October 11, 2010

"Best to assume that we're under surveillance of one form or another most of the time."

Some advice from a professor in an article about that Duke student whose 42-page sex diary went viral on the internet. It's really sad. You know, in the old days people had God — or even just a conscience — to create that sense that they were under surveillance. And some people fretted that the government would be watching us all the time. And now, in our spiffy but impoverished age, we're supposed to manufacture responsibility out of the idea that anything can leak out into the internet.

I found that article via Instapundit, whose teaser was "INSTITUTIONALIZED SEXISM: Duke Contacting Those Affected by Sex 'Thesis.'" Sexism, eh? Maybe you can explain that to me. Are we supposed to think the university would celebrate or excuse a male student who wrote up the details of a lot of sexual encounters with female students? I get the impression Duke is trying to be equal toward the sexes by figuring out what they'd do if a bunch of female students got their privacy invaded this way and then applying the same treatment to the men.

And I still find it hard to believe that the woman — Karen Owen — wrote out her 42-page sex diary just to share it with a few friends. I imagine her laughing over the professor's advice. It may be in her interest to look like the poor girl whose friends opened her diary to the world. Look at the publicity and the readership she's getting for what was substantial literary work (plus field work!). My hypothesis is she's savvy.

62 comments:

Hari said...

Where is the actual document?

MrBuddwing said...

I remember years ago paging through an old, dusty book on etiquette (don't ask me why, it was just sitting there). It was a book written by a woman for other women. And on one page was a bit of advice that I thought rather bizarre at the time: The book said if you write a letter to a man, let it sit for a day before you actually mail it. Apparently, the author, as a woman, felt that her fellow females were an emotional lot who easily let their feelings run free on paper, and that misunderstandings could easily result.

I wonder what that author would have thought about today's girls using cell phones for "sexting" and social networks for posting all kinds of, er, self-images for everyone else in their social circle to see.

Word verification: uriessow.

ndspinelli said...

The genie has been out of the bottle for some time now...folks are just coming to understand that.

In 1982, w/ the advent of video cameras, I began conducting insurance defense surveillance; people faking or embellishing injury claims in civil lawsuits and worker's comp claims. When cross examined by plaintiff's attorneys they always brought up invasion of privacy. Only occassionally did juries buy it.

In the last decade, w/ security cameras and webcams being so ubiquitous my reply was simple. I would look to the jury and say, "As we came to the courthouse today we were videotaped by cameras indiscriminately. When I videotape people it's for a singular purpose, to help these good people make an informed decision." Not all, but almost all jurors got it. I would NEVER videotape a person inside their house.

Regarding photographs/video, if it occurs in public, it's public. Unless one can establish they had a reasonable expectation of privacy, they're SOL. Now, that poor kid @ Rutgers had a reasonable expectation of privacy, but unfortunately, only his parents have a civil, legal remedy.

This stuff regarding diary, sex, etc.is more complicated. I think we need a boat load of barristers to sort it out. If they can't, we sink the boat, and then get another boat load. But, that's my opinion, I could be wrong.

America's Politico said...

Yeah I agree with the Prof. She is doing what Paris H. and Kim K. for videos. Every publicity is a good publicity. How does one get to the top in the competitive age.

This is why we need a role model in politics today. Young people need to see leaders who are successful.

PatCA said...

"You know, in the old days people had God — or even just a conscience — to create that sense that they were under surveillance."

So true, and so sad. Some women's studies instructors I know were appalled and puzzled that some women in her class worked as "exotic dancers" to pay for college. It was their right as owners of their own bodies, they claimed!

Scott M said...

They can pretend all they want that they are doing exactly what they would do if the gender roles in this farce were reversed, but anyone with half a brain and ANY knowledge about contemporary culture calls bullshit on that. The man would be skewered and we would be subjected to endless video and sound bites of crying coeds.

chuck said...

The sex diary thing isn't new. Back, oh, 35 years or so a student systematically slept her way through the biology department at USU. She didn't write a book, she kept notes on 3x5 cards with a rating system.

So this sort of thing is probably fairly common. I expect young guys will worry about that for maybe a millisecond or two.

AJ Lynch said...

Wonder what her parents must be thinking?

Scott M said...

@AJ Lynch

As the father of two girls, those were my first thoughts exactly.

Maguro said...

My hypothesis is she's savvy.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure you're right. This is like the time someone put the Paris Hilton sex tape on the internet and Paris was oh so upset about it doncha know. She's just set herself up for a sex columnist gig at Cosmo or the Daily Beast or someplace.

MrBuddwing said...

The sex diary thing isn't new. Back, oh, 35 years or so a student systematically slept her way through the biology department at USU. She didn't write a book, she kept notes on 3x5 cards with a rating system.

And what, 35 years ago, could some malicious individual have done with this invaluable information? Pin it up on bulletin boards? Paste it on bathroom walls? Make Xerox copies and scatter them all over campus?

Now, of course, in digital form, it could be all over the Internet before breakfast.

Word verification: byhem.

Geoff Matthews said...

On purpose or not, she's still slutty.
Either she feels shame, and doesn't profit off of this, or she doesn't feel shame and she might.

Pastafarian said...

"My hypothesis is she's savvy."

Mine is that she's a nasty piece of work.

Yes, I know that these young men bear responsibility for their actions, and that they should be more selective about who they screw. And there's some schadenfreude in seeing these studly athletes brought down to size, so to speak.

But a few of these young men were probably fairly inexperienced (much less experienced than this nasty crab-infested tart, at least), and drunk. Imagine if the reverse had happened.

Imagine if the reverse had happened to your 20 year old daughter: Imagine that some man-whore picked up multiple drunk young women and then wrote in great detail about their preferences, habits, anatomy; and that your daughter was among this group of victims.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that had this happened to my daughter, this hypothetical son-of-a-bitch would not be drawing air for long.

So this makes it hard for me to just laugh off what this filthy little piece of shit did to these men.

Revenant said...

How is anyone's privacy being invaded? The woman told a story. She didn't secretly record anyone, she didn't spy on anyone, she didn't pry into other peoples' business.

She had sex and told people about it. That might be crass, but it isn't an invasion of privacy.

Greg Hlatky said...

From Emily Post's Etiquette (1922):

Few persons, except professional writers, have the least idea of the value of words and the effect that they produce, and the thoughtless letters of emotional women and underbred men add sensation to news items in the press almost daily.

Of course the best advice to a young girl who is impelled to write letters to men, can be put in one word, don’t!

However, if you are a young girl or woman, and are determined to write letters to an especial — or any other — man, no matter how innocent your intention may be, there are some things you must remember — remember so intensely that no situation in life, no circumstances, no temptation, can ever make you forget. They are a few set rules, not of etiquette, but of the laws of self-respect:

Never send a letter without reading it over and making sure that you have said nothing that can possibly 'sound different' from what you intend to say.

Never so long as you live, write a letter to a man — no matter who he is — that you would be ashamed to see in a newspaper above your signature.

Remember that every word of writing is immutable evidence for or against you, and words which are thoughtlessly put on paper may exist a hundred years hence.

Never write anything that can be construed as sentimental.

Never take a man to task about anything; never ask for explanations; to do so implies too great an intimacy.

Never put a single clinging tentacle into writing. Say nothing ever, that can be construed as demanding, asking, or even being eager for, his attentions!

Always keep in mind and never for one instant forget that a third person, and that the very one you would most object to, may find and read the letter.


Quite sensible advice, even after all these years.

Scott M said...

How is anyone's privacy being invaded? The woman told a story. She didn't secretly record anyone, she didn't spy on anyone, she didn't pry into other peoples' business.

Since we haven't seen the actual work and I've not seen anywhere that the mens' names were actually released in that work, I'd say you're right. However, if the names and/or images of the men in question were part of the released material, that seems like the bull moose mother of all privacy invasions.

Perhaps there's an emanation or penumbra in the Constitution that's relevant...

edutcher said...

I can agree with Pasta in the sense that she maybe wants to get even with men in general or some in particular.

Ann Althouse said...

You know, in the old days people had God — or even just a conscience — to create that sense that they were under surveillance.

There was also self-respect.

Look at the publicity and the readership she's getting for what was substantial literary work (plus field work!). My hypothesis is she's savvy.

Like Darva Conger (remember her?), perhaps. She may get 15 minutes, but she hasn't got a hotel fortune behind her to parlay into a marketing success.

I'd ask her major, but I doubt she'll get too much professional respect. She may get a few bucks out of it, but she's probably no Monica Lewinsky.

Revenant said...

How is anyone's privacy being invaded? The woman told a story. She didn't secretly record anyone, she didn't spy on anyone, she didn't pry into other peoples' business.

She had sex and told people about it. That might be crass, but it isn't an invasion of privacy.


Did she tell any of these guys what her ultimate goal was?

Did she get releases?

What if some (at least one) were in love with her?

WV "tangsome" When some looks, smells, and tastes like the astronauts' favorite drink.

Fen said...

And on one page was a bit of advice that I thought rather bizarre at the time: The book said if you write a letter to a man, let it sit for a day before you actually mail it. Apparently, the author, as a woman, felt that her fellow females were an emotional lot who easily let their feelings run free on paper, and that misunderstandings could easily result.

No. Its good advice for anyone. If I'm writing something important, I always let it refrigerate a day or two before sending it out.

The Crack Emcee said...

Yea - to think, after all Duke's been through, she'd do this without understanding the potential is a bit of a stretch. But, also, savvy and sleazy are not mutually exclusive concepts:

Now would be a great time for the dean to slam the little slut.

c3 said...

Where is the actual document?

a student's diary via
the internet via
CBS News via
Instapundit via
Althouse

We're not just under surveillance but those surveilling are under surveillance and so on and so on under we end up watching ourselves (and not realizing it)

Does META even begin to describe this?

No but this does.

Scott M said...

@Fen

It doesn't just apply to letters and it's excellent advice. It was the first thing I was told, a-way back at 14, about writing. Let it cool off for a bit after you're done because while involved in the writing, there's a very "forest for the trees" effect that makes you miss the most glaring things later on. It's almost like you have to unplug your brain from the project and come back after you've cleaned your mental palette. Preferably with something completely unrelated.

Sixty Grit said...

America's Illiterate Motherfucker wrote "Every publicity is a good publicity. How does one get to the top in the competitive age."

Seriously, asshole, learn English or sue your ESL teacher - you are fucking clueless.

Marshal said...

"Look at the publicity and the readership she's getting for what was substantial literary work (plus field work!). My hypothesis is she's savvy."

If this was intentional and savvy, why did she delete her internet footprint, including her facebook page?

Sixty Grit said...

If by "savvy" you mean "slutty", then yes, yes she is.

c3 said...

Its not Cosmic consciousness but
Cosmic self-absorption

Epitomized by this famous quote:

We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek

The Drill SGT said...

AJ Lynch said...
Wonder what her parents must be thinking?


I don't have any doubt that her parents having spent $50k a year to educate their precious little girl at Duke so she could go on to a "good" marriage or a professional career like the law are seeing their investment go down the drain.

I know exactly what future potential mothers in law or hiring partners will think.

The girl may have a future as a whore, reality star or as a journalist, but she has closed a few doors with her choices thus far.

MayBee said...

She's savvy like Washingtonienne.

William said...

I don't think that she was savvy enough to foretell all the waves that this would cause, but she is probably savvy enough to get an agent and a book contract. She'll make some money, get some notoriety (methadone for fame addicts), and otherwise flip the event for a quick profit. But there is savvy, and there is wisdom. A reputation for indiscretion and betrayal does not make for a successful life.....Still Erica Jong has had a long career and probably had more fun along the way than Mother Theresa. She might end up making fools of more people than the Duke jocks. It's very difficult to handicap the race, and she's just out of the starting block.

Lucien said...

Who in Hell started calling a mock thesis in the form of a Powerpoint deck a "diary"?

The document is not a diary and it is sloppy to uncritically repeat that characterization of it.

Assuming one would not blog about it without at least going over to Jezebel to eyeball it (with some redactions, like names, and faces in photos of the "subjects"), then how could one ever think of it as a diary?

E.M. Davis said...

Ahem.

WV: unnymphy. Umm, no.

SMGalbraith said...

It must be brutal for a young person being harassed or bullied nowadays.

When I was young (don'tcha hate using that line?), if you were bullied at school you could escape to you home to get away from it. Now, with the internet and facebook and texting and tweeting, it follows you around. You can't escape it.

Awful, just awful.

MadisonMan said...

What if some (at least one) were in love with her?

If I were a parent of one of the young men, I'd ask him if he learned anything from this particular episode.

Ann Althouse said...

"Where is the actual document?"

Oh? Did something that escaped into the internet manage to hide?

blake said...

Actually, Scott M, she did include their names, associates' names, and even some photos.

Squicky.

Scott M said...

Actually, Scott M, she did include their names, associates' names, and even some photos.

Okay, given that and the state that Duke is in, what is her liability exposure? That would show how savvy she is, wouldn't it?

blake said...

No clue.

Truth is a defense, right?

traditionalguy said...

Duke is under surveillance for College Malfeasance again these days. They should fire their Presidents as fast as they fire coaches.

Kirby Olson said...

Women are catching up in every category.

Whatever happened to friendship and intimacy?

Comrade X said...

Where the fuck is the Gang of 88? This is clearly none of their business and yet they haven't collectively commented. Cat got their tongues?

Revenant said...

Did she tell any of these guys what her ultimate goal was?

There's no reason to think this was her "ultimate goal". The whole "research paper" thing is a joke. If you read the actual document, it is obvious that she's just writing about her past drunken hookups with Duke athletes.

Did she get releases?

You don't need to get releases to write about your own sexual experiences.

What if some (at least one) were in love with her?

First of all: oh, please.

Secondly, what's that got to do with privacy?

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Where the fuck is the Gang of 88? This is clearly none of their business and yet they haven't collectively commented. Cat got their tongues?

Most of them have moved onto better paying gigs….at other institutions of Higher Learn’n.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
You don't need to get releases to write about your own sexual experiences.

Dood/Doodette they weren’t HER sexual experiences, they were OUR sexual experiences. Two people participated. It ceased being her experience when it moved past a Mr. Happy “Neck Massager” and some Astro-Glide.

Now had she wanted to simply use lettres, e.g., “Had sex with Coach ‘K’ last night in his office. His technique hasn’t gotten better and he’s really a little old and flaccid for me.” Well that’d be a little different. BUT if you can tell who she was bang’n it violates their privacy.

Scott M said...

Where the fuck is the Gang of 88?

That was one of the rare occasions where I said, "this is it. The veneer is off and the public is going to see these idiots for what they really are". Very off-putting when they get away with it over and over and over...

AJ Lynch said...

Did any of the guys indicate an interest in a relationship with her? Or was she doing the Walk of Shame afterwards?

blake said...

I believe she referred to it as the "Walk of Glory".

She chides herself at a few points for developing feelings for one or two of them.

She also laments that one of the guys isn't as well-endowed as she'd grown accustomed to.

Who wouldn't want to marry her?

Turns out there ARE two types of girls....

AJ Lynch said...

Walk of Glory! Ha- good one Blake!

Sixty Grit said...

TG - Coach Krzyzewski started coaching at Duke in 1980. From the looks of things Brodhead has a few more decades as president there, if Coach K is their model for turnover. Cutcliff, however, might be a better model, but still, the Duke BoD will never get rid of Brodhead - they agree with everything he has done, including denying the rule of law to students and having different standards when a black Duke student rapes a woman (fo' reals!).

Revenant said...

Dood/Doodette they weren’t HER sexual experiences, they were OUR sexual experiences.

Don't be obtuse.

Blue@9 said...

Duke is just helping her get a book deal.

traditionalguy said...

The most intimate act that is known to man is betrayed by a lover to world media ridicule...not that there is anything wrong with that,anymore.

miller said...

Good thing this wasn't a webcam broadcasting the details.

Nope, this was just good clean heterosex fun.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Don't be obtuse.


And how was what I wrote “obtuse?” Those experiences are not/were not hers ALONE…there was not an “I”, but a “WE” involved….and hence there ARE privacy concerns involved.

virgil xenophon said...

@Greg Hlatsky/

Sadly, the cultural world of 1922 took place in another Galaxy far, far away in a parallel universe long, long, ago many parsecs away and culture-wise eons further in the past than the mere 78 years as calendar years indicated as are normally measured here on this planet.

The Drill SGT said...

<>She chides herself at a few points for developing feelings for one or two of them.

She was clearly just sleeping around to make and keep scores.

dbp said...

traditionalguy said...

The most intimate act that is known to man is betrayed by a lover to world media ridicule...not that there is anything wrong with that,anymore.

A couple of the guys got nines and eights on her score card. These are really decent scores and nothing to be ashamed of. The guys with low scores mostly didn't get them due to shortcomings in the hardware category. They can work on their weak areas and make themselves better lovers, going forward.

Revenant said...

"Don't be obtuse."

And how was what I wrote "obtuse?"

Because you read "her experiences" as meaning "experiences that she alone had and absolutely nobody else was involved in". That is not what that phrase means in English.

and hence there ARE privacy concerns involved.

Sure. But I was responding to the ludicrous suggestion that she needed to secure a "release" before she could tell other people that a guy had sex with her. That's moronic.

AllenS said...

I'll say this: Karen Owen is a spoiled little girl. She probably hasn't changed since she was in 4th grade. She's the girl that when another girl from class showed up with new tennis shoes, Karen couldn't help her self but to say: "My mommy is going to buy me better shoes."

I know men like this also. Thankfully, not many.

Alex said...

Just another example of the culture of shamelessness. This is what Glenn Beck talks about every day. Having honor, having shame, dignity. This woman has none of these things. There is a spiritual VOID in her heart and only she knows what is to bear that as she cries herself to sleep every night.

Alex said...

The most intimate act that is known to man is betrayed by a lover to world media ridicule...not that there is anything wrong with that,anymore.

Wham bam thank you maam is not an intimate act. It's more like what animals do.

DaveW said...

From the CBS article linked:

On "The Early Show,"...Dr. Jennifer Hartstein, a child and adolescent psychologist...said..."but the point she didn't think about, what I'm struck with, this young woman grew up in a digital era and broadcast this in such a brazen way. While I admire her to talk about it openly, to send it out without thinking about what the consequences of that might be, is dangerous and potentially destructive."

I was struck by this when I read it this morning. Why is it "admirable" that she "talk(s) about this openly"?

Our culture has gotten really weird about this stuff. I see absolutely nothing admirable about her talking about it openly. If she was traumatized and needed to talk to her therapist then yes, talking about it openly with her therapist would be admirable. That she is so shameless that she kept notes and created a report, and that's obviously premeditated behavior, and with a power-point presentation strikes me as anything but admirable. It strikes me as vicious and predatory. And it would obviously be equally creepy for a guy to do this.

Keep in mind this woman planned this. She set out to do it and kept detailed notes about it. So she set out from the start to victimize these men, talking about their intimate behavior, their physical characteristics, etcetera.

Admirable? Baloney. That attitude is driving force behind this woman's behavior.

Moneyrunner said...

I had the same reaction. This female psychologist admired the ability to a female to be as promiscuous as a male and to brag about the having devalued her sexuality to that of a sport … just like a man. She did keep score. She may have invented new a game: fantasy sex, in which you pick your favorite fuck partners and see if your team wins.

kentuckyliz said...

The men should be concerned about their reputations too. A future prospective employer might find his mention in the Karen Owen presentation and decide not to hire because he lacked right judgment and fucked that treacherous whore.

Proving yet again--prostitutes aren't paid for sex, they're paid to shut up and go away.