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johnnyFive




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    I don't know that anyone thus far has been unfairly accused.

George Takei comes to mind. He got witch-hunted: attacked on Twitter in droves (including by Trump Jr.), dropped by a publisher, the works. Then his accusor's story fell apart. But it's important to note that the only reason Takei was exonerated was because a reported did some digging on the accusor's story. This both shows the need to have healthy skepticism, while also showing the underlying sexism of the current approach. Would the accusations have been so thoroughly vetted if they came from a woman?

tweet Begging the question. 5-yard penalty, repeat 1st down.

My criticism of all this, including what you're saying here, is the underlying assumption that this is the only way the necessary change will happen. You describe hypotheticals about making things safer for women, but that's incredibly short-sighted. Women may stop being victims, but instead they'll start being threats. This is not an improvement for anyone. How long until employers start hiring fewer women simply because they're afraid of having to deal with a lawsuit and/or mob? If you think that's unlikely, just look at what happened with "ban the box" laws, which actually reduced hiring rates for black and hispanic men, because without the box, employers just fell back to stereotypes. I posted a link earlier to this story, which shows how the "always take the accusers word for it" could easily lead to more accusations against women by men who are trying to get ahead of an accusation (regardless of whether that accusation would be truthful or not).

I was going to write about mental illness in men, and how men are vastly overrepresented in suicide (to the tune of 77% according to the CDC, with 3 times more men dying of suicide than homicide). But I didn't, because I knew I would be accused of minimizing the problems that face women. For whatever reason, we've decided that there are "sides" in this issue, and that they're per se based on gender. Yet you've also shown how this isn't the case: you worry about the women in your life, just as I do (I have a daughter too). In all the replies to me in this thread, not a single person has explained why it's okay to believe women over men. And you can't say that it's just about victim versus abuser, since male victims are not treated remotely the same way that female ones are. But Caesar is an honorable man.

I know women who were raped, and I know men who were raped. I've known at least one woman in my life who made up a rape story for sympathy and attention, and I knew a girl in high school who suffered physical abuse from her boyfriend. I had a relationship end because the girl I was with was a walking mindfield of triggers. If your first reaction is to think about whose fault it is that our relationship ended, you're illustrating the problem perfectly.

I also know that intentions and perceptions don't always align. I've told this story before, but briefly: in my first-year criminal law class in law school, our professor read a story about a college-age woman who has sex with a guy she went to a dance with. It's clear from the book's descriptions that she was at best ambivalent about it, and may have actively not wanted to do it. But it was equally clear that she never gave even the slightest hint of this to the guy. My professor then asked if we thought this was rape, and every single woman in the class said that it was. As a guy, that was absoultely terrifying. And this comes from the same refusal to consider nuance: in the story described in the book, we could treat the woman with the sympathy and support we should give to any victim, without treating the guy like a predator.

But that's hard. And what passes for liberalism/leftist politics in the U.S. is mindblowingly lazy. Somehow the idea has taken hold that in order to consider any such accusation to be legitimate, we must treat them all as legitimate. Then everyone gets to wank themselves off about how woke they are, while simultaneously criticizing conservatives for being close-minded. You can't actually have virtue signalling without virtue, but God knows people are trying.

My own experience in this thread has been a pretty good example. I've gotten nothing but personal attacks and appeals to emotion. If there's anything more condescending than "won't someone think of women" becoming the new "won't someone think of the children," I haven't seen it.

At the end of the day, you can't call something a principle if you discard it the first time it costs you something. Your post is the closest anyone has come to acknowledging that fairness is not actually what you're interested in. That's at least honest, even if it's still deplorable.

So at first I was thinking that you don't care what I say, but of course if that were true, we wouldn't keep having these conversations where you vacillate between engagement and "you're too wrong to engage with."

I don't know you well enough to go any further, and that's fine, and you certainly don't owe me any explanations.

But if I'm even remotely correct, and what I say matters to you even the tiniest fraction, I'll say that I'm always willing to listen to what you have to say.

I'm not really sure why you felt the need to tell me this.

Congrats?

Yeah, fuck off with this.

Fortunately for me, I have not yet met my annual empathy quota, and therefore can care about more than one thing at the same time. Meanwhile, are you seriously arguing that I'm not doing enough about more important problems because I'm not complaining about them in a small corner of the internet?

THAT IS THE PROBLEM. Criminal trials have actual rules, and require actual proof, not just accusations. We started using them for a reason! Are you seriously arguing that this was a mistake? And if not, why does it suddenly not apply when women accuse men of sexual misconduct in a public setting?

I didn't handwaive anything. My point is not to argue that the accusations are true or false. My point is that it is terrifying that all it takes is vague accusations + a mob assumption to permanently brand someone as a rapist.

Whether a given instance turns out to be accurate isn't the point. The problem is that we've gone from "not believing women" to "always believing women no matter what," which is the wrong reaction. If the standard is only "some of these accusations are true," or even "most of these accusations are true," how is this different from say, racial profiling by the police?

That's crap. Women didn't come forward because their accusations weren't taken seriously. But that is not the same thing as "treating the men they accuse as guilty as soon as the accusation is made," or in this case, "treating the man people assume the accusation is about as guilty from the start."

The inevitable result of this mindset is simply a race to accuse first.

Let me turn it over now to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who had this to say on the subject:

    Q: I think people are hungry for your thoughts about how to balance the values of due process against the need for increased gender equality.

    RBG: It's not one or the other. It's both. We have a system of justice where people who are accused get due process, so it's just applying to this field what we have applied generally.

(Emphasis mine.)

I haven't seen anything by anyone else. But regardless, this is still an incredibly dangerous way to approach things.

How long before some guy's already-abusive partner turns around and accuses him of something terrible? How many people have to lose their livelihoods based on false or exaggerated allegations before we remember, hey, things like burdens of proof exist for a reason?

I mean, do we not remember when reddit fingered a family's dead kid as the Boston Marathon bomber?

Those are all true things, and are generally consistent with my own experience and what I've read.

Degree saturation is absolutely a problem. It kind of makes sense from the employer's standpoint, though: you can be basically outsoure verifying someone's competence, which I could see being especially nice in something somewhat more subjective (like translation). There's also a degree of standardization that comes from a formal education. You can be self-taught and good at something, but I think there are more likely to be skill gaps, and you also may not be able to communicate as effectively if you haven't been taught your field's specific vocabulary.

In the U.S., the big problem is student loans. It's far too easy to get what feels like free money, and so even as the economy and job market fell off a cliff, no one was doing the cost-benefit analysis (to the extent that you can gather enough information). Meanwhile, universities are too unwilling to fail people or to deny admission.

This is a big problem within the legal profession. Bar passage rates have been declining steadily for the last several years, and the American Bar Association (ABA), which accredits law schools in the US, has largely been asleep at the switch (when they're not being arbitrary). It may actually be good for the health of the profession in the long term, in that it'll reduce the number of lawyers to saner and more sustainable levels. But that doesn't help all the people who were granted admission to and graduated from law school but who simply lack the ability to pass the bar exam. The bar exam is hard.

My own experience is not inconsistent with this. I have a side job where I grade essays for a bar review class (this is a separate, privately-run course that prepares you for your state's bar exam). Basically every term, I have someone who is clearly a non-native English speaker, and who is simply incapable of passing. This person usually can't fully understand the question (you have to pay attention to very specific details a lot of the time), and then is unable to convey their answer with enough clarity and detail. (There are times when I don't even know what they're actually arguing.) Yet these are all people who have post-graduate degrees from ABA-approved law schools.

johnnyFive  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Maybe Just Don't Drink Coffee

It's strange how incredibly in to something people can get. We all have passions, I suppose, even if coffee is one I don't understand (and full disclaimer, I don't drink it at all). That said, there's a difference between passionate and self-important, and I'm not sure the author (unless this is actually satire) can still see it anymore.

Very few, sadly. But I do appreciate that I've developed a reputation among my office as someone who knows what he's talking about, and I would say that I'm taken seriously (in a good way).

I like the idea behind my job (I work for the federal disability system), but unfortunately have too much exposure to how the sausage is made to appreciate it much beyond that. Still, I recognize that, flawed though it is, it's still a net societal good.

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