and that was a catastrophic misreading of both Morrison's position and the wider culture in the profession.
3:30 pm:I know that if someone told me that I have "an incredibly sexy mind" or that they missed me, my first response is to suggest to them that we have sex three times over the summer or that they give me a hand job or that they show up to my office in fewer clothes since I had only been able to see the outline of their body and not any actual skin.I also know that the only possible reason I would say something about a relationship being beautiful and unique is that it was actually beautiful and unique, and not because I felt uncomfortable or coerced somehow into saying it was beautiful and unique by someone who had previously suggested that I give them a hand job because I told them I missed them.
So why did Morrison say McGinn had an "incredibly sexy mind" and tell him "how I miss you"? Any ideas?
5:17, I'm with you, those are weird statements; but I don't think they amount to anything like sufficient evidence of consent.
I want to see Morrison's statements in context. As they stand, I'm with 5:23. If McGinn's statements were on par with those ones of Morrison, there would never have been a case in the first place.
@5:17 Because she thought it would placate him, because he was demanding it and she thought if I just give in and say what he wants me to say, a little, maybe that will be enough and things will be less awkward, because things are really awkward right now and HE'S MY BOSS/advisor!! I don't want things to be awkward!! Or there are a million other explanations. I don't see how any of this could possibly justify a professor texting a student about the erections he has when he thinks of her, or propositioning her for sex when she's indicated she's not interested. In other news, PHILOSOPHERS! Your opportunity to grandstand is here! For a limited time only, you can voice your indignation and signal your moral superiority to philosophers everywhere! Just head over to DN and say "I too stand with Monica Morrison, and I too will condescend to read her papers! Here is my email address and social security number and debit card pin." Act now!
I don't see how any of this could possibly justify a professor texting a student about the erections he has when he thinks of her, or propositioning her for sex when she's indicated she's not interested. This appears to beg the question. Morrison indicated she was interested by telling McGinn he had an "incredibly sexy mind" and writing to him "how I miss you".You emotionally disapprove of McGinn's randiness, which is fine. In this, I tend to agree. However, you are begging the question in not paying attention to both sides of the story.
6:52, did you mean to put a colon after the word "question" instead of a period in your second paragraph? Because you seem to be the one begging the question. How can you possibly know that Morrison was indicating interest by those statements, especially when (a) we have no context for them (b) they are equally compatible with other interpretations, and (c) there are other statements where she quite clearly tells him she is not interested.
It is not at all surprising to me that a student who was being pursued sexually by a professor would say such things as a way of keeping the peace. It shouldn't surprise anyone that a student would do this. If I said those things to a guy who was texting me about his erections that I met at a bar and never had to see again, that would be different, and it might indicate interest. But people like McGinn aren't stupid. They know that there's a professional cost to escaping from them and so they push the boundaries of awkwardness/decency to get the desired reaction. And from my (limited) knowledge of the case, the student often did quite a bit to indicate disinterest, and didn't respond to the more egregious texts and emails, or if she did, she indicated that she was not comfortable. I'm going to stop now, because this is all so very obvious and shouldn't have to be said.
A grown woman, who is being "pursued sexually", does not write "you have an incredibly sexy mind" and "how I miss you!".Yes, please stop, because your comments are obnoxious.
You know who's and what's really disgusting? Not McGinn's or his behavior, we can't draw any conclusions about that until we have all the evidence. No, Jaded Ph.D. and her blog post on the Smoker blog are disgusting for calling anyone who doesn't jump to conclusions on the basis of a partial presentation by shrewd lawyers "trolls". And the FPs and their stupid echo chamber blog are also due the tearing of a new one.
6:40 writes:"In other news, PHILOSOPHERS! Your opportunity to grandstand is here! For a limited time only, you can voice your indignation and signal your moral superiority to philosophers everywhere! Just head over to DN and say 'I too stand with Monica Morrison, and I too will condescend to read her papers! Here is my email address and social security number and debit card pin.' Act now!"Dear 6:40, today is your lucky day. I will condescend to read your cynical blog comments before you post them to the underbelly of the philososphere. Together we can shame the most junior members of our profession into never again publicly reaching out to those in need.Ben Bronnerben.firstname.lastname@example.org
Presumably, Ben, you "reach out to those in need" by sadistic abuse?
Welcome to the blog, Ben. I am sure you have never commented here before and only chose to read and respond today in order to defend one of the most junior members of our profession. Very commendable.
Nothing commendable for she doesn't need any help now that all the New Consensus idiots regard her as a hero. McGinn needs his job back, help him instead. Oh, and an honorary doctorate, please.
There is a distinction between believing you're helping and actually helping. The lawyers' naming Morrison, and pushing her into a court case, does not "help" her unless she wins. If she loses, it is reckless and harmful. At this stage, there is likely to be a motion to dismiss, containing information from McGinn and Erwin that the FP crowd will not want to be made public. This will not consist in 30 pages of compliments and pleasantries. it will be a legally prepared document. And a successful motion to dismiss opens the door to legal action by McGinn and Erwin.
MU are probably scared shitless of Title IX and so will give Morrison (and her lawyers) a massive settlement, just like in the Colorado case. Plus the NC crowd will now go out of their way to give Morrison a job. What a hero!
I'm asking this in all ignorance: since this is now a law case, does MU have the option of giving a massive settlement (as other universities have done in internal cases)? Is it like, eg a drug company being sued, that they can just settle out of court?
Yeah, Ben, we get it.We've already read The Little Red Book you're waving at us. We just don't think it was written by an Infallible Being.Signed,Running Dog of the Patriarchy.Address:Underbelly of Philosophere,Cynic Division
11:18– You don't understand the legal process. They could file a motion to dismiss! It would be a legally prepared document! It could be granted!... ok. and?A motion to dismiss is the automatic response of many lawyers. They may use one here for media reasons. But the purpose of a motion to dismiss is to argue that the case is legally invalid EVEN IF THE CLAIMS IN THE COMPLAINT ARE TRUE. If they fill it with "information from McGinn and Erwin that the FP crowd will not want to be made public," the case obviously needs to move on to discovery. 9:29– No one can unilaterally decide to settle out of court—a settlement is an *agreement* between the plaintiff and defendant. But yes, they can and probably eventually will try to settle.
5:28: from the suit: 183. President Shalala confirmed at the meeting that Defendant McGINN had done more than fail to report a consensual relationship. In response to a student’s question about potential harm to Plaintiff’s reputation as a result of the University’s ruling, President Shalala said “This is a very different situation than, than, a faculty member, which is against our rules, is romantically involved with a student. This is a much more serious case than that and I would not dismiss it.”
Would this be the same Professor Donna Shalala who worked for in the past - and now works for again - a certain William Jefferson Clinton, who had a romantic affair with Monica Lewinsky, and then lied about it? Prof Shalala's moral evaluations seem to fluctuate depending on who's paying her.
This is not a frivolous comment. Don't you think that Manspreading might be less an act of entitlement and more to do with fact that getting comfortable with various appendages means not keeping your legs together?
2:13,If that is indeed the problem, then one might think that, out of basic decency and courtesy, and in service of equality, men would remove those appendages.
Two thumbs up (but only the thumbs)
Give me a break. I've crossed my legs with appendages for years. I'm just less consumed by homosexual panic than dudes who think that crossing their legs means they're gay.
Some men's appendages are bigger than others'.Yes, I said that.
Re-posting from above, because this matters (not my post):And of course what the student said and did is relevant to the severity of the punishment. Normal people, not subjected to endless brainwashing on sexual harassment, realize that there are both very real cases in which, say, a male boss sexually harasses his female employee, but also cases in which female employees sexually manipulate their bosses to get favors they wouldn't otherwise receive. Normal people also realize that there are cases with some of both. We just don't know where this case falls. But if the student in this case actually was happy to humor McGinn, or even encourage him, on the prospect that he would grant her favors, that is an important component in how his actions should be judged and punished.
Compare and contrast the philosophy profession's conduct in various situations. For McGinn and Ludlow, there's hysteria and public vilification, concerning tangled and allegedly consensual relationships. But for Stubblefield, now convicted in a court of law of raping a disabled man, it's "incredibly complicated", and one must feel "empathy" for the convicted perpetrator, because it's "unbearably sad".The hysteria and bizarre doublethink here is breathtaking.
One explanation: Stubblefield got the conviction she deserved. If the sentence is a slap on the wrist and there is no outcry, that is a problem.McGinn is being sued precisely because the University sanction doesn't seem to fit the alleged infraction. The student alleged harassment and university let him resign with a completely different infraction.Ludlow's case is not as cut and dried as the others. I agree that much of the outcry was disproportionate to facts known at the time (I'm thinking largely of the uproar on NU campus about the undergraduate's case)
McGinn's "infraction" was a consensual relationship, involving mere email messages. Correct? For this minute issue, McGinn has had his whole life and career ruined, and he has been publicly called a "predator" and vilified on the basis of no evidence other than randy messages.In very sharp contrast, Ludlow has a reputation for serially fucking students. Let us be absolutely clear about this.
McGinn resigned, under pressure, in disgrace. There is nothing unusual about a "resign or likely be fired" decree. His being officially fired would have added no further "sanction": he was and is virtually unhireable.
One thing that I think may well be true in all three cases is that they each thought what they were doing was welcome. I don't think any of the cases are incredibly sad. More like incredibly pathetic.
I mainly agree, they really do seem to be similar in that way.One thing that makes the Stubblefield case sad, though, is her abandoned daughter. I honestly find that heart-rending.
I agree, the situation with Stubblefield's kid is sad.
Perhaps not as sad as you think. It could be the case that the estrangement from her father was due to the incident and the eventual divorce. Fathers can be good for daughters. Perhaps some extended time with her father is just what both this girl and her father need.
I agree. The daughter has her father, and the estrangement was probably caused by her feminist mother raping a disabled man and being convicted for it. So, it is probably what this girl needs.
And caused by this case or not, one definitely doesn't want to necessarily take one parent's word about their child's relationship to the other parent in a recent divorce. I know families in far less extreme circumstances where the parents are each absolutely delusional about the other when it comes to their child and the divorce. But I still think the daughter deserves sympathy. Being the child of criminal can't be easy, regardless of what comes later.
6:41 McGinn has the same reputation. I take it you haven' t been in this profession long. McGinn's behavior has been well known for a very long time
I also think McGinn may be delusional enough to think that the relationship was consensual. No reasonable person could have thought so, given what we currently know, but McGinn might have. He clearly has an overinflated sense of his own worth and desirability.This does not excuse him. And the reason should be obvious. Rape, murder, cannibalism, and the like are not excusable if the offender thinks (unjustifiably) that it is consensual.
McGinn has the same reputation.That is false.
Morrison tells McGinn "you have an incredibly sexy mind" and "how I miss you!", amongst other things. This is direct evidence of consensuality. Your repeatedly omitting the materially relevant facts, 5:35, does not help your cause.
My comment at 5:35 was my first. This is indeed evidence of consensuality, and is overwhelmingly defeated by mountains of evidence against consensuality. You don't serious think a sane person would have thought they had a consensual relationship?! Hundreds of messages and phone calls from McGinn, and, as far as we know, just a handful from Morrison, and only when McGinn demanded them.
5:47, without context, that is extremely weak evidence at best, especially, as 5:51 points out, with all the counter evidence. But that is so patently obvious that it's probably pointless to mention it. You must have some other reason for pretending that that should convince someone that the relationship was consensual.
McGinn should have read 'He's just not that into you.' If you call someone 30 times and manage to speak to them only once, and they're not an astronaut in training or serving in Iraq or something, then any sane person should realize that *they don't want a relationship with you*.
Plus, your default position, in absence of clear evidence to the contrary, should be that your employee and student doesn't want a relationship with you. The fact that they are being cordial and nice to you probably just means that they want to work with you. Just because you think of the job as a ruse to get together doesn't mean that your employee thinks that too.
There is no default position. McGinn made romantic/sexual overtures. The sole question that arises therefore is consent and reciprocal flirtation. Morrison did indeed respond with reciprocal flirtation, e.g., with "How I miss you!", "you have an incredibly sexy mind" and other comments (we have not been shown any others). These are not merely cordial, but evidence of consensuality. Wilhelmena Black seems to have drawn this conclusion based on reviewing all the material.So far, the McGinn Hysteria is running high. But this is not properly based on evidence and seeing the relevant response. And we have indeed seen evidence which to some extent contradicts Morrison's claims - evidence not disclosed in the legal complaint just filed.
Can anyone explain why Miami is being sued? The university seemed to moved quickly to get rid of McGinn, regardless of whether Morrison thinks her sexual harassment claims were "fully investigated." Also, it continues to be unclear how Miami could have stopped McGinn's "retaliation" when he was already on his way out of the university. (The harassment charge against McGinn and the "retaliation" charge against Erwin are not hard to understand, whatever their merits.)
That's easy. Olivarius, $$$ and political prestige.
There's several things, including... 1) Not notifying her that she could switch to a formal complaint process at any time, as explicitly required by Title IX. They pursued it as an informal complaint, but she says they never explained that there were two kinds of complaints or notified her that they were treating it informally, much less told her that she could change that. 2) Not notifying her that she could file a criminal complaint,3) Failing to allow her to present witnesses and evidence, as required by Title IX,4) Failing to keep her in the loop with how the investigation was progressing, as required by Title IX,5) Failing to protect her from retaliation. Their agreement with McGinn did not include any requirements that he not disclose confidential information or make derogatory statements about her or her complaint... We're all familiar with the result. This seems like a huge and obvious fuckup.
What's needed is moratorium on the word "troll". It has come to mean "someone that I disagree with (or feel it wouldn't be expedient to agree with) and want to malign without argument". Looking at you, Philosophy Smoker.
Yeah, functionally it's similar to Protevi's "this is not a seminar room" cop-out.
Here's some advice if you're an older professor developing a charged and flirtatious friendship with a cute graduate student in your department. Don't put any flirtatious stuff in writing! Certainly not stuff about erections. No emails, no texts, no handwritten letters. Isn't this painfully obvious?
On a completely different note:The guest posting at Leiter's blog is cool, but why doesn't Machery open comments? Not cool.
Also, I'm in favor of more philosophy of science at philosophy conferences but not in favor of more x-phi. Jesus, who wants to sit through a fucking talk about the results of polls?
(I'm 5:37) That's my feeling too, 2:08.Also, Machery is just wrong. By my count there are three philosophy of science sessions on the main program. (Maybe he doesn't count philosophy of cog sci as philosophy of sci? Maybe he doesn't count the computation session?)In any case, his "drop the mic" style is... off-putting.
I wish LR would open comments on things the way DN does.
Edouard Machery is a great example of an emperor with no clothes, or as the French call it, a parvenu. He tells people that he does 'naturalistic' philosophy, which is like the natural sciences, but it turns out by 'natural sciences' he means social psychology!To make matters worse his surveys are consistently flawed, as people have kept pointing out.So how does he do it? How does someone with almost nothing to say get to have such an outsized influence on the profession?The answer is charm. Next time you meet him, watch as he deals with disagreement and criticism. He is always really, really nice and fluffy and kind. He even seems excited to hear the criticism. Then he leaves and never takes the criticism into account, which shows what he really thought about it.Watch him. It will be a great learning experience.
I just wasted over an hour of my time watching a lecture Machery gave on "Are Races Biologically Real?"How do you lecture on such a topic in 2013, go on and on about Lewontin's arguments from the 70s, and not deal with Lewontin's Fallacy? And how do you not mention and address the many studies since that manage to distinguish the folk races quite effectively? This is the guy who wishes philosophers would take science more seriously? Shouldn't he give it a shot first?
"She claimed the case highlighted a sexist culture in British universities where it became acceptable for older male professors to sleep with younger graduate students."Here's looking at you Oxford...
From the lawyers' suit:"124. On April 23, 2013, Defendant ERWIN called Plaintiff, who was a student in one of his classes, into his office. He established an intimidating tone by instructing the Plaintiff that he would do the talking and she “need not say anything.” Defendant ERWIN then demanded to know what she had “done” to Defendant McGINN. He asserted to the Plaintiff that that she had “ruined [Defendant McGINN’s] career” and asked “do you even know what sexual harassment is?” Contrary to his statements to third parties that Plaintiff had never made an allegation of sexual harassment against Defendant McGINN, Defendant ERWIN hereby acknowledged to Plaintiff that he knew her complaint against Defendant McGINN had been one of sexual harassment. Defendant ERWIN threatened Plaintiff, stating that her reputation and future career were in jeopardy, that Defendant McGINN had powerful friends and that Plaintiff “would never be able to make a career in philosophy if she did not apologize to him.” Plaintiff left this meeting feeling bullied by Defendant ERWIN, someone she had previously considered an ally and trusted member of staff. In tears, she ran out of his office and out of the building."
Erwin's response to Olivarius will be an interesting thing to read.
I wonder how much of the email correspondence Erwin was familiar with before he decided to champion McGinn. Wouldn't be surprised if the answer is "none"
I don't really care about McGinn's consensual relationship with her, but if this incident really happened, well, then it's worse than what Stubblefield did. This is so sick.I still get a slight erection from thinking about alternative endings, though. But she didn't want to be Erwin's sub, apparently. LOL.
6:40 please take your fucking meds lol
Miami are probably scared shitless of Title IX and so will give Morrison (and her lawyers) a massive settlement, just like in the Colorado case. Plus the NC crowd will now go out of their way to give Morrison a job. What a HERO!
Of course not. Colorado occurred in secret, and that is where cowardice looms. This is a court case. Some people are going to look bad after this (if it isn't dismissed), but not who you think.
Sorry, I think we can drop the point scoring on this one. Whichever 'crowd', NC or otherwise, this was pretty unforgivable. Sure, wait for McGinn's response by all means. But if these documents accurately reflect the eventual record, which we have every reason to believe they will, then this really was a sustained campaign of harassment.
Yes it was. Both McGinn and the subsequent attempted hushing were horrible (I'm 8:50). But given the likely outcome, which was amply foreseeable, I still wouldn't call Morrison a hero. And I'm sick of all the people jumping on this bandwagon to prove their New Consensus credentials. This trick isn't even going to work that much any more. The early NC slots were the most valuable ones, and the Schliessers of this world have already cleaned those up. Lucky bastards.
I don't know if hero is the right word, but speaking up often does come with significant cost, hugely among that is disruption of your education and loss of professional community. I don't think there's anything at all wrong in people stepping up to help with that, but I don't think social media is close to the best way to do it. Better would be if departments would put measures in place.
"...then this really was a sustained campaign of harassment"Yes, and it looks plausible that it was planned that way, based on the timeline. The research assistant job offer was extended on Dec. 12, after she was in his class for that fall semester. By Dec. 19th he's emailing her daily and by the end of the month he's saying she owes him unlimited hand strokes for abandoning him over Christmas. Unless I'm missing something, that looks like he, at least, was wanting something beyond a professional relationship from the beginning and possibly extending the job offer on purpose to have access.
"Some people are going to look bad after this (if it isn't dismissed)"uh why would it be dismissed
I'm not 8:59, but cases are dismissed when the facts, as alleged by the plaintiff, are insufficient to establish the plaintiff's claim. (I know you may be familiar with this and may just be incredulous that this would occur in this case; I'm not familiar enough with what the plaintiff is actually suing for and seeking to have an opinion on that.)
I wonder what you guys would think about this thought. This is that one of the real problems here is not so much sexual harassment (though obviously that's terrible) but the utter vulnerability of graduate students in the profession. There is not very much economic stability, you're often as the mercy of the caprices of individual faculty or intra-faculty politics, you're unsure whether you're going to get a job at the end of it. Sexual harassment wouldn't be nearly so devastating if it were easier for students to drop an advisor or change programs.
Absolutely. Personal case in point: three years into my grad program, both of the people I came to study with and looked to as potential advisors went away on sabbatical and never came back. I managed to make it work, but it was definitely not what I thought I was signing up for. Harassment is horrible, but it's made much worse (at least faculty-grad student types) by this structure. It makes it easier for faculty to pressure students into silence, and it greatly exacerbates the consequences. And the fall out can greatly disrupt the research of other students.
Hear, hear, 10:03. I had an absolutely horrible relationship with my director of graduate studies and his friend, my absentee advisor. It was years of hellishness and insecurity. Others in my program were driven to alcoholism or divorce by what was going on. We were completely at the mercy of these people if we wanted to keep pursuing a career in the profession. And yet none of it had anything to do with sexual harassment, so the problems were invisible. Certainly, the dean of graduate studies did absolutely nothing to ameliorate the situation for us or many in other departments who were getting royally exploited and fucked around. And they didn't have to, because there's no spotlight on exploitation in general: just on sexual harassment or sexist or racist or anti-gay comments.
This is important stuff, and one reason why I love the PMMB, warts and all. The problem is not harassment per se, but the weakness of grad students in a profession where far too much weight is attached to the opinions of a few senior philosophers and their arbitrary bestowing of opportunities onto junior people. If the New Consensus crowd are serious about equality they should be tackling these sorts of issues. Much of the sexism problem would go away if a harassed grad student could just tell a creepy prof. to fuck off without fearing the consequences.
This is worth emphasising. Sexual harassment is truly dreadful, but it is part of a wider phenomenon of bullying, exploitation, and generally acting out with impunity. I've seen it up close at two different departments, and I think those psychological horrorshows have given me a certain amount of insight into what's so especially bad about sexual harassment: I think of it as: 'like that, but with a massive extra sleaze factor'.The root of the wider phenomenon is exactly the problem that makes sexual harassment possible: the essentially feudal nature of management structures, not just in academia but across the board. There are all kinds of implicit and even explicit threats that can deter blowing the whistle or going over the bad actor's head, not to mention the common likelihood that others will be too cowardly to do anything anyway, so there's enormous scope for victims being isolated for long periods in psychologically very damaging ways. The cases I've experienced have been overdue (for me) lessons in the dark side of human nature. I think the villains themselves might even sometimes be amazed in retrospect that they so completely succumbed to the temptation to abuse their power, and at the ingenuity with which they convinced themselves they were doing nothing out of line. Incidentally, check out this anonymous comment from the DN thread:Has anyone suggested drafting an open letter in support of Monica, that lots of people can sign? I imagine it might be both helpful and meaningful to have what would doubtless be a long and inspiring list of names collected in one place, in a focused and quasi-official capacity.Is it just me, or does that look slightly overdone, in a way that makes one suspect the author is trolling?
I submitted the following comment to that DN thread. It was rejected, even though it only puts together sentiments that were already mentioned on the thread by approved figures. Huh."I love the idea of rallying around/compensating/rewarding people who stand up to sexual harassment by offering them feedback on their written work and baked goods. Why don’t we get organized and do this for more accusers? I’m sure that if we divide the labor appropriately, we can make sure that everyone in a position similar to Monica’s gets similar support."We’d need a moderator or two to administer this, but it wouldn’t take much time. Anyone who makes a public accusation of sexual harassment against any philosopher AND brings a lawsuit against the university and/or the harasser gets feedback AND baked goods. Anyone who publicly accuses someone of sexual harassment or otherwise leaks a sexual harassment story OR who brings a lawsuit, but not both, gets feedback OR baked goods, but not both. Shouldn’t be too hard to organize if we’re serious about it."
1.27 again: Part of my point is that in some respects junior faculty are just as vulnerable as grad students, or even more so.
10:03:I agree with you: present economic insecurity combined with tenuous job prospects puts grad students in a situation that is so stressful they often put up with far more bullshit than they should. Nevertheless, I don't think we should paint a picture of grad student life in which poor vulnerable children are, at turns, preyed upon and ignored by their advisers. These students are adults who can and should tell faculty who are mistreating them to fuck off. If they are incapable of doing so, I suggest that at least part of the reason is because they're far too psychologically invested in "being a philosopher." I've said this on here before, but its worth saying again in this context: if you don't have a life outside philosophical circles you are setting yourself up for disappointment, burnout, victimization, etc. Moreover, if you can't see yourself doing anything else career-wise, that's not a sign you are a "genuine lover of wisdom." Rather, it's a sign that you are unimaginative or psychologically unstable. Indeed, I'd have left long ago if I found myself in a position where my professional prospects were dependent upon with the approval of some exploitative SOB. The exploiters in our discipline hold power over those they exploit only insofar as the exploited desperately seek their approval (or the status, jobs, publications, etc that come with that approval). If the exploited were to stop seeking such approval and just go do something else, perhaps after throwing a few punches (literally or figuratively), I suspect we'd have a healthier academic culture in the end.
10:03 here.1:27/1:47: That's probably very true. I don't quite understand the way that power flows in the discipline. I just know that it seems like some people have far too much of it, and many people have essentially none. I see a lot of exploitation and bullying, economic and otherwise. I worry that all the moral posturing about the McGinn case (which is awful, no doubt about it) is also a distraction from the more serious structural inequities that enable this sort of behavior.In two departments I was in, there were a couple 'bad actors' who were powerful seniors figures. In both departments, they wreaked a lot of havoc for a lot of people who couldn't do very much about it.
10:03 here.1:55: I don't disagree with you. I wish more people were willing to throw some punches and walk away. When I decided to continue on in the discipline, I promised myself that if I ever found myself in a really exploitative situation, I wouldn't endure it. I would walk away. Life is too short.That said, I think I'm unusual in that regard. And for better or worse, I've seen a lot of women told to stick around because "the field needs more women in XYZ subfield." Bullshit. The field doesn't care about you, why you should give anything to the field.
What 1:27 above said, doubled: "This is worth emphasising. Sexual harassment is truly dreadful, but it is part of a wider phenomenon of bullying, exploitation, and generally acting out with impunity. I've seen it up close at two different departments, and I think those psychological horrorshows have given me a certain amount of insight into what's so especially bad about sexual harassment: I think of it as: 'like that, but with a massive extra sleaze factor'."The root of the wider phenomenon is exactly the problem that makes sexual harassment possible: the essentially feudal nature of management structures, not just in academia but across the board. There are all kinds of implicit and even explicit threats that can deter blowing the whistle or going over the bad actor's head, not to mention the common likelihood that others will be too cowardly to do anything anyway, so there's enormous scope for victims being isolated for long periods in psychologically very damaging ways."The cases I've experienced have been overdue (for me) lessons in the dark side of human nature."
As serious as this case is, McGinn's ineptitude at writing seductive notes ("Oh reader!") is hilarious.
That's partly because he's imitating Humbert Humbert from Lolita, and doesn't apparently realize what a pathetic laughingstock that character is.(Although I've never really been able to convince myself when reading it that Nabokov fully realizes it it, either.)
i know i know -- my favorite is when he signs off as "Colin of Sherwood". I would not have known what to do if i were her.
I don't know, maybe just start bcc'ing the whole correspondence to the chair, a trusted prof and McGinn's wifeJ/k, but it would be tempting.
"the utter vulnerability of graduate students in the profession." This seems like a serious issue to me too. It's so much easier to protect undergrads because they're less dependent on the good will of particular faculty. But a job applicant needs a strong letter; a coded weak letter ("X is a pretty good candidate") will sink you, and no letter at all will raise questions about why there isn't a letter from the relevant expert. Good luck fixing those with policies.
Wow, is Jaded PhD (at the Smoker) ever a worthless sack of shit.What a garbage move, opening a thread, making a straw man pronouncement on it, and then sanctimoniously closing comments before anyone can respond and strutting around boasting about it.And what's the straw man attack? It's an attack on the *one goddamn thing* that philosophers should be making an example of: being careful before rushing to judgment. Jaded caricatures doing that, i.e. being philosophical, as insisting on all possible evidence being in before making a judgment (which is not what we're saying) and then, after turning his back on the most rock-bottom fundamental principle of being a philosopher, cuts off comments in a way that shows utter contempt for philosophical practice and the value of free discussion.And this is by a philosophy PhD.On a philosophy blog.I want to throw up.
Didn't realize Philosophy Smoker still existed. Judging from the number of comments, I'm not the only one.
"Ludlow has a reputation for serially fucking students. Let us be absolutely clear about this."Let's also be clear about another thing. Ludlow is a very attractive man. He is handsome. He is smart. He is high status. He is or at least was well-to-do, with a nice car and nice apartment in Chicago. He has been famous worldwide for a long time, both for philosophy and for his involvement with cyberanarchism and his public support for Wikileaks.Ludlow is the kind of man that women dream about. It's no mistery that they sleep with him. Most of us aren't like that, but our jealousy is no justification for vindictive castration.Philosophers are supposed to be civilized, they're not supposed to act like a mob of jealous peasants from the Middle Ages.
Ludlow is the kind of man that women dream about.Is this a joke?
http://i.ytimg.com/vi/Yth2Iih-P14/maxresdefault.jpgOh my god, what a dreamboat. Hide your daughters! Hide your girlfriends! I showed a girl this picture while I was on a date and she became sexually ravenous. And when I told her he was a cyberanarchist! Why, that's almost like some sort of tech nerd... political nerd... combination... thing! Like a pirate, but fucking boring. Let me tell you, that girl was ready to go after I told her all about Peter Ludlow.
No, this is not a joke. Women aren't men. Most men are attracted primarily by youth and beauty. Ludlow obviously is not young and beautiful, but that doesn't matter. He has/had a high social status, a nice apartment in a nice part of town, fame, fortune, glory, wit, intelligence, social skills (at least more than most of us).
You don't need any of those things if you have a tiny amount of balls.
Or a huge amount of COCK
"Oh my god, what a dreamboat."Laugh all you want, but he's handsome enough for a man his age and in his social position. Remember that most straight women are attracted by different things than most straight men."Like a pirate, but fucking boring."It doesn't matter if it's boring. Philosophy is also boring, but it's not like he talks about encryption algorithms or generativism on dates. The important thing is that these things brought him fame and made him influential.
I have a hard time imagining anyone thinking this outside of Ludlow himself.
Quality over quantity, a lesson that Ludlow surely could have learned.
"I have a hard time imagining anyone thinking this outside of Ludlow himself."That's nice to know, but all the women in his life would disagree with you.
"Quality over quantity, a lesson that Ludlow surely could have learned."I agree there. His mistake was when he went on a date with a mentally ill woman. He realized she was mentally unhealthy and he didn't sleep with her. (As the rule says, 'don't stick your dick in crazy') But it was too late and she still destroyed his life eventually.
Are you talking about the undergraduate or the graduate student? They both caused some damage.
I'm talking about the undergraduate. The graduate student was mostly forced to cause the damage by her adviser Jennifer Lackey, and Lackey was apparently 'triggered' by the undergraduate's accusations.
I'll bite, even though I find it slightly rich to be lectured about elevating the standards of philosophical discourse by someone calling me a “worthless sack of shit.” First, I'll admit that "trolls" was over the top as others in the thread have pointed out. Mea culpa. Second, I don't think I have an obligation stemming from being a philosopher to provide a forum for people to opine on the Smoker; especially when this, now more prominent site exists.Third, I don't think I'm necessarily strawmanning the position I've been seeing here, though I didn't put it very carefully and maybe I was a bit rude. Here's what I was thinking: Evidence for any empirical claim is always going to be incomplete; that's just how induction works. At some point, we're going to have to make a decision about what sort of evidence matters, why it matters, and if it is going to be enough for us to adopt a certain attitude towards it, whether that be assigning a numerical probability to the belief, tentatively accepting it, etc. Following some of those working on more social accounts of empirical knowledge, I think these sorts of decisions are made against certain background beliefs and values.In this case, I think the background beliefs and values against which the calls to wait for more evidence are coming are wrongheaded. I think it's mistaken to think that, for example, someone saying "you have a sexy mind" would justify any of McGinn's responses. I find it difficult to think of evidence that could come to light that would justify the level of sustained sexual e-mailing, texting, etc. documented in the lawsuit. You can, after all, harass even those who might have been friendly/romantic towards you in the past (though I'm not saying that's what happened here). Perhaps this is a point of disagreement at the level of background beliefs: I think it very plausible that harassment can happen even among consenting adults; others might not.I think that reserving judgment not only reveals implausible beliefs about the possibility that McGinn's behavior could be justified, but it also reveals a certain lack of imagination regarding why the plaintiff might have said the things she said. This is the tension I point out in my snarky comment: A willingness to imagine all the scenarios/evidence that might explain McGinn’s behavior, but an unwillingness to imagine all the scenarios/evidence that might explain certain parts of the plaintiff’s behavior. (To be cont.)
In some sense, I think a lot of the disagreement boils down to background beliefs: Some might believe false charges of harassment are rampant or that people have very good reasons to make false accusations; others that we don’t do enough to support victims of harassment and that accusations of harassment are difficult to make and that the person making them incurs a lot of costs. Related to these beliefs are certain values: False positives when it comes to charges of harassment should be scrupulously avoided given the harms attendant to it. Failing to support possible victims of harassment should be scrupulously avoided given the harms attendant to it. It might be hard, in many cases, to adopt both sorts of values/attitudes.But, perhaps there’s a middle ground somewhere between these two positions in which we simply wait for more evidence and not reserve judgment. But I don’t think it would be a value-neutral position or one that is itself not informed by certain background beliefs and values. And, even then, I think a neutral position would involve not saying anything at all online, instead of rushing to have a discussion about it. So, anyway, given what I think is a plausible view about the sorts of evidence that I think could justify McGinn’s behavior (practically none), given my beliefs/values about the importance of supporting prima facie victims of harassment, and given the costs I think accusers incur by going public, I’ve tossed my hat in the ring where I have. Others haven't and, no matter our disagreement, I could've been less of a dick. Rest assured, it's not just sanctimony behind my views.
Jaded,I'm one of the many other people you've strawmanned. You don't seem to realize how you've done it.Speaking personally, I was neutral about whether McGinn was guilty at first. People make accusations, some true, some false. Then I read McGinn's response. Now I've seen some of the emails he sent (at least, I find it hard to believe his accuser and her lawyer would allege that he sent those emails if they didn't have very good evidence that he did). Before I read them I thought McGinn had definitely done something wrong, but I wasn't entirely sure if it was consensual or not (I hold that it's wrong for a supervisor and supervisee to be in even a consensual, non-reported relationship). From the emails I've now seen, I can see that there's really not much to be said on McGinn's side to exonerate him. What he did was much worse than what he claims to have done, which was merely to fail to report. Rather, he seems to have repeatedly tried to pressure someone over whose life he had considerable power into a sexual relationship, or at least one in which he could make her very uncomfortable with his ongoing sexual comments and there wasn't much she could have done about it. I think that's really bad, and while I'm open to what he has to say for himself, I feel very comfortable at this point defeasibly deciding that the guy is worse than a jerk and that the profession is better off without him. And my sympathy goes out to the woman who had to deal with this, and to any others.Jaded, I'm one of the people who think that many of the self-righteous crusades on the part of the feminists is dangerous and hurtful. And I think it's a travesty to rush to judgement or to trust people's mere accusations. I also think that joining into a noisy group to try to mete out justice is a risky and ugly undertaking and uncalled-for here.But I'm not a defender of sexual harassment at all, and I'm not motivated by a desire to get guilty people off the hook. As you can see, I have no problem at all forming judgments that people are guilty, once the evidence is in. Nor do I have a problem saying that people who have acted as it seems clear that McGinn has acted ought to be removed from positions in which they can treat people like he did.This is the straw man you've committed, Jaded. You present the issue as though there are two types of people: those who would rush to judgment and dogpile on the accused before any evidence is in, and who want to turn our lives into a non-stop festival of anti-harassment measures, and those who cynically pretend to be interested in reaching sober judgments and just doing philosophy but who are, as you portray us, at rock bottom nothing more than sophists trying to maintain a status quo in which harassers go scot-free and women suffer in silence.But what you're missing, Jaded, is that most of us are not like that. Most of us are sincere and decent people who hate harassment and want it to stop, but don't want to join in a witch hunt with you and the other new consensus folks, and don't want to engage in a moral panic in which sexual harassment is seen everywhere and is elevated to far greater importance than many other things that are equally harmful. And we don't want to abandon due process, because we have learned our lessons from every other moral panic in the history of the world and see where that leads.Please make sure you don't neglect us. We're the interlocutors you need to be engaging with. Thanks.
I don't think you're strawmanning, Jaded. (Whether you've strawmanned 6:44, I don't know - but then to know that, we'd have to know whether you specifically intended your description to be a description of 6:44's views).But in any case, I have seen an awful lot of comments that say things like "we have to wait for all the evidence" before we make a judgment, and things like that we shouldn't believe that it was harassment just in case there is an explanation consistent with the facts that isn't harassment. And I think it is strange because we don't apply these standards in other situations. We don't usually wait for *all* the evidence to make a judgment - this would be an unusually high standard - we make judgements about whether something happened or not if we think we have sufficient evidence all the time. And not even in court is the standard 'don't find someone guilty unless there is no possible explanation consistent with the facts according to which the person is not guilty."
7:26, we're very familiar with who you are and you yourself routinely engage in these straw man attacks against us.And yes, they are straw man attacks. One version of the straw man fallacy is to attack the argumentatively weakest or most extreme version of a position as though it were the entire position. It's immaterial whether anyone on this blog has actually held the position you claim they hold, 7:26 -- the position that you can never make *any* judgment about anyone until *all possible evidence* is in, or that we should not make a judgment against someone so long as there is *any logically coherent interpretation of the facts whatsoever, no matter how implausible*, in which the person is innocent. I have never seen anyone say that here, but there is at least one particularly stupid idiot, namely you, 7:26, who keeps saying that others are saying that. But even if there were such a person, that is not what most of us are saying and the attack is a straw man.
I think "we're" familiar with the fact that you're a dick, 7:38. Your own post is full of hysterical strawmanning. And now you're falling back on the 'paint all those who disagree with me as one person, while pretending that 'we' (because I clearly speak for lots of people) have reached a consensus on this" topped off with a personal insult. Your strategies are both pathetic and obvious. If you were, as you say, "the interlocutors you (jaded) need to be engaging with" you would quit pulling these obviously cheap moves.
Hi, 11:16. I'm not pulling the straw man move you claim. I'm addressing two specific people: Jaded, and you (if you're 7:26, as I believe). You haven't made clear how you think I've distorted or misrepresented your views, and uncharitable distortion or misrepresentation of the interlocutor's moves is exactly what the straw man attack consists in. You're just babbling. If you have a case to make, then make it. Don't just throw around terms meaninglessly like an idiot.Do it right now. Show where I -- that is, 6:44 and 7:38 -- have misrepresented your views or Jaded's. Show what I've said, and compare it to what you've said. You've said that "I'm guilty of hysterical strawmanning." Prove it or take it back.You also present me as saying that several of us have "reached a consensus" on the issue of presumptive innocence. Yes, most intelligent and thoughtful people realize that a mere accusation should not be sufficient for condemning people, and I routinely see people who are not me on the Metametablog saying that. But I defy you, right now, to go through either of the posts I've made here (again, 6:44 and 7:38) and show where I've said that there has been a discussion about this that has 'reached a consensus'. Go on. I dare you. Actually, go through all the posts anyone's written. Has anyone here ever said anything about our having "reached a consensus" on the Metametablog (as opposed to many of us undersstanding from before about how basic morality works in practice) about presuming innocence and exactly what it means? Go on. Show us where. Here's your chance. Prove that you aren't just full of shit. Cite a specific place where anyone said it for 10% credit, but cite a particular place where I ( 6:44 and 7:38) said it to get yourself off the hook of being a bullshit artist.
Continuing from 4:45am:Have I assumed that you are identical with everyone who routinely and wildly distorts what people are saying no matter how patiently the rest of us try to explain, re-explain, and then break down and explain for a tenth time in the simplest possible terms what we are actually saying, but never to any avail? Yes. I've assumed that there is only one person on the Metametablog who is so utterly stupid (or perhaps just trolling us) who could look at what we're saying and think that we all (or even one of us) is committed to the view that we cannot reach any moral judgment to any degree of confidence whatsoever until we've seen every possible scrap of evidence that relates in any way to an issue and there remains even one logically possible explanation of that totality of evidence that exonerates the accused person. The fact that this is not what I and, it seems, many other people here are saying should have been breathtakingly obvious, but moreover we (I and at least one other person, but apparently many) spent hours and hours trying to clear up to some complete shithead who was utterly impervious to learning (perhaps more than one complete shithead who was equally stupid was involved, or perhaps a troll), all to no effect, about a week ago. And now we're hearing the same bullshit again from you, 7:26/11:16. Is it possible that there are many of you, all different, and all so fucking stupid that you can't get this simple, simple concept through your thick skulls? Yes, it is. But given how extreme a form of idiocy it is, and given that throughout the history of the Metablog and the Metametablog there has always been someone or some group of people making comments exactly like this on this and other issues, and that always wildly distort whatever most people are saying and never, ever deviate from that wild distortion no matter how much time others of us try to reason with this person and ask for specific places where such wildly extreme things were actually said, the more charitable interpretation by far is to think that there is just one fucking imbecile who haunts the blog and never learns a single thing about anything, including paying attention to what people are saying, and just refuses to leave for some reason. Because if there were two people on the same blog who are routinely that stupid and pig-headed, then the position these people adopt would come off in a much worse light. But hey, if the new consensus side is really so fucked up that there are several people that incapable of basic thinking and listening, I'm fine with that. It only hurts your cause.The only place where your comment is on the money is where you say I've personally insulted you. I have. I've called you an idiot. And you are an idiot, for all the reasons I've mentioned. But that's not a straw man move. It's actually something you've deserved.Now, the very next comment you post here -- the very next one -- should show EXACTLY where I -- that is, again, 6:44 and 7:38 -- have misrepresented or distorted something that you or Jaded said. Show us. Show where it was done 'hysterically'. Give an exact quote. Then show where, exactly, I claimed that I and many others had "reached a consensus" (that is, arrived at a common position through discussion) on the presumptive innocence issue. You clearly say in your comment at 11:16 that I've done both these things. You're lying. Yeah, that's an insult. If you think I'm wrong, then prove it. Show that I really did the things you accuse me of doing. Or stick a cork in it.
"Or stick a cork in it." Great, so either way you win - I either spend a ton of time explaining exactly where you strawmanned views (I'll give you a hint: you used 'we' to refer to a a belief that 'we' apparently had that was not the issue you keep going on about the consensus. You also mentioned those "who want to turn our lives into a non-stop festival of anti-harassment measures") or I shut up and you think you've "won", right? Fine. I'm not going to keep explaining things to someone who deliberately misrepresents, insults, assumes things without license, and appears not to be able to read. You can 'win' this one. Congratu-fucking-lations.
In other words, 5:30, you've been caught red-handed once again in the act of wildly and routinely misrepresenting others, and when given the opportunity to back yourself up, AS ALWAYS, you are a dishonest enough piece of shit to try to turn your utter failure to engage in serious dialogue into an opportunity for trying to portray yourself as a victim of an unreasonable demand by sarcastically 'congratulating' whoever calls you on your bullshit at the time.Unlike us, you don't need to "spend a ton of time explaining exactly where [I] strawmanned views". You have been asked to do exactly one, simple thing: provide any piece of evidence whatsoever that we actually hold the views that you say we hold. That's not an invitation to use your regular technique of latching on to the name of whatever fallacy you've just been (rightly) accused of and, without any comprehension of what that fallacy is, accusing your accuser of using the same fallacy instead. It's very, very, very simple: you were clearly just asked to provide a quote from one of two very recent emails you said claimed something, in order to support the claim you made. AND YOU HAVE FAILED TO DO THAT VERY SIMPLE THING. You're not even trying, because you know you're absolutely full of shit. You're running your mouth here and using words indiscriminately, but they mean nothing to you and you don't care if they're true or false.Please submit a photograph of yourself to Harry Frankfurt, so that he can get it on the cover of the next edition of _Bullshit_. What you do here, day in and day out, is the very definition of what he is talking about.You are the poster child of bullshit, and you are a horrible human being for what you constantly do to derail serious discussions here. Fuck you.
I second that, 5:30. You are easily identifiable, and you have routinely shown yourself to be impervious to learning and unwilling to shoulder your argumentative burdens. You really need to shape up.
Thirded. 5:30 is a nuisance and has long been a black eye on the Metametablog. Take this as an intervention, 5:30. Shape up or ship out.
5:59, you might want to spend some time reading before ranting and pretending to be three different people. She fucking quoted you: presenting an absurd caricature of your opponents views.
Here is a modest proposal. Since we are all anonymous anyway, nobody will be held accountable for anything they say here. So stop trying to do so in the very limited way you can given the circumstances. Substantive discussions here are constantly overtaken by discussions about misrepresentation and charity and so on. If you feel someone has misrepresented you, simply say how they should have interpreted you instead. If you feel someone is changing their tack, simply let them; you have won when it comes to the view you really dislike. If you are referring to someone's signed works, or talking about the views, behaviors, and motivations of a larger group, that is a different story, of course.
I'm 6:32, but not the other people. But to the point: WHERE is the quote of any of her interlocutors "presenting an absurd caricature of [his or her] opponents [sic] views"?What's the quote? Let's have it.
8:16, the problem is that on the other blogs, people dishonestly (or ignorantly) make it seem that anyone who is not on board with some very socially odious policies is a misogynist and committed to false and harmful beliefs and attitudes. That is completely false, but we're typically blocked from demonstrating that on Daily Nous, Feminist Philosophers, the Smoker, etc. THIS is the reason why we're here: to say and fairly discuss the things that can't be said anywhere else, and to reveal the duplicity of the other bloggers. Sometimes, we've made progress and they've at least acknowledged the existence of viewpoints that they never came within miles of even mentioning when they controlled the philosophy blogosphere and could utterly silence dissenting voices. So to have one (or maybe more) of these people habitually jump in to our discussions, saying over and over again that we're all a bunch of misogynists, or that we refuse to consider anyone guilty of harassment unless absolutely every shred of evidence is in and the possibility of innocence is ruled out with an airtight logical argument, and other such bullshit, and then refuse to admit when (s)he is clearly making up bullshit, is really harmful to what we're trying to do. It's also very harmful to the integrity of the whole profession. Now when people come here, they have to wade through pages and pages of this IDIOT (maybe more than one) wallpapering the threads with baseless accusations that (s)he repeats endlessly long after they've been decisively shown to be false. That's a real problem, and your modest proposal doesn't give us a way around it.
Jaded, PshiT writes:Someone's granting you attention and being nice to you and not outright rejecting you does not mean it's okay to hound them repeatedly for sexual favors.I doubt anyone disagrees with that. But any adult woman knows that she can get more than her fair share of attention from a powerful man if she acts as if the possibility of some sort of flirtation (or more) is on the table.The problem in this case was that McGinn, who is clearly a creepy delusional narcissist, overplayed his hand once she started changing her tack. He should just have cut off all the personal stuff and reduced their interaction to the level he had with any other grad student. Instead he most likely committed sexual harassment. That fact (and at this point I'm pretty sure it's a fact) isn't going to go away even if it turns out that Morrison acted inconsistently or deceitfully or whatever. We may change our judgment of his character based on that sort of info, but the offense remains there.
What do you mean "once she started changing her tack"? Is there any evidence that she ever asked for or expected anything other than what a research assistant could reasonably expect working for McGinn? Now, I do think it highly likely that McGinn hired her primarily for her attractiveness, given her evidence. But it doesn't sound like she was aware of his intentions that early on. And I don't see any evidence that she did anything other than try to keep her job by not pissing off a strange and creepy boss.
What if the powerful man is gay, 7:58?
You raise an interesting question, 8:36. My experience is that same-sex sexual harassment is a real thing in philosophy. Interestingly, the absence of professional will to deal with it is just as strong or even stronger than as in the opposite-sex cases. I would *guess* that uncovering and eliminating serial (gay) harassers would look like an anti-gay witch hunt to many, and for that reason those in power refuse to lift a finger in defense of victims. It's very sad.
8:12 - "changing her tack" probably refers to the earlier "sexy mind" etc. emails. She probably thought she could get McGinn's attention with some innocent flirtation and then just stop at that while reaping the professional benefits. McGinn should've realized he'd been duped, but no, he's far too up his own arse to be able to come to terms with something like that.
"if she acts as if the possibility of some sort of flirtation (or more) is on the table."This is much too inclusive. The *possibility* of some sort of flirtation is the default position for most people. Normal behavior doesn't usually close off the *possibility* of flirtation.
Normal behavior doesn't usually close off the *possibility* of flirtation.Tell that to the New Consensus Puritans.
@2:23: It's extremely speculative to assume that she ever "changed her tack" or engaged in any flirtation at all. The "sexy mind" comment could have been made at any time. Think with me for a minute: so imagine you are friendly with a colleague, have had some good conversations, shared some meals. This colleague begins signing their emails to you "Hugs, Jane" (or Bill, whichever gender you prefer) and writing more enthusiastically or warmly/effusively. Well, that's innocent enough, a little weird, you think "well, surely it's just *friendly*, not *flirtatious*, because they know I'm attached/gay/whatever" ... Still, you feel a little strange signing your email with your usual "Best, Jimmy (or Sally, etc.)" so you write "Warm regards" and are perhaps slightly more effusive, because you feel like this is the response called for by their email, and, you know, it's nothing over the top. Pretty soon you are signing *your* emails hugs, and then Jane moves to "hugs and kisses" and you are confused, because it's really not *that* much more extreme than "hugs", which you are now using, still, it makes you uncomfortable. Maybe you switch back to best and Jane writes back, "Hey, where are my HUGS?!" Not wanting to make things weird, you just, write back, "oops, yeah, hugs" and carry on as before, but now a little stressed. This continues and you find yourself saying many things you would never otherwise say, but you feel pressured into saying them by Jane's overly-friendly and borderline flirtatious behavior. Eventually Jane makes some slightly inappropriate sexual joke, like "Hey, since we both got papers accepted to that conference, we can save some money by sharing a hotel room *wink*" You call her out on the inappropriate comment, and take the opportunity to call into question some of her friendliness and the flirtatious nature of it. She denies that it's anything more than a joke (can't you take a joke?), acts hurt that you would think she was trying to get anything from you, says she values your friendship, and so on. Moreover, she points out that you have also been quite friendly with her, signing your emails "hugs" for quite some time now. Was she wrong to take that as a sign that all was well? You are beginning to think that Jane is being manipulative, but you also are having some self-doubt, and are in general extremely stressed out whenever you get an email from Jane (which is now happening quite often). You have mutual friends and don't want to make a mountain out of a molehill, and in fact, you begin to look at your emails and wonder if you've given her the wrong idea, and so carry on the correspondence, but really wish you had never met her. Okay, so now imagine that you are in your first year of graduate studies and Jane is a famous professor. How much more stress and self-doubt and pressure to comply with the implicit requests for "friendliness" would you feel? A whole hell of a lot. Taking random comments out of context in situations like these is wildly unfair. Saying to someone in this situation "But you said X to him/her" or insinuating that this person was trying to "use" the professor in some way just misses that whole dynamic. And until you've been in that situation, you don't realize what sorts of things you can be made to say by this kind of pressure.
^ point taken, 6:14. that's all plausible. my version is also plausible. we just don't know. in any case it's pretty clear that mcginn committed harassment. what morrison did is neither here nor there when it comes to that offence. the last thing i want to do is blame a victim. the cultural conventions surrounding this sorry episode are nonetheless interesting and harbor a lesson or two for anyone who might find themselves in comparable situations.
@6:34, your interpretation is not equally plausible. I've been around a fair number of young female philosophers and I can't imagine any one of them (as graduate students) engaging in any flirtation with a much-older professor in order to get some attention, mostly because they are not idiots and they know that this is not the kind of attention one wants from an established professor, plus it's likely to backfire, because any decent professor would be made uncomfortable/scared and keep his distance.
Yeah well I've been around a fair number of similar situations and have witnessed just the opposite: middle aged nerdy profs can't resist the attention of pretty young women (who used to shun them before they became powerful) and suddenly the speaking and publishing invitations pile up, now with the added cover of some ill-defined gender equity campaign.
Tangential question: why are the British papers making a big deal about "foot fetish" in the McGinn case? I don't think "fetish" is quite warranted by the evidence, and in any case, it's not very central to it.
Let's see if I can get this through with links. Maybe two will pass:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11939267/British-philosopher-with-alleged-foot-fetish-is-accused-of-harassing-student.htmlandhttp://www.ibtimes.co.uk/miami-professor-foot-fetish-sued-after-writing-erotic-poem-students-foot-1524580
I would guess that it's because the Daily Mail was the first British paper to report on it (I think). Being a tabloid, they made it extra salacious, and the other papers' coverage was inspired by the DM coverage.
because the british are repressed perverts.
Professor Plum says some very wise things in the Daily Nous thread about deeper professional issues that make McGinn's case possible. He or she was once accused of being a troll on Daily Nous, a charge that doesn't at all make sense given comments like the most recent one.If you read this, Plum... <3
Really? I thought those were fairly dumb things that Plum said.I would post to DN asking Plum for some evidence that there is any *special* problem that philosophy has with sexual harassment, but there is not a chance in hell that Plum would ever give evidence. Not a plummy thing to do.
Forget it, Miss Scarlet. Not only would Plum never provide evidence for his/her views, but at this point Whineberg wouldn't even allow your question to go through. You know, because it might make some of the sheep raise their heads a little in wonderment about the plausibility of the narrative.
From the UK Guardian, one for the Weinbergs and Schliessers out there. About time women saw through their phoney white-knighting:Why I won't date another 'male feminist'Kate IselinI don’t care who opens the door for whom. I’m sick of the predators and approval-seeking men who call themselves ‘feminist’ to get my attentionmen who use the term “feminist” as either bait or an alter-ego, assuming that their opt-in respect for women will entitle them to legions of adoring lovers – really the most anti-feminist act of all.
I despise a lot about the "male feminist" thing, 2:39, but women punishing men for agreeing with them is hideous and insane - similar to when black people lambast white people for jumping on bandwagons like "black lives matter" and so on. If you don't want people in your coalition you don't really have a coalition in the first place. There is also the fact that "male feminism" as a dating strategy is practiced mostly by middle-value males. Disavowing them could be seen as a status move (i.e. "only high-value males are good enough for me").
Haha, I actually think this is a hilarious development. Now when all these nitwits want to gain more general status as sensitive people and simultaneously increase their chances of getting/preserving love, they'll fall into a very nervous silence and just tensely nod their heads whenever feminism or anything that seems close enough comes up in conversation in mixed company.
Some of us already do that 100% of the time in mixed company...
"...similar to when black people lambast white people for jumping on bandwagons like 'black lives matter' and so on."At least you're somehow in philosophy, 2:42, which is a comfortable place to have your issues.
6:34, I don't understand your comment. Are you unfamiliar with this phenomenon or did I misphrase it somehow? The practice of taking out anger on allies is very common in left social justice circles and I take this anti-"male feminist" article as being solidly in that tradition.
I submitted this comment to Daily Nous, and Justin is censoring it. The weak pretense of objectivity there dwindles constantly. Original, censored comment follows:Professor Plum, can you please cite some examples of these claims you’re making? They really seem like common misperceptions of what’s happening in these conversations.There is at least one very crass commenter on the blogs who has suggested that women in general, and a few women in particular, have gained professional benefits by sleeping with someone. While those comments are clearly inappropriate and I also want them to stop, I’ve noticed that many people have invented a backstory for this rude blogger in which he is unemployed and bitter about his lack of success on the job market, and is blaming these women for taking positions that he feels would otherwise have gone to him. Others have taken this speculative story much further and started saying that there’s a whole bunch of unemployed men out there who are blaming their own job-market failures on women sleeping with men. But I’ve seen absolutely no evidence that this is what’s motivating the person or persons making these rude comments. Have you got any? Is there any instance at all you can show us of someone saying, “I would have had a job right now if it weren’t for these women sleeping with powerful men”? Or is this, as I suspect, entirely speculative on the part of you and others?It also seems that the third point you make is based on a fiction. You seem to be referring to the recent blog post at Leiter Reports, wherein a (female) guest blogger made the case that we need to make a positive case for philosophy to women rather than constantly portraying it as a horrible place for women to be if we want to increase the number of female philosophers (which you should be concerned with, since you say in your first point that male domination is a serious problem). That female guest blogger then said, “Part of such flourishing is increasing diversity in both undergraduate and graduate programs, and, of course, women are a big part of that. But, the current approach of blame and shame, though it certainly has its place in a broader dialogue, is absolutely tone deaf in trying to recruit young women to philosophy.”Is *this* what you mean as someone “having the audacity to blame and shame on the very day [actually, not the very day] that news of the case broke”? Is *this* really something to be used as an example of dismissing an accuser for being an attention-seeker? Or are you talking about a different recent post (and if so, which one?). If, as it seems, you mean this one, then please have a look through the thread that follows. You’ll see that you’ve significantly misrepresented what’s going on.Those are just two examples.
Maybe he doesn't want to deal with this epic derail and the trainwreck of comments that would surely follow in its wake.
not a big fan of DN, but these replies don't seem that egregious.
7:00, he didn't think that Professor Plum's unfair comments were an 'epic derail'. Why would he think that a correction to the comments would be a derail?More generally: if you post something that someone says, and don't allow other people to criticize it if it's a load of horseshit, you're running a dishonest shop.
That "dishonest shop" seems much preferable to this cesspool of misogynists and conspiracy theorists. (sorry, I meant that this is only place that values truth and justice, ha.)
We had the 'misogyny' conversation last week. The accusation went unsubstantiated. But what's honest representation of disagreement to an identity politician?
If those are your preferences, 7:23, then fucking well go to DN and every other blog that toes your party line and leave us alone. You've already derailed countless discussions with your idiocy. We don't need any more of you. You are not welcome and are not contributing to this discussion. You are just a blithering idiot who throws around baseless accusations of 'misogyny' and then, when challenged to back up your points, resorts to transparent and repeated evasions and finally, when cornered and confronted with your own lies, shrugs it off and begins your 'game' anew. Go haunt someone else's blog if you hate this one so much. Seriously. Fuck off permanently.
God. ARG must have got into the gin. *We* all think you need a lie down and then a strong coffee, ARG.
8:12, once again you attempt to use your smug, moronic humor to avoid thinking about what's being said.What's being said is this: if you don't like this blog and have nothing positive to contribute to it, then WHY NOT FUCKING LEAVE?Makes perfect sense to any thinking person. But if you refuse to think, then go on and keep wrecking our discussions with your imbecility and indifference to argumentation. You're anonymous, I know, so you can keep acting like the sick psychopath you are without fear of repercussions. Certainly, you have no integrity or conscience, so that can't stop you.
ARGs aside, it is a shame that nobody is allowed to challenge the party line assumptions that Professor Plum uses in that comment at DN.Plum falsely says that the Deas blog entry "chides" somebody or other for "blaming and shaming". Deas is herself being scolded for daring to raise another topic than the horrors of sexual harassment, a deviant suggestion. It's nice that at least some of the Leiter Reports readers are defending Deas, though.
Does it strike anyone as a bit ironic that the same people who declare that we know all we need to know to condemn McGinn on the basis of this obviously one sided legal document don't do the same when it comes to the legal document Ludlow presented on his own behalf? In that document, Ludlow's lawyers made many, many assertions that on face value would make it indisputable that the undergraduate woman charging him with sexual assault was a vicious liar, and simply could not be trusted to tell the truth about what went on between the two of them. For example, this student made definite claims that Ludlow kissed her in the elevator on their way up to his apartment, but -- so the document asserts -- there is a video of their ride up showing nothing of the sort. If we can simply take a one sided legal document as definitive proof that something went on, why don't we see these people coming out to condemn this woman as a liar, and defending Ludlow as innocent?
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