December 15, 2014
Charles Cooke on the Rolling Stone “gang rape” saga and the contortions of certain feminists:
Just a few short weeks ago, when Rolling Stone’s story was almost universally believed to be true, we were urged to read each and every sordid detail of the case so that we might better acquaint ourselves with the broader problems that are presented by “rape culture.” Today, as the story continues to collapse, the opposite view is regnant, and the very same people now contend that we should not be focusing on an individual case such as this in the first place… “Not sure,” Vox’s Libby Nelson asked last night in a tweet that summed up the volte-face, what the Washington Post’s “endgame is in continuing to pursue” the facts.
Somewhat related, James Ceaser on the madness of crowds on campus:
Every adult [on campus], if not every student, knows what happened at Duke eight years ago, where, under pressure from the same kind of academic crowd behaviour, members of the men’s lacrosse team were tainted and criminally prosecuted for rape, under charges that ultimately proved baseless. Every professor in media studies is fully aware of the spectacular hoaxes of modern journalism, from the accounts of urban poverty by Janet Cooke in the Washington Post to the multiple fabrications of Stephen Glass in the New Republic. And scholars of literature and history cannot be ignorant of the psychology of false accusation, from the biblical story of Potiphar’s wife down to the rape charges by Tawana Brawley, cynically perpetuated by Al Sharpton. Yet, in the climate of the moment, none of the perspective that these teachers could have offered, even if they had wished to do so, was ever brought to bear.
Speaking of Mr Sharpton, Ms Brawley and their lies, here’s Bill Whittle on identitarian politics and the new barbarism:
In 1991, legal scholar Patricia J Williams wrote that Brawley “has been the victim of some unspeakable crime no matter how she got there, no matter who did it to her, and even if she did it to herself.” Are we all clear on that now? A Doctor of Jurisprudence from Harvard Law School and current Law Professor at Columbia University said that Tawana Brawley, who slandered an innocent man with the most vile charges imaginable, was not the perpetrator of an unspeakable crime but the victim of one.
And Katherine Timpf reports on academia’s ongoing cultivation of stoicism, fortitude and self-possession:
Princeton University students recently launched Tiger Microaggressions, a service that takes other students’ reports of microaggressions and publishes them on its Facebook page — so that no one has to “carry the burden alone to call out” offences against political correctness... The page, by the way, also refers to microaggressions as “papercuts of oppression,” which are “so small but slice deep.” […] According to the operators, “microaggressions are all around us” and anything can be a microaggression because “there are no objective definitions to words and phrases.”
Yes, “papercuts of oppression.” And “no objective definitions.” At Princeton University. Feel free to share your own links and snippets in the comments.