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Some students should not go into a health profession

I’m afraid Ben Cochran is one of them. He’s a nursing student who wrote a column in a newspaper because he was upset at the time it took for the emergency medical services at his local clinic to help him with his sneezy, phlegmy cold (which, I would have told him, is going to put a low priority on something they can’t really treat anyway). He places the blame: the clinic offers women’s reproductive services, and they were busy helping a “gaggle of preemie sluts [] get a free pass on harlotry” and treating their “cunt problems”.

But he really doesn’t have a problem with these women, he says. He just wants to end women’s medical services and the distribution of condoms on campus.

I don’t take issue with sex mongers. They serve their place. Hell, according to the bible, it’s the oldest known profession on earth. So you sultry sex fiends are clearly established, but this is a place of higher being. Please take your gaping holes elsewhere for medical services, and leave the real health issues to those that actually belong on a college campus

Yeah, he’s going to make a greeeeeat nurse. He’s already an expert on triage: men with runny noses must be treated before sluts with gynecological issues.

He’s going to have a tough time doing the work, though, with all the holes Ema ripped into him.

(Also on Sb)

Comments

  1. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Where do you find these people?

    They are everywhere! *in a creepy X-files voice*

    What I’m wondering is how that kind of people manage to pull their head out of their ass for long enough to type and publish something online.

  2. Ze Madmax says

    A student like that shouldn’t be dealing with people, in any field, period.

    Also, what’s up with college student newspapers (as I’m thinking this column was published on)? I swear, the staff always seems to be full of idiots who think too highly of themselves and think “venting my prejudices with bad attempts at humor” = journalism.

    Or maybe the campus newspapers I’ve seen are just bad? Dunno.

  3. Esteleth says

    Classy.
    Bet you anything he sees ZERO problem with sleeping with one of those women – but dammit she’s a slut if she uses birth control.

  4. Mattir says

    The Internet Is Forever. Which, for this guy’s prospective patients, is a good thing.

  5. Steamshovelmama says

    I was a nurse in the UK for nearly twenty years. If this dickwad was judged by the professional standards I was required to uphold, he would be *at the very least* be the subject of a serious investigation by the Nursing and Midwifery Council for having expressed views like this in a public forum. It would be considered to be behaviour “liable to bring the profession into disrepute”. It is possible he could even “lose his number” (be struck off the register) for such an offensive diatribe – though a reprimand and warning would be more likely.

    And what nurse goes to a doctor for a pathetic little cold? Nurses don’t go to the doctor very often – we don’t trust the bastards enough!

  6. NB says

    From the strength of his reasoning and character, I’m not sure he’ll qualify for any profession. Maybe he could go into ditch digging, provided someone more competent marks the ditch outlines for him.

  7. thuvia says

    I’m kind of glad he wrote that. Now anyone ever who googles him is going to find it.

  8. says

    So, he thinks he should get health services in a convenient location, on campus, while others (especially females) should have to go elsewhere?

    I’m in a Pharmacy Communications course, and we’re currently practicing how to communicate with patients. I’m guessing this guy won’t exactly be able to communicate effectively with the female half of his patients if he dismisses their health needs.

  9. Ze Madmax says

    Steamshovelmama @ #7

    And what nurse goes to a doctor for a pathetic little cold? Nurses don’t go to the doctor very often – we don’t trust the bastards enough!

    Funny story: I know a guy who is married to a nurse, and once a year gets a full-body scan (I’m guessing CAT or MRI of some sort) and has his wife look it over to see if there’s anything to worry about.
    Other than that, he will not, under any circumstance, go to a hospital. He claims that he doesn’t trust doctors because most practicing doctors tend to be the mediocre medical students (he assumed top-grade students go into research instead of practice).

    (Not assuming you share these ideas or anything, of course!)

  10. raven says

    I’m afraid Ben Cochran is one of them. He’s a nursing student…

    Not for much longer.

    The internet doesn’t forget. And no one in their right mind is going to hire a guy like this as a nurse.

  11. says

    is his nursing school aware of this? There are worse things that male nurses do (like drugging/raping/watching female patients) that start with an intense hatred of women. He should be weeded out of the program for having such a dangerous attitude towards women.

  12. raven says

    I’m kind of glad he wrote that. Now anyone ever who googles him is going to find it.

    Yes. It is so nice and considerate when the raving lunatics put up giant flashing neon signs warning people.

  13. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    After that tirade, maybe should apply to the Mythies to be stunt double for Buster, who is obviously smarter than he is…

  14. Rey Fox says

    If you’re a girl, sometimes you go to the doctor to get Pabst beer, or a pap smear, or
    something like that.

    So in addition to being a terrible person, he’s also a terrible humorist. (quelle surprise)

    This is a
    bastion for the intellectually competent.

    I’m guessing he’s a Mensa member too.

  15. says

    Since your link addressed the medical issues, I’ll just point out that there’s nowhere in the Bible that identifies an “oldest profession.” I’m not sure what the source of that phrase, but I’ve read the Bible pretty closely, and it isn’t from the Bible.

  16. raven says

    I’m guessing he’s a Mensa member too.

    And a fundie xian.

    And a Tea Party Gibbertarian as well.

  17. says

    Please take your gaping holes elsewhere for medical services, and leave the real health issues to those that actually belong on a college campus

    Whoa. On the Haters thread, Predator Redux came up and Ben certainly meets the hostility requirements. I wouldn’t trust the care of anyone to this person. Talk about red flags.

  18. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Perhaps he should get out of nursing and go into a related field, becoming a coroner.

  19. says

    skeptifem:

    He should be weeded out of the program for having such a dangerous attitude towards women.

    Not only for his attitude towards women. With his attitudes about a higher plane and all that, he’s the type who just might start deciding who should live and who should die.

  20. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Gross, gross, gross. What a disgusting human being. “Intellectually competent” my ass.

  21. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    He places the blame: the clinic offers women’s reproductive services, and they were busy helping a “gaggle of preemie sluts [] get a free pass on harlotry” and treating their “cunt problems”.

    And wouldn’t it be terrible if this shit sucker were to catch a nasty STI from a slut who had an untreated cunt problem– especially if it was untreated because she couldn’t access health services at the local clinic.

    Protip, Ben: Be careful what you wish for.

  22. Beanoglobin says

    From Cochran’s original spoutings: ‘according to the bible, it’s [ie, sex work is] the oldest known profession on earth’

    I’m pretty sure this claim isn’t Biblical.

    If we eliminate subsistence activities such as gardening, herding, farming, and being a nomad (Adam, Abel, Cain, and Jabal, respectively) the oldest human profession, according the Bible, is probably that of taxonomist – a profession given to Adam directly by God. Next, we have the musicians, led by Jubal, and the blacksmiths, led by Tubalcain (like Jabal, these are the great-great-great-great-grandsons of Cain), and after that, I dunno.

    The first Biblical character to perhaps be described as a prostitute is Rahab – but maybe she was a madam, or nothing more potentially scandalous than an inn-keeper – who, incidentally, is presented as a heroine.

    My fellow taxonomists: IMO *we*, and no other, represent the world’s oldest Biblical profession. Compared to us, those sex mongers come nowhere.

  23. Eichbaum says

    Now the article is prefaced by:

    DEAR READERS:

    The recent article has deeply offended many of you and we would like to sincerely apologize. We made a misjudgment; however, we stand by the publishing of the article due to our firm belief in free expression. The views expressed in any and all columns do not represent the Opinion Editor, Editor-In-Chief, The Editorial Board, The East Carolinian, or East Carolina University. We take full acceptance of the published article and regret that readers had access to the original, unedited format. The original edit was surfaced due to a staff member’s mistake. We are apologetic for the original article but will leave both sides of the Sound Off up in order for intelligent reader response. TEC will be devoting our Opinion page to the matter on Tuesday and look forward to more reader emails. Ben Cochran has expressed his apologies as well and will be publishing a formal apology in the upcoming issue. We will also be addressing our reasoning and stance on the article as well as accepting all reader responses via email.

  24. aladegorrion says

    And people wonder why I am suspicious of medical authority figures… doctors, nurses, or counselors. Because some are going to be sly enough to keep these views under wraps while still letting it infect their work.

  25. Terska says

    I was thinking that this guy’s life is basically over but then I realized that the Club for Growth or the GOP probably have taken notice of him and will be grooming him to overhaul our healthcare system.

  26. says

    Ben Cochran has expressed his apologies as well and will be publishing a formal apology in the upcoming issue.

    To what point? What he said is out there, and if he didn’t actually think that way, he wouldn’t have said it in the first place.

    An ‘apology’* will be to simply get people off his back, there’s no reason to think it will be in any way sincere.

    *Betcha he blames it all on how terrible he was feeling, what with that awful cold.

  27. says

    Doesn’t giving the girls several months of birth control mean that they have to go to the doctor to get their prescriptions less often? Then, the doctor has more time to deal with sick people. However, it sounds like this guy has a cold, which the doctor can do exactly nothing for.

    Gynecologists are specialists one may need a referral to see. There’s no need for people who need birth control to go to them. Since one tends to need a prescription for birth control, going to a general physician is appropriate. Going to a gynecologist is more appropriate for someone with ovarian cancer/cysts or debilitatingly painful periods, etc.

    Why is someone that thick in nursing school?

  28. frankensteinmonster says

    And people wonder why I am suspicious of medical authority figures… doctors, nurses, or counselors.

    it is not just medical staff. you would have to be suspicious of every human being, because such creeps can be found literally everywhere.

  29. says

    Don’t know why they bothered posting the edited version. It doesn’t show any more understanding or intelligence than the original, merely having been vetted for tone.

  30. Gregory Greenwood says

    This is a bastion for the intellectually competent.

    I see that, in addition to being a nasty, misogynist excuse for a human being, little Benny also has severe delusions of adequacy.

    Anyone who writes such teeth-grindingly moronic and bigotted things as;

    If you have a lung problem, you see a pulmonologist. If you have a heart problem, you see a cardiologist. If you have a c*nt problem, you see a gynecologist.

    And;

    I’ve been sitting here in misery for the last half an hour just so that this gaggle of preemie sl*ts could get a free pass on harlotry?
    Go read your Redbook in the lobby of a specialist while you get a mani as you wait to get your hatchet wound inspected. Leave student health for those of us that are in actual need of medical attention.

    Is hardly in any position to claim that they possess a normal helping of intelligence, let alone intellectual ‘competence’.

    On the off chance that you’re reading this, Benny, here’s a tip:- pregnancy is a life-changing event, and women are fully entitled to the best medical care possible, including access to contraceptives so that they can take charge of their fertility, and thus retain their bodily autonomy.

    A case of the sniffles is just a case of the sniffles. It is unpleasant, certainly, but your runny nose does not trump the personhood of women.

    Sorry to pop your self-absorbed bubble and all, but there it is. The universe does not resolve around insignificant little misogynist cretins like you. How very unfair life is.

    I play the tiniest violin for you…

  31. sc_e9fe2348096e35fb87870bede64fa6fe says

    *sigh*

    Would someone please help me stop being a Googlemess?

  32. ichthyic says

    Apparently this is his idea of great health care.

    so that’s why he want’s to be a doctor!

    to be able to prescribe himself beer!

    makes perfect sense.

    wait…

  33. ichthyic says

    why in the fuck did I just put an apostrophe in “wants”???

    maybe I need to prescribe myself more beer.

  34. says

    Would someone please help me stop being a Googlemess?

    You need to register with Freethought Blogs, this might require you to also register with wordpress. Don’t worry about the nym you use to register with, it can be changed later. Once you’re registered, you can access your dashboard and change your nym to whatever you like.

  35. Gnumann says

    Don’t know why they bothered posting the edited version. It doesn’t show any more understanding or intelligence than the original, merely having been vetted for tone.

    If I’m reading them correctly they are worshipping the god “Free speech” and have to publish any drivel any schmuck sends them. Minus the cusswords of corse, they are anathema to the Free Speech Cult.

    Cusswords bad, misogyny good.

  36. madknitter says

    Actually, the oldest profession is the priesthood. Predates prostitution by a wicked long time. Then, of course, there was a time when the priests/priestesses were votaries.

    This guy is a LOSER. Sounds like a Christian Taliban who would deny women medical services because it’s, you know, icky. And because women’s problems are never as important or serious as a man’s.

    Asslips.

  37. Carlie says

    I hope he gets kicked out of the program, and does not get into any other one. And no whinging about freedom of expression, or freedom of the press; nursing is one of those professions that has ethics and conduct regulations, and for a good reason.

  38. hairhead says

    I continue to be educated by this blog — I’m finding out *how many* douchecanoes there are out there. (Sigh)

    Now, it’s a funny thing: I went through University in the 1970′s, barely at the beginning of Women’s Lib and feminism, supposedly in the middle of the Male Chauvinist Pig Century, and I never, even when I socialized with Engineers, heard such disgusting, bigotted slop!

    Are we going back in time?

    It sometimes feels like it!

  39. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    it is not just medical staff. you would have to be suspicious of every human being, because such creeps can be found literally everywhere.

    Well, yeah, but medical staff have a pretty much unparalleled degree of access to and control over our bodies.

    Maybe the the guy across from me on the bus thinks it would be totally hot to take advantage of a sedated woman, but he doesn’t have access to me while I’m sedated. My dentist does.

    Maybe the guy checking out my groceries is silently seething with rage about sluts who use IUDs, but he’s not going to get the chance to tug on my IUD strings. My nurse-midwife practitioner is going to get the chance to do that.

    Maybe the librarian thinks that Plan B is murder, but I’m not depending on her for my Plan B, I’m depending on the pharmacist for that.

  40. hairhead says

    Caine @40 — How does one access this “dashboard” your speak of? I want my capital “H” back.

  41. ChrisH says

    Having worked along side many male nurses in my years as CENA,I’m not going to say sexism and misogyny is the norm because I just haven’t worked in enough places to back that up. That being said a LOT of the male nurses I have worked with in my area are VERY sexist and sometimes outright misogynistic. The main complaint with these male nurses is(if you can believe it)”Nursing is woman’s field” and the poor guys are being discriminated against.
    It’s VERY hard for a male nurse to succeed because “women are keeping them down”
    I even had one particular male nurse tell me every place he’s ever worked all the women have hated him because he was a man and one hospitals female nursing staff went as far as to physically abuse him when he was a patient there(something about grabbing him by his catheter and yanking hard).
    It took everything I had in me to keep from calling BS to his face(but alas he was my boss so I could not).
    So sadly in my area where ignorance and bigotry are loudly proclaimed and often wore as a badge of honor,this attitude toward women is all too common.

  42. Jessa says

    Minus the cusswords of corse, they are anathema to the Free Speech Cult.

    Yeah, I feel much better about Ben’s little diatribe because they changed “cunt problem” to “lady problem” and “hatchet wound” to “lady-bits”.

  43. says

    ChrisH:

    The main complaint with these male nurses is(if you can believe it)”Nursing is woman’s field” and the poor guys are being discriminated against.

    I’m glad to say there is less of that attitude here (Bismarck, ND), simply because there are a lot of male nurses. It’s one of the best job options here. I think it does make a difference when there are few men in the field (which doesn’t excuse misogyny). More and more men go into nursing here every year. When I was in the hospital recently, the nurses who cared for me were almost a 50/50 split gender-wise.

  44. Pierce R. Butler says

    If BC needs to find another career, apparently frothing sexists have a place in the retrovirus department at the U of Oklahoma…

  45. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Gregory,

    A case of the sniffles is just a case of the sniffles. It is unpleasant, certainly, but your runny nose does not trump the personhood of women.

    Seriously. It looks like little Benny here just needs to grow the fuck up– nobody cares if he has a godamned cold. Most of us are able to deal with it and move on, without blaming “sluts” or anyone else.

    The last time I had a cold, I took some decogestant and went to work. Hell, the last time I had the flu, I took a decogestant and some asprin and I still went into work*.

    What a fucking narcissist. If all it takes is one minor inconvenience for him to go batshit, I doubt he’ll last very long as a nurse.

    *I know, I know. I shouldn’t have done that.

  46. Dhorvath, OM says

    Dipshit doesn’t deserve diddly. I don’t much care if he had a spurting femoral artery, it doesn’t give him carte blanche to come down on people like that. I thought nursing needed compassion.

  47. raven says

    The recent article has deeply offended many of you and we would like to sincerely apologize. We made a misjudgment; however, we stand by the publishing of the article due to our firm belief in free expression.

    I don’t have a problem with them publishing Ben Cochrane’s gibberish.

    It was extraordinarily thoughtful of the raving lunatic to set up a giant flashing neon sign warning people of what he is. The sirens and fireworks were a nice additional touch.

    He seems to be well on his way to winning a Darwin award as well. Hmmm, maybe the gods do exist!!! As it says in the xian magic book, “Whom the gods would destroy they first make stupid.”

    It’s been obvious forever that if there are gods, they hate fundie xians.

  48. says

    I just posted (on Facebook) a link to an article about Pinker’s upcoming Better Angels book about the historical decline in violence, and my comment that the trend Pinker identifies constitutes a reason not to give in to despair.

    And then I come here and read hatchet wound.

    Sweet bleeding nonexistent Jesus, how I wish I didn’t know what he meant by that!

    <headdesk>
    <facepalm>
    <headdesk>
    <facepalm>
    <headdesk>
    <facepalm>

  49. Gnumann says

    It’s VERY hard for a male nurse to succeed because “women are keeping them down”

    Really? I know nursing is a bit different in the US than on my side of the big pond, but over here a male nurse hardly can help getting promoted. Even if he spends his days scraching his posterior. Are things really that different over there at your side?

    Or are we talking about clueless, chauvinistic shite?

  50. pelamun says

    Too bad there are too many people with that name, but still, that will leave a mark, prospective employers with better than average google fu will come across this story. I hope some kind of disciplinary action is forthcoming (since I don’t know the details of the case in particular, I don’t know if suspension, or expulsion would be appropriate, but I do believe . I suspect that his apology will just be the standard non-apology of the “I’m sorry if anyone was offended” type.

  51. raven says

    Are we going back in time?

    It sometimes feels like it!

    Maybe. Or just some of us. Ben Cochrane seems to have come from the middle east about 2500 years ago.

  52. pelamun says

    what’s the situation of male nurses got to do with the incident in question? I’m smelling a derail..

  53. ichthyic says

    Cusswords bad, misogyny good.

    that sounds accurate, based on all the people I have ever met that grew up in the South and managed to escape.

  54. ichthyic says

    what’s the situation of male nurses got to do with the incident in question?

    IIRC, Ben was studying to be a nurse?

  55. says

    Sweet bleeding nonexistent Jesus, how I wish I didn’t know what he meant by that!

    I’m with you there. I’ve been struggling to come up with any response that isn’t stunned incredulity and rage, but so far, nothing.

  56. ichthyic says

    I suspect that his apology will just be the standard non-apology of the “I’m sorry if anyone was offended” type.

    I doubt it. If you go to his facebook page, he rather seems unapologetic, and is completely clueless that what he said will have any impact on his future whatsoever.

    his friends actually suggested he might have thought about writing a will before he posted that, but poor Ben is just too clueless to get it, even after that.

    you could probably flood his facebook page with some education screeds, but he would probably just take that as “I’m getting lots of attention! I must be doing something right!”

    yeah, this guy is just too clueless to bother with.

  57. Gnumann says

    what’s the situation of male nurses got to do with the incident in question? I’m smelling a derail..

    I don’t know if that was directed towards me or Chris H, but I’d better try to do something about the scent. I was just curious towards the amount of cluelessness of the people in Chris’ anecdote. I hope this doesn’t derail anything, but if it does – please ignore.

  58. pelamun says

    IIRC, Ben was studying to be a nurse?

    Yes certainly, but does the alleged fact that male nurses are discriminated against, have anything to do with his misogynist rant? I don’t think he mentions his field of study at all?

    Oh, also I did misread ChrisH’ post at 47, took a “male” for a “female”, which crucially changed the direction of their post. So please ignore me…

  59. spamamander, froster of cupcakes says

    Christ on a crutch I hope my daughter doesn’t run into this kind of asschapeau on campus. She JUST started at University of Washington this week and please please PLEASE tell me this level of swampdwelling fuckitude isn’t common in the college age set. Granted, she probably would be “OK” in this… thing’s book (then again, maybe not, since she not only has had no real interest in dating, she definitely wouldn’t date HIM) but I would hate to see her give up on humanity before she even gets immersed in pre-med.

    Damn, wonder what he would think of me? I went to Planned Parenthood recently and they gave me an entire year’s worth of birth control pills in one go plus several packets of Plan B. Even if my dry spell has been over 3 years and all…

  60. Gnumann says

    Yes certainly, but does the alleged fact that male nurses are discriminated against, have anything to do with his misogynist rant? I don’t think he mentions his field of study at all?

    unless I misread his post the alleged fact wasn’t discrimination, but misogyny.

    And of course there’s the “He should have know so fucking much better as a nurse-in-training”-factor.

  61. Phoenician in a time of Romans says

    I applaud Mr Cochran’s fresh and couragous stand on this issue. I feel it deserves a wider audience, and should especially be well publicised on the campus which he attends, in any location where young women might have a chance to read and ponder his message. Maybe in the form of a poster hung in dorms. Next to his picture.

    Perhaps they will then take the opportunity to express their appreciation personally to Mr Cochran for causing them to rethink their attitudes towards casual sex.

  62. raven says

    Christ on a crutch I hope my daughter doesn’t run into this kind of asschapeau on campus.

    Good luck with that one.

    Both Jared Loughner and Cho Seung were….college students.

    There was a strange guy when I was an undergraduate, not too obnoxious but strange and a gibbertarian as well.

    A few years ago and many decades later, I was back at the library of my old university. There was a poster in the elevator warning anyone that if you see this wild looking person named _X_, call security. Banned from the campus.

    It was him.

  63. pelamun says

    “the alleged fact of discrimination” relates to no 47. So if you’re reading, you’re usually “chunking”, you’re processing several words at once, not letter by letter. If you do this too sloppily like I did, you can misread stuff like “male nurses” in the first sentence as “female nurses”. The last paragraph would have made it clear again, but probably I basically skipped it, as my erroneous interpretation had taken form over the course of the preceding paragraphs…
    So sorry about that. Was afraid the MRAs were coming, but it doesn’t seem so…

  64. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Perhaps they will then take the opportunity to express their appreciation personally to Mr Cochran for causing them to rethink their attitudes towards casual sex.

    I think the thank-yous should take the form of mace/pepper spray with blue dye, to allow for further shows of appreciation. Anything further is optional.

  65. kerfluffle says

    From the original format, it looks like this is some ongoing opposing sides feature of the paper. Little Benny Cochran pulled the short straw. There are very few reasons why birth control should not be available on a campus where all student pay for health care as part of their tuition.

    So instead of doing the hard work of either finding a good reason or doing a backhanded support for birth control on campus, he decides to bro-speak his way through it with the expectation that this intellectually lazy approach will garner him some attention in the form of troll fun and high-fives. Based on his facebook page, he succeed and is thrilled by the reaction.

    I wonder if he realizes just how much he has exposed about himself and his alma mater. If my kid was going to that school, I’d be calling for greater security on campus.

    (Also, he had to wait 30 whole minutes? That boy is in for a rude awakening when he graduates. Even for a nurse, 30 minutes is a record for getting your sniffles looked at.)

  66. Gnumann says

    @pelamun:
    It’s quite alright. One of the least charming “features”* of the MRA is that their use of tactics and “arguments” leads to both weariness (oh, I can’t bother to read that shite once more) and hyperalertness. This can of course lead to misfires for even the best.

    *Besides the rampant sexism and antihumanism of course

  67. Gregory Greenwood says

    Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies @ 54;

    Seriously. It looks like little Benny here just needs to grow the fuck up– nobody cares if he has a godamned cold. Most of us are able to deal with it and move on, without blaming “sluts” or anyone else.

    Ah, but you are forgetting that little Benny is one of ‘teh poor opresssed menz’(TM), and thus a special snowflake. Only his ‘suffering’* counts.

    What is a woman’s bodily autonomy, or even her life, when set against poor Benny’s runny nose?

    Have a heart, the poor little dear is in distress. He may even have to (gasp!) blow his nose, and you know how handkerchiefs chafe his ‘ickle nose so…

    * You know, suffering caused by brain-searingly agonising, mind-flayingly unbearable maladies like a case of the sniffles…

  68. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    Also, he had to wait 30 whole minutes? That boy is in for a rude awakening when he graduates.

    Oh man, I missed that gem. THIRTY WHOLE MINUTES. Well. My aunt, who waited over an hour in agony with acute appendicitis in the emergency room, will surely be humbled by his distress. His suffering is truly beyond comprehension.

    Jeebus fuckin’ christ.

  69. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    Since he appears to think that outrage over his misogynistic hatespeech is a good thing, maybe feedback directed to Benny himself should take the form of pointing out that he’s a whiny fucking diaper baby. He might not think that’s quite as sexy.

  70. ichthyic says

    Let me guess: they treated him with a douchebag.

    I’m fine with that, so long as they also treated him AS one.

  71. Rey Fox says

    And wouldn’t it be terrible if this shit sucker were to catch a nasty STI from a slut who had an untreated cunt problem– especially if it was untreated because she couldn’t access health services at the local clinic.

    And if he’s not a monastic Mensa type, then he’s probably a bare-backer too. *thbbt*

    The original edit was surfaced due to a staff member’s mistake.

    Nooooo no, you are not off the hook, East Carolinian. If you publish a column that needs a dozen outright insults scrubbed and about 200 words added to make the writer look like not quite a complete knuckle-dragger, including whole paragraphs that slyly undercut his entire point:

    Many women still feel stigmatized by getting birth control. They feel that people judge them and automatically think they are having copious amounts of sex. Rather than run the gauntlet of premature assumptions at Student Health, many women prefer the safe confines of an OB-GYN.

    …then you’re a hack rag with no integrity, and legitimate journalism departments should be ashamed of you.

    I just had no idea how promiscuous babies had become by now.

    Nah, he was just employing metaphor. They’re “preemies” because they are prematurely having sex before ownership marriage, rather than undergoing the East Carolina Kohlinar for Knowledge.

    And seriously…he thinks East Carolina is an august institution of the mind? I don’t know much about ECU, but I’m pretty sure they’re not an Ivy, or even a Public Ivy. Hell, his picture shows that pretty well.

    Perhaps they will then take the opportunity to express their appreciation personally to Mr Cochran for causing them to rethink their attitudes towards casual sex.

    Oh no no no. People can still have casual sex without giving a douchebag like Cochran the time of day.

  72. ichthyic says

    Pest control? wtf?

    I’d guess he means “crabs” (pubic lice) but who the hell knows, really.

    I’m not sure it’s worth the effort to guess.

  73. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Gregory,
    But of course. Teh Menz™ always come first! Not only are they more important than women in general, but they also know when their health/illnesses are more important that women’s.

    It’s advanced level mansplainin’.

    Heaven forbid a half hour wait! Benny could have used that time to do manly things, unlike women who I’m sure would have wasted that time on something silly.

  74. says

    Kristinc, I’d be willing to bet that almost everyone here has a story about themselves or a loved one waiting a loooong time in the ER with a much more important problem than a fucking piddly cold*. I know I do.

    *You have to be a moron to go to the ER/ES for a run of the mill cold anyway. It’s not like anything can be done.

  75. ichthyic says

    *You have to be a moron to go to the ER/ES for a run of the mill cold anyway.

    yeah, but he was coughing up phlegm too!!!

    surely he was on the very brink of death!

    how heartless of you to not think of putting his needs first.

  76. says

    Audley:

    unlike women who I’m sure would have wasted that time on something silly.

    Like fucking everything that moves, which is what Benny seems to think all women do, I mean getting contraceptives *gasp*, that just proves they’re whores!

  77. says

    I’d also be extremely concerned about the clinical privacy practices of the campus health clinic if a staff member there actually told others in the waiting room exactly what treatments for what ailments those who were before them in the queue were seeking.

    That is, I would be if I didn’t think that this guy was just pulling his explanation out of his arse.

  78. says

    ftb ate my comment!

    Anyway: why is this guy not more concerned about the lack of client confidentiality and breach of privacy perpetrated by the staff member who told him why all those women were there in the clinic?

    Could it have anything to do with the fact that he doesn’t actually know why they were there at all, and just pulled a guess out of his arse?

  79. chigau (-_-) says

    Special Ben was at a Campus Health centre not an ER.
    If that’s anything like other walk-in clinics, a half-hour ain’t bad.

  80. says

    Are decongestants prescription-only on that side of the pond? I can’t for the life of me work out what the hell he was doing there anyway, with a condition that he could self-treat with an over the counter remedy.

  81. ichthyic says

    I can’t for the life of me work out what the hell he was doing there anyway

    based on his post, he had a bad cough with discolored phlegm.

    He might have thought he had bronchitis, which is certainly treatable with antibiotics.

    but, why bother trying to work out why he was there anyway?

    it’s hardly the point, right?

  82. says

    Caine

    Then he’s wasting the time of medical staff way more than are (in his eyes) the women he accuses of doing exactly that. Yet another level of hypocrisy…

  83. chigau (-_-) says

    tigtog
    To quote Ben

    In their hands, they carried what seemed like a solid 36-month’s worth of birth control.

    No one told him, He Saw It With His Own Eyes!!1!

  84. Rey Fox says

    Note this sentence from his Facebook wall:

    disclaimer: not all ideas and opinions reflect those of the writer or his affiliates.

    So he admits that the little paragraph that gently suggests having some empathy for the women (which he then shits all over in the second half of the column) was added. Like I said, hack rag. Even for a college newspaper.

  85. says

    ichthyic

    Is sneezing a symptom of bronchitis, in some cases? Not arguing, honest. If all he had was a cold though, his hypocrisy regarding the wasting of staff’s time is rather to the point I’d say.

  86. Phoenician in a time of Romans says

    People, be fair, please.

    In their hands, they carried what seemed like a solid 36-month’s worth of birth control.

    This was Ben’s estimate, presumably based on his own experience. And it’s very easy to make a genuine mistake when we’re talking about just one pill.

  87. alexhan says

    Re: how did this guy get into medical school, it sounds like he’s an undergrad majoring in nursing, and not part of a graduate nursing program. He’s certainly not a medical (i.e. MD or DO) student.

    He’s also big into ‘holistic health’. Here’s an idea for a game: can anyone find that he has even a single redeeming feature?

  88. Hurin, Nattering Nabob of Negativism says

    Daz

    Are decongestants prescription-only on that side of the pond?

    Nah. You can get phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine OTC (although you will probably be limited to one box of the latter since people use it as a starting material for methamphetamine synthesis). The only thing he might get with a perscription that he couldn’t otherwise would be cough syrup with codeine as an active ingredient.

    I don’t even know why he would go to a doctor for a common cold. Maybe he is a hypochondriac.

  89. chigau () says

    Caine
    PZ used the word “emergency”, Ben Cochran used “Student Health Center”.

  90. Marty says

    Can only speak for med school (my own in particular) but this would be enough to have you up to the board for a damn good talking to, borderline expulsion.

  91. cowalker says

    I think this idiot made up the entire scenario, which was meant to be humorous, and failed spectacularly. I mean what does one make of this?

    I’m just trying to get seen and have this mucus-extricated from my hacking body.

    Is he expecting the doctor to aspirate mucus from his nose as if he were 6 months old? He never learned to blow his nose? He doesn’t know that all doctors can do is treat cold symptoms with medications that are available over the counter? Talk about wasting a doctor’s time.

    I don’t think one word of it reflects anything that actually happened, and it probably doesn’t even reflect his opinion about providing contraceptives on campus. He just saw an opportunity to use abusive sexual words about women. It probably gave him an erection.

  92. mythusmage says

    The longest I ever had to wait for any medical treatment was five days to get an MRI (minor transient ischemic event (stroke)). Other than that it was 4 hours to get a wrenched ankle treated. This dimwad makes me look patient in comparison.

    BTW, the five days were spent slowly crawling up the wall in a local hospital. Tried the patience of the nurses I did. :)

  93. Rey Fox says

    He was at the Emergency Services of the clinic. That’s clearly detailed in the OP.

    The word “emergency” appears nowhere in either version of the column. If the student health center is anything like the one at MU, it’s not for emergency services (we have an actual hospital with an actual ER on the university just down the street, and an urgent care clinic downstairs). Of course, mine is also appointment-only. Even if this one isn’t, I’m sure it’s first-come, first-served.

  94. Diane says

    @29 ManOutOfTimes wins the day’s internets on this one:

    “Um, guys, don’t do that.”

  95. Jessa says

    Rey Fox:

    I don’t know much about ECU, but I’m pretty sure they’re not an Ivy, or even a Public Ivy.

    ‘Round these parts (Raleigh-Durham, NC), ECU is known as the school that you go to because you didn’t get into UNC or NC State. To be fair, that sentiment is held mostly by UNC and NC State alumni, so I wouldn’t take that as an unbiased assessment of the actual quality of the school.

  96. says

    @chigau, thanks – I finally went to read it myself and saw that. Like I believe he’d know what 36 months of birth control looks like! (I also saw that he doesn’t say that he was in any emergency services section either, just that he’d been waiting for 30 horrible minutes for what he considered to be an emergency.)

    Seriously, if the nurse was escorting half a dozen girls at once then it must have been a scheduled reproductive health education group with a qualified nurse-educator or family-physician rostered on specifically for the purpose of conducting education sessions. If the group session had not been scheduled for that time, then the staff member who took the session would probably not have been rostered on at all, and thus Cochran would not actually have been seen any faster.

    Also, the whole women getting birth control only from gynos thing he mentions? Certainly not how it works in Australia – everybody I know gets their contraceptives from a GP/Family Physician unless they actually have gynaecological complications of some sort.

  97. Carlie says

    We once waited three hours at an emergency room to have my son treated for an anaphylactic fucking reaction to which we ran into triage and said “he’s allergic to nuts and accidentally ate some”, and the triage nurse said “well, he’s still breathing and his O2 level is fine right now” and left us in a room. For three hours. And then he got some Benadryl. And then we spent over two years fighting with how the hospital mis-billed us. I really have no sympathy for this guy and his half-hour snotty nose.

  98. shawnthesheep says

    I love that this imbecile does not understand how birth control works. He talks about the girls walking out with a 3 year supply of birth control and how even prostitutes don’t need that much. What, does he think that you pop a birth control pill every time you have sex? Is he confusing birth control with the morning after pill? I mean a 36 month supply is exactly that. It’s self-explanatory.

  99. joed says

    Gosh, this fellow Ben Cochran sounds as though he may be a bit too judgmental to work with humans(or any life forms).
    Unfortunately the school may actually see Cochran’s attitude as a plus for the medical profession.
    Which school is this again?
    Is it in Texas by any chance?

  100. kerfluffle says

    Seriously, if the nurse was escorting half a dozen girls at once then it must have been a scheduled reproductive health education group with a qualified nurse-educator or family-physician rostered on specifically for the purpose of conducting education sessions. If the group session had not been scheduled for that time, then the staff member who took the session would probably not have been rostered on at all, and thus Cochran would not actually have been seen any faster.

    Assuming this happened at all and wasn’t just hallucinations from the utter agony of dealing with the common cold, it sounds like ECU has a terrific and empathetic nurse-practitioner on staff. The girls were giggling, they had a fun time discussing sex, birth control and their own responsibility. If that’s really how it went down, there’s an unsung hero in that office.

    The comments on the ECU page are worth reading, if only for the input of someone named Josh, who bears a striking resemblance to one of the horde.

  101. F says

    “Axe wound”? Did he really write “axe wound”?

    I’ve got a fucking axe wound for him. I think a chunk of society does, too. It ain’t gonna be physical, and it ain’t gonna be pretty.

    Good luck, dumbass. I think you may need it.

    But really, he wrote that? Another one aiming for the stars, I guess.

  102. ichthyic says

    If all he had was a cold though, his hypocrisy regarding the wasting of staff’s time is rather to the point I’d say.

    the point, regardless of whether he thought he might have had a reason to be there, is that his was no more important than any of the people waiting before him.

    he was not in any imminent danger, regardless if he had even a serious case of bronchitis.

    and, even if he had FUCKING PNEUMONIA, it would not excuse the conclusions he made in that article.

    clear?

  103. says

    The ECU Student Health Service is appointment-based, although they do have a Triage Care system for more urgent medical ailments:

    Typical medical conditions requiring Triage Care Services would include but not be limited to:

    Acute, disabling injury or pain
    Illness with temperature greater than 102° F
    Lacerations of acute penetrating wounds
    Fainting episodes
    Acute chest pain
    Urgent asthma attacks or breathing difficulty
    Contagious illness (Measles, Chicken Pox)
    Urgent bleeding
    Seizures or urgent head injuries
    Urgent burns
    Rape
    Poisoning
    Urgent abdominal pain
    Possible drug reactions
    Urgent nausea/vomiting/diarrhea

    Chronic coughs with discoloured sputum and congested sinuses are not on that list that I can see.

    In fact, on the same page it mentions “Infections (ear, throat, skin)” and “prescription renewals” both as conditions that merit setting up an appointment rather than asking for a Triage assessment. So he’s basically asking for other people’s non-urgent existing appointments to be bumped in favour of his non-urgent appointment.

  104. says

    ichthyic

    I wasn’t belittling or ignoring the other concerns you raise, but rather pointing out another, hypocritical, aspect of his behaviour.

    Clear?

  105. Dianne says

    He’s going to have a tough time doing the work, though,

    As it happens, I’m currently trying to hire a nurse. Mr. Cochran has definitively removed himself from current or future consideration for any position for which I have hiring power. I expect that any physician who finds this mess on the internet, regardless of said physician’s position on birth control or even women in general, would not hire this man for any position involving patient care. He has failed cultural competence. Badly. His biology doesn’t appear any too great either.

  106. ichthyic says

    yeah, I thought it was South Carolina University because that’s what’s listed on his FB page:

    Studied English Language and Literature at University of South Carolina

    but he wrote that as a student at East Carolina University, which is in North Carolina.

  107. Kemist says

    He might have thought he had bronchitis, which is certainly treatable with antibiotics.

    Here up north the doctor will not prescribe antibiotics for a simple bronchitis in a healthy adult – most of them are viral anyway.

    This guy must be a very special widdle snowflake indeed. A healthy adult with will cough up yellow/greenish phlegm for a couple days – big fucking deal.

    I however, have asthma. Still, as long as I can get enough air into me with ventolin, I won’t bother a doctor with such trivial matters.

    Only exception was last winter. Three weeks after first symptoms I had to give in because my coughing was still bad enough to induce vomiting, and I needed to get a prescription for a cortisone spray. Waited for about 3 hours in my local clinic with a bunch of other sniffling and coughing people.

    This guy’s a wimp.

  108. says

    yeah, I thought it was South Carolina University because that’s what’s listed on his FB page:

    Studied English Language and Literature at University of South Carolina

    but he wrote that as a student at East Carolina University, which is in North Carolina.

    I just assumed he was an undergrad at USC and went on to a graduate nursing program at ECU. But that was a complete guess, so I could be wildly off the mark.

    (On another note, I found it mildly scary that his – presumably default – privacy settings allow anyone on Facebook to see his wall posts and complete profile. It scared me into playing with my own privacy settings to make sure that this can’t happen to me.)

  109. Gregory Greenwood says

    Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies @ 87;

    It’s advanced level mansplainin’.

    Now that’s a subject I believe Benny could hold several degrees in…

    We often get experts in that particular field gracing us with their presence hereabouts, always willing to tell us exactly where we went wrong in stating that women are human beings too.

    Never less than generous with their time when explaining to women precisiely why their concerns are irrational, and that they should realy just shut up and get back into the kitchen/bedroom.

    And eternally vigilant against those despicable, castrating feminazis that haunt the web, looking to feast on the manhood of poor, defencless menz.

    Surely, these mansplainers are true heroes, seflessly standing up for the maintenance of unexamined male privilege, the inalienable right of oblivious MRA jerks to never be criticised or have people say nasty things about them, the free speach to tell women that think for themselves what b*tches they truly are, and eternally championing the authority of the patriarchy…

    Mansplainers, we salute you!*

    * The whole one finger thing just looks like we are flipping you off. Its actually a traditional rationalist gesture of respect.

    Honest.

    No, really.

  110. StarStuff says

    So, his Facebook page says he’s into “Management Science” (no mention of graduation) whatever that’s supposed to be.

    So to him I say, if the women are students, like you are, they get to use Student Health Services, just like you do. Come near me in the hospital, where real people have real ailments (and not ones you get to pick & choose from), and I’ll gouge your eyes out with a scalpel. So suck it.

    Can you tell I spent 15+ years in health care…?

    (Just about)anyone can get an RN from your local community college…

  111. BCskeptic says

    This idiot’s rant really struct me as being indicative of what is just under the surface of the modern religion of christianity. It’s all nicy-nicy, sing-songs, help your neighbors on the surface, but just underneath it is malicious and dangerous (well, I guess it is thrusting thru the surface, depending on where you live).

    All the more reason to keep it in check by speaking out, calling idiocy idiocy, and working to keep church and state separate.

  112. Aquaria says

    The main complaint with these male nurses is(if you can believe it)”Nursing is woman’s field” and the poor guys are being discriminated against.

    Oh, poor babies. They could try being my mom, who got the half the pay for twice the working hours, experience and educational distinction back in the 70s as an anesthetist, and got told that the man who was getting twice the pay with less working hours and abysmal education “had a family.” I guess my brothers and I were invisible? Or how she was told by her own co-workers that she was taking jobs away from men?

    Yeah, fuck those whining fuckfaces.

    The last time I had a cold, I took some decogestant and went to work. Hell, the last time I had the flu, I took a decogestant and some asprin and I still went into work*.

    Please stop doing that. People like me, who are prone to bronchitis and pneumonia from every cold or flu we’re exposed to, end up having to use our sick leave and rack up medical bills because you didn’t stay home like you needed to. And then I was the one getting yelled at by my bosses for missing so much work! People like you made it impossible for me not to miss it!

    At least wear a mask if you feel you absolutely must work, like the Japanese do, and keep lots of hand sanitizer on hand.

  113. says

    Well damn, I guess I still have a mite of exprofessional pride left. I actually gagged at reading that.

    Then, still thinking li’l Ben up there was talking about an ER visit, I thought, “Anyone who goes to the ER for a head cold* ought to be shot right through it. The head, not the ER. Any nurse** who does that ought to be shot through both heads——the little one first.”

    *I know, no doc affordable/available, last-ditch… Nah, not for a head cold.
    **Or wannabe nurse

    And that was quite aside from the gagworthy stuff. Is is too optimistic about human nature for me to suppose, since he excreted this turd in his own college paper with his name attached, that his fellow nursing students will go all Maenad on him within the week? Or, since he wants his phlegm extracted, he might volunteer for a practice chest tap? If the trochar*** goes a little deeper than usual, they should hit gold or at least green.

    ***Perhaps I’m being wishfully premature about that.

    Are we sure this weenie is a college student? OK, it’s only October; maybe he’s a freshman, but cripes almighty, I went to school with girls so “sheltered” that we had to take a dormmate aside and gently inform her that one did not give birth via one’s navel, and nobody, NObody was this ignorant about so many things at once.

    Ugh.

    Tell me it’s all a troll, somebody.

  114. Timiane says

    He’d make a bloody marvellous triage nurse.

    He already diagnosed the problem before seeing or talking to the patients.

  115. Jessa says

    Oh geez. Looking through his Facebook profile, I see that he is friends with my office-mate’s stepson.

  116. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Aquaria,
    I know it was wrong to go to work with the flu. At the time, it seemed like one of those unavoidable circumstances (we were severly understaffed and I have senority/most of the responsibilities and, and, and… ), but fuck that shit. If I’m sick, I deserve to take a day off, goddamnit.

  117. Lurker says

    end up having to use our sick leave and rack up medical bills because you didn’t stay home like you needed to. And then I was the one getting yelled at by my bosses for missing so much work! People like you made it impossible for me not to miss it!

    People like me don’t HAVE sick leave, and can get FIRED for staying home with the flu, or bronchitis, or pneumonia.

  118. says

    Please stop doing that. People like me, who are prone to bronchitis and pneumonia from every cold or flu we’re exposed to, end up having to use our sick leave and rack up medical bills because you didn’t stay home like you needed to.

    you are, of course, right in general; and I don’t know Audley’s situation.

    But

    On several occasions I’ve worked in places where you were only allowed to call in sick if you had already found a replacement for your shift, or had a doctor’s note, or were throwing up/having diarrhea. If you didn’t show up in other circumstances, you’d get written up. 3 writeups = you’re fired.

    So, of course people show up for work; they’ll also show up when they need the hours to pay rent, since there’s no such thing as sick-pay for many. Blame it on the way the US treats its working poor.

  119. says

    I can’t believe I misspelled my own handle…

    Oh, don’t worry. I’ve done that at least once; there’s one post somewhere on TET where I inadvertently posted as “Waldon”.

    Plus, “Jadehawkrth” is actually a rather awesome handle. Though I have no idea how to pronounce it. :-p

  120. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Lurker and Jadehawk:
    I do have sick time (although I have had jobs where I couldn’t take time off), but like I said things were shitty at work and I felt like I couldn’t take a day off, you know?

    Anyway, it was a stupid mistake. Not only did I pass my germs around, but I’m sure that I prolonged my recovery, too. Bad scene all around.

  121. says

    Jadehawk @ 141:

    and another gem like that: “what have penises got to do with birth control?”

    My, he’s seriously dim, isn’t he? Was that a relation who was asking the question? If it was, it seems he isn’t held in high esteem by his own family.

  122. Marella says

    I found myself excruciatingly conscientious of the breaths I inhaled

    The word should be conscious, not conscientious. Illiterate as well as misogynistic. Clearly he wasn’t paying attention during is English language studies either.

  123. Jessa says

    Another lovely tidbit from Ben’s Facebook page:

    direct quote from my boss:

    “I’m really not comfortable with the type of person you are.”

  124. ichthyic says

    (On another note, I found it mildly scary that his – presumably default – privacy settings allow anyone on Facebook to see his wall posts and complete profile. It scared me into playing with my own privacy settings to make sure that this can’t happen to me.)

    yeah, about Facebook…

    I stopped using it 2 years ago when the kept changing the privacy settings and rules faster than I could adjust to, and my friends started complaining they were geting emails from facebook asking them to join up in my name.

    but then…

    apparently most of my friends are hypocrites, because they themselves then joined facebook, and actually emails I sent to them would be gradually more ignored, to the point where many went entirely unanswered. Then, I even started getting messages from them (that I wasn’t aware of because they sent them to FACEBOOK), that they were worried I had died or something.

    Motherfuckers FORCED me to start using facebook again, or else I somehow would be responsible for them thinking I had fallen off the face of the earth.

    so, after logging in to facebook for the first time in 2 years, I got a literal FLOOD of comments from EVERYONE I had ever marked as a “friend” or had marked me as one on facebook.

    Took me hours to fix that, and to adjust the dozens of different privacy settings to at least make using facebook tolerable.

    IMO, Facebook might be the single worst thing to ever happen to the internet, and that’s only a slight exaggeration.

    Still, apparently my friends leave me no choice but to use it.

    *sigh*

  125. demonhype says

    Thank you, Jadehawk and Lurker. It really does seem like the majority of jobs are like that these days too. Essentially slavery. Not everyone has the option to just not go to work, and when you’ve got lines around the block for a stinking McJob…well, you can’t assume that’s just a minority of positions at this point. I’m sorry to have to go to work sick, but I’m not going to call off, get fired, and eventually get evicted and starve to death in this new Great Depression just because I’ve got a cough.

    In my case, even when I did get sick pay and sickdays, that didn’t mean that when I had the flu or a cold or something that I had any sickdays left by that point. Sometimes I used them up with my migraines–or in some cases, they went by “incidents” and not by how much time you used, so if you have five sick days, call off twice and have to go home early a couple times with a migraine, you get written up for using any more time, even though you have two days of time left, because you have four “incidents”. Which is absurd no matter how you slice it. But some people have chronic issues like that that may use up all their sick days or whatever and then when they get sick with something common and catching, they have no choice but to go to work that way. There’s no distinction between “catching” and “non-catching” sick days, after all.

    But whenever I have to go to work sick, or go anywhere sick, I bundle up heavily, wash my hands frequently, bring hand sanitizer (if possible), keep my hands away from my mouth (not easy for a nailbiter, but I manage well), and always wear a scarf of some sort around my neck that I can cough into or cover my face with, as the situation might demand. I avoid breathing or speaking directly at anyone so I can avoid passing it on. At least take precautions of some sort. It’s a little less irritating when someone at least shows that they care whether you get sick and are doing something to prevent spreading their germs. Whenever I am the first person to get sick in the office, I’m often the last too. I’m good at containing the problem. (I pay attention to these things, because I also take precautions when someone else comes to work sick even if I’ve already had it, because in the past I have gotten sick twice over that way.)

    I’ve had plenty of people who go to work sick, claiming they have no choice, then bitch to me behind their back about someone else coming to work sick and breathing all over them and how it’s all that person’s fault they’re sick, then proceed to talk and breathe directly into my face. Now that really pisses me off, especially after they deliver a rant that shows they know better, or should know better. That time everyone at work got sick but me (again with the handwashing and the keeping my fingers away from my mouth, etc.), and I brought in a bag or two of cough drops for everyone! (Makes it easier to detect when someone is breathing your way, so that’s not entirely altruistic. :D )

  126. says

    a guy who is married to a nurse, and once a year gets a full-body scan (I’m guessing CAT or MRI of some sort) and has his wife look it over to see if there’s anything to worry about.

    Then he’s exceedingly stupid. I’ve spent 20 years looking at XRays and CTs on a very basic diagnostic level, and I would never be arrogant enough to interpret a whole-body MRI. And don’t get me started on the whole mortality from false findings stuff

    And people wonder why I am suspicious of medical authority figures… doctors, nurses, or counselors. Because some are going to be sly enough to keep these views under wraps while still letting it infect their work.

    Not all of us are like that, honest. But I think for primary care you may have to see several doctors before you settle with one whose manner works for you.

    If people that stupid can get into medical school, why is there not an oversupply of doctors driving down the price of healthcare?

    ?? I thought he was a nursing student. People go to med school to become doctors.

    When I was in the hospital recently, the nurses who cared for me were almost a 50/50 split gender-wise.

    I did a shift about six weeks ago where all the nurses were men and all the doctors were women. It was great fun!!

    You have to be a moron to go to the ER/ES for a run of the mill cold anyway. It’s not like anything can be done.

    I’ve spent nearly twenty tears telling people this, and have made no appreciable dent in the belief that I’m witholding some magic cold-curing, or diarrhoea-curing, or vomiting-curing magic pill..

    Is sneezing a symptom of bronchitis,

    No. 99% of the time, sneezing is a symptom of a viral infection.

    The longest I ever had to wait for any medical treatment was five days to get an MRI (minor transient ischemic event (stroke)). Other than that it was 4 hours to get a wrenched ankle treated. This dimwad makes me look patient in comparison.

    Hah! I waited 6 months for a CT to exclude an AVM. and then 7 months for an MRI. And another 3 months for the correct MRI.

    Here up north the doctor will not prescribe antibiotics for a simple bronchitis in a healthy adult – most of them are viral anyway.

    This guy must be a very special widdle snowflake indeed. A healthy adult with will cough up yellow/greenish phlegm for a couple days – big fucking deal.

    Hallelujah!! Someone who tells it like it is!

    So, his Facebook page says he’s into “Management Science” (no mention of graduation) whatever that’s supposed to be.

    He’s gone into nursing to become a nursing manager. A lot of guys percieve a profession dominated by women as having an easy career ladder for men who want to move up quickly. Since women aren’t interested in career progression at all, they just want to wipe bottoms. And men are so much better at telling women what to do.

    Sadly, in nursing, it does seem that men are promoted much more easily. In fact, as someone said upthread, they can barely help getting promoted. The patriarchy is in action here just as much as everywhere else.

  127. Dianne says

    Note re people having difficulty taking off when sick: Some employers will only give sick leave if you have a note from a doctor stating that you are really, truly sick and not off partying. If that is your situation, don’t hesitate to go to a doctor and say explicitly that yes you know you have a virus and that s/he can’t do anything about that but that you need a work excuse. Unless you accidentally make the appointment with your neurosurgeon, your doctor will NOT feel that this is a waste of his/her time. It’s a basic part of helping people heal. Plus it’s a relief not to have to give the “antibiotics don’t work on viruses” speech yet again.

  128. says

    The discussion of the gender imbalance in nursing keeps reminding me of Benjamin Zephaniah’s poem, which I first read in primary school:

    I used to think nurses

    Were women

    I used to think police

    Were men

    I used to think poets

    Were boring

    Until I became one of them.

  129. Cuttlefish says

    I *almost* wish this were a case of some motivated person/s with a grudge against Ben, hijacking his computer and making him look like a sack of shit.

    Except that that would mean that A) there were people out there every bit as bad as Ben apparently is, and B) Ben’s life is effectively fucked by them.

  130. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    If that is your situation, don’t hesitate to go to a doctor and say explicitly that yes you know you have a virus and that s/he can’t do anything about that but that you need a work excuse.

    I think this is probably complicated by the fact that people in horrible jobs often don’t have health insurance or money for a doctor. :(

  131. jessiecolt says

    Here is what I sent to both the Dean of the school and their Student Counselor:

    ****

    Hello Dean Brown and Dr. Houston,

    I am extremely appalled by the recent opinion piece that appeared in the University Paper, The East Carolinian, by a student, Ben Cochran.

    While I appreciate the papers stance that they posted the opinion piece under the 1st Amendment rights to Free Speech, it grieves me to think that the state of the Universities in the United States of America is so pathetic as to permit entrance to the school for students who clearly lack all common sense and critical thinking when it comes to allowing a clearly profanity laden, hate-filled, and misogynistic piece of writing to be published without ensuring that the edited version is the one being released.

    If these are the types of people that are permitted to oversee a publication with the Universities name and reputation on it, I truly hope that those who were in charge of the decision making and final approval of this published edition are reminded that with Freedom comes great responsibility and that with the freedoms that claim they have, they should also be wiling to accept their responsibilities and ensure that they are doing their jobs to the best of their abilities, whether they are paid to be on the paper or not.

    I am also dismayed that a young boy, and a nursing student, somehow believes that his white privilege entitles him to services that others should not be entitled to, that being general health care.

    I am also dismayed that as a nursing student, one who is enrolled in an institute of “higher Learning”, he has such a fundamental lack of basic understanding regarding health issues that face women.

    I am mortified to think that Mr. Cochran may some day be working in a Doctors office or, heaven forbid, a Hospital, where he must deal with patients who have “women’s issues” because clearly his white-privilege, entitlement baby, attitude will only cause the patient and their family members far greater mental trauma then the patients own health issues.

    I truly hope that part of the “higher education” process that helps to cultivate and train students also includes assisting those students with understanding what their greatest abilities are and where they should work to learn more and educate themselves more to assist them with getting the most out of their education in a field where their natural talents and strengths will be the most beneficial to themselves and those around them.

    Mr. Cochran has one of the most horrific bed-side manners of any aspiring medical professional that I have ever known.

    Without extensive training regarding health care, especially women’s health care issues, and what “health care” actually is, and means, and without a severe attitude adjustment to wean him away from his misogynistic views, I firmly believe that Mr. Cochran should re-think his desire to be in a profession that alleges to help people.

    Perhaps he should be encouraged to pursue a career in Journalism.

    It is my understanding that Fox News is always looking for more people who believe that they are better than everyone else.

    Sincerely,

    Jessie Colt

  132. says

    First, Ben’s writing is just terrible. It has this overwrought, pompous quality. Is this what people are learning in college now? Even if you don’t like writing or don’t cultivate a particular style, you can at least be brief and to the point.
    Second, I can’t work up much pity for him, if his account is even true. I fractured my pelvis when I was a junior in college. In fact, I didn’t get it immediately treated because I didn’t realize it was that serious. So I slept on a fracture and woke up the next morning utterly unable to walk. Then I waited nine hours in a hospital waiting room before I was even seen, and spent three hours in an examination room with another patient who spent his time rummaging through the cabinets in the room to see if there was anything he could take. Thank goodness my roommates came with me because I would have been so scared otherwise. So, waiting half an hour to be seen for a cold really isn’t that bad.

  133. Dianne says

    I note that his facebook page says he’s into Ayn Rand. Meaning that he probably believes that every privilege handed to him because of his gender and race is something he’s earned by Merit Alone.

  134. eigenperson says

    #159 Walton: That poem is amazing. We are supposed to read the word “police” with a slightly campy British accent so it sounds like “POE-leece,” right? Otherwise it doesn’t seem to scan.

  135. CompulsoryAccount7746 says

    Lovely. The paper gave him an award for his article entitled “Stay Safe: Shoot Back”:

    In its recommendations to City Council, the Task Force suggested that the Greenville police department should “employ tactics that rely less heavily on police personnel and more heavily on tactics that engage and require others in the community to reduce crime.”

    I will henceforth load my handgun of justice with the proactive bullets of vigilantism, and when the streets run red with the blood of laissez-faire police tactics, I will point to the Task Force and proudly say that I have heeded its sagacious advice.

    And on that glorious day when every ECU student is a crime-reducing, gun-toting, contributing member of the Greenville community, we can, in much the same manner as our last illustrious president, defiantly look our would-be attackers in the eye and say, “Bring it on!”

     
    Our last illustrious president…

    Definition: notably or brilliantly outstanding because of dignity or achievements or actions

    Bush!?

  136. rowdy says

    Does he believe he’s being funny and edgy?

    If so, does he realize that his attempt at humor reveals pathological misogyny?

  137. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    But but but… We shouldn’t waste time responding to obvious trolls! Like this guy – he totally doesn’t mean what he’s saying! Right? Right?!

  138. says

    #159 Walton: That poem is amazing. We are supposed to read the word “police” with a slightly campy British accent so it sounds like “POE-leece,” right? Otherwise it doesn’t seem to scan.

    Well, the awesome Benjamin Z. was born and raised in Birmingham to Jamaican parents, so his accent is an interesting mix. Here’s one of his poetry-readings as an example. (Interestingly, his diction is much more distinctly Jamaican when he reads poetry; in his ordinary speaking voice he has a strong West Midlands accent.)

  139. says

    Lovely. The paper gave him an award for his article entitled “Stay Safe: Shoot Back”:

    I hope he moves to one of those floating libertarian islands.

  140. octopod says

    Oh, right, because we can totally treat the common cold now, shitferbrains.

    What does shitferbrains think “preemie sluts” mean, anyhow? I don’t even.

  141. hairhead says

    Caine, I am flummoxed. There’s nothing to click. I move mouse over my names, right-click, left-click, zero. Do you have another suggestion?

  142. says

    Hairhead, only the nym directly above the comment box will take you to your dashboard. You have to be logged in. If your nym isn’t hyperlinked, then you probably have to be registered elsewhere too, like wordpress.

  143. Horse-Pheathers says

    I’ve been over there playing in the resulting discussion thread; most people, thankfully, seem to have hearts more or less in the right place, but there are a few real nutters in the crowd….

    What’s sad is most of the people posting to defend this asshole are women, and they are all citing religious reasons. Further evidence, as if we really needed it, of the way religion corrupts peoples’ thinking and gets them working against their own (and society’s) better interests.

  144. John Morales says

    Horse-Pheathers,

    What’s sad is most of the people posting to defend this asshole are women, and they are all citing religious reasons.

    Sigh.

    (I guess they have overcome their hatchet wounds)

  145. says

    Pest control? wtf?

    I’d guess he means “crabs” (pubic lice) but who the hell knows, really.

    I’m not sure it’s worth the effort to guess.

    I think this is meant to be another witticism. If you’re a slut with a “lady problem” you see a gyno. If you’re a man with a “lady problem” you get pest control.

    Reading this, I couldn’t help but wonder what his mother would feel if she knew.

    I don’t think he should be allowed to continue in the nursing programme. There’s so much bile in him, it’s hard to say how it will come out in the performance of his professional activities.

    The paper should also be censured for printing something so obviously filled with hate against what probably amounts to more than half the student body.

  146. says

    [meta]

    If your nym isn’t hyperlinked, then you probably have to be registered elsewhere too, like wordpress.

    You shouldn’t need to be logged in anywhere else. FTB uses WordPress (the software), but has nothing to do with wordpress.com the site.

    Above the comment box, do you have a line saying “Logged in as Hairhead”? If so, you should be able to click on “Hairhead”. If you have a little form to put your name in, you’re not logged in, and above that form you should have a sentence that reads “Do you already have an account? log in or…” If so, you should click on “log in” to get your account.

  147. reasonisbeauty says

    I used to think there was a light at the end of the tunnel, even though it was very far away. Now I begin to worry that it’s just some asshole like this fucknuckle driving the wrong way.

    I sometimes fear that the few islands of reason in the world may be washed away by relentless waves of stupidity and ignorance.

  148. JayCee says

    After reading his piece,it’s clear that he’s got a “cunt problem” of his own he needs help with–he is one.

  149. says

    Ibis3:

    You shouldn’t need to be logged in anywhere else. FTB uses WordPress (the software), but has nothing to do with wordpress.com the site.

    When the move was first made, a whole lot of us had to register with wordpress to get the FtB log in to work correctly.

    JayCee:

    After reading his piece,it’s clear that he’s got a “cunt problem” of his own he needs help with–he is one.

    FFS, do not use gender-based insults here. (No, we don’t care that cunt is casually used outside the U.S.). How do you think what you said is any better than what Ben said? By calling him a cunt, you’re basically saying he’s a woman, which is so very terribly insulting why? Try thinking about it.

  150. John Morales says

    [meta]

    JayCee, I know the reaction to your comment seems harsh, but there’s a good reason* for the emphatic responses to your comment.
    It’s not the sentiment you meant to express that’s the problem (that, we share), but instead its specific instantiation whereupon other sentiments may be seen to be supported.

    (Believe it or not, the assumption is that you meant well, but expressed it poorly. Regulars here are far harsher upon those of whom they perceive deliberate misogyny.)

    * Which has been thoroughly-argued many times over the years; if you care to argue the point, you’d be well-advised to search the archives before so doing.

  151. Pyromancer says

    I’m sure he -does- know what 36 month’s worth of birth control looks like. Two condoms.

  152. says

    Re: college/university-grade journalism, I once worked at a campus radio station that went through some severe infighting and instability before nearly recovering last year. Without fail, both campus newspapers would regularly publish incorrect information about several aspects of a story. It didn’t help that some individuals were actively lying about the situation and managed to get those lies published. Seeing such inaccuracy published in relation to something I was directly involved in made me wonder whether anything in those papers beyond the sports scores was halfway truthfulZ

    Incidentally, the station lost its licence less than a year after the organization began to restabilize.

  153. mythusmage says

    #157

    You missed the part where I mention that five days was in the hospital, and I was ready to go home an hour after I got the clot buster. The doctor was being very cautious, and the MRI was being preempted by traffic accidents.

  154. Ichthyic says

    I’m sure he -does- know what 36 month’s worth of birth control looks like. Two condoms.

    I was thinking that after this debacle, he is probably going to think that birth control looks remarkably like his face in a mirror.

  155. Annie says

    I am an ECU student, and I was horrified by this article……as was everyone else on campus with a pulse who wasn’t trying to cover their own asses. And as a hard-working student who had a near-perfect SAT score, I am absolutely furious to see that people are using this wanker to try and smear the entire student body’s credibility. Rest assured, we are all PISSED. And we would appreciate it if you wouldn’t imply that we are stupid, uneducated, or third-rate–or at least give us a break from insult while we’re already recovering from being called “preemie sluts getting a free pass on harlotry.” Ouch.

  156. John Morales says

    Annie, such blame as ECU faces for this is based on their stance towards this piece.

    (Can you point us to their reaction to it, if any?)

  157. says

    Annie:

    And we would appreciate it if you wouldn’t imply that we are stupid, uneducated, or third-rate

    I didn’t see that most of the people in this thread were doing that, Annie. The focus was Benny, not your school, not your location and not other students. Most of us are intelligent enough to grasp that Benny’s failures as a human being are not the result of his school or location.

  158. eigenperson says

    Ema says in the comments that the Dean wrote the following response to her (his?) letter:

    “Thank you for sharing this concern. We will be addressing this issue with Mr. Cochran.”

    I think that is actually as strongly worded a response as could have been expected, considering that in most cases such letters would be brushed off with a statement about freedom of speech and/or the university’s commitment to intellectual freedom.

  159. otrame says

    You know, if I was the editor of that paper and got that little piece in my in box, I would be really torn. On the one hand that pathetic creep should get what is coming to him, thus serving as an object lesson. On the other hand, that was a truly ugly missive, and I am not sure the distress and anger it would cause would be worth watching Benny find out why he should find another line of work. And by the way, if they published it at all they SHOULD publish what that waste of oxygen actually wrote. Anything else is just dishonest, especially since they published his name. Their attempt to “fix” it, was just… These are presumably journalism students? Jesus H. Christ, how depressing.

  160. Annie says

    Most people did not, but several commenters certainly did a lot of implying: why did it need to be mentioned that we weren’t ivy or public-ivy? It wasn’t because that would excuse this behavior in any way, so the intent appears to be to discredit Ben by discrediting the university. And asking if this is Texas? Stereotype as it may be, we all know what that means. And it’s not a good thing.

    To be honest, I probably would have overlooked it were it not for the fact that this reaction is popping up in every forum where this is being discussed, and it’s making me a little crazy–a lot of us did our damnedest to get this piece out to every pair of eyeballs who would take up the cause with us, and in return got our degree and the nursing program bashed as a result.

    I am awaiting the outcome of the dean’s intervention–trying not to get my hopes up too high–so it is too early to say how I feel about the school’s reaction. The reaction of the newspaper staff, however, has been negligible at best. The female editor who was in charge of the piece continues to argue for its being published, while declaring herself also a feminist. Yikes.

    But I figure I’ll end this on a better note, and do something that I’m not seeing in any of the discussions about this piece: extend a proud pirate pat on the back to every awesome student who stood up and declared this unacceptable, and especially to the individual who leaked the original, unedited article as the newspaper has dubbed it a “staff member’s mistake.” I don’t consider calling out this kind of behavior a mistake. I consider it an act of integrity. Kudos.

  161. Outrage Zombie says

    By “preemie sluts”, I think he means that they haven’t become full-fledged “sluts” yet, but will soon be on their way. Because of the birth control pills, you see.

    Also, I’m a little disturbed by the student paper’s zeal in broadcasting someone’s career suicide. And yet relieved, because Ben Cochran obviously wanted very much for it to die.

  162. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    kerfluffle, #120:

    The comments on the ECU page are worth reading, if only for the input of someone named Josh, who bears a striking resemblance to one of the horde.

    You’d better not be implying that any of those comments were from me. I haven’t even visited that page. Mark that and remember it.

  163. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Most people did not, but several commenters certainly did a lot of implying: why did it need to be mentioned that we weren’t ivy or public-ivy?

    I think it’s as an attempted counter to the crinkled-nose-in-the-air intellectual elitism Ben displayed at great length in his screed. As someone who also went to a public university, it does seem really out of place, doesn’t it? That’s not really the culture I encountered at my school. Not that we weren’t smart – we just weren’t snobbish assholes with utter disdain for everybody but ourselves. The people I met weren’t, anyhow. And I’ve never been to an Ivy so I don’t know how warranted it is, but that kind of snobbery seems to be associated in the public mind with those types of schools rather than with less high-and-mighty institutions.

  164. fisherella says

    The dean of his school is Dr. Sylvia Brown, her email is [email protected].
    I sent her a polite, professional email complaining about this dick and his hate speech. I, of course, left out “dick”.
    I encourage everyone to do the same. Maybe if Dr. Brown is bombarded with polite and coherent emails, she will not be able to ignore this and force something to happen…castration is probably too much to hope for, but maybe a nice “don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out”.

  165. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Jessie Colt:

    I agree with every sentiment in your letter, and I’m glad you sent it. But—sorry, you need to hear this—your writing is filled with amateurish mistakes. You capitalize words randomly (you obviously have no idea what constitutes a proper noun as compared to a word you just want to emphasize), you appear to have no idea when apostrophes are required (it’s “the paper s, not “the papers”), and your sentences are run-on messes.

    Learn some basic mechanics, and run your work by someone else before you send it out. No, it’s not just a case of “I was writing fast and furious, and didn’t cross all my ‘I’s.’” You’ve got some terrible writing habits you need to curb right away if you don’t want to look like a lagging 9th-grader.

  166. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Over on the ECU thread, Rachel says:

    Hey Ben,

    If you have a misogyny problem, you see a therapist.

    Just FYI.

    I grinned.

  167. says

    Annie:

    Most people did not, but several commenters certainly did a lot of implying

    There are always idiots and thoughtless people. You’ll find they comprise a very small minority here.

    To be honest, I probably would have overlooked it were it not for the fact that this reaction is popping up in every forum where this is being discussed

    Yes, there are a whole lot of stupid people out there who just can’t resist making bigoted, thoughtless remarks.

    I don’t consider calling out this kind of behavior a mistake. I consider it an act of integrity.

    I agree. I will say, however, that as disgusting as Benny’s little piece is, I think it’s a good thing it did get out and that lots of people saw the unedited version, because I don’t think Benny should be allowed to work with people in any medical setting whatsoever. He might be suited to being behind the counter of a fast food joint, but I wouldn’t want an assclam of such magnitude anywhere near me in a hospital or clinic. He’s a discredit to human beings everywhere, and he’s certainly a discredit to any nursing program and healthcare staff everywhere.

  168. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    He might be suited to being behind the counter of a fast food joint, but I wouldn’t want an assclam of such magnitude anywhere near me in a hospital or clinic.

    Oh man, no, I don’t want this guy near my food either :( Better than near my medicine andor my person, but noooo.

  169. says

    Josh:

    But—sorry, you need to hear this—your writing is filled with amateurish mistakes.

    Jessie Colt also called Benny a little boy. There were more than basic mechanics wrong with the letter. It’s always worth the time to read over and edit your letter, usually more than once.

  170. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Caine:

    Right you are, but I can only focus on so many wrongs at a time:) The original post is so blasted horrifying I. . . I don’t know what to say. Stupid grammatical and mechanical mistakes drive me up the wall on a good day, but in a thread like this. . .I just have to concentrate on them to keep the Nameless Horror at bay. :)

  171. says

    fisherella:

    professional email complaining about this dick and his hate speech. I, of course, left out “dick”.

    When posting here, refrain from using gender-based insults. There are a plenitude of colourful insults out there, there’s no need to go with gender-based ones. They are seriously frowned upon here.

  172. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Come in, folks, the water’s fine *splashing around in full personal protective equipment and of course polka-dotted spiked waders over at the ECU site*

  173. julian says

    There are a plenitude of colourful insults out there,

    I forget who said but I still giggle at ‘Foolish Fuckface.’ Just rolls off the tongue.

  174. Aliasalpha says

    So not only is he a total fuckwit with no human decency but he also perpetuates the stereotype that men are wusses who can’t handle the most minor illnesses without it being the end of the world

  175. Matt Penfold says

    Our Josh said this:

    You’d better not be implying that any of those comments were from me. I haven’t even visited that page. Mark that and remember it.

    No, I doubt very much it was you being referred to. I recall there was a cretin calling himself just “Josh” who commented at ERV on the Watson issue. He was a typical misogynist arsehole.

  176. says

    Julian:

    I forget who said

    That would be Janine.

    Matt:

    No, I doubt very much it was you being referred to.

    I’m pretty sure it was Josh, OSG being referred to, as a cretin who posted at erv wouldn’t be called one of the horde [see #120]. As Josh the Geologist isn’t around, that leaves our beloved Spokesgay.

  177. Drosera says

    Caine, Fleur du Mal:

    When posting here, refrain from using gender-based insults. There are a plenitude of colourful insults out there, there’s no need to go with gender-based ones. They are seriously frowned upon here.

    It’s reassuring to learn that the PCCB* is watching over the posters here. Does PZ pay you to provide this valuable service, or is it just a volunteer job for which you sacrifice your precious spare time?

    Should you ever consider a career move abroad, I’d recommend the religious police in Iran.

    (Note that I’ve never used gender-based insults in a comment, which I would consider a tasteless thing to do; I just don’t like your attitude.)

    *Politically Correct Censuring Brigade

  178. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s reassuring to learn that the PCCB* is watching over the posters here. Does PZ pay you to provide this valuable service, or is it just a volunteer job for which you sacrifice your precious spare time?

    Not funny, or relevant. Don’t use gender-based, and lose the attitude if you wish to continue posting here.

  179. Anubis Bloodsin III says

    What Nursing school would ever seriously consider attempting training this pompous vicious little woman hating cretin in medicine?

    That obvious female hatred is a sign flashing fucking neon 20 miles high!

    With an attitude like that you are looking fairly squarely into a perfect example of ‘Münchhausen by proxy’ brewing up nicely, right there, right in front of you!

    A year I give it after ‘qualifying’, there will be quite a few serious and extremely tragic consequences because that can be prevented now!…but seems obvious no one has the gumption or the wit to fix it right now!
    The dude is mentally incompetent for fuck sake, can nobody see that.

    No one sane would ever think a diatribe like that is a perfectly reasonable comment.
    And from a medical student that is grounds for instant and summary dismissal…no fucking empathy except for himself.

    The college publishers that insist on free speech really ought to be so ashamed of their own conduct that they should find the door and don’t let it hit ‘em on the way out, and at least..and if, they complete their education should never be given a job where ethical standards are required, they obviously have not a clue what those are and that is a failing of the campus and their upbringing…shame on all of them!

  180. Drosera says

    Nerd,

    Another PCCB guardian, I see, threatening me with… What exactly? Do you own this site?

    I used to post here fairly often, but I have almost given up on doing so because of the excessive PC mentality here, which causes almost every thread to derail after a dozen or so comments.

    Carry on.

  181. julian says

    @Drosera

    And should you ever consider a career abroad, I suggest a hole somewhere far removed from the rest of the human species where you won’t have to worry about people who frown on hate speech and the like.

  182. julian says

    Another PCCB guardian, I see, threatening me with… What exactly? Do you own this site?

    Threat? You think that was a threat?

    Idiot.

  183. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, another idjit who won’t take friendly advice. And don’t quit your day job, you aren’t funny, you aren’t cogent, you don’t have a point. You are just stupid and pathetic.

  184. Drosera says

    Yes, Nerd, people like you are precisely the reason why I stopped posting here. Thanks for proving my point.

    As a European I can only look with amused detachment at the folks here who declare using the name of a body part ‘hate speech’. You bunch of pearl-clutchers should never come the Netherlands, where both men and women freely use (the equivalents of) ‘cunt’, ‘scrotum’ and ‘dick’ all the time, partly as insults, partly as expletives.

  185. julian says

    It’s ‘julian.’ Notice how the ‘J’ is lower case? It’s a small thing but I feel it’s important enough when two people address each other that they address each other correctly. Don’t you, Drosera?

    And you’re right, I do often miss what people mean to say when they write, but I doubt that’s the case here. You see a threat actually involves threatening someone, promising harm or retribution if they do something. Nerd of Redhead, simply extended a rather polite (for him especially) word of caution as to what kind of behavior is frowned upon here. He did so a little stronger than Caine but not by much. Really you should have just taken it under advisement instead of reloading and firing again.

    What counts as hate speech, on the other hand, is something I’m pretty clear on. And while in your swing first, make an ass of myself now mode, you mistook my general admonishment of anti-PC warrior types as actually accusing you of engaging in hate speech. I apologize for that. I should have realized how thin skinned you all are.

  186. Janine, OM says

    You are quite correct, Drosera. We regulars are just like members who promote virtue and suppress vice. If anyone was spouting sexist shit while running out of a burning building, I would make sure that person remained in the burning building.

    Foolish fuckface and annoying assclam.

  187. Drosera says

    It’s a pity, really. I enjoyed supporting the fight here against creationism and irrationality. But now, as Janine just pointed out again, this site has been taken over by the ‘regulars’.

    I could easily hurl some non-sexist insult at you, Janine. Even one that I didn’t copy from somebody else. But I’m just saddened by the demise of this blog. At least the comment section. My mistake for dipping into it today.

    And sorry julian for misspelling your name. I won’t take your advice to go living in a hole, though. My wife and children wouldn’t like that (can you believe it?).

  188. Janine, OM says

    Drosera, you stubbed big toe, was I also one of the persons who chased you away? (Please say “yes”.)

    Will you flounce again if this continues?

  189. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Ah, I see Drosera is of the PCCCB*.

    * Politically Correct Censuring Censuring Brigade.

  190. Janine, OM says

    Drosera, acting like a typical elbow, made and insult that does not come close to how the regulars actually act, gets called on it and in reaction, howls like a kicked dog.

    You were not and will not be missed.

  191. Anubis Bloodsin III says

    There is a world of difference b’twixt ‘n’ b’tween political correctness in language and some dumb hick with ‘issues’ that conned himself into a medical college.

    Those opinions he proudly expressed and the use of the derogatory and misogynist language is not a failure of following some PC dictated expression of hate speech,,it is a failure of a human being.

    And it is a greater failure of an administrative body to uphold ethical standards in their medical colleges.

    Because ‘chummy’ has, issues, even if it was a sick student oriented poe attempt it still displays a devastating lack of propriety and common sense, traits which should be high up the check list of characteristics that the medical profession should admire and encourage in their students.

    It is not likely that the British National Health Service with all the problems associated with funding and a Conservative government intent on Privatizing the heath of the nation would tolerate such behavior in their students…they obviously tend to higher standards required regardless of place, class, ethnic, sex, and religious background.

    Simples!

  192. Drosera says

    Sorry to disappoint you, Janine. It wasn’t any particular ‘regular’ who made me decide to stop commenting here. The general tendency to derail threads, of the regularistas resorting to insults at the slightest provocation, made me decide not to spend too much time here anymore (yes, I see the irony of the situation: I’m derailing this thread now myself). Don’t forget that I’m basically on your side, folks. But in my opinion you are too often engaged in tone trolling (and I’m of course not referring to what you all wrote about the despicable Ben Cochran; I’m right behind you there.)

  193. Janine, OM says

    Drosera, you foolish femur, Caine did not derail the thread. She was on the fucking nose when she called out a person using misogynist language on a misogynist. You caused the derail by whining about PC and comparing her to theocrats.

    Keep howling like a whipped dog.

  194. Drosera says

    Janine, next time call me foolish lemur instead of foolish femur. That would at least be an insult that made me smile instead of shrug my shoulders.

    Anyway, I’m happy to hear that I will not be missed. I’m sure you were speaking unanimously on behalf of yourself.

  195. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Drosera, you announced you were leaving. So why haven’t you left? Do you actually think people give a rat’s ass about your justifications for being a misogynist? Or do you want to confirm the general opinion that you’re an asshole?

    Incidentally, you’re not even an asshole of the first water. You’re really just a whiner.

    Anyway, goodbye, good luck, and have a mediocre rest of your life.

  196. says

    So can I call him an asshole, because only women have cunts and only men have dicks but both have got assholes?

    How about I fucking use what ever expletive I like when I need to express anger, even if its not as accurate or as powerful as more careful speech?

    Think that’s what I might do.

    Ben is a big fat elbow.

  197. Janine, OM says

    It was not my intention to make you smile, ear lobe. The insult is based on what you whined about, pinky. Funny how you do not contest what I said about who did the derailing.

    And I am sure that many of the others whom you have derided did not and will not miss.

    Flounce now, you brave anti-PC warrior.

  198. Horse-Pheathers says

    Classical Cipher @213: Yeah, it’s lovely over there. I’m the horsey-looking one in the neon-pink hazmat suit and spikey power-barding leaving hoofprints all over the place…..

    Get a load of Marie Quinn and Elaine, yeah? *rolls eyes*

  199. Drosera says

    ‘T is Himself, OM,

    Another one eager to prove my point. Unfortunately, your insults are even less creative than Janine’s. Enjoy your echo chamber. It probably makes you feel important. At least I have a life.

  200. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Anyway, I’m happy to hear that I will not be missed. I’m sure you were speaking unanimously on behalf of yourself.

    And she was speaking on the behalf of most of the regulars. Your ego is getting in your way of really thinking. But then, you aren’t using the head on your shoulders to think…

  201. Drosera says

    Janine,

    Funny how you do not contest what I said about who did the derailing.

    Funny how some people can’t even read.

  202. says

    By my count we now have eight posts from one person on the subject of why they don’t hang out here.

    I have a real issue with the edited version of Ben’s letter. If they’re going to replace the offending words with inoffensive ones, they need to clearly indicate where they are doing so.

  203. Jessie Colt says

    Hey Josh,

    Thank you for the critique. I am not a writer by profession and I must confess that I wrote the letter after having spent 10 hours driving.

    Little boy is reference to Ben’s age, as most college students are in their late teens or early 20′s and I am more than twice that age.

    Although I can see how that could/would be misconstrued in my email.

    Thank you for reminding me that I should write, then save, then come back the following morning to review my writing and correct mistakes before I hit the send button.

    Oh, and I received the exact same reply from Dean Brown that Ema received:

    “Thank you for sharing your concern. We plan to address this issue with Mr. Cochran”.

  204. otrame says

    Drosera,
    Adults know that one modifies one’s language depending on where and with whom they are speaking. In this forum we prefer that gendered insults be avoided, and have said so repeatedly, and in many cases emphatically. We have also spent several months now arguing with a small but rabidly persistent group of misogynist idiots, so we are quite touchy on the subject.

    You are, of course, able to come here and use any words you like, but if you want to actually have anyone listen to you you need to drop both the gendered insults and the attitude. If you have been a regular reader here, as you claim, you already know all that. Thin skin, an unwillingness to abide by community standards, and a complete misunderstanding of what constitutes a tone argument suggests to me that you haven’t actually spent much time here. Your whining about political correctness suggests to me that you are a self-important git.

    Bringing up your use of a gendered insult was not failing to stay on topic. You were reminded, quite politely, that use of gendered insults is part of the iceberg that Ben’s incredible spew is a festering pimple on the top of. Your reaction, I’m afraid, will get you Cupcake status around here.

    Your mention of the way verbal conversations go among your friends in the Netherlands is completely irrelevant. This is not the Netherlands. In any social situation, the language you use dictates how seriously you will be perceived. You do not walk into a job interview and say “What up, dog?” to the interviewer and you don’t walk into a group of friends and insist they speak perfectly grammatical [language being spoken] while discussing the most recent [sporting event].

    Tl;dr version: you want to join in on the fully deserved condemnation of Ben, don’t use language that shows you are a (admitted smaller) part of the problem

  205. otrame says

    @48′
    Given the likelihood of apples falling very far from the parent tree, they may very well be.

  206. Drosera says

    otrame,

    I have never used a gendered insult on Pharyngula. Part of what irritates me is that people arbitrarily declare the use of the names of certain body parts to be ‘hate speech’, thereby limiting my and other people’s freedom to use these words when they are definitely not hate speech. I don’t let a bunch of commenters on a website, however well meaning they undoubtedly are, redefine the words in my dictionary and thus limit my freedom of expression.

    And now I’m off to enjoy the marvellous weather here in London. I can’t promise that I won’t be back.

  207. Happy Camper says

    I expect that this little immature twerp will have a long talk with the dean very soon. Given the unlikely chance he graduates I think he will have fun on his job hunt since many employers do web searches for job applicants.

  208. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Part of what irritates me is that people arbitrarily declare the use of the names of certain body parts to be ‘hate speech’, thereby limiting my and other people’s freedom to use these words when they are definitely not hate speech. I don’t let a bunch of commenters on a website, however well meaning they undoubtedly are, redefine the words in my dictionary and thus limit my freedom of expression.

    Spoken like an immature egotistical liberturd. Not showing adult thinking, merely juvenile egotism.

  209. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    I’m annoyed by this “I’m European and when we use equivalents of words like cunt it’s totally not sexist” excuse that pops up regularly. Well, I’m European and my country’s equivalent for cunt isn’t any less sexist or offensive. Seriously, you are using comparison to a woman’s body part as an insult. How can that not be sexist? Maybe your country is above sexism, so even sexist insults have lost most of their baggage, but let’s not pretend everywhere is the same. In places where sexism is flourishing, sexist insults are something that just feeds the hateful climate. Good for you for living in a nice place (if we assume that what you are saying about sexist insults in your country is true), but keep in mind that other people’s experiences may differ from yours.

  210. jamesemery says

    Now, THAT is a motherfuckin’ misogynist. Someone needs to take that boy aside and teach him some manners. Failing that fantasy, however, a letter writing campaign to his school might get him booted from his nursing program :D

  211. raven says

    Referring to Drosera the troll:

    By my count we now have eight posts from one person on the subject of why they don’t hang out here.

    So he lies. It’s one of the three sacraments of fundie xians. Drosera was born fundie xian and only needs to come out of his closet.

  212. says

    I think that is actually as strongly worded a response as could have been expected, considering that in most cases such letters would be brushed off with a statement about freedom of speech and/or the university’s commitment to intellectual freedom.

    I’m very conflicted about this question. In principle, I don’t believe that what students say or write in their own time outside the classroom, even in a campus newspaper, should be any of the school’s business, and I’m uncomfortable with the idea of the university taking any action against him. This isn’t because I have any sympathy with Cochran whatsoever – he’s a misogynistic idiot – but, rather, because I would personally find it creepy if any university I attended claimed the right to exert any kind of control over what I write in my free time. (After all, if we establish the principle that students and faculty can face disciplinary action for writing offensive things in their free time, we set a bad precedent. Plenty of offended Catholics wanted the University of Minnesota to fire PZ after Crackergate, for instance; I, for one, am very glad the university saw it as none of their damned business.) I certainly don’t believe in campus “hate speech” codes, and the like.

    On the other hand, I can envision circumstances in which the considerations might be different: particularly where a student or faculty member is abusing a claimed or purported intellectual authority, conferred by his or her status at the university, to make ridiculous claims. I’d have a problem if a med student published an anti-vax screed in a newspaper, for instance, or if a history professor claimed that Hitler was a good guy and that the Holocaust never happened. In both cases, they’d be abusing their perceived professional expertise. Obviously, both of those hypotheticals are more clearly abuses of authority than what Cochran wrote, and it’s not clear that he was relying on any perceived or claimed authority as a nursing student in making his idiotic claims. But I’m uncomfortable with someone getting a nursing degree who has such obvious contempt for his potential patients and for the basic principles of health care.

    So, while I don’t really think it would be appropriate for the university to take any action, I agree with those above who have said that this has a substantial bearing on his suitability to be a nurse. Although there is a right to freedom of speech, there is no “right” to enter a given profession. He should be able to get his degree, but I don’t think the state board should license him as a nurse, nor do I think any hospital would be wise to hire him.

  213. julian says

    Failing that fantasy, however, a letter writing campaign to his school might get him booted from his nursing program

    Several have already written (a few even in this thread). They’ve all gotten “Thank you for sharing your concern. We plan to address this issue with Mr. Cochran” from his dean. Don’t know anything about college politics myself but I’m told this can be taken to mean Mr. Cochran will actually be disciplined.

  214. says

    I’m just very uncomfortable with the idea of a university asserting a right to “discipline” a student over something s/he writes in a newspaper, outside the classroom. I don’t think Cochran should be hired or even licensed as a nurse (not unless he seriously changes his attitude, at least), but I also don’t think that what he writes in his free time, even in a campus newspaper, is the university’s business.

  215. raven says

    His parents must be so proud.

    They might be horrified at how lost to the real world Ben Cochran is.

    Going to a secular university that admits women no less.

    A whole lot of fundies discourage their kids from going to college. Because those kids that do have a habit of dropping out of their cults. The Jehovahs Witlesses make a big point of this.

    For those kids that insist on doing so, there are large numbers of “bible colleges” that are a mix of baby sitting service, indoctrination center, diploma mill, and mating pool to enforce endogamy. You can be assured that if your kid learns anything, it wasn’t the fault of the college.

  216. Carlie says

    Walton – certain degree fields have ethics regulations, including law and medicine. If he’s violating those, they have every right to discipline him academically.

  217. Matt Penfold says

    I’m very conflicted about this question. In principle, I don’t believe that what students say or write in their own time outside the classroom, even in a campus newspaper, should be any of the school’s business, and I’m uncomfortable with the idea of the university taking any action against him.

    [Rest trimed for brevity]

    I can see your point in general, but Cochrane is training to be a nurse, a profession which carried professional responsibilities that extend outside the work environment. Thus it seems fitting that those involved in training to be a nurse should be required to uphold certain ethical standards.

    I would have no problem with disciplinary action being taken against Cochrane were he already a qualified nurse. I am not sure his being a student nurse should made a difference.

    One important point to keep in mind is that when training to be a nurse the students will be required to provide hands on care to patients. They will be on wards or in clinics , working as a nurse, albeit under supervision and with limits on what they can do.

  218. spamamander, froster of cupcakes says

    Can we not invite the guy to be a Walmart stocker? Some very nice people are stuck working at Hellmart. And I work there too.

  219. says

    Walton – certain degree fields have ethics regulations, including law and medicine. If he’s violating those, they have every right to discipline him academically.

    Yes, but, in principle, I don’t think ethics regulations ought generally to extend to a personal opinion which someone publishes in a newspaper in his or her free time, outside work and classes. Obviously, there would be exceptions to this if, say, someone were violating patient or client confidentiality, purporting to dispense medical or legal advice that was inaccurate, or otherwise abusing his or her professional position. But there’s a difference between that, and initiating disciplinary action against someone simply because the personal opinions they express, in their own time, are offensive.

    I’m sensitive about this because there have been cases in which ethics regulations have been abused, both by universities and by professional bodies, to censor legitimate speech. For instance, an attorney in Florida got “disciplined” by the state bar, and fined $1,200, merely for describing a judge as an “evil, unfair witch” on his personal blog. Similarly, there are cases of universities using campus speech codes to suppress criticism of the university and its officials by students. A great many professions and institutions have vague disciplinary regulations about “actions liable to bring the [institution/profession] into disrepute”, and the like, which can be interpreted to mean whatever the people in power want them to mean. This worries me, and I think it’s a real problem. A person does not surrender his or her right to hold opinions, and express them vociferously in his or her free time, merely by becoming a student or academic or by entering a regulated profession.

    Of course, this case falls into more of a grey area, because Cochran’s article indicates contempt for patients and a lack of interest in the core values of health care. It certainly leads to the conclusion that he’s probably not suitable to be hired as a nurse, unless he changes his attitude. So I’m very conflicted about this. And I should stress that I think he’s a misogynistic moron and I don’t have the slightest bit of sympathy with him personally; I’m just concerned about the principle and the precedent, were the university to get involved.

    One important point to keep in mind is that when training to be a nurse the students will be required to provide hands on care to patients. They will be on wards or in clinics , working as a nurse, albeit under supervision and with limits on what they can do.

    That’s an important point, and something that should be taken into account. Even so, I’m not sure this article alone is a basis for throwing someone out of a professional program.

  220. Esteleth says

    The best part of that FB thread that Joey @261 linked is his final comment – that condom distribution is another article waiting to happen.

    What?!

    As for his being disciplined for writing this, it is, in my opinion, not a free speech issue. “Freedom of speech” does not equal “freedom from the consequences of shooting one’s mouth off,” which is what Benny here did.

    What he engaged in here is hate speech, against women. Hate speech is not protected speech.

    Also, if you are in a profession (or in training for a profession) that has a code of ethics and you violate that code by, I dunno, denigrating women and saying stupid-ass and offensive shit about medicine, your employers/school are 100% in their rights to discipline you.

    Oh, and future employers would rightly hesitate to hire him, if for no other reason than patients deciding to google the nurse who was such a jerk to them – and if this is an accurate depiction of his character I’m certain that he would be a jerk to patients.

  221. Matt Penfold says

    That’s an important point, and something that should be taken into account. Even so, I’m not sure this article alone is a basis for throwing someone out of a professional program.

    If dismissing him from the program is excessive, then at the very least he needs to be given a formal warning as to his future conduct, and maybe require to attend some courses in order to address his issues with women.

  222. says

    Poe? Please, tell me it’s a poe? Or maybe he saw something like this happening in the waiting room and decided to exaggerate a bit and write it in first person? Please?

  223. Pteryxx says

    Of course, this case falls into more of a grey area, because Cochran’s article indicates contempt for patients and a lack of interest in the core values of health care.

    The article also indicates some major factual misunderstandings of contraception and women’s health care. While the article’s an opinion piece and not a quiz, coupled with the aforementioned contempt, it could be construed as spreading misinformation in the service of a personal agenda.

  224. julian says

    “Freedom of speech” does not equal “freedom from the consequences of shooting one’s mouth off,”

    Doesn’t it? If you are not free to ‘shoot your mouth off’ without having consequences then you don’t really have that right. Now if what you’re saying is harmful, dangerous or slander then yes, I can see your right to free speech being shut down. But otherwise, some idiot running his mouth should be free to run his mouth until his speech somehow harms someone or violates their freedoms.

    Not sure if that made sense.

  225. pj says

    Awww…Here’s hoping that dear Benny will have a better experience when he seeks treatment for those really pressing medical problems of his, namely the awful kyphosis that is a result of lifelong navel-gazing and the persistent low-grade headache which comes from the ricocheting around of those non-stop, albeit fairly insubstantal, thoughts inside his otherwise empty skull.

  226. says

    “Freedom of speech” does not equal “freedom from the consequences of shooting one’s mouth off,” which is what Benny here did.

    You’re oversimplifying the issue. You’re obviously right that freedom of speech does not equal freedom from all consequences. However, I’m very uncomfortable, in general, with a university imposing sanctions on a student for something xe says or writes in hir free time, outside the classroom and the work environment; it does have a significant chilling effect on free speech if students and academics know that their university may discipline them for things they say and write outside work. If he were a student in a non-vocational field, and were not studying for entry to a health care profession, I’d be strongly opposed to any kind of sanction.

    Here, though, I’d say the concerns of freedom of expression that has to be weighed against the fact that he’s entering a profession with responsibility for people’s health, and that he’s expressed a level of callous cluelessness, bigotry and contempt for patients which is very worrying and frightening in a health care professional. For this reason, I sympathize to a great extent with Carlie’s and Matt’s views above. Which is why I’m conflicted on this issue. I’m not saying with certainty that disciplinary sanctions would not be appropriate; I’m just a little uncomfortable with the situation.

    Also, if you are in a profession (or in training for a profession) that has a code of ethics and you violate that code by, I dunno, denigrating women and saying stupid-ass and offensive shit about medicine, your employers/school are 100% in their rights to discipline you.

    Again, I’d say there are serious problems with professional codes of ethics, and they are sometimes used to suppress legitimate speech. Like Sean Conway, the Florida attorney who was “disciplined” and fined $1,200 merely for calling a judge an “evil, unfair witch” on his personal blog. When one enters a profession, or becomes a student or academic, one does not give up one’s right to express one’s personal opinions in one’s free time.

    Don’t get me wrong – this case isn’t even in the same ballpark as Conway’s. What Cochran said was stupid, misogynistic and offensive, and I wouldn’t defend him personally in any way. I’m just worried about the precedent set by letting universities and professional bodies impose disciplinary action on a student for expressing an opinion in a newspaper, when xe is writing in a personal capacity and is not claiming any professional authority or expertise.

    (To draw an analogy: a teacher who promotes creationism in the classroom, to a captive audience of students, should be fired. But a teacher who promotes creationism on his or her personal blog, and keeps it out of the workplace, should be allowed to do so. There’s a difference between something one does in one’s professional capacity, and something one does in one’s private life. This case falls somewhere between the two poles, which is why I’m conflicted about it.)

    Oh, and future employers would rightly hesitate to hire him, if for no other reason than patients deciding to google the nurse who was such a jerk to them

    I agree completely. If this article reflects his general attitude, he should not be hired as a nurse, and I would not hire him if I were an employer. I’m not defending his vile attitudes in the slightest. I’m simply discussing the narrow question of whether it’s appropriate for the university to take any disciplinary action.

  227. raven says

    As mentioned twice before IMO, Ben Cochran accidently did the world a huge favor.

    By warning them about who and what he is.

    By all means let the cochroaches crawl out from under their rocks and publicly in print scream it to the workd, “I’m a cochroach and proud of it.”

  228. raven says

    I’m simply discussing the narrow question of whether it’s appropriate for the university to take any disciplinary action.

    It’s not. This guy managed to find a long piece of rope and hang himself. End of problem.

  229. Esteleth says

    I would argue that his speech was, in fact, “harmful, dangerous, or slander” as you put it, julian. American courts – which are what are relevant here – have consistently ruled that hate speech does not get free speech protection.

    And as for having the right to speak without consequences, how would that work? Every action has consequences, unless you – somehow – do something that affects nothing.

  230. Pteryxx says

    Now if what you’re saying is harmful, dangerous or slander then yes, I can see your right to free speech being shut down. But otherwise, some idiot running his mouth should be free to run his mouth until his speech somehow harms someone or violates their freedoms.

    There’s a difference between expressing an opinion, even harshly, and attempting to verbally intimidate a target. In this case, the article’s full of contempt and misogynistic language aimed at communicating hatred towards women. All of that wasn’t necessary to express his actual opinion, which I’d paraphrase as “student health resources shouldn’t be spent on contraception and gynecology, because [insert reasons here]“. It’s a meta-message intended to cause harm – namely, intimidation and harassment, as documented in studies of the “chilly-climate” effect.

  231. Richard Eis says

    I used to post here fairly often, but I have almost given up on doing so because of the excessive PC mentality here, which causes almost every thread to derail after a dozen or so comments.

    You’ve really got to be quite stupid to not notice the irony of derailing a thread by complaining about thread derailment. Unless you meant that, in which case…erm congratulations on your thread derailment(not the others. YOU derailed the thread. I’m also a little confused why you demand the right to use words that you don’t use, don’t need to use and which carry a puritanical sexisbad stigma that no healthy individual should want to promote.

    I do however support your right fuck off and stop derailing this thread.

  232. Esteleth says

    Agreed, Pteryxx.
    I had to explain this very thing to someone in meatspace this very morning at my Meeting.

    A meta-message intended to exclude, harass, discriminate, or whatever, is textbook chilly climate.

    So yes, in fact, saying, “Welcome!” to the white guy is different from saying, “Can I help you?” to the black guy.

  233. says

    There’s a difference between expressing an opinion, even harshly, and attempting to verbally intimidate a target. In this case, the article’s full of contempt and misogynistic language aimed at communicating hatred towards women. All of that wasn’t necessary to express his actual opinion, which I’d paraphrase as “student health resources shouldn’t be spent on contraception and gynecology, because [insert reasons here]“. It’s a meta-message intended to cause harm – namely, intimidation and harassment, as documented in studies of the “chilly-climate” effect.

    Yeah, I think there’s some truth to that observation. He could have just said “in my view, health service resources shouldn’t be spent on birth control” – which would still have been a wrong and stupid point of view, but much less contemptuous and hurtful to readers, and certainly wouldn’t have attracted the same amount of attention or calls for disciplinary action against him.

    Even so… do we want to set the precedent that one can be faced with sanctions for couching one’s opinion in terms that other people find offensive and hurtful? After all, lots of offended Catholics described Crackergate as “hate speech”, and some of them wrote to UMM and tried to get the authorities to take disciplinary action against PZ. Many of them made the same kind of argument – that PZ has a right to criticize Catholicism, but that the way in which he chose to do it, defacing Catholicism’s holy symbols in public, was grossly offensive and an abuse of his platform, and should be grounds for disciplinary action. I, for one, am glad that UMM didn’t adopt their point of view.

    Now, of course, you and I might reasonably argue that there’s a big difference between attacking a belief and attacking a group of people, and that a stunt like Crackergate is fundamentally different in kind from an offensive sexist rant like Cochran’s. But plenty of Catholics didn’t see it that way, and we have no guarantees that all university authorities will either; it depends on the individual beliefs and sensibilities of the people in power. I, for one, being a student, don’t want to give the university authorities power to “discipline” me for things I write on my personal blog, or elsewhere outside the classroom. It’s none of their goddamned business.

    That’s why I’d argue that it’s better to have a general principle that what a student or an academic says or writes outside the classroom in hir personal capacity is none of the school authorities’ business (provided that xe doesn’t purport to be speaking on behalf of or representing the university, and doesn’t disclose confidential information).

    I agree with Matt and Carlie, though, that in this particular case it’s complicated by the fact that Cochran is training to be a nurse, putting him in a position of power over patients, which perhaps justifies holding him to a higher standard than we would hold other students. I do think that his writing is indicative of professional incompetence and a fundamentally inappropriate attitude for a health care professional, and that this is something that prospective employers should be free to take into account. Hence why I’m conflicted, and I won’t express any firm conclusion on what should be done.

  234. Sheldon says

    Actually, this guy is going to fit into nursing quite nicely. My research has found that nursing is rife with non-critical-thinking types. The nursing journals are filled with hundreds of articles each year on homeopathy, Reiki massage, Therapeutic Touch, and many other idiotic, nonsense treatments. For some reason, the nursing profession attracts a lot of weirdos, and this guy is no exception.

    Of course, youth has a lot to do with this young man’s rant, too, so let’s not get too carried away. Young people say stupid shit all the time, and later regret it. It’s not the end of the world, nor is it indicative of much other than an inability to keep his yap shut and embarrass himself in public.

  235. Rey Fox says

    Annie: Classical Cipher hit on the nose what I meant with my comment on ECU not being an Ivy League school. I went to pains not to imply that ECU was a bad school, I just found it amusing that this dolt was referring to it as a place for “higher being” and that sort of thing. I’ve been to two public universities now, and so the notion of them being bastions of intellectualism is laughable to me. I’m sure there are thoughtful and diligent individuals there doing great things, but I’m also sure that there’s tons of kids only there because it’s expected of them. And I hope they’re all having responsible sex and having a great time, because that’s as much college as studying.

    I do still think ECU’s student newspaper has shit standards though.

    Drosera:

    At least I have a life.

    From here, it looks like you spent the better part of an afternoon hitting “refresh”. But don’t let me keep you from your fantastic adventures in Real Life. (Thrill as he goes out and buys a spanner!)

  236. says

    Now if what you’re saying is harmful, dangerous or slander then yes, I can see your right to free speech being shut down.

    I think you need to refine this somewhat: “harmful or dangerous” is something of a vague standard. (“Slander”, by contrast, is a specific tort in Anglo-American law, though I’m guessing you also intended to include the separate torts of libel and invasion of privacy.) After all, the xenophobic lies being spread by the likes of Fox News, Tom Tancredo and the WorldNutDaily are certainly both harmful and dangerous. Anti-vax advocacy is harmful and dangerous. The Pope’s stance against birth control is harmful and dangerous. And so on. Yet all of these, in the United States, are protected instances of free speech – and rightly so, because we should not entrust public authorities with the power to distinguish between “good” and “bad” opinions. As an ordinary private citizen, one should have the right to express whatever opinions, on any subject, one wishes (provided that it does not amount to libel, harassment, invasion of privacy, etc., in which case there may, of course, be grounds for legal action).

    At the same time, professionals certainly do not have an unrestricted right to free speech in the performance of their duties, when they are acting in a professional capacity. A teacher doesn’t have the right to advocate creationism in the classroom; a physician doesn’t have the right to give out grossly-inaccurate and harmful medical advice; lawyers, social workers and health care professionals do not have the right to violate their clients’ confidentiality; and so forth. These are all restrictions that are clearly and obviously justified; because when someone is a professional with responsibility for the welfare of others, s/he has professional responsibilities to his or her clients that ordinary members of the public do not have.

    I’m uncomfortable, however, with extending this to say that professionals (including professionals-in-training) have no right to free speech in their private lives, outside the workplace. Of course some restraints are justified: if a doctor were to give out grossly-inaccurate medical advice on hir personal blog while identifying hirself as a doctor, or violate hir patients’ confidentiality, this would clearly be grounds for disciplinary action. But, all too often, professional codes of ethics go beyond this, and impose sanctions for vague offences like “bringing the profession into disrepute”, even where the person in question was writing in a purely personal capacity. (See the example I gave above of the attorney who was sanctioned in Florida for calling a judge an “evil, unfair witch” on his personal blog. Likewise, there have been cases of teachers and other professionals being sanctioned for things they wrote or said outside the classroom that had no bearing on their professional responsibilities, like the teacher who was fired for writing a column about her past as a sex worker.)

    I think this case falls into a grey area: it certainly reflects badly on his character, and it would certainly be a good basis on which to decline to employ him as a nurse. But I’m uncomfortable with imposing disciplinary sanctions simply for expressing an opinion in a student newspaper, even a stupid and offensive opinion.

  237. frankensteinmonster says

    nice example of bait and switch, walton
    The bait :

    I think you need to refine this somewhat: “harmful or dangerous” is something of a vague standard. (“Slander”, by contrast, is a specific tort in Anglo-American law, though I’m guessing you also intended to include the separate torts of libel and invasion of privacy.) After all, the xenophobic lies being spread by the likes of Fox News, Tom Tancredo and the WorldNutDaily are certainly both harmful and dangerous. Anti-vax advocacy is harmful and dangerous. The Pope’s stance against birth control is harmful and dangerous. And so on.

    and switch :

    Yet all of these, in the United States, are protected instances of free speech – and rightly so, because we should not entrust public authorities with the power to distinguish between “good” and “bad” opinions.

  238. amphiox says

    If you are not free to ‘shoot your mouth off’ without having consequences then you don’t really have that right.

    There are consequences, and then there are consequences. Freedom of speech requires protection from physical, legal and economic consequences. However it does not provide protection from other speech-related consequences. In other words, no protection from mockery, complaints, or ostracism (ie the free choice not to speak or listen to him anymore).

    It is also disingenuous for the newspaper to hide behind the “freedom of speech for the writer” defense of their publication of the article. Because they, too have freedom of speech, and that includes the freedom to choose not to speak. The act of publication is an implicit exercise of their own freedom of speech, and what they are explicitly saying with that freedom is that they agree that the opinions in Cochrane’s piece are worthy of the platform that their paper provides.

    Their refusal to publish Cochrane’s piece would not in any way have limited his freedom of speech, as he has plenty of other avenues for expressing these views if he so wished. He could say it to anyone he wants to, in person. He could print out a pamphlet and distribute it himself on campus. He could put it on his facebook page, and so forth.

  239. mythusmage says

    To pare this whole thing down to the basics, a chap got all bent out of shape because he was ignored for hours when he was having a virally based existential crisis.

    (Is “virally” a word?)

    [It is now.]

    Poor baby.

    When I had my stroke it was about 10 mins. When I had a wrenched ankle it took 4 hours. Some situations take precedence over others, and the patient has to live with that fact. Mr. Cochran gets no sympathy from me, and more than a little disdain.

    Where insults are concerned let me say that Mr. Cochran is a…

    cods wallop,
    moose droll,
    an atrophied hind brain,
    a remaindered fundie text,
    left over asparagus
    moldy diarrhea,
    and a waste of intellectual effort.

    (I have no idea what a “cods wallop” is, but it seems de riquer in this situation.)

  240. amphiox says

    nice example of bait and switch, walton

    While Walton certainly used a rhetorical device/strategy in his post so referenced, whatever it was, it’s not bait and switch.

  241. otrame says

    Walton said:

    I’m uncomfortable with imposing disciplinary sanctions simply for expressing an opinion in a student newspaper, even a stupid and offensive opinion.

    Yeah, me, too. Universities have no business paying attention to what students do that is not related to their studies, and/or research. At worst, he needs to be sat down, and have someone explain to him in no uncertain terms that he has probably just ruined any chance he has of getting a job as a nurse in most Western countries and he should either change his major, or move to Saudi Arabia, where his attitude is the norm. All he needs to change is to start mis-quoting the Qur’an instead of the Bible and he will be welcome there.

    I am a fairly rabid advocate of free speech. To paraphrase Dennis Miller (back before 9/11 scared him so bad he metaphorically (I hope) pissed himself) “Do I want to listen to a bunch of evil-minded creeps spew their hatred around? Yes. I want to know who they are, where they are, and what they are thinking and planning.”

    As for Ben, I doubt he will graduate anyway. Anyone who has reached his age and has not figured out that you don’t talk in public–especially in print–the way you talk with your equally creepy friends while swilling excessive amounts of beer, is really too stupid and too undisciplined to get a degree.

  242. otrame says

    And as I said earlier, I think Mr. Cochran has a legitimate complaint against the paper that printed his pathetic screed. They changed it and left his name on it. They did not just [expletive, deleted] his foul language. They added what they thought he meant in slightly less offensive language. If they felt they could not publish it without doing that, they should not have published it at all, not with his name on it. They basically lied about what he said.

  243. Drosera says

    Quoth the raven:

    So he lies. It’s one of the three sacraments of fundie xians. Drosera was born fundie xian and only needs to come out of his closet.

    My respect for some of you guys has gone completely down the drain today. You lot behave exactly like a little cult. Calling me a fundie xian and suggesting that someone can even be born a fundie xian must be the most dismally stupid remark I have read in a long time. As I explained above, I used to comment here fairly often until about a year or so ago, frequently arguing with creationists. I’m the exact opposite of a fundie xian, my bird-brained feathered friend, and I didn’t lie about anything. But you’re evidently not bothered by mere facts, as befits a cult member.

    Richard Eis,

    You’ve really got to be quite stupid to not notice the irony of derailing a thread by complaining about thread derailment.

    It is even more stupid not to notice that I did notice.

    ***

    Seriously, what’s wrong with you people? You’re supposed to be rational. Instead, you don’t even read what I wrote and jump to conclusions about me which are miles off the mark (assuming I’m a misogynist, a libertarian, a fundie xian, and a troll), just because I vented my irritation about someone exhibiting an unpleasant kind of group behaviour. And that, by the way, was my main irritation, not declaring certain words as anathema (even though I disagree with doing that too; you people don’t own the English language).

    Ah well, I will continue reading PZ’s posts, as I nearly always agree with him (yes, even on ‘elevatorgate’, horrible mysogynist fucktard that I am), but I will skip the comments, like I did the past several months.

  244. Dianne says

    Adding to the complication of the free speech issue, Cochran’s statements are not without consequence to his institution. For example, if I had a candidate for the position I’m trying to fill who graduated from the same institution as Cochran I might hesitate a bit, because the fact that Cochran has not been failed out for complete lack of cultural competence and very sketchy understanding of biology makes me think that the education that nursing students received at East Carolina State is pretty substandard. It wouldn’t entirely stop me from hiring someone if they were otherwise a good candidate, but if I had two candidates of equal qualifications the one from ECS would definitely be at a disadvantage.

    In some senses, this episode may be ECS’s fault as much as Cochran’s. Schools for people involved in health care are supposed to weed out those who are temperamentally unsuited to health care, including those who lack empathy*. They should have flunked him out long ago. At which point, his ravings would be treated like those of any other crank and there would be no free speech issue. He didn’t threaten anyone like, say, Anthony Navarro, he just expressed foul misognynistic views that can not be tolerated in an effective health care system any more than racism, homo- or transphobia, anti-immigrant prejudice, or any other form of prejudice can be.

    *Yes, I know it doesn’t always work and that all of us have blind spots and subconscious prejudices, but there’s a difference between someone who can’t quite get over their childhood training that men are the ones in charge and, well, the sort of thing under discussion.

  245. kerfluffle says

    Josh, Official SpokesGay says:

    You’d better not be implying that any of those comments were from me. I haven’t even visited that page. Mark that and remember it.

    The person who shares your name in those comments sections was erudite and scathingly sarcastic. It did remind me of you and I pointed that out. After reading my comment back, I’m embarrassed. It was a stupid thing to do. I am very sorry and I’ll be more careful in the future.

  246. says

    It is also disingenuous for the newspaper to hide behind the “freedom of speech for the writer” defense of their publication of the article. Because they, too have freedom of speech, and that includes the freedom to choose not to speak. The act of publication is an implicit exercise of their own freedom of speech, and what they are explicitly saying with that freedom is that they agree that the opinions in Cochrane’s piece are worthy of the platform that their paper provides.

    With this I agree; freedom of speech does not imply the right to be given a platform, and the newspaper did not have to publish Cochran’s bullshit and should not have done so. They should be criticized for this, and they merit just as much criticism as Cochran does, since his views would not have reached a wide audience without them. However, the newspaper should not face any sanctions from the university for their decision to publish his article.

  247. Ze Madmax says

    Drosera @ #290

    The problem with your “irritation about someone exhibiting an unpleasant kind of group behavior” is that group behavior is rooted on very logical, very well developed base: Gendered insults are an inherent part of a patriarchal system, and its use merely perpetuates it.
    I have never seen anybody here forbid others from using gendered insults. However, the community frowns upon them, and it’s a good idea to let others know of this so that they’ll stop stuffing their feet in their mouths.
    So, you claim to be irritated about certain group behaviors… but when the same behavior is used against points you disagree with (e.g., if you really argued creationism here, you’ll know appeals to authority/God are frowned upon), then it’s A-OK?

  248. plien says

    Poow wittwe sundew flower!

    Actually i’m Dutch too, and the remarkeable thing about swearing in Dutch is that we seem to use a lot of illnesses, cancer, tbc & the like. There are even papers about this if you wish to look.

    According to my non-Dutch friends we are quite careless with our fucks & shits too. But while it’s not uncommon to hear people yell genitalia to eachother, it’s not like it is normal speech…

  249. Pteryxx says

    Walton @280, several aspects that I want to address:

    Even so… do we want to set the precedent that one can be faced with sanctions for couching one’s opinion in terms that other people find offensive and hurtful? After all, lots of offended Catholics described Crackergate as “hate speech”, and some of them wrote to UMM and tried to get the authorities to take disciplinary action against PZ. (…)

    Now, of course, you and I might reasonably argue that there’s a big difference between attacking a belief and attacking a group of people, and that a stunt like Crackergate is fundamentally different in kind from an offensive sexist rant like Cochran’s. But plenty of Catholics didn’t see it that way, and we have no guarantees that all university authorities will either; it depends on the individual beliefs and sensibilities of the people in power. (emphasis mine)

    That’s why I specifically referred to the concept of “chilly climate” which is supported by actual research, as is the related concept of “stereotype threat”. Research shows significant, systemic negative effects on oppressed groups that are not evident when oppressing groups receive the same treatment. For instance, gender cuing before a math test causes girls to perform worse, but has no effect on boys. While incomplete, this at least provides one objective measure of disparate harm.

    It’s also relevant that PZ’s decision to defile a cracker was a direct commentary on the Catholic community’s calls to expel a college student who took a communion wafer back to his seat, on the grounds that the student had committed a hate crime. The student was receiving harassment and death threats.

    Wait, what? Holding a cracker hostage is now a hate crime? The murder of Matthew Shephard was a hate crime. The murder of James Byrd Jr. was a hate crime. This is a goddamned cracker. Can you possibly diminish the abuse of real human beings any further?

    from IT’S A FRACKIN’ CRACKER!

    And PZ’s response wasn’t just to nail and throw away a cracker, but was part of a statement denouncing blasphemy as a tool of silencing dissent:

    This is exactly the kind of uncritical, unskeptical, nonjudgmental idiocy all religions seek to promulgate, because they all know that if we tore off the blinders of tradition and artificiality and mindless etiquette, we’d see right through their lies. Respect every idea! Especially mine! And if you find the idea that this cracker is a god stupid, why, you must be disrespectful and no gentleman!

    from The Great Desecration

    So harsh as it is, I think PZ’s article (and stunt) can be shown to be critique, commentary, and an expression of both direct and implicit support for Webster Cook and others accused of blasphemy. (Compare to Rebecca Watson’s “Mom, Don’t Read This”.) While Crackergate probably caused increased criticism of Catholicism and religion in general, religious people aren’t systemically or disproportionately oppressed in Western-centered culture. Thus I would bet that calling out people for their religious status would not show detrimental stereotype-threat effects.

    Last note:

    I, for one, being a student, don’t want to give the university authorities power to “discipline” me for things I write on my personal blog, or elsewhere outside the classroom. It’s none of their goddamned business.

    This is a small point, but because Cochran’s article was published with the ECU staff’s oversight, ECU does bear some responsibility for condoning the content and the subtext thereof. It’s not equivalent to a personal blog where the author clicks “Publish” with no input at all from the hosting provider, thus the author bears sole responsibility.

  250. pelamun says

    raven: while I don’t condone Drosera’s use of gendered insults at all, it is a bit US-centric to suggest they are a fundie Christian. You should be aware that the number of those in Western Europe fortunately is very small.

    What Europe is full of, though, is with Europeans regarding themselves superior in many ways to Americans, and I won’t speculate on the reasons as that would derail the thread (of course this is not to say that some of the criticisms aren’t justified. But the self-righteousness sometimes seems to suggest that European societies are perfect and there aren’t any problems like sexism etc left.). One of these things is the PC issue. Growing up in Europe, I remember that the Western media was pushing things like the “sexual harassment trap” with horror stories of innocent Elevator Guy-like men being fired or even worse taken to court for innocent compliments or coffee invitations. At the time, ant-sexual harassment and object to gendered speech was billed as the latest crazy fashion from America, which reasonable and sane Europeans would do best to ignore.

  251. candrarain says

    I admit that Cochran’s diatribe was so misinformed about women and women’s reproductive health that it casts the entire ECU nursing program into question. Do they only teach about men’s health?

    While I’m pretty sure that’s not true, it reflects very poorly on them.

    I’m still so outraged over “hatchet wounds” I’m not coherent enough to add more right now.

  252. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    My respect for some of you guys has gone completely down the drain today.

    Whoopie shit. If we had any respect for you, or were neutral toward you, you certainly did a number to cause us to lose or lower that respect toward you too.

    You’re supposed to be rational. Instead, you don’t even read what I wrote and jump to conclusions about me which are miles off the mark (assuming I’m a misogynist, a libertarian, a fundie xian, and a troll), just because I vented my irritation about someone exhibiting an unpleasant kind of group behaviour.

    What unpleasant kind of group behavior? We politely asked you not do something a large chunk of the regulars find very offensive, and then instead of acknowledging that is way we do things here, you went off hijacking a thread to vent your anger and show your egotism. And we responded in kind. You need to think about that. You said you don’t use that language posting. So, what is your real problem? You don’t understand public versus private voice?

  253. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    For dog’s sake, Drosera, stick the flounce already. You wouldn’t know rational behavior if it hit you in the head.

  254. RowanVT says

    Amusingly enough, on his facebook page, he wrote that he has no concerns that this article will impact his ability to find a job as a nurse.

    While not in the human medicine field, I am a part of the animal medicine field. If I had, as a student in the registered veterinary technician program, written an equivalent rant to the school newspaper I would have been kicked out of the program.

    I’m also glad he ‘outed’ his misogynistic views. That means that, goodness forbid, he DOES become an RN I now know his name and can avoid him. … Just as I can avoid the human doctor who left his dogs in the car on a hot day for several hours with the windows rolled *up* and then stated “I didn’t know animals could get heat stroke!”

  255. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, Drosera, since you can’t seem to stick a flounce, a teaching moment. We have discussed that point you think you have ad nauseum starting long before Elevator Gate, and even more afterwards. We arrived at a rational consensus after much discussion. We are tired of folks who keep jumping in repeating the same nonsense that has been dealt with before. Especially those who think their opinion automatically negates said rational consensus. Which is exactly what you did.

  256. Drosera says

    Ze Madmax,

    Finally someone who is able to form a reasonable argument.

    Gendered insults are an inherent part of a patriarchal system, and its use merely perpetuates it.

    That would be true if we only had such insults directed at women. But what triggered this little skirmish I’m in was the word ‘dick’ in reference to this charming male nurse B.C. In my humble opinion, if someone uses both ‘cunt’ and ‘dick’ with similar intent, then that can’t constitute hate speech (unless you hate people in general). The very act of declaring it hate speech gives these tasteless insults more weight than they would often deserve.

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls,

    So, what is your real problem? You don’t understand public versus private voice?

    Let’s put it this way. I don’t like it when people who don’t own the place behave as if they own the place.

    By the way, I hope your private voice is a bit more agreeable than your public voice. Would you say the same or worse things to me in my face? Or are you just another internet tough guy?

  257. otrame says

    @302

    Hell, even here in Texas, not known for its concerns about animal welfare (it is literally impossible to legallybe guilty of animal abuse if said animal is not furry (i.e. is non-mammalian)), people who leave dogs or cats in a car in hot whether get prosecuted all the time for animal abuse.

  258. otrame says

    Oh, for fuck’s sake, Drosera, stop digging. Unclog your ears. Gendered insults are bad for people. All people. Male or female doesn’t matter. What people call the patriarchy harms men as much as it harms women, just in a different way. It would be damned hypocritical of us to say using cunt as an insult was bad but using dick is okay. Why not use asshole. That is a nice ungendered thing to call someone. Problem solved.

    Of course, you can keep fighting it, though you will continue to be reminded that we don’t like that sort of thing here or…here’s an idea: Stick the fucking flounce.

  259. mouthyb, who should have been twins says

    I’ll weigh in. I work now for my campus newspaper (spare time editor when I’m not teaching; there are things undergraduates are hard-pressed to do) and have worked for several little local newspapers as production, editing, columnist, etc.

    The newspaper should have refused to publish his screed. If I may, if it’s a college newspaper, it gets its funding from college sources. College newspapers, like really any newspaper (pro or semi) have ethics codes and obligations to the communities they represent. Sometimes, this means individual editors make decisions which are preemptive about what is and is not worthy of being associated with the newspaper and worth showing to the population.

    College newspapers =/= free speech. Of course, neither do professional newspapers.

    There is an argument to print it, with serious edits, because it’s a public warning to others of his priorities.

    As far as disciplinary action, I don’t know why not. Professions have ethics codes. If you violate those, you can lose your job. It has very little to do with free speech. He chose to directly violate ethics codes using school resources. I wouldn’t prosecute him, but I absolutely would kick him out of the nursing school. He would be a risk which a responsible program would not want.

  260. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    @ Drosera:

    Nerd doesn’t “own” the place, but he is a respected and longstanding member of this community (I’m a newbie and even I know that). Why can’t you just listen to what he’s saying? The more you flail and derail here, the more obtuse and moronic you appear.

  261. Ze Madmax says

    Drosera @ #304

    if someone uses both ‘cunt’ and ‘dick’ with similar intent, then that can’t constitute hate speech

    I don’t know if “hate speech” was ever an issue, however. It is a problem, and a reflection of a patriarchal system, when you choose to use genitalia as if they were valid insults. They are not. And the reason why they are not is because they presume that certain negative attributes are inherent to the sex that holds the specific genitalia. Meaning, “dick” and “cunt” may be used as insults, but they are not interchangeable. Their (sometimes implicit) content value is reflective of a gender-biased worldview, and they aim to shame and insult by perpetuating this worldview. And that’s not a good thing.

    Let’s put it this way. I don’t like it when people who don’t own the place behave as if they own the place.

    While the commentariat (i.e., the regular and not-so-regular members of the Pharyngula community) may not technically own the place, PZ’s relative laissez-faire attitude towards moderation means that the commentariat regulates itself. Which means that, within the boundaries set by PZ’s philosophy and policy, the commentariat effectively determines, through consensus, what is acceptable or not.

    As a comparison, I have the right to walk around a predominantly Black community in the American South wearing a KKK uniform. But the community may frown upon such display, and if I keep my face uncovered, I may be shunned by the community in the future, should I choose to continue engaging them (even if there is no more explicit racial animosity on my part after the first occasion)

  262. hotshoe says

    I’m a bit late, but if he is a fan of Ayn Rand, why is he going to a state university in the first place?

    Because every single fan of Ayn Rand is a hypocrite, liar, and conman who follows only one moral maxim: “I’ve got mine. Fuck you”. (Or perhaps in young Ben Cochrane’s case “I’ll get mine. Fuck you”. Dunno if he’s already got his – I’d say not, since he doesn’t have his cushy Nursing Management position yet.)

    T’aint no such thing as a poor-and-honest Randite who restrains himself from suckling at the public teat. Rarer than rabbits in the PreCambrian.

  263. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    You’re supposed to be rational. Instead, you don’t even read what I wrote and jump to conclusions about me which are miles off the mark (assuming I’m a misogynist, a libertarian, a fundie xian, and a troll), just because I vented my irritation about someone exhibiting an unpleasant kind of group behaviour.

    Well, you are a troll. That’s not a question. You’re expressing a viewpoint that provides cover to bigots and bigotry of all kinds, so “misogynist” isn’t far off the mark. And you’re definitely a dunderhead who throws around stupid buzzwords (PC? Really? Wanna provide a definition?) with no actual critical thought, so I think people are quite fair to assume you’re a blithertarian too. I don’t know about fundie – to be fair, I do quite doubt it, if only because clods like you are frequently to be found in the atheist libertarian cesspools.

  264. Drosera says

    otram,

    Of course, you can keep fighting it, though you will continue to be reminded that we don’t like that sort of thing here or…here’s an idea: Stick the fucking flounce.

    OK, I can see that. Let’s call it a day. I’ve made my point, you all made yours. If I ever comment here again I will continue NOT to use gendered insults. And Ben Cochran is a disgusting cretin, alright?

  265. says

    CC:

    If that is your situation, don’t hesitate to go to a doctor and say explicitly that yes you know you have a virus and that s/he can’t do anything about that but that you need a work excuse.

    I think this is probably complicated by the fact that people in horrible jobs often don’t have health insurance or money for a doctor. :(

    Aaaaand it cycles right back ’round, as so many problems do, to our lack of universal single-payer healthcare. If we had that, along with mandatory paid sick leave (on which my home state has made a start), it would be a huge boon for public health in the workplace, not to mention higher productivity and reduced error and rework attributable to sick people trying to get stuff done.

    I know the sick time thing isn’t the main topic of this thread, but I can’t bring myself to even think about Ben Cochran. Y’all are doing a terrific job, though.

  266. Slammo says

    Wasn’t Ron Wyatt a nursing student as well?

    I fear for the future of our medical field……

  267. says

    That’s why I specifically referred to the concept of “chilly climate” which is supported by actual research, as is the related concept of “stereotype threat”. Research shows significant, systemic negative effects on oppressed groups that are not evident when oppressing groups receive the same treatment. For instance, gender cuing before a math test causes girls to perform worse, but has no effect on boys. While incomplete, this at least provides one objective measure of disparate harm.

    I entirely agree with this: insulting an oppressed group is not equivalent to insulting a privileged one, and the deleterious social effects are much greater, since it reinforces an existing inequality of power. However, I don’t trust university authorities to be able to draw that distinction in practice; nor do I think it’s easy to formulate rules or codes of conduct that distinguish adequately between privileged and unprivileged groups, and that permit verbal attacks on the former but not the latter. Certainly, most campus speech codes, professional codes of conduct, etc., don’t even attempt to make such a distinction.

    While Crackergate probably caused increased criticism of Catholicism and religion in general, religious people aren’t systemically or disproportionately oppressed in Western-centered culture. Thus I would bet that calling out people for their religious status would not show detrimental stereotype-threat effects.

    True… but what if it had been directed at a religious minority that is oppressed in our society? Muslims, for instance, are undeniably oppressed and discriminated-against in Western-centred culture. According to the standard you just outlined, there’s a strong case to be made that stunts like “Draw Muhammad Day”, burning Qu’rans, indulging in Sam Harris-style hysteria about “creeping Islamism”, etc., contribute to the oppression and stereotyping of Muslims in our society. (Indeed, I opposed all these things for precisely that reason.)

    So do you think that students should be subjected to disciplinary sanctions by the university authorities if, say, they write an article attacking Islam, or draw portraits of Muhammad and display them in public? I’d personally consider that an unreasonable restraint on free speech. Even though I dislike rhetorical attacks on Islam and do not engage in them myself, I don’t think people should be sanctioned for doing so.

    Wait, what? Holding a cracker hostage is now a hate crime? The murder of Matthew Shephard was a hate crime. The murder of James Byrd Jr. was a hate crime. This is a goddamned cracker. Can you possibly diminish the abuse of real human beings any further?

    This is a side point, but there’s a big difference between a hate crime and “hate speech”; some of PZ’s critics clearly didn’t bother to understand the distinction. A hate crime, as the term is usually used, is a violent criminal act which is aggravated because it is motivated by bigotry towards a group to which the victim belongs. Hate crime laws, in general, relate to violent acts which would be criminal in any case, but which attract a tougher sentence because they were motivated by racial hatred, religious hatred, homophobia, etc. Assaulting someone because of their race, religion, gender or sexuality, for instance, is a hate crime. Sticking a nail through a cracker is obviously not a hate crime, since it isn’t an act of violence, and there is no identifiable victim. By contrast, hate speech does not involve physical violence; the term simply refers to speech that is considered to incite hatred and bigotry towards a particular group of people.

    I agree, of course, that Crackergate was neither a hate crime nor hate speech, so the distinction isn’t directly relevant to your argument. But it’s important to draw the distinction nonetheless, and to avoid conflating the two separate issues. Pretty much everyone, other than bigots, agrees that hate crimes should be criminally punishable. By contrast, there are serious and legitimate reasons to oppose the criminalization of “hate speech”, since “hate speech” is a very subjective and poorly-defined concept.

  268. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Because every single fan of Ayn Rand is a hypocrite, liar, and conman who follows only one moral maxim: “I’ve got mine. Fuck you”.

    Well, some of us were just hopelessly misguided teenagers who really did like and care about other people :( We just hadn’t quite worked out how to show it yet.
    Mostly yeah though.

  269. amphiox says

    And Ben Cochran is a disgusting cretin, alright?

    No! Insults based on congenital medical deficiencies are equally unacceptable.

    Stick with accurate and specific insults. Misogynist is plenty damning enough.

  270. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Would you say the same or worse things to me in my face? Or are you just another internet tough guy?

    Yes, I would. I have said nothing be ashamed of. You, on the other hand…

    Let’s put it this way. I don’t like it when people who don’t own the place behave as if they own the place.

    And what exactly were you doing? Behaving as if you owned the place, and you opinion trumps everything. Pot, kettle, black. Here’s a clue for you. PZ doesn’t care much for gendered and racist insults either. If he thought we were out of line, he would say so in no uncertain terms. He hasn’t. Think about that before you reply.

  271. says

    And Ben Cochran is a disgusting cretin, alright?

    That’s not ok either, in my book. I don’t think insults that stigmatize mental disabilities* are really any better than sexist insults. I always cringe when I see people using the epithet “retard”, and wish that people wouldn’t do so; “cretin” shares a similar history and usage, so I’m uncomfortable with that term as well.

    (*I’d make an exception for terms like “idiot” and “moron”, since these have long since become divorced from any reference to mental disability, and are now simply generic insults.)

    It’s sufficient simply to describe him as a misogynist – clearly an accurate observation, since his article is full of hostility towards women as a group – and leave it at that.

  272. anuran says

    There’s a gray area between acceptable and unacceptable group-based insults be they gender, racial, religious, sexuality or other. It also depends on who is offering the insult.

    If I, a White (or at least off-White)person see a Black person do something bad and sneer “TNB – Typical Nigger Behavior” I’ve pretty much asked for whatever happens next. It’s a statement designed to demean and diminish someone, to reduce him to a thing. On the other I’ve seen Black guys tell other Black guys “Quit Cooning’ ” when they act in an exaggerated stereotypical way. Completely appropriate.

    Expressions like “That gets on my tits” make reference to, well, tits. While it’s not drawing-room speech it insult tits or by extension the people who have them.

    When I was in boarding school lo these many years ago I got hanged by my arms and beaten with a hockey stick for calling a prefect a shit-eating cumblotch. He had encouraged the rest of the dorm to call me and the other Jew in the house Kike and Micro-kike. It’s not “PCCB” or whatever bullshit dismissive right-wing entitled term Drosera and its like have come up with. Words and have the power to harm and to dehumanize, not because of any intrinsic quality but because they are magic. They change the way people think about others and more insidiously about themselves.

    Faggot. Nigger. Spic. Ginger. Bog-trotter. Dago. Gimp. Cunt. Kike. Kefir. Jap. Ho. There’s a lot of weight behind those words. If you say “They’re just words. They don’t mean anything. If it bothers you you’ve just got a thin skin” it’s pretty clear you’ve never been part of a group that’s on the receiving end. Oh, your grandparents might have been which lets you pat yourself on the back and dismiss the very real problems other people face now. But you yourself sit fat and happy in whatever group just naturally SHOULD be in charge.

  273. Drosera says

    Come on, cretin is never used in its original medical sense anymore. It’s even derived from ‘Christianus’. I would not use ‘retard’ myself, but ‘cretin’ appears quite acceptable nowadays and simply means stupid person.

    I can’t seem to do anything right here. *** Sigh ***

  274. azkyroth says

    When posting here, refrain from using gender-based insults. There are a plenitude of colourful insults out there, there’s no need to go with gender-based ones. They are seriously frowned upon here.

    It’s reassuring to learn that the PCCB* is watching over the posters here. Does PZ pay you to provide this valuable service, or is it just a volunteer job for which you sacrifice your precious spare time?

    Should you ever consider a career move abroad, I’d recommend the religious police in Iran.

    (Note that I’ve never used gender-based insults in a comment, which I would consider a tasteless thing to do; I just don’t like your attitude.)

    *Politically Correct Censuring Brigade

    Okay, I admit I bristled at the imperiousness of the comment you quoted, but this is not an improvement.

  275. anuran says

    Now, as to referring to this particular ass-flavored funnel cake as a cunt, no. The Holy of Holies is the gate we all traveled through to get here (at least before C-sections) and the seat of ecstasy. It doesn’t do to be less than respectful of it.

    Besides, with an attitude like his I expect Mr. Cochran’s opportunities to come anywhere near one will be diminished for quite a while.

  276. anuran says

    Drosera, no. You can’t seem to do anything right here. You might want to ask the obvious question – Why?

  277. azkyroth says

    Not funny, or relevant. Don’t use gender-based, and lose the attitude if you wish to continue posting here.

    “Lose the attitude?” “If you wish to continue posting here?”

    What the fuck?

    Who’s passing out guns, badges, mirrored shades, and bad mustaches? Where can I get mine?

  278. crissakentavr says

    My Google login works here. It’s not a mess since this new blog. I don’t see a mess.

  279. azkyroth says

    Threat? You think that was a threat?

    Idiot.

    What the fuck else would you call a line like “Lose the attitude if you wish to continue posting here?” I won’t defend what drosera actually posted but the authoritarian responses (and denialism about the authoritarian responses) are making me very uncomfortable.

    Yawn, another idjit who won’t take friendly advice. And don’t quit your day job, you aren’t funny, you aren’t cogent, you don’t have a point. You are just stupid and pathetic.

    Um, “Lose the attitude if you wish to continue posting here” is an authoritarian ultimatum. There is nothing “friendly” or “advice” about it. And if you’re going to insist that anyone who’s familiar with the community should be able to read between the lines, I’ve been here for something like seven years and I was certainly taken aback.

  280. crissakentavr says

    PS, there is no negative word for behavior or intelligence which hasn’t been used to describe people medically.

    So we need to draw a line of which are and are not appropriate. You can’t just say all of them! That’s idiotic.

  281. Pteryxx says

    @Walton:

    Muslims, for instance, are undeniably oppressed and discriminated-against in Western-centred culture. According to the standard you just outlined, there’s a strong case to be made that stunts like “Draw Muhammad Day”, burning Qu’rans, indulging in Sam Harris-style hysteria about “creeping Islamism”, etc., contribute to the oppression and stereotyping of Muslims in our society. (Indeed, I opposed all these things for precisely that reason.)

    Note that two days ago was Blasphemy Day, a day for coordinated acts of blasphemy in protest of the concept that criticism or mockery of religion should be a crime at all. However, it takes place on the anniversary of the publication of Muhammad caricatures because of the violent protests that followed. So I would consider your argument to be a case for a generalized Blasphemy Day, on which “Draw Muhammed” is just one suggested activity, in lieu of an Islam-specific day of criticism.

    So do you think that students should be subjected to disciplinary sanctions by the university authorities if, say, they write an article attacking Islam, or draw portraits of Muhammad and display them in public?

    I’d say it depends on many factors, including the venue of the article, the focus of the article, whether the language used is biased (as opposed to merely inflammatory), and whether the article itself singles out a particular group without justification. Some of those may also be considerations in whether and to what degree a formal sanction should be imposed, or whether such a sanction holds up in a legal challenge.

    Just as a thought exercise, Walton: What would a hypothetically anti-Catholic or anti-Muslim version of PZ’s “Great Defilement” post look like?

  282. crissakentavr says

    …I’m pretty sure one of the few things PZ would dislike is someone continuously using gendered or racist slurs against other posters or subjects in the posts.

  283. Anubis Bloodsin III says

    Maybe in an earlier post # I was rather unfair to the college rag….

    Maybe the bunnies that edit and produce this masterpiece actually went all self sacrifice and decided to print the diatribe simply because this dumbfuck needed outing…

    They might have considered taking the flak for a dubious bit of article publication as a risk but the main goal was to expose the fact that in the student body there was a bit of rotten meat that needed excising.

    That anyone from the University board to the state authority that would consider either educating of employing such a flaccid dick would,should and could expect rather unpleasant reactions from the legislators that either vote them in or provide license for their trade.

    I rather suspect ‘matey’ has burned his bridges here….
    He might whine about free speech…or joke or Poe or misunderstanding or a dozen other dodges…but this was not about any of that….this was about a jerk that plainly has severe issues with women and their sexual organs.
    And any professional body that employed such a idiot would be liable to law suit after law suit…considering this pertinent history… if any medical procedure or refusal of same were remotely connected to this cretin and it actually went wrong…they would be spit roasted in any court of law in any state…probably any country as well.

  284. Matt Penfold says

    Yeah, me, too. Universities have no business paying attention to what students do that is not related to their studies, and/or research. At worst, he needs to be sat down, and have someone explain to him in no uncertain terms that he has probably just ruined any chance he has of getting a job as a nurse in most Western countries and he should either change his major, or move to Saudi Arabia, where his attitude is the norm. All he needs to change is to start mis-quoting the Qur’an instead of the Bible and he will be welcome there.

    Cochran is not simply a student, he is training to be a nurse. As part of his training he will be required to work as a nurse in a clinical setting. That means he must be required to adopt the professional standards required of someone in that profession.

    Now I doubt you seriously want to contend that the University has no business involving itself in matters that will impact how well he can perform his professional duties during training, but it is in effect what you saying.

    This is not someone studying English or history making an arsehole of himself. He is not just working towards a degree. On completion he will not only have a degree, but be a qualified nurse.

    Ask yourself if he was fully qualified if his employer would have business being concerned at what he said. If the answer is yes, and I cannot see how it could be anything else, then it must also be yes when he is in training.

  285. Ze Madmax says

    azkyroth @ #325

    Nerd was merely pointing out what Drosera ought to do if he wanted to avoid a ban. Anybody who’s read Pharyngula comments for any length of time is aware that blithely ignoring the standards of conduct that the community has developed is a good way to invoke the wrath of the banhammer (or silenced through killfiles)

    And yes, the idea that you can say whatever you feel like it unless you receive a warning or ban from PZ shows a huge amount of disrespect for the Pharyngula community.

  286. says

    I’d say it depends on many factors, including the venue of the article, the focus of the article, whether the language used is biased (as opposed to merely inflammatory), and whether the article itself singles out a particular group without justification.

    That’s all very subjective, though, and involves careful and thoughtful judgment. I’m uncomfortable with placing that kind of discretionary power in the hands of university authorities (just as I’m uncomfortable with placing it in the hands of police and courts).

    In general, I advocate that, in deciding how institutions and rules should be designed, we should work from the assumption that people in authority will be stupid, self-serving, or both. Not because everyone in authority is actually stupid or self-serving, but because enough people in authority are stupid and/or self-serving that we cannot afford to place unlimited trust in authorities, and we thus need clearly-defined rules and institutional structures which limit their powers. (This is, of course, one of the fundamental rationales behind having checks and balances, due process of law, civil liberties, etc., in the first place: because we cannot assume that people in authority can be trusted to wield power wisely.)

    For this reason, I think it’s better to have an expansive rule protecting free speech in general, rather than trusting authorities with the discretion to draw subtle case-by-case distinctions as to what is and is not acceptable. Of course, some such distinctions are unavoidable: it’s obviously necessary, for instance, to draw a distinction between a student’s statements in the classroom and hir statements outside it, or between a professional’s statements in hir professional capacity and in hir private capacity. But in general, with very limited and specifically-defined exceptions (such as the prohibition on revealing confidential patient or client information), I’d say that what people say and write in their own free time (as opposed to what they say and write at work and in the classroom) should be none of their school’s or employer’s business.

    Just as a thought exercise, Walton: What would a hypothetically anti-Catholic or anti-Muslim version of PZ’s “Great Defilement” post look like?

    I don’t really understand the question. Please remind me which post you’re talking about.

  287. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Um, “Lose the attitude if you wish to continue posting here” is an authoritarian ultimatum. There is nothing “friendly” or “advice” about it.

    It’s a warning, and advice. From his spelling, I would presume Drosera to be from the British Isles. If he goes into a strange pub, and starts making a noisy argument about some sports team or political party, and the pub owner drifts by and tells him that are a lot of supporters of the other side here looking for a fight, and he should change the subject, would you consider that “authoritative”, since no banning was mentioned, or just words of wisdom to make a change in the topic of discussion to prevent a ruckus?

    I also respond in the same vein as those making the problem. Drosera was pretending to be an authority who should get his way, so I mimicked him.

  288. otrame says

    It is true that “If you wish to continue posting here” was poorly expressed. It should have said, “If you wish to continue posting here without being constantly harassed for verbal conduct that is outside an ‘acceptable usage’ concept that has been created by consensus here”. He can, of course, continue posting here as long as he doesn’t run afoul of one of PZ’s banning offenses, which he most certainly has not. In fact, as far as I am concerned, he’s welcome. But if he continues to insist that using gendered insults (including dick) is okay because they do it where he lives, he is not going to get anything but derision and insults.

    If it’s any consolation, I once referred to Michelle Bachman as an evil bitch here. I got my ass handed to me by people who fervently despise Michelle Bachman. At the time, I didn’t really agree with that, but instead of digging my little hole deeper, I stopped and listened. And I decided that, they were right, that the underlying insult–especially obvious in words such as cunt–is demeaning to ALL women (or ALL men, when the insult is based on a male body part), not just demeaning to the person being insulted. So I don’t use bitch any more. (I never used cunt or dick or scrotum, or any one of a bunch of other such words).

    And even if I thought they were a little over the top about this stuff, I would still refrain from using gendered insults here. As I mentioned above, adults match their vocabulary to their environment if they want to be taken seriously, a fact which Ben Cochran is finding out with emphasis just now, I suspect.

    P. S. I just had to teach my spell checker how to spell cunt. For some reason that makes me laugh.

  289. otrame says

    Matt Penfold @332

    Now I doubt you seriously want to contend that the University has no business involving itself in matters that will impact how well he can perform his professional duties during training, but it is in effect what you saying.

    You know, I think that is a reasonable argument. I did mention that studies and any research he was doing definitely come under the University’s purview, but now that you mention it, at least once he starts clinical classes, they have a responsibility to control his behavior. And his little screed shows he has no business being a nurse.

    Yeah, I think you have convinced me, though I still am very uncomfortable with a University sticking its nose into private (legal) behavior. In this case, though, you may be right.

  290. Pteryxx says

    Walton:

    Not because everyone in authority is actually stupid or self-serving, but because enough people in authority are stupid and/or self-serving that we cannot afford to place unlimited trust in authorities, and we thus need clearly-defined rules and institutional structures which limit their powers.

    lawl!*

    And that’s where our approaches diverge, fellow Hordemember – because I don’t trust justice to rules alone, no matter how strictly defined the terms or how extensively footnoted the exceptions. That’s why “slut” is a slur but “Slutwalk” is not, why an unsolicited invitation is more of a threat at 4 AM than 4 PM, why legal definitions of stalking and harassment depend on the victim’s interpretation, and why there’s a fuzzy boundary between the principles of free speech and those of equality.

    To the extent that there can be a rule at all, I’d suggest “Free speech takes precedence unless harm outweighs value.”

    Just as a thought exercise, Walton: What would a hypothetically anti-Catholic or anti-Muslim version of PZ’s “Great Defilement” post look like? -Pteryxx

    I meant to say “The Great Desecration” which is the title of PZ’s cracker-nailing article, which I also linked above. That link again

    *or LOL if you prefer, because I actually laughed in delight that the discussion went there.**

    ** yes, this is a meta-joke re footnotes.

  291. RowanVT says

    @ Walton:

    “But in general, with very limited and specifically-defined exceptions (such as the prohibition on revealing confidential patient or client information), I’d say that what people say and write in their own free time (as opposed to what they say and write at work and in the classroom) should be none of their school’s or employer’s business.”

    So, you don’t think my workplace or school should care if I, as a registered veterinary technician, wrote a piece published in a newspaper about how I think dog- and cock-fights are awesome sports, and that I’m against animal cruelty laws, humane euthanasia and vaccination for fatal/potentially fatal diseases such as parvo and rabies? They shouldn’t care if I write that I think people are stupid for bringing their pets into a veterinary office; if they get sick and die they can just get a new pet for like $5 after all?

    You don’t think that holding such views would compromise my ability to be a good vet tech, patient and client advocate?

    Of course they should care, and of course it would compromise my ability to do my job.

    Mr. Cochrane’s attitudes impede him from being a *good* nurse. He does not have the ability to view women as equals, which means that he is likely to be less conscientious about their medical care which in turn could result in serious injury or death.

  292. says

    I think an excellent point, which isn’t getting enough attention, is Dianne’s @ 291. She’s a physician, in a position to hire nurses. Her point makes it clear that Ben Cochran’s attitudes do indeed affect how she thinks of other people in the same program.

    When you’re dealing with a profession in which there are specific, high standards, someone like Cochran not only reflects badly on the learning institution, but everyone else who goes through the same program. If the school shrugs this off, one can’t help but wonder about their standards, and what manner of people they are passing through their program.

  293. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    Um, Ze Madmax – Drosera said he “argued with creationists”, not that he argued creationism. You got that particular detail the wrong way round, unless I misunderstood you?

  294. says

    To the extent that there can be a rule at all, I’d suggest “Free speech takes precedence unless harm outweighs value.”

    That’s fine as a moral principle. It’s far too vague and subjective to make an acceptable legal rule. How do you quantify “harm” and “value”? Who makes this judgment, and how can individuals know in advance which forms of speech will be held acceptable and which will not?

    When lawyers talk about the “rule of law”, we mean, first and foremost, that the state’s power should be exercised according to consistent rules, rather than the arbitrary whims of authority-figures; so that individuals can know in advance what to expect, and can know which forms of conduct will attract sanctions and which will not. (If you want a good philosophical introduction to this subject, I’d recommend some of Joseph Raz’s work.) If you give authorities a case-by-case discretion to decide whether each individual instance of speech causes more harm than good, and to impose sanctions on anyone whose speech they consider to fail this test, the result will be that everyone’s speech is chilled; people will not know what to expect, and will censor themselves for fear of the possibility of sanctions, since they cannot know in advance whether the authorities will consider their speech to be harmful. And we also have to trust that the authorities making these case-by-case decisions will quantify “harm” and “value” in sensible ways according to evidence-based criteria; unfortunately, in the real world, authority-figures are fallible human beings, and are just as prone as any of us to bias, stupidity, misconception and arbitrariness. (After all, a Catholic judge or university official might well feel that Crackergate caused more harm than value.) The end-result is that much legitimate and valuable speech on controversial would be silenced, because of the fear of facing unpredictable sanctions for offending authority-figures.

    It’s also important, here, to draw a philosophical distinction between rule-utilitarianism and act-utilitarianism. Clearly, it cannot be said that every single possible exercise of free speech does more good than harm: Cochran’s article had no discernible value at all to society, for instance; nor do, say, Rush Limbaugh’s radio show or Fred Phelps’ protests. But my argument is that, on balance, society benefits from the existence of a consistent rule which protects freedom of speech; because, on balance, the application of such a consistent rule causes more good than harm, since we all benefit from the freedom to speak our minds without fear of unpredictable sanctions.

    (Again, I’d draw an analogy with due process rights. Clearly, there are some cases in which the right to due process in criminal proceedings prevents a person who is factually guilty of a crime from being convicted; if that person then goes on to be released and commits further crime, harm has been caused. Yet no reasonable person would argue that due process rights should therefore be abolished; because it is clear that, on balance, society benefits from the existence of rights that seek to guard against the conviction of the innocent.)

    Of course, you’re right that there are certain legitimate exceptions to free speech. But these need to be precisely and clearly defined, as far as possible, so that people can know in advance exactly which forms of speech are not protected by law. The torts of libel, slander and invasion of privacy, as understood in US law, are examples of restraints on free speech which I would accept. So, too, I’d say that legal restraints on the disclosure and publication of specific forms of confidential information, and legal restraints on what public officials and professionals may and may not say in the course of their official duties, are legitimate. The point is that these are all fairly well-defined; if you consult a competent lawyer or read an elementary law book, you will be able to find out fairly easily which forms of speech fall within these categories, and so avoid breaking the law. By contrast, I’m very uncomfortable with imposing criminal, civil or disciplinary sanctions on vague categories of speech like “obscenity” or “hate speech”, since these are inherently vague and subjective concepts which involve an element of unpredictable value-judgment by authorities.

  295. mouthyb, who should have been twins says

    On the subject of gendered insults (in this case, the use of specific terms to signal acceptable behavior:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053810009000373

    (Likelihood of false pattern recognition after being introduced to terms which suggest that a pattern exists)

    http://www.jstor.org/pss/4236408

    (Likelihood of predictable voter behavior based on predictive language linking kinship to a political party)

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/lrvq6056447695p2/

    (Sexist terminology and its effect on political candidate perception among voters)

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/g5k4106v2x4vp804/

    (The role of ‘benevolent’ and hostile sexism in the treatment of women by men who express sexism)

    http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=nbzXbzU4uNwC&oi=fnd&pg=PA191&dq=influence+sexism+terminology+behavior&ots=eEFh5trGkv&sig=IjgmCE3FYmN2HXCrsEAf4IVQwIU#v=onepage&q&f=false

    (pervasiveness of sexist structures in grammar)

    I wanted to point out that the idea that sexist phrasing has an effect on behavior is well substantiated, encoded in language structures and has an on-going (long-term) effect on behavior. Behavioral and political science is behind this assertion, and has been since the 80s.

  296. amphiox says

    I would not use ‘retard’ myself, but ‘cretin’ appears quite acceptable nowadays and simply means stupid person.

    What is and is not acceptable is determined by the community of speakers. And I see no one in this community stepping up to defend your usage. You are also not the first to use that word to have been slapped down. There have been other new commenters who thought that the old connection to christianity made it acceptable here. They were mistaken.

    Not only is it inappropriate, but it is also inaccurate. Cochrane is NOT stupid. You can tell by his use of language and diction. This man-child has a brain that works at least moderately well, and has chosen to use it for odious ends.

    He is ignorant, toxic, arrogant, privileged, despicable and hateful, but one thing he is not, is stupid. At least not demonstrably so on the evidence of his written words so far provided.

    And this is another facet of why tone trolling is so despised here. On this forum, we care about content. Acceptable tone is any tone properly used in service of content. Polite or insulting doesn’t matter. Unacceptable tone is tone improperly used without or with inaccurate content. Polite or insulting doesn’t matter.

    Content is supreme.

  297. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    Um again: I suspect my 341 was somewhat out of date and the thread had moved on by the time I wrote it. Teach me to forget to refresh after I’ve been away from the computer for an hour.

    It would be interesting to find out what actual repercussions this causes for BC – I agree that he is clearly completely unsuitable to work as a nurse or in any position that involves him having anything to do with human beings. Or other animals, come to that.

  298. Ze Madmax says

    opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces@ #341

    I failed to provide appropriate offerings to the gods of proof-reading, and got smited for it.

    I meant if xe really argued against Creationism.

  299. says

    So, you don’t think my workplace or school should care if I, as a registered veterinary technician, wrote a piece published in a newspaper about how I think dog- and cock-fights are awesome sports, and that I’m against animal cruelty laws, humane euthanasia and vaccination for fatal/potentially fatal diseases such as parvo and rabies? They shouldn’t care if I write that I think people are stupid for bringing their pets into a veterinary office; if they get sick and die they can just get a new pet for like $5 after all?

    I already said that I’m conflicted about Cochran’s case, for precisely this reason: he is entering a profession with responsibility for patient care, and his offensive rant does have a direct bearing on his professional competence and suitability for employment as a nurse. I agree with Dianne that it’s certainly legitimate for prospective employers to take this into account in deciding whether to hire him. I’m sorry if I didn’t make this clear enough.

    As for your hypothetical article: if you were to introduce yourself in the article as a veterinary technician, and go on to advise people not to vaccinate their pets against parvo or rabies and/or to have them killed in inhumane ways, then of course this would be a legitimate concern for professional regulators and/or for your employer, since it would amount to abusing your position of perceived professional expertise to give people bad advice. Whether your school should get involved in such a circumstance (provided that you make clear that you’re speaking in a personal capacity and not on behalf of the school), I’m less sure.

    I can also see a strong argument (to which you allude) that if you were to publish such an article, you’d be exhibiting a disregard for the care of your patients, which might well make you a morally unsuitable person to be a veterinary technician. Again, this argument definitely applies in Cochran’s case. As an analogy, in the UK, members of the far-right racist British National Party are prohibited from becoming police or prison officers; I support this rule, despite its implications for freedom of association, because I think someone who is affiliated with a racist group is morally unsuitable to be trusted with coercive power over others. There’s an argument that this also applies to Cochran. Again, though, this is a concern for professional regulators and/or employers, not the school.

    That’s why I’m conflicted about this issue. I think Matt is absolutely right that it’s highly relevant that Cochran is not just a student, but a trainee professional whose qualification leads to professional licensure in a field responsible for patient care. As I said, I’d say that the school probably shouldn’t take action against him, but that potential employers and/or the state nursing board should take his article into consideration in deciding whether he’s a suitable person to practise as a nurse.

  300. says

    I should clarify that my #342 was a reply to Pteryxx, and that, in that post, I was responding specifically to his philosophical views about free speech in general. #342 is not about Cochran’s individual case; I apologize if I’ve derailed the thread a little.

  301. Pteryxx says

    Heh, Walton, I’m still happy about the conversation, so you know.

    I didn’t read your #342 in depth, because I think you’re responding with a passionate defense of the exactness and consistency and reliability of rules in general, because you trust rules more than people. In general, I agree with you. However, there are other checks upon authority that do not depend on rules alone for their mode of action: transparency, accountability, protest, reputation, for instance. There’s no rule requiring the author of this particular misogynistic article to write an apology (as far as I know) yet he will, probably because of pressure from someone in the university, whose decision in turn was influenced by the volume and content of criticism from the public. Such public critique and discussion also informs members of society, not of what reaction they will receive, but of what reaction they may receive if they voice an opinion in a certain way. One of the reasons for public critique is to shift those future reactions: for instance, the harassment aimed at silencing Rebecca Watson, no less than Watson’s articles aimed at encouraging women to speak.

    So when you say “Of course, you’re right that there are certain legitimate exceptions to free speech.” who should decide what is and is not legitimate? How should they decide what situations warrant codification into law? The whole point of Blasphemy Day is to protest an unjust law, often by actively breaking it. That’s what judgment is for, to address the failures in law; while the law can protect against the failures of judgment.

    (disclaimer: as far as I know, I am not a philosopher.)

  302. mouthyb, who should have been twins says

    tigtog @ 350: Thank you! These are signals I love to see boosted.

  303. Midnight Rambler says

    amphiox @344:

    What is and is not acceptable is determined by the community of speakers. And I see no one in this community stepping up to defend your usage.

    Okay, I will. OTOH, I see no one defending yours. Just because Dros is acting like a general dipshit about gendered insults doesn’t mean he’s wrong about everything. “Cretin” hasn’t been used in any medical sense for a very long time, long enough that I doubt most people even know it ever had one. “Moron” and “idiot” were used well into the 1920′s, maybe later, yet you yourself said they’re acceptable.

  304. Esteleth says

    On the contrary, Midnight Rambler.
    “Cretin” is still used in the medical sense – mostly as “cretinism,” the syndrome of physical and mental retardation due to congenital hypothyroidism.
    Both moron and idiot are archaic medically, as you say, but that is not true of cretin.

    I am going to go out on a limb and say that Cochran does not have cretinism. He’s a misogynistic ass, but he’s not a cretin.

  305. howard hershey says

    Seems like nursing in a proctology clinic or men’s prison would be a good fit for him.

  306. says

    As a European [blah blah blah PC blah blah]

    as another European, I wish to tell you that you’re a fucking idiot. And that you’re committing an ad populum fallacy in your post.

  307. says

    Midnight Rambler:

    I see no one defending yours

    Most of the regulars here do support Amphiox. There have been several long discussions of cretin and its meaning and usage here. Just because you missed the discussions doesn’t mean they didn’t take place and a consensus arrived at by the commentariat.

  308. Esteleth says

    howard hershey @354
    That had better not have been a suggestion that he needs to be raped or similar.

  309. says

    That would be true if we only had such insults directed at women.

    incorrect, because of PHMT; besides, most of the time people avoid using male genitalia as insults for consistency sake, to make it easier to get rid of the more loaded sexist slurs (female genitalia and implications that positive traits are linked to male genitalia, while negative traits are linked to the lack thereof; see: “grow some balls” and similar)

    also, you’re confused about the difference between hate speech and slurs.

    - – - – -

    anyway, mouthyb, if you’re still reading, would you mind doing my work for me and including those of your links that are not already listed here in that list? Without regular internet access, I have a hard time keeping the list updated.

  310. hotshoe says

    … it’s highly relevant that Cochran is not just a student, but a trainee professional whose qualification leads to professional licensure in a field responsible for patient care. As I said, I’d say that the school probably shouldn’t take action against him, but that potential employers and/or the state nursing board should take his article into consideration in deciding whether he’s a suitable person to practise as a nurse.

    It’s important for the school to step in at this point – I’m not saying they should throw him out altogether – but they need to satisfy themselves that Ben Cochran can learn. If not, they have an obligation to remove him from the nursing program and give his slot to another more-educable and suitable student. The nursing program already is forced to turn away hundreds of deserving applicants for lack of space. If Ben Cochrane wants to remain ignorant, bigoted, sexist, and proud of it, let him be a PolySci major or a Business major, or whichever have (nearly) unlimited space in their departments for mediocrity.

    If I were his Dean, I don’t know what would convince me (in an interview with Ben Cochrane) that he could improve in the future. If Ben Cochrane can’t improve but is retained nonetheless, then the school is effectively stealing a place in the nursing college from a more-deserving applicant.

  311. Midnight Rambler says

    Most of the regulars here do support Amphiox. There have been several long discussions of cretin and its meaning and usage here. Just because you missed the discussions doesn’t mean they didn’t take place and a consensus arrived at by the commentariat.

    Sorry, going back I see you’re right. I also hadn’t realized that “cretinism” was still used (which frankly, is a little shocking). I retract my previous post.

  312. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Thank you, Walton, for a reasoned and reasonable set of posts describing your ideas on free speech in general and Cochran’s letter in particular. You’ve given me several things to think about.

  313. felixBC says

    My favourite bit from his facebook page (and of course he has no privacy controls whatsoever):

    Emily Cochran did you address penises? because vaginas don’t make babies on their own.
    Thursday at 5:09pm · 1 person

    Ben Cochran well i would have addressed penises, but the soundoff was on whether or not birth control should be distributed on campus. i didn’t really feel that penises were relevant in that topic.
    Thursday at 5:11pm

  314. candrarain says

    One of the things that worries me is that often “women’s complaints” and women’s health are treated as less in the first place. With someone who wants to enter nursing stating loud and clear that he thinks they are less, how could he ever be trusted to apply due diligence in his profession towards anyone female?

  315. Drosera says

    Caine, Fleur du Mal,

    Most of the regulars here do support Amphiox. There have been several long discussions of cretin and its meaning and usage here. Just because you missed the discussions doesn’t mean they didn’t take place and a consensus arrived at by the commentariat.

    Sorry, I’m about to go to sleep, but this is too good to ignore. That word ‘commentariat’, with its vaguely threatening bureaucratic connotation, perfectly characterises my problem with busybodies like you and some other regulars here. I don’t mind being called out by people who disagree with what I said. Call me an idjit, a dipshit, or a foolish femur* if you like. But this collectivist attempt at thought control makes the hairs on my neck stand on end. Anti-authoritarian type that I am, it would almost induce me to write contrarian opinions just to protest against the likes of you. I already have to deal with enough bureaucracy in my research work.

    More than once during this thread did I consider to withdraw my comparison with the religious police for being too provocative. I now see that I worried unduly.

    * Although I still don’t get what a foolish thigh bone is supposed to mean.

  316. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Sorry, I’m about to go to sleep, but this is too good to ignore. That word ‘commentariat’, with its vaguely threatening bureaucratic connotation, perfectly characterises my problem with busybodies like you and some other regulars here. I don’t mind being called out by people who disagree with what I said. Call me an idjit, a dipshit, or a foolish femur* if you like. But this collectivist attempt at thought control makes the hairs on my neck stand on end. Anti-authoritarian type that I am, it would almost induce me to write contrarian opinions just to protest against the likes of you. I already have to deal with enough bureaucracy in my research work.

    You’re an idiot, you’ve flounced multiple times, and no one gives a fuck what you have to say. You’re wasting your breath spewing this ignorant tripe. Stick the flounce already.

  317. Esteleth says

    Drosera, the term ‘commentariat’ is used here simply as a synonym of ‘the Horde,’ i.e. the people who comment here.

    Seriously, you’re being a bit overwrought here everywhere in the thread.

  318. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Midnight Rambler:

    “Cretin” hasn’t been used in any medical sense for a very long time, long enough that I doubt most people even know it ever had one.

    Google Scholar indicates otherwise.

  319. John Morales says

    [meta]

    And I’m embarrassed that I wrote my previous without following the entire thread, first.

    (Sorry, Midnight Rambler)

  320. says

    Esteleth, Drosera has been here before (or was at sciblogs, checks, yep) and basically stuck to threads on creationism. Commentariat was in common usage then (and prior) as well as the effort to be conscious about gender-based language.

    It rather looks like Drosera is wanting to get into a fight with me, however, I’m not interested. Oh, the tragedy.

  321. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    Shhhh, nobody tell DroDumbass that we occasionally refer to ourselves as “the tentacled masses”. He’ll get all testerical demanding how we could possibly have tentacles. *eyeroll*

  322. Esteleth says

    Caine,
    Drosera does appear to be spoiling for a fight. I know I’ve not been commenting long (since Friday? Woo! Lasted the weekend!), but I’ve been reading for awhile, so I knew about the use of ‘commentariat’ as well as the whole gender-based language thing (which is one thing that makes me happy to comment here).

    *sips beer, takes bite of chocolate bar*

    Can I offer you some?

  323. says

    Esteleth:

    Drosera does appear to be spoiling for a fight.

    One thing that amuses me no end is that every time someone like Drosera shows up and uses the “I’m European, so…” crap and gets called on it by other Europeans, they magically act like those people and posts are invisible.

    Can I offer you some?

    Aah, thank you. Chocolate sounds just right.

  324. nemothederv says

    So a nurse is going in for a “cold”.
    Nothing like a prostitute to stand between you and your dealer.
    I smell a PX med Junkie.

  325. Esteleth says

    Y’know, I ran Drosera’s “But in Europe!” schtick past my Norwegian ex, my French co-worker, my Portuguese co-worker (and, just for good measure, my Azeri co-worker) and they just kinda stared at me.

    One of them said, “…what?”

    I think that sums it up nicely.

  326. amphiox says

    “Cretin” is still used in the medical sense – mostly as “cretinism,” the syndrome of physical and mental retardation due to congenital hypothyroidism.

    Which is why I specifically referred to “congenital medical deficiency” in my original post on the subject.

    I also kept the critical tone (ha!) of my original post relatively mild, in keeping with my recollection of the prior criticism of the use of the word in older threads (in which, IIRC, the disapproval, while certainly real, was comparatively mild). Certainly if there is a hierarchy of egregiousness among inappropriate insults, “cretin” ranks much lower than “cunt”, “dick”, “nigger”, “bitch”, “bastard” and the like.

    And my second post on the topic I made to be explanatory – reasons and descriptions, with hardly any intentional direct confrontational criticism at all. All polite language, no insults, not even as insinuation.

    I wanted to see how Drosera would react to a relatively mild and polite criticism, criticism with reasoning and explanation.

    I think the reaction was rather revealing.

  327. amphiox says

    Okay, I will. OTOH, I see no one defending yours.

    This is exactly what I meant when I said “determined by the community of speakers” – the conception of appropriateness is created on the fly as discussions progress. It’s a collective enterprise – no one individual can point to some dictionary definition or pattern of usage somewhere else and say “see? that’s why it’s not inappropriate, you can’t object to me using it here.”

    And if others had not spoken up to support me here, then you would have been right and I would have been wrong, and that would have been that.

  328. says

    kerfluffle:

    Ben will be distancing himself from the article by claiming he doesn’t actually believe what he wrote.

    No surprise there. I doubt most people will think he really didn’t believe what he wrote. It’s a standard asshole move to claim such. I expect the possible consequences of his misogynistic rant are just now sinking in to his thick head.

  329. Esteleth says

    Hmpth. Count me as one of the people who thinks that he wrote more or less what he actually believed in that article.

    Help yourself to the chocolate, Caine. A Lindt store just opened at the mall, I went there today and bought 2 pounds of bon-bons.

  330. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    I suspect someone explained to Cochran, in some detail, what the possible consequences of his rant could be. All of a sudden he realized that his letter might be a major fuckup and, since it’s on the internet, won’t go away for years. So I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he apologizes and claims that he didn’t really mean it, it was all a joke HA-HA, can’t you folks take a joke?, etc.

  331. Ichthyic says

    conversation Cochran had on his facebook page right after submitting the article:

    Aaron R. Post um…..grrr
    Friday at 7:03am
    Cynthia Smith Boyd: Whose petunia did you mash in the East Carolinian now? Ha ha…

    Friday at 7:45am
    Ben Cochran: petunia! that would have been a perfect word to use in the article! all my other words got edited out. but it was about vaginas and student health and birth control.

    Friday at 8:59am · 1 person
    Emily Cochran: did you address penises? because vaginas don’t make babies on their own.

    Friday at 1:09pm · 1 person
    Ben Cochran: well i would have addressed penises, but the soundoff was on whether or not birth control should be distributed on campus. i didn’t really feel that penises were relevant in that topic.

    Friday at 1:11pm
    Emily Cochran: tell me you’ve heard of a condom.

    Friday at 1:12pm
    Margaret McManus Herod: you know it takes two, right?

    Saturday at 12:09am
    Ben Cochran: Oh yeah but i think we were specifically focusing on the birth control for women, the kind that you need a prescription for. the condom distribution thing is probably an entirely different article waiting to happen!

    so, as to whether or not he believes what he wrote, what he does think is pretty fucking obvious from his own words OUTSIDE of his “essay”.

    hell, even his own sister thinks he’s a clueless git.

    and speaking of clueless gits…

    I just now pulled that off his facebook page, which HE STILL HASN’T MADE PRIVATE.

    this guy qualifies as the dumbest shithead of the week, by far.

  332. says

    Ichthyic:

    this guy qualifies as the dumbest shithead of the week, by far.

    Unfortunately, he’s also a potentially dangerous shithead, at least if he’s allowed to graduate and get a job as a nurse. Not only is his lack of knowledge about contraception appalling (and something every nursing student should know about, especially when they are a senior), his basic attitudes about women in general indicate that he would give a very bad level of care to women in his charge.

  333. Esteleth says

    Alright, I’m off for the night. I’m leaving a six-pack of beer and a pound of chocolate on the table.

  334. Ichthyic says

    his basic attitudes about women in general indicate that he would give a very bad level of care to women in his charge.

    that, too.

    I wanted to make it very clear what his attitudes actually WERE before his facebook page inevitably disappears down some memory hole, and he “apologizes” for that crap he called an essay.

  335. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    To kerfluffle and Jessie Colt:

    I was unnecessarily harsh in my comments to both of you upthread, and I’m sorry. There’s no reason to be mean, and my acid would have been better directed at the real villain, Mr. Cochran.

  336. Drosera says

    amphiox,

    This is exactly what I meant when I said “determined by the community of speakers” – the conception of appropriateness is created on the fly as discussions progress. It’s a collective enterprise – no one individual can point to some dictionary definition or pattern of usage somewhere else and say “see? that’s why it’s not inappropriate, you can’t object to me using it here.”

    How foolish of me to trust the Oxford dictionary for a generally accepted definition of ‘cretin’ (not ‘cretinism’, which is a different word). Of course, I should have put it before the central committee of the commentariat of Pharyngulians. This exalted body could then have issued a ruling to resolve the meaning and acceptability of the word. Better still, why not organise an acting secretariat to help future commenters by judging any comment for acceptability prior to publication. Now that would be an advance, wouldn’t it? All those nasty comments that would ruffle the feathers of the regulars could be weeded out. The published comments would speak with one voice from one dictionary to one community.

    If that’s what you’re aiming for, good luck with it.

  337. says

    ‘cretin’ (not ‘cretinism’, which is a different word)

    I didn’t even know people this dense existed. Don’t they teach word derivation in schools anymore?

  338. Drosera says

    By the way, I’m appalled that none of the regulars took issue with this:

    Caine, Fleur du Mal,

    CC:

    |Oh man, no, I don’t want this guy near my food either

    Er, yeah. That was a bad call on my part. Wal-Mart stocker?

    This is an unacceptable stereotyping of Wal-Mart stockers as being somehow lesser humans. Some of our own regulars had an exemplary career as Wal-Mart stocker. I think comrade Caine deserves a reprimand. Maybe we should establish a subcommittee to investigate the case.

  339. Ichthyic says

    Maybe we should establish a subcommittee to investigate the case.

    you’ll need funding for that subcommittee.

    we’ll wait here why you go and work on that.

  340. craigmontgomery says

    Good lord, I’ve been reading this thread for the last couple days and I’m still just slack-jawed at the breathtaking stupidity of this guy. I just want to kick him so hard in hi stupid smarmy face.

  341. says

    This is an unacceptable stereotyping of Wal-Mart stockers as being somehow lesser humans.

    Twaddle. It was stereotyping Wal-Mart stockers as having less opportunity to harm other human beings than nurses or hamburger flippers.

  342. Drosera says

    Jadehawk,

    |‘cretin’ (not ‘cretinism’, which is a different word)

    I didn’t even know people this dense existed. Don’t they teach word derivation in schools anymore?

    I trust that, notwithstanding this asinine comment, you know the difference between a bicycle and a cyclist? You know, the one is a thing with two wheels, the other a non-feathered biped. We can make an exception for you and the equally brilliant raven when it comes to being feathered.

  343. Drosera says

    tigtog,

    Twaddle. It was stereotyping Wal-Mart stockers as having less opportunity to harm other human beings than nurses or hamburger flippers.

    So much hypocrisy, so little time.

  344. says

    I trust that, notwithstanding this asinine comment, you know the difference between a bicycle and a cyclist?

    I trust that a decent person would be embarrassed by the realization that they’d made a remark that in fact so well demonstrates the density previously mentioned.

    So much hypocrisy, so little time.

    stubborn ignorance on your part does not constitute hypocrisy on ours

  345. Drosera says

    plien said (in Dutch):

    “Hey Dros, could you perhaps reply to my remarks in comment 296?”

    OK plientje. Here is what you said:

    According to my non-Dutch friends we are quite careless with our fucks & shits too. But while it’s not uncommon to hear people yell genitalia to eachother, it’s not like it is normal speech…

    It is indeed not uncommon for both men and women (especially schoolchildren, sad to say) in the Netherlands to yell ‘kut’ (cunt), ‘klootzak’ (scrotum) and ‘lul’ (dick) to each other. That’s what I said before, right? Hurling insults is never normal speech. And your point is…?

  346. Drosera says

    Jadehawk,

    I trust that a decent person would be embarrassed by the realization that they’d made a remark that in fact so well demonstrates the density previously mentioned.

    So you can’t tell the difference between a word that designates a medical condition and a similar but clearly different word that designates a sufferer of said condition? I hope you’re not a doctor. Or even a nurse.

  347. Anubis Bloodsin III says

    Seeing as the University seems to have disappeared up its own orifice with regards to remedial action.
    For example reassignment to a different course would not be outrageousness in this case,
    No female, indeed no male, should ever be exposed to this moronic pillock especially when they are feeling below par and vulnerable.
    That is screamingly obvious to everyone except the tenured medical teaching staff and dean by all accounts..

    Then maybe, just maybe, the Health authorities throughout the USA as well as elsewhere, might regard this main screed and obvious attitudes with regard to face book regurgitations as to what attributes this candidate might present to his applied for job.
    After all is that not what employers like about face book?

    Doofus has screwed himself good and proper apparently, it all depends on the integrity of the College he sullies.
    And I cannot envisage any training establishment providing obviously unsuitable care workers and pissing off the Hospitals and clinics they furnish to.
    They would be sued to Armageddon and back if this wasted space got anywhere near a sick woman and it went from bad to worse.

    They cannot plead ignorance, this brain fart of a rant would be dropped on their combined heads from a very great height.

    Not about free speech in or out of the classroom …this is about a wholly unsuitable candidate for nurse…simple like so!

    The College must be aware by now of the gaze of the blog-qa-sphere.

    They must also be aware that bad publicity will render a funding and reputation repercussion that will take years to recover from if ever.

    So over to you Sylvia T. Brown EdD, RN, CNE Dean, College of Nursing.

    Time to live up to your mission statement from your College.

  348. says

    So you can’t tell the difference between a word that designates a medical condition and a similar but clearly different word that designates a sufferer of said condition?

    not that my point needed to be made any clearer, but this just amuses me. Drosera is capable of saying the relevant part of an argument without ever cluing in to having done so. Parrots are smarter than that.

  349. maureen.brian says

    Give the woman a chance, Anubis Bloodsin III, and meantime occupy yourself by looking her up on google scholar. She might just have the knowledge to do something effective here.

    If the University is going to take appropriate and effective action – which we all earnestly wish – the Dean may have to get her facts lined up, convince her colleagues that she has correctly identified both the nature of the problem and the possible solutions, perhaps take advice.

    Why? Because if Dr Brown goes off half-cocked* the words ‘hysterical’, ‘over-reaction’ ‘disproportionate’ will start flying about, followed swiftly by lawsuits. For instance, if she is considering a course of remedial education she has to be sure that a suitable course exists and that there is someone to deliver it.

    And she has to keep on doing whatever deans of nursing schools do whenever they are not, without warning, suddenly confronted by a total and totally embarrassing idiot.

    *And before Drosera has another fit of paranoia, half-cocked is a printing term, probably derived from a flaw in the design of early firearms. It has nothing to do with willies.

  350. says

    and just for the fun of it:

    Drosera says:
    2 October 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Come on, cretin is never used in its original medical sense anymore. It’s even derived from ‘Christianus’. I would not use ‘retard’ myself, but ‘cretin’ appears quite acceptable nowadays and simply means stupid person.

  351. Drosera says

    Jadehawk,

    Drosera is capable of saying the relevant part of an argument without ever cluing in to having done so. Parrots are smarter than that.

    Apparently, ‘cretinism’ is still occasionally used in medical circles. I doubt very much, on the other hand, if there are any doctors in the world who would refer to their patient as a cretin (except perhaps when they don’t pay their bills). That’s why the Oxford dictionary classifies the second, medical definition of ‘cretin’ as ‘medicine, dated’ (the first definition is ‘a stupid person’). It seems that parrots are smarter than jadehawks.

  352. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So much hypocrisy, so little time.

    Yep, you are the hypcrite, wasting our time.

  353. Drosera says

    maureen.brian,

    *And before Drosera has another fit of paranoia, half-cocked is a printing term, probably derived from a flaw in the design of early firearms. It has nothing to do with willies.

    And even if it did, so what? I’m not the one warning others to watch their language.

  354. says

    Drosera dear, you really don’t need to keep on demonstrating that my statements about you are correct. There was really no need for you to detail just how precisely you’re missing the point.

    I’d suggest you stop while you’re ahead, but you pretty much started this conversation a step behind.

  355. says

    And even if it did, so what? I’m not the one warning others to watch their language.

    you don’t need to demonstrate that you’re just as incapable of getting other people’s points, either. But I’ll throw you a bone here, and give you a hint: wal-mart

  356. maureen.brian says

    Drosera,

    I was worried that you might feel threatened.

    What happened to you, anyway? You used to be fairly sensible.

  357. Drosera says

    Nerd of Redhead, etc. etc.,

    Yep, you are the hypcrite, wasting our time.

    Ah, the tu quoque fallacy. That’s a pretty lame one. Care to explain to me why the Wall-Mart remarks by Caine and tigtog are not hypocritical?

  358. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Drosera:

    I’m not the one warning others to watch their language.

    Nah, you’re the one chiding others for warning others to watch their language.

    First time, fair enough.

    Second time, hmm.

    By now, having reiterated your single issue for the umpteenth time, you’re just trolling.

    (You know it, we know it)

    PS Your contention that [cretin:cretinism::bicycle:cyclist] is very, very stupid (on multiple levels, even).

  359. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Care to explain to me why the Wall-Mart remarks by Caine and tigtog are not hypocritical?

    Care to explain how they are. I missed something. I saw normal comments.

    We aren’t going to change our language limits based on your inane idea of free speech, which isn’t absolute, and you know it. That had been discussed for months prior to your bout of idiocy. So, why are you even bothering?

  360. says

    Drosera,

    Where do you think the general usage of “cretin” to mean idiot comes from? Do you think it is somehow unconnected to the medical use? That it’s a conicidental homynym?

    I hope not, because that would be just silly, and lacking in evidence.

    It’s obvious that it derives from the medical use in the same exact way that the use of “retard” to mean idiot comes from the medical condition of mental retardation.

    And since you already admitted that you can see the latter link, and agree that it is not acceptable, why are you so vigorously defending the former use??

  361. Drosera says

    maureen.brian,

    What happened to you, anyway? You used to be fairly sensible.

    What I’m trying to get across, so far admittedly with little or no success, is my dislike of the increasingly authoritarian, collectivist mentally that I perceive here. Perhaps it is because PZ declines to moderate his blog (unlike for example Jerry Coyne or Richard Dawkins) that therefore a group of regulars have gradually gotten it into their heads that they should act as moderators. Organising atheists is like herding cats. I for one resent being herded.

  362. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What I’m trying to get across, so far admittedly with little or no success, is my dislike of the increasingly authoritarian, collectivist mentally that I perceive here.

    You got that across in your first post on the subject. Everything since then your posts have been the equivalent of a toddler throwing a temper tantrum. We don’t give a shit if you like it here not, your problem, not ours. You can leave at any time. You won’t change anything.

  363. Anubis Bloodsin III says

    # 405 maureen.brian

    You are quite right of course.
    I, as seemingly many others, are just shocked and totally sickened that a so called Student Nurse could hold such vile and vicious attitudes towards at least half the patients he might encounter in future years.

    To hold such ‘values’ is not a spur of the moment realization the culprit has held them deeply embedded in his sorry excuse for a personality for a time that probably included his enrollment into the college.
    How it has not been picked up before by either fellow students or the faculty is beyond belief.

    Maybe a case of least said soonest mended…or an unofficial ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy.

    Maybe he never let it slip before.
    Maybe it is why the paper decided to ‘out’ the doofus.
    Although why they decided to sugar coat the screed after the event is another mystery.

    It can be hoped that the Dean’s good sense and the combined will of the faculty will prevail here…there is no room for such lurid and disgusting attitudes in Medicine at any level.

  364. Drosera says

    John Morales,

    Your contention that [cretin:cretinism::bicycle:cyclist] is very, very stupid (on multiple levels, even).

    It would have been if I had made that contention. Mine was simply an example of another pair of words derived from a shared word.

    Anyway, if you all think I am trolling then you shouldn’t have accused me of being a misogynist, a libertarian, a fundie xian, or a foolish femur (???). I really couldn’t let that pass. And if you ask me questions you should know that I’m usually too polite not to reply.

    Let’s leave it at that then.

    Wir stehen selbst enttäuscht und sehn betroffen
    Den Vorhang zu und alle Fragen offen
    [Brecht]

  365. ChasCPeterson says

    Nobody cares, nor ought anyone, so fair enough, but:
    Come on, descriptivists. Language evolves, I thought. The spoken language is the language, I thought.
    Before ‘cretin’ became a generic insult completely exchangable (without change in connotation or nuance) with ‘idiot’, ‘stupidhead’, or ‘dumbass’, it was used clinically to refer to a specific medical condition, hypothyroidism. But then before that it referred to a nonspecific mental retardation, like ‘idiot’, and was actually used as a humane alternative to more derogatory labels. Like ‘idiot’.

    It’s just bizarre to insist that the antiquated specific clinical usage is the only correct one when the actual user of the term clearly did not use it in that sense. Even accepting the antiquated specific clinical usage, calling someone a ‘cretin’ is clearly meant to convey the idea that ‘the stupid shit you say makes you appear as stupid as a cretin (sensu stricto), and it’s certainly a fact that sensu-stricto cretins are stupid, though of course that’s not their fault, it being congenital and all, but so what?

    Language policing is so easy to overdo. IMO.
    Say, where’s strange gods been lately anyhow?

  366. maureen.brian says

    Drosera,

    If you really need something to worry about then there are topics aplenty that you could worry about and maybe, even, do something about. Just look around you.

    Because what I have to do next will wait I will reiterate for you – just once and all in one place – what you have already been told. Let us first clear the decks. Drs Coyne and Dawkins run their own blogs the way they want them run. Dr Myers, also of full age and allowed out without a chaperone, runs his blog(s) the way he wants it run.

    You want someone who is already quite busy teaching, running a department, writing stuff and flying about on unreliable airlines to speak as and when invited to come back and run a tighter ship – not because he wants it as we know he likes things the way they are but so that he may enforce your diktat. To which the only possible response is raucous laughter.

    Since you were last here and I was a lurker things have moved on. In internet terms this was already a relatively safe space for women, for people who identify as LGBTI, for people on the autism spectrum, for those with all sorts of disabilities – any of whom might well find themselves bullied and disparaged elsewhere. We also became aware that being both diverse and outspoken brought us interesting people and produced good discussions.

    But because we are not all completely full of ourselves or completely stupid, we realised that some interesting people were being put off before they had become used to the level of noise or learned to duck the flying plates. So we examined our behaviour.

    This was a collective and cooperative process conducted over at least a year and out of it came a set of agreed non-gendered insults, for assorted uses, the three strikes rule so that we don’t jump down some newcomer’s throat before ze is in the door and the bingo cards. The discussion on gendered insults, especially those using the various names of genitalia was a difficult one because they carry different levels of insult in different societies. In the end, we agreed that avoiding such insults was the better way. You will note above that we are not afraid of the words themselves.

    I repeat, a collective and collaborative process. The Central Committee of the Supreme Soviet of Morris, MN, had nothing to do with it.

    So, we have moved on since you were last here. Perhaps you have not but the very least you owe us is an attempt to understand where we are now rather than leaping to the conclusion that it is all some giant conspiracy to disempower you.

  367. says

    maureen.brian:

    So, we have moved on since you were last here. Perhaps you have not but the very least you owe us is an attempt to understand where we are now rather than leaping to the conclusion that it is all some giant conspiracy to disempower you.

    Isn’t it, though?

    Aren’t we part of a conspiracy to shift the power out of the hands of the privileged elite (consisting mostly of white educated heterosexual males), and re-distribute it evenly amongst everyone?

    I hope this is a conspiracy to take away power — the power of sexism or racism or homophobia to be used effectively against another person.

    If this isn’t a conspiracy, I’ve built my evil underground lair for nothing.

  368. maureen.brian says

    Of course we are, Nigelthebold!

    I took that as read: it has been my life’s work, after all.

  369. pelamun says

    Look, language history aka etymology is irrelevant from a synchronic point of view. Current language use is what matter. Of course language use differs across different parts of the community, heck, even across language users (it’s called idiolect).

    But that’s not what matters. What matters is if the word in question is offensive to minorities. My goodness, I learnt my lesson the hard way in sixth grade… We all have our biases, and probably most of us grew up in societies that practice discrimination, which of course can subconsciously be reflected in language. Being called out on such things can make one defensive, but there are so many neutral insults available, why not just use those instead of derailing the thread?

    Note: as I wrote in an earlier message, I think for some Europeans, an anti-PC attitude and anti-Americanism form an ominous alliance, kinda reinforcing each other.

  370. Drosera says

    OK Maureen, thanks for the explanation. I admit that I have been out of touch here lately.

    /back to lurking

  371. Father Ogvorbis: It's Good for You. It Builds Character says

    Drosera:

    Mongoloidism is no longer used as a medical term to describe Down’s Syndrome, just as cretinism is no longer a current medical term for hypothyroidism. Would you feel uncomfortable if someone said to you, “That guys a real idiot, a Mongoloid.”?

  372. pelamun says

    Father O, you don’t need to ask that as a hypothetical:

    when I was working as an interpreter for a international youth exchange, the hosting group, in Europe, was happily using “mongo” and “c*nt head” and even teaching those words to the visiting group who didn’t have a clue what these words meant. (there is also an embarrassing anecdote in here about me, but that’s not the point). I tried to ask them not to use those words, especially “c*nt head”, but I was in the same age group, and not a figure of authority..

  373. Drosera says

    Father Ogvorbis: It’s Good for You. It Builds Character,

    Would you feel uncomfortable if someone said to you, “That guys a real idiot, a Mongoloid.”?

    Yes, because it would be unfair to the inhabitants of Ulan Bator.

    Can everybody now please stop asking me questions?

    /really back to lurking

  374. says

    Drosera:

    Can everybody now please stop asking me questions?

    Do you prefer vanilla or chocolate? Fishing or cutting bait? What’s your favorite pizza? Do you like old-school country? New-fangled pop? Do you hate Jar-Jar as much as I do? Who’s your favorite author? Do you eat beans? Do you like George Wendt?

  375. says

    pelamun:

    Nigel do you know Darths and Droids? It’ll be an interesting read for all Jar-Jar haters…

    I did not know about that. I’ve only read a few pages (I’m at work, and should probably do work-like activities), but so far, I am very amused.

    Very amused indeed.

  376. Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments says

    Can everybody now please stop asking me questions?

    This, coming from a person who came back to the blog in order to compare some of the regulars of this blog with a repressive and theocratic group.

    Fuck off and fuck you with a decaying porcupine.

  377. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Sorry for completely being OT: Nigel do you know Darths and Droids? It’ll be an interesting read for all Jar-Jar haters…

    Getting a fairly good laugh out of reading all of that.

  378. NelC says

    Drosera, why do you feel the need to answer questions? Why not just close this window and find something more interesting and less vexatious on Reddit or Technorati or The Guardian website or wherever?

  379. Dianne says

    Aren’t we part of a conspiracy to shift the power out of the hands of the privileged elite (consisting mostly of white educated heterosexual males), and re-distribute it evenly amongst everyone?

    It depends on what you mean by “power”…I, at least, have no particular desire to decrease anyone’s standard of living, wealth, self-esteem, or ability to go through life without being confronted by dumb prejudices against their gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, lifestyle preference, etc. I simply want to extend these powers and privileges to everyone. I’m fine with the fact that straight white men don’t experience much prejudice, at least until they get to an age where they start experiencing age prejudice, I just want everyone else to enjoy the same. Same with wealth: I don’t see a first world standard of living as a problem, I see its lack of application to the rest of the world as a problem.

  380. says

    Dianne:

    I simply want to extend these powers and privileges to everyone.

    Absolutely! I’m certainly not calling for outlawing racism, sexism, or displays of homophobia.

    I just want to take away the power that currently goes along with those attitudes — you know, the power to keep a large portion of the US from marrying the ones they love, the power to get promoted through privilege rather than merit, and so on. And I don’t want to do that through legislation, but rather through changing society. I desire it to become unacceptable to objectify women, or demonstrate systemic preference for one group over another.

    Same with wealth: I don’t see a first world standard of living as a problem, I see its lack of application to the rest of the world as a problem.

    There are some problems that go along with our standard of living, but mostly that’s environmental. I think it can be addressed.

    I think the problem is that our standard of living is predicated somewhat on the poor standard of living elsewhere. The cheap products that make our standard of living possible rely on inexpensive labor in countries in which environmental regulations are lax. So in some ways, bringing the standard of living up for the rest of the world (which is a good idea) will require a slight decrease in our own standard of living.

    But overall, it will be a very good thing.

    In the same way, I think raising the level of privilege for everyone to a common level will take away the advantages enjoyed by those on the topside of the current privilege inequity. Whether that privilege is an edge in employment, or merely the luxury of being publicly outraged at Rebecca Watson for calling out male privilege, there will be a decrease in power for those at the top.

    And overall, that will be a good thing.

    At least, that’s how I see it.

  381. crissakentavr says

    One last not eon community standards: At the very least, when someone says they’re discomfited, dislike, or offended by something you said, you should probably examine it closely. Like I said before, you need a bright line practice, even if the line is not so bright in theory – such as every word for a bad idea or action being used in the past as a medical term for someone. So don’t call a woman hysterical when misogyny is a topic. Try really hard not to use specific words in front of specific people. And never use certain words in certain ways, such as racial or gendered slurs or epithets, lest you accidentally walk the path of a racist et al.

  382. Wayne says

  383. says

    @erikamillen, I think that he could well have been aiming for Swiftian hyperbole for humorous effect. The problem is that he’s such a bad writer that he was never going to manage it through subtle escalation as Swift did, so he threw around the shock-jock-style slurs right out of the box.

    Also, Swift knew how to subvert the figures of speech he used in order to convey an underlying message diametrically opposite from the position presented on the surface. Cochran isn’t subverting anything – he’s merely reinforcing slut-shaming by ridiculing and humiliating those he identifies as sluts – that’s all he’s got.

  384. says

    erikamillen:

    This is so absurdly over-the-top that I have to wonder if he meant it as parody, a la Jonathan Swift.

    It really doesn’t matter. The harm has already been done. Jonathan Swift wrote satire, and the best satire takes on real situations and reveals the true thoughts of the writer about said situation.

    Ben not only revealed certain toxic attitudes on his part, he revealed an utter lack of knowledge when it comes to contraception. Does he honestly think that porn stars take more than other women? Does it matter whether he thinks that or not, as he went ahead and stated it?

    As it stands, given previous pieces he’s written and what he’s written on his facebook about this latest opinion piece, the weight is on the side of Benny being serious when it comes to the basic attitudes he expressed.

    Perhaps you wouldn’t have any qualms about hiring Benny as a nurse or being in his care, however, I certainly would and I expect a great many other people would have those qualms as well.

  385. Ichthyic says

    you know the difference between a bicycle and a cyclist? You know, the one is a thing with two wheels, the other a non-feathered biped.

    what’s with the non-feathered biped presumption?

    Birds ride bikes too!

  386. Ichthyic says

    the editor of the college paper asked for feedback

    My feedback:

    Any editor so slack to not even bother to try and find someone qualified to write the op-ed piece requested, but instead just took the first hack to submit a piece, should resign.

    I know college papers usually aren’t much for quality control, but seriously?

    whoever the editor of this paper is should be considering a different career.

  387. echidna says

    I’m with Caine. The published article is toxic. The original version was even more toxic. The potential merit of the piece in the best of lights is vanishingly small compared to the deafening misogyny and ignorance.

    This is the type of writing that should have people very concerned about how this person fits in society. He’s young, he can possibly change if given the right support, but right now he needs to understand that the values that he has espoused are not consistent with a functional society.

    I would like to see the university do some proactive education for their students. At a minimum, I would wish to see Ben write a critical review of his original article, explaining each sentence that he wrote, why he wrote it, identifying everything that may be problematic about it and explaining why it is problematic.

  388. Horse-Pheathers says

    I strongly suspect young Ben here will soon have his name and his epic ass-hattery immortalized in the Urban Dictionary….

  389. Tapetum says

    I know I’m slightly late to the party here, but I wanted to note that Ben here doesn’t necessarily have to become a nurse to start harming patients. A lot of nursing programs have stints where student nurses gain experience by going into hospitals and working with the less precarious patients under the auspices of a supervisor from their school.

    I have good reason to know, since a particularly toxic combination of supervisor and student nurse managed to turn my first day as a mother into a nightmare of exhaustion and pain, with behavior ranging from the petty (leaving my first tray of food juuuust beyond fingertip reach for the woman who’d just had a C-section), to the plain mean (the first pain dose they ordered post-surgery was straight Tylenol, not even X-tra strength), to the outright dangerous (not going into this, but it did involve my only revenge when I threw up all over their shoes). It was bad enough that when my OB came back that evening, she threw a fit, lectured both of them at the top of her lungs, and proceeded to get them both banned from the hospital grounds.

    I hope that if ECU has any such program, they are very, very careful about who Mr. Cochrane’s supervisor is, and how close a tab is kept on him.

  390. Anubis Bloodsin III says

    #444 erikamillen

    “This is so absurdly over-the-top that I have to wonder if he meant it as parody, a la Jonathan Swift.”

    If a Parody or a Poe then it was extremely badly executed and displayed woeful common sense not only in content but in actual medical knowledge of female birth control.
    It was a typical jeebus clone dump of xian stench masquerading as ‘morality’
    And it was not particularly funny or even tongue in cheek, even if it was, in essence, it was a career suicide note, nothing poe or parody about it at all.
    Anyone that can read that into the screed is really suffering a tunnel vision with a dose of severe naivety, or they must tacitly agree with the essence on the nonsense he wrote and are casting around for an escape clause for their hero!….

    He might well claim…Joke!…that is about the only ‘defence’ he has left.
    But is was in appallingly bad and toxic taste and considering his face book pronouncements I doubt that even the most morbidly ignorant onlooker can conclude nothing more then rampant misogynous clap trap.

    It is doubtful a student Nurse that writes such unmitigated garbage, whether poe parody or otherwise, has a future in nursing…. simples.

    That, however, does not excuse the paper editor that decided to publish such trash as a sop to free speech and it certainly does not excuse ‘chummy’ for a very nasty and downright offensive misogynistic dollop of utter prejudiced bollox whether poe, parody or otherwise.

    The paper then compounds the filth by re-issuing a pink and fluffy version.

    WTF…?

    Change the language so as not to insult the delicate of demeanour but keep the opinion…how fucked up is that?…considering it was an opinion that was couched in so much revolting language in order to give it impact apparently as a complete disregard for women’s issues.
    Certainly the language displayed a hatred for women quite convincingly.

    Whatever the episode has done very little to enhance the reputation of the nursing college involved.
    And certainly casts the rag as a very poor and badly run management car crash.

    What price now a job for the other students now studying there in the future job market once their CV reveals their Nursing educational pedigree.
    Because this is now part and parcel of the internet archive evidence that is not particularly flattering.
    They must be devastated that an idiot like ‘chummy’ can influence their job prospects, they do not deserve that, they work to damn hard to fulfil the specifications for ‘Nurse’ required.

    Poe, parody or just atrocious decision making aside, the College really has no option then a bit of radical and incisive surgery on their student body.

    They really have very little choice, nor should they hesitate, their probity and integrity as a Nursing college is at stake.

    I am sure they will make a correct and considered decision and act on it with due process.

  391. isilzhaveni says

    The “apologies” have been posted to the newspaper website. http://theeastcarolinian.com/?p=1269#comment-6846

    All of them spectacularly miss every relevant point about why Cochran’s article was offensive and should not have been published by any reputable paper. Everything about this infuriates me (enough to send an email to the dean of nursing).

    I think Cochran should be removed from the nursing program and the editors fired. At this point there can be no satisfiable apology. All involved have had the opportunity to read the comments and emails sent in, but instead of understanding how deeply offensive the article is, chose to stand by their choice to write and publish this blatant hate speech.

    I hope everyone who had been reluctant to get involved is now swayed to send their own emails out to the paper, the dean of nursing, the college dean, the university president, board of directors and any other person who can take some action to impose sanctions on the guilty parties.

  392. isilzhaveni says

    This is from Caitlin Hale, the editor in chief:

    Hello,
    Thank you for your response. I am always happy to hear from readers, even when the response is not positive. I would first like to let you know that Ben’s article does not reflect my views or opinions, the views of the opinion editor, or the views of The East Carolinian. We do not specifically endorse not only his opinion, but any opinion column we run. While I do not agree with his opinion, I will not ban an article from running simply because I do not agree with it. If that were the case, the newspaper would be horribly biased.
    The purpose of the Opinion section is to evoke intelligent conversation among readers, and Ben’s column has done that. However, it is unfortunate that so many readers were offended by this article. However, we did run Ben’s column, and we did run an alternate opinion alongside Ben’s article, which was written by Abby Brockmeyer. I am simply pointing this out to show that TEC does not favor one opinion over the other – we ran both sides. However, we acknowledged that Ben’s article did offend many, and because of that, he has issued an apology.
    With that being said, I stand behind Ben’s article. I understand that people are mad about both the article that was published and his “unedited” version that was not meant for the public to see. However, I will not be issuing an apology because I, along with the opinion editor, approved the article to run. In fact, there will be no more content in the print edition relating to the issue of Ben’s article – everything that needed to be stated about the issue by TEC was published in last Tuesday’s edition. We may choose to run Letters to the Editor online relating to the subject, so if you would like to, please feel free to submit a letter via the TEC website.
    Thank you,