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#141- Is #Me Too Going Too Far? A Conversation with Rebecca Traister

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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05 November 2018 20:06
 
SamStone - 05 November 2018 06:57 PM
mapadofu - 05 November 2018 05:56 PM

Kavanaugh duly went through the confirmation process; successfully I might add. Why the outrage on his behalf?

Because his name was dragged through the mud?  Because it went far beyond Blasey’s testimony and involved things like what Kavanaugh meant by the word ‘boof’ in a high school yearbook, or whether he threw ice at someone in a bar when he was 19 years old? It was a Kafka-esque show trial that violated the norms of both trials and the Senate confirmation process.

How would you feel if you had to sit in a chair and let powerful people call you a drunken bastard and a rapist in front of your children and the nation?  If you were eventually aquitted of something that should never have gone to trial, but your name was forevermore going to have an asterisk beside it, would you just shrug and say, “Oh well.  I was acquitted.  Good enough for me!”?

 

Don’t let these guys fool you, they supported that shit show 100% and the claim that it wasn’t a court of law and just a witch hunt makes it somehow OK to destroy a persons life and career etc just the same as if it was is just them trying to justify it because of their hatred of Kavanaugh.

 
 
GDKOpinionator
 
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GDKOpinionator
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05 November 2018 21:04
 

It is unfortunate that there were some latency issues with the conversation because the podcast tends to sound more like a diatribe than a dialog.  I count myself as a fan of Ms. Traister.  She brings a sense of intellectual energy to an issue that seems overly driven by retributive impulses rather than restorative ones.  Unfortunately, she seems to be spending a substantial amount of that energy in weaving a pseudo-moral course through amoral behavior.  At the very heart of this lie the things she states at the end of her diatribe.  She believes that the only discussion worth having is one where people are uncomfortable.  While I applaud the idea of having hard discussions (we have far too few), I find the idea of using the concept of reputational injury as a tactic in a discussion (not in justice for a bad act, just within the confines of public discourse) to be intentionally censorious. 

Ms. Traister’s constant references to the power dynamic in the conversation allow her to steer the discussion away from individual acts and onto an ideological plane where she claims a moral high ground.  It is estimated that the number of false accusations of sexual assault range from between 2 to 10 percent.  If we are to “split the difference” and say that it is roughly 5 percent, that leaves 1 false accusation in 20.  Add to that, the fact that allegations of sexual assault are considered so culturally heinous as to do permanent damage to those accused, and we have something that while not a witch hunt, is certainly far from ideal.

The main problem with the metoo movement is that it is having too many conversations at once.  Taking one side in one conversation is considered to be an indicator of one’s position on another (a sign of tribalism).  The resulting reputational injury and its accompanying squelching effect is real.  Reputational injury has consequences.  If it were not so, then why have the suicide rates amongst adolescent females skyrocketed since the inception of social media and its accompanying reputational bullying?  We cannot simultaneously condemn the effects of “bad tweets” on women, while saying that it is an acceptable tactic against men.  Not if we have any moral consistency.

Amongst other things, we should ask why metoo is such a fan of reputational retaliation against people it disagrees with.  Why does it conflate disagreement with the act of actually committing sexual aggression?  Why is this system of defamation being used, and why does metoo resist any overture to restorative rather than retributive justice?

[ Edited: 05 November 2018 21:07 by GDKOpinionator]
 
GAD
 
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05 November 2018 21:27
 
GDKOpinionator - 05 November 2018 09:04 PM

Ms. Traister’s constant references to the power dynamic in the conversation allow her to steer the discussion away from individual acts and onto an ideological plane where she claims a moral high ground.  It is estimated that the number of false accusations of sexual assault range from between 2 to 10 percent.  If we are to “split the difference” and say that it is roughly 5 percent, that leaves 1 false accusation in 20.  Add to that, the fact that allegations of sexual assault are considered so culturally heinous as to do permanent damage to those accused, and we have something that while not a witch hunt, is certainly far from ideal.

That statistic keeps coming up, it was used by posters here to justify accusations without evidence being reliable. I don’t know where that figure comes from but would think that it is on “investigated” claims which would be heavily skewed toward claims with some “evidence”.

 
 
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05 November 2018 22:41
 
GAD - 05 November 2018 09:27 PM
GDKOpinionator - 05 November 2018 09:04 PM

Ms. Traister’s constant references to the power dynamic in the conversation allow her to steer the discussion away from individual acts and onto an ideological plane where she claims a moral high ground.  It is estimated that the number of false accusations of sexual assault range from between 2 to 10 percent.  If we are to “split the difference” and say that it is roughly 5 percent, that leaves 1 false accusation in 20.  Add to that, the fact that allegations of sexual assault are considered so culturally heinous as to do permanent damage to those accused, and we have something that while not a witch hunt, is certainly far from ideal.

That statistic keeps coming up, it was used by posters here to justify accusations without evidence being reliable. I don’t know where that figure comes from but would think that it is on “investigated” claims which would be heavily skewed toward claims with some “evidence”.

Which statistic?  I was sighting an aggregation of statistics, not a specific one. 

 

 
GAD
 
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05 November 2018 23:16
 
GDKOpinionator - 05 November 2018 10:41 PM
GAD - 05 November 2018 09:27 PM
GDKOpinionator - 05 November 2018 09:04 PM

Ms. Traister’s constant references to the power dynamic in the conversation allow her to steer the discussion away from individual acts and onto an ideological plane where she claims a moral high ground.  It is estimated that the number of false accusations of sexual assault range from between 2 to 10 percent.  If we are to “split the difference” and say that it is roughly 5 percent, that leaves 1 false accusation in 20.  Add to that, the fact that allegations of sexual assault are considered so culturally heinous as to do permanent damage to those accused, and we have something that while not a witch hunt, is certainly far from ideal.

That statistic keeps coming up, it was used by posters here to justify accusations without evidence being reliable. I don’t know where that figure comes from but would think that it is on “investigated” claims which would be heavily skewed toward claims with some “evidence”.

Which statistic?  I was sighting an aggregation of statistics, not a specific one.

Then it would seem to be a common aggregation as others have used it, which makes it even more suspect.

 
 
GDKOpinionator
 
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05 November 2018 23:19
 

I would certainly like to see statistics w/ the gathering techniques documented.

 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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Antisocialdarwinist
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06 November 2018 09:51
 

I enjoyed Traister’s account of the so-called “First Wave” of feminism and the role racism played in the suffrage movement.

Beyond that, though, Traister reminded me of Scott Adams when Harris had him on the podcast in the sense that she seems to view the world through a single, narrow filter. Adams’s filter was the so-called “persuasion” filter, through which he perceived a method to Donald Trump’s madness. All of Trump’s worst qualities—his lying, his seemingly erratic and impetuous behavior, etc.—all make perfect sense once one understands that Trump is a “Master Persuader” playing four-dimensional chess while his enemies are playing checkers.

Traister’s filter—the “anger” filter—leads her to see Brett Kavanaugh’s ridiculous and juvenile angry outburst as the very thing that swayed the Senate in his favor. Because male anger is perceived as the passion of conviction, but female anger is perceived as proof of irrationality. Since this is always true, it therefore must have been the reason why Senators voted to confirm him, rather than some other reason, like a lack of convincing evidence supporting the accusations against him.

How do I know Kavanaugh’s angry outburst wasn’t the thing that saved the day for his confirmation? I don’t. I’d have to read the minds of the Senators who voted for him to know what it was that swayed them. But so would Traister! (And so would Adams have to read Trump’s mind to claim he’s playing four-dimensional chess and not just bumbling along, getting lucky once in a while.)

More likely, in my opinion, one’s perception of Kavanaugh’s angry outburst—as either the passion of his conviction or a stupid, juvenile loss of self control—depends on one’s belief about the accusations against him. Which, in terms of cause and effect, is the exact opposite of what Traister believes. In her view, Kavanaugh’s outburst was the cause; the effect was that Senators believed his version of events. In my view, their believing Kavanaugh was the cause; the effect was that they perceived his outburst as the passion of his conviction. I’d be willing to bet that every, single one of the powerful, white men who voted against him—Democrats—saw his outburst as a juvenile loss of self control, and not the passion of his conviction.

But again, to know that for certain I’d have to be able to read the minds of our illustrious Senate. Most likely of all, in my opinion, their decisions were based purely on politics. The Republicans wanted a conservative on the court; therefore, they believed Kavanaugh and saw his angry outburst as the passion of his conviction. The Democrats didn’t want a conservative on the court; therefore, they believed his accuser and saw his angry outburst as a juvenile loss of self-control.

That’s my take, as seen through my “A pox on both your houses” filter.

 
 
GDKOpinionator
 
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06 November 2018 10:17
 

“Traister’s filter—the “anger” filter—leads her to see Brett Kavanaugh’s ridiculous and juvenile angry outburst as the very thing that swayed the Senate in his favor. Because male anger is perceived as the passion of conviction, but female anger is perceived as proof of irrationality. Since this is always true, it therefore must have been the reason why Senators voted to confirm him, rather than some other reason, like a lack of convincing evidence supporting the accusations against him.”

I think the problem is that Traister and others believe that all people have the same set of perceptions regarding male and female anger.  Frankly, my reactions to anger are based more upon how a particular person expresses it, rather than their gender.  When Hillary Clinton gave a subcommittee a tongue-lashing during the Benghazi hearing, I had no problem with it.  When Brett Kavanaugh behaved like a whiny child, I was disgusted.  Both of these cases go against the postmodern power-struggle world view.

The problem that Traister personifies in this interview, is that the actual facts of cases of sexual misconduct are entirely subservient to the all-important power struggle.  Metoo has substantially changed from its original mission of providing support to the overwhelming amount of women who have been subject sexual misconduct.  It is now held in thrall by individuals who use it as a club in their pursuit to reverse the power dynamic.  I say reverse, rather than level, because that is so clearly indicated by Traister’s insistence on retributive rather than restorative justice.  This is not about the victims of sexual misconduct; it is about using those victims to further a cultural revolution that is not desirous of equality but of a power reversal.

The use of the horrifying instances of sexual misconduct, which women have had to suffer through in silence, for the purpose of political gain is morally reprehensible.  This is plainly the case, because today’s metoo spends more energy committing acts of defamation against its political opponents, then it does to help women who have been victimized. 

I see today’s metoo tactics as an extension of social media bullying culture.  Traister’s response to the charge of excusing reputational harm is that it is a completely acceptable tactic because it does not rob anyone of life or liberty.  She says that the loss of a job is nothing not felt by many other people, and that those who did lose their jobs likely deserved it.  This is inhumane to the point of sociopathy.  This is predatory behavior, ostensibly in response to male predatory behavior, but in reality a tactic in a political struggle.

 
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06 November 2018 12:42
 
GDKOpinionator - 06 November 2018 10:17 AM

“Traister’s filter—the “anger” filter—leads her to see Brett Kavanaugh’s ridiculous and juvenile angry outburst as the very thing that swayed the Senate in his favor. Because male anger is perceived as the passion of conviction, but female anger is perceived as proof of irrationality. Since this is always true, it therefore must have been the reason why Senators voted to confirm him, rather than some other reason, like a lack of convincing evidence supporting the accusations against him.”

I think the problem is that Traister and others believe that all people have the same set of perceptions regarding male and female anger.  Frankly, my reactions to anger are based more upon how a particular person expresses it, rather than their gender.  When Hillary Clinton gave a subcommittee a tongue-lashing during the Benghazi hearing, I had no problem with it.  When Brett Kavanaugh behaved like a whiny child, I was disgusted.  Both of these cases go against the postmodern power-struggle world view.

The problem that Traister personifies in this interview, is that the actual facts of cases of sexual misconduct are entirely subservient to the all-important power struggle.  Metoo has substantially changed from its original mission of providing support to the overwhelming amount of women who have been subject sexual misconduct.  It is now held in thrall by individuals who use it as a club in their pursuit to reverse the power dynamic.  I say reverse, rather than level, because that is so clearly indicated by Traister’s insistence on retributive rather than restorative justice.  This is not about the victims of sexual misconduct; it is about using those victims to further a cultural revolution that is not desirous of equality but of a power reversal.

The use of the horrifying instances of sexual misconduct, which women have had to suffer through in silence, for the purpose of political gain is morally reprehensible.  This is plainly the case, because today’s metoo spends more energy committing acts of defamation against its political opponents, then it does to help women who have been victimized. 

I see today’s metoo tactics as an extension of social media bullying culture.  Traister’s response to the charge of excusing reputational harm is that it is a completely acceptable tactic because it does not rob anyone of life or liberty.  She says that the loss of a job is nothing not felt by many other people, and that those who did lose their jobs likely deserved it.  This is inhumane to the point of sociopathy.  This is predatory behavior, ostensibly in response to male predatory behavior, but in reality a tactic in a political struggle.

It may be that you’re assuming views that aren’t actually in her head, G. She was with Harris only briefly (relatively) and she knew she’d better fit in as many talking points as she could manage. She realized that her key points needed to be distilled drastically in comparison to when she works on a 90,000-word book manuscript. An interview like this has to be so condensed. I don’t want or need to hear about her thoughts and feelings about anything other than the topic at hand. If she were sitting down for a conversation with you rather than Sam Harris, and you asked her to expand her thoughts to include respect for your views, she might not be so focused on her mission. I could be mistaken, of course.

 
 
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06 November 2018 12:47
 

Matt Damon’s point was aimed at the people who were lumping together wildly varying degrees of male-on-female sexual aggression.. I remember prominent actress Minnie Driver responded to his tweets with disbelief at his ignorance, saying that all kinds of sexual aggression should be treated as seriously as rape - that to the victim it was the same - to much applause. These people exist, plenty. Rebecca takes his comment and throws it at the selection of people who she says were just telling their stories, like that’s where it was aimed when it wasn’t. She HAS to know what she’s doing.

She also keeps saying Matt Damon is fine, it wasn’t disastrous for him. It didn’t ruin his career (although I could see a situation where he loses *some* work over it, specific jobs) but she’s missing the point, it’s terrible for the conversation, a conversation she should be interested in keeping truthful and level-headed. Matt Damon said something sensible to counter sentiments coming from a portion of the participants in the conversation and he got beaten down.

Sam if she does come back, please set it up so you can interject, there was plenty to pull her up on!

 
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06 November 2018 12:48
 

I think that we can only follow what she says.  In the interview, she constantly returned to the notion that this movement is primarily about addressing the power dynamic.  I take her at her word.  She was also quite outspoken in her view that reputational injury was not of great concern to her, but she supported its use as a tactic.  Once again, I take her at her word.  I do not think that I am attempting to read her mind.  As I mentioned from the start, I’ve been an admirer of her work for sometime.  Perhaps you are right that she approached this interview from a certain angle that had the effect of making her sound highly amoral and unfair.

 
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06 November 2018 12:59
 
RedSeed - 06 November 2018 12:47 PM

Matt Damon’s point was aimed at the people who were lumping together wildly varying degrees of male-on-female sexual aggression.. I remember prominent actress Minnie Driver responded to his tweets with disbelief at his ignorance, saying that all kinds of sexual aggression should be treated as seriously as rape - that to the victim it was the same - to much applause. These people exist, plenty. Rebecca takes his comment and throws it at the selection of people who she says were just telling their stories, like that’s where it was aimed when it wasn’t. She HAS to know what she’s doing.

She also keeps saying Matt Damon is fine, it wasn’t disastrous for him. It didn’t ruin his career (although I could see a situation where he loses *some* work over it, specific jobs) but she’s missing the point, it’s terrible for the conversation, a conversation she should be interested in keeping truthful and level-headed. Matt Damon said something sensible to counter sentiments coming from a portion of the participants in the conversation and he got beaten down.

Sam if she does come back, please set it up so you can interject, there was plenty to pull her up on!

Norm McDonald is another who was perversely accused in the same manner.

 
 
Twissel
 
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07 November 2018 02:49
 

Traister did a good job of pointing out that the so-called “victims” of MeToo (i.e. the too harshly accused) are almost never going to suffer long-term hardship; when we have come to an understanding in society what does and what doesn’t cross a hard line, those who never did something really bad will be able to continue where they left of.
Compared to the damage done to women, this simply doesn’t add up to a serious issue.
Despite constant fear-mongering that MeToo would be mostly an opportunistic Warlock hunt, so far it has focused remarkably on serious cases that, given sufficient evidence, could and should have led to criminal consequences; as it stands they often have only led to termination of employment, something that, especially in the entertainment industry, is common and completely normal, as Traister has pointed out.

Let’s keep an eye out for excesses of Me Too, bu so far, all it is doing is catching up to decades of sexual misconduct.

 
 
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07 November 2018 23:52
 

It’s pretty funny to hear this described as ‘terrifying’. I imagine it is just that for some. Traister took some liberties and definitely described events from an ideological perspective but hysterical? Not remotely.

 
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08 November 2018 06:42
 

Oh my.  If you try to block out meaning and just listen to the language with the valence flipped used you could easily be listening to the archetypal 1930s woman-hating klansman…..  To hear such an obsession with race and gender is very scary, it really is cold hard racism and sexism.  You can actually hear the pain in her voice from her dissonant worldview ripping her soul apart.  This ideology is so sad for its adherents.

Really disappointing as I was looking forward to a toe-to-toe battle on a subject which is very hard to find coherent proponents of, but this certainly was not that.  Does anyone know of a speaker who makes a solid coherent case for the MeToo movement?  As I am very much interested in what to do to tackle abuse of power and sexual harassment, it is 100% a problem and not some pseudo issue but man this woman is awful.

 
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