Lego announced Monday the company will work to remove gender stereotypes from its toys following a global study that looked into how creative play is gendered.
The research, commissioned by the Lego Group and carried out by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, found attitudes toward children’s activities and future goals continue to be unequal and confined to gender biases. Read the rest of this entry »
The Daily Beast reports on academic activists rallying to the defense of the latest recognized marginalized minority.
Michael Eisen, editor of eLifeâ€”a well-regarded open access scientific journal for the biomedical and life sciencesâ€”made a joke about a humble roundworm, thereby cracking open the seventh seal and ushering forth… wormageddon. …
Most people took the joke in stride, or used it as an opportunity to spread the good word about nematodes. But the worm gang runs deep. Multiple researchers were not amused by Dr. Eisenâ€™s joke, and their responses spiraled off in increasingly disproportionate directions. Some of these were scoldings about the propriety of using the word â€œfuckâ€ in a public context, and whether â€œAcademic Twitterâ€ upholds appropriate levels of professionalism by accepting â€œfrat boyâ€ humor. One team went so far as to publicly reconsider submitting a paper to eLife. Others complained that the editor of a journal was publicly disparaging a study species. …
[A] day after Eisen had opened the can of titular worms, and amid the flood of C. elegans jokes washing around Twitterâ€”things had escalated in a bizarre direction. As mystified observers raised the question over whether C. elegans researchers were taking the whole thing a bit seriously, a small handful of researchers responded by arguing that jokes about worms were in some way equivalent to jokes about women and people of color. …
By far the most prolific poster in this vein was Ahna Skop, associate professor of genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and previous recipient of a Diversity, Equality and Inclusion-based award in 2018. Dr. Skopâ€”who did not respond to a request for comment by The Daily Beastâ€”argued extensively that making jokes about worms was merely the tip of the iceberg when it came to making jokes about marginalized identities, or an example of a â€˜bystander effectâ€™, a psychological theory arguing that individuals are less likely to offer help to a victim in a crowd. (For is it not said: First they came for the worm people, and I said nothing, as I was not a worm person?)
In the resulting threads, Dr. Skopâ€”who identifies as â€œpart Eastern Band Cherokeeâ€ and â€œdisabled with EDSâ€â€”and others consistently failed to publicly respond to Black scientists like herpetologist Chelsea Connor, who tried to point out that this was a ridiculous conflation. In a private communication Connor shared with The Daily Beast, Skop doubled down, arguing that as she had previously been harmed by entrenched sexism, her concerns regarding the worm joke were justified.
When American Civil Liberties are at stake, you will find the American Civil Liberties Union fighting against them these days on behalf of Leftist Grievance Culture. NBC News:
The rules championed by DeVos effectively bolster the rights of due process for those accused of sexual assault and harassment, allowing for live hearings and cross-examinations. It’s what agency officials say was lacking during the Obama administration to protect all students under Title IX, a 1972 law that prohibits gender discrimination, including sexual assault, at schools.
“This new federal effort to weaken Title IX makes it more difficult for victims of sexual harassment or sexual assault to continue their educations and needlessly comes amid a global pandemic,” according to the suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland by the American Civil Liberties Union and the New York-based law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP.
The suit names DeVos, the Education Department and Kenneth Marcus, the agency’s assistant secretary for civil rights. The department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Roman Polanski is not only a great director. He is a favored target of left-wing hysteria and right-wing cant.
43 years ago, Roman Polanski was charged with Statutory Rape after a liaison with an under-age young lady in California. He was slated to receive a modest penalty via a plea bargain, but a media firestorm erupted, and the judge decided to cancel the deal. Polanski thereupon fled the United States.
Every decade or so, it seems, this ancient scandal gets raked upon again. The left-wing commentariat howls for Polanski’s blood on behalf of Feminism, and the right-wing commentariat denounces him as a decadent European degenerate pedophile. When both sides agree, I guess you can count on them both being crazy and dead wrong.
[N]ow the Ceasar Awards have come and gone. And true to form for this crowd, they gave the Best Picture nod to Polanski, along with other awards. As you will recall, Polanski has been on the run from American law enforcement for decades after being convicted of drugging, raping and sodomizing a 13-year-old child. Efforts to extradite him back to the United States have continually failed. …
The Europeans, and particularly the French, canâ€™t seem to shake this attitude of considering child rape as no big deal if itâ€™s done by one of the â€œspecial people.â€ Of course, thatâ€™s not a strictly European attitude. Itâ€™s long pervaded Hollywood as well. You may recall that time when Whoopi Goldberg declared that what Polanski had done â€œwasnâ€™t rape rape.â€
For his part, Polanski continues to blame all of this on the media, claiming that theyâ€™re trying to make him out to be a monster. Trust us, Mr. Douchebagâ€¦ nobody had to make you a monster. You did that yourself.
Leftwing or rightwing, youâ€™d think the typical member of the American commentariat just fell off the turnip truck and came stumbling down the highway pulling hayseeds out of his ears for all the weeping and wailing over the generation-ago naughtiness of Roman Polanski.
Both sides of the political spectrum are making the elementary error of confusing rape in the statutory sense resulting from the female being too young lawfully to provide consent with the kind of rape which is a grave crime of violence and a terrible violation of a personâ€™s will and sovereignty of person.
Read the Grand Jury testimony (Part 1 â€” Part 2) of the young lady (whose current privacy I propose to respect by referring to her as Dolores Haze) and one can easily perceive that it is a version of events particularly uncomplimentary to Mr. Polanski, collaboratively achieved by the prosecuting attorney and the sullen and inarticulate young woman who is bringing a complaint against him, while trying to put the best possible light upon her own conduct.
It requires only reading a little between the lines and paying attention to details to note that Miss Haze and her mother obviously sought out Mr. Polanskiâ€™s acquaintance with the young ladyâ€™s career advancement in mind. Her mother readily gave permission for her daughter to meet and to pose in private for Mr. Polanski.
Gosh, when an attractive young woman harboring entertainment industry ambitions agrees to â€œposeâ€ alone and in private for a famous Hollywood director, is it possible to imagine that anyone involved would suppose for a minute that such a meeting could lead to hanky panky?
The famous director and the nymphette met twice for photography sessions featuring the young lady disrobing. When Miss Haze went with Mr. Polanski to Jack Nicholsonâ€™s house for the second photo session, even the simple people back where I grew up would have observed that they were not getting together to say the rosary.
Ex post facto protestations of reluctance aside, the philosopher is obliged to note that Miss Haze seems far from innocent and her overall behavior the opposite of unwilling. She was not a virgin at the time of her sexual encounter with Mr. Polanski. She had disrobed in front of him in private on two occasions. She implicitly recognized the social and convivial aspects of that private meeting at Jack Nicholsonâ€™s house by willingly drinking champagne with Mr. Polanski, and by sharing a Quaalude with him (which she identified for the uncertain director, who even consulted her about its likely effects on him).
After which festivities, Miss Haze willingly took off all her clothes, and hopped naked into a jacuzzi. Sexual activity ensued.
In her Grand Jury testimony, Miss Haze makes some effort to portray herself as startled and frightened by Mr. Polanskiâ€™s completely unexpected advances. To believe her testimony to be literally true requires supposing that the social connection between these two people was unrelated to the well-known Hollywood casting couch and to believe that anyone might meet an older man alone, drink and do drugs with him, disrobe for him, and hop naked into a jacuzzi while having no intentions of granting greater intimacies. If any particular editorialist actually believes that, I can only say, in the Irish manner: May God preserve your innocence!
The more cynical among us tend to suspect that, had some substantive career assistance (or even an appropriate gift) been forthcoming, no statutory rape complaint would ever have been lodged. Consequently, I tend to view the Polanski affair, not as an authentic case of rape, but as a payment dispute in which one side is able to whistle up the assistance of the criminal law.
Polanski, of course, was behaving unethically, using his fame and worldly position to obtain the sexual services of an indecently young girl, whom he evidently couldnâ€™t, or wouldnâ€™t, be able to repay with his patronage.
There is no doubt that the relations between Roman Polanski and Dolores Haze were against the law.
But, the â€œhe drugged and raped a 13-year-old girlâ€ narrative is wildly inaccurate and inflammatory. In reality, Polanski cynically had exploitative sex with a much younger girl when she made herself available, with dubious intentions of repaying her in the manner she expected. They drank and did drugs together. You can hardly accuse a man of drugging a victim into submission by sharing a drug with her.
The plea bargain arrangement made (Polanski would plead guilty unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, and be let off with the 42 days he served under psychiatric evaluation) indicates pretty clearly that the prosecutor took the same view of the Polanski case at the time that I do now. Polanski broke the law, doing something fairly shameful he ought not to have done, but it was not really rape at all. He deserved some legal penalty, but he did not deserve the gravest possible punishment.
What happened back in the 1970s is exactly the same thing which has happened again 30 years later. Americaâ€™s psycho-sexual insanity was provoked by the Polanski affair the way a bull is provoked by a red flag. All the Christers and the wowsers began howling for Polanskiâ€™s blood, writing misleading hysterical jeremiads about drugging and raping poor little 13 year old maidens, and the next thing you knew, Judge Rittenband, who was sensitive to public opinion, expressed the intention of throwing out Polanskiâ€™s plea bargain, while keeping his guilty plea. Facing an exemplary penalty, Polanski wisely fled into exile.
The only things that seem to have changed in 30 years are: Roman Polanski has become a very old man and the middle-aged Dolores Haze says she has forgiven him. The American obsession with striking poses of self-righteousness has not changed, nor our intelligentsiaâ€™s penchant for inflaming mob opinion with misleading narratives.
Grow up, everybody. There has always been a Hollywood casting couch, and there’s always going to be a Hollywood casting couch. Attractive young girls will always be found trading sexual favors for access to money, fame, and careers. And, when the young lady is dissatisfied, or merely regrets her own conduct later, given the opportunity, she will come tattling and complaining, seeking revenge on the bad, wicked older man who took advantage of her. All this is a very, very old story.
The gravamen of Polanski scandal took place 43 long years ago. Roman Polanski is a talented director, who has made some important contributions to the cinema. The young lady in the case in question is now an old lady, and she long since forgave Polanski, and has said publicly that she desired his persecution to cease. Polanski is 86 years old. Personally, I think being 86 is all by itself a pretty decent punishment for any previous sins. Do everyone a favor: drop the opportunistic exploitation of this ancient matter for partisan points and stop whipping up mob emotion.
Amber Athey argues that even Harvey Weinstein is entitled to due process justice, including a reasonable statute of limitations on complaints about sexual activities.
At the height of #MeToo, most people were acutely aware very few accusations of actual rape or violence were being put forth, if any. #MeToo brought every bad actor and hypocrite out of the woodwork. After hundreds of allegations tumbling out over the months, the takeaway now seems to be that there isnâ€™t a rape epidemic in Hollywood, but that Hollywood is an oversexed industry where powerful men routinely expect sexual favors in exchange for career advancement, and that countless people happily went along with this unspoken agreement until it proved either no longer beneficial, or it became more advantageous to turn against.
Take #MeToo dignitary Asia Argento. We now know she was up to her neck in it on both sides of the user-and-used dynamic, after a young actor accused her of getting him drunk, raping him, and paying him off $380,000 when he was only 17. Every time one of these high-profile allegations blows up, itâ€™s either because itâ€™s not true, or the woman was doing exactly the same thing if not something just as bad.
Who honestly didnâ€™t realize Hollywood worked like that? All you have to do his hang out with a bunch of drama club nerds to see how weirdly horny they are. Most actors will, literally, do anything, and sacrifice all principles, to advance their desperate and difficult careers. Which is what most women did in Hollywood to get where they are: whatever it took.
In Hollywood, home of the young and the beautiful, it takes sex to get where you are, and always has. Ever wonder why thereâ€™s no big gay #MeToo movement? Iâ€™m not referring to the homosexual pedophile epidemic in Hollywood, which has been briskly swept under the rug. The casting couch must have been the same for gays, but for men sex is more transactional. We are better satisfied by porn â€” which women generally like less â€” and hookers â€” who women generally donâ€™t hire. Sex is a currency for men, just as it is for women, but we donâ€™t give it special emotional significance like women do. Thatâ€™s why the women of #MeToo tend to be so angry. They are ashamed of themselves for moral and emotional compromises that still haunt them today, and this outpouring gave them license to cleanse themselves of their self-loathing. The men they diddled for movie roles, by comparison, barely remember the girlsâ€™ names.
The hoary and pitted face of all this is, of course, Harvey Weinstein, appearing this week in Manhattan criminal court hunched over a walker with tennis balls on the legs. On Wednesday the prosecution rolled out grisly descriptions of sexual encounters, but news reports have failed to mention if the prosecution alleges any of the women actually said, â€˜noâ€™, or â€˜stopâ€™. The defense, in turn, spent an hour reading text messages and emails between the accusers and Weinstein, often flirty and loving after the encounters.
â€˜You donâ€™t call Harvey Weinstein a predator in 2020 when you wanted to introduce him to your mother in 2008â€™, defense attorney Damon Cheronis said. â€˜You donâ€™t tell him that you love him in 2016, that youâ€™re tired of being a booty call in 2017, and call him a predator in 2020â€™. …
Itâ€™s beginning to sound very familiar. Weâ€™re told to â€˜believe all womenâ€™, yet Hollywoodâ€™s excesses and Ferragamo feminism made real rape victims seem less credible, and thatâ€™s a monstrous thing. Real victims never make it to left-wing journalists with an anti-male ax to grind two decades later, because real victims call the police before they call their publicist.
This week Annabella Sciora testified that Harvey Weinstein forced himself on her during the winter of 1993-1994. (NPR)
Obviously, we live in a country no longer governed by rational adults. No rational adult would consider judiciable a “He-Said-She-Said” complaint pertaining to something that occurred a quarter of a century ago.
Peloton’s little holiday advertising spot surprised the company when, instead of being pleased at the idea of the husband getting his wife a $2245 exercise bike, lots of women interpreted the gesture as a domineering and insulting expression of Sexism.
At least, comedienne Eve Victor’s Twitter response is kind of funny.
Scientists have re-created the face of a female Viking warrior who lived more than 1,000 years ago.
The woman is based on a skeleton found in a Viking graveyard in SolÃ¸r, Norway, and is now preserved in Oslo’s Museum of Cultural History.
While the remains had already been identified as female, the burial site had not been considered that of a warrior ‘simply because the occupant was a woman’, archaelogist Ella Al-Shamahi told The Guardian.
But now British scientists have brought the female warrior to life using cutting-edge facial recognition technology.
Scientists reconstructed the face of the female warrior who lived more than 1,000 years ago by anatomically working from the muscles and layering of the skin
And scientists found the woman was buried with a hoard of deadly weaponry including arrows, a sword, a spear and an axe.
Researchers also discovered a dent in her head, which rested on a shield in her grave, that was consistent with a sword wound.
It is unclear whether the brutal injury was the cause of her death however it is believed to be ‘the first evidence ever found of a Viking woman with a battle injury’, according to Ms Al-Shamahi.
She added: I’m so excited because this is a face that hasn’t been seen in 1,000 yearsâ€¦ She’s suddenly become really real.’
The Harvard Crimson uncritically reports the sexual assault survey which proves that it’s a lot more dangerous to send your daughter to an elite Ivy League school than to have her walk home at midnight through the worst neighborhood in Chicago.
But, hey! at least Yale comes out on top!
A national sexual misconduct climate survey administered to universities across the country earlier this year revealed that most schools did not see a significant change in the prevalence of sexual assault compared with incident rates four years ago, according to the results released earlier this month.
The American Association of Universities survey found that among similarly sized peer institutions, Harvardâ€™s rate of sexual misconduct tended toward average.
Harvardâ€™s prevalence rate of â€œnonconsensual sexual contactâ€ for undergraduate women was within a percentage point of both Stanfordâ€™s and Brownâ€™s. Harvard and Stanford both saw rates of roughly 33 percent, while Brownâ€™s rate is 34 percent. Yaleâ€™s rate is higher at 39 percent, while MITâ€™s is lower at 27 percent.
Back in the ’60s and ’70s, my own generation’s taste in humor ran to the transgressive and outrageous. We liked nothing better than violating all existing limits on expression and every conventional stricture of decorum.
Now, it seems that Cotton Mather’s generation has been reincarnated into the college students of today. With the Fall Semester opening at Yale, out comes a new issue of Rumpus, the current student humor magazine, and all over the Yale campus, the snowflakes are melting.
Goodness gracious! Mercy me! Somebody had the crudeness and insensitivity to joke about the possibility of girls getting hammered and led astray at a particular fraternity called “Leo.”
Evidently only last year an issue of Rumpus came out featuring Hookup Bingo,” some joking about campus Hookup/Blackout culture. There was outrage. At least a dozen Rumpus staff members walked out in protest, Rumpus was denounced and condemned from every pulpit on the campus, and the issue was actually officially retracted! I haven’t seen it reported, but I assume that a number of Rumpus editors spent a few days in the stocks.
Now, what do you know? Rumpus has sinned again, triggering the deacons of the Yale Daily News and all the rest of the campus elect. Lots of chin-stroking and grovelling and apologizing ensued.
Following a year of non-publication after staff backlash over jokes about sexual misconduct, the Yale Rumpus has returned â€” but not without controversy.
The annual Freshman Issue of the student-run tabloid magazine hit dining halls on Friday morning, greeting students with a cover that read, â€œATTENTION FIRST-YEARS: YOU WILL BE REJECTED.â€ The issue â€” the first to come out since last September â€” was produced by a new editorial team. But despite the new staff â€” which includes five members who actively worked on the issue and about 12 total staffers, compared to previous staff sizes of 30 or 40, according to Rumpus co-editor-in-chief and a former photo staffer for the News Jakub Madej â€™20 â€” the new tabloid issue has already sparked discontent among many Yalies upset with its new content. Students were particularly angered by jokes about the K2 overdoses on the New Haven Green and a â€œRumpâ€™s Reviewâ€ of Leo, which they believe made light of sexual misconduct once again.
â€œThe Leo joke was not intended to make fun of rape victims in any way, shape or form,â€ current Rumpus Co-Editor-in-Chief Anushka Walia â€™21 wrote in an email to the News. â€œIt pointed out messed up practices of frats, and it put Leo down. Part of the point of satire is this kind of commentary anyways. Iâ€™m sorry if it offended anyone, but it wasnâ€™t the intent.â€
Last September, at least 12 staffers quit the publication in protest over several jokes about sexual assault that appeared in the Rumpusâ€™ â€œFreshman Issue.â€ Those included a spot on the issueâ€™s â€œHookup Bingoâ€ reading â€œFreshmanâ€™s First Blackout (Free)â€ and a line in the editorâ€™s note making fun of a blacked out first year â€œlet[ting] a senior on the baseball team raw [them] on that foul mattress in the Sig Nu basement.â€
The objectionable content in last Septemberâ€™s issue had been reviewed only by members of the editorial team prior to publication, but not the remainder of Rumpus staffers. Following internal backlash, Rumpus leadership retracted the issue, removed all copies of it from dining halls throughout campus and issued an apology for the content.
According to Madej and Walia, this yearâ€™s publication â€” which the current board revived independent of the old editorial staff â€” was for the most part vetted by board members as well as several staffers prior to printing, unlike in previous years. Also unlike Rumpus leadershipâ€™s response to last Septemberâ€™s backlash, this year, Madej and Walia neither retracted the issue nor issued a public apology for the content.
Although Madej said the Rumpus has not established any written standards for the kinds of jokes it will publish, the editors review content on a case-by-case basis to decide if it is fit to print.
â€œThere were some issues last year regarding controversial issues and mismanagement,â€ Madej said. â€œWe noticed what happened last year, and we believe in the idea of Rumpus, no matter what they say. We do want to bring it back to life.â€
Still, social media posts from Yalies this weekend argued that the publicationâ€™s â€œRumpâ€™s Reviewâ€ of Leo showed that Rumpus had not learned its lesson from last yearâ€™s backlash. …
Hours after the issue hit dining halls, the Instagram parody account @yaleactualweeklynews posted a picture of the review with the headline â€œRumpus Learns From Mistakes; Only Publishes Subtle Rape Jokes.â€
In a statement to the News, Leo leadership called â€œthe Rumpusâ€™s attempt to make humor out of sexual misconduct extremely misguided and disappointing.â€
â€œWe take the issue very seriously and work actively to make sure our friends and guests feel safe and have fun at our events,â€ the statement read.
During a Friday night interview with the News, Madej said the post from the @yaleactualweeklynews Instagram page was â€œnothing moreâ€ to him â€œthan a kindergarten-level attempt to make jokesâ€ and bring up problems from last year, adding that he did not see a connection between last yearâ€™s controversy and this yearâ€™s issue.
But Walia disagreed with Madejâ€™s statement. In emails to the News following the interview, she stressed that she did not interpret the post as an attempt at humor, but rather as a way â€œto bring an important issue to light.â€ She explained that she did not expect the criticisms the post sparked, because she cares â€œvery deeply about the very issues everyone else cares aboutâ€ as both a woman and a feminist herself. Further, Walia underscored that the Rumpusâ€™ intent is never to be offensive or malicious, and that she respects â€œpeopleâ€™s beliefs as well as their criticism.â€
â€œI do care about the criticism received because I want everyone to read the Rumpus and have a good time and laugh at it,â€ Walia said. â€œI donâ€™t want anyone to feel offended or hurt by something that someone writes in it. So as editor in chief, I do take concerns seriously and keep that in mind â€” I care a lot about our readers.â€
Madej clarified in an email to the News on Sunday that he was not â€œsure of the intentionsâ€ of @yaleactualweeklynews, but â€œif they indeed wanted to be funny, itâ€™d be a tremendously bad level of a joke.â€
Former Rumpus staffer Leila Halley-Wright â€™21 â€” who quit the publication in protest of last yearâ€™s jokes about sexual assault â€” said she was â€œsurprisedâ€ to see that the Leo review had been â€œdeemed appropriateâ€ for the issue considering last yearâ€™s backlash and its thematic similarity to last yearâ€™s editorâ€™s notes.
Mia Arias Tsang â€™21, the editor in chief of Broad Recognition, said she was upset to find a screenshot of one of her posts advertising the feminist magazine featured in a collage on the front cover. She stressed that the cover upset her because of the publicationâ€™s past of making light of sexual misconduct issues, and she was disappointed to see several similar problems arise in the new issue.
â€œSatire, I think, is very different from rape jokes,â€ Tsang said. â€œI think thereâ€™s ways you can tackle these issues satirically, but it has to be done really well and really carefully, and you should probably have some people look at it multiple times that are outside of the sphere of your tabloid magazine if youâ€™re trying to go for a satire angle. â€¦ I think the stuff they do satirizing Yale culture has always been pretty on the nose and good, but theyâ€™ve just veered so far into this other territory for some reason.â€
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, La baigneuse endormie [The Sleeping Bather], 1897, Winterthur.
The New Yorker rather outdid itself in the “PC Assaults on Civilization” Sweepstakes this week with Peter Schjedahl‘s smackdown of Renoir.
Targeting Renoir as problematic, sexist, and prurient seems not only Philistine, Puritanical, and just plain unkind, it seems to constitute a downright fascistic rejection of la douceur de vivre.
Roger Kimball identifies precisely what is so fundamentally wrong here in the Spectator.
Schjeldahlâ€™s judgments about Renoir are a fastidiously composed congeries of up-to-the-minute elite opinion. There at The New Yorker, everyone will agree with Schjeldahl about Renoir or â€” the more important point â€” about subjugating him to the strictures prevalent among the beautiful people circa 2019. What made Schjeldahlâ€™s essay notorious were not his particular judgments about Renoirâ€™s art or character but rather his imperative anachronism. â€˜An argument is often made that we shouldnâ€™t judge the past by the values of the present,â€™ Schjeldahl writes, â€˜but thatâ€™s a hard sell in a case as primordial as Renoirâ€™s.â€™
Is it? As Ed Driscoll pointed out at Instapundit, Schjeldahlâ€™s essay is sterling example of what C.S. Lewis described as â€˜chronological snobbery,â€™ the belief that â€˜the thinking, art, or science of an earlier time is inherently inferior to that of the present, simply by virtue of its temporal priority or the belief that since civilization has advanced in certain areas, people of earlier time periods were less intelligent.â€™ If, Driscoll observes, we add the toxic codicil that those previous times were â€˜therefore wrong and also racistâ€™ we would have â€˜a perfect definition of todayâ€™s SJWs.â€™
Exactly. Driscoll goes on to quote Jon Gabriel, who has anatomized this process under the rubric of â€˜cancel culture,â€™ a culture of willful and barbaric diminishment.
â€˜Cancel culture,â€™ Gabriel notes, â€˜is spreading for one simple reason: it works. Instead of debating ideas or competing for entertainment dollars, you can just demand anyone who annoys you to be cast out of polite society.â€™ Itâ€™s already come to a college campus near you, and is epidemic on social and other sorts of media. not to mention through the so-called â€˜Human Resourcesâ€™ departments of many companies. Wander ever so slightly outside the herd of independent minds and, bang, itâ€™s ostracism or worse.
There are many ironies attendant on the spread of â€˜cancel culture.â€™ One irony is that, despite its origins in the effete eyries of elite culture, the new ethic of conformity exhibits an extraordinary and intolerant provincialism. The British man of letters David Cecil got to the nub of this irony when, in his book Library Looking-Glass, he noted that â€˜there is a provinciality in time as well as in space.â€™
â€˜To feel ill-at-ease and out of place except in oneâ€™s own period is to be a provincial in time. But he who has learned to look at life through the eyes of Chaucer, of Donne, of Pope and of Thomas Hardy is freed from this limitation. He has become a cosmopolitan of the ages, and can regard his own period with the detachment which is a necessary foundation of wisdom.â€™
It has become increasingly clear as the imperatives of political correctness make ever greater inroads against free speech and the perquisites of dispassionate inquiry that the battle against this provinciality of time is one of the central cultural tasks of our age. It is a battle from which the traditional trustees of civilization â€” schools and colleges, museums, many churches â€” have fled. Increasingly, the responsibility for defending the intellectual and spiritual foundations of Western civilization has fallen to individuals and institutions that are largely distant from, when they are not indeed explicitly disenfranchised from, the dominant cultural establishment.
Leading universities today command tax-exempt endowments in the tens of billions of dollars. Leading cultural organs like The New Yorker and The New York Times parrot the ethos of the academy and exert a virtual monopoly on elite opinion.
But it is by no means clear, notwithstanding their prestige and influence, whether they do anything to challenge the temporal provinciality of their clients. No, let me amend that: it is blindingly clear that they do everything in their considerable power to reinforce that provinciality, not least by their slavish capitulation to the dictates of the enslaving presentism of political correctness.
The Urban Dictionary defines a “trainwreck” as “something that is so bad that you don’t want to keep watching or following but you just can’t look away from it.”
Kevin D. Williamson’s ex-wife wrote an enormously long, rambling, getting-everything-off-her-chest letter to the Atlantic’s editor, congratulating him for firing her ex-hubbie, which is as bad a trainwreck as you are ever going to find. Naturally, that leftist sewer site Medium hastened to publish it. You can’t believe that you are still reading this stuff, but you find that you can’t stop.
Dear Jeffrey Goldberg,
Thank you for firing my ex-husband Kevin D. Williamson. …
So thank you again for coming to your senses even if your due diligence was three days too late for the tastes of the Twitter â€œmob.â€
All that said, when Kevin turned my head, I was a senior in high school, and I came from a very dark, violent family where no one genuinely loved me, and he was the first man I ever slept with and he was nine years older than me. Whatâ€™s your excuse?
My allegations of spousal abuse were shot down when I filed a protection from abuse form. I was mouthy and disheveled in court because I had to go to a womenâ€™s shelter and it was my day to cook breakfast for everyone and I wore a hat, and the judge asked me why I was wearing a hat, and I said, â€œI didnâ€™t have time to do my hair.â€
Kevin got his due process. I lost that case, and I got kicked out of the shelter because the judge asked me when I was on the stand where I was staying, and I answered honestly, and that was enough of a disclosure to violate the shelterâ€™s confidentiality rules. All of this is a matter of record within our court system which used to dog my ex-husband from time to time, back when he was just a newspaper editor in Montgomery County and had nasty things to say that irked the League of Women Voters, but it also pains me because I kind of canâ€™t believe, on entirely separate intellectual grounds, that you would go so far in the direction of appeasement and accommodation as to hire him in the first place.
Here are the brass tacks disclosures. What Kevin and I have in common are that we are both from Lubbock, Texas, both grew up in incredibly violent, chaotic households, both like to read and write, and both offered to write for your magazine. What Kevin and I no longer have in common is that I am still a member of the white working class he actually despises and disparages in his anti-Trump writings. You hired him after your magazine turned down a piece I wrote about organizing my fellow servers at a restaurant last year. (Mobius picked up a better version.)
Unlike Kevin, I did not become desensitized to violence because of having seen my mother and stepmothers beaten by a man. Unlike Kevin, I have actually moved to a small town in Appalachia because I was living in a boarding house in a slum outside of Philadelphia, and I could not take the drugs nor the crime nor the cost of living in my neighborhood any longer. A quarter of the ceiling in my room caved in two winters ago. I did not have a stove, and for three years I had to wash my dishes in the sink of a bathroom barely more presentable than that in a truck stop. I lived next door to the same womenâ€™s shelter I had gotten kicked out of. This past winter, I was without power frequently because of how ill-equipped the old housing stock was to deal with multiple tenants. (It was a Victorian era building). After a snowstorm, I went two and a half days without running water, and in December a meth-addled prostitute who lived on a floor above me took an ax to a manâ€™s head.
Until last winter, when the house became really unsafe, I pretty much woke up every day and thanked God that I was there, instead of still married to Kevin, because he was just that mean.
Now that I have moved to a small military town between Philly and Pittsburgh, I feel that I understand conservatives in a way that I never have. The town is so beautiful and affordable. People are just so terrified it will change. It is also full of snaggle-toothed, mullet-sporting Confederate flag-flying freaks and plenty of people who want to assure me that the military is out there â€œfighting for our freedom.â€ This in spite of the fact that they fought only for enhanced state power, and since they have been over in Afghanistan and Iraq, I have lost habeus corpus, any expectation of privacy online or otherwise, and all of my income to student loan or medical debt and predatory auto loans. I have never had a credit card with more than a $500 limit. I havenâ€™t gone anywhere on vacation since I was 13 years old, except maybe attending a wedding with Kevin in Austin. My credit score is 185. During the Recession, I lost my job three times in five years. I am economically dead. I donâ€™t even have a pulse.
I didnâ€™t come here on assignment; my assignment is my life.
Bang up job theyâ€™re doing, those soldiers, protecting my freedom.
My downward mobility issues aside, I also moved here to be closer to the best friend of my late stepmother, an exquisitely kind, married, pro-life evangelical Christian. ….
Amanda Norris, a.k.a Penelope Gristelfink
P.S. If I have an abortion, Iâ€™m agonna name it Kevin.
The insane egalitarian ideology is everywhere in Europe and America today. Some News Agency has the story.
A 9-year-old girl is suing a centuries-old Berlin boysâ€™ choir, arguing that her bid to join was only rejected because of her gender, in a case that has sparked debate over equal rights versus artistic freedom.
The State and Cathedral Choir is one of the most renowned boysâ€™ choirs in Germany, founded in 1465 by Fredrick II of Brandenburg. Over its 554 years, it has never admitted any girls.
The girl, whose identity was not revealed to protect her privacy, auditioned with the choir in March and was rejected, according to the Berlin administrative court that is to rule on the suit Friday.
The choir contends the girlâ€™s rejection was â€œnot predominantly about her genderâ€ and she would have been asked to join if she had displayed extraordinary talent and motivation and â€œif her voice had matched the desired sound characteristics of a boysâ€™ choir,â€ the court said.
The choir also expressed doubt it would have been able to work with the girlâ€™s parents.
The girlâ€™s mother, who brought the complaint on her daughterâ€™s behalf, argues the choirâ€™s rejection is discriminatory â€œin an impermissible wayâ€ and violates her right to equal opportunities from an institution receiving state funds, the court said.