Search This Blog

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Rotten Apples

Humans are inherently flawed.  Most of us are pretty decent overall and because of that, civilization has been able to take hold and flourish or at least survive.

Some people, however, are simply rotten to the core. It's a small percentage, but even a small percentage of a large population such as that found in the United States, is still quite a substantial number of people.  These horrible people think nothing of lying, manipulation, fraud, assault, sadism, rape, even murder.  I don't know what percentage of the population these people represent, but just to get an idea, some have argued that sociopaths alone make up 4% of the population.  Even if that figure is off on the high side by an order of magnitude, we're still talking more than a million sociopaths in the United States alone.

These rotten apples can be found across race, gender, religious, and ideological boundaries.  Oh sure, we could argue until we're blue in the face whether, say, more Republicans or Democrats are sociopathic (or otherwise horrible people), but the point is that any and every group has at least some of them.

Any crime or immoral act that you can imagine has probably been committed by some rotten apple(s) somewhere in each and every group.  There are an uncountable number of sensational and horrifying stories just waiting for some intrepid journalist to track down and expose to the public. Such stories aren't really relevant or useful, other than being entertaining and/or engaging stories.

And that brings us to the main topic of this post.  An award winning feature writer wanted to find the next big feature.
Magazine writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely knew she wanted to write about sexual assaults at an elite university. What she didn’t know was which university. 
She knew the narrative and the story within the narrative that she wanted to tell.  She just didn't know the "where" or the "when."
So, for six weeks starting in June, Erdely interviewed students from across the country. She talked to people at Harvard, Yale, Princeton and her alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. None of those schools felt quite right.
And, of course, since she was going for the next big feature story, and a non-statistical anecdote has no real meaning anyway other than reminding everybody that rotten apples exist (which everybody knows already), the feel of the story and how it fits the narrative is extremely important.  Fortunately, she finally found what she was looking for:
But one did [have the right feel]: the University of Virginia, a public school, Southern and genteel, brimming with what Erdely calls “super-smart kids” and steeped in the legacy of its founder, Thomas Jefferson.
She found a student named Jackie, who told a harrowing story of gang rape that fit the desired narrative perfectly. The setting was:
...Phi Kappa Psi. The "upper tier" frat had a reputation of tremendous wealth, and its imposingly large house overlooked a vast manicured field, giving "Phi Psi" the undisputed best real estate along UVA's fraternity row known as Rugby Road. 
Rich white southern males in an all male exclusive organization.  A group that many love to hate.  And certainly a group that everyone is allowed to hate.  Nobody needs to feel guilty about despising, loathing, hating, etc. a group of rich white southern frat boys.  The hate one is allowed to feel for this group would be beyond shocking if directed at virtually any other unrelated group.

The story starts with Jackie riding high.  She's been invited to a "date function" at the frat and has meticulously dressed and primped.  Next thing you know, Jackie is "climbing the frat-house stairs with Drew," her frat boy date.  And like in a horror flick, where some character is going off alone and you're screaming at the screen, "DON'T GO THERE!!!" you know it's going to end bad.

And boy, does it ever end bad.  I'm not going to get into the ugly details of the gang rape here (this is a family blog :-), but it caused a lot of outrage at the fraternity and UVA administration:
University faculty arranged a protest that kicked off late Saturday night on Beta Bridge, responding to a Rolling Stone magazine article released Wednesday that described an alleged gang rape of a UVa student by seven men at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity two years ago, and the subsequent missteps of the system by which the assault was reported. Charlottesville police have been asked by UVa to investigate the allegation. [...]
The Phi Kappa Psi house was vacated days ago, not long after the controversial article was released and the house was attacked by an anonymous group that is demanding changes in the university’s sexual assault reporting system. Some students have asserted that members of the fraternity left the house after receiving anonymous death threats, though the fraternity has not responded to these claims. 
They attacked the entire house regarding something that happened two years ago.  There were alleged "death threats" against members of the fraternity who may or may not have had anything to do with the incident.  It's typical mob behavior, and in some fairness, they did have some justification to lump the entire fraternity in with the rapists: Jackie's story implied that the gang rape was some sort of fraternity initiation ceremony; therefore, that innocent women were regularly snagged by this fraternity for these heinous criminal acts.
Phi Kappa Psi voluntarily suspended its affiliation with the university not long after the release of the [Rolling Stone] article. And on Saturday, the university suspended all Greek organizations for the remainder of the semester. [...]
Thus, the entire fraternity and sorority system was punished for unproven allegations that nobody had ever been indicted for and that had happened more than two years ago.  Due process was summarily thrown out the window.  Many were quite happy about that:
Claire Wyatt, a 2013 UVa graduate, ... praised the crowd’s “righteous anger.”
Because righteous anger is known to always solve everything and lead to justice, right?

It turns out that Jackie didn't want her part of the article to go forward:
Jackie said she asked Erdely to be taken out of the article. She said Erdely refused and Jackie was told that the article would go forward regardless.
After all, the story fit the narrative so perfectly.  However, it turns out that Ms. Erdely would have done well to have followed Jackie's request.  Indeed, that request might have been the first hint that maybe this story wasn't quite factually accurate.  But this red flag was ignored. Erdely also did not bother to spend a lot of effort fact checking the story or corroborating the very limited available hard evidence.

The fraternity, while cooperating with the police, found that pretty much everything that could be verified about the alleged gang rape turned out to be false and has since published a statement to that effect.  Rolling Stone soon followed by adding a note to the beginning of the story that "there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie's account," but they have not fully retracted the story.

But of course they wouldn't retract the story.  At the very worst, it's just yet another "fake but accurate" story.  Fake in some details, but accurate to the narrative.

My first thought when finding that Jackie's story wasn't true, at least not completely true, was that Erdely was simply incompetent.  Not because she produced a fake story but because she didn't bother to find a truer and real version of it.  As I was noting in the beginning of this post, there are enough rotten apples that surely at some place and some time, a horrible gang rape has been committed by members of a fraternity.  There are millions of people who have been members of fraternities and using the 4% rotten apples estimate, that's tens of thousands of bad people who have belonged to fraternities.  All Erdely had to do was find the truer version and verify it and then she could've had a "true and accurate" story.  An anecdote true in details and true to the narrative.

Several people I know think that the details are immaterial.  So what that she apparently got the fraternity wrong? So what if she got the date wrong?  So what if the people she described don't exist?  Something likely happened to Jackie that night - that's the important thing.

In other words, "fake but accurate" is perfectly acceptable.  Indeed a gripping "fake but accurate" story might be better than a true one if its details, even if wrong, are more compelling.

The collateral damage of smearing innocent people's reputations, vandalizing the fraternity, and shutting down the greek system are also not a problem - this is a group that it's okay to hate and okay to damage.  The fact the Jackie's credibility is non-existent now that all verifiable facts turned out to be false is also unimportant. Women do get raped, so it doesn't really matter if Jackie's specific story is true at all.  It's an accurate enough description of what has happened to somebody, at some place, at some time.  Therefore, all males, everywhere, all the time, are guilty.  And males, especially members of a southern fraternity, need to bear the brunt of the "fake" part of "fake but accurate" whenever and wherever required to further the narrative.

Because the importance of the narrative trumps everything else.



156 comments:

Bret said...

Yes, I'm aware of the irony that I'm righteously angry in a post where I complain about righteous anger and that since I'm only a blogger it may well turn out that this post about "fake but accurate" may turn out to be partly wrong.

But what I can guarantee is this post is accurate to my narrative and what's been proven to me is that's what counts.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

You were doing fine enough until your comment above.

If you don't really care for the truth, why should anyone else?

Peter said...

Clovis, I'm pretty sure you can take Bret's comment as sarcasm.

I've been tracking this and similar stories on several blogs and, believe me, their narrative has wings. The Rolling Stone retraction is widely seen not just as a journalistic smear, but as a catastrophe for the cause.

However, there is a real problem that transcends whether gruesome allegations of legal rape can be substantiated or not, or even whether complainants are telling creative whoppers. We don't have a "rape culture", but we do have a sex and alcohol culture, especially on campus's, and that mix is proving toxic for a lot of women. The chickens hatched at Woodstock are coming home to roost. I also take issue with Bret's suggestion that we are talking about sociopathic behavior we can isolate neatly. We are talking about unsupervised young men and women fueled by alcohol. We know damn well which of them will try to get away with what they can.

One of the very best pieces I've seen calling out both sides is here.

Note of Protest: This is Bret's blog and it's up to him to set the rules. But as one of his biggest fans and consumers, I am disheartened to see discussion of so many interesting posts dissolve and deflect into endless personal sniping, allegations of dishonesty or lack of integrity. If that's what I wanted, I would give up blogging and just watch Real Housewives of Wherever.

Clovis e Adri said...

Peter,

I will take your cue and significantly restrict my comments from now on.

Peter said...

Clovis, I certainly hope by "restrict" you aren't talking about the frequency of your comments. Bring 'em on!

There are times when bloggers would do well to pretend they aren't arguing with real people, they are arguing with pixils. :-)

Bret said...

Peter wrote: "I'm pretty sure you can take Bret's comment as sarcasm."

The vast majority of what I write has some level of sarcasm and that comment was no different. As I'm sure everyone has noticed, I'm a sarcastic, snarky, and cynical guy. I think that most people who really know me also find that I'm a reasonably nice guy who's decent at the core so they're willing to deal with the snark.

I think it's also moderately obvious that I do put some real effort into trying (though often failing) to understand the world, and that of course, requires searching for and contemplating objective facts and truth. But I've also learned more and more over the decades that subjective truth really is important and perhaps sometimes more important than objective truth. For example, that realization changed me from being decidedly anti-religious 30 years ago to being a supporter (at least to some extent) of religion even though I'm not personally religious. Instead of snarkily calling religion fake-but-accurate, I find all of the main religious dogmas extraordinarily unlikely to be objectively true, but the subjective truth embodied in them can provide organizational impetus, cultural cohesiveness, and personal comfort and, as a result, can be a positive thing for those who can subjectively buy into it.

But in the end, like everyone else, whether they realize they do it or not, I retreat into and then live by my narrative. Ultimately, like everyone else, I'm willing to discount or completely ignore countless alleged facts and seek my internal story that makes me feel content and happy. I'm pretty sure everyone does this but many and perhaps most are unaware that they do it.

Bret said...

Peter wrote: "Note of Protest"

This blog has 8 active participants representing a very, very wide diversity of ideological opinion and perspective. We have progressives and libertarians and conservatives. We have fairly young and definitely old. We have mostly male but also one female. We're mostly American, but we also have a Brazilian and a Canadian, and those of us who are American have traveled far more than average Americans have. We represent diverse careers from journalism to finance to law to transport to high-tech. Between the eight of us we have hundreds of years of experience spanning many decades, multiple eras and areas, and multiple cultures.

I believe this diversity on a blog (or anywhere) is extraordinarily rare and precious and I thank each and every one of you for spending time and effort here.

Now, would I prefer that each comment were perfectly civil, thoughtful and logically sound? Not necessarily. I would prefer that if and only if the total content and positive interactions were not reduced. On the other hand, if anybody is going to stop participating because of the negative aspects of some of the comments, that would be unfortunate also.

It looks to me like most of the "personal sniping, allegations of dishonesty or lack of integrity" all start with passionate debate getting carried away. Does anybody here really think that anybody else here is overly dishonest or lacking in integrity? I doubt it.

And unfortunately, I think that having discussions between people with this range of diversity with the level of passion we often get here inherently leads to at least occasional sniping and ad hominem. We are human after all. But the discussions with diverse points of view are unique and special and I've been more than willing to accept the bad to get to the good.

Sure, to the extent that we can participate and be passionate and contribute and at the same time minimize some of the sniping, great, please do. And develop somewhat thicker skins so that we're not so quick to retaliate, fabulous. But I'm thrilled with the activity on this blog and I'm not going to ask anyone to constrain themselves if that doesn't work for them.

Lastly, it's not my blog, it's our blog. I've already given Hey Skipper a "set of keys to the blog" and anyone else who wants access to be able to post, just let me know.

Bret said...

Peter wrote: "One of the very best pieces I've seen calling out both sides is [Neo-Victorianism on Campus]."

My guess is that the Neo-Victorian approach outlined in the article simply won't work.

People marry a lot later now. I think it's unrealistic to expect the vast majority of humans to forego sex until they're 25, 30, 40, ...

If men and women are not to be treated equally under the law in one area (sex) because women are unable to cope, then, in my opinion, they can't expected be treated equally under the law anywhere. Can you say chattel property?

No, I'm sorry, it's on women to avoid these semi-consensual hookups and/or buck it up when things don't turn out like they thought. They're either responsible adults - or they're not. And we've gone too far to undo the concept of gender equality in all aspects of society.

Hey Skipper said...

My first thought when finding that Jackie's story wasn't true, at least not completely true, was that Erdely was simply incompetent.

Except that she was, because her story really was intended to expose two things:
-- a rape culture so pervasive that gang rapes are an accepted form of behavior at bastions of white male privilege, and
-- a campus administration that is completely unresponsive to even innocent victims of that rape culture

In this putative rape culture, these things are the rule, not statistical outliers. Erdely was out to expose the rot underneath the veneer of respectability.

This where she is incompetent: she wanted that story so much that she conned herself into believing it true.

We don't have a "rape culture", but we do have a sex and alcohol culture, especially on campus's, and that mix is proving toxic for a lot of women.

Bingo.

Women put themselves in vulnerable positions, thereby enabling the predator that exists in far too many men.

Bret said...

Regarding the "sex and alcohol" culture: there was a sex, drugs, and rock n roll culture, where one of the drugs was alcohol, when I went to school nearly 4 decades ago and yet "that mix" didn't seem to prove toxic for all that many women. Oh, sure, no doubt some had regrets the morning after and some were probably traumatized for longer periods, but that only rarely seemed to be the case.

So what's different now?

Hey Skipper said...

Social mores have a lot of inertia.

When you and I were in school (IIRC, you went to a place for brainiacs; the entry requirements for USC, my alma mater, were good credit and the ability to fog a mirror) The Pill was a relatively recent invention.

The mothers of young women at the time were raised largely, if not wholly, in a pre-Pill environment. So those young women were much more of a quid pro quo mindset. Similarly, young men, to the minimal extent they aren't slaves to their carnal desires, had dads for whom the term "shotgun marriage" wasn't ancient folklore.

On top of that, one of the toxic aspects of feminism hadn't sunk in. There are only two kinds of people on the planet that think women do, or should, approach sex with the same disregard as men: cads and Wonkette/Jezebel style feminists.

The prototypical Wonkette feminist is Amanda Marcotte, who routinely labels pro-lifers as "anti-choice". That's fine, although to be fair, she should also label her side as "pro murder for convenience".

Anyway, the eventual combination of the pill and abortion on demand is an increasing number of young men viewing young women as self-propelled sex toys.

To anyone who is a Creationist, or doesn't think evolution stopped at the neckline, this comes as no surprise.

Bret said...

Hey Skipper wrote: "...an increasing number of young men viewing young women as self-propelled sex toys. "

So you think it mostly or completely explained by a change in attitude or behavior of young males?

erp said...

No. Men, young, old and in-between, are the same, it's the women who in their frenzy to prove they're "equal" to men who have changed.

Bret said...

And these women are frenzying to prove they're equal to men now, but not 20, 30, or 40 years ago?

Why now? What's different now?

Bret said...

Okay, well, I'll put forth what I think it is.

In 1970, about 60% of college students were male. Now, nearly 60% of college students are female.

In 1970, there weren't computer games. Porn was in a totally different (bush) league and as far as I remember, not at all prevalent. Men were still probably under the impression (wrongly it turns out) that there was a well defined place for them in society, and that place required a female partner and led to a family.

As a result, a female college student was much, much, much more in demand.

Now? Female college students are hardly in demand at all and as virtual reality, gaming, and porn increase further in quantity and quality, females who want intimacy are either going to have to get it on men's terms or they're going to have to get it from other women.

I think that they're finding they don't like men's terms much and are desperate to control those terms. As a result, they've invented this campus rape epidemic. What they don't realize is that's just going to make them even less desirable and reduce further the number of men who are willing to put up with them at all.

erp said...

I guess I'm not sure what time frame you mean? In my day, no pill, no contraceptives of any kind, teachers and health professionals were forbidden by law to discuss the subject.

Things changed and women, for some unfathomable reason didn't only want to be equal under the law, but wanted to be “equal” to men denying biology. Okay, but what they forgot was that it was their bodies that were invaded when the nonviable tissue was removed.

As far as I can see, nothing has changed since the sexual revolution, except perhaps that now girls, sorry women, can get positive attention by yelling rape without being burdened by the need to provide any proof whatsoever.

I imagine it’s a power thing.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Bret;

I'm mostly with Skipper. To answer your question is that the moral precepts of feminism have finally percolated fully down to college students and administrators. I am not sure that computer games and porn would be such an issue if feminism hadn't demonstrated its contempt for men and manly virtues so thoroughly. I certainly had a lot of access to both of those throughout my high school and college times but I always presumed I would marry and raise a family.

Have you looked at Men On Strike? It is a discussion of this precise issue.

Bret said...

Why do you discount the effects of supply and demand?

Harry Eagar said...

For the record, you do not have a progressive in the mix. I am a New Deal liberal.

I don't object to being labeled this or that, but let's not mischaracterize the diversity here.

Interestingly, the valid critique of the story has come from the bad ol' MSM (Erik Wemple has hit the hardest I have seen), while the critique from the right has been just ideological blather.

The underlying problem has been to treat campuses as somehow outside the regular system of policing and sanctioning. I have never seen this explicitly defended although I can think of likely arguments readily enough.

If there is a 'rape culture' aspect of it, it's that sex crimes are among those that are handled (or usually not handled) in-house.

At Cow College when there was an arsonist burning down the classrooms, the state bureau of investigation was brought in (not that it did a good job); and when there was a murder (later proven to have been suicide) the Kampus Kops were not entrusted with the investigation.

OTOH, sex offenses (and many other offenses) on Fraternity Row were treated as boys-will-be-boys. (We non-Greeks were not treated so leniently).

If all the frats and sororities were extinguished tomorrow I would not count that as a loss.

And before erp goes ballistic about liberal academia, Kow Kollege was the most rightwing campus in the nation. Out of 10,000 students, I personally accounted for half the liberals.







erp said...

Harry, I'm a city girl and don't know from cow colleges, especially fascist ones?

Fifty years ago when you were in school, there were a lot of non-leftwing colleges.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] For the record, you do not have a progressive in the mix. I am a New Deal liberal.

That's funny. You walk like a progressive. You talk like a progressive ...

The underlying problem has been to treat campuses as somehow outside the regular system of policing and sanctioning. I have never seen this explicitly defended although I can think of likely arguments readily enough.

I didn't think I'd ever say this about Slate, but here is an excellent article about how that came to be with regard to sex crimes, and how the results are absolutely indefensible.

It all reminds me of a line from the movie "As Good As It Gets". Jack Nicholson plays a successful, curmudgeonly author. When asked by an adoring reader how he writes such believable female characters he responds: "I write a man, then remove all reason and accountability."

BTW, as a bonus, it discusses how about how those absurd rape statistics came to be.

If all the frats and sororities were extinguished tomorrow I would not count that as a loss.

Well, of course not. As a progressive, you hate all independent civil organizations.

Full disclosure: I was in a fraternity, TKE, for three years. It was a great experience. I'm quite certain that all the guys in the house would have counted its elimination as a great loss. But, of course, since that would be disagreeing with a progressive, they must be wrong.

Peter said...

Skipper, that Slate article is an eye-opener and very disturbing. I think men may be soon come to appreciate the sex-ed advice once given to a group of mid-teens by a Catholic priest: "Boys, you're are going to find you experience troublesome urges in the years to come. You will find them very uncomfortable and distracting, and not easy to control. When that happens, I want you to go out and play basketball."

I don't think we can expect this enchanted kingdom can be restricted to campus's. We're undergoing a current parliamentary scandal up here that makes us look like a sexual Ruritania. We have two opposition parties, which I will call the progressive party and the even-more-progressive party. Two female M.P.'s from the even-more progressive party approached the leader of the progressive party informally to complain about the sexual misconduct of two of the progressive party's male M.P.s., one recent, one eight months ago. Apparently they were just hoping he would have a private word with them, but, fearing the potential embarrassment of being revealed to have "done nothing" by these political adversaries, he summarily announces publically that he has suspended them from his caucus pending an inquiry without so much as talking to them, hearing them out or telling them what the accusations were.

All hell breaks loose. The two complainants say they never wanted this and refuse to identify themselves, claiming publically through their leader that to force them to do so would "re-victimize" them. The two accused run to lawyers and say nothing. The leader of the progressive party (son of the iconic Pierre Trudeau and therefore a progressive darling) appeals to the Speaker to investigate and the Speaker blows him off saying he isn't in that business. Finally the two complainants talk to the press on condition of anonymity. Incident number one had M.P.s drinking together (!) and accused #1 then walks complainant #1 home. He makes a pass, including some uninvited "pelvis-grinding at her door". She tells him to leave, which he does, but sends a text calling her that favourite male epithet for women they think are coming on to them and then suddenly stop the fun.

Incident two involves M.P.s drinking (!!) and complainant #2 and accused #2 end up in his hotel room. He comes on and she is so frightened (having been a victim in her youth) she can't find the strength to say no and actually gives him a condom. You see, she agrees she may have consented after a fashion, but she didn't give "express" consent as is required by law.

It's all in limbo as the leader scrambles to conduct his own ad hoc inquiry at which the complainants will refuse to participate. The accused are saying nothing, but everyone agrees they are probably toast politically. They are both married with families, so few are crying too many tears for them. Meanwhile, the Government is enjoying a sudden spike in opinion polls.

The public debate is interesting in that nobody dares say it's all a bunch of nonsense or question the complainants' trauma by pointing out there was no power imbalance (they were political enemies) and there is surely a strange disconnect between tough, politically savvy politicians who insist they're a match for any man and such fragile, delicate flowers. That doesn't fit the narrative.

Basketball, gentlemen, the answer is basketball.

Peter said...

Bret:

Thanks for your reply to my protest. I shall toughen up in the heat of battle. However, I am going to try to lead by example by limiting my accusations of dishonesty to one per thread and my indignation that people are saying I said what I didn't say to two. :-)

Bret said...

Peter,

Do you have any adults up there in Canadian leadership, or is everybody infantile?

Basketball. Good idea. Lots of sprained ankles though. Danger everywhere you look. After all, we don't even allow playgrounds anymore because kids might get hurt.

But it does seem that the vast majority of the time a woman can avoid being "raped" or being in other uncomfortable situations related to sex if the woman simply didn't go to private area (like a bedroom) with a man. Especially if the man has been drinking. Especially, especially if the woman has been drinking. Especially, especially, especially if they've both been drinking and she takes off her clothes and hands him a condom.

On the other hand, while I feel bad for men falsely accused of sexual impropriety, they could almost always avoid that by not going to a private area (like a bedroom) with a woman. Especially if the woman has been drinking. Especially, especially if he's been drinking too. Etc.

On the third hand, my feeling is that without a confession, it should be hard to get a conviction for rape if the woman voluntarily enters a private area with a man. It's that whole beyond reasonable doubt thing. My understanding is that many jurisdictions basically do handle it that way.

Apparently Canadian politicians don't though.

Peter said...

Bret:

Leaving aside Canadian childishness, nobody is really arguing these events would result in criminal convictions. The whole point is that it's part of the feminist effort to wrestle this issue away from criminal process and put it into university, employment, administrative, etc. tribunals where the rules of evidence are loosey-goosey and the accused has none of those irksome due process protections.

Getting back to Canada, you have to understand that, as with some New Englanders and Nordics, we love to combine cutting-edged progressive thinking in principle with personal prudery. Let me illustrate: In the mid-90's, a couple of women were convicted of appearing topless in public. The feminists grabbed onto their cause and turned it into a constitutional cause celebre---when were men last convicted of this? They marched and protested and garnered a lot of support from the media and the beautiful people. The case went to appeal. The court held the law was unconstitutional as it discriminated against women. Liberal trumpets sounded and many, many champagne bottles were uncorked that day.

But not many tops came off. Indeed, Canadian women seem to have celebrated their new-found right by unanimously resolving never to exercise it. I haven't seen a topless woman since and, if I really wanted to find one, I'd figure my chances were probably better in rural Alabama.

erp said...

Funny story, when we were in Spain, it was reported that beaches were topless. Since our hotel was right on a beach, my husband couldn't wait to try the surf.

Imagine his chagrin when we got to the sand to find the topless females were German tourists of a "certain" age.

IOW, they didn't much look like the Brazilian lovelies in the pictures you posted some time ago.

Poor guy was soooooooo disappointed.

Peter said...

Yes, erp, not unlike the old nudist colony magazines that boys once sought out desperately and which proved to be such turnoffs. Once you've spent time with German and Nordic nudists, you understand better the Victorian male thrill at a glimpse of a well-turned ankle.

I've been told by young university students that sex between men and women who live in the same co-ed residence is more the exception than the rule.

Hey Skipper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hey Skipper said...

Skipper, that Slate article is an eye-opener and very disturbing.

I spent virtually the entire time reading it absolutely slack-jawed.

Besides the Title IX abuse, there was one other thing that struck me. Feminists view suggesting that young women watch when, where, with whom, and how much they are drinking victim blaming. Just as they view suggesting that certain ways of dressing or acting are asking for trouble.

In other words, young women are never responsible for enabling anything; however, if law enforcement were to act in such a way to get people to do something they would not otherwise have done, the case would get thrown out for entrapment.

Bret said...

I'm a little skeptical of some of the stuff in the Slate article. Let's see if they win their court cases before we get too sure that the story is correct.

I was skeptical of the Rolling Stone article, and sure enough...

Bret said...

San Diego has one of the most beautiful nude beaches in the world (Blacks Beach).

But I have to stress that it's the beach that's beautiful. The unclad beachgoers? Eh, not so much.

Peter said...

At this point, I am hoping Clovis will weigh in. There is something about naked Brazilian beauties on a beach that fuels a young man's and even a not-so-young man's deepest fantasies. Why is it that naked Northern Europeans and North American women leave us with the impression they want to challenge us to a push-up contest?

Clovis e Adri said...

Tom Jobim, that master of Bossa Nova music, went on to live in New York later in his life, to which he was asked to compare it with his former life in Rio de Janeiro.

In loose translation, he answered "To live in the US is wonderful, but it sucks. To live in Brazil sucks, but it is wonderful."

I guess only Brazilians can fully understand the myriad of ways in which he was right. But one of them probably has to do with our Ipanema girls...

Harry Eagar said...

You haven't lived until you have excavated the nest of an endangered hawksbill turtle on a nude beach on Maui. My friend the conservationist, who did it, described it s weird.

So it was. (I was there but observing from outside the scrum. I have picture.

And, for the record, I did not fail to observe that erp, who never misses an opportunity to display her racism, did it again.

I could have told s similar story -- hundreds, in fact -- from the entering class at Kow Kollege, only affirmative action would not need to be called in since none of them was colored.

erp said...

Harry, I glean from your comment above that while you were a student at your alma mater, presumably Georgia A&M, hundreds of your fellow students played hoaxes by spray painting racial epithets and worse on their dorm room doors even though there were no colored students at the college.

I think it's about time you reveal exactly what is your evidence for my racism. True stories that don't fit your narrative not permissible as evidence.

Hey Skipper said...

And, for the record, I did not fail to observe that erp, who never misses an opportunity to display her racism, did it again.

Well, jeez Harry. I sure failed to observe erp displaying racism.

Perhaps you could help me out with a direct quote?

[Bret:] I'm a little skeptical of some of the stuff in the Slate article.

For instance? I have read either identical or similar examples plenty of other places. Also, it seems like that Slate article is pretty well sourced. You know, like there was some actual journalism involved.

Bret said...

Hey Skipper asks: "For instance?"

For example, Drew's story is simply unbelievable to me. In particular, that if the facts he alleges are true, that the administration didn't completely clear him.

I'm mostly saying, let's see what the court finds before we buy into this too much.

I agree that Slate seems to have done a (much) better job investigating for this piece than Rolling Stone did for the UVA story, but how do we know they're not just making stuff up as well? I guess I pretty much never believe anything any more.

erp said...

Bret, your last sentence pretty much sums up my feelings as well.

erp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harry Eagar said...

Gee, Skipper, you haven't noticed the pattern in erp's comments about uppity coloreds?

If they don't make the grade, they're victims of affirmative action, but if they do, they are unqualified affirmative action hires.

In any case, they don't belong in the same room with her precious son, who did it all on his own (although, as I pointed out, he had the benefit of not having to compete against talented colored people).

Howard said...

Wow Harry, that's a truly impressive demonstration of what a warped perspective you embrace!

erp said...

Harry, you're babbling now.

I said what I mean and mean what I said. AA discredits talented and capable people by not allowing them to compete on their own merits and puts unprepared and less capable people in places where they are over their heads. In other words AA assumes that no black person can compete with non-blacks.

I have two precious sons and a precious daughter as well as two precious grandsons and five precious granddaughters and I strongly request that you leave any and all references to them out of your comments.

Howard said...

Perhaps our friend can't help himself because he is a raceaholic.

Those ethnically exculpatory facts do not deter the raceaholics. Then again, nothing ever does. Raceaholics are not just misguided or confused. They are cruel, destructive, and un-American.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] Gee, Skipper, you haven't noticed the pattern in erp's comments about uppity coloreds?

Nope.

If they don't make the grade, they're victims of affirmative action ...

Missed that, too.

In any case, they don't belong in the same room with her precious son ...

And that.

By all means provide me with direct quotes so I can know exactly what I've been missing.

Alternatively, it may well be you are scratching the defamation itch that seems to uniquely afflict progressives.

Clovis e Adri said...

Given the topic, I'd be happy if any of you guys could explain me this.

How do you "sexually harass" someone by Internet? Are bits that dangerous now?

Furthermore, should every author, if found trying to date young ladies online, have his books deleted from the face of Earth?

Is that valid for, let us say, famous movie directors and actors too? If not, why should it be the case for Physics professors?

The thing is, those are good classes, what do I care if the guy (now retired) is looking for youngies online, why should those taped classes be taken down?

erp said...

Maybe she's just even with him for giving her a failing grade.

Bret said...

Clovis,

The MIT paper had an article: http://tech.mit.edu/V134/N60/walterlewin.html

I've been a somewhat active commenter. A frat brother of mine discovered Lewin's twitter feed, which was then removed, but the following are some excerpted comments describing the feeds...

=================================================================================================

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This comment is to give everybody here an idea of the sorts of things Lewin was doing.

As mentioned above, Lewin's twitter account mysteriously disappeared in the last 24 hours. I saw it before it disappeared and I will piece together one of a few inappropriate (in my opinion) sequences.

The sequence is between Lewin, tshelsea ( https://twitter.com/tshelsea/with_replies ), and VeeNasrallah (https://twitter.com/VeeNasrallah/with_replies ). Some of it (as noted below) is only from memory:

[1]Chelsea. tshelsea - 11 Jun 2013
If Walter Lewin doesn't open a water company called Wally Walter's Water then what's the point.

[2]From memory, Lewin tweets something like (to tshelsea, VeeNasrallah): That's a good idea, will you be my CEO.

[3]The Head Captain. VeeNasrallah 16 Jun 2013
walter_lewin tshelsea chelsea did walter lewin just tweet us.

[4]From memory, some back forth banter, discussing payment with Lewin tweeting to the effect that she would like the payment a lot.

[5]The sequence is capped off with Lewin tweeting, "I will do my part, queefing is yours."

So pretty bad. Note that this is only one sequence in twitter (though this one was the worst in my opinion) and who knows what happened via email, etc. [1] and [3] above can (still) be found on the women's twitter pages, [2] and [4] are from memory before Lewin's account was deleted, and [5] is an exact quote though I don't have a screen shot or date.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Anonymous at 10:34 AM on December 11, 2014:

Bret,

I managed to archive Lewin's exact quotes. They were:

[2] "tshelsea May I hire you as the CEO?"
[3] "tshelsea You will get paid a way that will broaden your horizons and enrich your life. You life will never be the same."
[4] "tshelsea I will do my part, queefing is yours."

The jokes are of course inappropriate, though, call me sick-minded, but I laughed.

For context: I do remember this being the worst Tweets as well. Most of his Tweets were him just nicely offering to sign books and so on.

The Tech is free to delete this comment if it wishes. The tweets were public and will come out eventually.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

=================================================================================================

Bret said...

Clovis,

If you look at the comments in the article I mentioned above, the vast majority of commenters think it's lunacy that they took down his educational videos. They're more split on stripping him of his emeritus professor title.

As you can see from the above tweets, in this "kinder, gentler" America that progressives are wanting us to live in, Lewin's tweets are simply unacceptable.

By these standards, so many great scientists, artists, leaders, etc. of the past would've been destroyed before their contributions could've been fully completed.

But that was then, this is now.

Sexual Harassment is anything that makes (or could make) anyone uncomfortable that has anything vaguely to do with sex. The queefing comment clearly qualifies.

If you look @tshelsea's twitter page (the person to whom Lewin's tweets were directed), she's really raunchy and obscene (in my opinion), so it would be ridiculous if she brought the complaint.

But twitter is public, so lots of fragile people probably saw it. Also, who knows what he spewed forth in email, etc.

The main argument is that a teacher has a dominant position over a student and such power makes it so severe restrictions need to be placed on communication between teacher and student.

Peter said...

How do you "sexually harass" someone by Internet?

Imagine a man who makes comments directly to a woman about her...er...physical superstructure. Now imagine he makes the same comments about her through a microphone to a packed football stadium.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

Is it really something about progressives only?

From a distance, this (hypocritical) overreaction to anything sex does look like something fairly distributed and general in your society.

I was not aware of what Lewin wrote, thanks a lot for the examples. They only made it even more absurd they took his videos down, IMO. (Sure, he did a mistake, but nothing to grant the reaction so far).


I believe I am aware enough of the boundaries teacher/sudent, being one myself. But this talk of "dominant position over students" is overblown when talking about adult education at college level.

Usually the only power a professor has over such students is the degree of difficulty he will apply to his Tests, and that's not even something you can target a particular student with.

In an online learning environment, like it was the case with Lewin, not even that is true. So this dominant position argument is very weak...

Clovis e Adri said...

P.s.: Now, looking for the dictionary what "queefing" (gosh, there is a word in English for that?), I realize what online sexual harassment may be.

I bet though that the people stripping Lewin of his Emeritus Professorship are happy enough praising Woody Allen and Roman Polanski movies.

Bret said...

Clovis asked: "Is it really something about progressives only?"

Well, I specifically wrote, 'in this "kinder, gentler" America that progressives are wanting us to live in.' I think that most progressives would agree with that. Democrats are thought of as the "mommy" party, Republicans the harsher/sterner/less caring "daddy" party.

Clovis wrote: "From a distance, this (hypocritical) overreaction to anything sex does look like something fairly distributed and general in your society."

Note that I wasn't blaming progressives for America's sexual (in my opinion) prudery, which, for some reason, is simply part of the American psyche in general.

In this particular instance, though, look at the comments to the Tech article. The folks most satisfied with the punishment of Lewin seemed to come from female commenters, who, seemed to have a feminist/progressive bent. Well, at least that's my interpretation.

Clovis wrote: "They only made it even more absurd they took his videos down, IMO."

You're preaching to the choir. Though, I suppose, we don't know what else he did.

Clovis wrote: "...and that's not even something you can target a particular student with."

In physics and hard sciences, that's probably mostly true. In things like literature, sociology, etc., you're grade is mostly whatever the teacher wants to give you, for whatever reason, whether that reason is good, bad, or queefy.

Clovis wrote: "So this dominant position argument is very weak..."

I didn't say it was strong, but I do believe that is the main argument used. Again, as is obvious from my comments here and there, if left to me, I would almost certainly not taken the videos down, and I'd have to see the rest of the evidence to consider if the rest of the actions were justified.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "gosh, there is a word in English for that?"

I know at least part of the reason you interact here is to keep up and extend your English skills - I'm very glad to have been able to help extend your vocabulary by at least this one word. :-)

In all honesty, I don't believe I ever came across that word until yesterday either, and also had to look it up.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "I bet though that the people stripping Lewin of his Emeritus Professorship are happy enough praising Woody Allen and Roman Polanski movies."

Hmmm. You were skeptical about my placing some responsibility on progressives for the Lewin thing. Yet my hypothesis for why Allen and Polanski were let off fairly easily was that the progressive media and government(s) were taking care of their own (Allen and Polanski are progressives). Obviously, given your statement, you disagree with my hypothesis. Could you explain why you think Allen and Polanski weren't severely condemned?

erp said...

Bret,

Queefy as a combination of "Questionable" and "Iffy" is a great word and also serves as shorthand for almost everything that appears in the media.

Thanks for being on the cutting edge of pop culture.

I may surprise my grandchildren by being new-fashioned for a change.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

---
Could you explain why you think Allen and Polanski weren't severely condemned?
---

Other than to learn English, I come here to take views of some smart Americans on how their society works. I may be skeptical about some of the positions offered here, but be sure I am listening.

I can't really explain Allen or Polanski, but if I had to, I'd say that "expectations induced by environment" is an important factor. IOW, everyone expects Hollywood/movie industry to be a dirty business, full of sex, drugs and pedophiles. While teachers/professors must all be guardians of decency and virtue.

To the extent that part of our salaries is justified by the trust that is given to us over young (and possibly vulnerable) learners, the above expectation is not entirely unfair. Yet, to tell you the truth, I sometimes feel myself far more vulnerable in regard to the students behavior than the other way around.

Peter said...

Nothing personal, Clovis, but I think the most of the public would feel a greater sense of loss over Chinatown or Annie Hall than another string theory.

This old goat is Exhibit A for why nobody wants rush to defend many of these guys. "Your Honor, now that I've completed my inspiring argument in defense of the rule of law and due process, may I be excused to take a shower?"

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "...expectations induced by environment..."

Good point. I have to think about that more.

Clovis wrote: "I sometimes feel myself far more vulnerable in regard to the students behavior than the other way around."

Preaching to the choir again. What tune should I be using to sing?

You realize that every person who owns or runs a business and managers feel that exact same vulnerability? Our livelihoods can be destroy by unfounded accusations as well, just like yours.

As an employer in STEM, would you guess that I'd be more, or less, likely to hire women after seeing what happened to Lewin?

erp said...

Clovis, you're right about being vulnerable as a young professor. One piece of advice I used to give young professors was "Always keep your door ajar when young women students are in your office."

Then when I got a little more savvy, I changed that to, "Always keep your door ajar when students of any sex are in your office." :-)

Bret said...

erp wrote: "...when students of any sex..."

You mean all 51 of them? :-)

erp said...

... there were only two in those days.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

As far as I can tell, this kind of overreaction is almost entirely done by what passes for "progressives" in America these days, and most particularly people who call themselvs "feminists". I can't think of a single counter example and I have seen a near endless stream of positive examples of that thesis.

Clovis and Bret;

This is an interesting article for the two of you. For Bret, it's support for the story in Slate. In particular, note that it discusses actual Yale policy, not what others think of the policy. I will quote the key part

--
a direct quote from the Yale guidelines, “the goal is to achieve a resolution that is desired by the [accuser].”
--

If we were to presume Drew's college had a similar policy, the treatment described would be in complete accord with it. This isn't isolated - you can look up the Hardvard professors complaining about similar policies at Harvard. And Clovis, I can guarantee you all of that was done by "progressives".

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

Thanks for the tip, other people gave me it before and I usually follow it. Not only with students, but basically with anyone who enters my office.


Peter,

Should I get from your Exhibit A that you take Lewin as guilty based on the evidence presented by Bret?


AOG,

In your opinion, why is it so that those "kangaroo courts" have been enabled by "progressives"? How can they keep processes that violate basic rights of the accused people and get away with it? I'd think such a thing would lead to lawsuits and the University losing a lot of money.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

---
You realize that every person who owns or runs a business and managers feel that exact same vulnerability?
---

Actually, Bret, no, I never thought of people on those positions feeling vulnerable.

I certainly do not notice such feeling among the business owners and managers I personally know down here.

Not that it makes a good comparison, since sexual harassment lawsuits are not so endemic here as they are up there.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "How can they keep processes that violate basic rights of the accused people and get away with it?"

Probably no "rights" were violated here. MIT had policies that it insisted its faculty follow and other policies that described steps to enforce the other policies. This is mostly contractual and in the private domain. Lewin violated the contract by not following the policies and MIT had a contractual right to remove him.

There are no criminal proceedings against Lewin and he very likely didn't violate any laws.

Clovis wrote: "I never thought of people on those positions feeling vulnerable... since sexual harassment lawsuits are not so endemic here as they are up there."

Probably even as a academic physicist you're safer down there than up here. Between, Lewin, UVA, Duke, and numerous other cases, it's obvious that there is a somewhat rational reason for white males to be fearful of harassment suits based on gender and race. I say "somewhat" rational because the probability of being the target of such a suit is still pretty small - but it does weigh on me.

erp said...

Bret, the difference among those cases is that Lewin may actually be guilty.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

--
In your opinion, why is it so that those "kangaroo courts" have been enabled by "progressives"?
--

Many reasons. The MAL consists of many very hate filled people who simply enjoy that sort of power/abuse. More commonly it's done for the same reason dictators are aggressive and accuse minorities of various imaginary crimes. It stirs up the base and keeps people distracted from real issues. There is also the slippery slope and the false presumption the people running this are actually in control. It will hardly be the first time agitators started a monster that got away from them. There's a dynamic where each success creates the need for even more excess to keep things in motion and eventually the original conspirators are overrun by the lunatics.

--
How can they keep processes that violate basic rights of the accused people and get away with it? I'd think such a thing would lead to lawsuits and the University losing a lot of money.
--

By creating a sense of crisis, where normal rules need to be suspended. See my previous paragraph. As for your last question we are at the beginning of a wave of exactly that sort of lawsuit. Drew, for instance, is busy suing the university. I expect a wave of litigation against the U. of Virginia as well.

--
I certainly do not notice such feeling among the business owners and managers I personally know down here.
--

Speaking as a almost former business owner and someone who nows a lot of other business owners, I agree completely with Bret. The single biggest part of my training for BigTechCorp is about sexual harassment. Based on that, it's their number one concern.

Bret;

"Probably no "rights" were violated here."

What I find very amusing is that what was violated was Title IX. Clearly the procedures and policies of the University discriminated based on gender, treating a female student differently than a male one. The problem with your view of it being a private contract is government of universities - that brings in federal control so much of this is not "law" per se but threat of loss of funding if the University doesn't treat it as a law. Yet one more reason I object to such funding.

Annoying Old Guy said...

All;

Here is a somewhat similar case.

A key paragraph for Bret

--
Mr. Waggoner was alluding to Goss v. Lopez, the 1975 U.S. Supreme Court case that established a due-process standard—notice and a hearing—for high-school students facing suspension of up to 10 days. Whether such minimal protections are sufficient for adults in college is an unresolved legal question
--

erp said...

...why is it so that those "kangaroo courts" have been enabled by "progressives"?

Isn't the answer obvious? Our system of the Rule of Law disallows despots, so tossing it under the bus has been the first line of business for almost a hundred years now.

The concept is moribund now.

Peter said...

Should I get from your Exhibit A that you take Lewin as guilty based on the evidence presented by Bret?

No, Clovis, what you should get is he grosses me out. I was alluding to the difficulty politically in challenging these outrageous procedures in the face of such offensive behavior.

I agree with AOG that these codes and Star Chamber hearings are the work of progressives incorporating a very politicized narrative of what constitutes assault and harassment. But I don't agree that it is only progressive women activists who think there are some serious issues at play here that are fueling widespread female anger. These procedures are abominations, but "leave it all with the police and criminal courts" isn't going to cut it.

Tom Wolfe explored the campus hook-up culture in I am Charlotte Simmons, which gave what I thought was a very good treatment of the emotional and pyschological damage it causes many women. The book wasn't terribly well received or even understood because, while it fit the "rape culture" narrative well enough, it didn't fit the "sexual symmetry" narrative that progressives and many non-progressives cling to so determinedly.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Peter;

Or you could Ezra Klein who openly supports punishing the innocent to terrorize the general population of males.

--
but "leave it all with the police and criminal courts" isn't going to cut it.
--

Two questions:

1) Why not?

2) Even if you're right, should we then "do something!" even if that makes it worse?

I agree there is a lot of cultural rot hurting a large number of people, particularly the young, but government activism isn't going to help (and, in my view, has been much of what's fueled this degeneration).

I would ask, though, what you think is fueling this "female anger". Actual assaults and rapes are much lower now, both on and off campus, than 20 years ago. I would say much of the anger is because feminism has told these women they can do anything without consequences and they are discovering that, as usual, being a progressive means being delusional because the world just doesn't work that way.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Dang, forgot the actual Klein link. Clovis you should note that on this subject we have a leading progressive columnist openly advocating abandoning the rule of law. That's how the kangaroo courts get to operate, because Old Media and progressive leaders support it and adjust their propaganda to support it.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
Bret, the difference among those cases is that Lewin may actually be guilty.
---
It is amusing to compare your reaction so far to Lewin's case and Cosby's.

I wonder how many more women need to accuse Cosby before you give a line like that for him too.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

---
I say "somewhat" rational because the probability of being the target of such a suit is still pretty small - but it does weigh on me.
---

Have your ever had any direct contact with small to medium companies, like yours, that had such problems?

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

First, thank you for your take on this issue.

It is not a criticism, but in regard to this part...
---
The MAL consists of many very hate filled people who simply enjoy that sort of power/abuse.
---
... I wonder, don't you think this is quite an one-dimensional description of people?

I mean, have you ever had close enough contact, or even friendship, with people in the MAL to try and understand their view? People are usually a bit more complicated than that, aren't they?

---
The single biggest part of my training for BigTechCorp is about sexual harassment.
---
Just out of curiosity, of the people you relate to in a dayily basis at work, how many are women, and what proportion do they make of the total?


---
I would ask, though, what you think is fueling this "female anger".
---
I know the question was for Peter, but can I try it too?

It is simple: Facebook.

Peter said...

AOG:

What in the world makes you think I see government as the solution? We're talking about a cultural phenomenon. But I do think universities, frats, sports teams and even employers may have to be more hands-on about some ground rules. What is it about "don't have sex with drunken women you barely know even if she seems willing" that is so oppressive?

Why now? I don't know. Why did women go through several generations without the vote and then suddenly demand it? Because they fell en masse under the sway of radicals?

My daughter switched universities away from my alma mater after her freshman year. It was always known as Party U, but Party U with dons, curfews and separate residences is different from party U where drunk, yelling football players wake up the whole co-ed residence on purpose at 3:00am by throwing beer bottles down the stairwell. She insisted she was more disgusted than frightened, but I was never convinced. A friend of hers went through the wild party scene recklessly and suffered a serious mental collapse. Is your response that they should just toughen up if they want to be equals in the boardroom?

I can't do better than the Heather MacDonald article I linked to above. I don't have any simple solutions, but "rape is a police matter and for everything else you are on your own" is a little blind, I think. I also think Clovis's point about social media is bang on. A fair number of incidents and rage/revenge impulses seem to be more about what gets tweeted and posted after the night in question than about what occurred during it.

erp said...

Clovis, we know that in the other cases Bret referenced, the people who were accused are innocent, i.e., not guilty. I said Lewin MAY be guilty because we do not know his innocence or guilt as apparently the accusation was accepted at face value and there will be no further investigation.

IMO Cosby is not guilty of rape and it wouldn't matter how many more lovelies came out of the woodwork to accuse him of rape. Did he commit adultery with hosts of women, I don't know and don't care. It's none of my business.

Why would a guy like Cosby who probably had women throwing themselves at him need to rape anybody? Groupies have always been and still are there for the pickings of the rich and famous. Cosby is being slimed for making statements not approved by the plantation masters.

Who did rape women is bubba who had Arkansas state police getting him women when he was governor and the secret service when he was president and was accused of rape at the time it happened not decades later. Yet he, like Teddy Kennedy, are darlings of the feminists.

Susan's Husband said...

Clovis;

--v
I wonder, don't you think this is quite an one-dimensional description of people?

I mean, have you ever had close enough contact, or even friendship, with people in the MAL to try and understand their view?
--^

I think you misread my statement. It was ∃ not ∀. I do have friends who are MALists who are not hate filled, I have also met and interacted with many MALists who seem to have no purpose beyond hating. Many are a blend - see our own Mr. Eagar who seems to get the most enjoyment by mocking ("teahadist", "gubmint", etc.) those with whom he disagrees and therefore sees as ignorant/stupid/evil/inferior. One need merely puruse articles about the Kock Brothers to see this easily.

All faction of course have such people, but currently IMHO the MAL is far more dominated by these types.

--v
Just out of curiosity, of the people you relate to in a dayily basis at work, how many are women, and what proportion do they make of the total?
--^

Not a lot - probably 10-20%, although it's not unusual to be in a meeting with 30+ people who are all male. On the other hand I've worked as a business & technical partner with SWIPIAW for over 20 years and, last I checked, she was a woman.


Peter;

--v
What is it about "don't have sex with drunken women you barely know even if she seems willing" that is so oppressive?
--^

Nothing in my view, although of course the drunken state is irrelevant for my ethical stance. But try saying "don't have sex as a drunke women with a man you hardly know" and you'll find no shortage of people who think that's oppressive. What I think is oppressive is saying "we will severely punish people we know are innocent because it will make men afraid to have sex with drunken women". That's terror, not justice. I guess we'ved moved on from "better 10 guilty go free than 1 innocent be jailed" to "better 10 innocents be jailed than 1 guilty go free".

--v
A friend of hers went through the wild party scene recklessly and suffered a serious mental collapse. Is your response that they should just toughen up if they want to be equals in the boardroom?
--^

I would say they both need to toughen up and make think more carefully about their choices if they want to make to the boardroom. That our modern culture has removed guard rails and then encouraged people to drive drunk I will not dispute. You ask civic institutions to take up the burden, but of course destruction of those intermediating institutions is a primary goal of the MAL.

--v
"rape is a police matter and for everything else you are on your own"
--^

Isn't that what it means to be an adult?

As for Heather MacDonald, I normally find her very insightful and well written, but I cannot get on board with this statement

"The ultimate result of the feminists’ crusade may be the same as if they were explicitly calling for a return to sexual modesty: a sharp decrease in casual, drunken sex. There is no downside to this development."

The ends justify the means, eh?

Peter said...

AOG:

OK, so your solution is to tell 18 and 19 year old freshman women thrown into the alcohol laden, hormonally-charged hook-up culture and away from home for the first time is to toughen up and make better choices? Great, problem solved. (What better choice should my daughter have made?)

I'm quite troubled by the ease with which you and Bret connect behaviours in the realm of the private and sexual with performance in career and public life. You almost sound as if you see the hook-up culture as basic training for corporate life. Indeed, I think that may be one of the reasons women cling to these rape/assault narratives when in fact in many cases, as Heather MacDonald correctly points out, we're dealing more with physical and emotional fear, thwarted intimacy, public humiliation, a sense of betrayal, etc. These seem to always befall women, not men, but the reason why women dare not talk honestly about inherent differences in male and female sexuality is they fear they will encounter a Bret or AOG suggesting it shows they can't cut it in the rough-tough world of professional life and are perhaps more suited to a career in the kitchen.

In several decades of practicing family law, I've come across quite a few hard-nosed successful professionals (of both sexes, but more women than men) who tremble visibly in the presence of their estranged spouse. I have to be careful with them in mediation and settlement discussions for fear they will give the shop away just to get out of the room. Our private and public personas are quite different. Do you really mean to suggest an ability to shrug off sexual harassment from a supervisor is evidence of having the "right stuff" for senior management?

erp said...

Peter, Peter,Peter,

First let's separate rape, a violent crime and an unwelcome physical assault which has nothing to do with sex and female buyers' remorse sexual encounters.

Women, girls really if we're talking about coeds, have been taught that biology is outdated and they should be "equal" in every way with their counterparts of the opposite sex.

It turns out that isn't how things are set up, ergo, when they get drunk and do drugs, the next morning they don't gloat about their sexual encounters for the amusement of their friends. They wonder if the guy will call them and if he doesn't, they are mortified in front of their friends.

Girls need to work all this out without being bombarded with media telling them abortion is trendy and passing out in a frat house is cool.

The TV show "Girls" is apparently a seminar on how to behave. Thankfully I haven't stumbled on it, but I did read PJ O'Rourke's column on it at Instapundit. Sorry I'm using an iPad and it's too much trouble to find the link.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Peter;

--v
so your solution is to tell 18 and 19 year old freshman women thrown into the alcohol laden, hormonally-charged hook-up culture and away from home for the first time is to toughen up and make better choices? Great, problem solved. (What better choice should my daughter have made?)
--^

My solution is to tell 18 and 19 year old freshman women that alcohol laden, hormonally charged activities are a Bad Idea and should be avoided the same way you don't jaywalk on a busy street. Your daughter seems to have made the better choice, that is to avoid that culture. I am about to send Boy One in to that scene and I've already briefed him thoroughly on why getting involved in such activities is a bad choice, but ultimately I can't make that decision for him.

I am not quite understanding your point here - you've stated yourself you have no idea how to fix this in general, so what else is there except teaching avoidance to individuals? My personal solution has been lifetime monogamy and that is what I am very strongly recommending to my children. Every time we have one of these discussions I am more convinced that was the good choice. It's a lifestyle choice that avoids almost all the problems you bring up.

--v
I'm quite troubled by the ease with which you and Bret connect behaviours in the realm of the private and sexual with performance in career and public life. You almost sound as if you see the hook-up culture as basic training for corporate life.
--^

No, I don't see that at all. I am quite confused as to where you got that impression. My view is "choices have consequences" in personal or corporate life. Is it that with which you disagree?

--v
the reason why women dare not talk honestly about inherent differences in male and female sexuality is they fear they will encounter a Bret or AOG suggesting it shows they can't cut it in the rough-tough world of professional life
--^

I think the reason no one can talk honestly about inherent differences in male and female sexuality is because our politically correct culture, driven by feminism, makes it a taboo subject. You need only read a few stories about people who are raising genderless children to see this in action. The entire hookup culture is driven by this "no inherent differences" view. What professional life has to do with that, I have no idea. Not to mention I cannot see how being in the kitchen instead of the boardroom would make any difference.

--v
Do you really mean to suggest an ability to shrug off sexual harassment from a supervisor is evidence of having the "right stuff" for senior management?
--^

No, and again I have no idea where you are getting this. What I mean to suggest is that if you choose to hook up with your boss, you had better be tough enough to deal with the fallout of that. All of your examples from the college scene were about people who chose to participate. Isn't that the main point of the original post and this string, that the behaviour isn't actually sexual harassment, but false accusations for something a person regrets doing after the fact?

Bret said...

Clovis asks: "Have your ever had any direct contact with small to medium companies, like yours, that had such problems?"

Lot's of close calls.

The problem is that over the many decades of a career, most people will eventually, unintentionally say something stupid. If it's a man and he says the stupid thing to the wrong woman, that's the end of his career.

I once unintentionally said something stunningly stupid and it was almost the wrong woman and that would've been the end of the company.

The background is this. "When Harry Met Sally" is a movie that was out a couple of decades back. Early in the movie, Harry and Sally are in a restaurant. Harry orders a burger. Sally orders a salad with dressing and croutons on the side, none of this, substitute that for this, what about this?, and on and on and on in an absurd, but stereotypical and funny customization of ordering a salad. That's my wife and me. I just order off the menu in 3 words and she spends minutes customizing and questioning everything. Therefore, that's the only scene in that movie that I really remember. Apparently, nobody else remembers that scene because I can't even find it on youtube.

So I'm in this restaurant with a female employee. She pulls the multi-minute ordering thing, just like my wife, and I laugh and look at her and say, "You're worse than Sally in When Harry Met Sally." Well, she thought I was referring to this other scene from the movie, which also occurs in a restaurant, but has nothing to do with ordering.

She was really upset.

The situation was exacerbated by the fact she didn't even remember the ordering scene I had in mind and I had no idea that she was focusing on the other scene. Eventually we sort of figured it out and I, of course, apologized profusely and sincerely once I realized what the problem was.

No, she didn't sue and she didn't even quit, but it could've been a much worse story if it had been a different woman and was possibly even a close call with this one.

On the not gender related front, one company I cofounded was sued by a guy who claimed we fired him because he was disabled (under the American Disability Act). We settled out of court for $100,000. That was also a small company and that just about bankrupted us. To this day I have no idea what his "disability" is/was other than a complete inability to do anything productive. He seemed to walk and talk just fine and never let us know that he had a problem.

Another time, an employee in management made a very derogatory remark about "niggers." We fired him on the spot and fortunately none of the black employees were present when he made his remark. But it could've been disastrous and was still expensive because he was a key employee and replacing him certainly cost tens of thousands of dollars.

An that, along with a few other incidents, are just what I know about. Who knows what other things have happened between male and female and minority employees that flirted with disaster that I don't know about?

And as far as other companies go? Generally, we all try to keep these sorts of things quiet for obvious reasons.

Bret said...

Peter wrote: "I'm quite troubled by the ease with which you and Bret connect behaviours in the realm of the private and sexual with performance in career and public life."

Sorry for troubling you.

Peter wrote: "You almost sound as if you see the hook-up culture as basic training for corporate life."

I'm glad you realize it's only "almost" and that we (or at least I) don't see it quite that way.

But let's be clear about what I DO see as the being related between the two:

1. Being able to accurately predict consequences from actions is very important in all aspects of life. If one can't predict that drunken hookups are going to lead to serious regrets, then that's likely, in my opinion, to show poor ability to predict consequences in all aspects of life.

2. Being able to accept responsibility for one's actions is very important in all aspects of life. While that certainly goes for men on campus as well, crying rape after a consensual or semi-consensual drunken hookup, does not indicate the ability to take responsibility for one's actions.

3. Per my story above in response to Clovis, women will encounter stupid comments from men in the corporate world. If they can't deal with those on campus, why do we think they'll be able to deal with those within a company. Indeed, I've heard of various negotiations between companies where male negotiators will purposely fluster female negotiators using crude, provocative, and sexual language, where as you point out, the women suddenly are willing to give away the farm just to get out of the negotiation. It's a risky tactic that sometimes works.

So while I certainly don't "see the hook-up culture as basic training for corporate life," I do think if one can't successfully deal with hook-up culture, either by avoiding it and/or dealing with the aftermath without being totally crushed, that is an indication that one isn't going to be a particularly great addition to the corporate world either, at least not until a great deal of additional maturity is achieved.

Bret said...

aog wrote: "The problem with your view of it being a private contract is government of universities..."

It's not even that it's a explicit private contract. It's that you know what the rules are, either play the game or not.

Nobody has to go to college. Perhaps it's even a bad idea nowadays. It's certainly expensive, online learning has come a long ways, and with the risk of life ruining experiences, I can't say I'd recommend to any male that it's a good idea to go to college.

But if you do go to college, no male has to interact with women privately ever. If you don't interact privately, you won't get in trouble.

So what's really the problem here?

Peter said...

AOG:

We both agree that a complex and hard-to-pin-down issue(s) has emerged and that it has been hijacked by feminist activists, who have factually distorted and politicized it into a simplistic, politically-correct narrative that is leading to outrageous injustice and hardship. We also agree that something has to be done to oppose them. Where I differ with you is in thinking the best response is an equally simplistic narrative about "choices" directed exclusively at female behavior without calling out men or taking any steps to sanction offensive or intimidating conduct beyond criminal law. It's one thing to challenge the progressive narratives of feminists, quite another to say the problems are all made up.

Leaving aside questions of enforceability, I have a hard time understanding how our traditional rights and freedoms would be taken away by any of the following:

A) the abolition of co-ed residences;
B) a prohibition against sex, however consensual and enthusiastic, in dorms and frat houses ("Your grandfather used motels and so can you").
C) designated sober frat monitors to deal with female drunkenness and get them out of there whether they want to or not;
D) stricter rules and sanctions for sports teams;
E) a ban on sexual relations among co-workers (including the boss and his secretary);
F) more basketball courts.

I know, I know, all this interferes with the intent of the Founding Fathers that everyone should have the freedom to rut at will. But seriously, all of the above were standard until the 60's. Why can't we admit mistakes were made?

AOG, we aren't talking about a left-right divide on the economy and foreign policy, we're talking about the timeless love-hate, push-pull, can't-live-with-you-can't-live- without-you world of personal and sexual relations between men and women. That's a turbulent, protean world successful civilizations manage at best, not resolve. A scholarly Orthodox Jewish colleague of mine once told me there are some rabbis who say the original Hebrew texts of Genesis should properly be translated "And God created Woman to Oppose Man". Just because modern women have won the battle for equality in public life doesn't mean men should stop asking whether what they do is any way to treat a lady.

Bret said...

Peter,

I more or less agree with A-F except as noted below.

"A) the abolition of co-ed residences;"

Would at minimum have to coupled with no visiting by the other sex coupled with security cameras to enforce that.

"B) a prohibition against sex, however consensual and enthusiastic, in dorms and frat houses ("Your grandfather used motels and so can you")."

Works for me.

"C) designated sober frat monitors to deal with female drunkenness and get them out of there whether they want to or not;"

I agree, but there was a big uproar when an MIT frat alum noted that his fraternity actually does this. For example, they won't allow an already drunken female into a frat party, but then said female goes and passes out on the street and the fraternity gets in even more trouble. You just can't win other than to simply never interact with women.

"D) stricter rules and sanctions for sports teams;"

Umm. I have no idea what you're saying here.

"E) a ban on sexual relations among co-workers (including the boss and his secretary);"

Even if they're married? Cohabitating? Dating? Members of the same sex club?

Historically, a LOT of bosses banged their secretaries, so no, that's not how it worked in the past.

"F) more basketball courts."

Tennis anyone? Too many sprained ankles in basketball.

erp said...

Peter, why do we have to do anything different than what was been before we abrogated orderly procedures in favor of hysteria.

Rape is a violent crime and accusing someone of having raped you is a police matter with regular crime investigating procedures to be followed which includes public trials, etc. The accused has the right to face their accuser.

Girls/women who opt out of pressing charges don't get to ruin somebody else's life. Unless they are seriously disabled mentally or physically, they know darn well how to prevent putting themselves into positions that are inimical to their safety.

Peter said...

Even if they're...members of the same sex club?

LOL. Bret, I'm very aware my line of argument marks me as a dinosaur, but you've just made me realize even the dinosaurs would see me as a dinosaur. :-)

Annoying Old Guy said...

Peter;

--v
the best response is an equally simplistic narrative about "choices" directed exclusively at female behavior without calling out men or taking any steps to sanction offensive or intimidating conduct beyond criminal law.
--^

I think that's the best response on a persona level. You can put me down as "no objections except for married couples" to your list but how can that be done? I certainly don't see it conflicting with the Founder Fathers' intent.

I would also note that not attending such events is a sanction. I tend to focus on women's choices because it is women who are being the most injured by this - "it hurts when I do this - so stop doing that". There's a book, Unhooked which talks about this. But let's not forget that college woman are only a minor segment of women who are harmed by this culture and are the ones who could most easily avoid those bad outcomes, so more of my sympathy goes to other demographics.

"AOG, we aren't talking about a left-right divide" - I disagree. I think the MAL very deliberately conflates these and so creates the left/right divide. Remember who said "the personal is political". This is an attack, by the tranzis, on the foundations of our civilization. It is a very political thing tied to specific political factions.

Bret;

"It's that you know what the rules are"

Read the stories. It's clear that the people involved did not know what the rules were. They expected some sort of normal judicial protection which was not provided. One of the points of publicizing these stories is to change that.

Bret said...

aog wrote: "Read the stories. It's clear that the people involved did not know what the rules were."

They do now. Unfortunately, regime change always catches people unawares and I do feel bad for those people.

Going forward, though, there's really no excuse.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

LOL. I can see how that conversation with your female colleague could go wrong upon clicking in your link...

---
Another time, an employee in management made a very derogatory remark about "niggers." We fired him on the spot and fortunately none of the black employees were present when he made his remark.
---

Given your general posititon defending the right of people being racist, already much discussed in a related post, I've got myself truly surprised when reading the above. I guess the risk of lawsuits trumps filosophical positions every time...

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

---
To this day I have no idea what his "disability" is/was other than a complete inability to do anything productive. He seemed to walk and talk just fine and never let us know that he had a problem.
---

Sorry but I have a hard time believing that, Bret. Have you not even read some excerpts of the lawsuit to check what disability he claimed to have? And how can it be that not knowing about his disability was not a valid defense against the lawsuit?

Clovis e Adri said...

Peter,

---
What better choice should my daughter have made?
---
Count me as one more person thinking your daughter made a good decision. A very mature one too, she probably got some of the brains of her father.

What is she studying, by the way?


I agree with you there are deeper questions on this matter, and Bret and AOG's "solutions" look to ignore some basic facts about young and hormone filled college students.

I think the culture moved far beyond the 60's for any hope to go back to your list of suggestions. Better to be realistic about it and devise things that may actually work. Most of the time, good parenting and a solid home background are the best possible precautions (the "personal" level solution cited by AOG), but there again, to think it will work for most college students is to ignore a few other basic facts, like the one that too many young people now come from shattered families and can't count on that.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "Given your general posititon defending the right of people being racist."

Two things. Defending people's right to be racist doesn't mean that I'm racist or even vaguely willing to allow an employee make that sort of remark in my workplace. They can go be racist on their own somewhere else away from me.

But you're also right about the lawsuit thing. I probably would've fired him after a less damaging transition period where I had time to hire a replacement if it weren't for fear of lawsuits.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "Have you not even read some excerpts of the lawsuit to check what disability he claimed to have?"

I wasn't intimately involved in dealing with that particular lawsuit, but I do know that it was settled quickly and out-of-court with all parties agreeing to strict confidentiality. This was 25 years ago, so it's a little fuzzy, but my recollection is that our lawyers were convinced he had a vaguely plausible case at least that it wouldn't be immediately thrown out), that he had a lawyer working on contingency, that if we went to court it could cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, and so they advised us to settle for $100,000 (which was negotiated down from $250,000).

Did our lawyers know what the alleged disability was? Probably. Did somebody in the company know? I'm not sure. Did I know? No.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "And how can it be that not knowing about his disability was not a valid defense against the lawsuit?"

It was made clear to us by our lawyers that inquiring about disabilities and special needs was our responsibility and that fact that we hadn't done that (and we hadn't - but I sure do now!) was part of the reason he could plausibly win the lawsuit.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

It still remains the fact that he'd need to prove you fired him because of his disability. Gosh, that ought to be something you need to have proof of, otherwise you'll never be able to fire anyone with a disability (which means you'll never want to hire anyone in that condition too).

Are you sure you are in the USA? Gosh, it just looks like the dysfunctional system I live in down here.

Bret said...

Clovis,

Those are good questions. You've got me thinking hard to try and remember the details of something that happened so long ago.

But. The real bottom line is this: it would've cost us at least as much to defend the company than to just pay the settlement, even if we won, and if we lost, it would've cost us more.

I do remember that the lawsuit was "plausible enough" that we couldn't get it thrown out by a judge. After that, you can't win.

Peter said...

But. The real bottom line is this: it would've cost us at least as much to defend the company than to just pay the settlement, even if we won, and if we lost, it would've cost us more.

It was always thus, Bret. Recall the words of a late 19th century French prime minister. "I've been ruined twice in my life. The first time was when I lost a lawsuit and the second was when I won one."

Clovis e Adri said...

It is interesting how far our technology progressed, yet so little of that influenced the judiciary, isn't it?

If you want to check what are the powerful interest groups around us, you only need to look for the most impervious to changes.

Unions, the usual culprit of some of our friends here, are then "little coffee" (an expression we have down here) in comparison.

Peter said...

I think the culture moved far beyond the 60's for any hope to go back to your list of suggestions.

Truthfully, Clovis, so do I. Leaving aside the devil-in-the-details points Bret made, it's pretty much impossible today to preach any kind of sexual restraint or regulation without coming across like a Victorian vicar. I would expect as much confusion and resistance from women as from men. I was only being semi-sarcastic with that quip about the constitutionally protected right to rut at will.

But if the zeitgeist rejects any fettering of our libidos, any suggestion that female sexuality can be different and any argument that young women need even minimal institutional protection, then I think there is a degree of inevitability to these stories. It's not really a political issue at bottom, it's the cultural price we are paying for radical sexual freedom. If the only fault line between acceptable and non-acceptable behavior is consent, then angry and aggrieved women will try and expand the definition of consent and root it right out of the dictionary, and they are going to find no shortage of sympathizers if their only opposition is a population of horny men wondering why some women can't see the fun as much as they. I expect some of the more egregious denials of due process will be corrected by the judiciary to some degree, but beyond that, I don't see much chance of improving the uneasy climate Bret outlined in employment and college settings.

We see something analogous respecting sex between adults and post-pubescent teens. Having decided that sex between adults anytime, anywhere, anyhow, with anyone is permitted, if not downright healthy, in a complete denial of the implications of that, we've gone all Cotton Mather if the girl is under eighteen. Of course it should be prohibited, but there is no longer much opening to look at the individual circumstances to determine an appropriate penalty. Instead we hear rote absolutes about the impossibility of consent and the inevitability of a lifetime of trauma, counseling, sexual dysfunction, etc., accompanied in many cases by some pretty draconian punishments. The apogee of absurdity comes in those cases when a woman seduces a male teen. Having no way to say what we all know--that is different-- we repeat the same shibboleths and impose the same punishments, including prison in some cases. In such a climate, who dares say publically he wonders whether the "victim" isn't quietly thinking "Bring on those flashbacks!"

But what do I know? I'm so out of it that, until Bret enlightened me above, I thought there were only seventeen genders. :-) However, I do cherish our former blogging pal David Cohen's retort to someone who was arguing that modern America isn't sexually decadent--"If we're not, who is?"

My daughter? Thanks for asking. She just finished her Master of Social Work and is working in our largest hospital. She's the lefty of the family, but in a non-dogmatic, adorable way. Given that her brothers are a cop and a sports fanatic, that's not terribly surprising.

erp said...

Clovis, who in your opinion is the "Big Coffee" around here if not the unions?

Annoying Old Guy said...

Peter;

"it's pretty much impossible today to preach any kind of sexual restraint or regulation without coming across like a Victorian vicar"

Haha, I guess I must come off as like a Victorian vicar then, because I don't hesitate to preach a whole lot of sexual restraint and personal regulation. Very few of my Facebook friends realize I'm an atheist, so they mostly think I'm a fundamentalist Christian prude (because I'm Facebook affiliated with our church). Somewhat ironic, isn't it?

Peter said...

AOG:

It's like how you mustn't make any comment in public about how a complainant dressed, where she went, how much she drank, etc., because such would be to "blame the victim". Then behind closed doors, almost every parent does all they can to keep their daughters from being so foolish. What slays me is how we have convinced ourselves the Victorians were secretive and repressed about sex, but we talk openly and honestly about it.

erp said...

Peter, who in your opinion has done more damage to our society, Victorian vicars or modern vicars including the current one in the Vatican?

Bret said...

Peter wrote: "In such a climate, who dares say publically he wonders whether the "victim" isn't quietly thinking "Bring on those flashbacks!""

I dare! How come none of my female teachers "seduced" me! Damn!

Actually, I can't remember any good looking ones, so I'm not too upset actually.

And I'm really, really glad none of my male teachers seduced young lads!

Peter wrote: "If we're not, who is?"

The Romans shortly before the fall of the Roman Empire?

Peter said...

BTW, all, for those inclined to suspect this is essentially just about postmodern female fragility, here's the latest from one of our most prestigious centres of higher learning. Hands up everyone who thinks the targets should either complain to the police or just tough it out. Kudos to Clovis for mentioning Facebook.

Bret said...

Hey erp, you've got Peter, aog, etc. thinking that "...women need ... institutional protection..."

I always find it funny when men presume to speak for women, so I'll ask you: are you women really that frail, fragile and pathetic, or are you actually competent to make your own decisions and you're really just gettin' your kicks abusing males?

Peter said...

erp:

Geez, can't you give me an easy one, like how to bring peace to the Middle East? I'm not sure I understand the question. Can you elaborate?

Peter said...

Bret:

Oink, oink. How chauvinist piggy of you to forget women run our institutions too. But I would have thought someone who almost got himself into deep do-do because a women thought he was referring to the wrong film scene would realize men could do with a little protection too. :-)

erp said...

Bret, I don't know what you mean? I said we have laws against rape and a definition of it. Enforce those laws and don't let women/girls hide behind a Victorian era chastity curtain. Our laws allow people to confront their accusers. IMO people who have really been assaulted are only too glad to do just that and identify the perp. If the swooning maiden only wants to get even with some guy with whom she’s sorry to have frolicked, I don’t think we as a society need to protect her from herself… and no, I don't think women need institutional protection that's any different from that for all the other 51 sexes.

Your example of talking about one scene in a movie while your female luncheon companion thought you were talking about another should, in a sane world, have been a situation that provoked laughter, not law suits. If someone was really making improper remarks to me when I was a pretty young thing, I would simple say I don’t permit that kind of behavior, get up and leave the room and that would include racial or anti-Semitic slurs said in my hearing.

IMO by the time a girl is a sophomore in high school, she's figured out ways to deal with the male animal, if she’s not drugged or drunk that is. If she allows herself to get into situations where that’s likely to occur, all bets are off and she better learn to deal with that aftermath as well.

Peter, my question is quite simple and doesn’t involve taking an action or solving vexing problems of geo-politics. In your opinion, were vicars of old better or worse than vicars of our modern world?

Peter said...

I'm sorry, erp, but I really don't know how to answer that question about vicars or any other profession. I've never been big on general normative comparisons across the centuries. And I know very little about the current Pope, other than that he announced last week animals can go to Heaven. I'm very pleased I may be seeing Jake and Skittles again, but before I take any further steps down the path of righteousness, I'm waiting until someone asks him about black flies.

erp said...

Sorry Peter, I thought you made a statement about Victorian vicars, so that's why I asked the question and the Pope walked the "dogs go to heaven" statement back. Probably because cat lovers objected.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Peter;

You're not more amused by the fact that (as MacDonald points out in the article you cited) the main effect of current politically correct efforts is to, in fact, restore Victorian morality, only this time through the power of the State instead of social institution, all driven by people who claim to hate the Victorian moral codes?

Bret;

I've always thought people need institutional protection, as long as it is privately organized. As a cultural min/maxer I think we all benefit from the formalization (through civic / intermediating institutions) that regulate behavior through social means.

I've been meaning to write a post for a while on this, how things such as Christianity have value because they provide social heuristics for normal people. That is, cognitively cheap but effective memetic technology. For instance, in the case under discussion, "no extra marital sex" is an excellent prophylactic because it (1) works and (2) is very easy to apply. A number of the cites here talk about how "no" now means "no for you" and that's much harder to say. I see that, but you adopt the heuristic just above then you easily get around that problem.

Clovis e Adri said...

I am happy for AOG who finally saw Christ, but thought his name was "memetic technology". I guess the Lord works in mysterious ways indeed.


Now Erp, if in your long life you could not figure out what are the tallest coffee cups around you, I don't think I'll be the one to tell you so.


AOG,

---
"no extra marital sex" is an excellent prophylactic because it (1) works and (2) is very easy to apply.
---
Actually, most people would say this is pretty hard to apply. Particularly young people in college may most strongly disagree with you.

Since I've not been old for as much time as you have, I guess I still remember how it was to be young... have you all guys forgotten?

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

---
The Romans shortly before the fall of the Roman Empire?
---
I find it amusing how this idea of the Roman Empire final period would be somehow associated to decadence of values.

If anything, their moral values were actually getting more "sophisticated" due to wide adoption of Christianity.

In fact, other than educated guesses, no one really understands why they have fallen. Form the millitary point of view, decentralization of the chain of command and further dependence of outsider generals (Germanic ones) played a largder role than any of the morality plays usually mentioned.

Which brings the question: have you noticed how your own military is getting more and more dependent of Latinos? Just saying...

erp said...

Clovis, perhaps your youth makes it difficult to comprehend simple sentences. I didn't ask you to tell me anything, I ask what is your opinion.

Here's what I said:

Clovis, who in your opinion is the "Big Coffee" around here if not the unions? (Sorry, I didn't realize the phrase meant coffee cups, I assumed it meant coffee producers.)

However, I don’t expect an answer because you rarely have one to any of my questions.

Peter said...

I guess I still remember how it was to be young... have you all guys forgotten?

Having been born forty years old wearing a blazer and grey flannels, I never knew what it was like to be young. Whenever anyone has tried to tell me, they've just frightened me.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

I meant easy to think through. In fact, though, a very sizable number of young people do find it quite doable*, and I think a simple comprehensive rule is actually easy to apply in such situations than complex situational ones because it's harder to rationalize. Don't let the imaginary perfect be the enemy of the achievable good.

* This article claims more than 25% and increasing, despite our hookup culture. I would think you could get it much higher if it were socially supported.

Peter said...

most people would say this is pretty hard to apply. Particularly young people in college...

Boo Hoo. This is news?

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "I still remember how it was to be young... have you all guys forgotten?"

Oh yes, I clearly remember what is was like to be in high-school and college and even younger.

But I clearly and absolutely remember that women were actually strong, flexible, resilient, capable, able to shrug off male-stupidity (if still annoyed by it), and willing to take responsibility for their actions. I actually used to respect women. A lot!

Now apparently, at least according to feminists, the media, and the males here (but not erp), woman are frail and fragile, in need of "institutional support," completely unable to make competent decisions, and are emotionally traumatized, scarred, and disabled for life when exposed to their own follies, especially those that are sexual in nature, that cause them to end up with even the slightest regret.

Who are these creatures and what did they do with the strong women from back in my day?

Given the strong women of my youth, what aog, Peter, and I are suggesting would indeed make no sense. Given what I'm told women have become, there's pretty much no choice but to work hard to separate men and women at all times before marriage. It'll be hard, but there's simply no choice - today's young women are incapable of fending for themselves and must be protected!

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "I find it amusing how this idea of the Roman Empire final period would be somehow associated to decadence of values."

I should've left out the word "shortly."

erp said...

Here's a Clue:

If the young think sexual temptation is the hardest thing they'll have to overcome in life, they better think again.

Bret said...

erp,

Exactly.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
However, I don’t expect an answer because you rarely have one to any of my questions.
---
Following protests, I am making an effort to write less and in order to achieve that I need to minimize conflict. You are the main source of trouble in my discussions, so I'll withhold answers - I am sorry.

Clovis e Adri said...

Peter,

---
[Clovis] most people would say this is pretty hard to apply. Particularly young people in college...
Boo Hoo. This is news?
---
What is news to me is that our conservatives here are only aware of demand and supply - or incentives - when it comes to economic theory.

Our boys and girls have all the means and incentives to go and get something they, at some point, may greatly desire. What can possibly be the decision the majority of them will make?

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

---
Who are these creatures and what did they do with the strong women from back in my day?
---

Actually, most of the women I know are far from being the fragile flowers you describe.

But since this is a discussion about American women, I am open to believe your younger generation (of both men and women) have been spoiled enough to fit the description (actually, I do not really believe that, but the evidence so far presented here by you guys goes only in that direction).

Since you guys are all parents (or grandparents) of this young people, you can tell me if the description fits your own darlings. If not, please tell me who is lying more to me, conservative blogs or the Old Media?

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

---
This article claims more than 25% and increasing, despite our hookup culture.
---
The article does not make it clear if they are postponing sex, relationships, or both.

The experience I have with my generation and the younger one coming next is that what has been withhold is relationships. And sincerely, I don't think this is necessarily good, because it is not about a mature decision over postponing sex, but the contrary: the postponing of maturity in favor of an eternal adolescence.

erp said...

Clovis, okay.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "...most of the women I know are far from being the fragile flowers you describe."

Since you used the word "most," you apparently DO know at least one woman who is a fragile flower as described, not by me, but by the media. What percentage and number of women who you know are fragile flowers?

Yes, I've been somewhat hyperbolic and no, I don't believe every young woman is so frail. But in my day, it seemed that pretty much no women were so frail and those that were had enough sense to not put themselves in situations where they'd be traumatized for life.

Or more accurately, 40 years ago, the general attitude was that sure, bad things happen, but the freedom and independence of everybody and the importance of due process was simply more important than worrying about the occasional sex-related trauma resulting from poor decisions, even poor decisions made under pressure in awkward circumstances.

Now it's completely the opposite. Due process has been thrown out the window and the clear goal is to keep men and women separate as much as possible since something bad might happen.

I assume that's because there's way more frail women. But perhaps they're just the excuse for some other agenda that I'm not quite clear on.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "The experience I have with my generation and the younger one coming next is that what has been withhold is relationships."

Sure. Once upon a time, long ago and far away, the relationship, sometimes known as courtship leading to marriage, sometimes known as the mating process, was required to become a respected and even accepted member of the larger successful community.

That no longer seems to be true, so why would men and women have relationships anymore?

(I'm sorta working on another post about this, but since I have no idea of what I'm talking about and it seems like nobody else does either, I'm close to giving up.)

Peter said...

Clovis:

Re: Fragile Flowers

That's a very tough one, especially seeing as older generations have been complaining about feckless youth since the dawn of time. It's actually kind of cute seeing Boomers, of all people, complain about how young people today don't have "the right stuff". They seem to have forgotten what the generation that went through the Depression and the war said about them.

I'm torn. On the one hand young people today are achievers who work hard and face much more demanding post-secondary academic, employment and even non-academic (sports, etc.) pressure than we did--too much in my view. They are encouraged to worry much too early about things like career choices when they should be working on a fishing boat for a year or backpacking in Europe. My wife and I are struck by how many people we know whose kids have withdrawn or taken a year off from their university studies, etc. because of it, and how many seem to need some kind of counseling as a ballast. I used to be dismissive of it, but it's too prevalent for me to do that anymore.

OTOH, they are awash in the therapeutic culture, which to encourages them to magnify every emotional difficulty and challenge, to "talk" about them and to engage in some kind of therapeutic journey in order to "heal" and "learn to accept themselves". I try to be understanding, but at some point I get frustrated and just think they are being unhealthily self-indulgent and wasting their lives picking at emotional sores.

Why can't they be as perfect as we were?

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "...you can tell me if the description fits your own darlings..."

My 18-year-old daughter seems to be as tough as nails emotionally and I'm confident she won't be fazed by whatever activities she chooses to partake in, though she's also wise and mature for her age and my guess is that she won't choose to participate in things like the hookup culture. Some of her "friends" (more acquaintances since she doesn't really like them) do indeed strike me as frail fainting flowers of femininity who might not hesitate to cry rape if they have regrets about their own choices.

My 15-year-old daughter is a little young to tell yet.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

--v
Since you guys are all parents (or grandparents) of this young people, you can tell me if the description fits your own darlings. If not, please tell me who is lying more to me, conservative blogs or the Old Media?
--^

False dichotomy, which rests on the presumption that all women in the USA have the same level of fragility.

Harry Eagar said...

'I have two precious sons and a precious daughter as well as two precious grandsons and five precious granddaughters and I strongly request that you leave any and all references to them out of your comments.'

Since you introduced them -- that's where I learned that your son got where he got all on his own, no white-boy privilege there, I find your request strange.

erp said...

He and all the others got where they got on their own as did their father and mother and lots of other children of immigrants of every color and race.

I introduced them when you made the accusation that he didn't have colored kids with whom to compete and that wasn't the case either with them or with their parents.

I also said, I didn't speak English when I started school, no special classes for me, but by the end of the year, I was at the top of the class where I stayed for the rest of my school career.

Peter said...

You are out of line, Harry. Erp is one tough lady who challenges us all, but she has never said anything that merits a personal, family attack or the epithets you are suggesting. You jousted with many male conservatives for years on BrothersJudd and I don't recall any of them doing to you what you are doing to her or your accusing them of anything like what you are suggesting about erp, even though some of them deserved it. How about manning up and apologizing.

erp said...

Peter, thank you for being a traditional chivalrous knight in shining armor. It is appreciated even if it's not necessary. I am so used to being called names by people who have no idea of how to engage is reasoned discourse.

I believe blacks can compete on their own merits and affirmative action is harmful across the spectrum of intelligence and ability. The top tier is forever suspect of being mediocre and those of average ability are pushed into situations where they are over their heads perpetuating the cycle of failure.

Is anyone shocked by the disgusting racism and anti-Semitism revealed in the hacked emails of entertainment moguls whose output is relentlessly politically correct and a constant scold for us knuckle draggers who don't buy into their shtick?

Peter said...

Just be careful when you go out, erp, or I might drag you across a street you don't want to cross.

I've been in this blogging game long enough to know it only works when we remember the issues are more interesting than we are.

erp said...

I agree, but what makes the issues even more interesting is the individual takes and experiences we've had in time and space.

Bret said...

Peter wrote: "...it only works when we remember the issues are more interesting than we are."

Speak for yourself, but what could be more interesting than ME ME ME ME ME?!?!?! :-)

I seem to remember at BrothersJudd that was one of your "sorta" rules - to not bring personal info into the posts. Perhaps with Orrin, that's a good thing :-), but I generally like a mixture of statistics, analysis, and personal experience and history in posts and comments.

Though it certainly would be better if nobody attacked the personal details of anybody else...

Peter said...

Oh, I agree with that. Personal experience and anecdotes can be interesting and informative, especially with a limited audience that knows one another, like here. I'm talking about personal flame wars with ad hominem insults and epithets. They can destroy a blog pretty quickly because serious people will flee.

Clovis e Adri said...

Though I agree and try to comply with civil behavior in blogs, I think you guys are being unfair to Harry. He is thoroughly attacked here on many levels, and Erp does make herself available for personal attacks since she practices that unashamedly too.

Can we agree on allowing Harry and Erp to keep killing each other?

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

----
What percentage and number of women who you know are fragile flowers?
----
I'd say nearly 10% of the people I know are extra-fragile, both men and women. I also think that's universal, so my bet is that all the noise being made about the "rape culture" in your campi affects no more than that ratio of students.

The question then is: how much society should try to accommodate for those people who have more difficulty to deal with the standard environment out there?

I surely don't think the violation of due process, being practiced in your universities, is the answer.

But I also think the pronounced individualism of your society makes life more difficult for those young people, who are hardly offered a hand and some good counseling, or so it lookers like from here.

Bret said...

Clovis asks: "Can we agree on allowing Harry and Erp to keep killing each other?"

I'm not gonna moderate frequent commenters, both Harry and Erp are tough as nails from what I can tell, and they both have been commenting so long and at numerous blogs (at least in Harry's case) that I rather doubt they're gonna change their commenting style.

I personally try to be reasonably civil (yes, I know I don't always succeed), but at the same time I try to have as thick skin as possible, and I hope those two qualities set a good example. That's all I can ask.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "I'd say nearly 10% of the people I know are extra-fragile..."

That's exactly my estimate for the percentage of women here as well, so we're almost in complete agreement, except...

Clovis wrote: "...both men and women."

With respect to what? Sex? If so, that I don't see, as men seem to be able to deal with sex with women fairly well without suffering trauma in nearly all circumstances.


Clovis wrote: "...who are hardly offered a hand and some good counseling..."

From where do you think this counseling should come?

Annoying Old Guy said...

"From where do you think this counseling should come?"

That was my question!

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

---
With respect to what? Sex?
---
With respect to relationships in general, including that part of it named sex.

The difference for those young men is that, instead of "trauma", they may end up obsessing over performance and get lost in some narcissistic labyrinth.

---
From where do you think this counseling should come?
----
If you don't know the answer for that question, Bret, you've just proved my point.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

"If you don't know the answer for that question, Bret, you've just proved my point." - I don't see that - how does Bret not knowing what you think prove your point?

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

I posted a comment claiming people were too individualistic to care to help those confused souls, and the answer I've got looks to mean you have not even idea how you can give that help. QED.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

No.

We have no idea where you think such help should come from. You have no evidence that we do not know. If you read the comment string, we've already provided answers to what we consider sources of such help.

You, on the other hand, through your evasion of answering Bret's question, are providing circumstantial evidence that you don't know.

Clovis e Adri said...

I see, heads I loose and tails you win.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Um, OK. I have no idea why answering a question makes you lose, but whatever.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "If you don't know the answer for that question, Bret, you've just proved my point."

I can see why you interpreted my question much differently than I intended, so let me try again.

First, I'll answer my own question ("from where do you think this counseling should come"), for me.

The advice/counseling should come, in my opinion, from parents, family, friends, community, religious entities, and on-campus services.

But virtually everybody has access to some combination of the above before and during college. And I believe that to be obvious. So I concluded that you think support should come from somewhere else.

Where?

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

Why not from you?

Which is my point. Not only people not very closely related are supposed to never mind other people business in your culture. Even the closely related have little room to offer advice too.

It is a cultural difference from down here. I am not judging which is better - it can be good or bad depending on the situation - but in this case it can make a difference.

Peter said...

Bret/Clovis/AOG

Are you guys having a game of "Where's Waldo?"?