February 5, 2018

"It is widely thought that when something is legally prohibited, it more or less stops... but it is not true for pervasive practices like sexual harassment, including rape, that are built into structural social hierarchies."

Writes Catharine A. MacKinnon in a NYT op-ed titled "#MeToo Has Done What the Law Could Not."

My thoughts in order:

1. With her signature issue, sexual harassment, so much in play this past year, why have we not seen more of Catharine MacKinnon? Was she lying low for some strategic reason? Is she retired from public activism?

2. It really is the culture that must change, whether something is against the law or not. If there's enough social pressure not to do X, you'll get a lot less X, whether there's a law against it or not, and if we as a culture want to do X, a law against X probably won't change it.

3. Who are these people who think "that when something is legally prohibited, it more or less stops"?  "Widely thought"? MacKinnon seems to be setting up this premise so that the point she's making will seem other than obvious. Really we all know this: You can make something illegal, but if people don't really think it's all that wrong and really want to do it, there will be a lot of it.

4. I went from great point to everybody already knows so quickly! What happened? I think that I recognized it as a great point, because I knew I knew it and I assumed there were a lot of benighted people out there who didn't know, and, for them, I was glad that Catharine MacKinnon was nailing the point down solidly. But then I was overtaken by instinctive optimism: I'd like to think people in general already know what reasonably intelligent, fairly perceptive people ought to know.

103 comments:

Gahrie said...

Are 20% of women who attend the University of Wisconsin at Madison raped?

If so, how could you work there while it was happening?

If not, why haven't you condemned the lie?

rhhardin said...

It's not a public problem. It's women airing their grudges against men.

It's part of the nagging instinct.

It's all included in sexual difference, and is part of what you have to navigate, not some overarching governing principle.

Settle it one on one, in other words, and you're a normal human.

rhhardin said...

I'm listening to Joseph Silk on the high energy universe over at Gresham Lectures.

There are so many really violent events in the universe, some of which are detected with neutrino detectors set up to filter out wimpy solar neutrinos by looking only for neutrinos going upwards, having entered the earth on the opposite side.

I assume these violent events are particle rapes.

Fernandistein said...

Gosh darn those socially miscontructed structural social hierarchies!

Roy Jacobsen said...

"It is widely thought that when something is legally prohibited, it more or less stops." Really? "Widely thought" by who?

traditionalguy said...

Rape is an act of violence. Make concealed carry mandatory and rape stops cold.

Criminalizing the Seducing of others into having sex is an attempt to ban Normal human pleasure seeking. It will work like criminalizing marijuana does. That said, it will restrain it for the career conscious.Maybe that is the goal.

rhhardin said...

Feminism is rape.

Fernandistein said...

rhhardin said...
I assume these violent events are particle rapes.


"Nobody rapes me," said the electron, "because I'm repulsive!"

"Are you positive?" asked the proton.

EDH said...

You probably could say the same thing about government surveillance and abuse of FISA warrants.

Barry Dauphin said...

When something is legally prohibited, it more or less stops? I wonder if she means like during Prohibition.

Big Mike said...

and if we as a culture want to do X, a law against X probably won't change it.

Prohibition being a case in point. A century later we’re still dealing with the problem of organized crime spawned by that misbegotten Volstead Act.

rhhardin said...

Kids' pound-a-peg toy is teaching rape.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

It is widely thought that when something is legally prohibited, it more or less stops...

Things that spring to mind:

1) Pot
2) Speeding
3) ?*

* There should be a third item to round out the list. It should be both obscene, and weird enough that you can't imagine being interested in it, but can imagine some other freak being interested in it.

Sometimes I wish I were Laslo.

Big Mike said...

@Barry Dauphin, I guess we are thinking along the same lines.

rhhardin said...

Also kids never vary the positions, say the peg on the bottom and pounding the board into it. Everything's missionary.

Fernandistein said...

Some guy has a post titled "Missing Python interpreter" and I keep seeing it as "Monty Python interpreter".

Big Mike said...

@Ignorance is Bliss, there used to laws against sodomy. Laslo could do a lot with that one!

rhhardin said...

Electrical plugs are named male and female.

Curiously the key and keyhole don't get this treatment.

Bill Peschel said...

It is widely thought that when something is legally prohibited, it more or less stops...

This explains the constant drumbeat about every cause in which someone stands up and says, "I want to live in a world where no one ..." whether it's cancer, disrespected, spousal abuse, or having wrongsex.

They're stupid people.

Ed Wood was right.

https://youtu.be/XhvDMhrws1o

Nonapod said...

Yeah, that whole "widely thought" premise is obviously ridiculous. I'm constantly amazed that there's professional commentators who make such poor, easily deconstructed declarations.

rhhardin said...

Instead of teaching what used to be called poets' physics, they could do a survey of physics things that are rape.

rhhardin said...

The crabs nebula was the result of unprotected rape.

Henry said...

Rape is built into structural social hierarchies? Where is the evidence for that? Is not law the structure upon which social hierarchies established?

I don't remember the expert, but I remember a compelling article about why child sexual abuse cases can take so long to be exposed, even as rumors and concern grows around an abuser's behavior. People are loath to recognize the evidence because the crime is so repellent. To see clearly what the abuser is doing, one has to be capable of accepting the truth of the abuse.

Perhaps MacKinnon is unwittingly right. Most people are too civilized.

Meade said...

Patriarchal lighthouses.

Fernandistein said...


Hadrons with hardons!

Birkel said...

Are the bicycles tired of the fish already?

Meade said...

"Nobody rapes me," said the electron, "because I'm repulsive!"

"Are you positive?" asked the proton.

"Guilty as charged."

EDH said...

A funnier take on the subject than MacKinnon's, was Kate McKinnon's un-PC Briget Bardot impression on Saturday Night Live.

The neck alone is hilarious.

Bob Boyd said...

Shitting on Tom Golisano's lawn is prohibited.

buwaya said...

Its not culture, it is biology.
Human nature is not infinitely plastic, nor is it so simple that some method can be devised to mold it, just so.

Eric Landgraf said...

"Rebellious thought: RAPE does not exist. Every [alleged] rape is simple and ruthless a seduction in the service of evolution. The alleged social hierarchies are conjoined with economic, cultural, political and physical hierarchies. KARMA BIT**! Lie back and enjoy the ride.

Oh, ah...I love the sweet taste of your tears because they give me strength!"
Lustily yours, Killjoy LXIX

Is this what you mean by the term comment?

James Pawlak said...


All accusations must be "on oath or affirmation" (Best before a magistrate)[As allows of criminal sanctions in the case of lies).

All hearings should give full "due process of law".

madAsHell said...

How many times have you heard the phrase "Convicted felon with a firearm"? The law just doesn't seem to prevent that.

buwaya said...

Men are more like geese than the idealists would like.

buwaya said...

If the laws had the power to mold behavior, in such ways as desired by the designers of said laws, then the US would already have the finest public schools on earth.

Ken B said...

Gun control. Banning speech. Restricting pseudoephedrine. Look at the advocates for these and what they claim. She has a good case that a lot of people DO think laws do just stop things.

robother said...

Perfect illustration of SJW (feminist division) manipulative rhetoric. Take a piece of conventional wisdom, present it as esoteric insight of we the elite vanguard, and slip in a nugget of pure toxic cult-marxist bullshit: sexual behavior as merely reflective of a socially constructed hierarchy.

Jupiter said...

"3. Who are these people who think "that when something is legally prohibited, it more or less stops"?"

In Legislatures. In droves. Getting ready to pass a law against something, so it will never happen again.

Kristian Holvoet said...

2. It really is the culture that must change, whether something is against the law or not. If there's enough social pressure not to do X, you'll get a lot less X, whether there's a law against it or not, and if we as a culture want to do X, a law against X probably won't change it.

And how, with diversity, multi-culturalism, and post modernism, is that supposed to work? If we won't let young Asian men assault women or boys, even though it is part of their culture, aren't we passing a value judgement? See also: GI kicked out for not looking the other way in Afghanistan when high level police abused a boy. Do we import that behavior like in England where they let the gangs prey on young women? Or do we not because, Muslim is a protected group? It is all very confusing.

If only we had some moral bedrock that gave guidance on this, and we could teach it to kids...

cubanbob said...

Althouse the short and to the point summation is that Catharine MacKinnon is an idiot. No need to waste time and free articles reading the piece to understand that. Prisons are full of people who fail to get the idea if something is illegal, don't do it.

PB said...

It's not true for ANYTHING! Speeding is legally prohibited.

Pettifogger said...

Ann said: "Really we all know this: You can make something illegal, but if people don't really think it's all that wrong and really want to do it, there will be a lot of it."

An amusing example of this:

An acquaintance of mine from a rural area killed a Timber Rattlesnake. He mentioned doing so to a few people, and the word got to the game warden. The game warden approached my acquaintance and warned him not to do that again, because Timber Rattlesnakes are protected in the state.

My acquaintance mentioned that to a retired judge. The judge laughed and said that, if my acquaintance were ever cited for killing a snake, he (the retired judge) would provide representation for free. The judge said he would demand a jury trial and that no jury in the county would ever convict anyone of killing a rattlesnake.

Jupiter said...

MacKinnon is apparently perceptive enough to know that it isn't enough to simply pass a law or two. That's why she goes on to advocate a reign of terror sweeping through every institution of society;

"Institutional or statutory changes could include prohibitions or limits on various forms of secrecy and nontransparency that hide the extent of sexual abuse and enforce survivor isolation, such as forced arbitration, silencing nondisclosure agreements even in cases of physical attacks and multiple perpetration, and confidential settlements. A realistic statute of limitations for all forms of discrimination, including sexual harassment, is essential. Being able to sue individual perpetrators and their enablers, jointly with institutions, could shift perceived incentives for this behavior. The only legal change that matches the scale of this moment is an Equal Rights Amendment, expanding the congressional power to legislate against sexual abuse and judicial interpretations of existing law, guaranteeing equality under the Constitution for all."

tcrosse said...

From Wikipedia:
"In 1983, the Minneapolis city government hired MacKinnon and [Andrea] Dworkin to draft an antipornography civil rights ordinance as an amendment to the Minneapolis city civil rights ordinance. The amendment defined pornography as a civil rights violation against women and allowed women who claimed harm from pornography to sue the producers and distributors for damages in civil court. The law was passed twice by the Minneapolis city council but vetoed by the mayor."

Achilles said...

""It is widely thought that when something is legally prohibited, it more or less stops... but it is not true for pervasive practices like sexual harassment, including rape, that are built into structural social hierarchies.""

The law doesn’t apply to leftists. It doesn’t discourage their behavior. Because their constituents don’t want the law to negatively affect their tribes political power.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

2. It really is the culture that must change, whether something is against the law or not. If there's enough social pressure not to do X, you'll get a lot less X, whether there's a law against it or not, and if we as a culture want to do X, a law against X probably won't change it.

Counterpoint: bake the fucking cake, bigot.
Or are those laws not designed to solve the actual (cultural) problem--are they just designed to punish disfavored groups? Who would have thought?!

Dave Schuler said...

"Who are these people who think "that when something is legally prohibited, it more or less stops"?"

Perhaps she's been living in Brussels.

Lucien said...

Much of what people have been accused of in the Reckoning would not now be actionable because it happened too long ago, or fits no recognized legal definition of sexual harassment.

Less obviously most legal prohibitions are based on what happens in an employment or educational context, while a lot of the "Me Too" accusations we have seen have come out of the entertainment and news industries. This may be because those industries are structured in a way that gives a lot of power and influence to individual independent contractors. For example, Louis CK was not jerking off in front of people he employed -- but they arguably thought he had enough influence in the industry that there was faint econoomic coercion going on.

Lewis Wetzel said...

I fearlessly predict that incidents of rape will not change as a result of the #Metoo movement.
#MeToo is vanity. how many people live & work in environments that foster the kind of harassment that was SOP in Hollywood & the journalism biz?
Sorry about the run on sentence.

Original Mike said...

”It is widely thought that when something is legally prohibited, it more or less stops.”

Who thinks a ridiculous thing like that? We have, for example, 11 million counter examples walking around this country.

Bay Area Guy said...

Law and cultural practices are often intertwined.

The Left hates many of America's cultural practices, and often seeks an abrupt, one-size-fits-all law imposed, to change what they perceive to be poor cultural practices.

These drastic measures sometimes are good, sometimes are not. The big ones (abortion, welfare, same-sex marriage) were mostly minority positions that the Left imposed on the majority.

I do think sexual harassment was much more prevalent in the past, and, since I don't support or practice sexual harassment, I guess I have to give some credit to the Left, whom I generally dislike.

The current problem, though, is overreaching -- i.e.,expanding the definition of sexual harassment to ridiculous proportions and then finding it where it doesn't exist to nail your political enemies (i.e., Clarence Thomas).

bagoh20 said...

Something being illegal has never stopped it - not even capital crimes like murder. Some illegal things are even supported by huge swaths of the nation - see Democrats regarding the IRS, Obama, the DOJ, FBI, private servers with classified documents, etc, etc.

who-knew said...

"pervasive practices like sexual harassment, including rape, that are built into structural social hierarchies." I defy her to come up with any actual evidence that this is true.

Stoutcat said...

Pettifogger provided an amusing example:

An acquaintance of mine from a rural area killed a Timber Rattlesnake. He mentioned doing so to a few people, and the word got to the game warden. The game warden approached my acquaintance and warned him not to do that again, because Timber Rattlesnakes are protected in the state.

Around here the rule of thumb is: shoot, shovel, and shut up.

buwaya said...

"I do think sexual harassment was much more prevalent in the past"

I don't think so. In the past (even the rather recent past) people lived in communities of extended families and there were no secrets among them.

It is only modern anonymity and closed doors that created both temptation and anonymity.

Sebastian said...

"including rape, that are built into structural social hierarchies" When you hear someone say that, Peterson's crazy-women rule goes into effect.

Bruce Hayden said...

I would ask what sexual harassment means to her, and how that differs from everyday interactions between the sexes. One thing that seems to have been missed a bit is that the Harvey Weinsteins of the world were essentially engaging in rent seeking. They have a valuable commodity, and plent of women are more than willing to pay the price for it, by, essentially, whoring themselves out to get ahead. So, some of #MeToo is essentially the women who weren’t as willing to pay the price trying to prevent other women, who are, or were, from benefiting from their whoring themselves out to advance.

The deep dark secret is that a certain, not insignificant, portion of the female population has always been willing to use their sexual availability to advance themselves. My partner and I were talking yesterday about how casino bosses would get laid - they would essentially trade better shifts and the like for, say, cocktail waitresses, for sex. Always plenty of takers. And, yes, the ones not prostituting themselves think that it is unfair. The essentially required prostitution required to get ahead was one big reason that she turned down her modeling agency’s almost frantic attempts to get her to go to NYC. And, why she never pursued a dance career in Vegas shows, despite having a mother who choreographed a lot of them. At 16, her mother got her an interview, and after seeing her dance, the producer asked for some T&A.

Women don’t like that other women can advance over them by trading sexual favors for advancement. And that is the cause of much of our moral code - attempts by the women not providing the sexual currency to prevent their willing sisters from using such to advance, or otherwise procure more resources for them, and, ultimately, their children.

Martin said...

"It is widely thought that when something is legally prohibited, it more or less stops... but it is not true for pervasive practices like sexual harassment, including rape, that are built into structural social hierarchies."

What about illegal immigration, or smoking weed? Or, Prohibition? Or, driving 5 mph over the legal speed limit on rural Interstate Highways?

Just being illegal is only a start, it has to be socially disapproved as well, or that law is almost a dead letter.

As usual with MacKinnon, very poor thinking. Social hierarchies have nothing to do with my examples, a list that could be vastly expanded.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Blogger buwaya said...
"I do think sexual harassment was much more prevalent in the past"

I don't think so. In the past (even the rather recent past) people lived in communities of extended families and there were no secrets among them.

It is only modern anonymity and closed doors that created both temptation and anonymity.

2/5/18, 12:24 PM

I suppose this is true, but the question is "What caused modern anonymity?"
Physical mobility was a big factor. Before the industrial revolution social life was organized around the parish, not the political state. The modern welfare state and civil marriage arose because people began to live their lives far from the parish into which they were born.

buwaya said...

"but the question is "What caused modern anonymity?"

Technology, as you say.
Plenty of human problems - maybe all of them that we notice these days - are nature at war with technology.

buwaya said...

"It is only modern anonymity and closed doors that created both temptation and anonymity.'

I meant to say, of course,

"It is only modern anonymity and closed doors that created both temptation and opportunity."

Darkisland said...

Trad guy

When you say 'make concealed carry mandatory' are you saying us penis people have to keep our picks in our pants?

John Henry

JMS said...

"3. Who are these people who think "that when something is legally prohibited, it more or less stops?”

There are millions of Americans who think a ban on gun ownership would prevent gun violence and gun homicides, and they spend considerable time, effort and money to advocate for such legislation.

Darrell said...

tcrosse said...
From Wikipedia:
"In 1983, the Minneapolis city government hired MacKinnon and [Andrea] Dworkin to draft an antipornography civil rights ordinance as an amendment to the Minneapolis city civil rights ordinance.


There was a notable Nightline where Ted Koppel discussed this ordinance. A male attorney was saying that the ordinance was so broad in scope that even fashion magazines would fall under the ban. The woman pushing the ordinance (MacKinnon, I assume), kept saying that was ridiculous--until the male showed the current magazines on camera and they were featuring the then-current latest trend were fashion photographs were staged like [film noir] crime scene photos. The woman immediately stated that, yes, photos like that are unacceptable and would fall under the ban. Rarely does that happen on camera. She can file a #metoo now about being broken on camera.

JMS said...


"I do think sexual harassment was much more prevalent in the past". I don't think so. In the past (even the rather recent past) people lived in communities of extended families and there were no secrets among them.

In the past, those communities of extended families covered up or were in denial about all manner of abuse, both sexual and physical. Emotional abuse wasn’t even a thing. And if the abuse was discovered, it was written off as “she/he asked for it,”

Lewis Wetzel said...

The law is black & white. "Social disapproval" is shades of gray, and depends on context. If a woman has a single abortion due to an unplanned and undesired pregnancy, most people are forgiving. If a woman has twelve abortions most people wonder what the Hell her problem is. But legally every abortion is the same. A woman's twelfth abortion is no different from her first abortion.

Lewis Wetzel said...

In the past, those communities of extended families covered up or were in denial about all manner of abuse, both sexual and physical. Emotional abuse wasn’t even a thing. And if the abuse was discovered, it was written off as “she/he asked for it,”
Uh, no. That was never the norm.
What do you think people thought? "Oh my sister married this guy, and he beats her up once a week, I guess she was asking for it"?

Lewis Wetzel said...

Back in those ancient days of the 1960s, I lived in a working class suburb of Minneapolis. There was a cop who was accused of molesting his young nephews. He was fired, his wife divorced him, and he had to leave town.
Nobody said his victims had asked for it.

California Snow said...

MacKinnon writes "The only legal change that matches the scale of this moment is an Equal Rights Amendment, expanding the congressional power to legislate against sexual abuse and judicial interpretations of existing law, guaranteeing equality under the Constitution for all."

Does Congress not already have power to legislate against sexual abuse? What am I missing?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

California Snow said...

MacKinnon writes "The only legal change that matches the scale of this moment is an Equal Rights Amendment, expanding the congressional power to legislate against sexual abuse and judicial interpretations of existing law, guaranteeing equality under the Constitution for all."

Does Congress not already have power to legislate against sexual abuse? What am I missing?


You are correct that Congress already has the power to legislate against sexual abuse. What you are missing is that she wants the Supreme Court to have the power to legislate against sexual abuse.

tcrosse said...

If something is legally prohibited it might not stop, but you can punish somebody for it. Maybe that's the point.

Jupiter said...

Blogger tcrosse said...
"The amendment defined pornography as a civil rights violation against women and allowed women who claimed harm from pornography to sue the producers and distributors for damages in civil court."

Yes, anyone familiar with MacKinnon's history will be amused to see her taking a MeToo victory lap.

David said...

Culture is the main determinant. Keep that in mind when you evaluate the institutions and people who want to tell us what we should do.

JMS said...

Lewis Wetzel:

Back in the 1960s, leadership in the Catholic Church covered up or turned a blind eye to thousands of cases of abuse. Law enforcement is well known for protecting its own against accusations of all kinds, there’s even a name for it—The “blue wall of silence” or “blue code.” Nationwide mandatory reporting for child abuse didn’t even exist until this century. Back in the 1960s, raising welts on a child wasn’t even questioned if the child’s behavior was considered way out of line. I think you are na├»ve,

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Who are these people who think "that when something is legally prohibited, it more or less stops"?

Apparently she has never heard of Prohibition. Or drugs. Or prostitution.

Apparently she isn't very bright. Almost everyone knows that laws exist to punish people for breaking already existing taboos. Most people don't murder each other because it is against the law. They refrain from it because they know it is wrong to do so. If society didn't feel something was wrong, they wouldn't have a law against it. The laws exist so that the society has recourse against the few that don't understand or ignore the taboos. This is not esoteric knowledge. I assure you, your plumber and the guy who installed the drywall in your house, the lady at the checkout counter at the grocery store, the guy fixing your car's breaks, they all know that.

Leslie Graves said...

I'm interested in the claim she makes in the column that if (say) four women have to report a man before the reports are taken seriously, then in effect, a woman is worth 1/4 of a man. I kind of get why she says that, but on the other hand, this area of life is not the only one that works like that. Who steals everyone's yogurt from the workplace refrigerator? It would take more than one report that it was Jane before you start to think it probably was Jane.

She also seems to take for granted that the #metoo movement is happening everywhere. (So for example, it might now be happening just as much to managers at the local Quiktrip.) I'm not sure that's true. It might just be happening to powerful men who have enough power/celebrity that group accusations against them will definitely be digitally noticed in a significant way.


Ron Winkleheimer said...

'm interested in the claim she makes in the column that if (say) four women have to report a man before the reports are taken seriously, then in effect, a woman is worth 1/4 of a man.

Taken seriously by who? If one woman tells the police that she was raped the police are going to investigate. An obvious counter example to her claim is the Duke Lacrosse case. One woman claimed that multiple men raped her. The men denied it. Does that mean that one woman is worth multiple men?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I stand corrected, while your plumber and the guy who installed the drywall in your house, the lady at the checkout counter at the grocery store, the guy fixing your car's brakes, all know that simply passing a law won't make something cease to be, the legislatures and universities are filled with people who think all it takes is passing a law.

Owen said...

Bay Area Guy @ 12:03 "...The current problem, though, is overreaching." Yes. As I put it to my Prog friends in the context of gay wedding cakes, "You don't want to shoot the wounded." They won the battle for SSM, which was about tolerance. But then they got greedy or crazy for vengeance and vindication, and demonstrated intolerance to bystanders like the poor baker. There is no more certain way to destroy goodwill than to ask for tolerance and then turn on those who have given it.

Buwaya: great point about law as a response to the shift from parochial constraints among those who know each other intimately fir generations, to an industrialized anonymity where each of us is issued a standard package of legal protections and obligations.

Jupiter said...

tcrosse said...
"If something is legally prohibited it might not stop, but you can punish somebody for it. Maybe that's the point."

Indeed. Once you have enough laws, everyone is guilty of something. Then mix in a little "prosecutorial discretion" and you have a totalitarian tyranny. "Show me the man, I will show you the crime."

D said...

There are women and men in all ages who mean to govern well, but make no mistake about it, Mr Henry, they mean first to govern.

Forget the historical efficacy of state prohibitions on murder rape kidnapping slavery as already pointed out.

Imagine what can be done if you start in on trying to police bad speech. As long as the Right People are in charge that is. And once in charge, this time will be different. Trust me.

Oh brave new world!

Unknown said...

I remember reading some of Catharine MacKinnon's materials when she was hired by the Law School of the University of Michigan (my alma mater) in the 1980s. I remember concluding she was pretty stupid. She has done nothing to change my initial conclusion.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Jupiter said...

Then mix in a little "prosecutorial discretion" and you have a totalitarian tyranny.

For some reason the phrase no reasonable prosecutor springs to mind.

Jim at said...

Around here the rule of thumb is: shoot, shovel, and shut up.

That's always the rule.
And it's not limited to snakes.

Rabel said...

"Even if she can form words, who listens to a woman with a penis in her mouth?"

-Catharine MacKinnon

See, she's not so stupid after all.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Women don’t like that other women can advance over them by trading sexual favors for advancement. And that is the cause of much of our moral code - attempts by the women not providing the sexual currency to prevent their willing sisters from using such to advance, or otherwise procure more resources for them, and, ultimately, their children.

Perhaps that is true to some extent, but more relevantly, women don't like when sexual favors are expected for advancement. Sure there are some women who would like to sleep their way to the top and are mad that other women have more sexual currency to trade in order to do so, but there are many more women who would like to work their way to the top and want to keep their sexuality out of the workplace.

(I love the recent trend of 'my hawwwwwwt wife says X so it must be true for all women' comments around here. Really guys?)

Gospace said...

"It is widely thought that when something is legally prohibited, it more or less stops... but it is not true for pervasive practices like sexual harassment, including rape, that are built into structural social hierarchies."

So this means illegal immigration shouldn't be a problem, since it is legally prohibited. But it's a pervasive practice, actually encouraged by Democrats and Hollywood elite, the same people who are showing up in most sexual harassment and rape cases coming to the forefront of awareness as of late. Along with child molestation...

Looks like liberal philosophy and practices are the real problem. Rid society of social mores and moral underpinning and people revert to primitive behavior. Who could have seen that coming?

damikesc said...

Thought: Fundamentalist Muslims have more faith in female autonomy than feminists.

iowan2 said...

I haven't read any of the comments, so if I duplicate, sorry.

Glenn often repeats that the old cultural contracts have been shattered. Men were under contract to act certain ways,(his word was his bond, a ladies honor was to be protected, etc) but that contract required ladies to also act certain ways.

My father laid out absolute, boundries and rules concerning the treatment of all women. The could not be fudged or negotiated, not and

mockturtle said...

"sexual harassment, including rape"

Does anyone honestly believe that rape is just a form of 'sexual harassment'?

Jupiter said...

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

"Sure there are some women who would like to sleep their way to the top and are mad that other women have more sexual currency to trade in order to do so, but there are many more women who would like to work their way to the top and want to keep their sexuality out of the workplace."

Well, right. But whose problem is that? If Jane will and Jill won't, Jane gets the promotion. How is that some man's fault? Maybe he should take Jane up on her offer, but give the promotion to Jill? Why?

wildswan said...

What I say below is example of the topic (she said defensively).

I'm anti-abortion but when I listen to some women talking about their problems I can see that abortion is being used as a sort of cursed solution or at least a stopgap to a general problem. World-wide, it's the case that women simply won't accept being mistreated and having no recourse either through the justice system or within the culture. In East Asian cultures, sons matter the most. Many women are forced to abort daughters. In these cultures the birth rate has fallen far below replacement level and I think that it is because, though they themselves are within the culture, women feel the insult to their own selves. So they just don't want to bother with marriage and family. And if sex catches them they have an abortion. What I'm trying to say is that the way women have been treated is a world-wide problem emerging in different societies in different ways. (In ours, abortion on demand and The Reckoning) And I regard abortion as a totally wrong solution to powerless, trampled-upon inequality but I also think it won't go away as a solution until women can and do stand on their own two feet. That means they have to be accepted in the workplace as workers and in marriage as equals. How that works with sex and differences and legally enshrined injustice is quite a problem, I admit. But, while totally anti-abortion, I can see that the problem will not be solved until women are assured of equality even if they marry and have children. They have made up their minds not to think the old stuff is OK any more even if they still have live with it.

Michael K said...

Ms McKinnon probably thinks gun control reduces crime.

The nature of the beast,

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Well, right. But whose problem is that? If Jane will and Jill won't, Jane gets the promotion. How is that some man's fault? Maybe he should take Jane up on her offer, but give the promotion to Jill? Why?

Are you seriously saying it's not the man's "fault" if his criteria for promotion is who sleeps with him? Do I misunderstand you?

How about, criteria for promotion is quality of work, and people maintain their sex lives outside the workplace, with no expectation of or reward for sexual favors within the workplace. Is that too much to ask?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Catharine MacKinnon might have to rethink her belief that #MeToo has done what the law could not if she were to read the comments on this blog. Politically, the resistance to #MeToo may have shifted from the neanderthals in both parties to the neanderthals in the Republican Party, but with the Republican Party in power that is not enough to move forward.

I'd suggest that the way forward now is not an Equal Rights Amendment and legislation at the national level but at the state level. Once companies get behind not creating jobs in states that won't protect their workers, it will be hard for state legislatures to say no.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I mean, does it really need to be stated that we all benefit when the universal workplace standard, for example, is that the head of cardiology is the best cardiologist, not the girlfriend of the hospital's medical director?

Jupiter said...

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...
"I mean, does it really need to be stated that we all benefit when the universal workplace standard, for example, is that the head of cardiology is the best cardiologist, not the girlfriend of the hospital's medical director?"

What I am saying, Pants, is that in your example, it apparently has to be explained to the girlfriend of the hospital's medical director.

Richard Dillman said...

How could she believe this assumption. What intelligent people believe this? All you need is a modest knowledge of history to understand the absurdity of the proposition. Contrary examples permeate the comments. Good Lord, the Volstead Act spawned a giant organized crime syndicate. Al Capone's empire might never have existed without the Volstead Act. Modern examples of such unintended consequences are prolific. Does Hayek's law of unintended consequences apply to this situation?. I think it might. See his Road to Serfdom for more on his theories.

veni vidi vici said...

Making dopey, obvious statements whose veneer of erudition washes away like grains of sand off a picnic table at the beach in a crisp breeze?

Well, now we know why she's been quiet for so long. She has nothing to add.

Gospace said...

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...
I mean, does it really need to be stated that we all benefit when the universal workplace standard, for example, is that the head of cardiology is the best cardiologist, not the girlfriend of the hospital's medical director?


The best cardiologist may not be the best head of cardiology. Surgical skills and knowledge may not translate into management skills. The head of cardiology should be someone with knowledge of cardiology. With management skills. Might even be the girlfriend of the hospital's medical director, but probably not.

Kirk Parker said...

Misplaced,

"we all benefit when the universal workplace standard, for example, is that the head of cardiology is the best cardiologist"

Please tell me you don't really think this.

JAORE said...

Really? "Widely thought" by who?

One of the things I hated about listening to a recent President was his habit of saying, "Many say....".

I wanted to scream, "Who? Who the hell ever says that?"

JAORE said...

"Around here the rule of thumb is: shoot, shovel, and shut up."

Here too. But I never heard it applied to (actual) snakes.