PZ, as is his wont, has a post up about higher ed jobs and the outsourcing to adjuncts and guest lecturers of work that used to be done by the professoriate. It’s a good problem to highlight, but the article he quotes leaves me cold:
So, the NY Times has a theory which is theirs: Julia Swetnick’s sworn statement is responsible for Kavanaugh’s confirmation. From the article:
The Republican senators got into a lengthy conversation about Mr. Avenatti and how he could not be trusted and concluded that Ms. Swetnick’s claims did not add up. Why would she as a college student repeatedly go to high school parties where young women were gang raped? No one came forward to corroborate the allegation, and news reports surfaced about past lawsuits in which Ms. Swetnick’s truthfulness was questioned.
“This was a turning point,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina. “That allegation was so over the top, it created a moment that was scary, quite frankly. But that moment was quickly replaced by disgust.”
… One Republican congressional official called Mr. Avenatti’s involvement “manna from heaven.” From the other side, a Democratic congressional official called it “massively unhelpful.”
So there you have it: don’t go to the wrong parties, if you’re going to be raped, make sure that you have sympathetic witnesses, and if you hire the wrong lawyer, then when justice doesn’t happen, it’s your fault. Of course, they don’t actually identify even one yes vote by someone who would have voted against Kavanaugh if only Swetnick had shut up like a good girl, much less the two that would have been necessary to change the outcome. But that’s not what’s important. What’s important is don’t speak up, unless you speak up a little bit, politely, about things that are appropriate dinner table conversation. Otherwise when injustice happens, it’s on you. Because goodness knows that if women were just encouraged to shut the fuck up a little bit harder, we wouldn’t have a perjurer and probable sexual assault perp sitting on the Supreme Court of the United States of America.
So if you’re thinking about speaking up about the assault that happened to you, think again: you’re probably just making things worse. Our newspaper of record has said so.
I would think it was bad enough that your own party is defending as appropriate to promote to the Supreme Court someone credibly accused of attempted rape. I can understand an argument that it’s inappropriate to punish someone criminally for their 1982/3 behavior in the year 2018. Those arguments led to our statutes of limitation, and though we can debate whether they’re appropriate in every jurisdiction in every instance, in general they’re a good thing. But the issue is not whether or not Kavanaugh goes to jail. The issue is whether or not we confirm someone credibly accused of getting off scot free with the attempted rape of a 15 year old girl after that person was nominated by someone who made this statement reveling in the fact that rich men get away with the sexual exploitation of teens:
“Before a show, I’ll go backstage and everyone’s getting dressed, and everything else, and you know, no men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it,” he said. “You know, I’m inspecting because I want to make sure that everything is good.”
“You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ‘Is everybody okay?’” he continued. “And you see these incredible looking women, and so, I sort of get away with things like that.”
So I cringe – or worse – hearing various incarnations of the GOP’s assertion that the rules that apply to criminal prosecutions also apply to confirmation hearings. That’s bad, and the GOP has been doing it for a couple weeks now. But Lindsey Graham just wasn’t satisfied that the GOP’s message was bad enough.
From Raw Story:
“All I can say is that we’re 40-something days away from the election and [the Democrats’] goal — not Ms. Ford’s goal — is to delay this past the midterms so they can win the Senate and never allow Trump to fill this seat. I believe that now more than ever.”
“I don’t know who paid for her polygraph, but somebody did,” he continued, raising his finger into the air. “The [Democratic] friends on the other side set it up to be just the way it is.”
“I feel ambushed as the majority!” the senator added.
ZOMG: Lindsey Graham thinks that he is the victim.
It’s also worth noting that this isn’t nearly the only crappy thing Graham has said today. WeHuntedTheMammoth has a roundup of many crappy things being said…about half of which are by Graham. Yeesh.
The evidence is, of course, subtle, but for those with a devil-worshipping, anti-christian, misandric bias, you can probably find reasons to believe there is a bit of sexism in the statements of Jared Hensley, athletic director of Soddy-Daisy High School:
I know, boys, you’re thinking, ‘I don’t understand why, it’s not fair, athletic shorts go past your knees’ … If you really want someone to blame, blame the girls. Because they pretty much ruin everything,” said Hensley. “They ruin the dress code, they ruin … well, ask Adam. Look at Eve. That’s really all you really gotta get to, OK. You can really go back to the beginning of time. So, it’ll be like that the rest of your life. Get used to it, keep your mouth shut, suck it up [and] follow the rule.
The good news, if you can call it that, is that the Guardian also reports that the sexist educator is now on administrative leave. Maybe also, too, we’ll find certain other individuals that have gotten media attention for their sexist, misogynist behaviors will also, too find themselves officially not working sometime soon!
There’s a video of it, in case you want to watch:
Over on Pharyngula, a discussion has been started about the propriety of using “accomplice” as a better word to describe the people that we have sometimes described as “allies” when discussing people that are not targeted by a specific form of oppression but nonetheless choose to work against it.
I started to write a comment over there about why I believe accomplice is appropriate, but it ended up becoming a treatise*1 about a woman named Irene Morgan*2. I decided that the thread shouldn’t be cluttered by a comment quite as long as I was writing, but that Morgan deserved better than cutting that treatise short. So I’ve moved it to Pervert Justice as a post for your reading pleasure.
Since we’re talking about Watson again, I thought I’d recommend a post on BitchMedia about how genius is used as an excuse for sin in the arts (thought the article focuses on film specifically). Despite the seeming differences in the scientific enterprise and the artistic enterprise, the observations in that piece seem quite relevant to how our society treats Michael Shermer, James Watson, and Inder Verma.
Auteur theory, originating in French film criticism, credits the director with being the chief creative force behind a production—that is, the director is the “author.” Given that film, with its expansive casts and crews, is one of the most collaborative art forms ever to have existed, the myth of a singular genius seems exceptionally flawed to begin with. But beyond the history of directors like Terrence Malick, Woody Allen, and many more using their marketable auteur status as a “business model of reflexive adoration,” auteur worship both fosters and excuses a culture of toxic masculinity. The auteur’s time-honored method of “provoking” acting out of women through surprise, fear, and trickery—though male actors have never been immune, either— is inherently abusive. Quentin Tarantino, Lars Von Trier, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and David O. Russell, among others, have been accused of different degrees of this, but the resulting suffering of their muses is imagined by a fawning fanbase as “creative differences,” rather than as misogyny and as uncompromising vision rather than violence.
This couldn’t possibly go badly, could it?
Are there any words at all?
PS. Don’t forget to look at those related link recommendations.
So, Michigan State’s investigation into how in the world could an employee have sexually abused athletes for multiple decades? turned up a not-so-stunning fact. Abuser Larry Nassar’s one-time supervisor and later dean of the university for 15 fucking years, a man named William Strampel, turns out to be a rape-y jerk. Multiple people have come forward to tell their stories of sexual harassment in the workplace, naming Strampel as a perp. Despite how hard these cases are to criminally prosecute, the evidence is, in fact, good enough that a local District Attorney has filed charges. In this case, the charges are for “forcible sexual contact”.
Gee, the man ultimately responsible for the failure to discipline (read: fire and turn over evidence to the cops) an abusive employee and to protect not-yet-adult athletes, the man who ignored (or, I suppose, downplayed to insignificance) clear evidence of sexual abuse … that man is guilty of sexualizing the workplace and probably guilty of criminal sexual conduct?
“Big surprise,” I can hear you thinking. But actually, yes. Yes it is a surprise.
So, Politico has just the story we need in the contemporary USA: a how-to for blaming everything Trump on a woman.
Nearly a year into his presidency, Trump’s behavior—as much as, or more than, any policy he’s advanced—stands as a subject of consternation, fascination and speculation. Psychology experts read and watch the news, and they have the same basic curiosity lots of people have: What makes somebody act the way he acts? None of them has evaluated Trump in an official, clinical capacity—Trump is pretty consistently anti-shrink—but they nonetheless have been assessing from afar, tracking back through his 71 years, searching for explanations for his belligerence and his impulsivity, his bottomless need for applause and his clockwork rage when he doesn’t get it, his failed marriages and his ill-tempered treatment of women who challenge him. And they always end up at the beginning. With his parents. Both of them. Trump might focus on his father, but the experts say the comparative scarcity of his discussion of his mother is itself telling.
Crafty ‘Cubi of Candy Corn! This is going to be terrible, isn’t it?
Oh, yes. Oh yes indeed.
David Futrelle has been listing tweets he finds interesting, amusing or, in a few cases, actually important. I won’t repeat all of them here, but I have posted one or two before, and this one seems particularly relevant for the FtB crowds (can’t find the original tweet, posting the text). It is from author/artist Scott Westerfeld, the creator of a few graphic novels that I’ve not yet read:
Common Excuses for Fascism
Germany: Bread costs wheelbarrows of cash
Japan: Obeying emperor god-king
USA: A feminist critiqued my video game
1:37 PM – Aug 18, 2017
yeah, gonna have to try out some of his novels now.