Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Northwestern Graduate Students: Professors Falsely Accused Of Sexual Harassment Should Not Sue Their Accusers

   This really is nearly beyond belief.
   Since everyone already agrees that someone guilty of sexual assault should not sue their accuser, that assertion isn't worth making; and since no philosopher is so incompetent as to fail to recognize that the claims in this letter entail that falsely-accused professors should not sue their accusers, there can be no real doubt that that is the real point of the missive: to assert that those who are falsely accused should not sue those who accuse them. Even though sexual harassment is a very serious crime... (And even though the kinds of people who write such letters typically think that it is an even worse offense than it actually is...)
  This is madness. Utter, unmitigated, madness.
   I'm seeing signs all over that make me worry that philosophy is in danger of becoming the steaming pile of politically-motivated, dogmatic, fuzzy-headed horseshit that so many other humanities and social sciences have become.
   The letter itself is bad enough, but the nauseatingly enthusiastic expressions of support in the comments are almost worse. Fortunately, many comments call bullshit on this bullshit...but are then dogpiled by people trying every interpretive ploy they can think of to block the obvious criticisms of this obvious nonsense. And then there are the many expressions of dismay that some commenters are concerned about the rights of the falsely-accused! I mean...the very idea!
   This is extremely dangerous stuff. And it's really disheartening to see so many comments from apparently competent philosophers--people who ought to be able to see how irrational and misguided this position is--defending it. An unreasonable philosophers is a very dangerous thing...they know all the tricks...
   Just for the record: if I am every accused of sexual harassment, I will, of course, be innocent. And I will sue the accuser into outer space.
   This kind of SJW/neo-PC nonsense needs to be combated at every turn. The very idea that crackpot appeals to power differentials trump appeals to rights is just astonishing. I don't care how much more power I have than Smith--if Smith is a lunatic who falsely accuses me of doing something morally repulsive, I am going to sue the living hell out of said Smith.
   PC madness made inroads into philosophy back in the '80's and '90's...so I suppose I really shouldn't be that surprised by this, especially when its recent incarnation is assisted by the internet, that megaphone for lunatics. But, still, there's part of me that just can't help expecting better from my people...
[Oh, and don't miss this bit: some commenters are forced to resort to pointing out that the falsely-accused might be black...because, y'know...injustice against white guys....I mean...who cares, amirite?]


Blogger The Mystic said...

My favorite line is:

"The risks of further loss of community, of damaging actual and potential professional relationships, of not being believed, or of being reduced to how one has been treated, rather than being perceived as an intelligent, talented, and valuable individual and member of a community, already deter victims from reporting."

Removed from context, one cannot determine if it's about victims of sexual misconduct or victims of false allegations of sexual misconduct.

The SJW movement is about fetishizing victimhood to the point where one's personal suffering at the hands of oppressors makes one unassailable. Nothing a victim ever does can be wrong; even the most modest, accurate, fair critique is victim-blaming.

Once this is established, the SJW movement naturally becomes about perceiving suffering at the hands of perceived oppressors everywhere even remotely possible to obtain such street cred (without which, you are an unavoidably oppressive, hopelessly ignorant, privileged cissexual white guy).

And that is all tantalizing to people because it stacks up to a fast track to impunity in taking perceived victimhood at the hands of perceived oppressors and ensuring that said perceived oppressors experience boundless actual suffering.

'Cause nothing they suffer will ever even approach the ultimate tragedy of your victimhood. You're a member of [insert theoretical oppressed group here] and he's just some privileged cissexual asshole who has no idea what it's like to be constantly trampled upon by microaggressions and a negligent dearth of trigger warnings.

Another day, another fast track justification for lashing out at others in a sorry attempt to stifle immense, relentless self-hatred.

Often, human beings are not as interesting as they believe themselves to be.

5:01 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

And I didn't mean to omit the continuation of that quote, which remains applicable to victims of sexual misconduct and false allegations thereof:

"Add to these risks the possibility of being named in a lawsuit (and the consequent potential for financial ruin if not indemnified) as well as having personal information and details of a traumatic experience made public, and the hazards are substantially multiplied."

That these people utterly fail to see the equivalence in the parties which they treat with such inequality betrays their ulterior motives, if you ask me.

People are rarely simply bad at reasoning. More often, they are willfully blinded by vice. In this case, I'd wager a lot of money that the vast majority of the cases of SJW psychosis are driven by intense self-loathing via the chain I put forth above.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Man, I think these comments are very insightful.

This letter, and the supportive comments on The Daily Nous, have depressed me more about the philosophy "profession"--and about the current state of the overall public discussion of sexual harassment--than anything else I've seen in a long time.

And to see these terrible arguments and lunatic positions laid out carefully, by people trained in philosophy...jebus...

2:17 PM  

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