#4


Now there’s another one.

Now a fourth woman has told BuzzFeed News her experience of sexual harassment from Tyson. In January 2010, she recalled, she joined her then-boyfriend at a holiday party for employees of the American Museum of Natural History. Tyson, its most famous employee, drunkenly approached her, she said, making sexual jokes and propositioning her to join him alone in his office. In a 2014 email shared with BuzzFeed News, she described the incident to her own employer in order to shoot down a proposed collaboration with Tyson.

Uh-oh. And in summary:

All three of these women say that Tyson’s behavior toward them was not simply inappropriate or clumsy; it was harassment. Their stories, they said, which all took place in professional settings, show a clear abuse of power. And his response, they said, ignored the real pain and discomfort that he caused under the guise of playfulness and goodwill.

Comments

  1. Hj Hornbeck says

    This isn’t a surprise, sexual assault/harassment claims tend to come in batches. If NdT does a poor job of respecting one person’s boundaries, he’s probably bad at respecting everyone’s boundaries. No-one wants to deal with the abuse that comes with being the first accuser, but once somebody has taken that punch other victims are less likely to feel the same heat, and their story will reinforce every other victim’s.

    “I saw that [first accuser’s] credibility was being questioned in a way that honestly had a lot of racist and sexist and anti-religious undertones,” [another accuser] said. “I kinda figured if I had any credibility to lend to that so that she’s taken more seriously, I should do that.”

    It’s about as predictable as gravity.

  2. bobphillips says

    Disappointed, but not surprised. If laws were not broken, I do not think he should just go away in shame or just apologize and go on to another job (and, if laws were broken, then there need to be legal consequences). I was disappointed when Al Franken quit the Senate–I thought he should stay in the public eye, give all of his salary to approriate women’s organizations, talk about how he, and other men, need to own the problems of sexism, mysogyny, and the rape culture in our society, and how men need to work to solve THEIR/OUR problem. It is too easy for a man accused of sexual harassment to just be fired or quit his job and “go away”, and this does little to solve the problem. This is something men need to openly work on, and they/we need to do this until either the problem is solved or until the victims are satified. And, they/we need to do it publicly.

  3. angela78 says

    @3 gijoel

    God damn it, why can’t some people (men) keep their gonads to themselves.

    Trust me, it’s not only men. Women also do it -at least with other women, but also with men. There is a difference, though: in general, women use power to get sex, while men use sex to show power.

    In all this story I’ll be worried when I’ll see proof at least one of these:
    1) Tyson raped the woman accusing him
    2) He made sexual approaches and used his role and work relationship to get consent
    3) after refusal he made other attempts
    4) after refusal he willingly damaged the professional life of the woman (revenge)

  4. methuseus says

    If these women don’t accept his apologies, then I really can’t, either. I was thinking his apologies sounded good, but then I’ve never been a woman on the receiving end of any of this. The rape allegation, at this point, should be at least tentatively believed. Again, they need to conduct the investigation, but I don’t know that they’ll find anything that isn’t already in this article you linked. Something still sounds odd about the two sides of the rape story, but I don’t know what it is, since it’s just a feeling. I don’t know which way to lean or what to believe.

    I don’t think we should have a great educator out there who assaults women. The cause of science education is not great enough to throw anyone, especially a whole gender, under the bus for it. That’s a step backwards. We need to get a woman to take his place, even if he’s not guilty of the rape, because, really, if you want to encourage girls to enjoy science, shouldn’t there be a role model there for them? Bill Nye Saves the World had Karlie Kloss, Joanna Hausmann, Emily Calandrelli, and Cara Santa Maria as regular contributors, as well as some good panelists. They also had Derek Muller who creates the Veritasium YouTube channel, and he collaborates with others like Physics Girl Dianna Cowern. Physics Girl is, of course, part of the PBS group of YouTube channels, which includes Eons and many others with very engaging men and women across lots of channels.

    Maybe the key is to just boost the signal of those types of YouTube channels. We don’t necessarily need “superstars” like Tyson. I like him, but he’s never been a focus of my interest. Jack Horkheimer (?) and Bill Nye and the Star Talk guy on PBS in the 80’s and 90’s are the main ones who had a lasting impact on me enough to remember them. There’s the guy, James C. Albury, currently from PBS’s Star Gazers who also helps use his notoriety to spread the word about sexual abuse, bullying, and drug use with his wife. He’s a nice guy who I met before I knew he was on PBS. The Kika Silva Pla planetarium he works at (named for a woman who fought for women’s rights in Colombia, then donated generously to Santa Fe College) is a nice, small planetarium that is very friendly for adults and kids alike.

  5. methuseus says

    Ok I messed that up, the star show on PBS was and still is Star Gazers, hosted by Jack Horkheimer. StarTalk is purely new stuff by NdGT. I was thinking of the paleontologist Jack Horner who is another problematic figure, IIRC.

  6. says

    @angela78:

    In all this story I’ll be worried when I’ll see proof at least one of these:
    1) Tyson raped the woman accusing him
    2) He made sexual approaches and used his role and work relationship to get consent
    3) after refusal he made other attempts
    4) after refusal he willingly damaged the professional life of the woman (revenge)

    [emphasis on the word proof is mine]

    What? No. I was worried when I saw the initial rape allegation. I was worried when two more women came forward with stories of Tyson’s boundary-crossing. The only reason I was temporarily “satisfied” with his apology was because it came out at the same time as an announcement of an investigation and he said he’d cooperate with the investigation. At that point it didn’t seem that there was anything for me to do in the immediate future. You don’t fire someone the moment any person accuses that person of bad behavior. I don’t have hiring/firing power over Tyson anyway. I wasn’t buying any of his books (I’m too voracious a reader not to depend on the library) or paying to see him lecture. So, with an investigation underway there was little for me to do.

    But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t concerned about the reported behavior, and waiting til something is proven to become “worried” is a terrible approach. Worry when there’s uncertainty. But when one of the above is proven – to whatever is the appropriate standard of certainty – you don’t worry: you act.

    If I were Tyson’s direct supervisor with power to hire and/or fire him, I’d fire him without a 2nd thought for any of those that happened during Tyson’s period of employment, whether or not they happened on work time. In that hypothetical, I’m responsible for the safety and the productive working environment of my employees. Doing less than firing someone in that situation would require pretty exceptional circumstances.

    On the other hand, if the behavior was completed before Tyson’s period of employment with me began, I’d have a different set of choices but still the same set of priorities: maintaining the safety and the productive working environment of my employees. If Tyson was a relatively recent hire, I’d also assume that most behavior up to, say, 5 years ago was relevant to assessing the risks to my employees today. Some behavior with terrible consequences that one would expect to be less frequent – in this case, let’s specify the example as rape – I would consider relevant even if it occurred much longer ago than 5 years. Things get fuzzier there, and I would have to consider any potential change in that person over the time since the time of the behavior in the last well-founded accusation of rape. Unfortunately for those who have sexually assaulted others, the victim-blaming, well-poisoning, and recidivism that coincides with seemingly-sincere contrition makes it less likely that I could be convinced to keep on an employee who committed an assault years before employment, and even less likely still if they had not been arrested and convicted, since those who get away with their assaults seem to me to be much more likely to be emboldened than to be “scared straight”.

    Finally, I’d have to employ another level of analysis still if the behavior – unlike in Tyson’s case – occurred in childhood.

    But in no circumstance would proof of one of those 4 things be the moment I would start to worry. Proof of one of those 4 things would be when I begin to expedite decisions on consequences. While we all have our own unique reactions to allegations like this and there’s room for considerable idiosyncratic variation, to suggest that we shouldn’t be worried until proof of one of those 4 things comes in seems to me to dangerously undersell the seriousness of what’s happening here.

  7. AnotherDayLost says

    Someone with whom Tyson has no professional relationship says that he once drunkenly hit on her at a party. We are to take this as evidence that he is a sexual predator?

  8. says

    I’d have to agree with AnotherDayLost. Being drunk and crude (and unlucky) at a party without trying to force someone into something, or without apparently touching them is now evidence of being a sexual predator? Interesting world.

  9. Doc Bill says

    I watched an episode of Star Talk with Tyson, Cara Santa Maria and some other folks. At one point Tyson comments about a new tattoo that Cara got and said, “Let’s see it,” reached over and lifted the side of her shirt. She was obviously shocked and taken aback, quickly pulled her shirt down and then everybody laughed it off. I couldn’t believe what I just saw. Clearly Tyson felt he had some power, authority or invincibility to pull a stunt like that in public and on video. That it was laughed off was also disturbing.

    So, am I surprised by other reports about his behavior? Nope.

  10. mikehuben says

    Crip Dyke @9:
    Angela78’s list of four things is notable not because proof is required, but because there have not even been any ALLEGATIONS of them. The allegations against Tyson stop short of any of them, let alone any crimes.

    “If I were Tyson’s direct supervisor with power to hire and/or fire him, I’d fire him without a 2nd thought for any of those that happened during Tyson’s period of employment, whether or not they happened on work time.”

    That’s an example of what’s called Private Government. Arbitrary and dictatorial power wielded by employers. We value protections against dictatorial power by our usual governments, but why shouldn’t we value protections against employers as well? One of the major goals of feminism has long been protection from private employers discriminating on the basis of sex and sexual preferences; why shouldn’t we oppose arbitrary and dictatorial lack of process? The same lack of process that could easily result in you being fired simply for your political beliefs outside of work, such as feminism.

    Yes, you have admirable goals of protecting others. But should that entitle you as an employer to walk all over the process rights of others?

    You also seem to leap immediately to the most draconian solution available, firing. Wouldn’t you consider negotiating clear boundaries? Warnings?

  11. Saad says

    AnotherDayLost & Ronald Couch,

    Hmm, I don’t see too many people insisting he be labeled a sexual predator. Not sure why you two are focusing on that. Nobody in this thread has even used the term so far except you two.

    But what you can do is look at the multiple accusations and at the minimum conclude that he has a history of inappropriate behavior and sexual misconduct towards women.

  12. says

    @Angela78
    I noticed that you care about proof and not evidence. Were you imprecise or are you literally implying that evidence of bad behavior does not concern you?

    @mikehuben
    I see no evidence that CripDyke was arbitrary or dictatorial. Private employers have the right to determine what sort of people they employ and excluding people who break personal boundaries seems sensible. I see no connection to feminism here either despite the way you connected it in your text. Quite the contrary, strong stands against such boundary violations by employers as pressure on social standards is more consistent with feminist goals.

    Firing for beliefs and firing for actions are not the same. Even then I would want to be able to fire a white supremacist or someone politically misogynistic so that isn’t as clear as you want it to be. Buisnesses have always been a part of our social conflicts and efforts to enact social change and despite the existence of abuses employers do have rights (as well as fellow employees that would have to deal with political racists and misogynists).

  13. waydude says

    @Doc Bill
    Wow, i just watched that. That is a bit much, moving someones arm over their head like that and pulling their shirt up, you would have to know someone really well to do that, imo in a intimate sense. I don’t even try to pull hairs off women I work with even when my OCD is screaming at me “THERE”S A ROGUE HAIR ON YOUR SHOULDER!”. I could attribute that to being completely unaware of how other people feel especially in a public and on stage setting, like, you’d never see Colbert do that to a guest, he’d ask if we could see it, but then that would make him a kind of sociopath.
    That’s the kind of sexism that drives me nuts. People laugh it off and go along because they don’t want to make a scene, and how bad was it reaaaaaaalllllly???? but that shit is wrong, it’s rude, it’s insensitive, it violates personal autonomy. You don’t do that to people unless you have established boundaries already.
    I interviewed CSM fro my podcast once, and listening to her you can tell she is a strong person, you will not get away with shit with her, so although to me this looks completely inappropriate and harassing, she has talked about what good friends they are. So, I don’t know. I don’t even shake hands with people I don’t know because I don’t like to be touched by strangers, and I don’t care if it’s rude I just look at their hand and tell them I don’t shake hands, but once I know you and we are friends and have established boundaries, I’m a hugger.

  14. waydude says

    EDIT: When I said Sociopath I meant NDT not Colbert, I see my wording leads that way. Although he could be one too, I just don’t know anyone anymore. Fuck.

  15. mikehuben says

    Brony @15 writes:

    I see no evidence that CripDyke was arbitrary or dictatorial.

    Wow, are you oblivious. Arbitrary because it would be her personal decision, when another person could have made the completely reverse decision with the same personal authority. Dictatorial because there is no check or balance: simply her command.

    strong stands against such boundary violations by employers as pressure on social standards is more consistent with feminist goals.

    Then why not even stronger stands? Why not ask for castration or death on a first offense? As the War On Some Drugs has shown, harsh penalties can hurt society more than the crimes themselves. It seems obvious to me that if you are going to have penalties, they should be related to how far (and how clearly) the “boundary” is crossed. If the “boundary” (as identified by society, not your personal arbitrary opinion) unclear, in flux, disputed by many, then it might be appropriate for penalties to be light. I don’t see you or CripDyke recognizing this here.

  16. consciousness razor says

    mikehuben, #13:

    “If I were Tyson’s direct supervisor with power to hire and/or fire him, I’d fire him without a 2nd thought for any of those that happened during Tyson’s period of employment, whether or not they happened on work time.”

    That’s an example of what’s called Private Government. Arbitrary and dictatorial power wielded by employers.

    I think you might be assuming too much. It’s not clear to me what CD has in mind, regarding the sort of formal process which ought to be in place in situations like this.

    If CD is saying that, as the employer, they should be a (possibly benevolent) dictator, who is able to wield authority arbitrarily, while employees have no such power or without a say in such decisions, then your criticism would be on target. The governing would then be a matter CD’s private decision-making, with no genuine accountability to the public. (It could be about protecting their subjects, but it could just as well be about any arbitrary thing whatsoever, including things that aren’t so benevolent. The issue is that it’s still a variety of dictatorship, even if the monarch occasionally happens to be nice.)
    An important question, somewhere off to the side, is “what’s arbitrary and what’s not?” If it’s a relatively minor example of misconduct, taking place years earlier, etc. (assuming the employer’s understanding of the event is even accurate), then of course what people do, how they react, shouldn’t be out of proportion to that.

    I will agree with you about a couple of things. You could take some other action besides firing them, obviously. You might not do anything, for instance. Your little workplace democracy could decide, collectively and using whatever processes you all deem fit, that this particular case doesn’t constitute a threat to safety, productivity, or whatever else matters to you (all of you, not just Big Boss). Or you (all) might decide that it does, in which I think you (mike) have no complaint, right? People can and should be fired for things like harassment or misconduct, and the issue you’re raising is how that can be done using a legitimate process that treats people fairly, equally, and so forth. Yes?

  17. consciousness razor says

    corrections:

    The governing would then be a matter [of] CD’s private decision-making

    and

    in which [case] I think you (mike) have no complaint

  18. ardipithecus says

    Tyson is a public persona for science education. That makes his behaviour, even when ‘off duty’ much more significant than if he were not in the public eye. His employment suitability must be assessed by a higher standard.

  19. says

    @mikehuben 18
    Arbitrary because it would be her personal decision, when another person could have made the completely reverse decision with the same personal authority.

    The fact that someone makes a personal decision where someone else could make another isn’t consistent with the definition of arbitrary. To be arbitrary has to do with randomness and whim.

    You’ve done nothing but accuse them of being arbitrary. It’s reasonable for me to expect some basic competence from you when it comes to using words.

    As for dictatorial it’s on you to show a need for a check or balance. While there are places where society is reasonably talking about employers having power limited, it’s on you to justify the existence of this one instead of metaphorically comparing CripDyke’s decision making to a firm of government.

    Get more literal.

  20. mikehuben says

    consciousness razor @19 wrote:

    I think you might be assuming too much. It’s not clear to me what CD has in mind, regarding the sort of formal process which ought to be in place in situations like this.

    It seems pretty clear to me. She wrote: “If I were Tyson’s direct supervisor with power to hire and/or fire him, I’d fire him without a 2nd thought…” No process, simply autocratic decision.

    what’s arbitrary and what’s not?
    Here’s a suitable dictionary definition: “subject to individual will or judgment without restriction; contingent solely upon one’s discretion”. As I pointed out before, because somebody in that position could decide either way, it is arbitrary.

    I strongly recommend the book “Private Government” that I referenced before.

    From Bob Black, “The Libertarian As ConservativeThe Libertarian As Conservative”:

    … the place where [adults] pass the most time and submit to the closest control is at work. Thus, without even entering into the question of the world economy’s ultimate dictation within narrow limits of everybody’s productive activity, it’s apparent that the source of the greatest direct duress experienced by the ordinary adult is not the state but rather the business that employs him. Your foreman or supervisor gives you more or-else orders in a week than the police do in a decade.

  21. says

    In my comment at 22 this should have been formatted as being from mikehuben.

    The fact that someone makes a personal decision where someone else could make another isn’t consistent with the definition of arbitrary. To be arbitrary has to do with randomness and whim.

  22. says

    And of course I copy and pasted the wrong paragraph. This was mikehuben in my 22

    “Arbitrary because it would be her personal decision, when another person could have made the completely reverse decision with the same personal authority.”

  23. angela78 says

    @15 Brony

    I noticed that you care about proof and not evidence. Were you imprecise or are you literally implying that evidence of bad behavior does not concern you?

    I’ll just give you this piece of information: “I’m not a native English speaker”, and let you guess which of the two options is the correct one.

  24. says

    @mikehuben:

    strong stands against such boundary violations by employers as pressure on social standards is more consistent with feminist goals.

    Then why not even stronger stands? Why not ask for castration or death on a first offense?

    Are you fucking joking? What the fuck is wrong with you? As a decision maker for a corporation, I would have discretion over the relationship of the corporation to people and to other corporations. Whether CDCorp pays you money for working for the company is very much a decision about what CDCorp does with its resources – spending them, withholding them, these are legitimate areas of discretion for a corporation. Castration, FGM and murder have nothing to do with the spending or withholding of CDCorp resources.

    This is bad faith bullshit of the worst kind. Fuck off. I am clearly and have for decades been among the most radically non-violent people you could meet. Ascribing to me the position of apologist for corporate-controlled violence is off-the-charts wrong.

    ============
    For people who aren’t arguing entirely in bad faith, I will admit to a careless mistake. I said that I would fire someone without a 2nd thought upon proof of any of the 4 things in angela78’s comment. I actually take that back, or highly qualify it, depending on your point of view.

    Much closer to my actual meaning is that any of those 4 includes behavior for which I would have no qualms about firing a person. That doesn’t mean I would always fire them. That should have been obvious to anyone reading my earlier comment, when I said that

    Proof of one of those 4 things would be when I begin to expedite decisions on consequences

    Note that if I always considered these firing offenses, I wouldn’t have any decisions to make about consequences: upon proof, I’d simply and automatically end the person’s employment. To any reasonable reader, that’s obviously not what I was saying, though I admit I could have been more explicit.

    If you’re interested in more nuance about when I would and wouldn’t fire someone, well the most obviously nebulous case is #3. #3 is very vague and could include such benign things as asking someone out and then two years later asking them out one more time. No, that’s not anywhere near a firing offense.

    But the first two in the list are rapes and the last one violates principles of safety and trust necessary to any cooperative endeavor. The last one also has some vagueness to it. In particular, I guess I was assuming that the vengeful actions relied on something connected to the job held by the person seeking revenge (even if it’s something as nebulous as “fame” that might come with certain jobs). If the person’s actions roped CDCorp in as an unwitting accomplice to the revenge, it would make me much more likely to fire someone. If the “revenge” is something that had little to no lasting effect (e.g. “And then, when I gathered up my stuff, I took ALL of the gourmet coffee we bought together instead of leaving half!”) that would make me less likely to fire someone. So #4 is somewhat more context dependent and #3 vastly more context dependent than I originally made clear.

    That said, all y’all are ignoring the fact that this is a hypothetical, yo? I’m not proposing dictatorships, but whether you frame my hypothetical actions as making a personal choice to fire as the final arbiter or whether you frame my hypothetical as making a personal choice to vote for firing as part of a committee from which there exist further opportunities of appeal, the point is the personal decision. Ethics isn’t something that applies to processes. Earthquakes aren’t ethical or unethical. Processes that result from human systems are more complicated: we certainly speak of them as ethical and unethical, but that comes down to the human decisions involved in creating, supporting, or operating on behalf of those systems. However, if there’s no decision a human can make to make a system more or less ethical, there is no ethics issue involved.

    Ethics analyzes the choices of moral agents. I wasn’t supporting dictatorship, I was examining the choices of a hypothetical moral agent. If I’d said “a committee should fire person X” then I would necessarily saying that the people who are members of such a committee should vote to fire person X. The corporate structure is irrelevant to whether or not its appropriate to fire rapists to protect the safety and productivity of your other employees. What the fuck is so hard about that?

    And since it got lost in what followed, the most important point is that you don’t get worried AFTER something has been proven. You worry when something is uncertain. You ACT after something has been proven, fFs.

  25. consciousness razor says

    It seems pretty clear to me. She wrote: “If I were Tyson’s direct supervisor with power to hire and/or fire him, I’d fire him without a 2nd thought…” No process, simply autocratic decision.

    But that’s a conditional statement. If I had the power somehow to obtain world peace, then that would be one of my decisions as benevolent dictator of the world. I think it would be a good way to exercise that power, even though also I don’t think I should have that kind of power.

    Is it a similar kind of thing with CD? I’m not sure. There was little in their comment which suggested an egalitarian/democratic concept of how workplaces should be, but I doubt CD would reject most or all of what you’re suggesting. If you’re not having a discussion with a comment but with a commenter, then you want to address what you take to be the latter’s actual views, even if those aren’t very explicitly formulated or fully worked out. I’d just want to hear what CD has to say about it first, now that it’s been raised; then I’ll know what to make of your criticisms.

    Here’s a suitable dictionary definition: “subject to individual will or judgment without restriction; contingent solely upon one’s discretion”. As I pointed out before, because somebody in that position could decide either way, it is arbitrary.

    I’m not very satisfied with that. I think it matters whether it’s justifiable, stands up to scrutiny, or is accountable in some sense to reality. I don’t think it matters whether there can merely be a hypothetical person who chooses differently. I mean, somebody could decide the Earth is flat, but that doesn’t make the decision to follow the evidence (that it’s not flat) an arbitrary one. So, it’s not entirely wrong, but there’s something missing when you put it that way.

    I strongly recommend the book “Private Government” that I referenced before.

    I haven’t read Anderson’s book, but she was on a podcast about a month ago (actually 3 parts, on Partially Examined Life). Good stuff. I think we’re on pretty much the same page, as far as that goes.
    I don’t know if she goes into any detail in the book about how harassment complaints ought to be handled, for example…. But obviously, employers shouldn’t be able to abuse their power, although US laws often give them plenty of ways to do just that, because the prevailing assumption is that they should be able to rule capriciously over their own little fiefdoms. They’re rich and powerful, so they use their riches and power, pretty much however they want. (And we’re supposed to call it “the free market” and pretend like that’s meaningful.)

  26. consciousness razor says

    That said, all y’all are ignoring the fact that this is a hypothetical, yo?

    Um, yeah, so … in case it’s not obvious, my #29 was cross-posted with yours.

  27. says

    Then why not even stronger stands? Why not ask for castration or death on a first offense?

    Because an employer doesn’t have authority over the lives of his employees. He does however have authority over their employment.

    If that distinction is too complicated for you, maybe you should just sit and listen for a while.

  28. says

    separately:

    @angela78:

    I’ll just give you this piece of information: “I’m not a native English speaker”

    While my concern that the language you used undersells the seriousness of certain things was, in context, justified, I’ve got no concerns that you, personally, are treating the topic too trivially given your clarification here. Frankly, I’m impressed with the bravery of anyone willing to comment on difficult subjects in languages other than one’s first.

  29. kesara says

    @3

    God damn it, why can’t some people (men) keep their gonads to themselves.

    Well, actually, he did keep his gonads to himself for #2, 3 and 4. For #2, he didn’t even try to not keep his gonads to himself. And for #3 and 4, he didn’t try very hard at all. It’s actually suspicious how easy it was to make him quit trying, if he’s indeed the kind of guy that drugs and rapes women.

    But it’s very understandable that you think there are now 4 women that accuse Tyson of rape or attempted rape, that’s the only reasonable way to parse the headlines, and the majority of people stop reading after that.

  30. says

    @ angela78 27
    Understandable. Native speakers make this mistake on a regular basis too.

    These conversations can’t reasonably continue without communicating in terms of collections of evidence that constitute proof. Accusations are an example of evidence. Sets of similar accusations are evidence that become stronger by their similarly. “Proof” implies a piece of evidence or a collection of evidence that is considered sufficient to draw a conclusion by an individually or collectively agreed upon standard.

  31. says

    @kesara:

    It’s actually suspicious how easy it was to make him quit trying, if he’s indeed the kind of guy that drugs and rapes women.

    Oh, please. This is ridiculous. You’re operating under the “rapists are monsters” theory, where if someone is accused of being “the kind of guy that drugs and rapes women” then it undercuts the accusation if he ever meets a woman that he doesn’t drug or rape.

    No. A thousand times no. The most common rapes are those that happen at home, committed by a parent, step-parent, spouse, or partner. The majority of those rapists don’t suddenly rape every person nearby once they’ve crossed that line once at home. In fact NONE of those rapists do that. ALL rapists pick targets. Encounters with one person or even a thousand persons that don’t end in rape are no proof that someone hasn’t raped the thousand-and-first person.

  32. angela78 says

    @33 Crip Dyke

    Frankly, I’m impressed with the bravery of anyone willing to comment on difficult subjects in languages other than one’s first.

    You’re free to ignore my comments if you feel they’re come from an unqualified source. However I disagree: I may express myself with not perfect accuracy, but for sure I understand enough to have an opinion on what I read.
    Also, being native English does not imply being able to express ideas more correct than those of a non-native.
    Example of this in @28:

    But the first two in the list are rapes

    No: only rape is rape. The second one is rape in some situations (although in a good percentage of them) but not in others. The world is not binary, even if it’d be easier that way.

  33. kesara says

    @36

    This is ridiculous. You’re operating under the “rapists are monsters” theory, where if someone is accused of being “the kind of guy that drugs and rapes women” then it undercuts the accusation if he ever meets a woman that he doesn’t drug or rape.

    I know, and it doesn’t just not undercut the accusation, it strengthens it even, apparently.

    ALL rapists pick targets.

    Yes, and the women who quite obviously were not picked as a target, somehow still count as evidence that the guy in question indeed is a rapist, because that’s the way logic works nowadays.

  34. mikehuben says

    Crip Dyke @28 indulges in a bunch of handwaving, outrage, and partial retraction (or explanation.) But she blunders in some interesting ways.

    “As a decision maker for a corporation, I would have discretion over the relationship of the corporation to people and to other corporations. Whether CDCorp pays you money for working for the company is very much a decision about what CDCorp does with its resources – spending them, withholding them, these are legitimate areas of discretion for a corporation.”

    And thus she defends ANY sort of discrimination, in defiance of current law. The question of importance is WHAT discretion government, companies or citizens should have, and what processes should be employed to prevent obvious moral hazards. If feminists had accepted this cowering under the skirts of corporations, women would never have made progress.

    And what process does she suggest? She still suggests her own, personal, arbitrary decision making within a corporation.

    “The corporate structure is irrelevant to whether or not its appropriate to fire rapists to protect the safety and productivity of your other employees.”

    Just as you might want to fire women who dress too sexy because it might affect the productivity of your other employees? Or because they need extra time off for child raising issues? Safety and productivity should not be an excuse for abuse of rights to just process. Much of the time they are just cover your ass excuses for arbitrary decisions.

    And of course, corporate authoritarian hierarchy is not the only way a business could be run. Workers could have their own representation in such issues, such as votes of no confidence for coworkers.

    “I am clearly and have for decades been among the most radically non-violent people you could meet. Ascribing to me the position of apologist for corporate-controlled violence is off-the-charts wrong.”

    And how does your non-violence extend to the arrest and punishment of offenders, considering that arrest and punishment are violent acts? The only reason offenders submit is because of the intrinsic threat of violence. How do you wash your hands of that?

    LykeX @32 wrote:
    “Because an employer doesn’t have authority over the lives of his employees. He does however have authority over their employment.”

    That hasn’t always been so, and indeed still isn’t so in the case of things like seaman’s articles, in hazardous conditions where “accidents” can happen, and in cases of illegal private enforcement. Not to mention influence beyond current employment such as blacklists. That employers do not openly have this power at the moment (they did clearly during slavery) is irrelevant to my hypothetical. I view Crip Dyke’s outrage as an evasion.

  35. says

    Current law allows employers (in most states in the US) to fire people for most any reason unless it can be clearly proven to be due to specific protected classes.

    There’s a common problem where people who complain about harassment can be more likely to be fired than harassers.

    So while it would be nice to have more employee protections, people accused of harassment is a weird place to start.

  36. says

    Also there’s no reference to current law in mikehuben’s whine when they reference current law. This is unacceptable because:
    1) current law fails victims of sexual harassment and abuse. I certainly don’t give a fuck about parts of the legal system that don’t work.
    2) basic putting up or shutting up about references to the law in general. I’m just not taking mikehuben at their word when they can’t even use “arbitrary” right.

  37. AnotherDayLost says

    I believe he is using arbitrary as defined: “subject to individual will or judgment without restriction; contingent solely upon one’s discretion: an arbitrary decision.”

  38. mikehuben says

    Brony @41 nd 42:
    If I may cite angela78, “Fuck the people who can only complain about “The System”, proposing solutions that in the end sum up to “me I know what is Right!”.” She’s got you pegged.

    I provided a dictionary definition of arbitrary that was what I meant by it. Your “random or at a whim” idea is not from a dictionary; it is your own invention, random or at a whim. Maybe you want the Humpty Dumpty “words mean what I pay them to” definition? I suggest you learn that your imaginary definitions won’t win you any arguments.

  39. says

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/arbitrary
    “Based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.”
    @AnotherDayLost
    Even if that’s the case they fail to show where CripDike is operating without restriction, which is synonymous with random choice or personal whim. By all appearance they are assuming it.

    @mikehuben 44
    Cite your legal reference coward.

    My disparaging of the legal system is in response to you:
    1) claiming it as an authority in a non-profit specific manner.
    2) doing so in the face of it’s failure in dealing with sexual harassment and abuse.

    How one feels about people who only point out problems with the legal system do not magically make those problems disappear. When those problems are relevant to the legal system as an authority I can only smile at your obvious rationalization for refusing to cite the parts of the legal system you reference.

    Coward.

  40. screechymonkey says

    I wanted to get back to the question of why this allegation matters. It’s true that in general, a single sloppy drunken proposition is not a crime. I wouldn’t even call it harassment in the colloquial sense, let alone a legal one. It’s a little rude, no doubt tiresome to the recipient, and the kind of thing one should try to avoid doing. But the context makes this a little more than just an isolated “drunk guy makes a clumsy unsuccessful pass at a party.”

    First, for Tyson, this was a work event. He is the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Natural History Museum, and this was at their holiday party. Even before #metoo, it was well known that getting drunk and lecherous at a work holiday party was, shall we say, frowned upon, and professionally risky.* Now, that might be a matter between Tyson and his employer, but it does show that Tyson has displayed bad judgment when it comes to when and where he chooses to make sexual propositions.

    Second, since Tyson has apparently been married since 1988, he was a married man at the time of this incident as well as the 2018 incident with the production assistant. Again, you can say that is a matter between Tyson and his wife (they may, for all we know, have an open relationship), but it casts doubt on any defense that as a married man, he would never have propositioned that production assistant, so she must have misunderstood, etc. And Tyson’s Facebook apology does hint in that direction with his statements like “[a]ccusations can damage a reputation and a marriage. Sometimes irreversibly. I see myself as loving husband and as a public servant….”

    More concisely: this allegation isn’t damning in itself, but it is corroboration that Tyson is willing to sexually proposition women in work-related situations, which casts some doubt on his denial of at least one of the prior allegations.

    *By 2010, we were decades into the grumbling about how “you can’t have any fun at company parties any more.”

  41. kesara says

    @47

    I wanted to get back to the question of why this allegation matters.

    More concisely: this allegation isn’t damning in itself, but it is corroboration that Tyson is willing to sexually proposition women in work-related situations, which casts some doubt on his denial of at least one of the prior allegations.

    Fair enough. And indeed, allegation #4 makes it even less likely that Tyson didn’t try to seduce the production assistant (not that it was in any way believable that Tyson didn’t try to do that before allegation #4 came to be known).
    It doesn’t corroborate allegation #1 though, just like allegation #2 and 3 don’t – and allegation #1 is kind of the elephant in the room here, it really isn’t just a teeny-tiny bit more serious, it is in an entirely different league. And this makes it somewhat weird to take the woman that was allegedly drugged and raped, and the woman whose arm was touched without asking for her enthusiastic consent first, and lump them together under the label “the accusers”.

  42. screechymonkey says

    kesara,

    I agree that #4 is mostly relevant to the P.A. incident. I think you can make an argument that it sheds some light on the “Pluto tattoo” incident in that it shows poor judgment and a willingness to engage in sexual behavior in an inappropriate setting, though my inclination is to chalk up that incident to him being oblivious to the possible implications of his comment rather than a deliberate sexual overture. As to the rape allegation, I agree that any connection is remote at best — basically, the argument would be “he was sexually aggressive in 2010, so it’s more likely that he was sexually aggressive in the 1980s…” but that’s letting “sexually aggressive” cover a lot of diverse ground.

  43. angela78 says

    @45 Brony

    My disparaging of the legal system is in response to you:
    1) claiming it as an authority in a non-profit specific manner.
    2) doing so in the face of it’s failure in dealing with sexual harassment and abuse.

    First, you must define “legal system”. You know, there is a thing called “separation of powers”.
    Then you must define “failure in dealing with sexual harassment and abuse”.
    And last, tou must describe an alternative way to deal with sexual harassment that
    1) modifies the “legal system” (as defined above) in a non-destructive way for the society
    2) improves in a relevant way the success rate in “dealing with sexual harassers”, while at the same time guaranteeing that no innocent get condemned in the process. This is vital: the principle “better many criminals free than one innocent in jail” is a pillar of democratic systems.

    After you’ve done that, your position can be something more than populistic propaganda.

  44. kesara says

    @screechymonkey,

    I think the tattoo incident shouldn’t be classified as “sexual behaviour” because, frankly, which behaviour that involves a human being touching another human being in any way whatsoever could then not be called “sexual behaviour”?
    I’d say it shouldn’t even be mentioned at all in the given context because it totally trivializes allegation #1 (and it even trivializes allegation #4, to be honest) – it’s fair enough to ask for an apology if the woman thought that to be inappropriate, but it simply doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as a rape accusation.

    And re sexually aggressive, yeah, for allegation #4, that might indeed be so – from the article we can’t really glean if he took no for an answer or kept pestering her with drunken propositions. It sure as hell would have been completely inappropriate behaviour either way, but, as you say, the connection to allegation #1 is remote, at best.

  45. angela78 says

    @52

    In all human endeavors there’s a chance of error or corruption

    Ok, then first explain how do you suggest to deal with sexual harassment, considering that your solution -by your own definition- will be prone to errors and corruption.

    Then we’ll talk about democracy.

  46. angela78 says

    @52
    Uh sorry, you’re not the guy suggesting an utopistic yet unspecified alternative to democracy.
    You’re the one who made the utterly racist comment about foreigners not having the wits to discuss topics in English. It’s the classical stereotype: strangers are “stupid” because they cannot perfectly speak your language.

  47. says

    @angela78:

    I don’t know what the fuck you’re on about. If you think a comment of mine was racist, then quote the relevant passage and, if it’s not obvious, explain how the quote contains racism.

    As for comment #52, you’re the one who asked for a guarantee that no one could ever possibly be imprisoned erroneously or unjustly. Are you suggesting that we thus should have no criminal justice system? What human systems exist that you can guarantee are free of error and injustice? Any of them? Any at all?

    Seriously, your response is bizarre.

  48. methuseus says

    It appears that angela78 took offense at this comment from Crip Dyke:

    Frankly, I’m impressed with the bravery of anyone willing to comment on difficult subjects in languages other than one’s first.

    What, I think, CD was saying, is that it takes some courage to comment on a topic in English when your first language is something else, i.e. German, French, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Swahili, etc. ad infinitum. I can agree with that sentiment. I took German classes, and think I can understand German decently in print, yet I have not started posting on Internet forums in German because I do not feel confident in my ability.
    I can see how angela78 could find this patronizing, especially as a non-native English speaker, but I would be extremely surprised if CD meant it in that way at all. Especially when CD never mentioned a specific language that is connected with a “race” such as Spanish, or Arabic, or anything like that. The language angela78 learned while growing up could be Dutch, Russian, German, Italian, or many other languages that would not be considered racist.

  49. angela78 says

    Yes, the sentence I didn’t like at all was the one methuseus quoted. Since you cannot realistically think that one needs to be actually “brave” to comment on something in a forum, that phrase can be interpreted as sarcarsm. And I wanted to point out that one very common misconception is that if a person is not 100% proficient in your language than she must be less intelligent. This is widely used by racist to depict immigrants as low-ranking humans. That’s all.

  50. says

    I knew it would be that sentence, in which I somehow still fail to see racism. Seemed downright friendly to me, especially after some of angela78’s sallies. I, for one, am not brave enough to comment on tricky subjects in languages that aren’t my first.

  51. says

    That was meant as downright friendly, and there was no sarcasm in it at all. I said that as someone who is conversational in French but would be terrified of getting things wrong if I tried to weigh in on an important topic in that language. I have a smattering of Spanish & Hebrew & ASL and wouldn’t even try in those languages.

    If your only evidence of racism is that you assume that something that isn’t racist at all on the surface just must be sarcastic, and thus mean the opposite, and thus must be proof of racism, then you’re plainly not appreciating the precarious position you’re taking.

    You’re the one who made the utterly racist comment about foreigners not having the wits to discuss topics in English.

    That’s not a conditional statement. That’s not, “If you were sarcastic…”. That’s a definitive statement with hostility behind it.

    And as definitive statements go, it’s definitively wrong.

  52. angela78 says

    That was meant as downright friendly, and there was no sarcasm in it at all.

    Ok, then my apologies, I misinterpreted your remark.

    I’m still interested in reading Brony’s ultimate solution to sexual harassment, though.

  53. says

    @angela78 50
    Actually I don’t have to do any of those things. I’m not trying to be irrationally mean (though I am being rhetorically uncompromising and harsh because I’m tired of seeing all the social pressure fall on victims in these conflicts, and I’m using characterizations that are negative feeling but relevant for the same reason), but the nature of the confrontation allows me to do this.

    When someone portrays something as an authority, here a legal system, it’s on that person to justify the respect for that authority. If they can’t do so that is a failure of advocacy. It’s not my authority, I don’t have to do anything.

    They especially need to justify it in the face of clear failures of that system to do the job it’s expected to do because a system that doesn’t produce it’s product is a useless system. The only thing keeping these social systems going is our continued respect for them and if they don’t perform they don’t deserve our respect.

    I’ll do you the courtesy of blunt honesty, I believe that in many areas, and in the area of sexual harassment and abuse in particular, my criminal justice system (USA) has failed to the point of needing replacement. It deserves no respect until it does it’s job. I believe I have a duty to disrespect that system until we collectively care enough about the problem to do something about it.

    I realize some of this doesn’t rise to the level of criminal justice involvement, but invoking that system is a common defense reaction among people that get anxious about these conflicts and try to put all the social pressure on victims, yes even victims of unwanted physical contact. For example the annoying droning on about due process outside of courtrooms that I often see in comment sections on the internet. If someone wants to cite the law as social pressure on people already under pressure in a world of neglected rape test kits, Harvey Weinsteins and Jerry Epsteins they will get pressure from me.

  54. says

    I should also emphasize that my opinions aren’t the important ones when it comes to defining the problems and solutions because I’M A CIS MALE WITH AN AGGRESSIVE PERSONALITY.

    I’m not the one experiencing the systematic problems here, the victims are the authority when it comes to defining the nature of the problems and solutions. I’ll be applying social pressure to support those experiences and proposed solutions. That’s and other parts of the political process are my chosen area of concern.

  55. says

    Can we appreciate for a moment that angela 78, who will usually defend anybody against accusations of sexism etc. goes straight for the racism chargs.
    Though I must say, CD, whatever your intention was, that remark was pretty condescending.

    As for Tyson, it shows again that men’s careers are paramount, women’s negligible. There were obvious direct effects on the women’s careers. This woman had to get her employer to cancel a collaboration with somebody who was obviously more famous and powerful because he didn’t know how to behave. IIRC, another woman quit her job. So spare me your tears for Tyson. Why is his interest in continued employment more important than the women’s?

    Someone with whom Tyson has no professional relationship says that he once drunkenly hit on her at a party.

    Ahhh, the “he was drunk” excuse. that’s why we dobn’t prosecute drunk drivers, because it’s not their fault, it’s the alcohol!

  56. chris61 says

    @ Giliell
    <blockquote.As for Tyson, it shows again that men’s careers are paramount, women’s negligible. There were obvious direct effects on the women’s careers. This woman had to get her employer to cancel a collaboration with somebody who was obviously more famous and powerful because he didn’t know how to behave.

    Actually Giliell I think you’re reading things into this part of the story that aren’t there. First and foremost – the employer cancelled a collaboration at the employee’s request. Clearly the employee was more important than a potential collaboration with Tyson.

  57. says

    Clearly the employee was more important than a potential collaboration with Tyson

    Whose career was more affected by the cancellation? The woman had to forego an opportunity because the Famous Dude was also a creep, a decision men rarely face.

  58. kesara says

    @67

    Whose career was more affected by the cancellation? The woman had to forego an opportunity…

    The “opportunity” was to have dinner with Tyson and many other people. He was invited to speak at her University, she skipped the dinner (and maybe the talk as well) and a friend of hers recommended to the organizers that Tyson should not be left alone with female students.
    That is literally all that happened to her career.

  59. angela78 says

    @63 Brony

    When someone portrays something as an authority, here a legal system, it’s on that person to justify the respect for that authority. If they can’t do so that is a failure of advocacy. It’s not my authority, I don’t have to do anything.

    Actually, no. The fact that the “legal system” (which you still didn’t define) is an authority in terms of, well, legal matters, must not be explained by any member of a democratic and civil society.
    This doesn’t mean, of course, that it’s perfect. It only means that if you want to write “fuck the corrupt legal system!” without being a windbag you have to explain how it can be improved.

    If you don’t it’s too easy. As someone already noted, nothing is perfect, therefore I could go around shouting “fuck this!” on literally anything. Useless and time wasting, imho.

  60. says

    @angela78
    What happens if I do nothing but disparage any legal system that my fellow citizens care about?

    I don’t have to define it. I have the easy way. All I have to do is to disparage it. And I don’t have to do shit to suggest it’s improvement because the flaws I point to don’t vanish because I want them to.

  61. says

    He was invited to speak at her University, she skipped the dinner (and maybe the talk as well)

    In other words, she lost an opportunity, but he suffered no consequences. It’s a small thing here, it’s bigger things in other cases. The overall point stands: women have to bear the professional consequences of men’s bad behaviour.

  62. angela78 says

    @71 Brony

    What happens if I do nothing but disparage any legal system that my fellow citizens care about?
    […] I have the easy way. All I have to do is to disparage it.

    It’s a free world, you can do whatever you want.
    What happens is, you get treated like a childish asshole who is only able to complain and scream at things he doesn’t like without stopping to think “ok, how could things be better?”.

  63. chris61 says

    @Giliell

    In other words, she lost an opportunity, but he suffered no consequences.

    Again Giliell, I think you are deliberately jumping to a conclusion for which there is zero evidence. First, she did not lose an opportunity; she turned it down. And really an opportunity for what? There is zero evidence (at present anyway) that her career suffered in the slightest. He on the other hand may have lost the opportunity for further invitations. Zero evidence one way or the other.

  64. says

    @Chris61:

    There is zero evidence (at present anyway) that her career suffered in the slightest.

    There is quite a lot of evidence that informal contacts, conference contacts, and contacts outside one’s own organization are all crucial to professional success over time. There has been a large amount of research on this point, not least because it was necessary in court cases to prove that loss of such opportunities really does matter when alleging discrimination. In fact, the early indications that this is true came from defendants’ pleadings that someone was passed over for promotion or pay raises not because of gender or sex but because of better personal relationships with senior management, small resume embellishments (like conference presentations), and similar advantages that defendants alleged just happened to favor a particular man, rather than being advantages dependent on opportunities systematically offered asymmetrically to men and women.

    If men and women are offered the same opportunities, but 20% of women are offered those opportunities only if they’re willing to tolerate sexual harassment or the presence of a past harasser, while men’s opportunities are not conditioned on such negatives, then the effect is that the opportunities are not going to be accessible on an equal basis or to an equal number of women. That those 20% of women make a conscious choice to accept the negative or to forgo the opportunity does not negate the fact of statistically significant differences in opportunity that affect careers.

    All of this is to say that we don’t know if missing this one opportunity negatively affected her career, but we do know that the more such opportunities taken, the greater the likelihood of positive benefits for one’s career. It may be just one relationship or it may be that the synergy of knowing just the right combination of people will make a difference at a crucial career branching. Either way, there’s a large chance that missing this opportunity affected her career not at all, but a very real, albeit small, chance that this affected her career dramatically for the worse.

    If we tolerate this in “isolated cases” then we know that eventually we’ll tolerate enough cases to be certain that we’ve tolerated the sacrifice of some women’s careers while harassers careers continue unimpeded. That’s not acceptable.

    Your opinion that we should seek evidence of a career penalty in this one case in isolation is unreasonable.

  65. says

    For evidence, you can start with sciencemag.org:

    Given that hiring, tenure, and promotion decisions rely heavily on the types of opportunities that conferences can offer, it’s crucial that they not be biased against women, says Jennifer Martin, a structural biologist at the University of Queensland, St. Lucia, in Australia.

    Or this paper, specific to the IT community:

    Developmental opportunities for women are less when compared to men which indicate there is gender bias is significant for developmental opportunities.

    In addition, if women are avoiding conferences because of sexual harassment and this results in gender-uneven conference attendance, other women will perceive that imbalance and that perception will then affect how much those women are willing to attend conferences. In this way smaller gaps can become bigger gaps. You can check out this paper for info on how perception of gender bias affects willingness to participate in college major programs and related opportunities:
    Ganley, C. M., George, C. E., Cimpian, J. R., & Makowski, M. B. (2018). “Gender equity in college majors: Looking beyond the STEM/Non-STEM dichotomy for answers regarding female participation.” American Educational Research Journal, 56(3), 453-487.

    That paper was cited and briefly discussed here.

    This paper describes a model mentorship program, but the discussion provides information about why such programs are necessary, including the less-than-equal opportunities to form the connections that permit informal connections – such as through conferences – to create gender-disparate opportunities for mentorship in academic fields.

    In short, there’s a ton of evidence that this is a bad result, and requiring us to analyze whether this particular woman’s career would have been different had she attended this particular conference dramatically misses the point.

  66. chris61 says

    @75 & 76
    In other words, a lot of assumptions but zero evidence that this event negatively affected this particular woman’s career in any way.

  67. says

    @chris61:

    No assumptions. Actual data. Actual research. Actual reasoning based upon the data. Actual conclusions that logically and/or reasonably follow from what we actually know about the world.

    Of course we can’t know what this person’s career would be in an alternate universe where she attended the event. Again, asking for actual knowledge of the state of an alternate universe that is different from ours is not reasonable.

    The reasons to oppose such exclusion-through-negative-consequences is that we know from the data that it happens enough times it is guaranteed to have negative effects. It’s just like the argument for vaccines: we can’t know which persons’ lives we are saving, but we know for damn sure that we’re saving lives.

    Your argument, then, is perfectly analogous to that of the anti-vaxxers: “if we can’t know we’re saving the life of a particular child, we shouldn’t give the vaccine to that child” ≅ “if we can’t know we’re positively affecting the career of a particular woman, we shouldn’t remove barriers to that woman’s participation in a particular conference”. It’s a moronic argument when the anti-vaxxers make it, and it’s a moronic argument in this context as well.

  68. chris61 says

    “if we can’t know we’re saving the life of a particular child, we shouldn’t give the vaccine to that child” ≅ “if we can’t know we’re positively affecting the career of a particular woman, we shouldn’t remove barriers to that woman’s participation in a particular conference”. It’s a moronic argument when the anti-vaxxers make it, and it’s a moronic argument in this context as well.

    I agree it’s a moronic argument but since it’s not an argument I ever made I fail to see the relevance of your point.

  69. says

    @Chris61:

    Earlier you said:

    There is zero evidence (at present anyway) that her career suffered in the slightest.

    and

    a lot of assumptions but zero evidence that this event negatively affected this particular woman’s career in any way.

    Asking for proof that this one person’s career would have been better if she had attended this one event is analogous to asking for proof that one particular child’s life would be better for having taken a vaccine. Of course, I’ve already said that quite clearly. The fact that you’re denying you’ve made any such argument is additional – but not necessary – evidence that you’re simply denying reality in this case.

  70. John Morales says

    chris61:

    “if we can’t know we’re saving the life of a particular child, we shouldn’t give the vaccine to that child” ≅ “if we can’t know we’re positively affecting the career of a particular woman, we shouldn’t remove barriers to that woman’s participation in a particular conference”. It’s a moronic argument when the anti-vaxxers make it, and it’s a moronic argument in this context as well.

    I agree it’s a moronic argument but since it’s not an argument I ever made I fail to see the relevance of your point.

    Ahem. It’s a direct corollary to the argument you did make.

    Your specific claim:

    In other words, a lot of assumptions but zero evidence that this event negatively affected this particular woman’s career in any way.

    Not quite “if we can’t know we’re positively affecting the career of a particular woman, we shouldn’t remove barriers to that woman’s participation in a particular conference”, but most certainly you are ignoring the stochastic reality, and explicitly disputing that any action should be taken to account for the actual possibility unless specific evidence is at hand.

  71. snuffcurry says

    Thank you for highlighting the professional consequences of these kinds of unwanted and/or violent interactions, CD. I really appreciate reading your comments throughout.

    Megan Garber at The Atlantic discussed the same phenomenon using NdGT as an example, noting the direct AND the indirect, knock-on effects of feeling alienated in your own industry by men who dominate it ir who merely breeze through it, creating uncertainty, doubt, depression, and fear in the victims left behind. This is certainly true of at least three of the four victims we’ve heard from, not to mention women whose choices were constrained further, having heard about these experiences and had to decide whether they’d risk interacting with him at all.

  72. snuffcurry says

    Also, as Garber notes, Ashley Watson IS an example. She will never know whether having carefully extricated herself that evening cost her the job she wanted. She’ll never know if it was a ‘test’ she failed, where she could have graduated from merely distracting (perhaps regarded as a sunk cost, in whom no additional attention would produce the desired result) to pliable and suggestible. a thing worth having around.

  73. kesara says

    @84:

    Megan Garber at The Atlantic discussed the same phenomenon using NdGT as an example, noting the direct AND the indirect, knock-on effects of feeling alienated in your own industry by men who dominate it ir who merely breeze through it, creating uncertainty, doubt, depression, and fear in the victims left behind.

    This is certainly a phenomenon that’s real and worth discussing. But I’d say that using Tyson as an example, and particularly the tattoo incident, does the cause no favors at all, quite the opposite actually. I don’t doubt that Katelyn Allers (the woman with the tattoo) found that situation uncomfortable – but being made uncomfortable in a similar way, by men or women, happens to everyone on a regular basis, you really can’t avoid it if you choose a lifestyle / career where you frequently meet new people.

    Just a couple of days ago, a woman coworker gave me a big hug (lasting almost 5 Mississipis), because I stayed up late to help her prepare a demo, and she wanted to thank me for it. She didn’t ask for my consent before hugging me. She is not my direct supervisor, but her position is two levels higher than mine and the guy who does decide whether I’ll be promoted or not values her opinion very much. And she did make me feel uncomfortable because I really don’t like hugging people I don’t know well (or touching them in any other way beyond shaking their hands – I don’t even like to do that actually).
    As far as I can tell, what she did to me was more intimate than what Tyson did to the Lady with the solar system tattoo. But I would feel profoundly silly to report that as an example of flagrant abuse of power and I would feel even sillier to mention it while people are, hypothetically, discussing allegations against her that involve something as serious as harrassment or even assault. Stuff like this just happens, the example I gave above is so mundane that I could keep listing similar ones for quite some time…

    With regards to Tyson, categorically different accusations / incidents are lumped together, and lumped together so indiscriminately that the alleged rape victim and the Lady with the tattoo simply turn into numbers in a growing list of “accusers” that gets repeated in countless news articles and forum discussions. This is unproductive and it’s also very likely to backfire.

  74. chris61 says

    @82 John Morales

    <

    blockquote>Not quite “if we can’t know we’re positively affecting the career of a particular woman, we shouldn’t remove barriers to that woman’s participation in a particular conference”, but most certainly you are ignoring the stochastic reality, and explicitly disputing that any action should be taken to account for the actual possibility unless specific evidence is at hand.

    Again an assumption. I said nothing about removing barriers to anything. I said that assumptions were being made about whether that particular woman’s career had been in any way harmed by that particular incident. Or that Tyson’s career had not been harmed. Full stop. End of my argument.

  75. says

    First, she did not lose an opportunity; she turned it down.

    Nice bit of victim blaming you got here. She didn’t “turn it down” because she didn’t think it was worthwhile. She didn’t decline because she had better things to do. She turned it down because she could no longer feel safe and comfortable in the presence of Tyson.
    Unless you think that men have the right to ask women for sex whenever they want, wherever they want and whoever they want then he behaved wrongly but she had to suffer the consequences, even if the only thing she missed was a nice dinner.

  76. angela78 says

    @88

    She turned it down because she could no longer feel safe and comfortable in the presence of Tyson.

    This is your opinion. Mine is that only the “comfortable” part applies, and there are hundreds of reasons for which someone can feel uncomfortable to go to a meeting.There is no reason to believe Tyson ever behaved as a sexual predator, based on the info we read insofar.I already wrote the conditions under which I’d be worried (meaning, I’d have problems interacting professionally with Tyson).

    And I notice we’re already talking about “victim blaming”, while we still have no victim of something.

  77. angela78 says

    oh, and @88 again:

    Unless you think that men have the right to ask women for sex whenever they want, wherever they want and whoever they want

    Well, I’d not interrupt a business meeting to ask to some nice male colleague of mines if he wants to have sex with me. But in general I see no problem in men (or women) asking to have sex to someone, provided that a “no thank you” prevents any further attempt.
    It’s when you say “no” and they go on trying, or taking actions against you, that there is a huge problem.

  78. chris61 says

    @88 Giliell

    She didn’t “turn it down” because she didn’t think it was worthwhile. She didn’t decline because she had better things to do. She turned it down because she could no longer feel safe and comfortable in the presence of Tyson.

    At the risk of being repetitious, there is no evidence she didn’t feel safe in the presence of Tyson although she may not have felt comfortable. But since there have been no details (that I’ve seen anyway) it isn’t even clear exactly what she turned down. The buzzfeed article says something about a ‘proposed collaboration’. Somebody in this discussion talked about an invitation to a talk and a dinner. Those are very different things. Which was it? I could see where someone in her position might feel uncomfortable about a collaboration but attending a dinner after a talk?

  79. kesara says

    @88

    Unless you think that men have the right to ask women for sex whenever they want…

    You’re confusing this with one of the other accusations, because he didn’t ask her for sex, not at the event in question nor at any other event. He also didn’t touch her in a sexual way or said anything that could be construed as sexual innuendo.

    She turned it down because she could no longer feel safe and comfortable in the presence of Tyson.

    Based on his behaviour towards her, she had no reason whatsoever to not feel safe. And if we start firing people on the grounds of making a woman feel uncomfortable in any way, then we’ll have to fire quite a lot of other women (and we have to fire even more if making men feel uncomfortable also counts).

Leave a Reply