Category Archive 'Feminist Issues'
13 Oct 2018

“Men Are Witches”

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08 Oct 2018

Slate: “Tiger Mom’s Husband is a Witch!”

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Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld.

If anybody doubts that #MeToo Feminism amounts to witch-hunting, he just needs to read this article in Slate, describing (with avidity) how Yale Law Professor Jed Rubenfeld (husband of “Tiger Mom” Amy Chua) needed to be investigated for making a young lady “uncomfortable” through personal conversations or by complimenting her (!) The beast!

One afternoon late in her first year at Yale Law School, Linda sat down to create a contemporaneous record of a conversation she’d had the night before. She’d met with one of her professors, Jed Rubenfeld, in his office after hours at his suggestion, following repeated attempts to see him in the afternoon about a paper she was working on for him. Rubenfeld had made her uncomfortable throughout the year, commenting on her appearance and asking her about his. While friends had told her she had reason to feel creeped out by his behavior, Linda wondered whether she was being too sensitive and agreed to the 8 p.m. meeting. She really needed to make progress on the paper, after all. But given the queasy feeling she already had, she asked her partner to pick her up that night, and to come looking for her if he hadn’t heard from her after a reasonable amount of time.

Per Linda’s record, written the next day and shared with us recently, her conversation with Rubenfeld that evening quickly veered away from her paper. The professor asked her, “Why aren’t you married?” When Linda tried to steer the conversation to safe ground—mentioning how young she was and inquiring about his own marriage to fellow Yale Law School professor Amy Chua—Rubenfeld brought the focus back to her. He asked if she’d been the smartest girl in her high school, then if she’d been the prettiest. When she again deflected, he asked if her smarts had made things tough with the guys in school. The conversation meandered from there and never returned to her paper. Eventually, Rubenfeld said they should get going. By the time they left, Linda’s partner had come to look for her.

Linda, who today is a recent YLS alum, spent the rest of that academic year agonizing over what to do about her uncomfortable interactions with Rubenfeld, and experiencing more of them. One in particular sticks out: The Saturday night after exams wrapped up, Rubenfeld called her cellphone—the first time he had ever done that, she says. He said they’d never gotten a chance to talk about that paper and asked if she was free to do that now. Linda said she was busy preparing to leave New Haven and couldn’t meet, but said she was happy to talk on the phone. They had what Linda describes as a 30-second conversation about the paper before Rubenfeld quickly ended the call, saying he’d see her in September.

That summer, Linda spoke to Yale Law School’s Title IX coordinator. (Linda is a pseudonym, and to preserve her anonymity, we have chosen not to name the Title IX coordinator at the time, as it would identify her class year.) Her goal was twofold: She wanted to start a paper trail about Rubenfeld’s behavior, and she was looking for advice on what her options were for engaging the school’s Title IX process, the government-mandated means of investigating and stopping gender-based discrimination. According to Linda, the Title IX coordinator at the time told her at the very beginning of the call that if Linda named the professor during their conversation and the allegations were sufficiently serious, the coordinator would have to file a formal report. Once that process began, the coordinator said, Linda’s anonymity could not be guaranteed.
This was several years before #MeToo, and the prevailing wisdom at the time was that women should just lean in and push through when things got weird.

This put Linda in an enormously tough position. Schools need to protect the accused as well as the accusers, so it makes sense that Yale would ask women, or anyone alleging misbehavior, to attach their names to allegations. But it also makes sense that attaching her name would be incredibly difficult for Linda: Rubenfeld hadn’t just advised her on a paper. He also taught one of her courses, and he’d been her “small group” professor during the fall semester. (At Yale, each first-year law student is assigned to a 16- or 17-person small group. Those students take all of their courses together, including one course with just their group that’s led by one professor.) Until that April late-night meeting, Linda had generally considered Rubenfeld her advocate. She was counting on him to be one of her references on her clerkship applications, which she needed to submit soon after returning to campus in the fall. She worried that if she made a report or even told the Title IX coordinator his name, it could get back to Rubenfeld and she’d lose his support. This could undermine her chance to earn a prestigious clerkship with a federal judge—which would then make it harder for her to continue to pursue competitive opportunities, like the holy grail for Yale Law School students: a clerkship on the Supreme Court.

Linda was left with two terrible options: She could protect her clerkship prospects by subjecting herself to more unwelcome flirtation, or she could ask Yale to investigate Rubenfeld.

RTWT

Amazing stuff.

When I was at Yale, I had a professor who had a wonderful voice and a superb accent in the poetry of another language. His seminar was filled with gorgeous female grad students beautiful enough to be models, who were commonly visibly aroused, breathing heavily, as he read aloud. He was a lady-killer, with a glint in his eye. The girls adored him, and he made one of them after another his lover. I suspect he left behind a lot of happy memories, but, it’s a good thing he’s gone. Boy! they’d string him up today.

22 Sep 2018

NYRB Editor Forced Out By Social Media Mob

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Ian Buruma

Ian Buruma, the 66-year-old Dutch-born writer and only the third editor in the history of the New York Review of Books, was forced to resign this week.

His crime? Buruma published a self-pitying essay by Jian Ghomeshi, a Canadian musician, writer, and talk show host of Iranian descent, who lost his job in 2014 when an ex-girlfriend accused him of non-consensual rough sex.

Buruma was quickly mobbed on social media where critics complained about the absence of fact-checking (NYRB employs no fact checkers), pointing out that, even though Ghomeshi was acquitted in court, a large number of women had come forward to accuse him of similar bad behavior and that one case was dropped on the condition that he apologize and post a peace bond promising to avoid future misbehavior.

Buruma told Slate:

    I’m no judge of the rights and wrongs of every allegation. How can I be? All I know is that in a court of law he was acquitted, and there is no proof he committed a crime. The exact nature of his behaviour — how much consent was involved — I have no idea, nor is it really my concern. My concern is what happens to somebody who has not been found guilty in any criminal sense but who perhaps deserves social opprobrium, but how long should that last, what form it should take, etc.

In the end, Buruma chose to fall upon his sword for the good of the publication when university publishers, whose advertising was vital to NYRB, began talking about a boycott.

Toby Young, at Spectator USA, notes the left’s insanity, but seems to blame it on their 2016 defeat.

My own theory is that a small minority on the identitarian Left have used various Maoist tactics, including public shaming on social media, to persuade people that their doctrinaire positions on #MeToo allegations and a range of other issues … are much more ubiquitous than they really are, thereby stifling dissent. …

Who knows how long this paranoid atmosphere will continue. America seems to go through periodic bouts of hysterical puritanism, which partly accounts for the enduring appeal of The Crucible, Arthur Miller’s play about the Salem Witch Trials. I think it largely depends on what happens in the mid-terms. If the Democrats emerge the victors, Trump Derangement Syndrome will start to fade and reason may creep back into America’s liberal institutions. But if the Republicans win the day, the Democrats will likely descend into civil war and the identitarian Left may capture the Party, just as it’s captured the UK’s Labour Party. If that happens, don’t expect this hysteria to die down any time soon.

I don’t think the left’s appetite for blood is the result of losing. I think it comes from too much winning. The radical left flagrantly abuses the power it enjoys due to the cowardly spinelessness of the liberal establishment because it can. The more the American institutional establishment grovels to its demands the more extravagant those demands are going to get. Leftist Reigns of Terror do not stop because the Left side won an election. They only stop after the Revolution is done devouring its own.

04 Sep 2018

Yale Humor Magazine Retracts Issue After Snowflake Staff Proceeds to Melt

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You cannot imagine the Harvard Lampoon or the Yale Record, back in the brave old days of yore, retracting an issue because the featured humor was too raunchy or in questionable taste. Hey! we were in college.

But things are different today. Today’s students are precious, sensitive snowflakes, all woke and everything. They get triggered by references to women being rawed on basement mattresses in fraternity houses. Tasteless humor, today, is Streng verboten! meine Herren. Streng verboten!

The Yale Daily News’ own Ellsworth Toohey reports gravely:

[T]his weekend, the Rumpus crossed a line. Editors were forced to retract the publication’s annual first-year issue on Saturday in response to backlash from staff members who took offense at jokes about sexual assault that had made it into the issue.

“The black out/hooking up w freshmen jokes are really not funny,” one staffer wrote in an internal Rumpus group chat on Saturday morning, as writers and editors distributed hundreds of issues across campus. …

The staffers were reacting to an editor’s note, or “Rump’s View,” that made light of sexual assault, and to a square on the publication’s traditional “Hookup Bingo” page that included the option “Freshman’s first blackout (FREE).”

“We here at Rumpus are happy for you and would also like to congratulate you on losing your virginity,” read the editor’s note, which was addressed to the class of 2022. “Now, before you think, ‘Shit, does Rumpus know I blacked and let a senior on the baseball team raw me on that foul mattress in the Sig Nu basement?’ the answer is yes, but we’ll unpack that later.”

On Saturday morning, Rumpus reporters and editors went into damage control mode, scrambling across campus to remove copies of the new issue from residential college dining halls.

In a statement posted on the Rumpus’ Facebook page on Saturday afternoon, Kaylor and Kristina Cuello ’20, the other editor-in-chief, apologized for publishing “unacceptable content” and said the new issues were pulled from dining hall shelves immediately after a staffer raised concerns about the material.

“As editors-in-chief, we are deeply sorry that we allowed this content to be published,” the statement said. “Its presence in the issue was a major editorial oversight entirely on the part of the editors-in-chief, who were the only ones to have access to the final version of the issue.”

Twelve students have quit the publication since Saturday’s incident, according to Kaylor and Cuello. Nearly half the staffers who left were not actively involved in the publication, the editors said. Kaylor and Cuello said they plan to stay on as editors-in-chief.

RTWT

07 Aug 2018

Fifth Annual David Foster Douchebag Conference Marred By SJWs on the Warpath

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I cannot stand the scribblings of the pretentious, sanctimonious, vulgar voice of the hipster generation, David Foster Wallace, so I was naturally amused to read of the hilarious tumult surrounding the holding of the 5th Annual DFW Conference.

DFW was duly pious about the fate of the humble lobster, but he was also a bad boyfriend and a lech and even his suicide in 2008 will not protect him from the rage of the #MeToo Feminists.

The Outline gravely wrestles with all the intense moral issues here.

First, the flyers were defaced. Hung in the hallways of Illinois State University’s English department, the message was inked identically on each one: NAH I DON’T LIKE PREDATORS, above the clip-art lobster and below the promise of pizza.

This was mid-October 2017 — post-Weinstein, pre-C.K. The flyers announced an info session for a committee to plan and execute the school’s 5th-annual David Foster Wallace Conference. Wallace taught at ISU for nearly a decade; he wrote almost all his major works there, including the 1996 behemoth Infinite Jest. He also liked to sleep with his students, was abusive to his girlfriend at the time, the writer Mary Karr (whom he’d tried to push from a moving car not long before moving to Illinois in the summer of 1993, and also once hurled a coffee table at), committed statutory rape while away on book tour (or at least told a friend he did), and wrote to his friend Jonathan Franzen to say that he sometimes thought he was “put on earth to put his penis in as many vaginas as possible.”

This stuff had been public knowledge for years (all of the above is drawn from D.T. Max’s 2012 Wallace biography, Every Love Story is a Ghost Story). But with Weinstein looped on cable news, Wallace’s past behavior seemed freshly reprehensible, and more people were willing to speak out against a school-sanctioned celebration of his work.

Ryan Edel, the conference’s chairman, took the flyers down and tried to forget about them. Edel, a big, soft-voiced Chicagoan with thick glasses and a graying beard, spent five years as a military linguist before going to ISU to get his Ph.D in 2011. As a general rule, conference chairs are experts in their field: authors of monographs, anthology intros, controversial journal articles. Edel, in contrast, had barely heard of Wallace when he took on the job in 2016. He just hadn’t realized that his more-or-less provincial university hosted a conference of international significance.

His ignorance of Wallace, who died by suicide in 2008, extended to the writer’s personal life. Edel had heard hints of bad behavior, and received at least one strongly worded letter from a member of the ISU community calling him out for “honoring someone who had taken advantage of women, particularly students,” as he described it. But stacked against all the deification of Wallace as a world-historical genius/saint, this stuff had failed to fully dent his consciousness. Now, he couldn’t post to the conference’s Facebook page without being asked point-blank how he justified celebrating an abuser. Maybe the monocled bone-bags over in Updike Studies would scoff at a question like that, and start pompously discoursing on the need to situate writers in their original context. But Edel started personally answering every angry Facebook comment, unambiguously condemning Wallace’s behavior in self-searching mini-essays that could run to five or six hundred words.

RTWT

09 Jun 2018

Dead White Males Named Female Body Parts

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Praxiteles, cast of torso of Aphrodite of Knidos by Ingres, Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris.

And Feminists have a problem with that, reports Leah Kaminsky.

Take a tour of the female pelvis, and you’ll encounter a few incongruous people along the way. How did James Douglas end up tucked behind the uterus? What is Gabriel Fallopian doing hanging around the ovaries? Why is Caspar Bartholin the Younger attached to the labia? And can we trust Ernst Grafenberg’s claim that he actually found the G-spot? Whether you know it or not, each of these dudes have ended up immortalised in the female pelvis – as the Pouch of Douglas, Bartholin’s glands, fallopian tubes, and that elusive Grafenberg spot.

The truth is, men are all over women’s bodies – dead, white male anatomists, that is. Their names live on eponymously, immortalised like audacious explorers for conquering the geography of the female pelvis as if it were terra nullius. …

Gender bias in the teaching of anatomy and physiology to medical students was examined in a 2013 study by Susan Morgan and her colleagues. In textbooks used to instruct students, they found that “male anatomy and physiology are often represented as the norm, with women being underrepresented in non‐reproductive anatomy. The impression is gained that the human body is male and that the female body is presented only to show how it differs.”

If many medical terms embody a patriarchal history, the question is how much it matters today. If most people don’t even realise that the names of female body parts have male origins – so don’t automatically connect them to men, rather than women – is it such a big deal? After all, for a word to bolster a sexist system, you’d think it would need to have some connection to male-oriented meaning in our minds.

One problem, says Lera Boroditsky, associate professor of cognitive science at UCSD, is that eponyms perpetuate the notion that advances are made by one individual – rather than the long collaborative process central to the process of scientific discovery. She argues for a system “that is not centred around the historical victories of men ‘discovering’ body parts”. Instead, these terms should be replaced by descriptors that are useful and educational to the body’s owner.

RTWT

08 May 2018

She Was Not Amused

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Simona Sharoni, “College Professor, Author, Public Speaker, Curriculum Innovator, Facilitator, Activist,” Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies, Merrimack College.

The Chronicle of Higher Education describes how a professor of Gender Studies was triggered by a standard “travelling-in-an-elevator” joke, leading to big trouble.

The fuss started when Richard Ned Lebow, a professor of political theory at King’s College London, and Simona Sharoni, a professor of women’s and gender studies at Merrimack College, ended up in the same crowded elevator during a conference at a Hilton in San Francisco last month.

She said she offered to press the floor buttons for people in the elevator, whom she described as mostly conference attendees and all, except one other woman, white middle-aged men. Instead of saying a floor, Lebow smiled and asked for the women’s lingerie department “and all his buddies laughed,” Sharoni wrote in a complaint, the details of which he disputed, to the association later that day.

“After they walked out, the woman standing next to me turned to me and said, ‘I wonder if we should have told them that it is no longer acceptable to make these jokes!” she said in her complaint.

Sharoni, who wrote in her complaint that she has experienced sexual harassment in academe in the past and was shaken by the incident, said it took her a while to figure out that Lebow thought it was funny “to make a reference to men shopping for lingerie while attending an academic conference. I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that we froze and didn’t confront him,” she wrote.

After glancing at Lebow’s name tag, Sharoni says she went back to her hotel room to check out the association’s code of conduct. She then wrote to Mark A. Boyer, the association’s executive director. He forwarded the complaint to the group’s Committee on Professional Rights and Responsibilities, which determined that Lebow had violated the conduct code.

RTWT

Obvious craziness, but what can you expect when colleges and universities hire professional neurotics to teach whining and complaining in special Grievance Studies departments?

03 May 2018

American University: “Women Can, Ex Post Facto, Revoke Consent!”

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A new story of life at the University today strongly suggests that male college students would be well advised to restrict their romantic lives to paid professionals.

Washington Examiner:

American University is requiring all new students take a controversial sex education training course or face academic discipline.

In screenshots obtained exclusively by Red Alert Politics, American University asks students hypothetical questions about sexual encounters in an online course called “Campus Clarity: Think About It.” The program also asks students personal behavioral questions like how many sexual partners they’ve had and how often they drink.

“Alex and Jen played beer pong together and she even made out with him,” the module prompts. “How then could Alex have assaulted her?” one hypothetical asks.

The material teaches that women can change their mind about consent the day after an encounter, effectively leaving women with the ability to re-write history and accuse sexual partners of inappropriate behavior despite receiving consent.

Sydney Jacobs, a former student at American University, told Red Alert Politics she was threatened with academic probation when she did not complete the online training during the Spring semester of 2017.

“As a reminder, any undergraduate student that does not meet this requirement will be referred to Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution Services and be assigned an educational sanction,” an email sent from the AU Wellness Center to Jacobs read in part.

RTWT

16 Feb 2018

La Plus ça Change

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The Days’ Doings, London, April 13, 1872

04 Feb 2018

Uma Is an Awful Driver

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Maureen Dowd serves up Uma Thurman’s #MeToo testimonial.

We learn from all this that Uma is a true New Yorker, unable to drive, and scared out of her wits at the prospect of managing Maxwell Smart’s joke sports car, the Kharmann Ghia! Watch Uma go all over the road before she crashes it.

Uma plays a superwoman assassin in “Kill Bill,” but, alas! we learn here that she’s a hypochondriac (“my permanently damaged neck and my screwed-up knees.”) and a whiner. (“As she sits by the fire on a second night when we talk until 3 a.m., tears begin to fall down her cheeks. She brushes them away.”)

Maureen Dowd clearly sat up and listened to Uma’s BS until 4 A.M. You know what that means don’t you?

01 Feb 2018

Famous Waterhouse Painting Removed in Manchester

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John William Waterhouse, Hylas and the Nymphs, 1896, Manchester City Art Gallery.

The Guardian reports that the Manchester City Art Gallery has removed a Pre-Raphaelite painting not as censorship, you understand, but rather “to prompt conversations.”

It is a painting that shows pubescent, naked nymphs tempting a handsome young man to his doom, but is it an erotic Victorian fantasy too far, and one which, in the current climate, is unsuitable and offensive to modern audiences?

Manchester Art Gallery has asked the question after removing John William Waterhouse’s Hylas and the Nymphs, one of the most recognisable of the pre-Raphaelite paintings, from its walls. Postcards of the painting will be removed from sale in the shop.

The painting was taken down on Friday and replaced with a notice explaining that a temporary space had been left “to prompt conversations about how we display and interpret artworks in Manchester’s public collection”. Members of the public have stuck Post-it notes around the notice giving their reaction.

Clare Gannaway, the gallery’s curator of contemporary art, said the aim of the removal was to provoke debate, not to censor. “It wasn’t about denying the existence of particular artworks.”

The work usually hangs in a room titled In Pursuit of Beauty, which contains late 19th century paintings showing lots of female flesh.

Gannaway said the title was a bad one, as it was male artists pursuing women’s bodies, and paintings that presented the female body as a passive decorative art form or a femme fatale.

“For me personally, there is a sense of embarrassment that we haven’t dealt with it sooner. Our attention has been elsewhere … we’ve collectively forgotten to look at this space and think about it properly. We want to do something about it now because we have forgotten about it for so long.”

Gannaway said the debates around Time’s Up and #MeToo had fed into the decision.

The removal itself is an artistic act and will feature in a solo show by the artist Sonia Boyce which opens in March. People can tweet their opinion using #MAGSoniaBoyce. …

Gannaway said the removal was not about censorship.

“We think it probably will return, yes, but hopefully contextualised quite differently. It is not just about that one painting, it is the whole context of the gallery.”

RTWT

Look at you, oogling those nymphs! Aren’t you ashamed of yourself, you nasty cis-gendered masculine perpetuator of the patriarchy?

22 Jan 2018

Alpha Male Responds to Women’s March

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