Last night MollyI, who has been taking this shite harder than I have, because (1) she is a nicer person than I am, and (2) because she knows from being a highly competent woman getting shafted from jobs for which she is eminently qualified solely because of yahoo sexism, told me that she's worried about going down to DC for the Million Woman March. This is because that protest is scheduled for the day after the inauguration, and "the city will be full of Brownshirts."
She's not so much worried for herself.
Since we raised her right, my step-daughter of course wants to go. She's 26, wants to march with her gay homosexual partner, and is mouthy and feisty and pissed off. Then our daughter, who is 12, wants to go, because she is already mouthy and feisty and pissed off -- because she's in fucking middle school and already every girl her year knows not to put anything on the floor of her locker, because some snotty little boy will ass-grab. And that snotty little boy will get away with it. And Donald Fucking Trump is now president.
The boys want to go because even if they would sooner gargle hot lead than admit it, they love their mom and sisters dearly, and also it would be an Adventure, and also because they are shrewd enough to know they will get fed and might have a day off school.
But this is the rub:
MollyI is terrified because she might not be able to protect her kids, if we go.
This is not an unreasonable fear.
Trump rallies are indeed Brownshirty. It is known. Trumpite fanatics are rapacious and currently feel themselves uncorked. This is clear.
And you'd have to be even dumber than a Trumpite Facebook troll to think the police would keep you safe.
On the other hand, well, we went to the Iraq war protests; we knew those would not have any effect, but what was the alternative? Sometimes, as an American, your duty is to stand up and say "no." You can't just stay home. And as Americans, you can't just stay quiet because of the threat of physical intimidation. As soon as THAT happens, well, the trigger on the fascist gun has just been pulled, hasn't it? And if that happens, well, they're coming for you anyhow.
So there's two sides.
If we are in nation where one can very sincerely fear for the physical safety of their 12-year-old daughter as regards taking her along with you to a peaceful political event...
According to two sociologists, Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning, our moral culture recently underwent a seismic shift. Rather than upholding appropriate standards of honor and dignity, we now inflate trifling slights into allegations of victimization. Minor grievances of all sorts are showcased in cyberspace in an effort to garner sympathy and support. This “new species of social control,” they maintain, threatens an America where weakness suddenly rules....
Typically, Campbell and Manning’s evidence is anecdotal and relies on conflating substantively different forms of dissent. They lump together hunger strikes, hate crime hoaxes, protest suicides and microaggressions as comparable illustrations of this cultural turn. More importantly, microaggressions, trigger warnings and even the controversy over Woodrow Wilson’s legacy are not the ultimate target of this critique.
This Campbell and Manning paper is all sorts of dreadful. Details to follow, but if you want a taste now, here is something fun from the 14th footnote:
Gender studies scholar Hugo Schwyzer, in an essay critical of this phenomenon, complains that “too many of my students insist on writing essays that I can only describe as ‘narratives of suffering.’
I am not a mainstream USA social scientist. Longtime readers -- and this blog was of course started in 1874 -- know that I'm an Irish Studies scholar, with a particular emphasis upon literary censorship from 1927-1967. So this isn't exactly my field. But it is some of yours, mes amis -- so I axe you, most sincerely:
I just read the most extraordinary paper by two sociologists — Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning — explaining why concerns about microaggressions have erupted on many American college campuses in just the past few years. In brief: We’re beginning a second transition of moral cultures. The first major transition happened in the 18th and 19th centuries when most Western societies moved away from cultures of honor (where people must earn honor and must therefore avenge insults on their own) to cultures of dignity in which people are assumed to have dignity and don’t need to earn it. They foreswear violence, turn to courts or administrative bodies to respond to major transgressions, and for minor transgressions they either ignore them or attempt to resolve them by social means. There’s no more dueling.
Indizzle. In American history, the turn of the 18th century to the 19th marked a profound transformation of honor culture to dignity culture. Evidence abounds. According to a transcript of a conversation between one Georgia slave to another in 1801:
Slave 1: Hey, I think we just jumped from an honor culture to a dignity culture.
Slave 2: Fuck yeah!
Slave 1: Good news about that no more dueling shit.
Slave 2: Absolutely! Dueling is clearly the most salient feature of American culture during this particular historical epoch.
Slave 1: These moral issues are so easy to demarcate! What a boon to future sociologists!
Slave 2: We can only pray that this shit helps to elucidate the behavior of American undergraduates two centuries hence.
Slave 1: If at any point in the 21st century any of our descendants get into any sort of scrapes involving busted chifforobes, they will be able to go straight to the courts or administrative bodies, because nothing will scream Jim Crow more than "culture of dignity."
Slave 2: Fuck.
Fast forwarding to the future:
Campbell and Manning describe how this culture of dignity is now giving way to a new culture of victimhood in which people are encouraged to respond to even the slightest unintentional offense, as in an honor culture. But they must not obtain redress on their own; they must appeal for help to powerful others or administrative bodies, to whom they must make the case that they have been victimized. It is the very presence of such administrative bodies, within a culture that is highly egalitarian and diverse (i.e., many college campuses) that gives rise to intense efforts to identify oneself as a fragile and aggrieved victim. This is why we have seen the recent explosion of concerns about microaggressions, combined with demands for trigger warnings and safe spaces, that Greg Lukianoff and I wrote about in The Coddling of the American Mind.
This thesis is extremely persuasive, accepting, arguendo, that history, rape, and racism ended in America sometime around, oh, 1963.
Getting annoyed now; I'll return to the evisceration later --
But is this article really publishable as good social science? It's utterly terrible at every level.
One: Kaminer is deriving an immense amount of pleasure from publishing this in the WaPo.
Two: Kaminer offers a total bullshit canned history of campus protest.
Three: Kaminer went into a speech "debate" and deliberately threw a bomb.
Four: Kaminer is not a person who will remain on any campus anywhere and have to pick up any pieces.
Five: Kaminer is wanking.
Here's the point. Nobody ever actually bothers to try to understand what's actually going on in any contest about what is and what is not legitimate speech. Everyone just runs in hard and fast and tries to impose their own rues.
To say I stood up and cheered as I finished reading Jon Chait’s new essay on the resurgence of a toxic political correctness on the left would be an understatement.
More correctly, he came in his pants? Who knows!
Chait's brilliance, Sullivan informs us, is that he tells the story of some young anti-abortion protestors who carried around signs showing deliberately provocative images. These images then deliberately provoked someone, and a thoroughly banal and asinine bit of small-town/gown weirdness occurred.
You'd think, putting on your Scholar Cap, that you'd have a fuck of a lot of work to do if you wanted to use this one kind of batty anecdote out there as proving any sort of New Normal -- but wait!
Here's something that may be worth mentioning! Neither Chait nor Sullivan are academics! So they feel just peachy about the procedure of sucking up largely unconnected anecdotal data and positing from it the existence of an Illiberal Leftist Conscious Overbrain, as opposed to things being done by scattered young people gifted with admirable principles and poor social skills.
Sullivan stresses two remarkably dumb points.
The few brave enough to take on these language and culture police – I think of Emily Yoffe’s superb piece on campus rape in Slate – will get slimed and ostracized or ignored. Once you commit a heresy, you cannot recover. You must, in fact, be air-brushed out of the debate entirely.
Emily Yoffe still has a job. Also, journalists writing touchy stories and getting grief -- this is new? A phenomenon of the new sex feminist identialists?
This is swell:
The right has its own version of this, of course. Many of us dissenters were purged and rendered anathema years ago. But look where that has actually left today’s GOP. It’s turned into this. And the left’s new absolutism on identity politics – now taken to an absurd degree – should, in my view, worry liberals more. Because it is a direct attack on basic liberal principles.
Ha ha ha I'm so old I remember Sullivan and his 5th Columnists bullshit, fuck him. But that aside. The right's ideological cohesion exists from dumb crazed emails to paranoid racist internet memes straight through talk radio to fucking Louie Gohmert and Sm Alito. The Left's is some random shit at different campuses. Stop with the bullshit false equivalence, dummy.
Next, just FUCKING STOP, Sully & Chait. You are insanely wrong about how power works, particularly discursive power.
We didn't win the gay marriage fight by playing nice: we won because we (rightly) pointed out that if you oppose gay marriage, you are a disgusting bigot.
And we will win the violence against women argument when we convince everyone that sex without consent is a revolting crime deserving of the full wrath of the state.
Establishing a monopoly over the legitimate terms of linguistic expression is the whole point. Identify your goals, choose your language tools. That's how it works. Picking your ass on Bill Maher shows just makes you look like an ineffectual twerp.
Here: this is just flat wrong:
If you want to argue that no social progress can come without coercion or suppression of free speech, you have to deal with the empirical fact that old-fashioned liberalism brought gay equality to America far, far faster than identity politics leftism. It was liberalism – not leftism – that gave us this breakthrough.
Citations completely omitted.
The record I believe will show that this is fucking astoundingly wrong, and also besides, that the "liberalism" v "leftism" dichotomy Sully is yammering about is all my balls from an analytic or historic perspective.
At the end of this perfectly batty/banal, batnal? banty? right-wing dismissal of Emma Watson for her public suggestion that women have to put up with a lot of stupid shit, a nondescript apparatchik at a thoroughly pointless wingnut make-work propaganda rag drops this snide little comment:
You can understand that free markets have lifted more women out of poverty across the world than any government program.
I can understand this...?
Women organizing and demanding that governments recognize, codify, and enforce their rights did more for women than the fucking Nestle corportion ever did. Or ever would have done.
The "free market" is not free, nor is it a market. Discuss. Use the word "fuck" a lot. Reference the entire fucking history of the free-market advertising industry as regards women, rights, and poverty. Then say "fuck" nine times more!
That is an Original Poem, one of many available for a low, low price of $450 and a winged mule, available upon inquiry, please contact Whiskey Fire Industries, LTD, via the standard method. Handcraft-printed on the finest virgin whelk vellum, and we're assured by counsel that it stops the godawful smell after a fortnight or seven, maybe. Also it's "curated," because now everything's "curated," because that is a verb now in common use among preposterous dickheads.
Oh right, sorry, got carried away. I'm irked at Jon Chait. For this. FOR THIS.
Paul Farhi profiles Campbell Brown, the former CNN anchor turned education-reform activist, who is working to end strict teacher tenure protections. Naturally, this enrages teacher-union evangelist Diane Ravitch, who not only disagrees with Brown’s position, but expresses offense that anybody should listen to Brown at all:
“I have trouble with this issue because it’s so totally illogical,” says Diane Ravitch, an education historian. “It’s hard to understand why anyone thinks taking away teachers’ due-process rights will lead to great teachers in every classroom.”
As for Brown, Ravitch is dismissive: “She is a good media figure because of her looks, but she doesn’t seem to know or understand anything about teaching and why tenure matters ... I know it sounds sexist to say that she is pretty, but that makes her telegenic, even if what she has to say is total nonsense.”
Why, yes, that does sound rather sexist.
Ravitch probably shouldn't have gone there, fine.
But Chait is invoking the right-wing neener-neener nyah-nyah version of feminism, or racism, or homophobia, or what have you; it's a smug rule-invoking, not a principled defense of any particular position. If Chait wants to make a feminist argument about what Ravitch said, he can go ahead and do that. But he doesn't. Instead, apparently, he jumps right to Twitter:
Yeah, that's point-scoring, not outrage about how women who happen to be media figures often have their opinions treated.
And, and, why shouldn't Ravitch be pissed off? I would be -- Ravitch is a serious, accomplished, scholar of educational policy. Brown... isn't.
If you want to drive a scholar up the wall, tell her she's got to enter the lists against a rich, famous person engaged in an ideological jihad crusade. Ravitch behaved a lot better than I would have.
Anyway, Chait gets right to the mansplaining, because he's a dick:
Why, Ravitch wonders, would the elimination of a job protection help attract better teachers? Let me reveal, via the power of logic, how this can work.
If you want to get all feminist, telling Diane Ravitch that she needs to appreciate "the power of logic"? Fuck you you sneery fuck! Whee!
Chait is all sorts of wrong on the issue of teacher tenure, have at him on this, but let's hone in:
Now, education-reform advocates come in conservative and liberal flavors. The conservative ones tend to believe ending tenure alone will improve classroom outcomes. Liberal ones tend to favor an end to tenure along with other reforms, such as higher pay. The liberal education-reform theory is that the public will be more open to higher taxes to support higher levels of teacher pay if teachers are accountable for their performance. Likewise, those dollars will be spent more effectively if they are related to performance rather than to years on the job.
Listen, you fucking asshole. Whenever you have "two flavors," in AMERICA, the "compromise" that emerges as the concrete reality is the conservative one.
Chait and the "liberal educational reformers" will end up with low pay for teachers, no teacher labor protections, and horrendous consequences for children.
You'd think these fucking assholes would have caught on to the real game after how humiliated they were by cheering on the Iraq debacle, but since all they really want to do is play "Policy" like it's fucking Risk, they don't give a shit, and then they all got swell jobs anyhow! Hooray!
MAS. And then there is this from Chait:
In most fields, your pay is based on your perceived value rather than on the number of years you have spent on the job. Value-based pay does not work perfectly in any field. It certainly doesn’t work perfectly in my field, which explains, for instance, Howard Kurtz’s rumored extravagantwealth. Yet if we stopped paying journalists on the basis of their perceived value and started paying them on the basis of time served, I'd argue it would reduce the quality of journalism.
Jon Chait does "journalism"?
If we had a dedicated, nationally funded corps of "just the facts" journalists, we'd all be better off, and far more in line with the Founders' vision.
Chait is paid to offer his glib opinions about issues he has no time to study in any real depth. As an educator, I suggest he fuck off and get a real job, like, say, teaching.
Come this fall, students at universities across the United States will be starting their new school year. They’ll attend classes with names like “The Evolution of American Women’s Studies,” “Women & Gender Studies,” or “Feminism and the Fate of the Planet.” In fact, most universities now offer multiple fields of study in feminism, gender, and women’s studies. They have more loony course options about sex and sexuality than math and science.
This is all Cast-Iron Fact.
And in almost every case, those students will be lied to.
About the victimization of women at the hands of Republicans.
"We would kindly like you to refrain from contemplating our nuanced and not insulting policy position, namely, 'You can't have contraceptives, you slut.'"
About the God-given differences between men and women.
Jesus wants you to give him all due kudos for the gift of correct genetalia. Masturbate respectfully. Genuflect, or something. "Oh Jesus!"
This is where conservative women in America today have a higher calling to educate society. And most importantly, it’s where women of a younger generation have an especially crucial role in debunking this false history, in advancing the truth about the Left and how the real culprits in the War on Women are Democrats and liberals. Boldly stepping up to the plate is one of the Conservative movement’s most well known ladies, Katie Pavlich, and her new book Assault and Flattery.
OK. Good luck!
Like Katie herself, the book title and the words within are sharp, factual, and hard-hitting but with a gloss of feminine polish.
The book title is sharp, factual, and hard-hiting, and so are the words inside the book title. However, the title and the words inside it also have a gloss of feminine polish, which is a thing, and it at the same time hits hard. This book contains words and descriptions of these words! Pretty words!
Just as important, Assault and Flattery gives specific examples of how hypocritical the left is and where Democrat leaders like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are actually the ones most guilty of limiting the role of women in society by treating them as sex-crazed sluts in urgent need of free birth control and government-subsidized abortions. It downgrades the most sacred role of society—that of mother, that of child-rearing -- by making women cheap political props.
Women are sluts if they are not child-rearing mothers!
Golly, leftists. They're onto us. We want to have great sex and make our own intimate, conscious, and deeply personal reproductive decisions!