philosophy meta-forum

Philosophy's harassment problem: overlooked stories

Archytas

182 day(s) ago

Harassment in philosophy gets lots of attention, but I'm sure many stories get overlooked and we focus on more "fashionable" or "obvious" narratives. Two cases I found follow. Add your own, with links.

From Diana Brickell (re: Allison Jaggar): https://www.facebook.com/dianabrickell/posts/10102139771976703

I never experienced any sexual harassment or notable sexism in the department. On the whole, I was supported and encouraged by male and female faculty, and I was treated in a professional and friendly way.

The only major exception to that was noted feminist Allison Jaggar, particularly when she was the graduate advisor. Her behavior toward me was appalling: I felt very keenly that she was trying to push me out of the department on any possible pretext. In my view, that was because I was not on board with her brand of radical leftist feminism, including plans by her and other feminists to take over the department. Alas, I was not the only non-feminist woman in the department to experience overt bias and hostility from her. Now, in light of what’s happened, I wish that I’d lodged complaints at the time.

Overall, I’m very sad — and very angry — that such a fabulously awesome philosophy department has had its reputation trashed in what seems to be little more than a radical feminist witch-hunt and power-grab.

From Lily Hope Chumley (re: CDC Reeve): https://jezebel.com/how-about-we-start-outing-people- who-do-this-rather-tha-1782325879

How about we start outing people who do this rather than protecting them? I see that the one that caused me (and lots of other people) the most personal trouble is nowhere outed on the internet, so here goes: C.D.C. Reeve, Plato scholar and philosopher of sex, is a widely-known creep, who creepily chose me as an undergraduate thesis student, and made my thesis meetings into awful torture sessions of one-sided flirting, as a result of which I fell into a deep depression, spending much time crying on the floor in the library, and thought I had no choice but to drop out of school. He clearly got pleasure out of seeing me feel trapped, nervous, confused. It was weirdly almost worse that he didn’t try to touch me, because if he had I could have made a formal complaint—but what could I do about constant sexual innuendo that me feel helpless and stupid, as if all my achievements in school were a sham, that the good grades I’d earned in his classes were nothing but pre-payment for this?

In a great stroke of luck he left for a new job at UNC half-way through my (Spring-Fall) thesis-year, and with a new (strict but non-creepy) advisor I was able to write a thesis and graduate with honors. Now I am on my way to tenure at an R-1 school (in another field) and I am ready to say: fuck that creep. I spent years trying to forget it but what I need is to be angry because I need to remind myself that he was wrong about me.

Norwood

182 day(s) ago

Scary shit. This part is particularly interesting: "including plans by her and other feminists to take over the department." The fools hiring SJWs get to feel good and not sexist for a minute while their departments get taken from them and turned into something other than philosophy departments.

Edmund

181 day(s) ago

One thing that differentiates these two stories above from the anonymous tripe you find elsewhere is that the accusers have had the courage to attach their own names to the allegations. This is far more than can be said for smears posted to the What Is It Like blog!

Peg

181 day(s) ago

I don't believe anything on the What It's Like Blog.

The stories are either ridiculous or just silly. One of them complained that graduate students in a group had told jokes with sexual content. Holy shit! Someone mentioned sex. Fuck. What about the precious women? They can't hear such things. They'll go into shock and cry if they have to think about a penis.

And while we are at it, make sure that there's no alcohol. The Women's Temperance and Chastity League won't stand for that. It's way too dangerous. Someone might get the idea that humans are sexual creatures.

All the good boys should sit around with their eyes facing the ground and wait for the women to make their selection. You'll b e notified by a polite tap on your head. At that point you may request permission to hold hands.

Peg

181 day(s) ago

I like that my handle is a term used for getting butt fucked by a strap on. Nice. That's probably the only SJW approved form of sex for a cis white dude.

Stanislaw

181 day(s) ago

I can confirm about Reeve. I know of multiple cases in which he used pretty much the same M.O., always being very careful to avoid doing anything that could count as actionable harassment, but that leaves his carefully-selected targets with no room for doubt about the nature of his interest (and, at least in some of these other cases, with the same feelings of self-doubt and self-disgust Lily Chumley reports).

Athanasius

181 day(s) ago

Interesting that anti-due process SJWs (the sort who like to post unverified stories) have found a home here in this forum.

Dorothy

181 day(s) ago

Interesting that anti-due process SJWs (the sort who like to post unverified stories) have found a home here in this forum.

Athanasius

We are the verefers. We can verefy as we debate.

Avital

181 day(s) ago

Scary shit. This part is particularly interesting: "including plans by her and other feminists to take over the department." The fools hiring SJWs get to feel good and not sexist for a minute while their departments get taken from them and turned into something other than philosophy departments.

Norwood

This is crucial. The SJWs are ready to sacrifice analytic philosophy for the sake of a power grab.

Miguel

180 day(s) ago

Interesting that anti-due process SJWs (the sort who like to post unverified stories) have found a home here in this forum.

Athanasius

Yeah, I agree. I really do.

On the other hand, I've got irrefutable, up-close knowledge of Reeve's harassment. I don't go around talking about it, but those are the facts. I guess I could add that it's no secret--unfortunately, lots of his students know about it first-hand. But what good would that do? Here, of course, it's all hearsay. There are other places where it isn't. (Though *that's* hearsay in this context, too...) So people like me are stuck between two bad options: keep quiet about something genuinely deplorable, or risk contributing to an atmosphere that promotes unsupported and often false accusations.

My solution to this problem is: I don't bring the topic up, but when it comes up, I say my peace. Which is what I just did. Then I shut up. Which is what I'm about to do. It's a bad solution, but I don't have a better one.

Peg

180 day(s) ago

What it's like blog = Fake news

Remember Albany:

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/06/19/three-u-albany-students-faked-hate-crime-get-probation/

Lev

180 day(s) ago

What it's like blog = Fake news

Peg

Do you want to sound like a man-baby like trump? Because using those words is how you get to sound like a man-baby like Trump.

Leonard

180 day(s) ago

What it's like blog = Fake news

Peg

Do you want to sound like a man-baby like trump? Because using those words is how you get to sound like a man-baby like Trump.

Lev

Trigger Warning: Trump

What's funny is that Trump neither coined nor popularized "fake news". It was an interesting concept weaponized by radicalized left-wingers to demonize outlets that disagreed with their politics, and then appropriated by the deplorables. Cultural appropriation alert!

Vladimir

180 day(s) ago

What it's like blog = Fake news

Peg

Do you want to sound like a man-baby like trump? Because using those words is how you get to sound like a man-baby like Trump.

Lev

Trigger Warning: Trump

What's funny is that Trump neither coined nor popularized "fake news". It was an interesting concept weaponized by radicalized left-wingers to demonize outlets that disagreed with their politics, and then appropriated by the deplorables. Cultural appropriation alert!

Leonard

Fake history.

https://www.merriam- webster.com/words-at-play/the-real-story-of-fake-news

Yang

174 day(s) ago

Probably a good idea to report other stories like this for archival on Philosophical Misconduct, though Reeve and Jaggar are already there. https://philosophicalmisconduct.wordpress.com/

Hao

169 day(s) ago

There is no harassment problem in philosophy. If women choose to use sex to get grades, jobs, or whatever, they are responsible for making that trade.

Hao

169 day(s) ago

What it's like blog = Fake news

Peg

Do you want to sound like a man-baby like trump? Because using those words is how you get to sound like a man-baby like Trump.

Lev

fuck off you disgusting piece of shit

also, which moron is responsible for the idiotic draconian setting on the i'm not a robot bollocks. Fix you, you asshole, and stop wasting people's time.

Cleanthes

169 day(s) ago

man-baby
Lev

Why do feminists hate men when they act like men, and call them man-babies when they act like women? You can't have it both ways.

Giordano

169 day(s) ago

I was sexually harassed by a female colleague in grad school. Where can male philosophers complain about sexual harassment?

Zhou

169 day(s) ago

I was sexually harassed by a female colleague in grad school. Where can male philosophers complain about sexual harassment?

Giordano

Ha, yeah, I'm male, and I've had experiences with female colleagues in grad school and as a professor that would count as harassment if I'd have done them to women. Most of them I count as no big deal...but if the sexes were switched, you'd probably show up on the "What is it like to be a woman in philosophy?" blog. The only really alarming one was that one of my female students had some kind of mental thing a year or so after she'd graduated. I started getting emails from her (on a different continent, at least...so...thank God for small favors...) Suggesting that I'd had some kind of weird influence on her, and suggesting sexual things. I mean, the emails obviously the result of someone having some kind of mental problems...but my first thought was still "Well, I'm fucked." After it died down without further incident (fingers crossed), it struck me that, regardless of which end of that exchange the man was on, some people I know would count it against him--or against men generally. Of course just receiving such emails could sink a man. But if a male student sent such email to a female teacher, many would count it as yet another way in which women in academia are besieged by men or the subject of unwanted male attention or whatever.

Obviously not saying that women don't have it hard in academia...but damn, sometimes I realize that I'm one crazy accusation away from shame and ruin.

Zhou

169 day(s) ago

*"IT would probably show up on the 'what is it like...' blog," not "YOU'd probably..."

Philipp

169 day(s) ago

One time my then supervisor's tipsy lover, who also happened to be his colleague, tried to play footsie with me in front of him and others. I am a man, and she is a woman, so I was of course at the time amused knowing that if the role's had been reversed, I would have payed big time for behavior like that. And rightly so, I might add.

But the point that no one really seems to make is this: sexual harassment is bad, but what about the underlying lust? If people controlled themselves and chose not to live with a lustful eye, then all this would come to and end. You can say: well, that will never happen. But that's precisely my point. This is why institutional and bureaucratic initiative and policies against such behavior will never succeed against either.

People already know right from wrong. They are just unwilling to do what is right.

Sexual harassment will only come to an end when people decide to transform their heart and pluck out the evil eye and put an end to all of the other sexual immorality in their life.

Ehrenfried

169 day(s) ago

But the point that no one really seems to make is this: sexual harassment is bad, but what about the underlying lust? If people controlled themselves and chose not to live with a lustful eye, then all this would come to and end. You can say: well, that will never happen. But that's precisely my point. This is why institutional and bureaucratic initiative and policies against such behavior will never succeed against either.

Philipp

It depends how you define the success of these "bureaucratic initiatives and policies". If you mean that they will not succeed in completely eliminating all forms of sexual harrassment, you are certainly right. But I think an intelligent defender of these kinds of policies would grant that. The point of these policies is not to create a utopia in which no one ever makes unwanted sexual advances of any kind. There point is to decrease the incidence of sexual harrassment. And it's perfectly plausible that they might do that.

Don't get me wrong, I think there are all sorts of reasons to be worried about these kinds of policies (Kipnis' book has a lot of good stuff on this), but this is not the way to argue against them IMO.

Alain

169 day(s) ago

But the point that no one really seems to make is this: sexual harassment is bad, but what about the underlying lust?

No one makes that point because it's dumb. Why have laws or rules against any bad acts at all?

Milan

169 day(s) ago

But the point that no one really seems to make is this: sexual harassment is bad, but what about the underlying lust?

No one makes that point because it's dumb. Why have laws or rules against any bad acts at all?

Alain

To the extent unwanted advances are construed as sexual harassment, employee and student codes of conduct might not make much differences. Humans are sexual beings. They'll pursue sex and love with other humans unless the costs are raised to draconian levels. So the question is whether the costs of regulating the problematic behaviors are likely to pay off on net. The point you're addressing if charitably construed is neither trivial nor dumb.

Philipp

169 day(s) ago

But the point that no one really seems to make is this: sexual harassment is bad, but what about the underlying lust?

No one makes that point because it's dumb. Why have laws or rules against any bad acts at all?

Alain

I did not say, nor did I mean to imply, that we shouldn't have laws or rules against bad acts.

I simply meant to say that the underlying cause of the bad behavior lies in the human heart.

People looks to systems and institutions and policies for justice, rather than looking within themselves to see if they're truly doing their own part.


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