Sunday, December 21, 2014

Title IX Nonsense, Jessica Valenti's First-World Problems, And A Tonic In Feels And Reals

First, the horrible Feministing, added to my sidebar in the last few days. This first: "Let's Talk About Title IX And Fair Process". The bait and switch between "fair" and "due" is not coincidental. The "backlash" Alexandra Brodsky raves about, of course, is based on utterly nothing, in her opinion.
As schools reconsider their disciplinary procedures, these critics position their camp as the sole defenders of procedural protections (like the opportunity to be informed of the details of the complaint and present counter-evidence to a neutral investigator) for students accused of gender-based violence. The way they write, you’d think anyone who cares about justice for student-survivors obviously wants rigged disciplinary hearings that don’t give respondents a chance to stand up for themselves.
It’s an easy, seductive political narrative, but it’s not true. Most feminists — motivated by principles of equality and justice and invested in the legitimacy of our responses to violence misogyny — deeply care about fair decision-making when it comes to punishing gender-based violence. Many of us resist violence in all its forms, from rape to incarceration, and building respected campus responses to gendered harms creates space to imagine other alternatives to the criminal justice system.
This is risible, of course, because this sort of intellectual dishonesty – one which stems directly from a refusal to actually engage with arguments from specific authors and employing specific cases – is a particularly noxious approach to the issue. For instance, Patrick Witt, whose case achieved considerable notoriety thanks to his playing on the Princeton football team, but who nonetheless has a lingering stain on his reputation. The author glibly assures us that opponents of having universities act as a separate, easier criminal adjudication system "ignore the meaningful differences between the stakes of a disciplinary hearing (expulsion at worst) and of a criminal trial (incarceration)", so presumably it just doesn't matter whether charges are actually false. Likewise, the damage done by false charges simply doesn't matter (and she doesn't even acknowledge this). What matters is, her twisted sense of fairness and permanent victimhood. It is as delusional as it is dangerous. Coming from someone who is an attorney is really quite astonishing. It will be a mighty chore to chase such thinking out of the academy.

Moving on to happier tasks, I introduce Feels And Reals, opening with a post criticizing articles by Jessica Valenti, the founder of Feministing, and another on FeministCurrent, entitled "Feminism…. It Sounds…. Familiar….." Valenti apparently thinks tampons should be free, because, she's a woman? I'm not sure how this works, but the upshot:
I feel fully confident in saying Modern Radical Feminism is the sociological manifestation of Munchausen [Syndrome]. By constantly painting yourself as an oppressed person, as a victim in need of special protection or consideration, and by driving this point with an “ends justify the means” mentality, you are exhibiting the same symptoms as a Munchausen patient, especially in a world where true oppression exists – Malala, for example.
 The whole thing is worth a read, especially for the paper-thin skins of some of the Twitterers, whose number includes the perennially risible Anita Sarkeesian.

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