So now I think my post yesterday on Ron’s apology was too grudging. It read as chilly to me then, but see Stephanie’s post for reasons to think it’s not.
Some specifics on the remarks and the circumstances surrounding them.
- While the remarks don’t contain much in the way of specifics, the apologies there are solid apologies. I’ve heard them referred to as not-pologies. They are not. They apologize for both the behavior and the results of that behavior.
- CFI is holding a branch leaders meeting at the moment. Several people who are there are telling me (in varying degrees of public settings) that discussions there have been intense. They are also confirming that when Lindsay says he’s starting to understand what the letters told him. He is listening again.
- Lindsay has apologized to CFI staff. Official communications from CFI refer to this apology as “heartfelt”, and people at the meeting confirm this. Both in terms of professionalism and in terms of him dealing with people I care about, this is huge to me.
Yes. The hell with being grudging. I apologize for being grudging. I take it back.
You know what would be great for WiS3 (assuming it happens)? Martha Nussbaum and Christina Hoff Sommers doing a dialogue.
Wut? I got the memo via the Baboon/FfTB/Skepchick back channel that nothing less than Ron’s head was sufficient. With all this warm fuzzy appreciation of his apology I’m starting to think we have a leadership problem!
The woman who thinks the sciences do not have a sexism problem? Who coined the terms “equity” and “gender feminism?” Who thinks this of Women’s Studies courses:
If she’s a feminist, so is much of the Slyme Pit.
UnknownEric the Apostate says
Yeah, I’m definitely warming up to his apology as well. I also just like way too many of the people at CFI for me to stay mad at them for too long.
Personally I’m going to stay grudging until I see some more public and organizational response… at this point I’m more concerned about the CFI board than Lindsay himself, who after all is just one person. I won’t fault any of you for accepting this as a good sign to be moving on with, though. I just hope CFI doesn’t let everyone down again.
Neil Rickert says
Yes, I think it was a genuine apology.
Ophelia Benson says
HJ, well that’s the point. She’s the source of most of the talking points of anti-feminists, so she would be the right person to have that discussion of the stuff Ron talked about, and Nussbaum would be the ideal opponent.
I’m staying grudging too. I understand why some might want to let Lindsay off the hook but ignoring the tone of his apology is,at best, expedient. If self-interest (i.e. not burning bridges with CFI) is a good enough reason to ignore the churlishness and adolescent gritted-teeth-ness of the statement when practically anything else on the Interswebz is minutely dissected for tone then it is horribly hypocritical.
While I’m prepared to accept what Stephanie says about what’s gone on behind the scenes, her oh-so-morally-superior remark in the comments about not getting into tone has really set my teeth on edge.
Stephanie Zvan says
elyss, I apologize. It wasn’t meant to be a comment on morality at all. I meant it only as a comment on what I could and couldn’t reasonably figure out from the statement.
Maaayybe. But it still feels like that would be a debate between Rush Limbaugh and John Rawls; why does the former deserve a seat in an academic debate, when they despise and reject academics? Sommers is too much of an ideologue, in my opinion, to be worth putting up on a podium. I’d rather give the time that would have been wasted on a debate to a lecture by someone who’s a fierce proponent of social justice, who has rhetorical skills and an intellect to back that up.
Ophelia Benson says
hj, ah but it’s not an academic debate, it’s a public debate. Remember, that’s what Team Harassment keeps complaining about? “How dare people invite non-academics to these conferences?” Ignoring the fact that the conferences aren’t academic.
And then, Sommers is originally an academic. She moved to AEI, but she started out as a university philosopher.
Bugger, Sommers has a PhD in Philosophy, and was a professor? Yet she can write crap like this?
I think I need to lay down for a bit…
I’m still puzzled, what about the apology indicates he even understands what people were offended by? I get that he’s begrudgingly been dragged into admitting that yes, he did offend people, but I’m missing any conception of why. That on its own doesn’t exactly fill me with hope that there won’t be a repeat down the road.
Gretchen Robinson says
note that Ron L. says “I apologize” not ‘if I offended….’
That to me is a ‘real’ apology. I’m inclined to belive
that he is learning the lessons he most needs to know.”
This is a watershed moment. There was a before and
now we’re in the ‘after’ where we are expecting positive changes.
And there are ‘us’ (feminists and feminist allies) in CFI
who are changing the culture. It’ inevitable, in any case, IMO.
Dave Ricks says
Maybe this thread “Onward” is a good place for me to point out Ron Lindsay’s enthusiastic post after WiS 2012, “We Can’t Stop Now”. I’ll also quote from his remarks about the CFI conference harassment policy:
And he stood on principle to support the policy against people opposing the policy. I give him credit for these things.
Ophelia Benson says
I felt that the apology read by itself as you quoted it, Ophelia, was fairly shitty.
But somehow when I read the whole thing with the preliminary paragraph, it seemed a bit less shitty.
I’m not sure why. I don’t understand what extra context that first paragraph added that flipped it from shitty to almost sincere. But it somehow did seem slightly better when I read it in full. Odd.
But I still think there’s a rabbit away here. It’s good that Ron has apologised for some of the things he did, but CFI still hasn’t made it clear how they stand on the issue. I don’t care how they stand for or against Ron himself – that’s something that can be worked out one way or another over time – I care about the fact that the board seemed to care more about (incompetently) protecting the organisation’s reputation than it did about reassuring women that it was on their side.
I appreciate that people are working on this, but I’m not sure it’s really all that hard to say “super-sorry, we kind of arsed this up and we kind of know why now and we’re trying to learn more”. Isn’t that all anyone really wants to hear from them?
Markita Lynda—threadrupt says
He was sorry he offended people. And then he *apologized* to the CFI board.
Although it’s not “I was wrong”, it’s pretty close to “I was ignorant” and includes “I read some of the letters sent to me”, which are pretty much the crucial points.
I have little to no knowledge of what representation of genders there were among the rescue crews on 9/11, but without even needing to google, I just typed the following address into the browser: http://www.womenatgroundzero.com and came up with:
The Women at Ground Zero Project continues to honor women in the fire, police and emergency medical services who risked — or gave — their lives on 9/11.
No shit. Of course there were women that helped on ground zero despite being devoid of all that “stereotypical masculinity”. It’s like people are being willfully blind to the obvious fact that unless prohibited, women do contribute to literally every sphere of life. It’s like climate change or evolution denialism: “la la la I can’t hear you, all the strong men are doing all the hard work. What about those women? Which women? la la la I can’t see any women.”
Sommers has gone so far off the deep end that her debating Nussbaum, or any other reasonable person, would be like a chimpanzee debating a human. Sommers’ arguments amount to thrown feces.