Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Scott Greenfield On The Lowest Common Dominatrix

Home run:
There is a key detail here, one that eludes reason and pervades belief: that true or false, it’s true.

Perhaps what made Lindin’s twit different is that she openly said what many knew but denied. This has been the case for years with Title IX. This was the case when women, after Jackie in the Rolling Stone/UVA story, after the Mattress Girl melodrama, still argued in support of their victims. That these claims were false was of no consequence. They were true as long as women chose to believe they were true.
We are at a crossroads. Soon enough, this will become apparent, but it will take some more time before the cowed and fearful come to the only conclusion possible. There is no tenable way to allow this game to be played, whether in work, in school, on the streets or in the home, without committing yourself, you family, your future to potential doom.

You did nothing wrong? Great. You lose anyway. Explain to your friends, your spouse, your children that you aren’t a rapist, but they still won’t have food on their plate, shoes on their feet, because your job, your reputation, the future you spent your life building, was wrongfully taken from you because women are victims and should be entitled to their “truth” despite your innocence.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Importance Of Holding The Right Opinion About Louis C.K.

The general proscription against reading the comments on Internet fora are well-founded, but often enough wrong, as when I was passing through Manohla Dargis' reconsideration of the now-disgraced Louis C.K.'s I Love You, Daddy. As one commenter pointed out, it looks very like she's elected to blunt the praise in her glowing, earlier review, where she wrote, "At heart, the film is a multipronged debate that circles, again and again, around the question of whether it is possible, permissible and morally justifiable to love the art and loathe the artist. Yes, no, maybe so." But clearly, once Mr. C.K.'s apology came to light (one which many simply weren't having), it became necessary to reconsider that calculus.

Mostly, that reckoning spins on the axis of what she calls his "provocations": the character Leslie "even defines radical feminism for China, a scene that mirrors another in which Glen delivers a more generalized feminist lesson." Later, she laments
... how the movies see women. How they use and use up young women, at least until they turn 18 or 20 or so when some moviemaker or some suit deems her no longer desirable and turns her putative lack of desirability on her, as if she were responsible for this lack of interest in her.
These, particularly, appear as so much virtue signaling. Anyone with eyes can observe that half the moviegoing audience is male, which has concomitant effects on female casting. Men having opinions about the contours of sexual equality — that, also, is not allowed. If Leslie's speech was sexist in some way, she never makes the case for it or even bothers to quote it. The charge itself is now adequate to sustain it, apparently. What is important is having the Right Opinions, and being seen doing so.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday Bullets

  • From the increasingly indispensable QuilletteMarta Iglesias on "Why Feminists Must Understand Evolution". Excerpt:
    The fact that men and women are different ... does not preclude feminists from striving for completely equal rights between the sexes. However, it is important to understand how things really are if we are to try to modify them ...
    But some feminists would prefer to doubt the applicability of evolutionary biology to the human species. They believe that equality of behaviour in the sexes would exist in nature, but culture generates our inter-sexual differences (for examples see Chapter 1 in A Mind of Her Own).19 20 Apparently, contradicting this line of thought means that one is adopting a ‘biological determinist’ position....
  • Also from Quillette: Lexa Frankl on "Why I'm Uneasy With The #metoo Movement". Frankl opens with a discussion of a one-night-stand gone bad; the sex wax consensual, but after a night of heavy drinking, and ended with her contracting herpes simplex type 2.
    Then she asked if the intercourse had been consensual. Had I verbally consented to sex, I wondered? The answer was a resounding no. Perhaps I had been too drunk to give meaningful consent, and what had seemed consensual at the time was in fact something more sinister – predatory opportunism or even assault. For a moment, I found myself tempted by an escape into victimhood. Certainly, the emotional burden would be easier to bear if the fault could be projected elsewhere.

    But, try as I might, I could not persuade myself that this was a good faith account of what had actually happened. Self-examination forced me to acknowledge that both my partner and I shared responsibility for the events of that night, and that martyrdom would be a cowardly and dishonest excuse for my own poor judgment.
    She goes from there to the kinds of trite and pointless advice handed out by so many sexual assault victim agencies:
    Feminist and activist sites set up to counsel and advise victims of sexual assault seemed perversely determined to convince me that I had in fact been assaulted, and sternly warned against any assumption of personal responsibility which they invariably describe as “victim-blaming.” Instead, they offered trite slogans such as “Drinking is not a crime – rape is” and “Don’t tell your daughter not to go out, tell your son to behave properly” and “Teach men to respect women.”
    It's significant that there are no countries free of rape anywhere on the globe. If the right culture were all it took to end the crime, it has long ago failed, and in all places. Moving on, she notes the problems with feminist objections to self-responsibility:
    I might refuse to wear a seatbelt on the basis that I am particularly fastidious about road safety. But if another less cautious driver were to drive his vehicle into mine, most reasonable people would accept that I bear responsibility for any injuries I would not have sustained had I taken the sensible precaution of wearing a safety belt.


    In neither circumstance does “Don’t tell me to wear a safety belt, tell others to drive carefully” or “Don’t tell children not to talk to strangers, tell strangers not to abduct children” sound remotely like sensible or wise advice. We recognise that, as adults and moral agents, we have a duty to look after own well-being and the well-being of dependents who cannot look out for themselves.
    This ultimately is the problem with all demands to "teach men not to rape": it is a demand for a utopia. It is not terribly satisfying to those who actually have suffered such attacks, but that will not change the likelihood of its existing. Male sexual impulses are the residue of millennia of evolution; they will not (lightly) yield to exhortation.

    She has other salient points:
    • "[R]evealing attire will attract the attention of the opposite sex, and that it is designed and (usually) worn for precisely this purpose."
    • "To notice that certain behaviors predictably increase a person’s vulnerability is so obvious as to be banal. But any attempt to ask women to acknowledge the associated risks is routinely described as ‘rape apologism.’"
    • "[I]t is precisely because the behaviour of others lies beyond my control that I must remain responsible for taking precautions in the interest of self-protection."
  • Campus rape tribunals hand down so many guilty verdicts because they are trained to do so.
  • Conor Friedersdorf thinks more Christian dialogue about sex needs to start with the Golden Rule.
  • Interesting chapter about academic sociology political bias. About a third of those involved in a survey (n=335) reject the idea that evolution has left any fingerprints on the human brain and behavior. (Von Hippel, W., and Buss, D.M., 2017, "Do Ideologically Driven Scientific Agendas Impede The Understanding And Acceptance Of Evolutionary Principles In Social Psychology?", The Politics Of Social Psychology, New York: Psychology Press.)
  • Pretty good essay from a female Silicon Valley startup founder about sex in that place. Excerpt:
    I knew being hot got me in the door and that after that I had to make that work for me. Culturally, we are taught as women that our main power is our looks and sexuality. Then it's a matter of what you do with it. Personally, I used the s--- out of it, and I was more successful than my male colleagues because of it.

    However, I had a hard line of not crossing a physical line with men I was actively doing deals with, and I kept that boundary well. And then, as I got more established, men didn't meet with me for my voice or for what I might be wearing. They met with me because they knew my name and because I knew things that they wanted to know.

    The meetings became more professional, and I didn't have to play the woman card anymore.