In one narrative, Bradley rushed Prosser with her fists up and Prosser managed to touch her neck while defending himself. It is, my colleagues in the press now say, a classic “he said/she said” controversy. No, it's not. It is a controversy only if Prosser's hands were nowhere near Bradley's neck. I mean, come on!There follows a tirade about what we teach our sons about violence against women, as if, in a face to face physical encounter, the man is always wrong. So, as a woman in the work place, can I get right up in any man's face, get as angry as I want, shake my fist right by his big old glasses, and the moment he flinches, if his hand touches me, I get to shout "violence against women" and he's the one who's screwed? As a feminist, I would just love to have power like that. That's sarcasm, I hope you're not too far gone to realize.
What I want, and what I think good feminists should want, is to be treated as an equal in a sane workplace, where nobody gets in anybody's face, and nobody thinks they can taunt or threaten or hit — or choke! — anybody. Ironically, Wineke is spouting sexism. If men and women are really governed by such different standards, that would be sex discrimination. And on the whole, it would hurt the advancement of women in the workplace. We are not fragile flowers in need of old-school chivalry. If we were, it would justify discrimination.
You would tell your own son that if his hands touched the neck of a girl -- no matter what the cause -- he would be in big, big trouble. Big, big trouble.He's right that the boy would be in trouble, but that doesn't make it obvious that the boy would always be wrong. In fact, most men are so familiar with that form of trouble that they resist responding physically to any physical aggression by a woman. It's one thing to warn a man in advance that he'd better be aware of the trouble that may follow if he's laid hands on a woman, quite another to enthuse over punishing any man who is accused. What matters is the truth.
And if your son's defense was that he wasn't trying to choke the woman but just defending himself by putting his hands around her neck? You know what you would say.He doesn't link to the post or quote it. Not surprising, considering how much he distorts it. (When did I say Bradley should be "perhaps arrested"?!) (Here's the post he didn't bother to represent with any precision. Here's my follow-up post which he also might be referring to.)
Of course, that's not what everyone says.
For example, Professor Ann Althouse, of the University of Wisconsin Law School, a distinguished, tenured, named professor on the Madison campus, published a blog entry over the weekend suggesting the real culprit here is the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism for publishing the story in the first place and for not discovering the alternative narrative.
In fact, she says, it may be Bradley who should be investigated, perhaps arrested, perhaps thrown off the bench.
Notice the sleazy sleight of hand in that question above. He's got "your son's... hands around her neck" — not merely making contact with the neck of a woman who thrust herself into the place where he'd flung his hands defensively. Wineke is assuming a set of facts — hands around her neck — and saying in that situation, you wouldn't defend your son. Actually, there are some situations in which you clearly would defend your son, even if his hands were "around" her neck. Picture a woman larger than your son, pinning him down, choking him.
Her comments are being picked up by all sorts of “conservative” blogs around the country and are surrounded by comments suggesting Prosser's only problem is that he didn't squeeze harder.My "comments" are "surrounded by comments"? I have a long blog post, below which are hundreds of comments that you have to click to see. These comments are not around me, like hands around a neck.
What did Wineke do, comb through the comments, looking for the meanest ones? He found many that said "Prosser's only problem is that he didn't squeeze harder"? How many? He doesn't link or quote. There are 362 comments on that first post, and I'm not finding the word "squeeze" or "harder" in any of them. And there are plenty of great comments (along with snark). Wineke shamelessly mischaracterizes the conversation he doesn't have the decency to link to. How embarrassing!
I don't blame Althouse for that, but I do kind of shudder to think we have people in this country who advocate murdering those with whom they disagree.Oh, bullshit! No one seriously advocated murder. What, did one guy snark in bad taste? Why don't you you shudder at your own propensity to misstate what people say and mean?
But even the sane commentary on the right insists this is a two-side story and that it shouldn't be reported until a full investigation is completed.Again, misstated! Who said nothing should be reported "until a full investigation is completed." I said that the story was obviously a snapshot of a moment in a longer incident that needed context and that Lueders looks biased and/or inept in not probing with the kinds of questions that would have turned up the more complex narrative that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel managed to discover within a few hours after the Lueders story came out.
Who knows? Perhaps Althouse is right. If it turns out that Bradley did attack Prosser -- fists raised -- that wouldn't be very judicial.What? First of all, once again, you shift from "touching" her neck to "around" her neck. I've agreed all along that if Prosser throttled Bradley, he should resign. But his misdeeds wouldn't eradicate hers. If she initiated the physical aggression and behaved in the manner described in the worst version of the allegations, then she too should resign. Why would his bad action undo hers?
I'll leave that question up to the official investigators. I'm still stuck on that “alternative”, the one that has Prosser raising his arms in self defense and accidentally touching Bradley's neck.
If his hands were around her throat, I don't care who charged whom. If that is the case, there are not two sides to this story.
If women and men are equal, both are governed by the same standards of behavior.