[FoRK] The Great Prohibition - Title IX craziness

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Sat May 30 12:00:49 PDT 2015

Is even talking about it abusive?

A 60 year old dating a 21 year old is disconcerting.  A 27 year old professor dating a 23 year old student, not so much.

Can you factor out age gap ick from professor / student ick?  Are there different varieties of professor / student ick?


On 5/30/15 11:47 AM, Gregory Alan Bolcer wrote:
> Professors dating their students is icky.
> Greg
> On 5/30/2015 11:19 AM, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
>> Way overboard.  Hopefully we'll work our way back, keeping in mind the
>> extremes that we've already visited.
>> http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/05/29/laura_kipnis_title_ix_investigation_feminism_political_correctness_controversy.html 
>>> Title IX Investigation Opened Against Female Northwestern Professor
>>> Over Column, Tweet
>>> Laura Kipnis during a 2014 interview.
>>> In February, Northwestern film professor and liberal cultural critic
>>> (and occasional Slate contributor) Laura Kipnis wrote an article for
>>> the Chronicle of Higher Education called "Sexual Paranoia Strikes
>>> Academe." Kipnis' piece was critical of what she called the "layers of
>>> prohibition and sexual terror" that have inspired campus rules
>>> prohibiting romantic relationships between professors and students.
>>> Wrote Kipnis:
>>>     It’s the fiction of the all-powerful professor embedded in the new
>>> campus codes that appalls me. And the kowtowing to the
>>> fiction—kowtowing wrapped in a vaguely feminist air of rectitude. If
>>> this is feminism, it’s feminism hijacked by melodrama. The
>>> melodramatic imagination’s obsession with helpless victims and
>>> powerful predators is what’s shaping the conversation of the moment,
>>> to the detriment of those whose interests are supposedly being
>>> protected, namely students. The result? Students’ sense of
>>> vulnerability is skyrocketing.
>>> Later in the piece, she argued that students "so committed to their
>>> own vulnerability, conditioned to imagine they have no agency, and
>>> protected from unequal power arrangements in romantic life" will
>>> struggle to deal with the problems and conflicts of the real world.
>>> On Friday, Kipnis published another piece in the Chronicle, revealing
>>> that, in a twist that's ironic on more than one level, she is now the
>>> subject of an investigation into graduate student complaints that her
>>> earlier column and a subsequent tweet violated Title IX, the law that
>>> prohibits sex descrimination in education. Her piece, in addition to
>>> pointing out the absurdity of being charged with discriminatory
>>> behavior because of an essay, alleges an investigatory process that's
>>> ridiculously opaque for the accused:
>>>     I wouldn’t be informed about the substance of the complaints until
>>> I met with the investigators. Apparently the idea was that they’d tell
>>> me the charges, and then, while I was collecting my wits, interrogate
>>> me about them. The term "kangaroo court" came to mind. I wrote to ask
>>> for the charges in writing. The coordinator wrote back thanking me for
>>> my thoughtful questions.
>>> One of Kipnis' accusers was alluded to, though not by name and
>>> seemingly without rancor or judgment, in Kipnis' first piece. This
>>> accuser apparently said Kipnis' allusion to her was "retaliatory" and
>>> believes the above-linked tweet refers to her, which Kipnis says is
>>> not the case. The other accuser was not mentioned at all in Kipnis'
>>> essay but is said to have brought charges "on behalf" of the
>>> university and two individuals who were referred to anonymously in the
>>> first piece.
>>> Kipnis was not allowed to have an attorney present during her
>>> interview with Title IX investigators, she writes, but she was allowed
>>> to bring along another faculty member as a "support person" provided
>>> that the person she brought did not speak. That support person later
>>> discussed Kipnis' situation at a "Faculty Senate" meeting—and has
>>> subsequently been accused of, yes, committing a Title IX violation.
>>> Ben Mathis-Lilley edits the Slatest. Follow @Slatest on Twitter.
>> https://chronicle.com/article/Sexual-Paranoia/190351/
>>> "I don’t quite know how to characterize the willingness of my supposed
>>> feminist colleagues to hand over the rights of faculty—women as well
>>> as men—to administrators and attorneys in the name of protection from
>>> unwanted sexual advances," he said. "I suppose the word would be
>>> ‘zeal.’" His own view was that the existing sexual-harassment policy
>>> already protected students from coercion and a hostile environment;
>>> the new rules infantilized students and presumed the guilt of
>>> professors. When I asked if I could quote him, he begged for
>>> anonymity, fearing vilification from his colleagues.
>>> These are things you’re not supposed to say on campuses now. But let’s
>>> be frank. To begin with, if colleges and universities around the
>>> country were in any way serious about policies to prevent sexual
>>> assaults, the path is obvious: Don’t ban teacher-student romance, ban
>>> fraternities. And if we want to limit the potential for sexual
>>> favoritism—another rationale often proffered for the new policies—then
>>> let’s include the institutionalized sexual favoritism of spousal
>>> hiring, with trailing spouses getting ranks and perks based on whom
>>> they’re sleeping with rather than CVs alone, and brought in at
>>> salaries often dwarfing those of senior and more accomplished
>>> colleagues who didn’t have the foresight to couple more advantageously.
>>> Lastly: The new codes sweeping American campuses aren’t just a
>>> striking abridgment of everyone’s freedom, they’re also intellectually
>>> embarrassing. Sexual paranoia reigns; students are trauma cases
>>> waiting to happen. If you wanted to produce a pacified, cowering
>>> citizenry, this would be the method. And in that sense, we’re all the
>>> victims.
>> sdw
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Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net stephendwilliams at gmail.com LinkedIn: http://sdw.st/in
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