Today’s Phrase for Latin Lovers

Rex in Regno suo superiores habet Deum et Legem.

Translation:
The King in his Realm hath two superiors: God and the Law. -- Henry Care (1646-1688) on English liberties and the Magna Carta

------------------

Visit Prudy's Latin Lovers Store for textbooks, readers and fun Latin miscellany!

Support this site. Buy a book.*

@PruPaine Tweets

Ancient History

|Feminism Amuk

Miss America Expelled From Sorority

Oops. It turns out that the new Miss America has more resume problems.

KiraScholastic

In a media kit for Kira Kazantsev, the beauty pageant organization lists a variety of her achievements. A special highlight is “Leadership Roles.” It says she was the “Alpha Phi Sorority New Member Educator and Recruitment Committee President.” The only problem is that she was fired from that role and banned from further participation with that sorority in April 2013.

The liberal feminist website Jezebel discovered this when they noted an odd lack of congratulatory statements made by the sorority after Kazantsev’s Miss America win:

…neither the national Alpha Phi organization nor the Hofstra branch of Alpha Phi (Theta Mu) publicly acknowledged that one of their own had just won the most prestigious beauty pageant in the world; nor did the local chapter and national organization recognize Kazantsev’s considerable achievement. The organization’s affiliated foundation was also silent, despite the fact that pictures of Kazantsev participating in Alpha Phi events are all over Facebook.

Jezebel’s investigation found:

After returning from her fall 2012 study abroad semester in Spain, Kazantsev began her term as Alpha Phi’s Recruitment Committee President for the incoming pledges. Kazantsev and her best friend (another Alpha Phi sister who was also her roommate), our source says, were exceptionally harsh toward the pledges. (In the tipster’s words, they made the recruits’ lives “a living hell.”) Under Kira’s supervision, according to the source, pledges in the incoming class were called names, berated for their perceived physical flaws and imperfections, and made to perform physical tasks to the point of bruising and exhaustion—standard sorority pledge stuff paid forward by a person who our source says was herself brutally hazed upon entry into Alpha Phi.

There are a couple points that Jezebel seems to have gotten wrong in their reporting. First, they say Kazantsev did a fall 2012 study abroad semester. But Kazantsev’s old, now deleted blog seems to indicate it was in the early months of 2012 that she was in Spain, not in the late ones. (See the archived screenshot below.)

AsToldByKira1

Second, Jezebel also continues on in the article to describe fantastical scenes of sorority hazing that their informants claim occurred at Hofstra, though not necessarily in the sorority that Kazantsev joined. But the hazing they describe sounds like wild urban legend, with tales of rejecting pledges deemed to be lesbians and then forcing all the remaining pledges to perform oral sex on the sorority members. I mean, come on. That’s just ludicrous, even if Jezebel says they have more than one source for that story. It calls into question the truthfulness of those sources, but it’s hard to determine if they were the ones also giving information about Kazantsev or if they were only speaking about the Greek system at Hofstra during that time.

But Jezebel did get the dismissal from the sorority right. They report:

When someone reported Kazantsev and her friend for “dirty pledging,” Hofstra didn’t turn a blind eye. After a months-long investigation into their actions, our source says, the pair was expelled from Alpha Phi in late 2013 and told they could no longer participate in any sorority activities, including the end-of-year formal. Kira and her bestie attended the formal, anyway, but had to sneak in with their dates.

The Miss America Organization fully admits that Kazantsev was “terminated” from her sorority, but then instead of addressing it, they weirdly try to draw the Wizard of Oz curtain closed by blaming the scandal on the people reporting what the pageant has tried to hide (if they even knew about her expulsion before they crowned her). In a statement that they released to numerous news organizations picking up on the Jezebel scoop, the pageant said:

Kira has been very open and candid about her termination from the Alpha Phi sorority. It’s unfortunate that this incident has been exploited to create a storyline that distracts from what we should be focusing on: Kira’s impressive academic achievements at Hofstra University, including earning a triple major from the Honors College and her commitment to serving her community. Kira is an exceptional ambassador for the MissAmerica Organization, and we are excited to be a part of her journey as a force for good across our nation, promoting education and service and working to empower young women.

The sorority Alpha Phi itself has remained silent, neither confirming the incident nor coming to the defense of Kazantsev. They did cancel their “Yoga on the Quad” event that was scheduled for tomorrow. They did not reply to an inquiry of whether the cancellation was related to the Kazantsev expulsion news, perhaps out of fear the media would swarm the event.

Kazantsev herself has now come out to publicly admit her expulsion from the sisterhood. But she claims she is really the victim here, clumsily attempting to tie the scandal into her anti-domestic violence platform. Using the occasion to launch her new Miss America blog kirakazantsev.com, Kazantsev wrote late last night in a post she titles “The Reality of Miss America“:

I was one of those girls who fell victim not only to the abuse of an intimate partner but the abuse of people who I thought were my friends. In response, I imposed that attitude unto others because I thought it was right.

So because she was “abused” by “people who I thought were my friends,” she went on to become an abuser. That sounds like a standard claim of abusers. But Kazantsev doesn’t seem so sure that it was ever abuse. She calls it “so-called hazing.”

When I entered the sorority recruitment process at Hofstra University in Spring 2010, I decided to join a sorority for the social life but I also thought that I was joining a legacy of success and philanthropy. My friends were joining, and for fear of being left out, I joined too. To be completely honest, I didn’t know what I was signing up for.

The worst of the so-called hazing was standing in a line reciting information, a few sleepless nights, and crafting. I was yelled at a few times. That year, the sorority got in trouble for those actions and was disciplined by both Hofstra and the national organization. However, after being brought up through that process, my class thought the only way to gain respect in the sorority was to go through it or be seen as weak.

She blames her expulsion not on hazing, but on a little email joke that some snitch forwarded to the national headquarters:

When I was a senior, as one of the older sisters in the sorority, I was asked by a new member educator at the time to send an email to alumni asking them to attend an event. In the email, I joked that we could make the evening scary for the pledges. That statement was a joke – we never intended to actually engage in the wrongful behavior that I have been accused of – and the alumni event I spoke of never came to fruition anyway. But this is when I learned a very important communications lesson that will stick with me for life.

The email was forwarded by someone to the national organization. Based on that information, the national office summoned me for a judiciary hearing. At the time, it was the end of the school year. Finals, graduation, and moving to New York City were at the forefront of my concerns. Based on the fact that I did not attend this hearing that was the official reason given for my termination.

I was never involved with any name-calling or use of profanity toward a girl during my time with the sorority. I was never involved in any physical hazing or any degradation of physical appearance of any kind. This has all been immensely taken out of context and manipulated purposefully because I am now in a public position.

The nameless source that is saying these things is doing exactly what it is that I was wrongfully accused of.

It’s odd that she claims she was banished only because she didn’t show up for the hearing. (Isn’t that a little arrogant to dismiss such a proceeding? If you were innocent, wouldn’t you want to plead your case? If the sisterhood that you proudly list on your resume as your number one leadership role is even vaguely important to you, wouldn’t you want to fight to stay in and, more importantly, want to clear your name?) So the only lesson she notes that she learned from the incident—and “that will stick with me for life”—is don’t put something in an email that a snitch could use against you. Note she yet again concludes that she is the victim here.

It’s hard to know whose story about the cause of the banishment is true: the Jezebel one or hers. Both contain elements that seem untrue. Kazantsev does herself no favors in the overly prepared canned phrases she uses, nor in her donning the victim mantle.

In an softball “exclusive” interview this morning with ABC (the broadcasters of the Miss America pageant), Kazantsev began her defense with “These allegations are not true. I’m incredibly hurt that someone has said these things. Under the broad definition of hazing, yes, I was involved with some of those activities while I was at Hofstra. I came in as an impressionable freshman. And I was hazed.”

See, she’s just a victim.

In a follow-up to ABC’s interview, the writer of the Jezebel scoop, Erin Gloria Ryan, notes that if Kazantsev was expelled solely due to an email joke she made, it “doesn’t explain why an email she sent would result in both her and her best friend/roommate/fellow Alpha Phi senior getting the heave-ho.”

Ryan then ominously writes:

It should also be noted that in “reporting” on this story, GMA did not reach out to me or anyone at Jezebel for comment or clarification; they just had Kazantsev on to deliver her talking points to a sympathetic anchor on the TV home of Miss America. If ABC had reached out, they would have known that since the story ran, we’ve learned more, and that things are still developing on our end. It would have been a tougher interview. But that’s clearly not what GMA wanted.

Seems like we should all stay tuned.

|The Left

Miss America, LIberal Activist

kira-rochapic

above, Kira Kazantsev, Miss America 2015, and former boss, Democratic activist Chuck Rocha of Solidarity Strategies

On Monday, Steve Ertelt of LifeNews.com reported an interesting fact he found on the LinkedIn page of the newly crowned Miss America.

KiraLinkedIn1

Her most recent job experience (other than performing her duties as Miss New York and competing in the Miss America pageant) was three months as an “education” intern with Planned Parenthood. Her profile says that she presented programs in local schools regarding mutual respect and self-esteem. Is this how the country’s leading abortion provider is insinuating itself into the lives of school children?

KiraLinkedIn2

Since her work for an abortion group has been reported in the conservative blogosphere, someone has quietly deleted the LinkedIn profile. (Don’t worry. I made a copy of it, thinking it was likely to be memory-holed.) It’s easy to understand why the Miss America organization would prefer that Kazantsev’s resume were not publicly available, since her overall job experience is not likely to endear the new Miss America to red-state America.

Take, for instance, her job as a political intern for Solidarity Strategies. In their Twitter bio, they describe themselves as “A 100% minority owned political consulting firm dedicated to progressive politics.” They do a lot of work with unions.

Her resume says that she wrote blog posts for her boss, Chuck Rocha (pictured at top with Kazantsev), for the Center for National Policy. Unfortunately, the Center’s site doesn’t date any of its blog posts, but with a little investigation, it appears that three posts appeared “by” Rocha between June 2012 and Labor Day of that year: A Case Study: Caterpillar vs. Machinists; Investment Over Party Politics; and America’s Labor Day.

KiraLinkedIn3

Her work with the Senate campaign to elect Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) explains the answer she gave during the interview portion of the Miss America pageant. When asked by Lee Meriwether what female Senators should devote their time to, Kazantsev said that rape in the military should be the priority. That’s Gillibrand’s pet issue: she is attempting to strip the military chain of command of the ability to handle sexual assault and sexual harassment cases within the military judicial system. Gillibrand instead wants civilian systems to handle it, even in war zones. It’s an extreme position that even Senator Claire McCaskill has not signed on to, and McCaskill is the leader on establishing quasi-legal systems to allow colleges to handle sexual assault cases internally.

KiraLinkedIn4

Lastly, note Kazantsev’s first internship with Solidarity Strategies, in which she took a role in the recall of Republican Governor Scott Walker. Wisconsin voters rejected those recall efforts, and they might not be so pleased to learn that Miss America was battling against them.

KiraLinkedIn5

While the LinkedIn profile for Kazantsev was just deleted this afternoon, it looks like the Blogspot site that Kazantsev linked in her LinkedIn profile, As Told By Kira (see her customized blog header below), went defunct after a 2012 trip to Europe. It appears the site was deleted sometime in the past year.

AsToldByKira

[also posted at LegalInsurrection.com]

UPDATE:

The Huffington Post obtained a statement from Planned Parenthood‘s vice president of communications Eric Ferrero regarding Kazantsev’s work with them. It turns out that she was prettying up her job description. Ferrero explicitly notes the programs were for sex education. He makes no mention of “mutual respect and self-esteem.”

Miss America Kira Kazantsev interned last year at her local Planned Parenthood affiliate, where she supported staff members who provide sex education in the community and at local schools. Several past Miss Americas have supported Planned Parenthood’s mission, and we’re thrilled and proud that one of our former interns is the new Miss America.

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider of sex education. Every year, we provide more than one million people with accurate, nonjudgmental information about relationships, sexuality, and healthy decision-making. An overwhelming majority of the American public supports access to comprehensive sex education in middle and high schools — the type of sex education programming that Planned Parenthood provides and which gives parents tools to have conversations with their families, and helps keep young people safe and healthy.

Now as Miss America, Kazantsev will be visiting schools across the country, speaking to our children. Given what she’s been trained to speak to them about, it’s not an encouraging thought for many parents.

|Feminism Amuk

Rape Culture Theory Ensnares Innocent Men

Battle of the SexesMany people hearing talk of America’s campus “rape culture” might be tempted to dismiss the overheated rhetoric as harmless.

Despite little evidence “rape culture” exists, though, three recent roundtable discussions on campus sexual assault hosted by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) showed that not only do some people absolutely believe a rape culture exists on college campuses, but the federal government is involved in policing the issue on campuses.

The Department of Education mandates colleges to handle every single student sexual assault through internal quasi-legal proceedings, in which the school performs all the roles of investigator, prosecutor, judge, executioner and statistics compiler.

From the perspective of accusers in campus sexual assault cases, they may very well prefer a quasi-legal adjudication of their complaints because it provides a much broader definition of sexual assault, a much lower burden of proof and an environment in which “student’s rights” tend to be accuser’s rights, with little emphasis on rights for the accused.

For the accuser, it makes the alleged post-assault experience that much less stressful.

From the accused’s perspective, though, he’s not gonna know what hit him.

Schools Play Law and Order: SVU

MSUMikeJunger-CSPAN-SexAssaultSpeaking amongst friendly colleagues last Monday at the third roundtable, Mike Jungers, the dean of students at Missouri State University, made the surprising statement that new investigation procedures of campus sexual assault were resulting in the alleged perpetrators agreeing to be interrogated without obtaining an attorney.

He considered this to be a good thing.

“They used to lawyer up immediately, first thing,” Jungers said, with a laugh. “You know, you’re cut off from talking to your student—which drives me crazy—by an attorney saying, ‘This is my client, and…you don’t talk to him or her directly, you talk to me.’”

It drives him crazy if a student obtains legal counsel for questioning, as if an accusation of rape could be handled in an amicable fashion, with no concern that the system could go against him and result in the young adult having to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life—or alter the remainder of his college career and his college record.

The regular criminal justice system may also undertake the case, where he’d even be offered an attorney if he couldn’t afford one. But under the extensive Title IX investigation guidelines put out by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the end of April, schools don’t have to contact law enforcement at all (unless their state or local law requires it).

If the school obtains forensic evidence in their investigation, the OCR merely states “it may be helpful for a school to consult with local or campus law enforcement or a forensic expert to ensure that the evidence is correctly interpreted by school officials.”

In fact, much is left up to the school’s interpretation, including defining exactly what “sexual assault” is.

This (Probably) Isn’t Your Grandmother’s Definition of “Sexual Assault”

GaffneySexAssault

The meaning of sexual assault is not what it used to be. As Jennifer Gaffney, the special victims deputy bureau chief of New York County’s district attorney’s office, said in the roundtable discussion, there is often a gap between the college definition and what they can actually prosecute under state statutes.

The panelists at McCaskill’s roundtable tended to accept a new definition of sexual assault in which a vague, unquantifiable sense of too much alcohol may not incapacitate the female but could make her less than able to fully consent.

The accuser may appear to be fully functioning and participating in the sex act, and therefore seeming to fully consent at the time. But she can later say that she was too impaired to have exercised good judgment and make her consent invalid, leaving her sex partner to be charged with sexual assault for an act he believed was consensual, where the woman had said “yes.”

The definition of “sexual assault” and its varied related terms, such as “sexual violence,” is one of the key battleground areas, and the types of offending behaviors may be about to be expanded even further.

McCaskill has been conducting these roundtables regarding campus sexual assault in advance of introducing legislation in August, which will also impose additional mandates on schools in regards to domestic violence, “dating violence” and stalking.

Michael Stratford of Inside Higher Education reported Tuesday that “McCaskill said that she is working with a bipartisan group of lawmakers in crafting the legislation, including Republican Senators Dean Heller of Nevada, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Marco Rubio of Florida.”

BoothSexAssault

Note that the line is not being drawn at only changing the sexual assault definition at colleges. McCaskill also would like to see states adjust their legal standards to be more in line with the looser college definition. Last year, the FBI changed their definition of rape, part of which changed the phrase “forcibly or against the victim’s will” to “without the consent of the victim.” Some states are also changing or adding to their sexual assault statutes.

Katharina Booth, Boulder County chief deputy district attorney, said that the State of Colorado has an additional standard beyond “physically helpless” (that is, the accuser was asleep or unconscious). Under it, she can bring criminal prosecutions if the accuser meets the standard of “’incapable of appraising the nature of your conduct,’ which is going to encompass the bulk of what we see, which is the voluntarily intoxicated but not all the way at the passed-out stage. So we’re in that gray area,” she said.

An Alcohol Aside

BeerPong

The issue of alcohol consumption is a very touchy one in rape-culture activism.

No one wants a woman blamed for being sexually assaulted because she wore a skimpy outfit. Likewise, many fear a sexually assaulted woman will be blamed because of her drunkenness. It is common thinking that because no one should ever be sexually assaulted, no blame should ever be put on them.

Under the new sexual assault definition, though, a consenting woman can later claim (and have a charge initiated because) there was really no consent because she was too drunk.

Booth noted that incidences in which the woman is drunk beyond her ability to consent are the ones that “encompass the bulk” of the sexual assault cases she sees.

Studies have shown that the majority of unwanted sexual encounters experienced by collegiate women occurred when they were intoxicated. Yet the roundtable panelists adamantly rejected the suggestion that sexual assault prevention education should encourage reduced alcohol consumption.

As for the accused’s state of drunkenness, no one at McCaskill’s roundtable suggested that the man should have as a defense that he was equally too incapacitated to make good judgments.

In fact, take the case of Lewis McLeod. He is suing Duke University for expelling him for what he and the local police say was a false allegation of sexual assault.

Attending the trial, John H. Tucker of Raleigh-Durham’s Indyweek reported, dean Sue Wasiolek was asked in court whether both parties would be considered guilty of rape and thereby expelled if they engaged in sex while both were intoxicated to “incapacity.”

The dean responded, “Assuming it is a male and female, it is the responsibility in the case of the male to gain consent before proceeding with sex.”

In the new climate of sexual assault pseudolaw, the female apparently has no responsibility other than to say yes, which can be revoked anytime, including after the sex is over.

The Unburden of Proof

ScalesOfJustice1

It’s not just their broad definition of “sexual assault” that makes college-adjudicated cases less likely to be prosecuted in the criminal justice system.

The minimal proof required by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights—and therefore used for the national sexual assault statistics they collect and publish—doesn’t pass the much stricter burden of proof used by real-world prosecutors, judges and juries.

Forget the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard of courtrooms and crime dramas. They’ve even decided the lower standard of “clear and convincing evidence” is too tough.

As KC Johnson of Minding the Campus puts it: “the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights has mandated a lower threshold of certainty in sexual harassment and assault cases, from the clear-and-convincing standard (around 75 percent certainty) to the preponderance of evidence standard (50.01 percent).”

This means the school only has to find it’s a smidgen more likely than not that the crime occurred. Therefore, a college can convict someone of sexual assault much more easily than a criminal court could.

New Federal Guidelines Say Accused Don’t Need Constitutional Privileges

A college-adjudicated case of sexual assault also has no requirement to provide the alleged perpetrator the rights and protections he would receive in the real world. The government actually says he doesn’t need them.

OCR tells schools there is a distinct difference between a criminal investigation and a Title IX one (emphasis added):

A criminal investigation is intended to determine whether an individual violated criminal law; and, if at the conclusion of the investigation, the individual is tried and found guilty, the individual may be imprisoned or subject to criminal penalties. The U.S. Constitution affords criminal defendants who face the risk of incarceration numerous protections, including, but not limited to, the right to counsel, the right to a speedy trial, the right to a jury trial, the right against self-incrimination, and the right to confrontation. In addition, government officials responsible for criminal investigations (including police and prosecutors) normally have discretion as to which complaints from the public they will investigate.

By contrast, a Title IX investigation will never result in incarceration of an individual and, therefore, the same procedural protections and legal standards are not required. Further, while a criminal investigation is initiated at the discretion of law enforcement authorities, a Title IX investigation is not discretionary….even if a criminal investigation is ongoing, a school must still conduct its own Title IX investigation.

That’s astonishing for the government to say a school investigation will “never” result in incarceration. Sure, the school can’t imprison the accused in its basement, but can the product of their interrogations and evidence collection never end up being used in a criminal court?

If the school does indeed find the accused guilty, the OCR does not require any appeals process. It permits a college to offer one if it so chooses, but only if both parties are offered the same opportunities.

For instance, the accused may appeal a punishment as being too harsh, but only if his accuser can appeal the punishment as being too lenient.

Currently, the OCR guidelines give schools wide discretion in deciding punishments. (That’s something McCaskill would like to make uniform—more one-size-fits-all sentences.)

They can expel him or merely force him to move to a different dormitory or a different school. They can restrict the places he can go on campus and the courses or extracurricular activities he can attend.

For instance, if the accuser has the same major as the accused, she may opt to take the courses she wishes, and he’d be required to take them at an alternate time or manner, such as online or by independent study.

In fact, many of these sanctions can be applied even before the investigation is complete in order to comply with Title IX’s mandate to make the accuser feel safe from further alleged harm and to prevent contact between them.

Someone ultimately found innocent by the school could suffer these penalties before that finding is reached. The OCR guidelines are silent on what a school should do to make restitution if that occurs.

Who Is a Good Guy in a Rape Culture Theory World?

handcuffedhands

It should go without saying, everyone wants rapists stopped and punished. But rape culture theory implies all men are potential rapists, and sexual intimacy under the influence carries the threat of being deemed sexual violence.

What’s a regular non-rapist guy supposed to do if he gets ensnared in the “rape culture” frenzy? Once a Title IX investigation begins, there is no telling where it will end for the accused. Yet he’s denied the Constitutional protections he would receive if he were speaking to the police instead of the school’s Title IX Coordinator. (That’s the person who’s supposed to be preventing sex discrimination.)

Some are advocating for upcoming legislation to include attorneys for both parties. The current OCR guidelines don’t preclude that, but do state that schools can limit the parts of the proceedings an attorney can participate in.

Teresa Watanabe of the Los Angeles Times wrote, “At present, campuses vary in policies on attorneys — the University of California allows them but Occidental does not. Ruth Jones, Occidental’s Title IX coordinator, said the college has barred attorneys to prevent the discipline process from being too “adversarial” but would change the policy in accord with final federal regulations.” She wouldn’t have much choice, if it becomes the law.

It’s easy to see why school administrators like Jungers at Missouri State University find things run much more smoothly without an attorney clogging up the process with non-Title IX law.

The Department of Education gives him a suggested maximum of 60 days to get the whole thing investigated, adjudicated and punished so that he can get his report to them and they can add a tickmark to their campus sexual assault statistics. If he’s slow in getting his results, or if the accuser doesn’t like the results, the feds can put his school under investigation and take away its federal student aid money.

The young man shouldn’t have any fear of that, right? The government and the school tell him he doesn’t need a lawyer, even if he’s being accused of what’s considered a felony outside the campus walls.

In an essay for Time last month, Christina Hoff Sommers, author of The War on Boys, vividly portrayed the problem facing male students in the “rape culture” environment:

On January 27, 2010, University of North Dakota officials charged undergraduate Caleb Warner with sexually assaulting a fellow student. He insisted the encounter was consensual, but was found guilty by a campus tribunal and thereupon expelled and banned from campus.

A few months later, Warner received surprising news. The local police had determined not only that Warner was innocent, but that the alleged victim had deliberately falsified her charges. She was charged with lying to police for filing a false report, and fled the state.

Cases like Warner’s are proliferating. Here is a partial list of young men who have recently filed lawsuits against their schools for what appear to be gross mistreatment in campus sexual assault tribunals: Drew Sterrett—University of Michigan, “John Doe”—Swarthmore, Anthony Villar—Philadelphia University, Peter Yu—Vassar, Andre Henry—Delaware State, Dez Wells—Xavier, and Zackary Hunt—Denison. Presumed guilty is the new legal principle where sex is concerned.

On campuses across the country, there’s actual rape and sexual assault by anyone’s definition. And there’s false accusations of it. And there’s “the gray area” in between. The Department of Education has decided to be the overseer of it all, with all schools receiving federal dollars given the impossible mandate of serving as its prevention and enforcement bureaus.

Many schools already feel overwhelmed with the new responsibilities. Still, in an effort to increase reporting of campus sexual assault, the government created a website for the accusers: NotAlone.gov.

The OCR claims it wishes to treat the accused with fairness and equity. For all the accused stripped of Constitutional rights and wondering if they do need an attorney, perhaps the government should create a DontBeAlone.gov site for them.

[originally written for and published at LegalInsurrection.com]

|Pop Culture | Prudence Potpourri

Fill-in-the-Blank Apology Script

At first I was appalled and mesmerized and giggly when this video first came to my attention. The members of a new group, Conscious Men—a bunch of emasculated men (an oxymoron?), many with interesting hair and grooming choices—apologize to women for being men.

Part of the communal script from which they all read says:

“I may not have done these things myself, but I am aware of the forces of the unconscious masculine psyche, that men feel threatened by and seek to dominate the feminine. Many of the men that have oppressed and abused you are no longer alive. Among the living, many men may not be able to apologize because they remain shackled in a prison of anger, fear and shame. On behalf of my gender, I apologize to you for our unconscious actions when we were angry, scared and in the grip of destructive forces in our psyche.”

But then it occurred to me that much of their script is perfect for any historically villainous group to express remorse for their predecessors’ actions towards their victims. We can just turn it into a sort of Mad Lib:

“I may not have done these things myself, but I am aware of the forces of the unconscious [bad guy] psyche, that [bad guy, plural] feel threatened by and seek to dominate the [good guy]. Many of the [bad guy, plural] that have oppressed and abused you are no longer alive. Among the living, many [bad guy, plural] may not be able to apologize because they remain shackled in a prison of anger, fear and shame. On behalf of my fellow [bad guy, plural], I apologize to you for our unconscious actions when we were angry, scared and in the grip of destructive forces in our psyche.”

Now replace with your preferred good guy and bad guy.

For instance, we Southerners would love to hear a bunch of Northerners read it to us. Therefore, replace “bad guy” with “damn Yankee,” and replace “good guy” with “salt-of-the-earth sweet-tea-loving grit-eating gentle folk.”

Or the citizens of President Obama’s world would replace “bad guy” with “damn American,” and replace “good guy” with “rest of the world.”

Have at it. Fill in the blanks with you and your oppressed. Let the meaningless blanket apologizing begin so we can all cleanse our souls and “move forward into a new era of co-creation,” as one of the hippy dudes so emotively said.

 

|Gay Issues | Position Papers | Updated

Repealing DADT Is Anti-Woman

Gay lobby groups and their supporters seem to say that simply permitting gay service members to openly express their sexual orientation will somehow make our military more fair, more equal.

Not so. If Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) gets repealed, women will immediately become second-class military citizens, simply because they don’t have a Y chromosome. Without DADT, if the military does not transform into a completely unisex environment, it will instantly segregate women from the general population, transforming their quarters into a separate, unequal female ghetto.

Why are women given separate housing, bathing and toilet facilities in an organization that requires complete unity for its survival and readiness? Because of the birds and the bees. Because men and women are sexually attracted to one another. (Well, most of them are.) Because to commingle housing and intimate function facilities would change the dynamics of the personnel interaction, creating an atmosphere ripe for trouble, uneasiness and embarrassment.

We can all pretend that sexual attraction plays no part in interpersonal relationships. We can try to believe that our professional military doesn’t need to have any downtime where they don’t have to be “professional” in their interactions with their coworkers.

Gays in the military say that they are left out of the camaraderie of the male-bonding experience because they can’t talk about what they did on the weekend like everyone else. This is patently ridiculous.

First, there’s no reason why Jim can’t say that he and John had a fabulous time going antiquing and staying at a bed-and-breakfast. If the gay lobby is to be believed, everyone already knows Jim is gay. He just can’t say that. The only thing Jim is prohibited from telling is the details of the sexual activity he engaged in with John.

Yes, straight guys may like to brag about their sexual exploits, but do gay guys expect that their exploits will find equal treatment when hanging with the guys post-DADT? What happened anyway to all the supposed bans on talk of any sexual nature that went into effect when women entered typically male areas and claimed to be too frail or offended to have to be subjected to such a rude, oppressive male environment? Will gays now submit the same lawsuits, object to female pinups unless they can put up their own?

Secondly, this isn’t about being able to openly discuss the details of homosexual activity.  Ultimately, as with gay marriage, it’s getting a leg in the door for the money grab for numerous benefits to be extended to gay partners, cloaked as a civil rights issue. The gay lobby means to gain a significant, substantial legal foothold. If the repeal of DADT causes the military to eventually recognize gay marriages, award benefits to gay partners and even permit transgenders in the armed forces, then this will be put forth as federal sanctioning of gay marriage and will lead to the legal insistence that it should be done in all 50 states.

Perhaps instead of DADT, they should just have a “don’t talk about sex at all” rule. Rather prudish, but at least it doesn’t rip the fabric of society and military cohesion.

If there truly is no reason why gays in the military should not openly express their sexuality, then there is no basis to require some form of separate housing, bathing and toilet facilities for anyone likely to experience sexual desire for one another (and certainly no need for uninterested ones either).

In the heterosexual world, there has always been segregation by sexual preference: men here, women there. But if you add homosexuals into the mix, you will inevitably have men rooming with men to whom they are attracted (and some women in the same situation).

If gay men can live intimately with straight men and have no sexual issues, then women should be able to do the same thing, too. A woman is going to feel no less uncomfortable showering naked with a straight man (or group of straight men) than a straight man will feel in the same situation with a gay man or men.

Therefore, if DADT is repealed, it will be essential to make all housing, bathing and toilet facilities unisex. Otherwise, women once again become excluded, second-class citizens—women locked out simply because they are genetically women.

Women should not be denied the right to participate in the camaraderie and team-building that comes through bunking with the entire group, seeing their fellow soldier in varying states of undress, knowing their bathroom habits and all the other intimate aspects of their lives that are typically shielded from those who don’t share the less dignified aspects of the locker room.

A legal precedent will indeed be set if DADT is repealed. The US government and military will be saying that sexual orientation should never be used as a measure for separate quarters, bathing and toilet facilities.

It appears that a tiny herd of RINOs (Senators Murkowski, Collins and Brown) will permit DADT to get through cloture, meaning the repeal would be a done deal. If that occurs,…

Let the unisex consequences sweep across the land.

Update: The Senate just defeated the defense appropriations bill that included the DADT repeal, but Hot Air reports that Lieberman is going to present it as a stand-alone bill and that repeal still has a chance in the lame duck session.

Update II (12/10/10, 12:45): The Hill reports that newly installed Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the lone Democrat to vote against cloture on the defense bill that included DADT repeal, issued an apology for his vote, and said Obama should just revoke it himself in the name of national security so the Congress doesn’t have to vote on it.

TheOtherMcCain notes that by forcing a vote prior to the completion of tax and budget legislation that the GOP requires before agreeing to other votes, Reid gave “certain liberal Republicans a (non-homophobic) reason to vote ‘no.'”

Update III (12/15/10, 9:30 pm) The House voted today on a stand-alone DADT bill, which passed 250-175. This bill will make it easier for some Senate Republicans to vote for repeal as well. Just this afternoon, Sen. Olympia Snowe announced her support for the bill.

|Daily Tread

Meditation on Pythagoras and Women

From Porphyry, Life of Pythagoras:

After that, [Pythagoras’] reputation greatly increased: he found many associates in the city of Croton itself (not only men but also women, one of whom, Theano, achieved some fame), and many, both kings and noblemen, from the nearby non-Greek territory. What he said to his associates no one can say with any certainty; for they preserved no ordinary silence. But it became very well known to everyone that he said, first, that the soul is immortal; then, that it changes into other kinds of animals; further, that at fixed intervals whatever has happened happens again, there being nothing absolutely new; and that all living things should be considered as belonging to the same kind. Pythagoras seems to have been the first to introduce these doctrines into Greece.

Tangents and Non Sequiturs From Prudence:

It wasn’t until I read that paragraph that I realized I could not name a single female philosopher until reaching the 20th century and Ayn Rand.

I don’t go around taking score on gender diversity in anything really. I figure that if you excel at something, you will be admitted to the club. It doesn’t bother me that some fields are predominated by women and others by men.

But as I am just starting on this philosophical journey, I have to wonder, am I venturing into an area that women typically don’t excel at? Why is there such a dearth of women philosophers? Don’t worry, it won’t scare me off. I’m used to going places where I make a surprising addition. I just hadn’t considered the possibility that I wasn’t supposed to be doing this.

Could it be as Larry Summers said, and was roundly chastised for, about women mathematicians and scientists: that even in the brain, we’re just built different. Gary Kasparov, the former world chess champion and Russian politician, once said that women could never equal men in chess either. Our brains just couldn’t handle the mathematical complexities. I don’t know. Perhaps it’s true. But that doesn’t mean of course that we can’t make our own contributions to the science, or have occasional “freaks of nature” that do find themselves competing on the same level. It would, of course, be nice to see more women give it a try.

It does strike me as odd that the first mention I find of a female philosopher is one attached to Pythagoras, whose philosophy was heavily intertwined with mathematics (see preceding paragraph).

I looked up Theano on the internet, and found a website dedicated to women philosophers. It turns out that Theano was Pythagoras’ young wife who took over his school upon his death. Ah, so that’s how you become the first famous female philosopher. (Not to take away from her own intellectual abilities, which in her writings showed she was one smart cookie.)

The website has lists of women philosophers in different eras. Upon review, there are a few names that I recognize, but couldn’t tell you why I have heard of them. Upon reaching the 20th century there, I see that I left Mary Shelley Wollstonecraft off my one philosopher list. (I hadn’t really thought of her as a philosopher, even with her Vindication of the Rights of Women, but I can the classification now. Apologies to Mary.) There was also Iris Murdoch, whom I know as a novelist, but wasn’t aware of her philosophical writings.

It’s funny. The one female philosopher that I could name—Rand—and who had a great impact in my conservative/libertarian evolution, she wasn’t to be found at all on the Women Philosophers website.
*************************************

Pre-Socratic Self Quiz:

Bertrand Russell’s The History of Western Philosophy, says:

The influence of geometry upon philosophy and scientific method has been profound. Geometry, as established by the Greeks, starts with axioms which are (or are deemed to be) self-evident, and proceeds, by deductive reasoning, to arrive at theorems that are very far from self-evident.

Q4. What 18th century American document models itself on this method?

**************************************

Tomorrow: Alcmaeon

If you are just joining the Daily Tread Society and would like to see where we started and where we are headed, click on the Daily Tread tab above and scroll down to our first postings.