March 7, 2007

"For many people the Internet has become a scarlet letter, an albatross."

So, you go to Yale, and you interview at a lot of law firms. No offers. Blame the internet?
The woman and two others interviewed by The Washington Post learned from friends that they were the subject of derogatory chats on a widely read message board on AutoAdmit, run by a third-year law student at the University of Pennsylvania and a 23-year-old insurance agent....

Another Yale law student learned a month ago that her photographs were posted in an AutoAdmit chat that included her name and graphic discussion about her breasts. She was also featured in a separate contest site -- with links posted on AutoAdmit chats -- to select the "hottest" female law student at "Top 14" law schools, which nearly crashed because of heavy traffic. Eventually her photos and comments about her and other contestants were posted on more than a dozen chat threads, many of which were accessible through Google searches.

"I felt completely objectified," that woman said. It was, she said, "as if they're stealing part of my character from me." The woman, a Fulbright scholar who graduated summa cum laude, said she now fears going to the gym because people on the site encouraged classmates to take cellphone pictures of her.
Too beautiful to appear in public? Too hot to be hired? Come on! What rational employer would deny you a job because idiots chatted about you on line in a way that made if obvious that the only thing you did was look good?

(I am sympathetic to the woman who had someone impersonate her by name in a chat. There is a popular blog where that is done to me in the comments and openly encouraged. As I noted here, the blogger in question flatly refused to do anything about it.)

ADDED: Lindsay Beyerstein is more upset than I am about the fact that there is a lot of loose talk about people on the internet -- though presumably not about the dumb, loose talk about me on her own site. She fails to reveal what repressive remedies she has in mind to keep the internet from chattering. But I hope she'll at least do that "more speech" thing and condemn that blog where they impersonate me all the time -- or does she think I deserve it? Anyway, go over there and read about her outrage and about what an unsympathetic clod I am, and check out how she re-defames me over the old Clinton blogger lunch incident. See if you can figure out how she proposes to embrace the web with nurturing kindness and save women from all that talk out there. Hint: You can't. Either the remedies she has in mind are too repressive to scare you with, or she's content with just expressing outrage and sympathy. I'm coming down on the side of free speech on this, and that's one more thing she's outraged about.

MORE: I finally found the email from those bloggers that refused to deal with the problem of people impersonating me on their website, but it's too long and boring to put here on the front page, so you'll have to go into the comments and find this junk. Scroll down to my comment at 4:33 PM.

YET MORE: This post has become a major target for anti-Althouse swarming. It's not feminist -- don't you know? -- to withhold nurturing for sensitive Yale law students who fail to land the jobs they are demonstrably entitled to.

AND: The discussion continues in my new post here.

175 comments:

The Drill SGT said...

Ann said...What rational employer would deny you a job because idiots chatted about you on line in a way that made if obvious that the only thing you did was look good?

While I felt sorry for the women in question on the primary topic of the article, I think that the article does a disservice by not illustrating a greater danger:

That students of all genders risk permanent employment harm by posting their personal data, drinking binges and sexual adventures on places like Facebook. Buried in your article is this bit:

The two men said that some of the women who complain of being ridiculed on AutoAdmit invite attention by, for example, posting their photographs on other social networking sites, such as Facebook or MySpace.

ASX said...

Oh, come on Ann. You aren't being impersonated. You are being satirized. It's completely and totally obvious that it isn't really you posting those comments on that blog. Why do you persist in characterizing it as something it isn't? Do you really think anyone would believe it's really you? That is a satirical, left-wing website that deals entirely in comedy. No one is being fooled, and in fact, no one is trying to fool anyone. Granted, sometimes people think stories they read in The Onion are real, but there's no accounting for stupid people who don't get a joke. And you really don't have to worry about people who are so stupid that they are tricked into thinking "the real" Ann Althouse is leaving comments on that site. (In fact, people that dumb don't read sites like the one in question.)

reality check said...

Who is surprised to find that lawyers when hiring would scour the internet and not understand the fraudulent nature of the discussions there?

Who will be surprised when these exact same firms sue other companies for not forbidding the same practices there.

Due to stupid lawsuits and advice from lawyers the company I work for is very rigid about hiring practices to the extent that personal recommendations are not allowed and all questions for interviewess must be formalized and written down prior to the first interview, and each and every interviewee must be asked exactly the same questions in the same order.

Once again, the lawyers show off a) their stupidity, b) their eagerness to exploit non-lawyers.

reality check said...

Why do you persist in characterizing it as something it isn't?

Because it helps her maintain her position that she is a victim of the leftists and she is the last true honest remaining Democrat liberal.

MadisonMan said...

Well, come on! These are Yale Grads! They're young, smart and beautiful. Of course it's not their own fault that they've been passed by! Someone else must be to blame!!

Joseph Hovsep said...

If a Yale Law School student can't get a job, something odd is going on.

I do feel sorry for this student though. The fact that she, like millions of other people, has a myspace page is not an invitation to harass her or follow her around taking photos of her.

Ted F. said...

She's a 1L. As a 1L with top grades at a school then ranked #3, I sent out over eighty letters to law firms, got four interviews, and no offers, and ended up as a research assistant for a professor. Less than 10% of my UChicago 1L classmates got big-firm jobs, and just about all of them had connections.

To the extent a Google search hurt this particular candidate (and I'm far from convinced that it did), one suspects that her sex columns for her undergraduate newspaper would have hurt her more than an on-line discussion.

CB said...

I think that internet exhibitionism will be at the heart of the next generation gap, like clothing and music tastes were to previous generations. It's one of the few things that kids can do that is shocking to their parents.

If someday I have a daughter who comes home covered in tattoos, with a pink mohawk and multiple facial piercings, my reaction will be, "Wow, you look just like your mother did when we met!" Or if my son thinks it's cool to watch a video of a nude woman covered in blood, standing at the altar of a major American Cathedral proclaiming herself to be the Antichrist, I will say, "Whatever, Diamanda Galas was doing that sort of thing before you were born." But posting nude videos of yourself on the internet like so many teenagers do these days, that's pretty weird.

PatCA said...

People who do stupid stuff when they're young should not memorialize them on the internet. And I include the owners of AutoAdmit when I say that.

I also agree that it's not an invitation to harassment and it's very creepy to be talked about as described in the article, but there it is...it's up to the women to fix it, unfortunately. And what law firm would hire someone with an internationally bad reputation?!

StephenB said...

And what law firm would hire someone with an internationally bad reputation?!

Surely you jest.

Joe Baby said...

I'm not surprised at the amt of law students who use Facebook or MySpace.

I am surprised at the amt who cite (with details) the record of their debauchery and exuberant imbibing.

Nothing pleases an employer more than a future substance abuse problem.

Gahrie said...

Don't call me Shirley...

Bryant said...

Ann,

Please forgive the fan letter, but I catch you on Bloggingheads TV, and I think you are completely adorable. The combination of your overall beauty, your incredible smile, and your fine, if sometimes misguided, intelligence is just devastating!

Cheers!

B

Pogo said...

The shameless embrace of a total loss of privacy among that generation is quite puzzling to me. It's not unlike the 1970s was regarding limitless sex and drugs. Eventually reality hit, however, and I expect this is happening here.

Libertinism and anarchy are great fun, at least when you're in your teens and twenties. But keeping a permanent diary of it available to the world seems, well, monumentally stupid. Stupid enough not to be able to work at a presigious law firm.

Adam said...

Wait, Ted, are you suggesting that someone with a grievance in a major publication who's using anonymity to shield key names might be presenting a one-sided picture of events? I thought that was *my* beat.

(Takes a minute to visit AutoAdmit.)

Okay. Yikes. What a vile little board.

Jeff said...

"The shameless embrace of a total loss of privacy among that generation is quite puzzling to me."

This 'rock music' the kids listen to is just a fad.

"Too beautiful to appear in public? Too hot to be hired? "

My gf was turned down for a personal assistant job because the prospective employers wife thought she was too thin for her height.

bill said...

Hacking Reputation in MySpace and Facebook
"Fake Your Space" is a site where you can hire fake friends to leave their pictures and personalized comments on your page. Now you can pretend that you're more popular than you actually are.

rumtumtugger said...

all people are doing is extending their conversation to another medium - give people a medium, and they will do with it what they will. also, how is it an invasion of someone's privacy to post a picture of them at the gym? is it an invasion of someone's privacy to look at them in public?

The Drill SGT said...

Pogo said...Stupid enough not to be able to work at a presigious law firm.

LOL, while in the Army, I had one assignment teaching. West Point has a demerit system and one of the crimes was, "Gross Lack of Judgement"

something numerous Cadets and other college students are guilty of, as these young women have discovered.

I see nothing wrong with a law firm using a similar evaluation tool.

"Gross Lack of Judgement"

Joe said...

It cracks me up when people talk about the modern loss of privacy. Talk to, or read about, anyone who grew up in small town America or a close knit neighborhood in a big city and MySpace seems pretty darn private by comparison--at least you get to edit what goes up there.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Wasn't it 30 years ago that Tolliver forecast the 15 minutes of fame for everyone?

An interesting sidebar to real fame- you cannot pick and choose by whom and when you are noticed.

MySpace, et al are for ONLY my friends to notice me and comment on my looks or activities don't you know; its not for YOU PEOPLE to stare, or take pictures or to use my activiies against me.

As almost any famous sinner has discovered, fame is a four letter word.

Pogo said...

Re: "small town America"

Good point. It's very much like that in some ways (my town was all of 27,000). It's partly why Sinclair Lewis wrote Main Street.

With the internet, however, by placing your exploits, foibles, dalliances, errors, and Generally Stupid Acts on a permanent billboard for all to see, its effects are larger by an enormous degree.

No more "starting over", no more "clean slate". It operates like a networked conscience, wherein your behaviors are not merely recorded as in a photo album, but available to all, unedited, and provokes conclusions about you in ways -as this story shows- that you can never know.

Anthony said...

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but what happens on the Internet hangs around forever.

Balfegor said...

No more "starting over", no more "clean slate". It operates like a networked conscience, wherein your behaviors are not merely recorded as in a photo album, but available to all, unedited, and provokes conclusions about you in ways -as this story shows- that you can never know.

Well, you can change your name. Or move to a place where people can't speak English.

For my part, I don't know whether prospective employers googled me, but I suppose they did. I post to the internet all the time, but I generally don't include embarassing personal information. At least one place took my screenname (Balfegor), tied it back to both my Korean and my English names, ID'ed my law school, and then sent me an email inviting me to consider them. That was a bit creepy. Or rather, surprising. I'd been aware, intellectually, that there is no privacy on the internet, but it was still a bit of a shock to have all the veils pierced, as it were.

Anyhow, I think at some point, employers are going to have to learn to deal with their prospective employees' embarassing Facebook and Myspace pages, and the adolescent garbage -- bad teenager angst-poetry, say, or pictures of themselves naked and inebriated -- that they've put online in past years, and are now preserved in Archive.org's or Google's vaults. Right now, there's a transition, but I don't think it will be such a problem half a generation from now. We'll have got used to the problem, and to averting our eyes from youthful excess.

On the other hand, I've never been involved in hiring. If hiring decisions really are snap-judgments, as some people say, maybe the effect will persist, and the sober, the abstemious, and the people whose private excesses and perversions are so awful they cannot be revealed will inherit the earth.

Jennifer said...

Asked why posters could not use their real names, [Cohen] said, "People would not have as much fun, frankly, if they had to worry about employers pulling up information on them."

Not have as much fun naming the real names and personal information of OTHER people, he means!?!? Yeesh.

That said, I really doubt these women lost out on jobs because of some twits online chatting about their looks.

TMink said...

When I read the original post I felt sorry for the woman mentioned. She was objectified on the website. It is one thing for someone to post their own photo up in a hot or not scenario, I think it is another situation for someone's photo to be posted without their knowledge or consent.

So my initial reaction is more concerned and supportive than I am reading. Perhaps I am being naive. But, someone with excellent academic qualifications seems to be a serious candidate for employment.

Trey

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Except that, based on her own web page, she has traded some of that potential seriousness for instant gratification.

reality check said...

If they've done nothing wrong, they have nothing to worry about.

Oh, I'm sorry that's what you guys were saying about the warrantless wiretapping.

Joe Baby said...

Serious or not, big firms aren't exactly in the business of recruiting 1L's. And I know plenty of serious, high-achieving 2L's who don't get many interviews or call-backs.

It's the classic hazard of being an all-star and going to law school where everyone around you is an all-star.

The sheer odds of it all mean you're going to be disappointed more often that you will be gratified.

Me, when I'm disappointed, I blame it on my hot body.

JohnK said...

I looked at the site and I couldn't get any of the pictures of her to come up, but from the tone of the comments, this woman is anything but overly attractive. Apparently, she has huge breasts and a face out of Tolkien. Not that that should have any bearing on her job prospects, but I think the claim that she is "too hot to be hired" is probably not true. Further, the fact that she seems to blame her problems on some internet site that few people have heard of rather than say her interviewing style makes me wonder if in fact it was her personality is what cost her the offers. I can't believe that a partner or senior associate at some corporate legal slave shop working 80+ hours a week has the time or the inclination to know about a chat site primarily concerning college admissions.

barefootcontessa said...

As a woman at a top law school who is not one of the women profiled here, I can say that the posting of personal data on facebook, myspace, et al. is not solely or even mostly to blame for this. People on this website berated my appearance based on photos taken from the website of a scholarship I won. And it's not just your appearance they berate. You should stop speculating about things you obviously haven't read and, thus, know nothing about.

Stop blaming the victims!

Beth said...

There's something inherently creepy about some the reactions, such as JohnK, who takes this as an opportunity to continue discussing the breasts and face of this woman. What the fuck?

Maxine Weiss said...

That's why I've been saying all along....Law School is a bad deal.

A lot of heartache, needless exertion, and wasted money....

....given that top schools/grades/connections will not guarantee a job, nevermind partnership.

Of course Government jobs are plentiful.

And, you can always teach, right?

Peace, Maxine

reality check said...

Sure, if you can't do, teach. If you can't teach, teach PE.

JohnK said...

Gee Beth which part of "not that that should have any bearing on her job prospects" is so hard to understand? If there is anything creepy going on here it is people like you encouraging the paronoia of this women into thinking that she didn't get any job offers because of a web site the law firm probably didn't read.

Further, since when did it become "creepy" to talk about someone's looks? That has got to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard in my life. Perhaps we should blind ourselves so that no one ever notices anyone else's looks again? Get over yourself. Ann is exactly right. No one would not hire an otherwise qualified candidate because some people on a website thought she was good looking. She is just whining and looking for an excuse because the world didn't hand her what she wanted.

Eli Blake said...

What this tells me is that we have finally reached the point where we are more concerned about not hiring someone with baggage (even phony, rumored or inconsequential baggage) than we are about hiring the best people to do the job. I don't know if letigiousness, press coverage focusing on the sensational or just a proliferation of spineless attitudes have caused it, but it is clear that this is where we have arrived at. We'd rather have bland mediocrity than excellence with character.

I think that internet searches are great, but like anything else they can be abused. My recommendation (and I've served on several hiring committees) is to do hiring the old fashioned way-- take the time to call and follow up on their references, their previous employers, etc. There is too much questionable information out there on the internet.

JohnK said...

Maxine,

You are absolutely right. What does a top law school get most people? Enormous amounts of debt followed by at best a high paying unrewarding job with insane hours? Yeah, the government jobs can be great but who could afford to take them after assuming 150K of debt? The fact that this woman doesn't have an offer despite her credentials, says nothing about the website and everything about either her personality in interviews or, more likely, the need to be someone's crony to get ahead.

Maxine Weiss said...

"Too beautiful to appear in public? Too hot to be hired? Come on! What rational employer would deny you a job "----Althouse

When the Senior Parter, or Managing Partner is a woman.....she's going to be threatened by younger more beautiful women coming aboard.

The Cows in Personnel.

The dried-up old female Crones who manage the firm----what chance does a beautiful woman have getting past them?

Things were different when Men were the managing/hiring Partners. A woman could get a job based on her bust size. You could get a job as a legal secretary without even knowing how to type!

Women in the workplace, women at the upper levels of senior management have destroyed things.

You show me a woman Managing/Hiring Partner, and I'll show you some of the butt ugliest secretaries and young female associates ever seen.

When men ran things, you had eye candy everywhere.

Just another reason why women don't belong in the upper levels of senior management!

Not to mention that women don't even work well together. They're catty and nobody wants to work with 'em.

Conniving Viragos.

All About Eve. It's occurring in law firms everywhere.

Peace, Maxine

Sadly, No! said...

Well, at least the blogger in question explained why he thinks only a complete moron would confuse your comments with those lft by others as you, complete with a link to their own, non-Althouse, blog. But I guess that much information would interfere with your license to cry.

PatCA said...

Yes, Stephen, I do think law firms avoid people who look like trouble, especially these days with harassment suits and unfair firing suits, etc. Even giving references is dicey; if you say something too awful, you can also get sued.

So yeah, employers are much careful than they used to be.

Ann Althouse said...

Sadly, No! said..."Well, at least the blogger in question explained why he thinks only a complete moron would confuse your comments with those lft by others as you, complete with a link to their own, non-Althouse, blog. But I guess that much information would interfere with your license to cry."

Yes, you're right, he did, and if I could have found the old email, I would have posted it here today for the purpose of lambasting him. It was a piss poor explanation -- self-justification run wild. I never responded to it because I don't go in for bullying people. But I did intend to mock him at some later date. Unfortunately, I'm having trouble locating the richly mockable material.

I guess you will have to say that only a moron would read those websites quoted in the WaPo article and hold it against those Yale Law students. Except you won't, right?

Jill said...

Ann, I think you're missing the point. It isn't about being too pretty to get hired. It isn't about stifling free speech. It's about an ongoing campaign of harassment that law school women -- myself included -- have had to face.

Free speech rights protect individuals from the government stifling their expression. They do not protect racist, misogynist creeps from posting harassing and threatening comments on a message board. The moderator of that board does not violate anyone's free speech rights when he takes those comments down.

I'm personally not trying to get AutoAdmit shut down. I don't care what they write about -- I'm just tired of them posting my pictures, my full name, my email address. I'm tired of them talking about raping and hate-fucking me. I'm tired of them calling me a bitch and a whore and speculating as to how many abortions I've had. I'm tired of people I go to school with posting that they saw me around campus, and evaluating whether I'm fuckable or not. I'm nervous that when hiring partners google me, that's what they'll come across -- and they very well may not understand the nature of the board well enough to grasp that I didn't voluntarily participate in it.

I wrote about the whole thing here, if you're interested.

Sadly said...

Dear Ann,

If you can't find the email(s) I can only offer one tip: they're in the computer!

Balfegor said...

The fact that this woman doesn't have an offer despite her credentials, says nothing about the website and everything about either her personality in interviews or, more likely, the need to be someone's crony to get ahead.

Look, she's a 1L. As people have already pointed out, it's not at all unusual for 1Ls, even from the best schools, to find themselves without a big-firm summer job. They go clerk for judges, work as research assistants for professors, work at smaller law offices, work abroad, do pro bono work, and do other things like that. It's perfectly normal.

It's the 2L summer where not having a big-firm job (or not getting an offer at the end of the summer) would be a real problem for someone intending to go and get a high paying job at some NY firm so as to pay off all that debt.

MadisonMan said...

Jill, if you were my daughter, I'd say three things to you:

1) I'm sorry you're going through this

2) Pictures posted on the internet have a way of getting to places you might not want or expect. Consider this a lesson.

3) Engaging with them is giving them attention they do not deserve. If people are talking about you, and you don't know, what have you lost?

If this is truly causing people to shy away from hiring women -- a dubious claim, but possible -- I'd tell those women to grab the bull by the horns, mention it in any interview and say it means very little to you.

reality check said...

Jeez MadisonMan you are such an acolyte.

I disagree with Feministe on many issues, but you are truly blaming the victim here.

If you google Jill's name, the autoadmit and beauty contest stuff comes right up very close to the top.

The issue isn't that Jill posted her photos on Flickr, the issues are:

a) this is a copyright violation
b) this is harassment
c) idiot self-important lawyers and other hiring jackasses love this stuff even though it is a completely inaccurate way to get information on a candidate.

There are bullshit services that claim to allow people to remove their nonsense from the net, but photos you willingly post to Flickr should not be used without your permission in some sort of beauty contest.

The lesson that is not a lesson but just an acknowledgement of the fact that lawyers are diseased is the question of "do you really want to work for a firm with such shitty hiring practices and such shitty people?" The problem is that your industry is overwhelmed by this sort of dipshit.

The lesson that is a lesson is that in a society where everyone is told, you can't ask this, you can't ask that, you can't verify this, you can't think that, you can't let this affect your decision, blah blah blah blah blah, it is to be expected that the human animal will find ways to get around the rules.

david said...

I think I've finally figured out the Blithering Idiot: she's a misogynist.

reality check said...

Where did Beyerstein mention your Clinton post?

Where did Beyerstein suggest she has any suggestions for how to stop this behavior?

Why are you saying Beyerstein has offered suggestions and repressive ones at that?

RDBlogger said...

Dear Ann,

While no rational employer should refuse to hire a job candidate based on comments others have made about the candidate's appearance, the fact is employers probably do just that. A 2006 survey conducted by Execunet.com showed that over 75% of recruiters search online for information about candidates, and about 35% have rejected candidates based on the results of those searches. When faced with multiple, capable candidates, why choose the person with controversial Internet record?

Moreover, the comments at issue here were not mere compliments on the appearance of these women. For example, some of the comments were:

"I'm trying to decide if I'd rather do her doggystyle or cowgirl.
Cowgirl, the funbags would be in my face. Doogystyle, they'd swing
furiously as I pounded her from behind."

"i want to titty f--- her for persian new year"

"[T]hese cu--- have the audacity to complain. They should take this
appreciation with a smile and shut the f--- up."

"Just wanted to say, those girls who are threatening to sue over the T14
site are fucking worthless whores. . . . If you all sue, I hope someone
raw dogs it right in your ass and kicks you out of their god damn house.
Furthermore, I hope you all don't get [job] offers . . . and have to
walk barefoot to liquor store everyday b/c if you don't, your husband
will beat the shit out of you. EAT AIDS SLUT BAG CUM DUMPSTERS."


For more details about the facts in this case, please see: http://reputationdefender.com/campaign_gallery.php

For information about how you can help these women, and petition AutoAdmit to establish a clear and easy dispute resolution mechanism for incidents of this sort, please see:
http://reputationdefender.com/campaign_home.php

Thanks,

RDBlogger
reputationdefender.com

MadisonMan said...

reality check: You can try to expunge this type of harassment, expending quite a bit of energy, or you can ignore it. Those are the choices.

Exactly what industry do you think is mine, by the way?

Ann Althouse said...

Okay, I found the email I was looking for about that blog where they let people impersonate me (and even encourage it). The blog is "Sadly, No."

On 1/8/07, I wrote:

"You have someone commenting at this post as an imposter using
my name. [http://sadlyno.com/archives/4742.html] I have commented there asking you to take those comments down.

"Please let me know that you have removed those comments and
that you denounce that practice or that you are refusing to do so. This is completely unethical and unrelated to your opinion of me generally."

I received the following response from one "Seb":

Dear Ann,

Thank you for your email, which I first read today. As the contact form notes, comments are received by a single person (me), even though S,N! counts several contributors. (Also noted on the site.)

The comment you objected to, as you should know, read:

"Please, please! We must not let this discussion of pharmaceuticals descend into partisanship!"

Even you, I think, would not be so ridiculous as to post such tripe. If anyone did have any doubts, a look at the link posted to that comment would have made clear that the comment, like your stance of non-partisanship, is a joke. I will let history judge whether it's funny or not.

Frankly, since you insist on a one-sided (and inaccurate, it wasn't, when you complained, comments, but rather one comment) and link- and content-free presentation (would quoting the offending comment really have so difficult?), I'm not much impressed by the faux outrage over S,N!'s "unethical" behavior. At least you, who runs a blog where all comments are moderated and links to S,N! deleted, got support from your readers:

"he (Berube) is an authoritarian leftist and can't handle anybody questioning his reality"

If you'll forgive me, I have some irony to wade my way through for
the rest of the evening.

Cheers,

Seb


Get it? I'm supposedly the sort of person who is obviously being satirized by the writing of "tripe," yet only a "moron" could actually believe I would write "tripe." Who could be confused? But who could understand the satire then? Either it is confusing or it isn't satire. One way or the other it is abusing me and unethical in a way that would have made a decent person respond.

I wrote back:

"I understand but am not satisfied by your explanation. You are allowing someone to impersonate me, to use my name to m detriment.

"I was nice enough to write to you and tell you that I object, and I
think any decent, ethical blogger would delete the posts that
misappropriate my name. I realize it's supposed to be a joke, but
it's not even obviously a joke and it's certainly not clear that I'm
not telling it.

"My reason for not linking to you is that I don't want to reward you
for injuring me.

"Ann"

Seb wrote back (sorry this is so tedious, but I'm just putting this on the record):

Dear Ann,

How is this to your detriment? The first post is so silly, and the link to a silly blog so obvious, it's really hard to take seriously the claim of injury.

"You may well choose to argue that I am indecent and unethical, but that dog won't hunt (call me not satisfied by your argument.)
Injuring you?!? How have you been injured? Please be specific -- and at least offer your readers the chance to read the offending comment. I can assure you whatever "reward" might come from a couple thousand visits on the part of people who will hate S,N! won't provide much "reward."

Cheers,
Seb


You can detect in that response that Seb does feel somewhat threatened that I might take action against him. This set off my decision not to appear threatening, because I don't do that thing of making people worry that I might sue them. I hate that sort of bullying, and since I am a lawyer, I am aware that I can easily set off that thought pattern, and I don't go there. Not easily, at least.

Anyway, I got one more email, not from Seb, but from "Gavin M," who seems to have been alerted that I was not accepting their only-a-joke justification for appropriating my name:

I just got these emails, via transatlantic forwarding. I tried to comment at Ann's blog last night, but it required a Blogger password.

Ann, our comments are like the National Lampoon letters column. Nobody, for instance, believes that it's really Henry Kissinger when a comment appears under Henry Kissinger's name. The same obtains for figures such as Attila The Hun, Shakespeare, and Ann Althouse. Comments by notable figures are assumed to be parodic unless demonstrated otherwise.


[As if I'm an obviously famous name and obviously someone who wouldn't show up on their blog and comment!]

This is generally signaled even further by the link. If a comment, for example, appears under the name, 'Jonah Goldberg,' the link will point to an entity such as http://doughy.pantload.com, which is clearly a parodic web address.

That said, we also have a longstanding and well-known policy of keeping comments entirely free and unmoderated, such that we don't alter, delete, or edit anything in that section except in very exceptional cases, such as last year when an unknown person tried to post Michelle Malkin's home phone number in our comments. We take such cases very seriously, deleting the comment and banning the poster. Other cases which would meet that threshold would include 'outing' an anonymous right-blogger, threatening or enabling any sort of physical harm on another person, or posting personal information (of any sort) in order to intimidate someone.

You seem to be saying that a couple thousand visits would influence us somehow. Traffic isn't a particular issue, as our Sitemeter stats ought to show. On a slow day, we might have only 5,000 unique visitors, but I can guarantee that we don't notice from day to day what the site's numbers are or where they might be coming from. It simply doesn't influence what we do.

Best,
Gavin M.


That last part seems to be about my saying I wasn't going to link because I didn't want to send them traffic for abusing me, which he seems to interpret to mean that they aren't motivated to abuse me for the purpose of getting me to link to get them traffic.

Anyway, you can see the position they took and how they showed no concern for the way they were letting my name be used constantly next to quotes that aren't mine. The idea that I'm so famous that people can easily tell those writings aren't mine is ridiculous, and they just blew me off as if I was the ridiculous one.

The real reason they feel free to allow this abuse to continue is that they just don't like me. That is slimy and low, and I will continue to say they are indecent and unethical.

Raging Red said...

Once again, Ann Althouse demonstrates that no matter what the subject is, it's all about her.

Lindsay Beyerstein said...

Ann, I don't see how I defamed you. I just said that you didn't seem very sympathetic towards the woman whose picture was stolen and entered in a sexually suggestive contest without her consent, which in turn led to sexually suggestive comments and threats of real-life harassment from her fellow students and future colleagues. According to the WaPo, guys on AutoAdmit were egging each other to take pictures of her at the school gym with their camera phones and post these online. That's scary stuff.

Maybe you're confusing my post with someone else's. I didn't say that anything should be done to stop the loose talk online. I said that I would hope that decision-makers wouldn't be swayed by anonymous law students gossiping about a woman's body. Unfortunately, I don't share your optimism that everyone in power is so enlightened and rational.

reality check said...

These are statements from the fine outstanding lawyers that will be the fine outstanding elitist members of society.

I wonder how many of them have sat in Althouse's classes?

Seven Machos said...

I am current seeking a job in the legal field after working as a diplomat. It's been hard. Now I know why.

Clearly, I am too hot. Lawsuits forthcoming.

SteveR said...

Hey free speech includes the right to shut up, and good judgement often means just that.

A potential employee can easily find all sorts of stuff about an employer, the good, bad, ugly and rumored. So the sword cuts both ways.

Posting any personal information on the web removes any expectation of it being used properly.

reality check said...

Not your necessarily industry MM. Your refers to "all you lawyers out there pontificating here" there industry.

Seven Machos said...

What's it all about on your blog, Raging Red?

Jill said...

Shorter Ann: Rape threats, stalking and harassment are a-ok, as long as they're being leveled at other women. Pretending to be me while posting a comment on the internets is horrific, and it must stop!

reality check said...

Do I really understand you correctly?

You believe that Sadly, No! should remove any commenters parody posts about you, and if they do not they are unethical and indecent, but you also believe that AutoAdmit's first amendment rights extend to their anonymous smear website (that violates copyright) and that Jill, et. al., should just get over themselves?

Can you clarify this?

reality check said...

Sure Jill, you think you have the right to say what I will say in two minutes, but say it shorter and punchier.

Sure, go on believing that.

Jill said...

In the meantime, the AutoAdmit guys have posted the full name, email address and home phone number of another woman who asked that her picture be removed.

But she should be glad cuz they think she's pretty, right?

Seven Machos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seven Machos said...

Jill -- What's it got to do with getting a job?

Lindsay Beyerstein said...

There's nothing in the article about how the Fulbright scholar's picture got on the web, or what kind of picture it was. For all we know, she was wearing business casual for a work photo when all hell broke loose because other people fixated on her breasts. Stranger things have happened.

The article doesn't say that the FBS was denied a job, or penalized by employers. That particular woman is mentioned as an example of pure sexual harassment by fellow law students on AutoAdmit.

Ann was discounting the possibility that this AutoAdmit harassment, prominently featured on Google, could impact her career.

In fact, a young untenured law student has good reason to worry when her picture pops up on Google surrounded by sexualized gossip from her male classmates/fellow law students.

In the real world, there's a stigma that comes with even discussed as a sexual object. It wouldn't surprise me if some hiring partners made the leap from "guys are admiring and making crude comments" to "she's a slut." It's not an argument, it's just a prejudice. Yes, Virigina, some people are prejudiced and it's naive to pretend otherwise. And, yes, prejudice sometimes trumps cool rational appraisal. Imagine that.

Seven Machos said...

Jill: you are conflating two things:

1. Rape threats (if they ever happened), stalking, and harassment are not okay. No one says they are. And people should go to the authorities or seek civil remedies for these behaviors.

2. Saying someone is hot on the Internet is okay. Posting their picture is okay, if it is public domain, which it almost certainly is, so long as there has been no previous objection.

Now, your post is a big, confusing soupy hash of these two things. Which is it? What does an employer have to do with any of it?

(/edit)

Todd and in Charge said...

Call me a softy, but find what happened to Jill and those other students to be terrible and something that should be condemned unequivocally.

As for Ann's crusade about her name being misused, it's unfortunate but most folks must know it is parody.

Seven Machos said...

1. What is an untenured law student? How long do you have to not live in the real world to use this phrase?

2. You cannot control information about you. It is hard to control pictures of you.

3. Most importantly, law partners at Big Firms want more than anything to hire their summer associates. Getting the job is competitive. Being at it is not competitive. Summer work is basically getting $30,000 for hanging out, which is a good chunk of change for any organization. It is brutally difficult to come from a good law school and not get an offer once you are a summer associate. You have to really suck. Your future indentured servitude is needed.

4. This lawsuit may or may not have merit, but my hunch is that there is no relationship between the is person not getting her job and her problems with pictures on the Internet.

5. Nobody, there Virginia is prejudiced against beauty. People may resent it. But that's entirely different.

Maxine Weiss said...

What happened to Jill and the others is called life.

Stop the presses!

The world is trying to rape Jill ...


..and it's so unfair!

Peace, Maxine

Fen said...

For all we know, she was wearing business casual for a work photo when all hell broke loose because other people fixated on her breasts. Stranger things have happened.

Yah, I remember this feminist blogger who posed like an intern before Clinton in a photo op - back arched and breasts thrust out, it was kinda hard not to notice. Still, I wasn't fixated on her breasts, just her lack of awareness and judgement.

Katie said...

"Too beautiful to appear in public?"

Ann, with all due respect, I don't believe that this is what the young woman wanted readers' minds to jump to when she spoke. Her mind was probably on (and hoping to convey through her extemporaneous words) her fear that stalkers would pop up in response to gym photos not because they see the subject of the photos and think she's "beautiful," but because they see the fact that the photos were taken clandestinely or against her will and think the subject of the photos is a good subject for also stalking and following clandestinely or against her will.

Jill clarified this with respect to information about a woman's hours at the gym when she said:
"The AutoAdmit posters may not be stalkers, but when they post about what time they saw you in the gym, where they saw you on campus, which class they have with you, they share details of your life which open you up to potential stalking and harassment from others. I go to the gym at the same time every day. If someone posted, 'I saw Jill on the treadmill at XYZ gym at XYZ time,' you can bet it would be damn easy for some other creep to track me down."

I believe that the author of the quote you responded to with, "Too beautiful to appear in public?" meant something along these lines. I believe that because the good studies I have seen show that stalkers pick their victims because they think that their victims are stalkable, not because they think that their victims are "beautiful." I believe that the woman you responded to was not afraid that photos taken by stalking would attract potential stalkers because they saw her in the act of being "beautiful" but rather because they saw her in the act of being stalked.



Please, Ann, I would really like to hear your comments: After reading my comment, do you still feel that the gym-going student thought "beauty," rather than "history of having been stalked" was what would endanger her while out in public?

Ann Althouse said...

Lindsay Beyerstein said..."Ann, I don't see how I defamed you. I just said that you didn't seem very sympathetic towards the woman whose picture was stolen and entered in a sexually suggestive contest without her consent, which in turn led to sexually suggestive comments and threats of real-life harassment from her fellow students and future colleagues."

Where you and the folks in your blogswarm have defamed me is: 1. in repeatedly misstating what I said about the Clinton blogger lunch, where my point was entirely about supposed feminists being preeningly proud to stand alongside of the man who set back the the sexual harassment cause and 2. portraying my "Let's Take a Closer Look at Those Breasts" as being about Jessica Valenti's actual breasts as opposed to her supposedly feminist blog's being festooned with breast imagery. I have heard this stuff over and over again, and you dredged it up gratuitously to add weight to your new post. I don't appreciate it. But I'm not threatening to sue you for defamation, so don't worry. As I said above, I hate that sort of thing.

"According to the WaPo, guys on AutoAdmit were egging each other to take pictures of her at the school gym with their camera phones and post these online. That's scary stuff. Maybe you're confusing my post with someone else's. I didn't say that anything should be done to stop the loose talk online. I said that I would hope that decision-makers wouldn't be swayed by anonymous law students gossiping about a woman's body. Unfortunately, I don't share your optimism that everyone in power is so enlightened and rational."

I'm not a naive believer that everyone is rational, but I believe in the marketplace of ideas (above the alternatives). I called the guys on the website "idiots." I don't like what they are doing, but there's no solution other than to encourage people to learn how to live in a gabby internet world and to discount meaningless garbage. There is no hope if we can't do that. I confess to mocking those Yale Law students though. These are hyper-privileged women, and the WaPo article that somehow they managed to star in is full of quotes that have them complaining but also letting us know how good-looking they are. I'm sorry. That was risible. I'm a feminist. I consider myself a better feminist than those bloggers who gushed over Clinton and spiced up their blogs with bosomy ladies. But good feminism should have a decent dose of humor, including laughing at women who complain or whine too much and some sharp skepticism about Yalies who feel entitled to fancy jobs.

Ann Althouse said...

I don't condone any threats, but I do think that guys talking about how great looking women are, including statements wanting to have sex with them should be ignored. Putting photos in an "involuntary beauty contest" just isn't that bad. There are different levels of bad behavior. Some things are innocuous, others are stupid, and at some point a line is crossed and it should be possible to take action. But we should be sensible about what is worth trying to stop and what is part of living in a free society. I thought the women in the article came across as oversensitive, and the theory that it's the internet that got them looked incredibly weak. Plus there was all this material about how great they looked and what a huge problem it was. Sorry if I don't melt in their hands. They did put themselves up on the internet in the first place. If people look at a photo and say "she's hot" -- come on, that's got to be nothing.

somefeller said...

Here are some points I want to raise, though in some cases other commenters have stated similar or related points.

1. Unless I missed it, at no point in the Washington Post article did the women say or imply that they thought they were too hot to be hired or too beautiful to appear in public. To claim or imply otherwise grossly distorts the statements in the article.

2. Not all employers are rational, and it's not difficult to imagine that an employer would decide not to hire the women being discussed on Auto Admit on a mistaken "where there's smoke, there must be fire" theory. These weren't just comments about their appearance, they also were comments about sexual behavior, etc.

3. According to the article, the website postings included "false claims about sexual activity and diseases". That isn't trivial stuff, and once again, it's possible potential employers might believe such statements. Amazingly, people do believe what they see on the internet.

4. Potential employers do look at websites, including law firms that bill by the hour. That fact was pointed out in the article, and I can say that when I was in private practice at large/mid-size firms, people did pay attention to websites like vault.com and greedyassociates, and Googling of applicants occurred. Auto Admit didn't exist then, but I suspect people look at it now. The claim that people in law firms are too busy to do that is bogus.

5. I don't see why Beyerstein is somehow obligated to come up with a public policy solution to matters like this, repressive or otherwise. Unless there is a new ethical rule for bloggers stating that one cannot bemoan the foul acts of others without coming up with a public policy / legal solution to prevent such acts, that criticism of Beyerstein is off-base, at best.

Now, all that being said, it's possible that the Yale students who thought they didn't get hired because of the Auto Admit postings may be wrong. There's a lot that goes into law firm hiring, especially for 1Ls, but it's not outside the realm of possibility that it happened. In any case, it's surprising to see a lack of sympathy for these women, whether they are privileged Yalies or not.

Dr Zen said...

One wonders how Ms Althouse would feel were she to be photographed in the locker room at the gym, and the photos sprayed around the web.

Presumably she would cry like a baby for months, given the fuss she makes over having someone post using her name. I'd be interested to know precisely which law she thinks covers that.

Many employers would not hire this woman because they see all the shit that's posted about her tits, and think like this: a/ if I hire her, people might start saying online that it's because she's hot and b/ all this fuss will be linked to my firm if I hire her. It's not laudable to think like that but it's not "irrational" either.

Raging Red said...

Ann said: "Plus there was all this material about how great they looked and what a huge problem it was."

Ann,that's just demonstrably untrue. I just reread the article, and I see only one time that the women's level of attractiveness is mentioned:

"She was also featured in a separate contest site -- with links posted on AutoAdmit chats -- to select the "hottest" female law student at "Top 14" law schools, which nearly crashed because of heavy traffic."

And that sentence (which was not written by any of the women) is a statement of fact about the nature of the contest, not a judgment about whether the women are hot or not.

Raging Red said...

What's it all about on your blog, Raging Red?

Gin and blowjobs.

Aero! said...

"repeatedly misstating what I said about the Clinton blogger lunch, where my point was entirely about supposed feminists being preeningly proud to stand alongside of the man who set back the the sexual harassment cause"

Where exactly does "feministing comes from the word 'fisting'" come into this argument?

Seven Machos said...

A few choice excerpts from Raging Red's blog:

Why am I boring you with my blog woes?

When I listen to Edwards, Clinton, and Obama speak, it seems clear to me that Edwards is the candidate that best represents my political views.

I've learned that some people have been having trouble viewing my blog.

I Hate iTunes

I've also been a tad preoccupied with launching a new blog

I'm not ready to put that Edwards bumper sticker on my car just yet...my bumper will remain unstickered for now

I happened to read the comment before he censored it, so I knew he was lying.


Wow. We have just encountered the most hypocritical person on the Internet and -- judging from the person's blog -- the most trite.

Moe said...

"These are hyper-privileged women, and the WaPo article that somehow they managed to star in is full of quotes that have them complaining but also letting us know how good-looking they are. I'm sorry. That was risible."

No Ann.

That would be you being insecure - physically and professionally - as I read your statement.

Look at the article again and this time use your eyes and read it. Where do they let us know how good looking they are?

Seriously.

Complaining? Sure . . . but I would think that is justified, especially if your solution to such a grievance is not to abridge free speech. They just got a much bigger forum to express themselves. Kudos!

No where are they reported descirbing their own looks?

Please explain yourself. You are welcome to your opinions but you made a factual statement about the WaPo article that is empirically incorrect . . . measurably inconsistent with the words published.

The distinction between the words as published and your petty interpretation says a lot about you . . as I read it.

Ann Althouse said...

"One wonders how Ms Althouse would feel were she to be photographed in the locker room at the gym, and the photos sprayed around the web."

I actually think you cannot undress in a locker room anymore, because of camera phones and other cameras. The danger is terrible. I think you can go to a gym, but you can't really use locker rooms anymore. I don't like it at all, but whatever people say on that website, that fact is true.

Arne Langsetmo said...

Ann Althouse says:

What rational employer would deny you a job because idiots chatted about you on line in a way that made if obvious that the only thing you did was look good?.

I sure hope that's satire (and I'm assuming the "if" there is a typo that should have been "it", not to mention the incorrect punctuation). If that's not satire, you just don't 'get it'. Just to help, try reading the big letters.

[ASX said]...

Oh, come on Ann. You aren't being impersonated. You are being satirized. It's completely and totally obvious that it isn't really you posting those comments on that blog.


Maybe Ann hasn't figured it out yet. Not everyone is as quick on the pickup as everyone else....

Cheers,

Peter Palladas said...

The danger is terrible.

I am so pleased that there is yet another excuse to add to the long list of reasons why no gentleman - other than an Ancient Greek - would wish to be found in a public gymnasium.

A Turkish Bath, mercifully, would still be permissible as the steam would fog any prying lens.

Seven Machos said...

Actually, there's not much steam in a Turkish bath. And now I'm a little worried after Ann's comments about the gym because I walk around scantily clad at the gym every day. Plus, I'm hot, and I'm not employed as an attorney precisely because of my hotness. And I'm going to make somebody pay.

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't have much sympathy for the whiny women. Why? They are in law school. The purported goal of law school is to train lawyers. Not beauty pagent participants, teachers, or social workers - but lawyers, whose job it is to keep their eye on the ball at all times while advocating zelously for their clients.

Lawyers spend their careers looking for an edge over their opponents, whether in litigation, or in getting into a top law firm, and then later making partner. If you are sensitive to someone yelling at you, then you can pretty well guarantee that you will be yelled at. And if you resent being objectified, then, guaranteed, you will be objectified.

And don't plan on going to the judge and complaining that opposing counsel objectified you by staring at your chest. Judges hate whiny attorneys, because so much of their days are spent listening to them. Besides, they know that much of that is a big game all around, that most of the time that attorneys whine, they are doing it to get an edge (and the judges will usually assume that, even if it isn't true).

So, if you want to become a lawyer, you need to develop a thick skin about all of this sort of stuff. After all, what is important as a lawyer is winning, whether in a case, or in getting that plum job, not being right. And just remember that the sweet smell of victory is better in the long run than vengence over some real or imagined slight. Or, rather, the best revenge is to beat the guy doing this to you.

If I were the hiring partner for a big firm, and I could identify any of the women involved, I surely wouldn't hire them. Too whiny, and you are more likely to get a lawsuit against you than a good lawyer.

Jeff Fecke said...

I don't have much sympathy for the whiny women. Why? They are in law school. The purported goal of law school is to train lawyers. Not beauty pagent participants, teachers, or social workers - but lawyers, whose job it is to keep their eye on the ball at all times while advocating zelously for their clients.

Okay, Bruce, tell you what; where do you go to the gym? Buy your groceries? Work? Eat? Sleep? I'll be sure to post your name and address, and have my buddies take pictures of you wherever you are, and we'll all comment on how good you look on the internet.

And I'm guessing you're filing stalking charges within five minutes.

You wouldn't take this for two seconds--but hey, you've got a penis, so you don't have to worry about such things.

By the way, based on this picture: (http://www2.blogger.com/profile/10815293023158025662) I think you're going to have a hard time getting any ladies. But maybe some guy will nail you from behind hard some day.

Don't complain--I mean, you wouldn't want to be whiny, would you?

Revenant said...

Look at the article again and this time use your eyes and read it. Where do they let us know how good looking they are?

Let's just say that if you can't figure out where a woman who says (a) she's nominated for "Hottest female law student" and (b) is subject to graphic discussions about her breasts, has "let us know how good looking" she is, you MIGHT be missing a few of the context clues.

Margaret said...

I am a practicing litigator and have participated in hiring decisions at my law firm. The view of the practice of law espoused by young Bruce Hayden is not at all what we want to see in our associates. Trying your case fair-and-square earns you credibility and wins you cases in a way that puerile game-playing like that described by Hayden does not. Effective advocacy is about being prepared, not playing childish mind games.

Also making a stink about being treated disrespectfully isn't whiny. It's strong.. Wouldn't the more effective litigator be one who speaks up and complains and advocates for herself rather than one who rolls over and allows herself to be crapped on?

That having been said, employers make decisions in all sorts of ways. I don't know if the woman in the WaPo story lost opportunities because of things said about her on the web, But I gotta say, it's a legitimate concern. (How do we know she's a 1L anyway?) Law is an extremely conservative, image-conscious profession. As soon as you are perceived as being a sexualized, frivolous person, it's a bad scene even if you do excellent work.

Morris Berg said...

Revenant:

Read my (and Ann's) words again, heh?

I - and Ann - were not speaking of the "context."

The two phrases you cite were both the author's words and not the students. And the "breast discussion" discussion was neutral on its face. Regardless of whether you think is a "whiny" story or not, that was a depiction of what happened . . . in the author's words.

So what was your point? Oh yes . . . I understand context, but that has nothing at all to do with what I said.

FYI: "empirically," "measurably," "as published" = words and phrases with definitions.

Seven Machos said...

Note bald, dorkily goateed and generally IT-guy-chic Jeff Fecke's inability to argue without resorting to ad hominem attack.

Revenant said...

Okay, Bruce, tell you what; where do you go to the gym? Buy your groceries? Work? Eat? Sleep? I'll be sure to post your name and address, and have my buddies take pictures of you wherever you are, and we'll all comment on how good you look on the internet.

Ok, time for a reality check, here (and no, I don't mean the whiny left-winger).

Yes, some people are tracked down and stalked in the manner you detail. But the usual reason why your photo shows up online, associated with your name, address, and phone number, is that you put them on the net yourself! A disturbingly high percentage of college-age men and women stick their photos and contact info on social networking sites where anyone in the world can come look at them. I'm sympathetic to their plight. But for the most part these people are not victims -- they're people who, out of simple ignorance, did something foolish, and now face consequences for it.

If you worry about men sexually objectifying you, consider that the chances of that happening are directly proportional to how good you look in photographs and how many men get to see them. If you're even *remotely* hot and put your photos where where tens of millions of men can see them, well... in short order you'll find that more men have choked their chicken to you than have actually MET you in real life!

Or, hey, assume that one out of every ten thousand men is a potential sex-crazed stalker. Put your photo and contact info online and, hey, congrats! A few hundred men are suddenly thinking about how they can impress you by shooting the President.

Oh, and PS: in my experience most gyms ban cameras and celphones these days, for exactly the reasons cited here. If yours doesn't I'd recommend switching gyms.

Revenant said...

The two phrases you cite were both the author's words and not the students.

But the author heard the story from the student, so there's no real difference there.

And the "breast discussion" discussion was neutral on its face.

Only if taken out of context from the fact that she's a "hottest female" nominee.

Regardless of whether you think is a "whiny" story or not

That's an odd thing to say. I never said or implied that I thought it was a whiny story. If women were openly fantasizing about me online, I'd... er, well actually I'd think that was awesome, but if I was a woman I'd probably be pretty pissed about it too.

Morris Berg said...

Note: seven machos inability to recognize the argumentative value of what he - erroneously - term's Mr. Jeff Fecke's "ad hominem attack."

When the substance of the argument or discussion involves exactly this type of personal insult (as the comments at issue and alluded to do) then it is not an ad hominem attack in the sense that "what seven machos says is wrong because he is ugly" is.

That would be an ad hominem ( or alternatively ad personam) attack as it is typically understood . . . kinda like making fun of someone's blog.

Idiot.

Daryl Herbert said...

Sadly Retarded: Well, at least the blogger in question explained why he thinks only a complete moron would confuse your comments with those lft by others as you, complete with a link to their own, non-Althouse, blog.

His regular readers will know it's not really Ann Althouse. But many people just passing through will be deceived.

Which is the point, of course. Dishonesty for the sake of dishonesty. Causing people to form negative first impressions of someone you don't like--that's part of the joke.

This is a great reason, btw, to avoid visiting any liberal blogs for the first time. If you've been there before, it's okay to go back, but don't ever visit a liberal blog for the first time. That way you won't be deceived by ongoing "jokes."

Galvanized said...

Clearly a case of cyberharassment. Since when can a person not post an appropriate photograph of herself/himself on a networking site like Facebook or MySpace? They are NETWORKING sites, not specifically dating sites.

Internet is this generation's way of making contacts and acquaintances, and a person should not be made to feel that she has courted ridicule or unwanted attention by making a profile on one.

And also, an Internet site's moderator should not be allowed to have anything posted on his site that, say, a newspaper or print article could not for fear of libel/slander, as both are written words and accessible by the public.

Furthermore, if a picture is posted without the permission of the subject, and in an unflattering light, then the moderator should be held accountable, if not to pay damages then at least to remove it at the subject's request.

Isn't it time for some legislation? It doesn't appear that these women did anything wrong and were victimized. The fact that it started on the Internet does not change the fact that the virtual (which could have been ignored, though it shouldn't be) turned real with their experience at the gym. And many of the people who participated, I am sure, were experiencing that Internet/email anonymity phenomenon (even if they identified themselves by name)where they wrote things and encouraged behavior as they would probably not have been brave enough to done face to face with these women.

So add to the cyberharrassment the fact that there is gang mentality going on here. Just like rape, it's not about their appearance, really, but more about victimizing them, and it seems that people expect those so harrassed to just accept the fact that there is no accountability, that, "Hey, it's the Internet. It's a free for all."

MadisonMan said...

Jeff Fecke, why should anyone care about what you and your buddies think and talk about?

Kyle said...

I'm not really responding to the discussion here, just to Ann Althouse's post. And here is my response:

Thank God Ann Althouse is a feminist. Because otherwise I'd think she really doesn't like young women.

Jeff Fecke said...

Morris Berg: thank you for recognizing what I was trying to say. It wasn't an ad hominem--I could give a rat's patoot what anyone looks like. But it was exactly what was being posted about, and exactly what these women were going through. And the fact that people immediately viewed my post as an ad hominem is, I think, prima facie evidence that these women were...subject to ad hominem attacks.

Check. Mate.

somefeller said...

Morris Berg on Seven Machos: "That would be an ad hominem ( or alternatively ad personam) attack as it is typically understood . . . kinda like making fun of someone's blog...Idiot."

Also, if one wants to be more precise, SM's comment about the self-centered nature of Red's blog vs. Ann's was a tu quoque fallacy. A useful tool in an argument, because it can put the other person on the defensive, but a fallacy nonetheless. Oh, and you are correct, Seven Machos is an idiot. And highly unlikely to be hot, despite his/her/its claims.

Maxine Weiss said...

Dr. Zen: Most Hiring Partners hire based on who can bring in the most new business.

If some Gal can bring in the business and be a Rainmaker with her chest....so be it.

These Gals, will probably end up getting more offers, not less.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

If the world is trying to rape Jill, ....calm down Honey and start selling tickets!

Besides, I'm sure Jill, Beyerstein etc.. secretly enjoy the attention.

Peace, Maxine

MadisonMan said...

And the fact that people immediately viewed my post as an ad hominem is, I think, prima facie evidence that these women were...subject to ad hominem attacks.

Well, speaking as someone who thought your post was just silly, I'd say a more accurate statement would be that the women view they are being subjected to ad hominem attacks. The poor little victimized women, to paraphrase galvanized. Here's a newsflash for their coddled selves: Life is not fair and you will come into contact with all manner of bottom feeders in your life that you cannot control. If you ignore them, they will quickly find others to victimize. Engaging them -- and that means giving them any attention at all -- is just like feeding trolls.

Jeff Fecke said...

So, MadisonMan, when's the last time you showed up on the internets being judged for your looks? When's the last time you were "victimized?"

MadisonMan said...

I won't let myself be victimized, Jeff. And I don't care what other people think of my looks.

Jeff Fecke said...

Ah. I see. We're going to play this game.

All right: when's the last time you were a woman?

Maxine Weiss said...

margaret's platitudes:

"Trying your case fair-and-square earns you credibility "---margaret

"Also making a stink about being treated disrespectfully isn't whiny. It's strong."---margaret

"Effective advocacy is about being prepared, not playing childish mind games."---margaret



Margaret, honey, a little friendly advice: Hike up your skirt, and polish your nylons.

Clients aren't paying upwards of $700-$1,200.00 an hour for "fair and square".

Peace, Maxine

Joe Baby said...

Maybe the WaPo article should have stuck to the "this is outrageous" angle.

As noted ad nauseum, any 1L expecting big firm employment their first summer is generally in for a rude awakening.

Another problem: I would guess that a majority of law students and WaPo readers had no idea about the website in question. Not anymore. And now the jackasses over there are fired up like never before.

So, on the employment: sorry, this episode likely does nothing to harm a Yale 1L's chances at anything.

On the injustice of the comments: yes, I can't believe how nasty the people are on that website, but the best reaction was probably to ignore them.

Ann Althouse said...

I finally looked at that website. It's unbelievably childish drivel. I can't believe they are getting all this attention. Really the WaPo shouldn't have written an article about them. The general problem of employers googling names is extremely important, but the personal story of Yale Law students is a quite lame hook.

somefeller said...

"I won't let myself be victimized, Jeff. And I don't care what other people think of my looks."

How exactly did these women LET themselves be victimized? A bunch of bottom-feeders started posting pictures, personal info and all sorts of vile comments and lies about them, against their will. [See, e.g., barefootcontessa's comment above.] They were victimized, regardless of anything they did or didn't "let" happen. They aren't public figures who put themselves in the limelight and thus can expect some nasty attention, and no, posting a picture or two or allowing a picture of you to be posted for a scholarship website doesn't make you a public figure. Kudos for them for fighting back with the only weapon they had, by drawing attention to these low-lifes. Maybe they can help make the siteowners act more responsibly, or become radioactive themselves.

Just saying life isn't fair is a cop-out. Under that line of thinking, we shouldn't condemn any immoral or foul action. Hey, such things are just a part of life, right? Nonsense. People need to quit apologizing for or enabling people who do this sort of thing.

MadisonMan said...

Jeff, do you think you could make your point directly, rather than approaching it in a random walk by asking me questions? It would save time.

Crisp writing appreciated.

Maxine Weiss said...

Hey, Somefeller:

We have a long tradition of Gossip in this Country. From Hedda Hopper to Walter Winchell. Should they have been banned?

"For a good time call ( _ _ _ - _ _ _ _)"

Should we ban graffiti off of bathroom walls ?

It's an outlet. Gallows humor, and allows men a chance to blow off steam.

The Gals can either play Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm; or learn to enjoy it.

Women gossip all the time. But, if men do it....it's somehow becomes attempted rape.

I like AutoAdmit. But then again, I tend to like things that are lurid and tawdry---it's human nature---to crave spectale.

The only thing AutoAdmit is guilty of, is showing the full spectrum, verities and practices of human nature.

From a historical and anthropological perspective, AutoAdmit is quite instructive.

However, I still say Jill, the Yale Gals, etc...are secretl waiting for Playboy to come a'callin.

Peace, Maxine

Seven Machos said...

Morris -- Thank you for alerting us to your vast knowledge of the names of different kinds of logical fallacies, and for the gratuitous insult.

I stand corrected. I'm the idiot. The guy's argument was irrefutably awesome. Especially the part about getting nailed in the ass.

Jeff Fecke said...

Somefeller nailed it, but I'll amplify: if you believe that victimization is something that you "let happen" to you, you don't have the slightest clue what victimization is--or worse, you think that when someone's abused, it's their fault.

It's the mindset that says a woman who's raped is asking for it. It's the mindset that people who have awful things happen to them probably deserve it.

You can't stop yourself from being victimized. Period. These women did nothing wrong--and they were still abused, harassed, and in some cases stalked for having the temerity to be women in law school.

If you think that's their fault, then you're an idiot. That crisp enough for you?

Revenant said...

Just like rape, it's not about their appearance, really, but more about victimizing them

Eesh, could we please stop repeating that ridiculous myth that rape is about victimization, not looks or sex? Of course its about looks and sex. That's why the overwhelming majority of rape victims are women in their sexual prime rather than, say, defenseless old ladies and little girls.

The notion that rape is about victimizing women comes from the 60s/70s feminist notion that men harbor deep-rooted hatred of women. It has never had any basis in empirical fact.

Revenant said...

How exactly did these women LET themselves be victimized?

Maybe a better question is: how have they BEEN victimized? Does having mean things said about you really give you "victim" status?

Ok, yeah, there was the one rape threat, but I've received more gruesome threats than I can count and I don't consider myself a victim. I would if someone carried one out, though. :)

Margalis said...

Ann let's take a look at your posting in great detail. You are a master of legal reasoning so this should be straightforward and familiar:

"Too beautiful to appear in public? Too hot to be hired?"

This claim was not made anywhere, by anyone. This is an incorrect summary and you know it. Nobody is complaining about being too hot.
"Come on! What rational employer would deny you a job because idiots chatted about you on line in a way that made if obvious that the only thing you did was look good?"

Look at what Maxine Weiss wrote above this post. She considers these women future posers for playboy, solely because idiots chatted about them online. (We infer posing for playboy is a bad thing)

Whether or not Maxine Weiss is rational is an interesting question, but she is illustrative. These women have potential guilt by assocation. By being associated with a smut thread, they are smeared, even though they are not willing participants. Be being around filth they are tainted.

This is undeniable as it happend in THIS very thread.


Whether or not "rational" people would make this mistake is both a quibble and irrelevant.


"(I am sympathetic to the woman who had someone impersonate her by name in a chat. There is a popular blog where that is done to me in the comments and openly encouraged. As I noted here, the blogger in question flatly refused to do anything about it.)"

The blog in question does not moderate comments - that is their policy. In addition you are not sympathetic to the women who are being insulted. You are not sympathetic to the women who are having their photos taken without consent. You are only sympathetic to this one woman because the same thing supposedly happened to you.

I'm going to guess that you would change your tune if someone devoted threads to how they want to nail you, ejaculate all over your face and take pictures of you through your windows.

That's everything you wrote in you blog post! And it is all garbage. Not a single line is defensible. (Other than "Come on!")

Let's review:

1: Your summary of the situation is obviously wrong, you have mis-identified the complaints.

2. Comments in this thread alone rebuke your thesis. Some people reading the offending threads about these women will assume the women have done something to deserve it - are loose, are sluts, etc. That CANNOT be argued against, the proof is right here.

3. The only "sympathy" you show to anyone is to yourself via proxy. I put "sympathy" in quotes because you are not displaying any actual sympathy, you are merely feeling sorry for yourself.

---

A fair posting would point out that we cannot know for certain whether any individual has lost out on a job because of these threads, while allowing that it is possible. And a fair posting would take to task not just the "too beautiful" (in your words) but the vile posters at the offending website, who you did not condemn even in passing.

Finally this logical gem from your addition:

"She fails to reveal what repressive remedies she has in mind to keep the internet from chattering.
...
Either the remedies she has in mind are too repressive to scare you with, or she's content with just expressing outrage and sympathy. I'm coming down on the side of free speech on this, and that's one more thing she's outraged about."

"I finally found the email from those bloggers that refused to deal with the problem of people impersonating me on their website"

Contradict yourself much?

So...are you for free speech or repression Ann?

Let me guess: you are for free speech except when it annoys you.

A bad, obviously fake impersonation on a humor website is free speech. Eat your cake or have it.

Revenant said...

Also, if one wants to be more precise, SM's comment about the self-centered nature of Red's blog vs. Ann's was a tu quoque fallacy.

Well heck, so long as we're being precise about tu quoque fallacies -- technically speaking, Fecke's "you wouldn't like it if it happened to you" argument is one, too. :)

Seven Machos said...

Wow, the attack of the weird fascist left. It's interesting that every attack on free speech comes from the left these days:

1. You can't tak about hot womens' breasts on the Internet.

2. You can't talk about Joe Wilson's wife's job.

3. You can't give a speech at Columbia is you are Daniel Pipes.

4. You can't generalize about Hmong.

5. You can't use the n-word or, now, the f-word.

And that's just in the last week or so. But it's the conservatives who want to limit free speech. How do you people sleep at night? How do you keep your heads from exploding?

Seven Machos said...

Jeff -- There is nothing wrong with anythng that anyone did at this website. It may be classy or tacky. But it's not wrong. What I think is left unsaid here is the undercurrent of either a lawsuit or some kind of shutdown.

Free speech is not the same as rape. You are either clever to conflate them rhetorically, or too stupid to see the difference between a violent, agressive act proscribed by law and some people talking on the Internet.

Say it with me! Free speech is not the same as rape. All togther now! Free speech is not a crime. It's not slanderous or libelous -- or rape -- to say someone has a nice rack.

So, yeah, we're the idiots. But you are the totalitarian, anti-free speech schmuck.

And one more thing, people: impersonating someone else is fraud, which is a crime and a tort. Saying somebody's got a nice rack: no crime. No tort.

Revenant said...

I'm going to guess that you would change your tune if someone devoted threads to how they want to nail you, ejaculate all over your face and take pictures of you through your windows.

Question -- doesn't it strike you as just as TEENSY bit unlikely that any law firm is going to take things said in such a forum at face value?

"Hm. Well, Bob, it says here that guys want to photograph her through her bedroom window. AND jizz on her face!"

"Well, Tom, that doesn't sound like the kind of employee we need here at Tallywhacker, Johnson, and Wang".

"Entirely right! The cleaning crew complains enough about cleaning out the bathroom stalls as it is."

Contradict yourself much? Let me guess: you are for free speech except when it annoys you.

Or she acknowledges the obvious fact that asking someone to delete content from their own website isn't a free-speech violation. You don't have to be a "master of legal reasoning" to comprehend that much.

Seven Machos said...

No, see. When Ann Althouse asks someone to remove fraudulent website postings, that's censorship and a violation of free speech. When others ask someone to remove stuff about their breasts, that's just victims seeking social justice.

You can't stop yourself from being victimized, see. Period.

Margalis said...

Question -- doesn't it strike you as just as TEENSY bit unlikely that any law firm is going to take things said in such a forum at face value?

I covered that point multiple times. it is somewhat unlikely in any specific case but certainly within reason.

No, see. When Ann Althouse asks someone to remove fraudulent website postings, that's censorship and a violation of free speech.

There were no faudulent website postings. Unless you consider this fraudulent: http://www.theonion.com/content/news/apple_unveils_new_product

Ann is not viloating free speech, she is just advocating free expression selectively. She said the best way to deal with the AutoAdmit people is to ignore them. Yet instead of ignoring a website that mocks her she complains bitterly.

She complains about vague repressive measures that she doesn't support while constantly lobbying a website to change its moderation policies to suit her.

Nobody is having their right to speak freely violated here. That is not the issue.

What Ann is doing, though, is advocating the right of people to say whatever they want except when they say it about her, in which case rather than ignoring it we should prevent it.

If Ann thinks the best way to deal with the AutoAdmit offenders is to ignore them, she should probably also ignore a comedy website that parodies her.

The Jerk said...

And one more thing, people: impersonating someone else is fraud, which is a crime and a tort.

No reliance here. No injury either. Don't play Internet Lawyer if you can't pull it off.

Seven Machos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seven Machos said...

No reliance? Like people who read a post allegedly by you wjorely on the fact that it's you because your name is signed? Also, you don't have to prove damages to win a civil case. Ask the USFL.

This is all completely academic. Nobody is suing anybody. I'm pretty sure I know what I'm talking agout when it comes to fraud, though. Indeed, don't play Internet Lawyer if you can't pull it off.

Maxine Weiss said...

"Look at what Maxine Weiss wrote above this post. She considers these women future posers for playboy, solely because idiots chatted about them online."---margalis

Hey, I don't know if these Yale Gals etc... are Playboy material or not.

I'm just saying they want the attention, and they'd better hurry before their 5 minutes are up.

Not everyone is lucky enough to make Playboy. I know the "Witches of East Brunswick" are still waiting, as are the "Women of Enron".

Plucky gals all----waiting patiently for their ship to come in.

Peace, Maxine

Sadly said...

Ann wrote: "You can detect in that response that Seb does feel somewhat threatened that I might take action against him. This set off my decision not to appear threatening, because I don't do that thing of making people worry that I might sue them."

Actually -- what you can detect is Seb calling you on your bullshit claim of injury and you not responding (then or here). Because I enjoy repetition, here is the comment that prompted your complaint:

""Please, please! We must not let this discussion of pharmaceuticals descend into partisanship!""

I hope your injuries have had time to heal.

Raging Red said...

Also, if one wants to be more precise, SM's comment about the self-centered nature of Red's blog vs. Ann's was a tu quoque fallacy.

It also missed the point I was trying to make, which wasn't that there's anything wrong with Ann Althouse blogging about herself. I don't care if she blogs about her opinions on American Idol or posts a series about her collection of old 45's.

What I find strange is her uncanny ability to turn things that have nothing to do with her into things that are all about her. She reads an article about law students being viciously sexually harassed on the internet, and it somehow relates back to people jokingly posting comments in her name on Sadly, No. Note how she read all kinds of crap about herself into Lindsay Beyerstein's post that just isn't there (not even close). I recall sometime a while back when some blogger (Roy at Alicublog?) criticized something a commenter said here, and Ann made a big fuss about him attacking her.

So, if SM wants to scrutinize my admittedly rather lame blog to see if I have a habit of doing the same thing, he can join my whopping 50 readers a day and have at it.

Seven Machos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seven Machos said...

Raging Red's original post: Once again, Ann Althouse demonstrates that no matter what the subject is, it's all about her.

Here is a tip Red: good writing is writing that is easily understood. Think about that next time you are trying to make a point without, you know, even remotely hinting at what it is.

(/edit)

Raging Red said...

SM, what about that sentence is unclear to you?

Morris Berg said...

revenant and seven machos:

the obvious: rape is not the same as free speech and don't be silly extremists about how you use your words.

you both may have valid points but . . .

seven machos: if you argue . . . [sigh] . . . like "well he's totally right then . . . everything you said is perfect you're are so awesome . . .sorry . . .excuse me."

and . . .

revanant: words have meanings . . . if you would like to change the subject . . . fine, but please try to make your distractions segue coherently (remember: read words . . . not just whatever narrative fits best into your skull . . .Ann? . . . disgustipated?)

otherwise . . .you both kinda sound like whiny b**** . . . er . . . men with very little mental acumen speakng of a subject to which you cannot relate (ahem . . you ain't women and you ain't hot . . tho' i suspect you may both fear being raped for whatever reason).

jeff and fella . . . it's like shooting fish in a barrel . . . we should not even be wasting our time here, but it's a guilty pleasure . . . i know.

we've heard worse from better.

-disgustipated

Seven Machos said...

Red: Your initial statement does not say what you later said that you wanted to say.

Stick to cat-blogging.

Seven Machos said...

Morris: I have no idea what you just said. I am a very clear writer. My ideas may be inferior, but I do express them very clearly. Sorry you don't like my style. I think your writing sucks, too.

Revenant is my favorite person here, style-wise. I think he is too libertarian sometimes, but I always understand what he is saying. Interesting that you don't like his style, either.

tps12 said...

These are hyper-privileged women, and the WaPo article that somehow they managed to star in is full of quotes that have them complaining but also letting us know how good-looking they are.

It's not like these privileged women are being singled out by revolutionary freedom fighters. They're not targeted for their privilege, they're targeted because they're the peers of other privileged law students who happen to be enormous assholes. I'm sure unprivileged women are just as targeted by their similarly unprivileged peers, but the fact that we don't read about it in the Post is the fault of those in the media, and not of the victims of this kind of abuse, privileged or not.

Morris Berg said...

red:

from one [graying] red to another:

ignore 7 tacos . . .

dancing in quicksand would be more worthwhile . . .

cheers,
moe

Seven Machos said...

Alright! We have another lefty who has decided that he is going to change someone's name. "Seven tacos" goes in a long line with "Annie," "Cedy," and a host of others.

What about for Rev? How about "Remnant"? That would be good. But, come on, Morris: I'm sure you can do better. After all, you are such great writer and a brilliant wit.

Morris Berg said...

7 taquitos: it neither surprises nor concerns me that you don't . . . just try to use "ad hominem" correctly next, heh?

you are more than clear . . .

just be smarter next time . . .

Seven Machos said...

tps: I disagree. You bring up an absolute stellar point but whiff on it.

I live in Chicago. In a lot of neighborhoods -- lower-class neighborhoods -- where progressive white people strangely don't seem to spend much time (must be the paucity of Stabucks), women get leered at and told they are hot and all kinds of things a lot worse than what has gone on here. Yet major newspapers are strangely silent. Why?

Then, when an uber-privlieged woman who will make $150,000 her first year out of law school if she sends out a few resumes gets called hot, oh man! VICTIMIZATION! (and, as our gorgeous friend Jeff points out, you can't stop yourself from being victimized).

I would suggest that all this OUTRAGE!!! over something that happens all the time to poor people has an interesting element of classism to it. Where were the calls to stop all the innuendo over on Grand west of Damen? Do you think this Yalie ever cared a wit about the VICTIMIZATION!!! of these poor women in the lesser neighborhoods of my fair city?

Seven Machos said...

Morris -- Your definition of ad hominem is the one you get in a high-school civics class. Also, people who continually argue semantics generally do so either to avoid deeper issues, or because they don't know what they are talking about. The same goes for people who attack a style of rhetoric.

But, again, no question: you are super-brilliant and I'm sure you get paid very well for your insight.

Raging Red said...

Good advice, Moe. Apparently using "cat-blogger" as an insult is the best he can do. (I'm tellin' Atrios!) Besides, I've never blogged about cats. Guess he missed my Friday Devil Duck Blogging set on Flickr.

Mmm...tacos.

Revenant said...

the obvious: rape is not the same as free speech and don't be silly extremists about how you use your words.

The even more obvious:
- nobody's been raped.
- nobody, except a few of the more histrionic defenders of the female law students, has been equating free speech with rape.
- you aren't making any sense.

words have meanings . . . if you would like to change the subject . . . fine, but please try to make your distractions segue coherently (remember: read words . . . not just whatever narrative fits best into your skull

Um, thank you for your incoherent stream of consciousness. Let me know when you have an actual point to make, hm?

Ann Althouse said...

Jeff Fecke said..."Somefeller nailed it, but I'll amplify: if you believe that victimization is something that you "let happen" to you, you don't have the slightest clue what victimization is--or worse, you think that when someone's abused, it's their fault. It's the mindset that says a woman who's raped is asking for it. It's the mindset that people who have awful things happen to them probably deserve it. You can't stop yourself from being victimized. Period. These women did nothing wrong--and they were still abused, harassed, and in some cases stalked for having the temerity to be women in law school. If you think that's their fault, then you're an idiot."

Hey, did you even notice that you were agreeing with my original post?! Only an idiot would hold the women responsible for that internet junk. So we know it's junk. Now, why didn't the women get the jobs they wanted? Because the employer is an idiot and thought it was their fault?

Ann Althouse said...

Margalis said: "Look at what Maxine Weiss wrote above this post...."

LOL. Why don't you just hang a sign around your neck that says "I'm clueless"?

You say everyone reading Sadly, No will recognize what is "a bad, obviously fake impersonation on a humor website is free speech." But look at you, not getting Maxine!

How perfectly absurd.

Jeff Fecke said...

I would suggest that all this OUTRAGE!!! over something that happens all the time to poor people has an interesting element of classism to it. Where were the calls to stop all the innuendo over on Grand west of Damen? Do you think this Yalie ever cared a wit about the VICTIMIZATION!!! of these poor women in the lesser neighborhoods of my fair city?

Ah yes, the "You can't argue x, because y is so much worse! Of course, I'm not arguing y...but you can't argue x!" Chris Clarke has blown that argument to bits, but I can play along with your game.

Of course women shouldn't be harassed, no matter what their class. Of course it's unfair that lower-class women have less access to newspaper reporters to get their stories out. It does not therefore follow that the women in question in the story we're actually discussing were not harassed as well.

As for me being an "anti-free-speech" nazi...I'm a free-speech absolutist. I wouldn't shut down a site, period. However, I also think that humans have a right to be secure in their persons, and that people have a responsibility to ensure that what they say doesn't put people in jeopardy. Just because you have a right doesn't mean it's always right to exercise it in all cases, forever.

Indeed, what am I doing most about this? Writing about it. Using my right of free speech to call these idiots out. Or is that wrong?

Ann Althouse said...

Seven Machos said..."Alright! We have another lefty who has decided that he is going to change someone's name. "Seven tacos" goes in a long line with "Annie," "Cedy," and a host of others."

Morris Berg said..."7 taquitos..."

I call racism on the lefties!

Jeff Fecke said...

Now, why didn't the women get the jobs they wanted? Because the employer is an idiot and thought it was their fault?

Ann, if you think there aren't idiots working in law firms, you haven't been paying much attention.

MadisonMan said...

These women did nothing wrong--and they were still abused, harassed, and in some cases stalked for having the temerity to be women in law school.

They reacted to it. True, that is nothing wrong. But it rewards the Jr. High behavior of those on the website.

If these women are as smart as they purport to be, why not hack into the website, crack the anonymous names, and publicize them? End of problem.

somefeller said...

"If these women are as smart as they purport to be, why not hack into the website, crack the anonymous names, and publicize them? End of problem."

While there have been a lot of dumb comments on this thread, that one might be the dumbest [although Seven Machos gives you good competition, and generally wins those sorts of competitions elsewhere, both on the internet and in real life I'm sure]. So the only proper response for these women was to (i) gain the requisite computer skills to hack a site, (ii) hack into the site and steal data [a criminal offense, unless I'm mistaken], and (iii) publicize the data, and in so doing also admit to hacking the site and possibly committing a criminal offense.

Ridiculous. As stated above, quit minimizing, making apologies for and enabling people who commit immoral and unethical actions like the ones complained about. And no, I'm not talking about just saying "she's hot", I'm talking about the sexually lurid and degrading comments, the violent comments, the suggestions to follow and stalk, the general invasions of privacy [including posting of personal information] and the unwillingness of the site operators to do anything about such things.

H. Haller said...

Good lord, Althouse is *still* at it with "they let someone impersonate me"?

Reminds me of Craig Vetter on writing: if you are stupid, what you write will be like a signed confession of that fact.

How embarrassing.

And how sad that AA reads about guys discussing how they'd like to rape somebody, & thinks that's much less obnoxious than it is for the object of their fantasies to complain about it.

Ann Althouse said...

Sadly, you quote one comment under my name, but there are many, many comments on your site that use my name, and it has become extremely confusing. How are ordinary readers, some new, supposed to know who that person is and to distinguish it from me? You maintain that site, and you know what the problem is. You are completely facilitating it with clear knowledge after I have brought it to your attention, and you flatly refuse to do anything about it though you are capable of doing so. You are responsible for it. You need to do something about it. Now.

MadisonMan said...

somefeller, use a little imagination. These are proto-lawyers. I sincerely doubt they can hack, but they can sure sue for damages, and subpoena the website owner for his data. Faced with exposure, the little cretins posting on it, cowards that they are, will slither away. And the 1Ls will learn something about actual law in the process that they can put on their resume.

If they can hack, why not give all the records to the WaPo reporter? Anonymously, of course.

Or they can sit back and play the victim card, and we can all pat their hands and say "There there".

Or they can ignore the whole thing.

Jeff Fecke said...

somefeller, use a little imagination. These are proto-lawyers. I sincerely doubt they can hack, but they can sure sue for damages, and subpoena the website owner for his data. Faced with exposure, the little cretins posting on it, cowards that they are, will slither away. And the 1Ls will learn something about actual law in the process that they can put on their resume.

Funny, that's exactly what some of these women are working on (cf: Feministe). But sunlight's also a pretty good disinfectant. After all, this doesn't just help shut down this site, but any others out there with similar "content" (I use the word loosely). In other words, by publicizing this these women have managed to have a greater impact than they would've with just a lawsuit, or by using their 1337 skillz to pwn teh site.

Whiny? They're whiny like a fox.

Jeff said...

"See if you can figure out how she proposes to embrace the the web with nurturing kindness and save women from all that talk out there."

LOL- this is one of the truest and funniest things you've ever written, Ann.

"It's not feminist -- don't you know? -- to withhold nurturing for sensitive Yale law students who fail to land the jobs they are demonstrably entitled to."

These two quotes illustrate why you are considered "right-wing" by so many leftists- they show a sense of humor and proportion utterly alien to the netroots crowd. Especially the feminist branch.

Fen said...

Where exactly does "feministing comes from the word 'fisting'" come into this argument?

Consternation that a feminist would play on the word "fisting" to title her blog. Its part of the larger pattern of criticism directed her way - cluelessly affecting the pose of an intern during a photo op of Clinton, littering her web page with pics of breasts. It was not unreasonable to question whether she was a genuine feminist. Imagine if a Rapper claimed all his lyrcis about "ripping" up women was intended as tribute to them.

And yes, the Feministing crowd distorted the entire argument, likely b/c they were intelligent enough to realize they didn't have a leg to stand on.

Fen said...

Do these women have any proof, even circumstantial, that the lawfirms denied them b/c of what a seach on the net turned up?

Fen said...

asx: Oh, come on Ann. You aren't being impersonated. You are being satirized. It's completely and totally obvious that it isn't really you posting those comments on that blog.

No, its not obvious - new visitors have no idea that its parody, same with a google search. Its a cheap and cowardly tactic intended to discredit her. If I were to mimic you, I would at least have the decency to nickname my posts under "Asx [Fen]".

Fen said...

asx: I only lurk on "SadlyNo" for the kiddie porn

Case closed.

MadisonMan said...

Funny, that's exactly what some of these women are working on

I think they'd be more successful if they attacked the problem without whining about how they didn't get the plum job to which they seem to think they're entitled. I don't know if including that job angle was their decision, however, or the decision of the reporter/editor. Including it makes them laughable.

The Jerk said...

Also, you don't have to prove damages to win a civil case....I'm pretty sure I know what I'm talking agout when it comes to fraud, though.

Your words suggest otherwise. Stick to Law and Order reruns.

Roger said...

Damn--late to the thread. I do have a layman's question re internet and privacy--What is the state of law with respect to the internet? Is the medium too new for settled law to evolve? I hear folks tossing around a whole bunch of legal terms. Help!

H. Haller said...

How are ordinary readers, some new, supposed to know who that person is and to distinguish it from me?

Hilarious. They can distinguish those which are humorous and/or intelligent from the real Althouse.

Wade_Garrett said...

How many times is Ann Althouse going to pick fights with young feminist bloggers? Or young women in general?

So much for feminism. Somebody's feeling threatened! Somebody's a careerist!

Man, I love the blogosphere.

Jeff said...

"Isn't it time for some legislation?"

The time honored cry of the punitive left- let the government do it!

Wade_Garrett said...

Jeff - What, as opposed to the right, which wants to outlaw gay marriage, stem cell research, etc., through the use of legislation? You're a prick.

Revenant said...

Jeff - What, as opposed to the right, which wants to outlaw gay marriage, stem cell research, etc., through the use of legislation? You're a prick

Those are really stupid examples -- you should have picked abortion and flag-burning. Few on the right want to outlaw either gay marriage or stem cell research. What the majority want is (a) to continue to deny gay marriages government recognition and (b) to ban government funding of stem-cell research.

Now *that* is a truly annoying left-wing habit -- equating "the government doesn't fund it" with "the government has made it illegal". :)

Y.G. Brown said...

Ann, someone has now begun posting false comments under your name here on your own blog:

Sadly, you quote one comment under my name, but there are many, many comments on your site that use my name, and it has become extremely confusing. How are ordinary readers, some new, supposed to know who that person is and to distinguish it from me? You maintain that site, and you know what the problem is. You are completely facilitating it with clear knowledge after I have brought it to your attention, and you flatly refuse to do anything about it though you are capable of doing so. You are responsible for it. You need to do something about it. Now.

It was posted at 8:25 AM.

Sadly, No! Research Labs said...

Sadly, you quote one comment under my name, but there are many, many comments on your site that use my name, and it has become extremely confusing. How are ordinary readers, some new, supposed to know who that person is and to distinguish it from me?

Ann, one seems often to ask questions to which one knows the answer.

Comments under the names Ann Malthouse, Dan Dalthouse, An Old House, Ann Acidhouse, Ayn Galthouse, Ann Althouse's Cat, Jan Jalthouse, Not Ann Althouse, _nn _lthhouse, A. Nalthouse, Someone Who Isn't Ann Althouse, or any of the infinite variations thereof, can be eliminated straight away.

Which leaves the remaining 2%.

I see that the argument is now that a hypothetical first-time visitor to S,N! might be unaware of the satirical nature, etc., and might somehow mistake one or more of these comments as coming from yourself -- even in context, and even when clearly marked as satire in the manner described in the email above.

To state our position succinctly, when the weather report says 'chilly today,' such a person would run outside with a bowl.

Wade_Garrett said...

No, he doesn't need to do anything about it, just like the guys at NYU law school don't need to take down the photos of Jill or their comments about her.

Isn't the internet a scary place?

Fen said...

No, he doesn't need to do anything about it, just like the guys at NYU law school

And both can be put in the same box and placed on the back shelf.

Its a dishonest tactic that undermines whatever credibility SadlyNo might have had with me. You're attributing words to Ann that she never said, then cowardly hiding behind a defense of satirical impersonation. They could easily add satire tags to be fair, but thats not their goal.

But I appreciate that they've made it so easy for me to disqualify anything they have to say.

Righteous Bubba said...

undermines whatever credibility SadlyNo might have had with me

Good Lord!

Andi said...

I'm a little confused. Since when is defamatory language protected as Free Speech?

For AutoAdmit to allow content to remain on their website that is not only defamatory and a gross invasion of privacy, but also contains sexually violent threats, is irresponsible. The women who have been victims of these malicious attacks should not be subject to such attacks simply because they put pictures of themselves on personal websites.

Ms. Althouse, you have a meltdown when someone comments on another site pretending to be you, because you're concerned with your reputation. How would you feel if someone stole pictures of you, or even worse, followed you and took pictures of you, and then used those pictures to start sexually violent conversations about you? My guess is you'd feel exactly the same way as those women do -- violated, frightened and angry. Defamatory language, by definition, harms the reputation of the victim. To pretend that a prestigious law firm viewing "all that drama" wouldn't, as a result, have a negative view of the job candidate is completely naive. The young woman from the WaPo article may have been passed over for the jobs for other reasons, but she'll never know for certain.

I'm disappointed that as a law professor you aren't more concerned with the safety and reputations of your students, but instead call defamatory language "free speech." If I were in the same situation as these women, the first people I would talk to would be the faculty at my law school, and hope to receive a more sympathetic response than "it's free speech, suck it up."

Revenant said...

I'm a little confused. Since when is defamatory language protected as Free Speech?

Speech isn't defamation unless (a) it can reasonably be construed as a factual claim and (b) it harms the reputation of the person it is directed at. So it isn't clear what, of this speech, you are claiming is defamatory.

If I look at a picture of a woman and say something like "Look at those tits! I bet she's a real slut, I'd love to do her in the ass while she begs for mercy" I am guilty of being crude and offensive, but I am not guilty of defamation or of violating any law.

Now if I said something like "I know this girl personally and she'll do the craziest sex stuff for you if you buy her some crack", THEN I'm guilty of defaming her. But speculative comments and fantasies are not defamation, nor are "factual" statements that are obviously not really true.

Fen said...

And we'd hope a lawfirm would be able to discern the difference.

Truth About Anthony Ciolli said...

www.anthonyciolli.blogspot.com
www.jarretcohen.blogspot.com

Shanmcmn said...

Wow, Ann, really missing the point on this one.
If I googled Ann Althouse and the first thing that popped up was...
“It's every woman's dream to be raped by their dad. She’s probably fingering her worn out cunt to this post as we speak.”
Would you laugh it off? Would you chalk it up to "loose, dumb talk"?
What if you discovered the person who posted it could be sitting right next to you at lunch or in the office, at a meeting?
Personally, I think you're way too self obsessed to empathize or absorb this but I hope that other readers can.
This AutoAdmit case is one of the most frightening examples of misogyny I've ever seen.