Ben Cochran is a raging asshole

Remember that nursing student I blogged about the other day? The one who went on a disgustingly misogynistic diatribe in his student newspaper because someone couldn’t wipe his runny nose fast enough since harlots were getting birth control? Well, Ben Cochran’s apology was printed in the same newspaper today.


If you were among the many who were offended by my column last week, then let me take this opportunity to offer you a heartfelt apology. I am well aware that my stance was not a popular one. As an Opinion columnist, my primary goal is to generate informed discussion. To that end, I intentionally try to be provocative. As such, sometimes my columns offend people. Please understand that my intent was not to cause people to become enraged. I simply hoped they would disagree with the expressed opinion and state reasons for that disagreement. I wanted to see a lively debate, and hopefully, learn something in the process. The position I argued for is a valid opinion by virtue of the fact that it is an opinion. Unfortunately, my word choice was not the best. I cannot believe I said “conscientious” when I really meant “conscious,” among other things. From now on, I will take greater care to exercise better judgment. As always, your responses are welcomed and encouraged.

…what a sack of shit. You have quite the class act there, East Carolina University.

“I’m sorry that you were offended by my perfectly correct and true statements” is the oldest not-pology in the book. And it’s also the biggest sign that you’re either incredibly dense, or incredibly full of yourself. Or in this case, likely both. Seriously, it’s not your provocative language that was the root of the problem – it’s the outright hatred of women and appalling ignorance about women’s health. Your choice of words just made that misogyny crystal clear, as if there was ever any question.

And really, “conscientious” instead of “conscious”? You have hundreds of people emailing your (female) Dean of Nursing explaining why you’re not fit to be a nursing student, and you respond by being a total smartass?

I hope this letter gets stapled to ever job or school application you ever submit. Prepare to have a Google Problem, Ben Cochran.

Did I mention his name was Ben Cochran? I’d say it a third time, but I’m afraid he’ll appear out of thin air.


  1. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I am more than happy to create multiple links to this and the OP. I wonder, however, if we can’t have a contest similar to the Dan Savage Google Contest.

    It couldn’t really be a redefinition, …too many others also have the name Cochran. But I know of a Ben that was abusive to an ex of mine before I met my ex. She called him the

    “Blowhard, Ear-fucking Narcissist”.

    I actually think that since this Ben’s horrible foulness was written & not encountered aloud, for most of us, it would be more

    “Blowhard, Eye-fucking Narcissist”

    but either way.

    I really think that we should work on coming up with one phrase to describe this guy that we can all agree on & then include that in the titles and/or texts of every post about him. He deserves nothing less than to have his words remembered.

  2. says

    Let’s be careful, okay? “Ben Cochran” (or spelling variants such as “Cochrane”) is really not that unusual a name in the English-speaking world, and I’m sure there are other college students and job-applicants in the country with the same or similar names. Nor is he a national or instantly-recognizable public figure, unlike, say, Rick Santorum. It would be a horrible tragedy if an entirely-unrelated Ben Cochran were to be denied a job in a healthcare profession because of this guy’s online notoriety.

  3. Elf Eye says

    So Ben Cochran thinks that “The position I argued for is a valid opinion by virtue of the fact that it is an opinion.” So the mere holding of an opinion makes that opinion valid? Where would one even begin with this one?

  4. NoAstronomer says


    Of course that puts the whole concept of researching someones background on the Internet firmly in the same category as lie detectors.

  5. Glodson says

    The position I argued for is a valid opinion by virtue of the fact that it is an opinion. Unfortunately, my word choice was not the best. I cannot believe I said “conscientious” when I really meant “conscious,” among other things.

    Really? Of all the things wrong with either draft of his little tantrum, that was the fucking problem?! Fuck. The fact that his not embarrassed for the tone, but for that speaks volumes.

    You know, I could let it go if I thought that he was just venting after a really bad day and let loose. But I don’t believe that for a second. The fact that his University let’s him have his soapbox is great. I love it, because it is nice to see a moron like that let the whole world know he is, in fact, a moron.

    Now, for the second part: it is a valid opinion by virtue of being an opinion? What the fuck? Seriously? What makes something a valid opinion isn’t that it is a fucking opinion. If being an opinion was all that was necessary to be a valid opinion, then the world valid would be redundant and unimportant. No, fuckwit, all opinions are not valid opinions. I have opinions about a great many things. Everyone does. But the ones that are valid follow certain criteria. Mostly logic and evidence are the criteria that I’m thinking of. Sometimes, as we all do, I form an opinion on a subject that I have little knowledge of. I don’t put much stock into that opinion(or at least I try not to with varying degrees of success). And I have plenty of opinions on things which I know a great deal about. Those opinions that have some basis in reason and evidence are valid. The others are just fucking opinions.

    So, having the opinion that your misogynistic ramblings are valid just further paints his entire fucking University in a bad light. I, myself, am a student who has returned to school after a long time away. If I knew of a student that wrote such a hate-filled, and poorly thought out as well, op-ed, I would be calling for him to be sanctioned officially by the school. At the very least.

    He certainly shouldn’t be a nurse with that attitude. Nor should he be allowed to assault the English Language, and not to mention the intelligence of people at large(not to mention the other students), in a official capacity anymore. In other words, no one should publish this drivel unless it was “I’m sorry for being an asshole, and I will endeavor to be less of an asshole in the future. Did I mention I was an asshole when I wrote that? Because I was totally an asshole.”

    Sorry, but that asshole is really pissing me off.

  6. killertapir says

    “As an Opinion columnist, my primary goal is to generate informed discussion.”

    Bull. Fucking. Shit.

    You do not generate ‘informed discussion’ by writing the biggest load of uninformed, ignorant and misogynistic trash seen in the past month.

    I still haven’t found out what exactly Mr. Ben Cochran would be fit for, but I know I’ve ruled out nurse and opinion columnist in in one fell swoop.

  7. says

    I’m not getting laid because I’m a “conscientious objector” is the oldest line in the book. He couldn’t be more transparent if he was made of Saran Wrap.

  8. Glodson says

    The position I argued for is a valid opinion by virtue of the fact that it is an opinion. Unfortunately, my word choice was not the best. I cannot believe I said “conscientious” when I really meant “conscious,” among other things.

    What a fucking asshole. This is the part that really gets me going. And here’s why. Let’s look at the last two sentences first. It starts off promising with the whole word choice thing. “Hey,” one might think, “maybe this guy meant something entirely different, and the whole thing was just a poorly formed attempt at humor that horribly backfired.” Yes, it would take the world’s most deluded head trauma victim to truly buy into that, but stranger things have happened. I guess.

    It is the next sentence that plunges head first into the pits of asshole. This guy is a real life troll. He follows up his poor word choice thing with an example. And yes, it was mistakes like “conscientious” that are embarrassing. It has nothing to do with the hate toward women, the misogynistic comments, the insinuation that all the women that got the birth control were harlots, or the small minded idiocy that virtually dripped from every fucking sentence of that rambling piece of shit. The fucking arrogance to miss the major problem, which is the entire fucking tone of the piece and concentrate on a mistake that is rather immaterial to the issue at hand. Why to be a real asshole.

    Fuck, it would have been nice for him to suggest that his word choice changed the tone of what he meant. It would still be horribly bad, but at least it would be tuned into planet reality with what was wrong with it.

    But that’s not the big one. The big one is the fact that he thinks his opinion is valid by virtue of being opinion. Maybe Eastern Carolina should up their standards for who they let write for the school newspaper. I’m not a master wordsmith or anything. That’s why I’m into math and science myself. But if you are going to claim your opinion is valid because it is your opinion, that’s a big fuck-up. Existing is not what makes an opinion valid.

    What makes an opinion valid is reasoning and evidence. I have any number of opinions. Not all of them are valid, as I do have holes in what I know. As do we all. No one knows all. I have opinions on things that I know I’m not fully informed on. I know that these opinions are not really valid. It is possible that I’m still correct, but that still doesn’t make my opinion valid. I need reasons for my opinion to really be valid. If I can give you facts and evidence and then connect those with logic, I can say my opinion is valid.

    Of course, I’m sure most here realize that being valid means that if my premises are true, then my conclusion must be true as well. Someone should inform Ben of that.

    And tell that fucker to stop using that name. It is my brother’s name, and I would rather not have it associated with this level of fuckwit.

  9. says

    So you are basically prepared to destroy a persons life because you don’t agree with him?


    Hope you sleep well tonight, and all the nights when his job aplication was rejected. (Even though he might have changed his opinion by that time!)

    You are such a wonderful person Jen, so unlike those hateful christians we both love to make fun of!

  10. Alteredstory says

    OK, so, I’m confused.

    Does he think that people were offended because they though he meant to offend them?

    I mean – is that all it takes to offend HIM?

    Does he REALLY think that’s the root of the problem?

  11. says

    I also want to rage at Ben. He’s apparently a postmodernist now with his (wrong) opinion that all opinions are created equal. His ugly cultural relativism gives the green light to rape, neo-Nazism, and basically anything else that’s wrong with the world.

    I still can’t even begin to fathom why people are willing to give into such garbage. Clearly all opinions are not valid. And when you want to create an informed debate, you don’t go on a mysoginistic rant, you actually discuss issues about access to health care and chronic underfunding.

  12. isilzhaveni says

    I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that this issue has consumed a large chunk of my day. I have been leaving comments on various sites, sending emails to ECU officials and anyone else I can find who could possibly take an interest in this problem.

    Honestly, I am really beyond appalled at this entire fiasco. It goes beyond Cochran’s misogynistic rant. It’s also that a student newspaper would even consider publishing hate speech against women. If the article has been blatantly racist I would have been summarily rejected and Cochran likely reported to the Dean for even writing such a hate-filled diatribe. However, it seems that misogyny is still acceptable.

    Today, after the fake apologies offered, I am completely livid. At this point I don’t think the students can just offer up a more sincere apology. It’s beyond that point now. I hope that all of these students face real consequences for their actions. I believe Cochran should be booted from the nursing program and the students at the newspaper should lose their positions there.

    Hopefully, university officials will address Cochran’s misogyny and the paper publishing his hate speech soon.

  13. isilzhaveni says

    @ #9, MrArboc

    No, his life shouldn’t be completely ruined over this. However, he should have to face consequences, both direct and indirect, for his misogyny. One thing he has demonstrated to the world is that he does not have the character, ethics, and basic understanding of biology and female reproductive issues to become a nurse (he’s also a SENIOR, btw).

    It’s painfully obvious that he should not be nurse. Preventing him from becoming one is not just to punish him, it’s also to protect any potential future patients from him.

  14. Larry says

    Glodson @8: An opinion is by nature subjective, so he really can say whatever the hell he wants as long as he does not present it as fact. Now it might be, like here, a pretty idiotic statement. But it is his right to state it.

    You said you are into math and science. Please note that this is not a scientific opinion, nor was presented as such.

    The fact he is a nursing student making these statements is even more worrisome. Even if we take him at his word that he was presenting a point of view to provoke debate the subject and the manner he did it are pretty dumb. It’s more like he was pissed and went on a diatribe against women and is now trying to backpedal without taking responsibility. I’d be more likely to say it’s cool if he were to say “Look, I was feeling like crap and overreacted I am sorry.” versus this long winded over explanation of his viewpoint.

  15. says

    what a strange thing to say. i don’t think anyone is especially *angry* with mr. cochran because of his position on whether birth control should be available at campus clinics. reasonable people can differ on that question, some of them quite emphatically.

    on the other hand, public, vulgar, and unrepentant misogyny isn’t defensible in a civilized society. when you choose to speak out as mr. cochran has – in a university publication, no less – you open yourself up to scrutiny. he chose to pin his career ambitions, his reputation on campus, and even his online persona to that article. let’s not pretend someone stole his diary from under his mattress.

  16. says

    Not sure how you end up at “not fit to be a nursing student.” Asshat though he may be, it’s taking your indignation at his opinion (wrong though it probly is) to suggest that he is intellectually or morally unfit to pursue an education. Moral unfitness, by any standard (rational or otherwise), is a lousy reason to justify denying someone access to information. If he can behave professionally (which the rhetoric in his column suggests is not the case, although it doesn’t eliminate the possibility), there’s no reason that his opinion (which, digging through his asinine language, is that schools shouldn’t provide birth control because it encourages sexual activity) should bar him from pursuing training as a nurse any more than your belief that sexual activity ought not be restricted should prevent you from seeking training as a psychologist.

    As I suggested, he quite possibly has an issue with professionalism, but I don’t think his language in the initial piece (which I can only assume was intended satirically, and which either way was off-duty conduct with respect to his nursing) is sufficient to demonstrate an inability to be an effective nurse.

  17. arakasi says

    Oh, no MrArboc. We are perfectly willing to allow his own comments destroy any chance he has to work in his chosen career. What we are interested in doing is ensuring that every prospective employer has the opportunity to see his own words that he willingly offered up for publication.

    Now in case ECU has standards that they wish to hold their nursing students to, we also want to make sure that they also are aware of his published writings. Again – all we are doing is disseminating his own words as widely as possible. Which, as far as I can tell, is his goal too.

    As for him changing his mind – he had an opportunity to come out with a sincere apology, which he squandered. If he does completely turn himself around, then he has to convince a prospective employer of his change of heart. Pretty tough, I know, but he is an adult and should face the consequences of his actions.

    I for one will sleep very well tonight, thank you very much

    Now, you might have some semblence of a point if we were, say, fabricating offensive essays that he never wrote and attributing them to him, but that isn’t the case here.

    BTW: As of earlier this afternoon ago, Google searches for “Ben Cochran nurse” “Ben Cochran ECU” and “Ben Conchran East Carolina” all bring up pages full of references to the original opinion piece.

  18. Jeanette says

    Ugh. As a student trying to get into nursing school, I have no idea how this guy got in. The nursing school at my school accepts 1 in 10 applicants and they have to have volunteer experience. Clearly, this guy has limited if any volunteer experience because he has no idea how healthcare works…

    Of course, I volunteered for a nurse who didn’t know how birth control worked (seriously, she asked me, the translator, why her patient hadn’t had her period in 3 months after the patient said over and over that she hadn’t had her period because she was on hormonal birth control injections and I ended up having to explain to her how that worked…terrifying), so the cynical side of me doesn’t think it’s at all impossible for him to go through nursing school and get an RN now that he’s in.

    Pisses me off because I see smart studious people get turned away from many nursing programs year after year just because of sheer competition. There are so many more qualified people to be getting nursing degrees than this asshole. I really hope the dean takes that into account.

  19. Glodson says

    It isn’t that he said it was an opinion, it was that he said it was a valid opinion. And his reasoning for it being valid was merely that it was an opinion. So, that’s a tautology: “My opinion is valid because it is my opinion.” That’s not how it works. Your opinion can be valid if you have reasons behind it. Otherwise, it is just an opinion. His use of the word valid is important, as it attempts to give weight to his words.

    That not really science, that’s more logic. It is an important distinction and it is a bad attempt to legitimize his position.

  20. isilzhaveni says

    Cochran’s hate filled diatribe reveals how little he actually respects women and their medical needs. Not only that, he’s a senior nursing student who has managed to not learn very much about basic biology, reproduction, hormonal birth control and how medical offices function. A 30 minute wait is not excessive. That he would express all this in a hate-filled rant in a student newspaper also demonstrates he has little professionalism or, hell, even basic good sense. His misogynistic attitude is not one that is easily discarded. Hopefully, one day, he’ll be well rid of it, but till then, he should never be allowed near any patients.

  21. Jeanette says

    Also, for those wondering why he’s not fit to be a nursing student:

    1) “Not even porn stars need that much birth control”…um, birth control is not something you pop every time you have sex, dumbass. Anyone who has ever paid attention in sex ed, EVER, knows that it’s hormonal and you take it continuously. And I can forgive some random guy not knowing that, but he’s a senior year nursing student for FSM’s sake.

    2) What the hell was he hoping they’d do for him at the clinic anyway?? I *could* give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he had good reason to believe he had a bacterial infection, but it sounds from what he wrote like he had a cold. As in, there is no cure for the common cold. IT’S A VIRUS. How the hell did he miss that small detail after four years of college in a specialization that includes biology classes?! Get a decongestant, blow your nose, and wait it out.

    3) A 30 minute wait at a clinic is not an unusual amount of time to wait for a non-emergency medical issue (and no, your sniffles are not an emergency). The harlots getting their birth control likely either had an appointment or waited as long as you did. I mean really, he sounds like a guy who’s never *been to* a clinic, let alone worked in one. Scary.

  22. says

    An addendum: the one who appears to have acted unprofessionally is the editor of whatever publication decided his article was worth printing. People have a right to their bigotry, but it’s hardly necessary to give them a soapbox, especially when they’re as incoherent and uninteresting as Mr. Cochran.

  23. Lucy Gillam says

    He apparently doesn’t know how hormonal birth control works (as a senior in college, I might add), doesn’t know anything about the uses of hormonal birth control beyond preventing pregnancy, refers to female genitalia as “hatchet wounds,” and the genitalia of sexually active women (whom he scorns for “getting a free pass on harlotry”) as “gaping holes,” and thinks that the common colds of male patients should automatically take precedence over the preventative care of women, and you don’t know how we arrive at the idea that he’s unqualified to be a nurse?

    I’m guessing from your name that you’re a man. Maybe you wouldn’t mind being in a room with this guy, wearing nothing but a flimsy gown. Maybe you wouldn’t mind him removing a catheter from your urethra. Maybe you wouldn’t mind him seeing and touching you at your most vulnerable. But I’ve had male nurses after surgery, and the thought of one of them having written something like this makes me want to go vomit.

  24. says

    @MrArboc – if you ran a bank, let’s say, and you found out a person you were considering hiring had written a seething hateful screed against banks and suggesting that whatever happened to your bank was its own fault and no concern of his…

    Would you hire that person?

    People say “I didn’t mean it” when they did mean it – or they wouldn’t have said it. At least, not in such rich detail; this was a well-crafted shot at female personhood, not a careless slip of the tongue.

    What kind of advocate will he be for the patient? Hell, I’m a dangly d00d and I wouldn’t want him anywhere near me when I’m lying there helpless on a hospital bed. This is not theoretical for me as I do have experience with that condition and nurses matter.

  25. says

    I’d say it a third time, but I’m afraid he’ll appear out of thin air.

    I wonder…

    Ben Cochran, Ben Cochran, Ben Cochran


    Now where were we? Ah! Yes officer, as you can see he is clearly trespassing on my private property. You may also find that he’s missing a passport. Please take him away.

  26. RowanVT says

    He has apparently deleted his facebook page now. No more getting to see him gloat via that route.

  27. Casimir says

    Being a doctor, nurse, or anyone in the medical profession is fundamentally about helping other human beings. It requires a sense of empathy, respect, and acknowledgement of the dignity and worth of all people, regardless of their lifestyles, personalities or choices.

    Mr. Cochran has clearly demonstrated he does not possess this quality, and his snarky, half-hearted not-pology only emphasizes that he is a clueless, spoiled prig. The health care industry does not need another one of those.

    I have been in too many hospitals, private practices, and medical establishments in the last decade and dealt with enough indifferent, unqualified staff who don’t deserve the title of “professional” to lose any sleep over the idea that this sorry excuse for a nursing student might have his so-called “career” derailed by his own callous disregard for other human beings.

    People of his ilk belong on Wall Street, not in places of care.

  28. isilzhaveni says

    It’s still there.

    He did make some changes to it. You may have tried to view it during that time.

    He either removed or hid the posts about the article. Not sure exactly why, lots of people took screen shots of them. Maybe so he could rant in private to his friends. He also hid his pictures from public view.

  29. azkyroth says

    Technically, I think only deductive arguments can be “valid” anyway. I think you probably mean something like “well-supported and logically consistent,” for which “sound” might be borrowed as a decent descriptor. He clearly hasn’t even thought about these things.

  30. azkyroth says

    Hold it, hold it, hold it.

    That’s the “RAPE apologist” bingo sheet you’re reading from. So far he’s only shown poor impulse control, a sense of entitlement, a raging hatred of women in general, and contempt for sexually active women and the very concept of empathy in particular, not actually raped anybody.

    Or do you know something we don’t?

  31. ckitching says

    You shouldn’t underestimate the number of children who were miseducated by abstinence-only sex ed or the severity of that miseducation. They would have never have learned about hormonal birth control, IUDs, or even condoms.

    It’s a little depressing. This type of education has only succeeded at one thing — encouraging riskier behaviour without proper protection (i.e. anal without condoms). The one and only thing it was supposed to do – discourage sex in teenagers has completely failed.

  32. says

    Letting his words speak for themselves != destroying his life. I may take issue with harassing him directly via Facebook, but I have no compunction against calling him out in public for his public statements.

  33. says

    Recently (for an entirely nerdy reason) I have gotten into some discussions on the nature of opinions. Someone stated that some people had ‘wrong opinions’. The opinions in question were about emotions and feelings, something -very- subjective.

    To me there are a variety of opinions.

    Subjective personal opinions: I hate raspberries

    and something that Ben here is expressing, which I guess would be classified as ‘Perspective based opinion’ (no one else can tell what raspberries taste like to you so they can’t argue that you don’t like them, perspective based opinions though generally (ideally) are at least acquired through facts and understandings about how the world works.)

    To me the first kind can never be wrong, its purely personal, just like people’s tastes in clothes, movies, books or music.

    The second kind however can be proven to be flawed. Notice how I avoided saying ‘wrong’ since they’re still opinions and often times no matter how much data you throw at a person their opinion is unlikely to change and its just their personal way of viewing things. Its not until they make a fact based statement that they can be officially wrong (example: In my opinion you are a two headed cow. Adding ‘in my opinion’ doesn’t render it an opinion when it can be easily proven that I am indeed a homo sapien with the normal head count).

    We can point out the extreme flaws in his ‘opinions’ given in the letter sent in. The language used was antagonistic and demeaning, which suggests an emotional flaw. He shows a complete lack of understanding with how birth control works. A flaw in his education. He doesn’t give us a time frame to work in other than that he had been there for a half an hour. He doesn’t tell us if he saw the women (sorry, he calls them girls, see earlier flaw) and in fact the language chosen suggests they had already been in there when he arrived. He tells us that the room is full of other sniffly sick people, yet he doesn’t place the blame on them (One can assume they are rendered blameless by virtue of it not being ‘their fault’ they are sick while the women getting birth control are at fault for getting something he doesn’t see as necessary). He continues to go on to show his privilege to assume that the women should have the means to get to and to pay for a specialist, completely ignoring the fact that he too can go elsewhere.

    There is so much wrong with his first piece and so much MORE wrong with his second one. Its not an apology. He’s in essence doing the usual ‘I’m sorry you were offended’. The guy disgusts me but sadly I’m seeing more and more people show this kind of misogyny. Sometimes through personal communications.

  34. dag-erlingsmorgrav says

    Give him a break, he had the man flu! He was practically at death’s door!

    Oh, and you did say it three times. Four if you count the title.

  35. Aliasalpha says

    I’d be willing to put ten bucks on the bet that the publication of this shit was down to pure laziness. I mean anyone even remotely sane reading this would have to know it was going to come back & bite them in the arse so it seems to me that it was either a sad attempt at being ‘edgy’ so they could try & profit from the controversy or a simple matter of being too lazy to do their damn job. “I’ll just let the writer edit & approve their own article because noone really reads the paper anyway and I have to finish this level in angry birds”.

  36. Lymie says

    The ECU newspaper has a front page headline that Dan Savage is going to be on campus. Hmmmm, could be an opportunity…

  37. azkyroth says

    Even ignoring the fact that he has demonstrated three of the biggest red flags for future sexual assault – poor impulse control, hatred of women in general and contempt for sexually active women in particular, and an utter lack of empathy, do you really not see why the fact that he would regard half of his patients with such intense contempt and resentment would be reasonably expected to impede his ability to provide in keeping with professional standards?


  38. says

    I would hope a competent employer would cross check that the Ben Cochran applying for the job went to East Carolina University. That would likely eliminate much confusion for other Ben Cochrans, it’s a common name but probably not so common that there are two in nursing of the same age who go to ECU.

  39. says

    So you are basically prepared to destroy a persons life because you don’t agree with him?

    As far as I understand it, Jen’s point is nothing to do with wanting to “punish” Cochran for his opinions, nor with wishing to destroy his life.

    Rather, it’s about protecting patients from someone whose attitude and character are entirely unsuited to the role of a health care professional. His article illustrated a total contempt for the needs of his fellow human beings; it’s not clear whether he was expressing an opinion he honestly holds or simply trolling for the lulz, but either way, it was worrying. (Not to mention his apparent ignorance of science.) I think this seriously casts doubt on whether he is suitable to be hired as a nurse, unless he seriously changes his attitudes. And I think that’s something that potential employers are entitled, and obliged, to take into account in hiring.

  40. azkyroth says

    But what kind of world would it be if horrible people actually had to suffer CONSEQUENCES for the things they do?

    [*Cut to scene of fluffy bunnies and smiling children frolicking happily in sunlit pastel green meadows while a soft flute plays*]

  41. HS says

    Anyone else think it’s funny that he “likes” the Holistic Health Organization on campus? You know, the one with the stated mission:

    “To model professional relationships and networking among health care providers that draws on the knowledge and experience of other disciplines outside nursing and medicine to care for people holistically. We will accomplish this by building relationships with students, faculty, and providers outside the School of Nursing.” (emphasis mine)

    I’m sure self-professed trolling (er, sorry, I’m sure I mean this lively-discussion-generating article) goes a long way toward building professional relationships… in addition to his, y’know, misogyny and basic misunderstandings of both birth control and common colds. Hypocrisy and incompetence all the way down.

  42. says

    Again, as a student at ECU, please don’t let this man represent us. The vast majority here are constantly appalled by him, and his still present job at the school paper.

  43. says

    Here is my response to the paper:

    To the staff of the East Carolinian,

    The issue was never about how the original manuscript got leaked. The issue was about how you allowed a misogynist to write for the paper, even after “cleaning” up his article. It has nothing to do with standing by an unpopular view.

    You stand behind this “show both sides of the argument” sort of opinion writing, as if there are only ever two sides. Are you “learning” from Fox News now? It is often deeper than a black and white issue. There might be some serious issue not being addressed regarding birth control, I don’t know. The “dissenting” view point should not be included if it includes personal insults to half of the human population in the original draft, and still resonating the edited one.

    No justice was done by his “apology” either. He basically took another swing at women, by claiming the issue was using the word “conscientious” when he really meant “conscious”. The staff should have realized this was in no way a heartfelt apology. He has upset many people here on campus; he has given a bad name to the university, and its nursing program.

    Andrew Ray Gorman

  44. ema says

    Hope you sleep well tonight, and all the nights when his job aplication was rejected. (Even though he might have changed his opinion by that time!)

    His opinion is irrelevant. What makes him unfit to take care of patients is his incompetence and lack of professionalism.

  45. ema says

    As I suggested, he quite possibly has an issue with professionalism, but I don’t think his language in the initial piece (which I can only assume was intended satirically, and which either way was off-duty conduct with respect to his nursing) is sufficient to demonstrate an inability to be an effective nurse.

    It’s possible that you feel comfortable with your MD/RN telling your mother, in an exquisitely satirical way, of course, that she’s a slut, a prostitute, and a sex fiend, and subjecting her to a barrage of crude euphemisms during a social interaction. You might even consider this type of behavior appropriate, amusing, and unrelated to the person’s medical competence. In which case you’d be the exception.

    There’s a reason why medical governing bodies have rules about interactions with patients in social settings.

  46. says

    So that means that if I’m of the opinion that Ben Cochran is a self-congratulating misogynistic douchebag who should neither become a nurse nor ever have sex in his entire life, I’m right too!

    Because it’s an opinion, and all opinions are right by virtue of being opinions!

  47. echidna says

    Well, it’s all out there now. This guy is a twit who should never have been given a soap box, but now that the damage is done, it’s up to the head of nursing to address the multiple issues involved, including ensuring that students understand that misogyny and other group hatreds are incompatible with nursing. It’s also up to the school administration to educate students that vilification of any group is not acceptable.

    It will be interesting to see how the administration views damage control. There are three main approaches: do nothing, make an example of the kid by expelling him or similar, or by addressing the obvious flaws in the environment.

    I personally would have Ben Cochrane write a series of educational articles, to be approved by the head of nursing, outlining the various problems with his original article, the published article and the apology, and why such views are unacceptable. If he can wrap his head around why people view his articles and apology as toxic, there may be hope for him. If the school is incapable of taking one of their seniors and educating him to be functional in a civilised society, then the school has an even bigger problem on their hands.

  48. ekwhite says

    I am appalled, but not surprised at this type of thing coming out of East Carolina University. My nephew got death threats in Greenville, NC for circulating a petition to rename one of their streets to Martin Luther King boulevard. It seems that nothing has changed since the ’90s

  49. says

    As I said, I don’t think it’s anything to do with his being a “horrible person” or wanting him to suffer “consequences”. If this were about vengeance, I’d be strongly opposed to it; I don’t believe in the concept of retributive justice, and feel very strongly that our society would be better off if we could get over the need to “punish” those we perceive as “bad people”.

    However, I do think Cochran is completely unsuitable to be a nurse, or to enter any other health care profession. For this reason, I don’t think any hospital or health care provider should hire him as a nurse, and I think it’s important to make them aware of the character issues he’s exhibited. If he wants to go into a different line of work that doesn’t involve responsibility for patient care, he’s welcome to, and he can rant away to his heart’s content.

  50. NoxiousNan says

    Scott Adams is going to be pissed that someone else is using his pathetic excuses. “I was just playing devil’s advocate….” It doesn’t work for Adams, I don’t know why this arse thinks it will work for him.

  51. Greg T. says

    Was this too nice?

    Dear Dr Brown,

    After reading on several websites the misogynistic and medically inept column by Ben Cochran, I felt compelled to contact you.

    As a nursing student, he is badly mistaken about how to treat his symptoms and his triage priority. And I’m guessing his bedside manor will be terrible.

    As a male, I wish there was a time machine available to send him back to the Stone Age, where is attitude towards women is more accepted.

    Thank you for your time.

    Greg T

  52. freemage says

    Except that the original submission actually was heavily edited before being released. This means that someone took the time to read it and evaluate it first. Laziness can’t account for that.

    Seriously, everyone even remotely associated with this needs to have their conduct evaluated closely.

  53. isilzhaveni says

    I do feel sorry for the Dean of Nursing. When I emailed her Sunday, she responded with this:

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

    I think she’s far past the point of being able to respond at this point. I’m curious to know how many emails she’s received about Cochran!

  54. Allison says

    This guy is studying to become a nurse and is claiming that a sniffle should be prioritized before a pelvic exam. If I were considering employing this clown, I would want to know that this was an opinion he held.

  55. Another Jen says

    I have a bizarre theory about how Ben Cochran’s article got published in the first place. It goes something like this:

    EDITOR #1: Hey, did you see that column that douchebag Ben submitted for this week’s paper?
    EDITOR #2: Yeah, what a steaming misogynistic pile of crap that was.
    E1: It is! We’re totally running it.
    E2: What?! But it’s horrible!
    E1: I know.
    E2: The Internet’s going to come after him with pitchforks! The Dean’s office will be flooded with complaints about him! Women on birth control here on campus will reject him! Future employers will google his name and this will be the first thing that comes up! This could literally haunt him for the rest of his life.

    But Ben Cochran has no one to blame but himself.

  56. Who Knows? says

    I have a feeling that’s very close to the truth. I can imagine some young woman, an editor on the paper, finally getting fed up with Ben’s bullshit and publishing Ben’s unedited work.

  57. Foolish-Rain says

    I think his use of the term “hatchet wound” alone qualifies him for (self-)destruction.

  58. Rudi says

    Wow. You would write off an entire life just like that. Do you really mean this? The guy is a snivelling misogynist, but he is young, and can possibly be brought round. That you would rather consign him to a lifetime in the gutter speaks volumes about who you are. That is, if it is really true that you feel this way. Please let me know, Jen, as I don’t think I could carry on reading your blog if it is.

  59. Isilzha says

    I don’t think the editor, Kelly Nurge, gets it at all. Here’s what she’s been saying on twitter:

    i may be the worst woman but i’ll claim to be the best editor. and that’s what really matters.

    I would take you more seriously if you emailed be, but sure, I’ll bite. I know Ben personally and addresses him on the orig which was never intended for publication. He revised and resubmitted and, while you and others were offended, I and the other editors were not. The unpublished content was circulated by a staff member and thats illegal: see, copyright infringement.

    The published content, while mildly crass, is far from terribly offensive. While that’s subjective, we are not here to please If you would like to hide sexism, that doesn’t remove the problem. If you want everyone fired, it’s a violation of
    inalienable rights. I’d like to note that if you think no intelligent discussion has occurred to please read the comments.

    I’ve seen a variety of people stand up for their rights and get involved in issues they’re passionate about. Attack all you want, I don’t regret the publishing of this. I advocate freedom of speech more than any other right. Hope this suffices.

    My judgement was that two people wanted to discuss the availability of BC on campus. Ben volunteered the unpopular side. Abby wanted to discuss a lack of availability on campus. That was my initial judgement.

  60. Isilzha says

    Check out his latest post on FB:

    Apparently he loves the idea of being a meme. He share a link called the Ben Cochran: The Chauvinist meme generator. Here’s what he says:

    “if this thing gets created or becomes a real meme (i just learned what that was yesterday), then i’m totally buying a huge one of these, getting it framed, and hanging it in the newsroom of the east carolinian. you’re welcome.”

    Stay classy, Ben!

  61. says

    Clearly not taking this very seriously. We’ll see if he’s still laughing if one of his future employers discovers the original.

    Shorter version of his editor: “I know him and he isn’t like that and besides, Free Speech!” Sorry, “Free Speech” doesn’t mean “Consequence-Free Speech” – it just means the government won’t stop you.

  62. isilzhaveni says

    This is an email I received from Caitlin Hale, the editor in chief, in response to mine asking when she and others were going to address Cochran’s article. Obviously no one at this paper has a clue!

    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,

  63. dcg1 says

    Yeah go Blag Hag
    You should crucify the slimy SOB for his appallingly mysogonistic opinions. Destroy his career, his future job prospects and any hope he has of redemption.

    I’d do the same.


    PS can I join free thought blogs now?

  64. hoverfrog says

    I like to think that I learn from my mistakes so it is quite disappointing to see someone who has failed to learn from their’s.

    If you say something stupid and you get called out on it try to see what it was that you did wrong. You may still be in the right, in which case you error was in the way you presented your argument. You may be in the wrong. Learn from this mistake and try not to repeat it. It really is that simple.

    There’s not a one of us on this planet who is perfect. We all make mistakes and mouth off when we shouldn’t from time to time. What sets arsehats apart is that they keep making the same errors in judgement and they think that sticking to a bad idea is a sign that they are in the right.

    Personally I wouldn’t mind if Cochran said that he still thought he was right and then provided his reasons. I’d disagree because I think that he’s in the wrong but that’s OK, we’re allowed to disagree. We learn from those who disagree with us too. What I cannot respect is that he still thinks he’s right but won’t explain why. It tells me that his views are not rational and are based on prejudice.

  65. horserotorvator says

    Is it wrong that I’m almost as offended by his atrocious writing as I am his vile opinion? And apparently he studied English language and literature, at a university??? Mr. Cochran, you should request a tuition refund.

  66. Isilzha says

    Update. Seems Ben Cochran faced zero disciplinary actions for his article, just a severe “chewing out”. I’m very disappointed at the University for doing absolutely nothing about any of the students involved.

    Ben Cochran
    good news! i’m merely a “mortal embarrassment to the college of nursing.” for a second there i thought i was going to be kicked out. instead i was just chewed out. i can handle that. i’ve been chewed out before. now that that’s done…on to graduation!!!!!
    Like · Share · October 19 at 6:36pm

Leave a Reply