philosophy meta-forum

Cambridge

Carla

7 day(s) ago

Did she also file the infamous affidavit out of fidelity to the truth?

Vauvenargues

Why would a powerful professor have pussy photos of his female graduate student on his mobile phone?

Bradley

7 day(s) ago

So, let me get this straight: Lockwood has at least Heck, Flanagan, Langton, Saul, Block, and probably Kagan aligned against her. Plus Ludlow and Stanley and McGinn and who knows who else. Glad I'm not her.

Andrea

7 day(s) ago

Why, Bradley? Anyone who is accused once is thereby deprived of any real power (and loses his job, career, home, citeability, reputation, friends, money, and position as well. It's not as though anyone can do anything to someone who has made an accusation without getting the shit beaten out of them again and the effort failing.

6 day(s) ago

I can't find the post in question at FP.

Is it there, or was it removed?

I would like to see it for myself, so I can decide whether it was reasonable for someone to ask that it be taken down.

Bradley

6 day(s) ago

Why, Bradley? Anyone who is accused once is thereby deprived of any real power (and loses his job, career, home, citeability, reputation, friends, money, and position as well. It's not as though anyone can do anything to someone who has made an accusation without getting the shit beaten out of them again and the effort failing.

Andrea

Why? Because she is unlikely to be able to get a job anywhere with names like those racked against her. And the people she is accusing all have decent jobs that they're not likely to lose. I'd rather be one of them than her, any day.

Bradley

6 day(s) ago

I can't find the post in question at FP.

Is it there, or was it removed?

I would like to see it for myself, so I can decide whether it was reasonable for someone to ask that it be taken down.

None

I think she is talking about this one: https://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/the-extreme-badness-of- silence-2/.

The only part that I could find in it that says anything about MIT is this paragraph:

I’ll start with my own first-hand account. As a grad student at MIT oh-so-many-years-ago, I thought of my adviser as a sort of academic father figure, a mentor who viewed me as his academic offspring and cared about my intellectual growth and development in much the same way a father would. And so when he suddenly started touching me and behaving in a non-fatherly manner, it was both unthinkable and profoundly disturbing. I felt betrayed, disillusioned, afraid, isolated, damaged, guilty, defiled, and, above all else, angry at the “family” who protected him by turning a silent back to me, confirming my belief that to report the problem would be to commit academic suicide. “Being accepted into a graduate program is like being born into a family,” a senior member of the department told me when I asked for his support in transferring to another program, “you don’t just transfer out.”

Andrea

6 day(s) ago

Bradley, you're making an empirical claim. Let's see whether she finds herself unemployed as a result of her sniveling, self-absorbed tantrums and naming and shaming someone who wrote her a warm, loving email 15 years after she was in his department. My money's on yes. Whatever enemies one gets by acting in this irresponsible and childish manner, the feminist friends one gains are far greater and more powerful, and they will intimidate dissenters into silence. She's written herself a ticket to lifelong success in academia by doing this.

6 day(s) ago

Metabro doing feminists' dirty work for them. Brave.

6 day(s) ago

I'm honestly baffled by much of this. I don't have the energy--nor, I suspect, the proper turn of mind--to follow the details of what's going on here.

But...I'm genuinely curious. Here are two propositions:

(1) There are some very bad, predatory, disgusting, possibly unbalanced men in philosophy who are extremely adept at getting away with stalking / pestering / harassing women in philosophy, especially students. (There are also some sad / pathetic cases who ineptly / grossly come on to women in philosophy, especially students. These things can be shrugged off under some conditions and by some people; but it's not unusual for them to be extremely traumatic.)

(2) There are some bad (sometimes to the point of being unhinged) leftists, including many feminists, in philosophy. Some really dislike men. Some believe they're doing the right thing. Others believe that all such stuff is a matter of power, and that appeals to principle are just ploys in power struggles. They are fighting to give more power to women and to make them more powerful than men in philosophy (and academia generally). They're possessed by a theory according to which basically most men are basically bad, so they aren't that worried about harming innocent men--if such exist. They're akin to religious zealots.

There are many far leftists in philosophy who might very well deny (2). But, among ordinary people and especially ordinary men in philosophy...does anyone think that either (1) or (2) isn't at least approximately true? It's complicated by the fact that I do think there's a nutty left in philosophy that basically can't see its own obvious failings. But does that group have an opposite number? Do any of the normal denizens of this place, for example, deny (1)?

I have personal experience that makes both (1) and (2) seem absolutely undeniable to me. It seems like the reasonable majority is stuck in the no- person's-land between the predators described in (1) and the zealots described in (2).

6 day(s) ago

(3) There are some very bad, predatory, disgusting, possibly unbalanced women in philosophy who are extremely adept at getting away with stalking / pestering / harassing men in philosophy.

6 day(s) ago

(1) is true given a big enough population of philosophers. One can always find a bad apple for every 100,000 people. For (2), just read Leiter Reports for a constant stream of hatred against the right.

6 day(s) ago

Seems to me like this whole thread sorta mimics the divisions in the U.S. population at large. And I know where I stand on that.

6 day(s) ago

(1) is true given a big enough population of philosophers. One can always find a bad apple for every 100,000 people. For (2), just read Leiter Reports for a constant stream of hatred against the right.

None

I meant something stronger than that. I don't think it's one sleazebag for every 100,000 philosophers. Even if half of the stories floating around are true (and I wouldn't be surprised if half were a pretty good guess), it'd be worse / more widespread than that.

My circle of philosophical acquaintances isn't all that big, really. I'm close with an innocent male who has been harassed by a well-known (and possibly literally insane) feminist. But I'm also close with a woman who was outright, undeniably, punished for refusing to have sex with a well-known male philosopher when she was in grad school--and that he does such things isn't exactly a secret. Since I'm fairly average and I have close-up experience with both problems, it's a bit difficult for me to believe that either kind of incident is all that unusual. (Also: those are not the only cases I have experience with.)

I think there's widespread agreement here about (2). For what it's worth, I'll say: the most amazing thing to me about my female friend's experience was how typical it sounded--well-known guy, reputation for sleaziness, protected by other powerful philosophers who cultivate leftist / feminist cred (but, surprise, are shitbags), absolutely blatant harassment...but nobody wanted to acknowledge the unpleasant truth right before their eyes. It was easier to allow her to be marginalized. Given how far off the rails I think the left / feminist fringe in philosophy has gone, I supposed I'd become a bit skeptical about sexual harassment stories generally. I still have no doubt that they're often fabricated or overblown...because exaggerating such things is how feminism gains power. But some cases are real. And they can't just be shrugged off, because the punishment takes the form of professional damage. It's not always just a matter of a leer or a drunken grope.

This isn't an either / or situation. This is a situation in which two loathsome extremes empower each other, and the decent majority either doesn't realize what's really happening, or doesn't know what to do, or both. It's also easy to get focused on how loathsome one of the phenomena is to such a degree that you come to minimize the loathsomeness of the other.

I'm glad there's a metaforum to vent anger at the crazy left in philosophy. I come around here a lot and complain with the best of 'em. But if this place has begun to convince you that there's no actual, genuinely harmful sexual harassment in philosophy, my advice to you would be to leave and never look back. Don't let yourself become an inverse of the unhinged feminists.

Anyway, no. It's not 1 in a 100,000.

And everything I've just said is consistent with (3) (there being some very bad, predatory...etc. women). I just haven't been convinced that's as widespread a problem as (1) and (2). (Though, yeah, I've been groped by a woman in philosophy before, and hit on fairly aggressively. I'm not insisting your'e wrong about (3). But my guess is that it doesn't rise to the level of (1) and (2) with respect to frequency and severity.)

6 day(s) ago

A violent woman sexually assaulted a man (it was witnessed by another person; police were involved) and stalked a man she was obsessed with for years. Stalked his wife too. The victims were terrified and there are multiple eyewitnesses. He was then ruthlessly smeared and witch hunted by unhinged feminists and driven out of his job, his home and the profession. Heidi Lockwood herself was so shocked that a completely innocent person was subjected to this she spoke out against it. No need to pretend you don't know.

6 day(s) ago

A violent woman sexually assaulted a man (it was witnessed by another person; police were involved) and stalked a man she was obsessed with for years. Stalked his wife too. The victims were terrified and there are multiple eyewitnesses. He was then ruthlessly smeared and witch hunted by unhinged feminists and driven out of his job, his home and the profession. Heidi Lockwood herself was so shocked that a completely innocent person was subjected to this she spoke out against it. No need to pretend you don't know.

None

Maybe try brushing up on those reading comprehension skills.

Matthew

6 day(s) ago

Either Heidi is describing/interpreting events accurately or she is not.

If she is describing/interpreting events accurately, then she has been the victim of predatory high ranking individuals protected by other high ranking individuals for the sake of their departmental reputation.

If she is not describing/interpreting events accurately, then she is a paranoid sociopathic loose cannon, which explains why other people are closing ranks against her.

Have I got that right?

6 day(s) ago

A violent woman sexually assaulted a man (it was witnessed by another person; police were involved) and stalked a man she was obsessed with for years. Stalked his wife too. The victims were terrified and there are multiple eyewitnesses. He was then ruthlessly smeared and witch hunted by unhinged feminists and driven out of his job, his home and the profession. Heidi Lockwood herself was so shocked that a completely innocent person was subjected to this she spoke out against it. No need to pretend you don't know.

None

My name a Jeff

6 day(s) ago

Alas — now that Jeff has arrived, it's only a matter of time before we are all borne away by a seething tide of ant puns. As the blog went, so too must the forum go.

6 day(s) ago

Either Heidi is describing/interpreting events accurately or she is not.

If she is describing/interpreting events accurately, then she has been the victim of predatory high ranking individuals protected by other high ranking individuals for the sake of their departmental reputation.

If she is not describing/interpreting events accurately, then she is a paranoid sociopathic loose cannon, which explains why other people are closing ranks against her.

Have I got that right?

Matthew

No you haven't got that right. If she is describing/interpreting events accurately, then someone ran a red light. Well kinda.

6 day(s) ago

Being sexually harassed and forced out of MIT is a "red light".

Matthew

6 day(s) ago

What do you mean "ran a red light"?

6 day(s) ago

That's too generic, you know. It depends on the severity of the "harassment". And as we've seen, that "harassment" varies from just touching boobies by accident after a night out drunk, to actual rape. We're talking about the light end of the spectrum. Also, she most likely wasn't "forced out of MIT", those are her words, not reality. Don't fall for the hysteria.

6 day(s) ago

That's too generic, you know. It depends on the severity of the "harassment". And as we've seen, that "harassment" varies from just touching boobies by accident after a night out drunk, to actual rape. We're talking about the light end of the spectrum. Also, she most likely wasn't "forced out of MIT", those are her words, not reality. Don't fall for the hysteria.

None

Look, I'm no fan of the SJWs, but it seems to me that you're not reading Lockwood's account carefully. Becoming a "groping octopus" isn't touching boobies by accident. And although I haven't seen her words on the MIT stuff, I've heard that she was actually sexually assaulted in the good ole' fashioned way. If that's true, I'd say she was forced out.

If even half of what Lockwood has reported is true, it's no wonder people are closing ranks against her and assuming she is so victimized that she can't think straight. To do otherwise would require facing some nasty truths, and it's easier to just eliminate the messenger than to do the hard work of listening to this particular message. From what I've seen here, she doesn't seem to have any problems thinking. There's no hysteria in her accounts. And it'd be easy to check at least some of it by asking her produce evidence on the Langton and Flanagan emails. I'm inclined to believe that she's the rational one, and the naysayers are the hysterical snowflakes.

6 day(s) ago

Becoming a "groping octopus" isn't touching boobies by accident.

None

It can be, if you're drunk, and assuming she's into you.

sexually assaulted in the good ole' fashioned way.

None

Gotta be more specific. What do you mean? Dirty texts? Indecent proposals? A student claiming she can't find the word "no"? The light stuff?

Gotta wonder... why are these sensational accusations usually so disappointing?

Matthew

6 day(s) ago

Ran a red light? https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=run%20a%20red%20light

6 day(s) ago

Gotta wonder... why are these sensational accusations usually so disappointing?

Gotta wonder... why would anyone find sexual assault unpleasant?

6 day(s) ago

Either Heidi is describing/interpreting events accurately or she is not.

If she is describing/interpreting events accurately, then she has been the victim of predatory high ranking individuals protected by other high ranking individuals for the sake of their departmental reputation.

Only the Boolos/Langton story, if it's true. The other stories are still inconsequential, even if they turned out to be true as narrated.

Matthew

6 day(s) ago

I have to say . . . my initial impressions have somewhat changed. Lockwood does come off as a bit unhinged. But that could be explained by being emotionally overwrought given the situation as she describes it, if her description is accurate.

Andrea

6 day(s) ago

Good on you to admit it, Matthew.

6 day(s) ago

Only the Boolos/Langton story, if it's true.

Which is true.

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