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Friday Ephemera

Return To The Planet Of The Bedlamites

Jillian Kay Melchior shares an eye-widening guide to the Clown Quarter’s academic standards, and the unhappy personalities it attracts

The three academics call themselves “left-leaning liberals.” Yet they’re dismayed by what they describe as a “grievance studies” takeover of academia, especially its encroachment into the sciences… Beginning in August 2017, the trio wrote 20 hoax papers, submitting them to peer-reviewed journals under a variety of pseudonyms… Journals accepted seven hoax papers. Four have been published…

One hoax paper, submitted to Hypatia [a journal of feminist philosophy], proposed a teaching method centred on “experiential reparations.” It suggested that professors rate students’ levels of oppression based on race, gender, class and other identity categories. Students deemed “privileged” would be kept from commenting in class, interrupted when they did speak, and “invited” to “sit on the floor” or “to wear (light) chains around their shoulders, wrists or ankles for the duration of the course.”

Students who complained would be told that this “educational tool” helps them confront “privileged fragility.” Hypatia’s two unnamed peer reviewers did not object that the proposed teaching method was abusive. “I like this project very much,” one commented. One wondered how to make privileged students “feel genuinely uncomfortable in ways that are humbling and productive,” but not “so uncomfortable (shame) that they resist with renewed vigour.” 

In the world of intersectional grievance hustling, citing dog-humping incidents as evidence of “rape culture” constitutes “very good work” and “excellent scholarship.” We also learn that an aversion to transsexuality can be “challenged” with “receptive penetrative sex toy use.” Oh, and it turns out that you can impress a peer-reviewed feminist social work journal with chapters of Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

And yes, there is a video by the hoaxers, explaining their motives and unexpected success, embedded below the fold. 

Further background and responses can be found over at Quillette, including this rather telling observation by Nathan Cofnas

The flagship feminist philosophy journal, Hypatia, accepted a paper arguing that social justice advocates should be allowed to make fun of others, but no one should be permitted to make fun of them. The same journal invited resubmission of a paper arguing that “privileged students shouldn’t be allowed to speak in class at all and should just listen and learn in silence,” and that they would benefit from “experiential reparations” that include “sitting on the floor, wearing chains, or intentionally being spoken over.”

The reviewers complained that this hoax paper took an overly compassionate stance toward the “privileged” students who would be subjected to this humiliation, and recommended that they be subjected to harsher treatment. Is asking people of a certain race to sit on the floor in chains better than asking them to wear a yellow star? What exactly is this leading to?

A good question. What might such people do, given real power?

Via Andy NgoPreviously