Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Title IX Turnabout Is Fair Play, I Guess

This crazy stuff is going to keep happening in both directions until they admit that a person who is the target of harassment has some obligations to resist / report it. Such situations can be complicated, and allowances have to be made for that. But the student in question put up with it for years, apparently, without reporting it or even simply refusing to go along with it. The longer you do that, the less plausible is your complaint.
   The current orthodoxy has it that to think that target has any obligation at all is "victim-blaming." That just isn't right at all.


Anonymous darius jedburgh said...

(If I might preach for a moment, in full awareness that you, Winston are among the converted...)

There is something important the Ronell case has in common with the Sarah Jeong tweets and the Stubblefield rape case. When the scandal first blows up, I think 'This is good, in the sense that our Guardians of Justice have an excellent opportunity to send a very clear signal that their intense preoccupation with sexual assault and racial and sexual harassment is not at all about their own animus against a particular sexual/ethnic group (white men), and really is about preventing harm and injustice regardless of the "identity" of the perpetrator or victim.'

And then, of course, every time I end up feeling like a complete idiot, because our Guardians of Justice start falling over each other turning the whole thing into a six-alarm clownshow of special pleading, double standards, hypocrisy and lies. They immediately adopt the tactics of the worst offenders, which they have until this moment condemned without mercy. The worst apologists for big-shot male star professors accused of harassment always imply that their status makes the accusations less plausible or less serious, thereby incensing feminists, so of course Judith Butler and her fellow Theory-cultists invoke Ronell's towering intellectual stature as a ground for criticizing the very idea of Title IX proceedings against her. Egregious racists are always taking refuge in the pretext that their hate speech is merely a form of humor, thereby incensing anti-racists, so of course Jeong's supporters at the NYT and elsewhere are incredulous that Jeong's critics are so tone-deaf as not to recognize top-notch social satire when they see it. Men taking the side of men accused of sexual assault are always harping on about due process and insisting on the multiple complexities of the case, thereby incensing campaigners against sexual assault, so of course the immediate reaction at Feminist Philosophers to the Stubblefield accusation was to insist that the case was 'incredibly complicated due to the disability issues involved' (the 'disability issues' being that the victim was severely disabled!).

It's always super-creepy to see people manifesting unmistakable hatred without their being aware of it. Human beings, as such, just love to blame and piss on members of groups to which they don't belong. Feminists and anti-racists are emphatically not immune to this. However much good they might be doing in fighting injustice against women, people of color et al, we shouldn't for a moment imagine that a lot of them don't just hate white men. And I speak as someone who was very reluctant to believe this.

11:03 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Really well-put, DJ. I *am*, of course, among the converted, but that brings some stuff into focus for me.

And I cackled intemperately at "six-alarm clownshow"...

Though I'll throw in the following $0.02: I do think there's some hatred mixed in with such things, but I think that usually that's a red herring. It's usually not *hatred*. It's more often a lack of respect, or of differential regard, or double standards, or subtle aversion, or contempt or revulsion. I tend to think that focusing overmuch on outright hatred misses much of what's really going on in cases of racism and other kinds of bias.

But, anyway: I'm with ya, man.

9:19 AM  

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