You may recall my comments on that article about the sexism panel at NASW. It was an oddly glib summary of the panel that gave cursory attention to the women’s statements, and spent most of its time discussing the reactions of men in the audience — it was a sad example of how even women will prioritize men’s voices. Emily Willingham gave it an even more thorough and scathing review.
Tabitha Powledge and Beryl Benderly, the authors of the original review, then fired back at Willingham. It was a terrible angry reply: Powledge and Benderly basically belittled Willingham for being too young to understand, and ranted about having been Second Wave Feminists who created the environment that allowed Willingham to be employed…and they also literally called what Willingham had written to be a “cat fight”. It was ugly. Real ugly.
You can’t read it, though. The post was taken down by the PLoS Blogs community manager, although the comments are still left intact.
PLOS BLOGS has determined that the “On Science Blogs” post that had occupied this page violated one of the key principles we hold for our blog network, specifically, the following language which is included in our independent blogger contract: PLOS is interested in hosting civilized commentary and debate on matters of scientific interest. Blogger will refrain from name calling and engaging in inflammatory rhetoric.
Because, after careful review, we’ve determined that this post crossed the line delineated in this tenet, we’re taking the post down. We’ve left the comments intact.
We’re sorry for any distress that the content of this post caused to the target, Emily Willingham, and hope that discussion and debate can continue on the original and vitally important topic of sexual harassment without resorting to this level of exchange.
Yikes. While the post may have been hideous, I don’t like the idea that it could be deleted like that. Leave it up, close comments, make a statement that it was not acceptable, but erasing it is something I find even more offensive.
Willingham has updated her post with this comment:
The two people involved in the post I critique below, Tabitha Powledge and Beryl Benderly, NASW board members, have posted their comments about my critique here. I will let their two responses speak for themselves and just reassert that the original post was an example of the problem in having foregrounded men in every aspect, from text word counts to links included to who was named and quoted to art to tags to “the most powerful and significant statements came from men,” and that the tone of “back to our regular program” was inappropriate. Further, I add that because I was commenting on a high-profile summary of a very high-profile and edgy situation that is critical to our community, one written by a board member of NASW and featured on the site of another NASW board member, I also vetted my commentary with half a dozen relevant people before posting it. As for a formal post about the NASW panel from the panelists themselves, of which I was one, we await availability of the video recording of the proceedings so that the overview will be complete.
Right — it’s a “high-profile and edgy situation”, so I’d rather see that both sides of the argument were left visible.