St. Anselm, Eat Your Heart Out

Posted in Uncategorized on October 5th, 2010 by bl1y

Yesterday I wrote a post discussing how x & (y v ~y) > (x v y) & ~(x & y), and for those of you wondering what that means, let me put it into layman’s terms for you: x & (y v ~y) is better than (x v y) & ~(x & y).

In a response to a comment left by reader wlmingtonwave about feminists and the LGBT camp hijacking issues that don’t really involve them, I said:

Feminists call it “intersectionality,” but really it’s academic imperialism, claiming every minority issue as a feminist one, be it disability, race, religion, age, or obesity (okay, not really a minority issue any more). Hell, they even make animal rights into a feminist issue. The area they’re trying to take over now is men’s issues.

[Emphasis added.]

Well, am I prophetic or what?

Today, on the Feminist Law Prof’s Blog, John Kang (Associate Professor, St. Thomas) posted a piece titled Manliness Part I: Anyone Call for a Knight? And, in that post he says this:

I know that this blog is called Feminist Law Professors but it seems to me that much of feminism as an ontology is also about masculinity or issues of manliness (consider that notwithstanding its title MacKinnon’s Feminism Unmodified is in substantial ways an untrammeled exploration of hypermasculinity and manliness).

Am I prophetic, or what?

Now, some of you may be wondering what that queer little word is Kang used: ontology.  Ontology is the philosophical study of existence, and to a lesser degree, the grouping and hierarchical organization of things that exist.  Actually, a much lesser degree.  That hierarchy and grouping stuff sounds a lot like what feminism deals with, but really, ontology isn’t so close to ground level.  Traditionally, ontology refers to philosophy about whether change is possible, and whether God is the type of being such that it would be impossible for him not to exist.

Kang doesn’t really mean that feminism is an ontology, what he means is that using obscure philosophical terms of art should act as a justification for trying to force the entire world to fit within the view of his ill conceived myopia.

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x & (y v ~y) > (x v y) & ~(x & y)

Posted in Uncategorized on October 4th, 2010 by bl1y

Over on one of my favorite places on the internet, the Feminist Law Professors’ Blog, there’s a new post out by Katherine Franke, a professor at Columbia School of Law, and director of the CLS Center for Gender and Sexuality Law.  She discusses whether the death of Tyler Clementi (the Rutgers student who killed himself after being secretly filmed having sex with another man) was “a privacy crime or a hate crime.”

First, a little lesson in logic, grammar, and basic human intelligence.  The word “or” can be used in an inclusive way, meaning “either x or y, or both” or in an exclusive way, meaning “either x or y, but not both.”  In the deductive logic world, disjunctions are inclusive, but in colloquial English, the exclusive is the default, absent some overriding context.  If I say “I’m going to order the fish or the steak” it would be surprising if I ordered both.

So, is Professor Franke using the inclusive or exclusive “or” in her query?  Well, let’s consider what she would mean if she used the inclusive.  She is asking is it a privacy crime, a hate crime, or both?  Reasonable minds would all agree that it is a privacy crime.  Even if Tyler Clementi had simply been sitting at his desk doing homework, surreptitiously filming him would be a privacy crime.  That’s not even up for debate.  So, the inclusive “or” doesn’t really make sense to use.  The question should only be “is this also a hate crime?”

But, what if she was using the more common exclusive “or”?  She would mean it is either a privacy crime or a hate crime, but it can’t be both.  As stupid as that would be, I believe this is what she means.  Feminist Academia is a jealous creature and does not like to share.  They view the world in an “us v. them” mentality, and if Tyler Clementi’s death is viewed from a cyber-bullying perspective, the tech wonks will have a large voice in the discussion, and those people are quite likely to be straight, white, upper-middle class males.  Can’t have that.  So, the only way to make sure this is an feminist issue is to frame it as “either privacy, or hate, but not both” and then argue that you may not focus on the privacy issues, because this has been officially claimed by the feminist camp.

And, she tries to do just that.

Here’s the thing: if he’d been video-taped having sex with a woman he might have felt personally violated, exposed, and maybe humiliated, but it would have been something that was publicly available for boasting and homosocial bonding (thank you Eve Sedgwick).  And above all else, the victim here would have been the woman.  He would have been (regardless of what he actually felt) the hero of the film.  The fact that everyone agrees that he was the injured party here is testament to the enduring cost of heterosexism.

Riiight, because all men are always okay with being filmed having sex with a woman.  No one minds having their pale, doughy ass filmed pumping on top of whatever random wildebeest they drunkenly brought home from a bar for the three minutes they last before giving up and passing out.  That’s 100% bragging rights material there.

She does raise an interesting question about why the other young man hasn’t also been discussed.  But, there’s an easy enough answer.  The other man is, so far, still anonymous.  And, when it comes to privacy invasions, an anonymous victim suffers much less harm.  If someone takes a picture of my naked ass, but doesn’t identify me, it just goes off into the internet ether and I never hear about it.  If it has my name tagged to it, well, there’s a big fucking difference there.

Oh, and also Tyler Clementi is dead; the other kid is not.

Maybe that’s why he’s the focus of the story.

As Namby Pamby pointed out on the last episode of Blind Drunk Justice, Tyler’s roommate wasn’t filming him because he hates gays, he did it because he’s a dumb college kid and this is what dumb college kids do to their roommates.

For a little pick me up (which you’ll need if you listened to our podcast), go watch the Audio Prank that started off the College Humor Prank War (sorry, embedding is disabled).  I guess Amir was only disturbed by the prank because he’s a heterophobe, right?  And Streeter must hate Jews.  …Oh, wait.

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Richard Storrow is a Feminist Hack

Posted in Uncategorized on August 6th, 2010 by bl1y

In principle I have no problem with feminism.  But, I do have a problem with partisan hacks, and Professor Richard Storrow (CUNY School of Law) is a feminist hack.

Over at the Feminist Law Prof’s Blog, Storrow posted a piece talking about Eggsploitation, a documentary about the human egg industry.  Here are some of the “highlights” from that article:

“Eggsploitation” exposes what happens to young women who are objectified as sources of eggs by an industry os ay satisfying the ever expanding demand for in vitro fertilization. Although “Eggsploitation” should be a feminist documentary, it is not.

Why should it be a feminist documentary? Why can’t it just be a documentary with no social or political agenda? Why can’t it just present facts and let the viewers draw their own conclusions?  Not that it would be bad to make a feminist documentary about the human egg industry, but there’s no reason why every documentary on the subject should have a feminist point of view.

Despite its upsides in bringing eggsploitation to light, “Eggsploitation” makes a fatal misstep by including in its parade of experts those whose agendas are far from feminist.

What?  Oh, right, I forgot that it’s always a mistake to hear from people with different beliefs than you.  Diversity is important, every type of diversity except for view point diversity (which is of course the whole point of diversity in the first place).

Although CORE denounces sex selection and research using cloned embryos, the basis for the positions it takes is “absolute respect for the human embryo,” not women’s rights.

I’m against murdering women, and not because of the women’s rights issues involved, but because I’m against murder.  So respect for human embryos is not a good reason to take a particular point of view? You must also hold views for feminist reasons?  Also, it’s entirely consist for a person who believes in gender equity to believe that a human embryo is a human being with certain rights and those rights may trump some of the rights of its mother instead of the other way around.  Not everyone subscribes to your particular brand of feminism, and not all feminists are required to believe Women’s Rights > Every Other Consideration.

That a professor can outright condemn view point diversity in a documentary and not be shouted down by his peers reflects very poorly on the state of academia in this country.

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Privacy Fail

Posted in Uncategorized on July 14th, 2010 by bl1y

Ooooops!

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Noon-Thirty News 07/06/10

Posted in News on July 6th, 2010 by bl1y

What’s 300 – 300 – 600 – 3900?
[Law.com]

The answer: Legal job growth for May and June.

Initial reports had the legal sector growing by 300 jobs in May, but a recalculation not only took away that growth, but found 600 jobs had been lost.  June was worse, with the loss of 3,900 jobs.

In America It’s Called Soccer…
[Bitter Lawyer]

In the rest of the world, it’s called futball.

But, in law firms, it’s called “canceled vacation.”

More than two years ago I began planning a trip to see the World Cup in South Africa, and a little more than a year ago I cleared the trip with all the appropriate supervisors at my firm.

[...] A week ago, I was told I would have to cancel my trip because some work had come up.  But, not just any work, work for a department I’m not a part of.

Sounds like someone works for the Koman Coulibaly Legal Group.  Sorry bro.  Or, as they say in South Africa, “BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Kobayashi to Experience Different Hot Dog Eating Contest
[USA Today]

You may have heard over the weekend that Kobayashi, the amazing hot dog eater from Japan was not only not allowed to compete in the annual July 4th Nathan’s Hot Dog eating competition at Coney Island, but was arrested after climbing on stage in a last ditch effort to get into the competition.

Kobayashi spent one night in jail, and has been released after pleading not guilty to trespassing and resisting arrest.

Everything’s Bigger in Texas
[Above the Law]

So big in fact, that Texas needs yet another law school.  University of North Texas’s headline:

Opening a public law school at the right time in the right place.

FML, FYL, FAOLs

Feminist Profs Accidentally Discredit Selves
[Time Magazine via Feminist Law Profs Blog]

If you know many feminist professors, you’re probably familiar with the mantra that everything is caused by societal norms, and genetics have virtually nothing to do with anything.  …Except that gays are gay by nature, but there’s not a biological or chemical explanation to be discovered, so stop looking…

Well, the Feminist Law Prof’s Blog has posted a story about some (pretty ethically questionable) experiments involving hormone treatments given to pregnant women.  Turns out that differences in hormones can cause girls to behave like stereotypical girls, or to behave more like tom boys, and vice versa for boys.

Turns out that boys will be boys, and not that boys will be boys because we reward archetypical boyish behavior and reinforce such behavior through societal norms.

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Collegiality My Aching Ass

Posted in Uncategorized on May 14th, 2010 by bl1y

What the frack is wrong with Badget Crawford?

She just posted on the Feminist Law Professor’s Blog one of the most inane things I have ever read:

1 If a faculty member is a great teacher, but is not collegial, then the faculty member is not contributing positively to the educational institution.

2 And if a faculty member has the gift of communication, and understanding of a subject matter, and scholarship in a particular area; and if a faculty member has intellectual interests, but does not engage constructively with others, then the faculty member is not contributing to the academy.

3 And though a faculty member may be generous with one’s time in meeting with students, and though the faculty member may proclaim himself or herself a good teacher, if the faculty member is not collegial, then an adjunct position may be more appropriate.

4 Collegiality suffers long meetings, and is civil when others are not; collegiality focuses not on the faults of others; collegiality does not promote oneself at the expense of others.

5 Collegiality does not behave unprofessionally, seek personal power, provoke easily, speak ill of others.

6 Collegiality rejoices not in failures by the administration or faculty, but points out and celebrates success and achievements.

7 Collegiality is open to different viewpoints, believes others act in good faith, hopes for the best, admits when one is wrong.

8 Collegiality never fails (well, doesn’t fail too often), stops or vanishes entirely.

9 Because each of us is right sometimes, and each of us is wrong sometimes.

10 When a proposal, program or initiative that is good comes, then the search for absolute perfection shall be done away.

11 Before I was a law school faculty member, I might have been a practicing lawyer; but when I became a law school faculty member, I put behind me any negative behaviors associated with lawyers who serve clients to make a living.

12 For now we see through a controversy, question or institutional challenge darkly; but then with an open-mind; but then shall I help others develop professionally even as also I am developing professionally.

13 And now focus on one’s teaching, scholarship and service; but always value collegiality.

I can’t imagine what sort of faculty drama inspired her to post this drivel, but it smells of passive aggression.  Aside from that though, we get a good look at what Professor Crawford thinks the role of a law professor is.

Even if you’re a great teacher, that doesn’t matter if you’re not nice to your coworkers?  Bullshit.  I bet the students think that professor contributes positively to the institution.

If you don’t share your ideas with your coworkers, then you don’t contribute to the academy?  Isaac Newton’s greatest contributions to math and physics came at a time when his school was closed (because of the plague) and he was left to think about the issues by himself.  I think we can agree he contributed quite a bit.

And really, demoted to adjunct professor because you don’t play well with others?  That’s just flat out retarded.

How about this as a theory of how “the academy” should operate:

1. If you don’t teach your students knowledge or skills that will be of practical value when they enter the work force, then

2. Get the fuck out.

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Reason Not to Go to Law School #39

Posted in Reasons Not to Go to Law School on March 29th, 2010 by bl1y

Women want you incompetent.

Specifically, the Association of American Law Schools Section on Women in Legal Education thinks you should be learning less law and lawyering skills while in law school.

The AALS Section on Women in Legal Education will hold a program during the AALS 2011 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California, with panelists who will share methods of teaching gender in “core courses” such as legal writing, torts, contracts, corporations, federal income tax, civil procedure, contracts, or criminal law, among others not traditionally understood to include gender.  The panel will also include a paper presentation by the winner of “Teaching Gender as a Core Value” competition.

The 2011 AALS conference theme is “Core Values.”  The Section on Women in Legal Education will be focusing on teaching gender issues as a “core value.”  This includes both teaching gender across the curriculum and best practices for incorporating gender issues in the classroom.  While many in the academy are in agreement that gender issues impact a range of legal issues, what is less clear is how law faculty can successfully implement the pervasive teaching of gender in their classrooms and schools.  This program will include a variety of perspectives and will explore ways gender issues can be successfully incorporated into law school teaching.

Class time in law school is limited, so the addition of a new part of the curriculum will necessarily come at the cost of something else.  Law schools are already notoriously bad at teaching the law, and don’t do a particularly good job of teaching lawyering skills either.  The last thing they need is another completely impractical topic wedged into classes that already fail to accomplish their basic functions.

If students are interested in studying gender, they could have majored in gender studies, or can take one of the classes on gender or feminism now offered at virtually every American law school.  Note however, that while you can easily find a class covering gender, only a handful of law schools have classes that teach advanced writing skills, or how to draft a contract or a will (even if you take a wills class, you might not even see a complete will the entire semester.)

People seeking to submit papers for the program (only fully time professors are allowed) are invited to contact Professor Danne Johnson at Oklahoma City University School of law (djohnson@okcu.edu) about this opportunity.  However, I suggest sending her a (politely worded) letter explaining that before we establish the “pervasive” teaching of gender in law school, we should first figure out how to have a pervasive teaching of law in law school.

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Stephen Colbert Makes Wayne Brady Look Like Bryant Gumbel

Posted in Dumb Ideas Girls Have on March 8th, 2010 by bl1y

First thing’s first, zoom on over to Huffington Post and check out the video of Stephen Colbert turning Sean Hannity into his bitch.

The clip is pretty standard fare for Colbert.  With some green screen technology and old clips from Hannity’s show on Fox, Colbert creates a fake interview in which he pimps out an all-to-eager Hannity.  And, as if Colbert wasn’t funny enough, here’s Ann Bartow’s take on the whole thing:

More evidence that Supposedly Liberal Dudes view women as second class citizens. The way that Colbert frames prostitution as the most degrading thing possible is creepy and sad. And anyone who thinks legalization would make any difference in the level of contempt thrown at people who sell sex should investigate similar cultural references to women in pornography.

Whaaaat?

First of all, Colbert isn’t necessarily liberal, he just has a liberal fan base.  There is little evidence of what Colbert’s political views are.  Sure, his show ridicules the right, but he always goes after the extremists and fanatics.  Plenty of people on both sides are fed up with the crazy fringe elements.  The only thing we really know is that Colbert is a devout Catholic.

Moving on, the clip does nothing to suggest women are second class citizens.  In fact, it doesn’t even mention women.  It mentions prostitutes, but in the context of gay prostitution.  Apparently to Ann Bartow prostitution is an issue which only concerns women and gay prostitutes (who face far more dangerous working conditions than women) simply don’t matter.  I guess they’re third-class citizens.

Colbert also never suggests that prostitution is the most degrading thing ever.  In fact, the idea of pimping out Sean Hannity seems to suggest that the sex industry may be a respectable way to earn your keep.

Once again, some brilliant analysis from the fine minds educating American law students.  (Ann Bartow is a professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law, where she teaches intellectual property, and is an administrator for the Feminist Law Professors Blog.)

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You Dumb Cow

Posted in Uncategorized on March 5th, 2010 by bl1y

Bridget Crawford recently posted some information on the Feminist Law Professors blog about the “intersections between feminist theory and animal law.”

What. The. Frack.

Intersectionality in feminism usually refers to the interplay of feminist theory and some other theory, such as race theory or queer theory.  Usually these make some sense.  Black women have, in general, faced different challenges than white women.  Lesbian women are treated differently than straight women.

But feminism and animals?

Sorry.  No.  “Feminism” is not a catchall phrase for every pet project the radical left has adopted.

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Where are the Data, Cripes!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 18th, 2010 by bl1y

Ann Bartow over at the Feminist Law Professors blog posted the list of lateral law faculty moves this year (via TheFacultyLounge.org).  It’s hard to get Professor Bartow’s take (because she didn’t provide commentary) on the fact that the list showed only male professors, but she did put “Cripes!” in the title of the post, and tag it as “The Overrepresesentation of Men” and “The Underrepresentation of Women,” so I think it’s safe to say she thinks that there’s some sort of gender discrimination going on in lateral hiring.

But, before we can legitimately start throwing out accusations of discrimination, we should answer two important questions.  (We can, of course, have illegitimate accusations without any sort of analysis or rational thought.)  First, is there a non-discriminatory explanation; and second, do these moves tend to benefit men?

Without conducting a rather intensive study, we can’t tell why only men were moving.  Maybe it is discrimination, but maybe it’s just that men are generally less satisfied with their jobs.  Maybe very few women even attempted a lateral transfer.

However, based on the list alone, we can look at whether these moves benefit men.  I’ve assumed that professors prefer to teach at better schools, and have used the US News and World Report rankings as a way of judging whether they moved to a better or worse school.  There are plenty of problems with the US News ranks, but I think they’re still useful here.  Only four moves involved schools within 10 ranks of each other So. Cal. to Texas (+3), and UVA to Michigan (-1), Arizona to Florida State (-9), and Marquette to St. John’s (both ranked 87).  Even if US News does not reflect law school quality, it is safe to assume that professors care somewhat about perception of quality and prestige, which the US News rankings are a perfect judge of.

I wanted to do a straight numerical analysis, but many of the moves involved schools without a number rank because they are T3, T4 or have never been scored.  I’ve also decided not to consider two of the moves at all: Professor R. A. Duff moved to Minnesota from the Stirling Philosophy department, and Professor Jeremy Waldron is moving from NYU to Oxford.  I’m just not really sure what to do with either move.

So, looking at just the moves between T1 and T2 schools what do we find?  7 professors made downward moves, with an average loss of 20 ranks, while 6 made upward moves with an average gain of 25 ranks.  More moved down, but the upward moves were better.  I think we can call this a wash.

Now let’s look at moves involving T3, T4 and unranked schools.  Professors from LSU (75), Alabama (30), Capital (T4), and Bloomington (23) moved to unranked schools.  I don’t know whether to call the move from Capital a gain or a loss, but for the other three this looks like a pretty significant drop.  There was also one professor going down from a T3 (Texas Tech) to a T4 (Texas Wesleyan).  If we treat unranked schools as T4, we saw two professors drop 3 tiers, one drop 2 tiers, and one drop 1 tier.

And here are the upward moves: Texas Wesleyan (T4) to Gonzaga (40), Florida International (T4) to Indianapolis (87), Michigan State (T3) to Kansas (65), South Texas (T4) to Loyola (T3), and West Virginia (T3) to Villanova (61).  One professor jumped 3 tiers, one jumped 2, and the rest moved up by 1.

It’s also worth noting that three professors moved to tenure track, which is generally considered a pretty important advancement, but each of those moves involved a significant drop, LSU (75) to Charleston (Not Ranked), American (45) to Depaul (87), and Bloomington (23) to Elon (Not Ranked).

I think the moves down look a bit worse than the moves up, but not by a big enough margin, and the sample size is too small to draw any reliable conclusions, except one: Ann Bartow gets stirred up too easily.  It is interesting that out of 25 lateral moves no women were listed.  But, there’s not enough data to support any claim of discrimination, and not even really enough to back up a blog headline of “Where are the Women, Lateral Hires Edition, Cripes!”

My guess is she just got an early start in the race to be offended.

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