November 22, 2017

"The department head... said there might have been alternative explanations for the professor’s behavior including 'maybe he just needs his eyeglasses adjusted'..."

"... (to explain the breast staring), 'he might be on the autism spectrum,' 'he might just be socially awkward like Albert Einstein was' and 'do you think maybe you’re more sensitive than other people?'"

From "UW-Madison dean acknowledges school's failure to address sexual harassment" at the Wisconsin State Journal.

For reference, here's Larry David getting out of a social gaffe (racial, not sexual) by lying about having Asperger's syndrome:



But it should be noted that some people with Asperger's Syndrome have been speculating for years that Larry David is on the spectrum and that Jerry Seinfeld has diagnosed himself as "on the spectrum":



Maybe all that great "observational" comedy has to do with the autistic tendency to focus on exactly what isn't the focus for the nonautistic.

In that clip, Jerry talks about comedians being the only people that he feels "completely relaxed" around. Maybe that suggests some insight into what's wrong with Louis C.K....



Meanwhile, on the tech front: "'I see things differently': James Damore on his autism and the Google memo/ He was fired from Google for arguing that men may be more suited to working in tech than women. Now James Damore opens up about his regrets – and how autism may have shaped his experience of the world."

Where are you on the spectrum from "This excuse is bullshit" to "We must empathize with and accommodate the differently abled"?

135 comments:

FIDO said...

Feh. Sounds like excuse making for being a Tool.

I tell people I am an awful human being just to be let off the hook for any offenses I rack up. After all, I warn them.

These guys just want a scientific justification for being a tool.

Nonapod said...

Yeah, it'd be pretty great to have being an asshole classified as a disability. It brings to mind that old episode of Southpark where Cartman pretended to have tourettes so he could say horrible things with impunity.

rhhardin said...

Bifocals let you see nearby breasts.

Gradient lens glasses are okay but you have to point your nose right at them to get clear focus.

eric said...

This makes me sad because my son is autistic. It seems like, if everyone is autistic then no one will be. I don't think my son will ever be able to hold down a job. He just has way too many issues. But when you first meet him, you'd never know. You'd just think he is weird.

But if businesses hire the handicapped knowing they are handicapped, he has a chance. But if the condition gets abused and seems normal, well, I don't see companies giving him any grace.

BillyTalley said...

Complete BS.

Gahrie said...

When did staring at co-eds breasts become harassment? That's how I spent half my time in college.

I'm guessing this is once again more about who is doing the staring than about the staring itself.

rhhardin said...

Xray glasses are not worth the money, if you believe Amazon reviews.

Khesanh 0802 said...

I am solidly in the "this excuse is bullshit " camp!

Gahrie said...

"We must empathize with and accommodate the differently abled"?

Why? Seriously why?

Feelz!

Krumhorn said...

My daughter says I am Assburgery. We’re pretty close, so I guess I’ll have to accept it, but I can’t imagine what she’s talking about since I don’t see the problem.

- Krumhorn

MikeR said...

A few paragraphs of gibberish in the article made me feel that these colleges are walking a tightrope. No one was willing to complain, and now they're catching flack for doing nothing, so what they need is a Title IX department that will automatically trigger a full investigation whenever there is any kind of complaint.

Fernandistien said...

As usual, Sailer gets to the heart of the matter:

"For years the press has been telling us that industries that hire mostly men—such as computer programming, defense, and the military—must be bad for women. No doubt, it is explained, all those horrible, evil male engineers must be teaming up to exploit the handful of female employees.
...
Instead, however, we see that careers where women are most abundant and most ambitious, such as television and movies, are where they are most exploited.

Why? It’s simple: supply and demand."

John Lynch said...

Bullshit. If you are famous, or work at google, it's not much of a disability, is it? Obviously these men learned to overcome and succeeded in fields where merit is the key to advancement. Part of advancing is learning how to relate to other people, so they did, and now they are saying they are bad at it. I'm skeptical. They were good at relating to a certain kind of person, and that kind of person isn't in charge anymore.

DanTheMan said...

So if you can't do the math for quantum physics, are you on the "learning disability" spectrum?

robother said...

Actually, I had similar thoughts about yesterdays's Man of the Hour, the Pixar guy. He strikes me as the kind of cartoon/tech geek who has always been extremely awkward around women, and who has no filter between Hollywood's phony hug and his psycho-sexual longing for human contact. But, as Larry David is riffing, all humans (including those actually on the spectrum) are always looking for a loophole.

chuck said...

> men may be more suited to working in tech than women.

I think his argument was that data shows that men are more interested in tech than women.

Rae said...

It's very fashionable to be on the spectrum. I presume you get a lot advantages, particularly in the tech industry. You may even be paid more.

I can't wait for the mainstreaming of Tourette's Syndrome.

MadisonMan said...

But we all took mandatory Sexual Harassment training! Everyone! It was required!

How could this still happen! Do you mean to imply that these training videos are useless and do nothing to address the problem?

David said...

Asperger's has become weirdly aspirational for a certain type of American man who believes (1) that he's brilliant; and (2) that he shouldn't be forced to be nice to/respect other people.

Sebastian said...

"Where are you on the spectrum from "This excuse is bullshit" to "We must empathize with and accommodate the differently abled"?" The prior question is: who's making the excuse?

White male? Nail his ass. But wait: white prog male? A bit of sympathy, everyone deserves a second chance. White prog male in power? We need him, let's get an SNL manifesto on his behalf.

Whether excuses should work is all strictly situational and strategic, depending on prog calculations of the moment. Except that, with women in full witch hunt mode, the calculations are turning a little screwy.

John Lynch said...

What David said. Asperger's doesn't make you brilliant. It's a disability. You may get 15 IQ points of verbal IQ... but your nonverbal IQ is 15 points lower. Guess which one actually matters more?

Mark O said...

I wrote a riveting comment to this topic, but the dog ate it.

gspencer said...

Ya know, I think I'll continue to live my life without these people.

buwaya said...

Modern extremes in science and technology have been reached exclusively through the work of a tiny minority of extraordinary people. I have known a fair number. I'm not one of them, I am a people-person.

These extraordinary people are, most of them, rather like Mr. Damore. All of them are to some degree a very bad fit for Google, because it, like most of that industry these days, really isnt focused on driving technological progress, unlike the "old" Silicon Valley. That old valley died over time, the last 10-15 years. The old Google, indeed, was nothing like the current Google.

The new tech industry is largely a bureaucratic-political mass that lives off its market position, patents and copyrights, and massive accumulated capital. Its not run by its founders but by corporate politicians. As with any bureaucratic system impervious to market discipline, internal goals, that is, internal politics, fads, ideological cliques and suchlike dominate.

That it has such enormous funds leads to serious external consequences. Google and its ilk hire up talent, like Damore, and essentially lock them up in unproductive work. In another era (just ten or twenty years ago!) such as he were going into much closer-to-the-bone startups that had to sink or swim by creating value, usually run by some driving leader who was not bothered by the quirkiness of his talent. Or about ideological dogma. The Bill Gates and Steve Jobs sorts had stables of these guys.

Bay Area Guy said...

How come leftwing universities are such big bastions of sexual harassment against women?

hombre said...

Breast staring is not okay? So what's with the push-up bras and cleavage everywhere? Is it a new form of panhandling? We're supposed to drop quarters between their tits? Without looking?

Chuck said...

I was diagnosed, after extensive testing by medical professionals, in Nov. 2014.Among the #actuallyautistic, you see a range of intellect and social abilities. It is not possible to lump us into one or two categories.

Many of us may appear boorish or rude in our interactions with neurotypical (NT) people. As a generality, we are weak at recognizing non-verbal social cues. Autism, however, is not an excuse for being a jerk. And it is possible for us to be both, as it is for NTs.

Diagnosing yourself is a facile way to find an excuse for behaviors and feelings that may have nothing to do with autism. It's not a fad that you can just buy in to. It is a difference in the hardwiring of the rain. We are not handicapped, just different.

Fernandistien said...

buwaya said...
These extraordinary people are, most of them, rather like Mr. Damore.


The poor guy was deluded enough to think that other people make decisions based on information and logic.

The Bill Gates and Steve Jobs sorts had stables of these guys.

The 11 Microsoft founders, Gates at lower-left, Allen lower right.

Connie said...

I have no doubt they are on the "spectrum." I also have no doubt that I can go to any middle school in America and with a minimum of observation identify traits in just about every boy and many of the girls that would qualify them to be on the "spectrum" as well. The definitions are so broad as to be absurd and cause significant difficulty to those that actually are Autistic. Anyone that can reach the level of success those in this post have managed to obtain may have quirks or compulsions. They do not have a legitimate disability.

Achilles said...

The left wants to hold people to standards they cannot live by themselves and put themselves on a moral pedestal they do not deserve to be on so they can assert power over others.

Autism! Aspergers! Gobledy Gook!

It is all a pretense to cover for a desperate need to tell other people what to do.

Drago said...

LLR Chuck: " As a generality, we are weak at recognizing non-verbal social cues."

A very bright Fighter jock (F-14 RIO) pal of mine is on this spectrum. That guy can tear into many an analytical issue and slap together complex data-driven solutions and put them in motion and direct teams, but he misses so many basic social cues its astonishing.

He's a Finance undergrad from a major university with an MBA from a top-flight (all puns intended!) University and took that training/education into an energy career.

But again, that guy could be getting subtly blasted in a meeting and he'd walk out thinking it was going great. Same as in his Squadron days.

Amazing to witness in real time.

Fernandistien said...

"80% of Google’s engineers, and most of the company’s leaders, are men."

And 82% of the Microsoft founders were men.

What a co-inky-dink!

The Godfather said...

DaMore doesn’t need to blame aspergers for his not anticipating the reaction to his memo. The memo was perfectly clear that a female applicant or employee might be just as qualified as, or more qualified than, a man for a tech job. His problem was that he naively thought his comments would be evaluated in good faith.

David Docetad said...

I kid you not, an hour ago, before I read this post, I emailed this to some friends, under the subject line "What's Missing":

"I am sure you have been following the sex scandals and crimes sweeping the country. First Hollywood, then the news media, now Washington DC. Guess what leftist-dominated sector is not on this list... yet."

Drago said...

Bay Area Guy: "How come leftwing universities are such big bastions of sexual harassment against women?"

Because by being leftists they have self-awarded themselves "Official Indulgences from The "Church" of Leftism" for any particular behaviors exhibited towards individuals.

As with all leftists, individuals are meaningless and only have "value" as members of specific identity groups, therefore, as long as ones policy preferences serve the political needs of the greater identity groups what you do on "your own time" with one of these faceless nobodies is perfectly cool.

That's why lefties can stand up and speak as though the represent the best interests of the "little people" all the while the gulags and mass graves are filling up.

Lenin/Stalin could starve 10's of millions to death all the while being "for the little guy" and have western "journolists" actively cover for them.

gpm77 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drago said...

gpm77: "It may be an explanation but it is not and excuse"

I don't think anyone is arguing that it is an excuse.

holdfast said...

The Israeli Army Unit That Recruits Teens With Autism.

Many autistic soldiers who would otherwise be exempt from military service have found a place in Unit 9900, a selective intelligence squad where their heightened perceptual skills are an asset.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/01/israeli-army-autism/422850/

gpm77 said...

It may be an explanation, but it is not an excuse.

buwaya said...

And Damore's issue re his paper highlights a gross social defect. He attempted a purely rational analysis of his company policy, and it is indeed rational.

Brutal reason is the only way forward against our universe, that of matter, energy, facts and logic, and thats so whether one is fixing cars or figuring out a faster-than-light space drive.

However, Google, like most "cash cow" tech businesses, is not driven by brutal reason in a battle against the universe, but by "soft" human issues. In a tech company, this amounts to corruption. It is an intrusion of human deficiency, or rather a celebration of human deficiency. Their management insists on piling trash in what should be a clean laboratory or workshop, and calling it good.

This defect is inherent in Google and its ilk, and the rest of US society, in particular most of its technological institutions, especially universities.

Drago said...

"Many autistic soldiers who would otherwise be exempt from military service have found a place in Unit 9900, a selective intelligence squad where their heightened perceptual skills are an asset."

The Israelis are always far ahead in cognitive techniques/training and application for national defense as their very survival depends on it.

n.n said...

It's a Pro-Choice, Pro-Choice, Pro-Choice, Pro-Choice world, where avoidance and congruence are first-order forcings of progressive corruption.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

John Lynch said...
What David said. Asperger's doesn't make you brilliant. It's a disability. You may get 15 IQ points of verbal IQ... but your nonverbal IQ is 15 points lower. Guess which one actually matters more?

David's comment is spot on. You, however, are as ignorant about Asperger's as Larry David.

jaydub said...

Back in the day when calling cards were fashionable, I had one that said "Jaydub would like to appologize for anything he might say or do this evening." I found that this set the expectation so low that folks were pleased with just about anything I did short of a criminal act. Of course, women were a lot more fun back then.

Jay Elink said...


I can't wait for the mainstreaming of Tourette's Syndrome.

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

Ever suffer through Grammy awards, or any other gathering of celebs? Every other word is "fuck" or a variant thereof.

My wife saw Lady Gaga perform in London with Tony Bennett. Bennett was all class, as ever.

But Gaga, who I think is enormously talented, kept talking about "fucking this", and fucking that".

So she too either has Tourettes or is busy mainstreaming it.

I say, Fuck her.

/sarc

rhhardin said...

The Accountant (2016) was good.

rhhardin said...

Fuck is a sincerity marker.

rhhardin said...

Some flick had a guy teaching his future gf's kid that to use fuck correctly you have to limit its use. The kid was saying it for everything.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Several points:

1. My husband has just joined the board of an autism nonprofit whose goal is to address the 90% unemployment/unemployability rate among the autistic. Part of the strategy is to reach out to/work with HR departments to develop ways to integrate autistic people into the workplace, create more autism-friendly policies, etc. We talked extensively about how likely this is to be successful as we have two giant waves crashing into each other, one being disability rights/mainstreaming and one being this sexual harassment issue. Some autistic behavior is sexually tone-deaf; how will that play out against the right of neurotypicals to work in a an environment free from that kind of behavior?

2. My daughter is not autistic but has been diagnosed with social communication disorder; she simply did not come with the same innate instruction manual that many of us have regarding how to interact with other people. This worries me a lot as she will finish high school soon and head to college and beyond. We are doing the best we can to teach her what she struggles to figure out on her own but that people will expect from her, but I still worry. She tells very funny but wildly inappropriate jokes; doesn't understand when people are making fun of or flirting with her, etc. I tell her all the time about how we live in very sensitive times and the wrong kind of joke can get her fired or hauled before a college star chamber. For people who are genuinely slow learners about what you can and can't say, these are perilous times.

3. I had a run-in of sorts with Larry David. Last winter my husband and baby and I ate at a little pizzeria in a town outside of NYC and he was there with a woman and another man. We noticed them and commented quietly to each other who it was (and the pizza guy addressed him as Mr. David, confirming it) and then went about our business. I took out my phone to take pictures of my adorable baby, and noticed out of the corner of my eye the woman glaring at me. Took me a minute to figure out she thought I was trying to take pictures of her and LD. Lol, come on. I'm WAY more interested in my gorgeous child than you and your pal there, honey.

Howard said...

There is a class of "man" that can't look at tits without being obvious. Then they wonder why they always end up with skanky, high maintenance strange.

Drago said...

Howard: "There is a class of "man" that can't look at tits without being obvious"

Anyone who had an "Officer and a Gentleman" "experience" with a Gunny can tell you that you always use your peripheral vision.

Always.

Unknown said...

I'm more on the spectrum that many if not most of these charges are embellished bull. It is quickly becoming that women must all be treated with suspicion and like brittle princesses.

Another case of the democrats teaching me to only vote, support, hire, do commerce with my own tribe and now own sex.

No wonder folks go gay.

Howard said...

The best thing for shy kids is getting them on team sports, drama club and a part-time job. This forces them to interact and get along with gen pop. Drama is critical for developing public speaking skills, which is a difference maker for young adults entering professions.

exhelodrvr1 said...

I suspect that most of the time it is bullshit - the equivalent of people's comfort pets that they take everywhere that animals aren't supposed to go. It gives an excuse for bad behavior, and hurts those for whom it's a real issue.

ALP said...

hombre:
Breast staring is not okay? So what's with the push-up bras and cleavage everywhere? Is it a new form of panhandling? We're supposed to drop quarters between their tits? Without looking?

11/22/17, 10:40 AM
**************************
No shit. Google the term "selfie in lingerie". If women truly didn't want their tits/cleavage stared at, why so many images available? I like to follow glass artists on Instagram; I find myself 'unfollowing' female artists because they have a tendency to post selfies with heavy overtones of cheesecakey "aren't I cute" messages.

Howard said...

Drago, you gotta love the Navy. After learning that the first and last word to come out of your cocksucker is sir, the second lesson is to never ever eye-fuck the DI.

Jupiter said...

Fernandistien said...
"80% of Google’s engineers, and most of the company’s leaders, are men."

Yes indeed. And since they claim that women could do the work just as well, this must mean that they are practicing an insanely brutal and self-defeating form of institutionalized sex discrimination. I can't see any other explanation, and I sincerely hope that a whole slew of juries can't either.

buwaya said...

Pants,

I have known several women that are probably like your daughter - socially awkward, and unable to play such games. They are married and happy and all work or worked in tech, of the old-school variety, and married "nerds".

Thats the key it seems. Birds of a feather.

Fernandistien said...

buwaya said...
This defect is inherent in Google and its ilk, and the rest of US society, in particular most of its technological institutions, especially universities.


But they're also reacting to perverse, dishonest interference in their businesses, which might rationally call for perverse, dishonest responses, like firing Damore:

"Minorities and women are under-represented within the burgeoning tech industry, particularly in Silicon Valley, says a federal report out Wednesday."

EEOC's racial/sexual bean-counters at play. The product of idle hands.

TomHynes said...

Here is a good article on http://induecourse.ca/absent-mindedness-as-dominance-behaviour/ "Absent-mindedness as dominance behavior" Essentially, "absent minded professor" is just bullying people because he can and people make excuses for him because he must be brilliant.

JML said...

I think Temple Grandin stated that she thought that the majority of tech employees had at least a touch of Asperger's. That was one reason they were good at engineering, mathematics, IT, etc. My wife and son are both engineers. Both are not as quick on the uptake on social cues as the average person, but then, what is average? And I believe that regardless of where you are on the spectrum, unless you are not capable of integrating with society on a meaningful level, some behavior is unacceptable and can be taught that it is so. And I know plenty of 'normal' a$$holes. Sometimes I'm one of them.

buwaya said...

My wife and daughter are such birds of a feather.
Put them somewhere, anywhere, and in a few days they are running the joint. The only restriction is whether such a place bores them.

I am merely a journeyman-class against such talent.

buwaya said...

JML,

Thats why a wise manager/entrepreneur keeps such folk in the back room. He hires rather different sorts for the front room. And one of his more important duties is to keep the front room types from harassing the back room. Because they will, its in their blood.

Sally327 said...

I'm at the point in the spectrum where autism as an excuse for bad behavior might be up there with people who take some animal with them everywhere as an "emotional support" aid. I almost tripped on a tiny dog that was scampering around loose at the drug store the other day. Its owner was oblivious.

I think we're going to head into an interesting area where specific diagnosed issues that would explain boob oggling, for example, can't be disclosed because of privacy laws, HIPAA, that sort of thing. I wonder how employers will seek to address that.

Unknown said...

Why the gratuitous reference to Einstein? It's so confusing. Especially since the revisionists are telling me he was a notorious womanizer. Was he a socially inept womanizer? Or is all of this apocryphal?

Bruce Hayden said...

“No one was willing to complain, and now they're catching flack for doing nothing, so what they need is a Title IX department that will automatically trigger a full investigation whenever there is any kind of complaint.”

Interesting legal conundrum- what happens when Title IX meets the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)? If Autistics stare at breasts and make women uncomfortable, wouldn’t a reasonable accommodation be for the women to cover their breasts up? Or just suck it up? I. Would think that the disabled would be several notches up in terms of official victimology that the 51% of the population that is female.

Rigelsen said...

Feh. Sounds like excuse making for being a Tool.

Many of the comments above would not be out of place on comment board for so called social justice warriors (SJWs). In the past, people and work environments were more tolerant of behavior and approaches that were not quite "normal". As long as people could do the job, or at least had some positives, a certain tolerance was expected and given. That was before rise of workplace harassment laws that made microaggressions the rule in corporate environments long before the word microaggression entered mainstream discourse. And now, with the SJW types and even people who are supposedly on the other side, people who think, react, and work differently increasingly are drummed out of office environments and even society in general.

The fact is, what may be normal for you may not be normal for someone else. People are wired differently. You can certainly expect that everyone will react to everything just the way you like, but you will be disappointed. Better to be thicker skinned yourself and be a little more open minded and see people more as a sum of their qualities instead of judging them on just this or that quality that might irk you, or is different from yours.

Sadly, we seem to be entering a world where to be different is to be condemned. And it's not just the leftists and SJW types who are doing it.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Personally, I despise our oculocentric society. Yes, missy, I'm well aware of where your eyes are. What makes you think your eyes are so special?

I have a strict policy of directing my gaze toward people's center of mass. Out of respect for the whole person.

Unknown said...

my truth is I am an Assburgers American.

Owen said...

I want to wish Prof. A and Meade and all you amazing commenters a very Happy Thanksgiving.

I acknowledge that it is both off topic and therefore probably evidence of my place on The Spectrum but can't help sharing.

Buwaya, your comments started out pretty awesome and just keep getting better. That ruthless take on the devolution of the Valley is arresting and depressing but strangely obvious. All industries and all societies go through cycles. We have moved from growth and exploration to living off past gains and defending a bounded space. No wonder the partisanship has grown so vicious.

But I still give thanks for this country and what it represents.

DanTheMan said...

>>Do you mean to imply that these training videos are useless and do nothing to address the problem?

They completely address the problem they were designed to solve: Insulating the company from lawsuits, and making the offender the target.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...Where are you on the spectrum from "This excuse is bullshit" to "We must empathize with and accommodate the differently abled"?

Depends. Is the person in question a man or a woman? If a man then it's bullshit and should be mocked. If it's a woman then of course we must empathize, understand, and think deeply about how she feels & how we can better accommodate her feelings.
Equality demands it.

urbane legend said...

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

2. My daughter is not autistic but has been diagnosed with social communication disorder; she simply did not come with the same innate instruction manual that many of us have regarding how to interact with other people.

I certainly don't mean to be rude, but nobody comes with an innate social interaction manual or social skills. All social interaction has to be learned. Unless someone has a learning disorder, a person can develop good social, or at least basic social, skills with a decent teacher and a desire to learn.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

"On the spectrum" has to be the stupidest way to describe something. Since the spectrum can be presumed to range from 0 to 100% (of whatever your parametric value is) then anything and everything will have a value "on the spectrum" somewhere.
Geez. Even saying "to some degree" has more use descriptively!

Bruce Hayden said...

I am enough of a masculinist to believe that much of the time, the women probably have more culpability than the men. Human female breasts are a sexual lure for males. Some have theorized that their size and shape was partially driven by moving male sexual interests from the buttocks to the front, as vaginas shifted to accommodate upright walking and frontal intercourse. In any case, they are probably more a sexual lure than functional any more. Guys look at female breasts almost automatically. Pretending differently is just plain silly. Women can hide them or accentuate them. It is their choice. My partner, with better than average sized breasts, has had a rule that she lives (or dresses) by - she shows them off in public when with her boyfriend/husband, and never otherwise. And minimized them at work. She was taught this by her mother almost a half century ago, and taught it to her daughters. It seems like a lot of women think that they should be able to flaunt their breasts to the guys they are interested in, but other guys looking at them is sexual harassment, sexual assault, or just plain creepy. Sorry ladies - doesn’t work that way. If you show them off to one guy, or even are showing them JIC Mr Wonderful just happens to notice, expect that every straight male from 15 to 75 in the vicinity is going to notice, and maybe be sexually titilated. They can be subtle about it, or pretend that they didn’t notice, but they did. Or, at least until women become sexually invisible to them as they reach a certain age (roughly when the women can no longer bear children).

Rt1 Rebel said...

"They completely address the problem they were designed to solve: Insulating the company from lawsuits, and making the offender the target."

I would add the offendee as well.

I've been taking harassment training for decades, and I completed this year's requirement just a few days ago. Transexuals, pregnant women, and workers who use FMLA have been added as modules. I also noticed that years ago, the proper course of action was generally "Let the offender know you are offended, and work it out." The correct answer to any situation now is "Report to HR or your supervisor so that an investigation can be initiated.

M Jordan said...

We’re all on the Austin’s spectrum. It’s also know as the male-female continuum.

M Jordan said...

Damn that auto-correct. I really hate it ... but I’m autistic.

jwl said...

I would be really surprised if either Seinfeld or David has aspergers. Autistic people have hard time with social or emotional situations because they incapable of reading body language and other cue's while Seinfeld tv show was all about personal relationships.

When I was teenager in 1980s, we called autistic males nerds, they are interested in science or engineering and are completely incapable of small talk with pretty woman.

tim in vermont said...

Dogs have social skills that don't require teaching. Cats are different, not taught to be so either, why would humans be different in having an innate emotional substrate for social interaction?

jwl said...

M Jordan

I am male in my mid 40s and I have dated two women who argued that just about all males are on autistic spectrum.

Yancey Ward said...

The autism excuse can only be officially denigrated by our betters once Trump uses it. He won't.

Francisco D said...

"When did staring at co-eds breasts become harassment? That's how I spent half my time in college."

You don't need to stop after college, you just have to be more discreet.

Yancey Ward said...

Rae wrote:

"I can't wait for the mainstreaming of Tourette's Syndrome."

Thread winner!

True story, when I was 13, my mother heard me say "Fuck" in reply to a chore she made me do. I claimed suffered from Tourette's. Since she had no idea what that was, the excuse didn't work.

LordSomber said...

People need to goet on The Spectrum.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2VIw3gFW8QI/VpxTS-n9TUI/AAAAAAAACJg/1whAT7LhIuI/s1600/Spectrm1.3DocF.jpg

Bob Boyd said...

I suspect the guy was fine, perfectly normal...until those breasts came into view. Then he turned into a drooling moron. It happens. This guy just has maybe a certain susceptibility, a heightened sensitivity. He's boob disabled. Mammary autism or something. I've seen it before. Same thing happens to some guys when they see an amazing ass, but Ass Autism is more easily managed because the girl is usually looking the other way when the fit comes on.

Jersey Fled said...

Sheesh...

First I learned that I am CIS gender and now I find out that I am NT.

What's next?

AlbertAnonymous said...

Couldn't get any closer to the "This excuse is BS" end of the spectrum.

Howard said...

Blogger urbane legend said...I Have Misplaced My Pants said... social communication disorder...

"I certainly don't mean to be rude, but nobody comes with an innate social interaction manual or social skills. All social interaction has to be learned. Unless someone has a learning disorder, a person can develop good social, or at least basic social, skills with a decent teacher and a desire to learn."


I CERTAINLY don't mean to be RUDE (I just can't seem to help myself having toxic attention color deficit-dyslexa), but nobody comes with innate ignorance like you. Ignorance of that depth has to be learned by diligent practice over decades of cluelessness.

n.n said...

Where are the female chauvinists? This so deserves their socially progressive Slut Walk. Young girls and women need role models, too.

Bay Area Guy said...

Memo to college professors:

Stop staring at women's breasts, and go talk to them and ask them out! (Probably, not allowed to do that either, never mind.)

JPS said...

About the acceptability or offensiveness of staring or glancing at breasts, I couldn't help remembering this video. (Which I may have seen linked here in the first place; I don't recall.)

"Tit for Tat - (Why Men Stare at Breasts) {The Kloons}"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sF7K5bsj7mk

Seriously, effort is required not to glance. Finesse is required to be undetected or at least subtle. Simple good manners are required not to leer. But where a given glance falls on this spectrum is open to interpretation, opinions may and will vary, and we as a society are doing our damnedest to stamp out judgment calls. We need one-size-fits-all rules.

walter said...

It seems we are moving away from nature vs nurture considerations and are willing to expand criteria to pathologize ever more behaviors.
Bob, I don't "disabled" is allowable in polite society.
Maybe better to go with something like "Boob-struck", "Boobazzled" etc.

n.n said...

Finding their religion.

What's next? Individual dignity? Intrinsic value?

n.n said...

moving away

Anything to avoid discussing pathological feminism (a.k.a. chauvinism).

Anything to avoid discussing diversity (e.g. racism).

Anything to avoid discussing political congruence ("=").

Anything to avoid discussing abortion rites (e.g. Planned Parenthood).

Anything to avoid discussing "clean" wars, gerrymandered districts, and other anti-native policies (e.g. immigration reform), that open abortion fields and force refugee crises (e.g. Obama's trail of tears).

Social/political progress is a moral imperative.

Bob Boyd said...

I like "Boob-struck", but it sounds violent so it probably won't fly either.

Boob-stupid?

n.n said...

The feminists' Slut Walk. Eyes down here, buddy!

Denying women's agency, reducing them to a taxable, colorful clump of cell, by placing conception before choice didn't help.

n.n said...

Boobies! You had to be there.

Warning: do not engage boobies while woman is conscious.

Bob Boyd said...

The posterior corollary would be Assinined.

walter said...

Being Boob-Struck can indeed be violent.
Salma Hayek has racked up many a victim.

Fernandistien said...

urbane legend said...
All social interaction has to be learned.


Sort-of, but not really. It's definitely NOT a "blank-slate everyone is the same" situation: "Most schemes divide social information processing into those processes that are relatively automatic and driven by the stimuli, versus those that are more deliberative and controlled, and sensitive to context and strategy. These distinctions are reflected in the neural structures that underlie social cognition, where there is a recent wealth of data primarily from functional neuroimaging."

Unless someone has a learning disorder, a person can develop good social, or at least basic social, skills with a decent teacher and a desire to learn.

By definition of "learning disorder"! (Funny how that works.)

Bay Area Guy said...

Professor's Defense:

"Oops. I was under a terribly misinformed impression, that I need to correct.

I was taught in the Title IX seminars that groping women was totally patriarchal and unacceptable, but also that staying silent and ignoring women was nearly as bad, because it deprived them of both recognition of their great achievements and empathy for all the struggles they have surmounted in this male-dominated society.

So, I thought a happy medium would be somewhere between not physically touching them, and not ignoring them. Ergo, I decided to focus my gaze on certain parts of their female anatomy that were uniquely females, so as not to ignore them, and to really try to feel (no pun intended) how oppressed they have been.

Was that wrong? If Title IX seminars had told me that that was wrong, I certainly wouldn't have done it.

tim in vermont said...

I think that if you don't at least subtly glance at a woman's breasts for the tiniest part of a second, she assumes that you are gay.

tim in vermont said...

Who taught all of the dogs to sniff each other's butt?

walter said...

It's reassuring to see the UW is creating new positions, a new office, required training/trainers etc.
Throwing $$ at this will fix it.
Just stay the hell away from lowering the barriers to being fired..likely a contributing factor when harassment occurs.

Rabel said...

"There are two main avenues for handling sexual harassment complaints at UW-Madison. One is a formal grievance process that requires a named, on-record report and can lead to discipline as severe as termination. The other is an "informal resolution" process that allows for anonymous complaints but can result only in limited responses that don't include discipline."

Limited responses such as:

"Jacobs lost his position as a chairman of department and tenure committees in both URPL and the Nelson Institute as a result of the complaints, and was removed from his roles as a mentor to assistant professors and adviser for female graduate students. Jacobs was also required to hold any meetings with women in a public setting, or with a third party present."

What the office manager for the Art History Department, Clare Christoph, demands is that the second avenue of undocumented, anonymous complaints with no opportunity for the accused to defend himself (or herself) must be expanded to include termination as a response.

This slope looks awfully slippery to me. Downright Red Guardish, in fact.

Bob Boyd said...

" if you don't at least subtly glance at a woman's breasts for the tiniest part of a second, she assumes that you are gay."

...and you should too.

Big Mike said...

My blood is starting to boil, and a few of you, if you were here in the room with me, might want to exit this house as fast as your legs can carry you and in whatever direction your tiny and malfunctioning brain can point you.

Aspergers is not funny. Not if you're the parent of a child with the syndrome. Not when you see a kid who is really, really nice but seems "off" to his classmates and cannot make friends.

There is a test for Aspergers that is diagnostic for the syndrome. A video clip is shown, where a child puts an item into a drawer. The first child leaves the room and a second one enters. The second child opens the drawer, removes the item, and puts it in a different drawer. The second child leaves and room and the first child reenters. You ask the test-taker where the first child will look for the item. All of us will say that he will look in the drawer where he originally put that item, however the Aspergers child will say that the first child will look in the drawer where the item was placed by the second child. The Aspergers child knows where it is, and the possibility that the first child doesn't also know doesn't compute.

Children with Aspergers have a hard time putting themselves in another person's shoes and imagining the situation from the other person's perspective. What they know, they assume the other person knows. What they feel, they assume the other person feels. They have a hard time reading body language. And consequently they have problems making and keeping friends, leading to a lonely, and generally bullied elementary and high school existence. It doesn't help that many (not all) Aspergers victims have poor hand-eye coordination, which hurts them in sports.

No, Aspergers is not funny.

walter said...

In some of these work places, adopting a gay persona might be the best route.
He's been strangely absent lately, but Titus talked about grabbing the boobs of his lady friends.

Bob Boyd said...

@ Big Mike

If I'm one who offended you, I apologize.
I'm not making fun of Aspergers. I'm making fun of guys and how stupid we get around women at times.

Rabel said...

"My blood is starting to boil, and a few of you, if you were here in the room with me, might want to exit this house as fast as your legs can carry you and in whatever direction your tiny and malfunctioning brain can point you."

You appear to have trouble with social interactions. Do you have trouble making friends? Do you like maps?

SF said...

Argh. Quick comments, speaking as the father of a child diagnosed with ASD.

1) It's absolutely a real thing. Our child is fantastically good at some things, appears more or less normal in others, and is hopelessly behind in others. This isn't a matter of "you should be teaching them better." In all likelihood if you're aware of the diagnosis and able to work on things, the ASD child may well have had ten or a hundred times more time being taught about a social more, and still not be as skilled at handling it in practice as the median child.

2) The current standards for diagnosing it, possibly even defining it, are hopelessly primitive.

3) It looks wildly different in different people. That's what "spectrum" is intended to address, though it's a very inept term IMO.

4) I wouldn't expect it to to make people into intentional jerks. (Though like all people, they might be!) But it has a high chance of frequently making people unintentional jerks, because they are misreading social cues or just plain having a hard time understanding what other people are thinking. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_mind

5) This, of course, doesn't stop people who are intentional jerks from claiming to have autism as an excuse. And there's no easy way for distant observers to tell the difference.

buwaya said...

"Not when you see a kid who is really, really nice but seems "off" to his classmates and cannot make friends."

A usual range of human personality. May appear more significant in some societies and social roles than others. Half the Chinese kids in our schools, in Asia, back in the day, could be described as above. Heck, a good number of them in San Francisco too.

FullMoon said...

Personally, I despise our oculocentric society.

oculocentric Damn, what a lovely word. I hope it takes off and becomes as quickly popular and frequently used as "salacious" .

Kinda on topic, in 8th grade English class, girl behind me handed me a note telling mt to stop staring at teachers ass. Entire class laughed when I read it. I am more subtle now.

Fabi said...

"...as vaginas shifted to accommodate upright walking and frontal intercourse."

If it comes up for a vote, I'm happy with where they're currently located.

chickelit said...

Portraits of autists as Jung men.

chickelit said...

I’ve been accused several times by Ritmo of being autistic so I’m OK with this.

Jon Burack said...

Is there a male equivalent about breasts to the great Mae West line: "Is that a roll of quarters I see in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me."

Different, more enlightened age.

buwaya said...

I thought the Mae West line was "Is that a pistol in your pocket..."
Or sometimes "Is that a gun in your pocket..."

CWJ said...

Fullmoon, I agree.

"Who are you going to believe - me or your lying eyes?"

"My lying eyes."

"How oculocentric of you!"

Just lovely.

n.n said...

seems "off" to his classmates and cannot make friends

Worker bee. It's Nature's typecasting.

Fortunately, humans are highly dimensional, so where one vector is misaligned or short, there are other vectors that will compensate, but likely in an alternative context, which may eventually feed into the original. Patience and striving are indispensable virtues.

CWJ said...

"I tell you Franken's a saint around women, an absolute saint"

"But but there's a photograph."

"I don't have time for this oculocentric nonsense."

HoodlumDoodlum said...

That's funny, n.n.--I had not thought about the Slut Walk angle.

Women insist that they should be able to wear whatever they want and behave however they want (meaning, here, however slutty/sexually provocative they want) and everyone else must "just deal with it." That means the rest of us must accommodate the desires of women and any criticism of behavior or attire we find distracting or offputting is sexist, sex-negative, slut-shaming, etc.

Flip it! Here the behavior is staring at breasts. Hey, if you don't like some guy's choice of where to point his eyeballs that's your problem, lady! He's expressing his sexuality (by staring at juicy melons) and you don't have any right to object. If you don't like it you can leave! It's a free country.

Weird how the EXACT SAME arguments don't ever get applied in that way, huh? Almost makes one suspect it's not really about "equality" at all.

ceowens said...

Fullmoon at 2:50

"I am more subtle now".

Thus the blogging moniker.

tim in vermont said...

Do you like maps?

Oh crap, I fucking love maps.

Real American said...

the thing about breast staring is

1. all men do it.
2. men should learn, over time, how to be discreet about it.
3. men should learn, over time, how not to do it.
4. It's ok to do it for short intervals, but staring can turn into creepiness. However, it is natural, and no one should fault a man for doing so for a reasonable amount of time.
5. women usually know when you're doing it, especially older women.
6. women mostly never say anything unless they love embarrassing the men, or the men are staring too long or being too obvious about it.

Unclebiffy said...

As I have stated on this blog in the past, my son has high level autism. Big Mike's post above is dead on from my experience. Autism does fall on a spectrum some more affected than others. Those more significantly affected will have extreme difficulty not only picking up on social cues but also selecting appropriate social responses.

The problem is because of today's nerd chic aspergers has become like ADHD was in the 90s. Some kids really do have a problem but for many others it can be used to excuse poor performance or bad behavior.

And on a personal note to Big Mike, thanks for the encouraging words the other day. The realization and acceptance of my son's autism is relatively new. We always knew he was different but did not want to make excuses and worked hard to parent him to success. A crisis forced us to finally seek help. The last year and a half have been extremely hard as we try to find out if our brilliant son will ever be able to successfully function in society. I appreciate your encouragement and hope you are correct.

Big Mike said...

@UncleBilly, glad to be of assistance. Based on our experience, there are a number of ways to go. There are therapists who can teach your son how to learn to live comfortably with few or no friends. Or he can gravitate into a field like math or computer science or psychiatry where some weirdness is not only tolerable, but expected (a friend once described a professional conference of psychiatrists as the largest collection of high-functioning Aspergers in the country). As I pointed out with some exasperation to KittyM on another thread, software development has a lot of tolerance for people who can write good code but have weak social skills, and quarter-million dollar salaries are not unknown, in part because most Asperger victims have no great desire to move to the management track cans wind up as very well reimbursed for what seems to be a first rung of the ladder job. If your boy is bright enough he can study humans the way that a zoologist studies a paramecium, and learn what makes us silly humans tick, and gradually do via learning what most of us do instinctively. Since Asperger victims tend (not always, but often) towards excellent analytical skills,

It will work out. Help him with advice when he lets you, and keep the faith.

FIDO said...

Let's get to the meat of the issue with these two jackass comedians.

They are writing JOKES specifically about offending norms and sensibilities of 'normal' non spectrum types.

How do they claim ignorance of the norms and emotional reactions of ordinary people on one hand...and write some of the funniest and most subtle humor offending said norms and emotional reactions on the others?

I think, instead of Aspergers, they suffer from IDGASS. IDGASS has increasingly infected millions in America. People with IDGASS however are treated with contempt, hostility, and a total lack of understanding by many normal Americans.

I, for one, has some acute version of IDGASS for decades and it has been a hard struggle, but I am now trying to raise awareness for my fellow sufferers.

What is that? You never heard of IDGASS? To often true and rather sad. And in your ignorance, you commit any number of aggressions against the sufferers of IDGASS.

So stop hating on sufferers of IDGASS today! They lead a painful existence due to their condition

.
.
.
.
.
IDGAS: I Don't Give A Shit Syndrome

urbane legend said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Being socially awkward or introverted or a loner does not mean you are "on the spectrum". Men tend in those directions more than women.

Unknown said...

I knew an engineer on the spectrum for real. He was very literal, obsessed with details (often the wrong ones), pedantic, and could not answer a hypothetical. If you asked "if it rains tomorrow will you play golf?" He simply could not respond.

n.n said...

HoodlumDoodlum:

Weird how the EXACT SAME arguments don't ever get applied in that way, huh? Almost makes one suspect it's not really about "equality" at all.

They are nothing if not Pro-Choice.

No, it's not. It's about "=" or political congruence (i.e. politically favorable constructs), exploited to create democratic, economic, and social leverage. It's a progressive political stream, where if you don't "go along to get along", you will be swept away, or, worse, drowned/aborted.

n.n said...

re: Feminists' Slut Walk

Actually, I was thinking of feminist-inspired role models for young girls and women. As well as establishing behavioral protocols (i.e. religion/morality) for normalization in our society.

walter said...

"..psychiatry where some weirdness is not only tolerable, but expected (a friend once described a professional conference of psychiatrists as the largest collection of high-functioning Aspergers in the country)."
Ah..that bodes well.

"HoodlumDoodlum said...Women insist that they should be able to wear whatever they want and behave however they want (meaning, here, however slutty/sexually provocative they want) and everyone else must "just deal with it."
There's also "augmentation".
There's a funny bit by a comedian who fisks the "gotcha" reaction from a woman who caught him looking at her breasts..that she had put glitter between..