NYT philosopher writer flaunts virtue by flagellating himself for sexism, but doesn’t do squat for gender equality

In the last few years a genre has arisen that doesn’t just call for social justice—those calls that have been around for a while—but in which a person (usually a man) flagellates himself for sexism, racism, or other sins, excoriating his behavior in an attempt to purge himself—and by extension the entire class to which he belongs. Yes, here we have an article by George Yancy, a black professor of philosophy at Emory University, who’s penned a long diatribe for the New York Times’s “The Stone” philosophy column. You can see it below, but if you have a Y chromosome, realize that you’re going to be indicted for sexism, no matter how much of a feminist you are.

Click on the screenshot to read the article:

Like a Cultural Revolution victim wearing a dunce cap and a sign, here Yancy confesses to numerous sexist crimes, including asking his wife to take his last name when he married her (she refused). While I wouldn’t do that, and many men don’t care about that either, he uses that example to put the first wound in his back. He argues that this, as well as his expectation that he be thanked for doing the household tasks that he should do (again, many many wouldn’t act this way) constituted not sexual assault, but something close to it: misogyny, and even “acts of violence”. Note the hyperbolic rhetoric (“act of violence”) and the familiar words of the woke, like “toxic masculinity”:

It is hard to admit we are sexist. I, for instance, would like to think that I possess genuine feminist bona fides, but who am I kidding? I am a failed and broken feminist. More pointedly, I am sexist. There are times when I fear for the “loss” of my own “entitlement” as a male. Toxic masculinity takes many forms. All forms continue to hurt and to violate women.

For example, before I got married, I insisted that my wife take my last name. After all, she was to become my wife. So, why not take my name, and become part of me? She refused. She wanted to keep her own last name, arguing that a woman taking her husband’s name was a patriarchal practice. I was not happy, especially as she had her father’s last name, which I argued contradicted her position against patriarchy. But as she argued, “This is my name and it is part of my identity.” I became stubborn and interpreted her decision as evidence of a lack of full commitment to me. Well, she brilliantly proposed that we both change our last names and take on a new name together showing our commitment to each other

Despite the charity, challenge and reasonableness of the offer, I dropped the ball. That day I learned something about me. I didn’t respect her autonomy, her legal standing and personhood. As pathetic as this may sound, I saw her as my property, to be defined by my name and according to my legal standing. (She kept her name.) While this was not sexual assault, my insistence was a violation of her independence. I had inherited a subtle, yet still violent, form of toxic masculinity. It still raises its ugly head — I should be thanked when I clean the house, cook, sacrifice my time. These are deep and troubling expectations that are shaped by male privilege, male power and toxic masculinity.

If you are a woman reading this, I have failed you. Through my silence and an uninterrogated collective misogyny, I have failed you. I have helped and continue to help perpetuate sexism. I know about how we hold onto forms of power that dehumanize you only to elevate our sense of masculinity. I recognize my silence as an act of violence. For this, I sincerely apologize.

Fine; he’s apologized. But he insists that the rest of us apologize, too, for we are all mini-Weinsteins, complicit in the Patriarchy and toxic masculinity. Indeed, we are all guilty of “soul murder” (his words), even for looking at a women’s bum! Sadly, the man knows nothing about evolution and sexuality.

To this end he quotes the uncapitalized feminist bell hooks, another sign of wokeness:

It’s true that many of us, including me, have not committed vile acts of rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse the likes of which Harvey Weinstein has been accused of. We have not, like Charlie Rose, been accused of sexual harassment by dozens of women who worked for us; and we are not, like Bill Cosby, being sent to prison for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman, in this case, Andrea Constand. Yet I argue that we are collectively complicit with a sexist mind-set and a poisonous masculinity rooted in the same toxic male culture from which these men emerged.

I’m issuing a clarion call against our claims of sexist “innocence.” I’m calling our “innocence” what it is — bullshit. As bell hooks writes in “The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity and Love,” men unconsciously “engage in patriarchal thinking, which condones rape even though they may never enact it. This is a patriarchal truism that most people in our society want to deny.” When women speak out about male violence, hooks writes, “folks are eager to stand up and make the point that most men are not violent. They refuse to acknowledge that masses of boys and men have been programmed from birth on to believe that at some point they must be violent, whether psychologically or physically, to prove that they are men.” We have learned it. In the language of Simone de Beauvoir, “One is not born, but rather becomes” masculine.

Well, that’s not entirely true. Differences in sexual behavior, in which men pursue and stare at women (the “soul murder” he mentions) are partly evolved: the result of differential mating strategies that were adaptive in our ancestors. It’s not all culture. But as I’ve said many times before, any evolved differences that now act to degrade modern society, demean women, or given women fewer opportunities or less freedom, need to be ditched. Biology, as we all know, is not destiny.

Yancy goes on to describe some of these degrading acts, like rubbing up against girls in school, citing Luce Irigaray (what does this add except to show off?) that this shows a “dominant phallic economy. He then segues into the Brett Kavanaugh/Christine Ford affair, which I’ve written about before. While I believed that Kavanaugh was unfit for a position on the Supreme Court—based on his behavior at the hearings as well as other reasons—Yancy is absolutely sure she was innocent, something that I can’t go so far as to say. All we have is our take on the hearings and a tentative judgment.

Yancy goes on to assert that “one in five women are raped at some point in their lives,” which of course is a statistic subject to contention. I hasten to add that all rape is reprehensible, and even one rape in 500 is too many, but he’s really playing fast and loose with the statistics here, all in an attempt to not only claim we live in a “rape culture,” but to add that all men are complicit in this.

We all recently lived through the public spectacle of the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. What is at stake transcends but also includes Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school during the 1980s. The history of toxic and violent masculinity should have been enough for us to give full weight to the reasonableness and believability of Ford’s testimony. But we did not.

Full weight? We should have believed Ford not on the basis of the evidence but because of “the history of toxic and violent masculinity”? I don’t think so, for that’s past history, not evidence. And if you take that tactic, then “believe the female accuser” becomes all one needs for conviction.

Don’t get me wrong here: women have always gotten, and still largely get, a raw deal. They are harassed, catcalled, subject to biases, and diminished. I’ve seen it in my own classes, in which male graduate students talk over women, or take credit for their ideas. But don’t call me complicit in that, for I do the best I can to ensure that women students not only get the same respect (and opportunities) as men, but also to share their views as much as men. After constantly examining my own behavior vis-à-vis women, I don’t recognize in myself the kind of toxic misogynist that Yancy sees in himself. He and others may say I’m fooling myself, of course, but I’ve never asked any woman to change her name, rubbed up or groped any woman, or, I think, been guilty of the species of “toxic and violent masculinity” that Yancy sees in all men.  And I’m not just exculpating myself: many of my friends wouldn’t recognize themselves in Yancy’s caricature, either. Realize that when someone who is reflective hears an accusation like Yancy’s, he immediately (and correctly) thinks that Yancy is a self-serving extremist.

In the end, Yancy abases himself by apologizing to all women for his behavior. Fine, but, as I note below, what does he accomplish except flaunt his virtue? He ends by assuring all women he’s an Ally:

I know that if you are a woman, you don’t really need me as a man saying to you that you are not paranoid when it comes to male violence, sexual and otherwise. I speak not for you but with you. In my view, and in the view of many others, Kavanaugh failed himself, and you. And we have all played our part in that failure. I don’t want to fail women anymore.

Since the world is watching, we, as men, need to join in the dialogue in ways that we have failed to in the past. We need to admit our roles in the larger problem of male violence against women. We need to tell the truth about ourselves.

Well, I’m sorry, but the truth I see about myself is that I’m not Yancy, much less Harvey Weinstein. And the truth I see about Yancy is that he talks a good game, but his mea culpas do nothing to cure the problem of sexism.

As Grania pointed out when I discussed this article with her, Yancy’s behavior comes very close to the behavior of some religionists, who think that because they’ve been bad—in their case the Original Sin comes from Adam and Eve, in Yancy’s it comes from his Y chromosome—and because of that they need to humiliate themselves and punish themselves so they can be purified. Indeed, what we see in this Times article is, pure and simple, a humiliating attempt of moral purification.

Grania added that she, brought up Catholic but now a nonbeliever, can fully understand this mindset, but it would be harder for me, raised as a largely secular Jew, to comprehend the attitude that Hitchens characterized as “We are born sick and commanded to be well”. And it’s not just Catholicism or even Christianity. Here are the religious equivalents of what Yancy is doing (avert your eyes if you can’t stand the sight of blood):

And the ultimate humiliation and ritual of purification:

But these rituals of people making a show of their wokeness, humiliating and abasing themselves to confess their sins, has never done anything to improve themselves, humanity, or the world. It doesn’t lessen the amount of suffering on our planet. For the people who are causing problems for women in our society are not those who examine themselves and then confess their sins: they are the people who don’t have the introspection to examine themselves and then to change their behavior.  They are the entitled people, the Harvey Weinsteins and Bill Cosbys, as well as the men who grope women or make their lives miserable.

As Grania observed, “Instead of espousing conduct that is akin to a quasi-religious mea culpa that helps no-one and accomplishes nothing and is the #MeToo version of ‘Thoughts and prayers’, Yancy might consider coming up with practical suggestions for tackling / defusing actual misogynistic behaviour in the workplace, or indeed in broader society.”

Nothing less will do in today’s woke culture than for all men to grovel and confess in this way, and for all whites to admit that they are racists. And, to be sure, there is a point to examining your behavior with respect to other groups. Maybe some of us have behaved badly, or been guilty of sexism or racism. The unexamined life, as they say, is not worth living, but it’s also not good for society.

But, in the end, there’s something craven about Yancy’s show of contrition as well as his false indictment that all men must scour themselves and confess misogyny. It’s not impossible, in fact, that this kind of palaver heartens the Right by making the Left look ridiculous. For it surely does. It makes us look like the Soviet show trials of the Thirties, or the horrible degradations of China’s Cultural Revolution.

h/t: Grania

Lagniappe:

165 Comments

  1. mormovies@aol.com
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    This really is a new sick religion as corrupt and evil as puritanism that infected America from the beginning.

    • max blancke
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      It is puritanism. Only the scripture is different.

      The only odd thing is that while there is certainly original sin,there is no redemption.
      I could confess my guilt for being a European male, and offer acts of contrition and submission, but the next day I would have to do it all over again.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      “as corrupt and evil as puritanism” — Really? ‘Cause Cotton Mather and his ilk burned witches at the stake. Literally. And by “literally,” I literally mean literally.

      Yancy and his ilk might be puritans of a sort, alright, but the self-flagellation (pace the graphic pictures above) is figurative. Hell, I doubt the NYT editors would even spring for sackcloth and ashes.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        +1

        The number of those kind of utterly ludicrous comments seems to be increasing all the time here. It’s becoming a very comfortable place for those who want to indulge their loathing of the left without ever troubling themselves with articles about the opposition. If you loathe the left and SJWs this is one of the many safe spaces you can visit, and no pesky reminders of what a moral black hole the American right has become.

        Over the last 24 hours bombs have been posted to prominent Trump critics. There has not been a single word written about it at WEIT. Instead there has been an article on Kristen Bell reading her kids fairy tales in the wrong way, along with this. And something else about the dire, existential threat of people on Twitter complaining about afros.

        Since I’m almost certainly to be purged from this site then I’ll go out saying what I’ve been meaning to say for months now: this website has ignored the American right’s recrudescence and the endless gradual chipping away of liberal democracy that has come with it in favour of a daily stream of articles that deal with often vastly less serious issues.

        It has repeatedly claimed that ‘lots of places talk about Trump’ so therefore there’s no point in doing so here, even though there’s also a veritable ocean of websites that do nothing but criticise liberals and the left. It has turned into a higher brow version of those places that do nothing but aggregate stories about students being obnoxious.

        Worst of all it has swerved any notion that there is a responsibility on it, as a website with 50,000 plus subscribers, to reflect reality and display a semblance of balance in the spread of articles.

        Since I’m in all likelihood going to be turfed out(and let’s just bear that in mind, that I can be chucked out for writing something like this, which is reasonable and not rude or threatening, on a website that says it is open minded and freethinking. That censoriousness has always sat uneasily with me, but I guess I’ve been too cowardly to mention it until now) I’d like to say I’ve enjoyed talking to lots of wonderful people here, some of the nicest most intelligent people I’ve ever met, at what is still one of the most pleasant comments’ sections on the web, but the level of political solipsism on display day after day is something that genuinely infuriates me.

        Sure, I should ‘just go someplace else’… But that’s not an argument is it? That’s an admission that this website has become exactly what it has long accused other places of being: somewhere that tells only one part of the story.

        P.S. For anyone who wants to give me a piece of their mind after I’m gone: bullintheheather@gmail.com

        Thanks.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

          correction: thebullintheheather@gmail.com

          • phil brown
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

            I love that song!

            • Saul Sorrell-Till
              Posted October 27, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

              It’s great. My favourite SY song is still The Sprawl though.

        • Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

          Your argument implies that a website (or perhaps a newspaper or news channel) should only focus on the most important issues. That doesn’t really scale up. This website, among other things, helps the Left hone its message. That’s a necessary and worthwhile function.

          • Saul Sorrell-Till
            Posted October 27, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

            Well, I don’t know if I’m still allowed to post here, but in response:

            No, I didn’t imply anything like that. In fact I’ve been scrupulous in my messaging – I think WEIT should display a semblance of BALANCE. You can’t get me on that, and I defy you to find any post of mine where I’ve ever asked that PCC should focus only on Trump or the American right. I’ve spent a long time railing against the illiberal left and I think they deserve a great deal of criticism.

            But to come to this website, a website that claims to be staunchly defensive of liberal values, on the day when pipe bombs were mailed to prominent Trump critics, and see no mention of it whatsoever, indeed to see in its stead another story about some left-winger being obnoxious…how exactly do you think someone who both cares about liberal democracy and likes and respects this website should react?

        • mikeyc
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

          Oh FFS, Saul, why the drama? This is Dr PCC(e)’s place. He gets to decide what gets posted here. Sometimes it’s all about ducks and kittens. Sometimes its about noms.

          Your posts, along with many others, are some of the best comments I’ve seen on these topics anywhere, despite the fact that you are often defending leftists rather than nodding along with Trump hate. Would your really want that? An anti-Trump mental masturbation website where you can vent along with everyone else? How constructive would that be? Personally, I find great value in criticizing those who I nominally agree with if for no other reason than honing the arguments to persuade them of the folly of shooting oneself in the foot.

          Just deal with it, dude. This one of the those few places on the web where I can disagree with you without you threatening me with a rusty porcupine – I think I mixed that metaphor, but you get what I mean.

          Like the song and if you go, I’ll play it in your honor.

          Out (for the day)

          • Davide Spinello
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

            Also, there is no luck of posts about Trump related lunacy.

            • Davide Spinello
              Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

              Lack

          • Saul Sorrell-Till
            Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

            (NB. I’m pleasantly surprised to see that my posts are still turning up. For that I’m appreciative.)

            Again, and for the umpteenth time, you really can’t get me on that one. Not once have I ever asked for this to turn into an ‘anti-Trump’ website. I’ve been absolutely scrupulous about that – all I’ve ever suggested is that there should at least be a semblance of balance.
            OTOH, I do wonder why you’re okay with it turning into an ‘anti-regressive-left’ website. Seems like an inconsistency in your argument there, and that you’re okay with a website whose political articles are almost all focused on the same topic so long as that topic is consonant with your worldview.

            “deal with it dude”

            This is how I deal with it. I deal with it by writing something I should have written months ago. I think it’s deeply inconsistent to claim that this is a liberal website while ignoring to the point of absurdity everything that’s happening in America and the rest of the world w/r/t to the far-right and populism.

            As for the comments’ section I’ve never had any problem with it – with the exception of a handful of trolls I’ve always thought this was the best comments’ section on the internet. I know that’s cheap, but I don’t care. Give yourselves a round of applause! USA! USA! OTHER COUNTRIES! Etc.

            The reason I’ve kept coming back here in spite of seeing the same topics coming up day after day is because there are funny, interesting, clever people who I like talking to in the comments. And you’re here too*.

            * 😉

            • Posted November 3, 2018 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

              Saul,
              I am sorry if I am among the commenters who have pissed you off. I like that people of different opinions comment here and interesting discussions result.
              Have you thought of starting your own WordPress bl*g? Prof. Coyne’s audience will see that your name has a link, some will click to see your site and will read your writings about No. 45.
              I actually started my blogs this way, when I realized that I am the only author I can trust to write things that interest me.

        • Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

          I would miss you, Saul.

        • Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

          Well, I do think Jerry finds the right loathsome, although I’m not sure why he doesn’t criticize them more often. I agree that right-leaning comments have increased, and I also agree that the comments here are, or have been, among the best on the web. I’ve particularly enjoyed contributions from Gregory Kusnick, but I haven’t seen him for quite a while. I always liked reading your take on things, Saul.

        • Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

          PS: You’d probably enjoy Ed Brayton’s “Dispatches From The Culture Wars” at Patheos.

        • Historian
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

          Saul. I am in sympathy with your frustration. But, I would counsel against voluntarily leaving this site because, in effect, it would concede your defeat to the ever growing number of right wingers that now comment here. Their tactic is simple, but can be effective on the unknowledgeable. That is, they constantly and unrelentingly attempt to make a false equivalency between the antics of a small number on the left and the threat to democracy posed by the government of the United States led by a sociopathic, narcissistic liar and the toady Republican Party. To use a medical analogy I like: they want you to be concerned with an annoying, but benign boil on your ass while ignoring a virulent cancer spreading throughout your body. Remember, for the past 30 years the right wing’s strategy has been to give no quarter in debate, reject compromise, and tell any lie, over and over again, as long as it helps them gain and retain power, which is their ultimate goal. I will resist them as much as I can. I hope you will continue to fight the good fight.

          • Diane G
            Posted October 26, 2018 at 2:20 am | Permalink

            +1

            You and Saul should consider me an avid fan.

            • Saul Sorrell-Till
              Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

              Thanks Diane, lovely as always 😊

              I just felt like I was being a hypocrite if I didn’t say what I was feeling about WEIT. Thanks for reassuring me that I’m not completely alone on this.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted October 26, 2018 at 6:59 am | Permalink

            + another.

            The Right seem to have learned a lot from Goebbels’ maxims.

            cr

          • Posted October 26, 2018 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

            You’ve so eloquently voiced the unsettled and uneasy feelings I’ve been having about certain commenters here. They do seem to be using divide and conquer tactics.

          • Saul Sorrell-Till
            Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

            Thanks Historian. I rather assumed I’d have been blacklisted, so I haven’t been back here until now, but it’s nice to see some supportive comments.

            You’re one of the many sensible voices that stand out here in the comments, educated and reasonable, and I read your replies with interest. I don’t know how often I’ll be here but I love the comments’ section.

        • Diannaart
          Posted October 26, 2018 at 12:23 am | Permalink

          Nice attempt to derail topic. Perhaps you could present an article on the latest horrors by a disgruntled and easily threatened right wing.

          However, as with Yancey, I do believe you “doth protest too much”.

          • Saul Sorrell-Till
            Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

            I didn’t understand any of that. Sorry.

        • Posted October 26, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

          Since I’m in all likelihood going to be turfed out(and let’s just bear that in mind, that I can be chucked out for writing something like this, which is reasonable and not rude or threatening, on a website that says it is open minded and freethinking. That censoriousness has always sat uneasily with me…

          You’re telling the host what to write or not write about. That’s a “chuckable” offense.

          I’ve lost count of the leftist (including atheist) sites I’ve been banned from, for saying things as seemingly innocuous as ‘homo sapiens is a binary sexually reproducing species’, or simply disagreeing with the host.

          WEIT is a rare & welcome relief from the thought policing of the online regressive left.

          • Saul Sorrell-Till
            Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

            I’m not quite sure what your point is there. ‘It’s okay because the illiberal left do it to me’?

            As for ‘telling the host what to write about’ – I’m not sure I have. If you count complaining about the balance of the articles then you could say that, but then that’s quite a baggy, catch-all definition of ‘telling the host what to do’.

            I’d say telling PCC what to write about would be more along the lines of “now listen here Jerry Coyne, you must write about blah blah such and such”. I think I’ve at the very least managed to avoid doing that. I don’t think I’ve been rude, or intemperate, or said anything unreasonable.

            Either way, the fact that I’m still able to post means I haven’t been chucked out.

        • Taz
          Posted October 26, 2018 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

          I think our host does a great job moderating the comments. This site is not in danger of becoming what so many others are – an echo chamber.

  2. Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    “I recognize my silence as an act of violence.”

    OMG! Any chance that people can stick to the customary meaning of words?

    • DrBrydon
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Yep, first speech is violence, now silence is violence. Unless you are out continuously demonstrating your agreement, you are engaged in toxic masculinity (which if you take in infinitesimally small amounts, diluted in water, actually cures itself).

    • Deodand
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Certainly not, one of the major issues with pseudoscience is their appropriation of terms like ‘energy’, which has a very specific meaning and treating it as if it has another much vaguer meaning.

      Similarly the term ‘Ally’ in the hands of the type of person who is being quoted means “One who sits down shuts up and does what they are told by their betters.” rather than the dictionary definition.

      And as I’ve commented earlier it’s clear that the Woke have fully embraced notions of inherent racial/sexual characteristics that are just as wrong now, as they were in the 19th Century.

  3. mikeyc
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    “… this kind of palaver heartens the Right by making the Left look ridiculous.”

    This is what irks me the most about woke idiocy. While I think they often have a point, woke people go too far, like this Yancy feller.

    It is clear “wokeness” is more a religion than social movement and for that reason I ignore them as best as I can. Just another load of babble.

    But it really bothers me that they are a significant reason why Trump is president and the Republicans have power. I despair sometimes because our only alternative in this ridiculous political system are the Dems and they never learn their lessons.

  4. andrewilliamson
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    “It’s time that we men take responsibility for our role in the problem of violence against women.”

    I play no role whatsoever in the problem of violence against women. The author can take his original sin and shove it.

    Perhaps it’s unwise, but when I read a standfirst like this one, I automatically dismiss the entire piece as unworthy bull$hit. And stuff like this consists of a large portion of my social media feed.

    My other advice would be to avoid “articles” from two word websites you haven’t heard of before.

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      “…original sin…”

      Yes, the over-woke really *are* as emotionally dysfunctional as the fundamentally religious. When someone tells me they’re all disgusting inside, I believe them.

    • Posted October 26, 2018 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      “The New York Times” is four words and even I, a Britisher, have heard of it before.

      • andrewilliamson
        Posted October 26, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

        “Other advice.” I.e., not related to the NYT piece, but to items often shared in social media feeds.

        Charitable and polite of you, though, to count to four for me and to think I think people won’t have heard of the NYT.

        • Posted October 26, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

          Well the thing is that this story is related to a single article that appeared on the New York Times web site. There was no clue that your other advice wasn’t meant to apply to this article as well as other unspecified articles.

        • Posted October 26, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

          Well the thing is that this story is related to a single article that appeared on the New York Times web site. There was no clue that your other advice wasn’t meant to apply to this article as well as other unspecified articles.

          • andrewilliamson
            Posted October 26, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

            No clue?

            “two word websites” and
            “you haven’t heard before.”

  5. Liz
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    “Here are the religious equivalents of what Yancy is doing…”
    This doesn’t seem like the best comparison.

    “’…we, as men, need to join in the dialogue in ways that we have failed to in the past.’”

    Maybe he should be speaking for himself instead of all men. I think his intentions are good, though.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Glad you spoke up Liz. I’d be interested to hear what the other smart, tough-minded, no-bullshit women who comment here regularly think about this. Hope they don’t avoid commenting on this post.

      • mikeyc
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        Nothing is stopping them, Ken. Literally nothing.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

          That’s your view, but the women themselves often choose to not comment because it brings the infuriating MGTOW/MRA-style statisticians out of their subterranean dens. I’m talking about comments like this one by yourself in this very thread:

          “Interesting factoid – according to some surveys I’ve seen, more men than women report abuse on the intertubes. It’s a vast wasteland.”

          This sort of unreferenced, unlinked, un-nuanced commentary busts these threads & adds absolutely no value.

          How do I know that some female commenters feel that way? Because they’ve written so & because they tell me so.

          • mikeyc
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

            Meh

            1. The intertubes are a rough place, especially for women. WEIT is NOT like that. It’s the reason I come here. The things that Randall was saying about women on the web is true but not here.

            2. What do YOU stand for, Michael? Is the position you and many here take on the easily offended just for show? Are we just kidding when we kvetch about people who are too sensitive for criticism?

            3. What about the women who use the excuse of the big mean men to not post here? HERE. Where that kind of behavior is not permitted. If one wants something from society, one must claim it. One must OWN it. If they can’t even do it here, where the forces aligned against them are not permitted, well then where is their conviction?

            If you want to be treated as an equal – first you must behave like one.

            Oh, and when I have time later I’ll hunt down a link and reference for my unnuanced adds nothing comment. Like they haven’t been posted here before. FFS

            • Davide Spinello
              Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

              More than that, there is this:

              http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2017-56107-001?doi=1

              From the abstract:

              In light of different theorizing surrounding gender and incivility, we examine whether women experience increased incivility from other women or men, and whether this effect is amplified for women who exhibit higher agency and less communion at work given that these traits and behaviors violate stereotypical gender norms. Across three complementary studies, results indicate that women report experiencing more incivility from other women than from men, with this effect being amplified for women who are more agentic at work.

              The paper examines different hypotheses on how and why.

              Before anyone calls me right-winger, the article does not state that men do not commit verbal abuse towards women. Also, the article says nothing about physical abuse, which is overwhelmingly a male trait in mixed gender interactions. Now that I have recited my prayer, I would also like to point out that there are a few referenced discussed with consistent findings.

              • Posted October 26, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

                …physical abuse, which is overwhelmingly a male trait in mixed gender interactions.

                Only it’s not (wrt IPV), as numerous links previously provided have shown.

          • Merilee
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

            +many @Michael. You’ve nailed it. Quit the pissing contest, many of you guys. Please don’t leave, Darrelle and Saul. “Me and my Goils” enjoy your comments😊

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted October 25, 2018 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

              [+Many]^2 back at yah

            • Diane G
              Posted October 26, 2018 at 2:26 am | Permalink

              What Merilee said. Now, back to my vow to not post on these topics. (You’re right, of course, Michael–re the boycotting…)

              Damn, Saul makes kamikazies of us all!

              • Posted November 3, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

                Why do you pick his bad ideas? Nothing is ever achieved by silence!

          • Posted October 26, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

            Very well said, Michael. You are very astute.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

          Might want to have a look at this post, Mikey.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

            +1

          • mikeyc
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

            I was here when that post was posted, Ken. You will note that I did not comment on the thread as the point was for us to listen. But thanks for the link.

            Irrespective of that post, I stand by my comment to you above; there is nothing here on WEIT stopping anyone from commenting. If ANYone, whatever bits they have, does not feel comfortable commenting here, there is nowhere for them to go.

            As I said elsewhere, the interwebs is a vast wasteland where abuse is rampant. Men may get abused more (see the link that “adds nothing” above) but women bear the brunt. Like domestic abuse where victimization rates are similar between the sexes, it is worse for women. I do not dispute that.

            However, there are oases here and there where the waste is much less toxic. WEIT is such an oasis and, frankly, if it is too tough for “smart, tough-minded, no-bullshit women”, well then there is no place for them at all, is there?

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

              It’s not too tough it’s not worth it.

              • Diane G
                Posted October 26, 2018 at 2:27 am | Permalink

                +1

              • Marlene Zuk
                Posted October 26, 2018 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

                +1

            • Liz
              Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

              “…if it is too tough for ‘smart, tough-minded, no-bullshit women’, well then there is no place for them at all, is there?”

              That must be easier to say in such an oasis than in person.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted October 25, 2018 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

              mikeyc:

              “I was here when that post was posted, Ken. You will note that I did not comment on the thread as the point was for us to listen. But thanks for the link”

              You’ve forgotten that you stopped listening** long enough to talk well of your grandma in that ‘listening’ thread HERE’S LINK TO COMMENT

              And thanks for the Grauniad link – IMO it is well to always supply a source when bandying numbers, complex quotes etc – no matter how often you’ve wielded the factoid in the past. This has the effect of reducing the autopilot commenters [NOT YOU] having orgasms about interpretations of the pay gap, men do the dangerous jobs & how husbands get beat up too. Which are fine observations, but often applied when not the subject at hand – kinda WILLY NILLY in fact 🙂

              ** As did I to tackle that unbearable Travis genitals bot-like halfwit

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    I think because this guys take on the subject and does not fit you or me exactly does not mean it should be thrown out. Lets try not to take the article so personally maybe and just concentrate on some of the behaviors in general. If he says it applies equally to all of us he is wrong and we all know that. Presenting it in this way just turns off males from paying attention at all so he does himself no good.

    But everything he covers does take place in all parts of our society and we, as males need to be more aware of it. Sometimes we push it off out of ignorance or simply because it does not apply to me. That is not the way to look at it.

    With the guy we have in the white house right now, don’t tell me that large parts of our population don’t ignore the unfairness toward females. He is disgusting and the American voters put him there. If ever there was proof of how poorly women can be treated in this country, this Trump business is it.

    Women are degraded everyday by large parts of the male population. The device you spend hours each day fixed on (the internet) is covered in it. So go ahead and say I have no part in this issue, I’m all good.

    • andrewilliamson
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Define “large parts.”

    • Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Randall,

      Umm. . . . I’ve already said all this. I was addressing the self-flagellation. Did you read what I wrote? I mentioned the raw deal that women get constantly. Did you read that, too? I think you missed the point of what I wrote.

      Further, to imply that I’m complicit because I use the internet (don’t deny that this is the implication) is ludicrous.

      • Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        By Yancy’s logic you would be equally complicit if you did NOT use the Internet. Silence is violence too.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        I did not imply that you are complicit because you use the internet, I am simply stating the fact that something we all use everyday is full things degrading women. If I have made comments you do not approve of or want to think I said even thought I did not, so be it. I will depart from this site now.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

          Let’s be like little Fonzies (and Fonzie’s cool). 🙂 I’d hate to see you go anywhere, buddy, and a doubt our host wants that either.

        • mikeyc
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

          Interesting factoid – according to some surveys I’ve seen, more men than women report abuse on the intertubes. It’s a vast wasteland.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

          Don’t leave Randall. I appreciate you drawing attention to the genuine political issues in America.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

            I second that. I appreciate your point of view and your willingness to express it even when others hold opposing views.

            • Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

              I third that. You are among my favourite commenters here.

              • Diane G
                Posted October 26, 2018 at 2:33 am | Permalink

                +4

        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

          Hope these do not embed: here are two versions of Muddy Waters singing “Baby Please Don’t Go,” mentally altered to reflect your threatened departure from the comments section of this site, which, I think, many of us would find diminished without your thoughts and observations about all manner of things.

          1. Muddy Waters wayback https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EOwNItKOyo
          2. Muddy Waters and the Rolling Stones at a club in 1981(11 min.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3Or7huOK7o

          • Jenny Haniver
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

            Muddy Waters with the Stones is amazing!

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

            Great selections!

      • Posted October 25, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        I suspect there is a misunderstanding about the “you” in Randall’s penultimate sentence. I think he meant you to mean anyone rather than PCC in particular.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

          The rhetorical use of second-person direct address (or “imperative mood”) is what some officious pedant might call it. Which, in this case, I guess means me. 🙂

    • Davide Spinello
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Women are degraded everyday by large parts of the male population. The device you spend hours each day fixed on (the internet) is covered in it. So go ahead and say I have no part in this issue, I’m all good.

      In the US because Trump was elected. Wow

    • DrBrydon
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Yet I argue that we are collectively complicit with a sexist mind-set and a poisonous masculinity rooted in the same toxic male culture from which these men emerged.

      I reject the notion of collective guilt here because I do not believe it to be correct, and because the idea of collective guilt is inimical to justice. If we are all “complicit”, then there is no innocence, and no degrees of guilt. We are all just Bad.

    • Posted October 26, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      I think because this guys take on the subject and does not fit you or me exactly does not mean it should be thrown out….

      Yet one paragraph later, you do the exact same thing as Yancy, condemning all men as a class:

      [W]e, as males need to be more aware of it. Sometimes we push it off out of ignorance or simply because it does not apply to me.

      How do you know that I or any other individual male is not properly aware of those things? You don’t, so leave me out of your group guilt trip.

      Unlike that spineless worm, Yancy, I have no need to apologize to all women for being a poor example of a man. I apologize to individuals of either sex, for my sins of commission and omission, but never for the inalterable facts of my birth.

      • Diane G
        Posted October 27, 2018 at 3:09 am | Permalink

        The white, cis, male facts of your birth, right?

  7. Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    A mistake a lot of us made was in thinking that religion would go away once people stopped believing in god. Alas, no. The new woke religion is believed with every bit as much fervor and all the same psychological components (the damned and the elect, original sin, a path to enlightenment through mortification, an eschatology etc etc) as that old time religion. At least we knew where we were with that.
    In retrospect it should have been obvious–religiosity is one of the most highly heritable charcateristics we have ever measured. 0.9 or above. And all that relgious feror has to go somewhere…
    Waller, N. G., Kojetin, B. A., Bouchard Jr, T. J., Lykken, D. T., & Tellegen, A. (1990). Genetic and environmental influences on religious interests, attitudes, and values: A study of twins reared apart and together. Psychological Science, 1(2), 138-142.

    • Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Yup. 45 years ago, in high school, I really truly thought religion was on its last legs. How could it not be, when we can see clearly how ridiculous all of them are? Sigh.

  8. Raymond Cox
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Trump is only in the White House because a large number of women voted for him – in spite of admitted sexual harassment. Abortion is only an issue because many women wish to force another woman to have a child she does not want.

  9. phil brown
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    “For the people who are causing problems for women in our society are not those who examine themselves and then confess their sins: they are the people who don’t have the introspection to examine themselves and then to change their behavior. They are the entitled people, the Harvey Weinsteins and Bill Cosbys, as well as the men who grope women or make their lives miserable.”

    But someone confessing their sins and vowing to change their behaviour, has, by their own admission, already caused problems for women.

    There’s going to be men all over the spectrum of how much they respect women. Between the Weinsteins and the Yancys, there will be men who are perhaps, thoughtful and introspective about many things, but either have a blind spot for their own sexist behaviour, or else not recognise it as sexist (e.g. as Yancy didn’t seem to recognise that insisting his wife took his name might be sexist). I think its a fair observation to make that sexism and misogyny aren’t the sole preserve of the Weinsteins (just as racism isn’t the sole preserve of the KKK and their ilk, but is reflected in the attitudes of many people who wouldn’t see themselves as racist).

    I think any unbiased observer would have to agree that respect for women has hugely increased over the last few decades, but that’s only been achieved by shining a light on the issue and making a fuss about it. If part of the remaining sexism in society stems from the fact that sexist attitudes and behaviours can reside even in men (and women, for that matter) who wouldn’t recognise themselves as sexist, then shining a light on that problem is obviously going to ruffle feathers. But if one is genuinely concerned not to be a sexist, then one should be ready to examine the possibility that one might be, in some respects. I don’t think it’s all that fair to accuse Yancy of “virtue signalling” or self-flagellation for encouraging men to examine their attitudes, in this regard.

    • Posted October 25, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Maybe, but then Yancy could have produced a simple list of things, like insisting a wife change her last name, that men should consider. I could see benefit in such a service. Even though I seek to avoid being sexist, I can’t guarantee that I am never sexist. Perhaps there’s an item I’ve missed.

      Yancy goes another way. He is not so much interested in helping other men recognize their hidden sexist moves as beat himself up for past behavior and show his newly acquired virtue. He’s also subtly telling us that, while he may have been sexist in the past, the worst he ever did was insist his wife take his name. It’s virtue signalling, plain and simple.

      • phil brown
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        The point of the article was that we may not be as virtuous as we take ourselves to be, and we should remedy that if that’s the case. Reasonably enough for a newspaper opinion piece, he uses himself as an exemplar. And this is dismissed as the new sin of “virtue signalling”, which is really just an ad hominem attack.

        • Posted October 25, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

          It’s not an ad hominem attack, but a psychological explanation for why people are behaving in off-the-rails ways, as Yancy is doing. An “ad hominem” attack would be this: “Yancy is a loon.” My critique: “One can understand a lot of this self-flagellation as a way to purge yourself of sin and demonstrate your purity to the public.”

          • andrewilliamson
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

            Precisely. It’s an attempt to obtain status and esteem in his tribe.

            The way it works is, by pretending to lower his own status (“I have sinned”), he is attempting to increase his status (“See just how well I embrace the ideology and accuse our enemies?]).

        • Posted October 25, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

          If his goal was to remind men of sexist behavior of which they may not be aware, then why not list more such behaviors? The self-flagellation was completely unnecessary.

          As for virtue signalling being a “new sin”, only the label is new. The sin has been around since the dawn of time.

          • Posted October 25, 2018 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

            The problem is your argument precludes any explanation based on strategic behavior ( which Jerry’s is). But that’s why people do stuff all the time. Here’s a simple example. Why did Henri IV confess his heresy, repent, and convert to Catholicism? Because “Paris is worth a mass.” He bullshitted to gain advantage.

            • Posted October 25, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

              Landed on the wrong comment. I was pointing out your claim of ad hominem against Jerry is wrong here.

              • Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

                Ken, I didn’t claim Jerry was being ad hominem. That was someone else: “phil brown”. I agree with our host that Yancy’s article engages in self-flagellation and virtue signalling.

          • Posted October 26, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

            That wasn’t his true goal. Yancy’s self-incrimination was entirely self-serving. He copped to trivial offenses, declared himself already reformed / re-educated / born again / Clear (thus not subject to any punishment). His proactive confession and deep remorse only highlight his sensitivity and inherent wokeness. By contrasting his peccadillos with Weinstein’s & Cosby’s heinous acts, he deftly elevates his ranking among men.

            It’s a pernicious ploy, ubiquitous among the regressive left, and the comparison to Cultural Revolution trials was quite apt.

      • Posted November 3, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I actually liked the part about the wife’s family name.

    • darrelle
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      I understand what you are saying. A difference between your position stated here and criticisms such as Jerry’s is the weight given to the negative aspects of Yancy’s article. There are two main negatives.

      1) Yancy employs the hyperbole common among the “woke” crowd. He abuses words badly, such as the word “violence.” He makes false equivalencies that degrade the legitimacy of serious issues by equating much less serious issues with them. For example, not speaking out in support is not violence. This kind of stuff is propaganda 101. It’s lying. It actually makes it harder to have the conversations that we should be having. It doesn’t help, it hurts. It also makes him look disingenuous.

      2) He assumes that all males share all his flaws. I’m perfectly willing to take him at his word about his failings with respect to women and I am sure, based on my own experiences in life, that those failings are pretty common among men. But not all men, not by a long shot. And degrees do matter (see 1), a lot. His inability or unwillingness to understand or believe that all men do not share his flaws is the trait I find most common to devout religious believers. It’s a way to spread the blame around so that individual believers don’t have to feel too badly about their flaws. We are all flawed, no biggie. I’m no worse than anybody else.

      If Yancy’s article were like your comment I wouldn’t have anything to criticize. Heck, I’m even of the opinion that given the long history, most of human history, of being 2nd class citizens or worse that during this period of relatively sudden adjustment women are due a bit more tolerance from us men for occasionally stepping on our toes than might be expected in that future society in which we have long since put sexism and related issues behind us. I’m sure someone will take that as me being fine with bogus rape charges or something similar, but please don’t bother.

      • Posted October 25, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        Well put. As you say, women might be expected to step on mens’ toes in this time of change. Men should still let them know that it hurts and tell them to watch where they step.

  10. Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I think what Yancy wants is a good old-fashioned public confessional. Okay, so be it.

    Lord, I have sinned. In grade school, I teased girls. In high school, I noticed the breasts on girls in class. In college, I went to a strip club once. Yes, I have discounted my wife’s opinions on baseball. I have ‘mansplained.

    Forgive me.

  11. Posted October 25, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    “She wanted to keep her own last name, arguing that a woman taking her husband’s name was a patriarchal practice.”

    Actually, she wanted to keep her father’s last name, which is even more “patriarchal” than taking her husband’s last name. Either way, she’s got a man’s last name.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      He addresses that in the article saying that he had argued just that point but that she had said it was her name and part of her identity.

      • Posted October 25, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        Thanks, Diana, for pointing out my oversight; I didn’t get through the whole piece.

      • max blancke
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        It is sensible that people who get married take the same name, at least those who take marriage seriously.
        The first time I had a co-worker get married and do the hyphenated thing, I asked what they imagine their kids would do when they got married. He told me he had not even thought of that.

        But I think they are confusing “patriarchal” with “patrilineal”.

        • Posted October 25, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

          Hyphenated names have always bugged me. How can someone not notice that the concept doesn’t scale?

          I disagree about marriage partners taking the same name. If that’s their idea of taking marriage “seriously” then they have a lot to learn. For my wife and I it was a matter of practicality. Neither of us would want the hassle of changing all the modern trappings of our identity.

          • Posted October 25, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

            Exactly. What happens when Meyers-Briggs marries Tversky-Kahneman? And in the generation after that?

            • Posted October 25, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

              They will marry Dunning-Kruger, and be none the wiser.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

              Could be worse; just consider these monikers. 🙂

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted October 26, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

                😎

                cr

          • Posted October 26, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

            Hyphenated names have always bugged me. How can someone not notice that the concept doesn’t scale?

            LOL. Good point.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

          Who’re you to say there’s only one way to take marriage seriously?

        • Posted October 25, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

          “It is sensible that people who get married take the same name,”

          My wife kept her father’s name when we got married, which was fine with me, but our son took my last name. This latter tradition seems to me more symbolic than “sensible”—a public recognition of paternity. After all, there’s never a question about who the mother is, but only the mother really knows who the father is.

          But you’re right that the hyphenation business could get out of hand.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

          People take names or don’t. It’s a personal choice. This was her choice. She had a completely logical reason. You may feel it’s a bad choice but it’s not yours to make for her.

      • Posted October 25, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        The idea of creating a new surname upon marriage is a good one. New family unit, new identity. Will be hell for future genealogists, though.

        • Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          We should just do away with surnames. Give a baby teo or three names and let him or her keep them all their lives. There is no reason last names should ever match.

          • Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

            How about serial numbers? Bar codes? Marks of the Devil?

            • Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

              You don’t like my children idea? I do.

              • Posted October 25, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

                I have no problem with it. You make a good point. Last names in general don’t scale. We just get more and more people with the same last name as time goes by. While people are free to change their names (at least in the US), it is not common practice to do so. In South Korea, my wife’s birthplace, practically everyone’s a Kim or a Park. My wife’s a Yoon but that still puts her in the top ten, I believe.

              • Posted October 25, 2018 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

                I believe the most common last name is Patel, from India. They own hotels and Dairy Queen’s in the south.
                Predictions are that eventually there will only be one last name left. No time table was furnished so I don’t know how long that will take.

                Last names have only been used for a few hundred years, at least in Europe. I have traced some of my ancestors back to Wales when they used first names only. The names are strange looking and have no idea how they would be pronounced.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted October 25, 2018 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

                Hi OG, you write this:

                “Last names have only been used for a few hundred years, at least in Europe. I have traced some of my ancestors back to Wales when they used first names only. The names are strange looking and have no idea how they would be pronounced.”

                This is a very interesting observation, but how true is it? It brings to mind the Python Bruce sketch!

                SLIGHT DIGRESSION
                The Icelandic phone directory is ordered by first name, followed by last name & duplicates are sorted by throwing granddads name in there where necessary. From the Wiki: A man named Jón Einarsson has a son named Ólafur. Ólafur’s last name will not be Einarsson like his father’s; it will become Jónsson, literally indicating that Ólafur is the son of Jón (Jóns + son). The same practice is used for daughters. Jón Einarsson’s daughter Sigríður’s last name would not be Einarsson but Jónsdóttir. Again, the name literally means “Jón’s daughter” (Jóns + dóttir).

                In some cases, an individual’s surname is derived from a parent’s middle name instead of the first name. For example, if Jón is the son of Hjálmar Arnar Vilhjálmsson he may either be named Jón Hjálmarsson (Jón, son of Hjálmar) or Jón Arnarsson (Jón, son of Arnar). The reason for this may be that the parent prefers to be called by the middle name instead of the first name; this is fairly common. It may also be that the parent’s middle name seems to fit the child’s first name better.

                In cases where two people in the same social circle bear the same first name and the same father’s name, they have traditionally been distinguished by their paternal grandfather’s name (avonymic), e.g. Jón Þórsson Bjarnarsonar (Jón, son of Þór, son of Bjarni) and Jón Þórsson Hallssonar (Jón, son of Þór, son of Hallur). This practice has now become less common (the use of middle names having replaced it), but features conspicuously in the Icelandic sagas.

                BACK ON TRACK
                I suggest that people have ALWAYS had multiple names, but only the formal part of these multiple names passes down to us in records [births, marriages & deaths].

                There are only a few common Celtic names & thus I am Michael Son Of the Fisherman [Mícheál Mac an Iascair], but perhaps in church records a long time ago I’d be recorded only as Mícheál of [name of hamlet or hovel or parent] while the people I interact with might refer to me informally as Mícheál the Bread [if I were a baker]. These are all names in the practical sense even if the official record chooses to only award me one name.

                Sorry for going on & on & on

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

            Bring back the Roman cognomen naming convention?

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

              I call Maxima

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

                As long as you promise not to marry into the Mea and Culpa families.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

                Haha. My second choice is Profinda.

              • Diane G
                Posted October 26, 2018 at 2:48 am | Permalink

                @ Ken–ROFL!

            • Liz
              Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

              +1

          • Posted October 26, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

            Give a baby teo or three names and let him or her keep them all their lives

            Something like ‘Davoin Shower-Handel’?

  12. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    The doctrine of original sin has problems enough on its own in the original version, but it is made far worse if it is held to apply to only one group of people!!

    As Hitchens was aptly quoted above as saying, “We are born sick and commanded to be well”.

    However, the better Christian ethicists who comment on it see its deepest implication to be that we are ALL in the same boat.
    (And then if you also remove the implication [as some have] that we are BORN bad and damned by default, even better.)

  13. Michael Fisher
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Yancy also wrote “Loving a few Black people is not proof you have confronted your own racism, if you are white, you are racist” – he has taken that statement & rinse repeated, but replacing race power dynamics with the gender version. I feel these simplifications he’s fond of spewing are a barrier to a reasoned discussion. He says he’s a philosopher, he’s got the quals, but he doesn’t recognise edge cases & exceptions – the very bread & butter of philosophy – he’s a sloganeer is all.

  14. Vaal
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Ugh,

    What a terrible article for all the reasons Jerry has stated. It takes some legitimate concerns…and does it all wrong.

    And to echo the sentiments of some others: if Yancy feels himself complicit for the things he wants to apologize for, that’s on him. But stop trying to apologize for the rest of men, many of whom do not embody this catastrophized “toxic masculinity” of his fever dream.

    My wife is a physician and earns more than me, plus I never asked her to take my name (which she did not). Neither of my sons were raised to be violent, or think they have to be violent. They are as non-violent in temperament and acts as anyone I’ve seen.

    I could say essentially the same for the vast majority of my friends and their families.

    As to the quote about a male looking at a female’s butt and the toxic objectification…what exactly is the concept here? OF COURSE we can conjure instances of men being cads in how they stare at or accost women. But is this to be applied to any instance of physical attraction? I just don’t see in Yancy’s piece anything that points to an answer. Are males to cease being physically attracted to women? If not..and if to be taken by physical aspects of the other sex is de facto objectification, pray tell in what manner can we be attracted physically to one another that does not involve objectification?

    (Of course, I don’t think they are mutually exclusive. I can appreciate and be attracted to physical features of a woman without being dumb enough to think their butt or whatever is “the whole person” and thus I can only think of the person as an “object.” That’s just silly.).

    Btw, you’d think from a piece like Yancy that it’s just a male thing to hot and bothered over the physical nature of the other sex.

    Try googling something like “Scene from A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)” and look at the youtube scene of Brando first meeting Vivien Leigh. Read the comments and over and over it’s from females talking in utterly lustful terms about Brando’s looks – lots of “ovaries exploding” type comments that would no doubt be cast as toxic objectification if Yancy saw males filling the comments section the same way for a female actress.

    And the comments of lust come despite the fact Brando is playing a cad. (Or..to some degree…because of the “toxic male” aspects of the character?) Yet Yancy would apparently still make the dynamic all men’s fault.

  15. CAS
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Ah! Self involved liberals find yet another way to look stupid and push an even larger fraction of male voters into the Republican tribe.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      If this kind of sanctimonious and annoying but nevertheless well-meaning article pushes people into supporting a treasonous, stupid, ignorant, vicious, bullying, demagogic thug, whose rhetoric is rending the fabric of liberal democracy and poisoning public discourse like no other figure in postwar western politics, then I’m not sure there’s much that could be done to convince them. It’s a nauseating, responsibility-shirking excuse.

      • darrelle
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        +1

        If you don’t give me what I want I’ll kill the hostages and it will be your fault.

        • Davide Spinello
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

          So in order to fight racism we have to be racist, and selectively justify racism if it fits our politics.

          Good to know. This is going to work in 2020.

          • darrelle
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

            You said that, not me. But if you think this Yancy article warrants supporting Trump it doesn’t suprise me that your interpretative skills are so bad or you argue so self servingly disigenuously.

            • Davide Spinello
              Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

              I said that this article is racist and sexist just by reshuffling colors and genders. Not difficult, you may want to try once you are done with your self serving not so subtle insults.

              Perhaps we can start requiring higher standards instead of justifying racism and poor arguments to fight Trump.

      • Davide Spinello
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the illuminating “kind of sanctimonious but nevertheless well-meaning”. Inspired by your kind of un-sanctimony, I tried to reshuffle colors and genders in the article, and it didn’t sound that well-meaning. But it must be me, I admit that I am over-reacting to the metastasized authoritarian bs that after all has just taken over academia, media, culture, and public discourse.

        Thanks! I am nicer and more progressive now! I will selectively shrink responsibility and excuse buffoonish opinions depending on who wrote them and who are the insults directed to!

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

          You haven’t even attempted to address the deranged logic of voting for a man like Trump because of annoying articles by sanctimonious academics. You just threw out some snarky chaff in lieu of an argument.

          I’ve responded to your comments before, and you don’t argue in good faith.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted October 27, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

            I’m glad you’re here, Saul.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, which side was it again that indulges in “the soft bigotry of low expectations”?

        So if we hurt the tender feelings of certain voters, they’ll punish the nation by casting their ballots for a clearly unqualified, thuggish and traitorous buffoon just to spite us?

        • Davide Spinello
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

          It is not about hurting feelings, it is about endorsing bigotry (manifested as racism and sexism in this case) giving a free pass (“well intentioned”). Bigotry is bigotry, independently of Trump. But if one side is allowed to use it while moralizing and lecturing about it, the other side will endorse the only buffoon that can call it out.

          • Liz
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

            “Well intentioned” here is bigotry?

            • Davide Spinello
              Posted October 26, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

              No, but it is watering down a clearly bigoted article. Would it be acceptable if the article was about any other race?

          • Posted November 3, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

            True.

  16. Jon Gallant
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    In addition to the pleasures of self-flagellation, Yancy also enjoys indicting everyone else with a Y chromosome for being complicit in or merely silent about his own sins against wokeness. But he failed to flagellate women who are similarly complicit. As others pointed out, “objectification” goes in both directions, and cannot be untangled from sexual dimorphism. [On this matter, Yancy would have to apologize on behalf of evolution, which might not be beyond his powers of abasement.]

    For another, more trivial example, some women (believe it or not) used to have no objection to taking their husband’s last name in marriage, and even retained it after divorce. A woman friend of mine still uses her long-divorced husband’s last name because it is easy to pronounce, her original last name—her father’s—being unpronounceably Lithuanian.

    • Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      I know of a number of cases where the man has taken the woman’s last name. In one case the was was divorced and using her first hydband’s last name, which her new husband also took. She became a CEO of a major corporation. Which she bankrupted. Interestingly enough.

  17. Lee
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Having grown up Mormon (no longer believing or active) I well remember one of our canonical “articles of faith”: “We believe that all men (read “people”, but “men” also works in this context) will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam’s transgression”. There’s wisdom in that. Guilt is not heritable. It is not automatically produced by proximity with or shared characteristics with other sinners. If I’m guilty, I’m guilty for things I did or did not do, where I could have chosen to do otherwise (nod to important question of free will). If people apologize for being white, or male, or whatever, that’s their problem and they need counseling IMO. Self hating is not healthy.

    BTW I gave up my Times subscription months ago and haven’t looked back. I know they’re a mixed bag, and have some good reporters and editors, but there are too many serious slip ups on too many important issues for my taste. And I so hate to see them do their part to turn voters to Trump by their uncritical support of the Regressive Left.

    • Posted October 25, 2018 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      That belief is pretty ingrained into the Catholic Church. With their rules it would be pretty hard for them to abondon that belief.
      Protestant have easier ways to change and could accomplish the change without destroying the whole church structure.

  18. Posted October 25, 2018 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    There is nothing in the Bible that says anything about original sin. That all came years later.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      True, the filigree of the doctrine of Original Sin was worked out later, but the Fall of Man, and concomitant Loss of Innocence, is right there, set out rather expressly in Genesis 3.

      • Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        The fall of man, yes. But don’t believe that I cannot the same as original sin.

    • Posted October 26, 2018 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      The Lord is slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the parents upon the children to the third and the fourth generation.

      Numbers 14:18 NRSV.

      The doctrine of Original Sin does postdate the Bible, but the idea of punishing children for the parents’ sins appears in several places in what Christians call the “Old Testament”.

    • Posted November 3, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      I think it was at least implied in the New Testament, in some writing of the control freak Paul.

  19. Posted October 25, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    As usual, some thoughts:

    1. There have been and are many naming conventions. No last names,last names based on jobs, notable characteristics of where one
    lives, references to who your father is preceding or tacked onto your own name, last name of father, last name of husband, hyphenated last name, etc.

    There are cultures in which individuals have a multiplicity of names and but the “real” one only your tribe knows your name.

    The naming convention we use is primarily for purposes of legalities (easier to track) and inheritance of property/possessions. The more women are understood to have equal rights, the less reasonable it is to fight over what surname she uses. It’s her choice.

    2. As has been noted above, females also are drawn to observe (and lust after?) certain male physical attributes that they deem most sexually attractive. However, in addition, I have always found high intelligence and humor to be most attractive.

    3. Rape reports: We can’t depend on those reported numbers as reflecting the actual numbers of rapes of females because a significantly large number are not reported. I don’t know if males are as loath to report rapes. But, I don’t believe the accuracy of the reports.

    4. As far as I can see, no one here has remarked on the counterpart female who has been taught to be excessively feminine (in whatever way the culture determines)and to expect males to treat them accordingly. Sometimes they simply defer and simper; at other times they become “iron magnolias”.

    5. I have met too many good men and women to tar either group with the brush Yancy uses.

    6. I hope that those who have made comments here that they expect will get them kicked off the site will continue to share their thoughts with us. I learn so much from the people who write here and who carry on conversations with each other.

  20. Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    The word “sexist” has appeared 18 times (now 19) on this thread without any clear definition. Two oft-cited characteristics of a sexist male are 1) seeing women as sexual objects and 2) considering men to be the superior sex.

    Re the first, any man who says he doesn’t see women as sexual objects is either gay, lying, or not paying attention; any man who sees women only as sexual objects is sexist.

    Re the second, any man who considers men to be the superior sex is really not paying attention.

    • Posted October 26, 2018 at 5:45 am | Permalink

      “Two oft-cited characteristics of a sexist male are 1) seeing women as sexual objects and 2) considering men to be the superior sex.”

      There are sexist females with these two characteristics also.

  21. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    I confess to acts of violence – I expect to be thanked for washing the dishes. OTOH, my wife expects to be thanked when she does the cooking. Considering all the ‘thankyou’s’ flying around we must have a spectacularly violent marriage.

    Re last names, my wife culturally appropriated mine without so much as a by-your-leave. However, somewhat to my amusement, 34 years later our water bills are still addressed to ‘C R…. & J G….’* since we bought our house before we got married (house prices were rising faster than weddings) and neither of us has ever thought it worth bothering to inform the water company of this fact.

    cr

  22. Robert Bate
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Jerry seems to have lost it.

  23. Blue
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    What I would like to see happen in re
    “doesn’t do squat for gender equality,” is
    men stat coming forward not flagellating
    selves at all but stat coming forward
    TO other men exactly whenever they hear or see
    these men engaged in sexist manners. Right
    then. Forward. Out with it. Verbally
    spoken or written. TO the sexist – behaving
    men. I have never seen nor heard that.
    Done in front of me.

    Goes to: India — nearly ALL of its men.
    Men of the continents of Africa, South
    America, Asia, Europe, North America,
    Australia.

    Men like Community Pillared doctors
    ( instantiation: “Doctor” Larry Nassar / these other “doctors” … … :
    http://www.pinterest.com/4bluemAAs4/hypocrisy/ ).

    Another with six other professors milling
    around the coffeemaker when this happened:
    A professor, 19 April 2006, asked
    me to make copies for him. 20 copies.

    I could not understand his Middle Eastern /
    Israeli accent. I asked him to repeat
    himself. And again, a third time. To repeat
    himself.

    Since a fetus ( rubella within a rural person
    / a farmer ), I have been totally deaf in one
    ear and some % in the other. They .all.
    already knew that.

    He came around my workstation corner, clasped
    the sides of my head within both of his
    hands, yanked my head and neck around to face
    his eyeballs and, to my own eyes mocking my
    deafness, wildly mouthed his command.

    Not only did he do this ? NO other of the
    six male professors at the coffeemaker say
    a thing except … … many of them’s ”
    uproarious laughter ” at his display.

    HE NEVER ‘LD HAVE DONE THIS DEED TO .ANY.
    OTHER MAN. Would he have ? Truly ?
    Would he have ? !

    There is another instance. I owned two long
    guns. Given me, a hunter and formerly as a
    pacifist as well a hunter educator for youth
    courses, by my father. I had had those guns
    hidden within a girlfriend’s home when
    I suspected possible danger from them by an
    underage male within … … my own home.

    That male’s Sperm Source, a physician ?!
    When my girlfriend was at her work ? That
    doctor home – invaded hers WITH the underage
    male beside him and another underage male
    sitting INside their truck’s cab as
    “lookout”, went throughout all of her drawers
    and her closets and basement shelves, found
    the two and STOLE them both. Out onto the
    interstate, then FIVE states away.

    NOT only was there NO outrage from the
    23 male USA – judges when this ‘event’ was made known ? THERE was even the
    acknowledgement by the opposing ( male )
    attorney THAT: this event would never ‘ve
    taken place AT ALL IF: those guns OR
    that home had … … belonged to a man.

    A third example happened to me just … …
    TWO freakin’ days ago !

    I have had it. I have had it.
    With “good” men doing squat.
    With ANY other men trying “to EXCUSE”
    themselves OUT OF doing squat !
    Speak the ‘ell – up. RIGHT away. RIGHT
    away.

    One more thing: these are not “tragedies.”
    A tragedy is not preventable.

    These are O U T R A G E S.
    In future, call them what they are:
    outrages.

    Blue

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      To the extent that I got your drift…that is f-ed up Blue. I can understand your anger.

    • Diane G
      Posted October 28, 2018 at 12:27 am | Permalink

      Brava, Blue.

    • Blue
      Posted October 28, 2018 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      I do mot exaggerate. Never … … do I exaggerate.

      23 male judges. Three trials. Two appeals. All the way to the state’s Supreme Court.

      One dissenting judge, the 24th one … … a woman. A six – page scathing dissent. Hers ?

      Hers went nowhere. Basically, hers ?
      IN to the toilet it went.

      I never saw those guns again. I have NO idea
      at where the two are … … today.

      That third example of sexism “BENEFITTING” other men ? Goes to: MY / ALL girls’ & women’s OLD AGE,
      let alone, the 60 intervening and $-earning years … … THERETO MY OLD AGE.

      23 October 2018. The Dean and two of his male administrators ! = the entire College’s entire main marketing and communications specialist AND the entire College’s main human resources coordinator !

      I am, all earned, a BSN, DVM, PhD.
      The BSN and the DVN require licenses.
      BUT YOU ALREADY KNEW THAT, DIDN’T YOU ?

      Licenses which, to RENEW, require C E Us.
      A few CEUs can reqiore upwards and UP FRONT ~$5,000.00 or more right outta the gate.
      A learn-this-new-surgery laboratory, flight, hotel, childcare, lost workdays, conference fee, yada. AND YOU ALREADY KNEW THAT, TOO

      Since 06 January y1992, I am a unicersity departmental … … SECRETARY. Merit – level.

      My picture appears within one certain year’s
      worth of composite picture of us DVM
      graduates. From that many years ago and
      before. It was just “discovered” there
      within that composite 23 October 2018.
      BY these three men.

      THEY sent to my workstation TWO SUBORDINATES,
      TWO WOMEN SUBORDINATES, to find out WHY
      that picture of me was “MISTAKENLY” PUT IN
      TO THAT COMPOSITE.

      IT GETS WORSE. GOES TO: MY EARNING POTENTIAL. NOW. LET ALONE, from ever, ever before.

      You men … … from ALL of your countries’ general citizenry GET TO HAVE nearly all of these citizens soooo, so worried in re YOUR EARNING POTENTIAL AND YOUR CAREER FOR YOUR LIFETIME’S WORK. WHERE, then, has been THAT SAME CONCERN for … … MINE ? for my CAREER and for MY EARNING POTENTIAL.

      I thought I wanted a career. Turns out ?
      I just wanted a paycheck at the end of
      EVERY month, DOESN’T IT ? !

      HOW DOES MY “SITUATION” “BENEFIT” “GOOD” men ?

      YOU ALREADY, BY YOUR SILENCE, .KNOW TOO.
      THE ONE BIG ANSWER TO THAT QUERY. Goes to:
      W H Y you men STAY SHUT THE HELL UP, doesn’t it ? to WHY you stay silent.

      http://www.twitter.com/nowthisnews/status/1048627194870845441

      Blue

      • Blue
        Posted October 28, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        O, in the case that there need to be hints
        in order to actually know, let alone, to ACT ?
        To COME FORWARD and TO ACT … … RIGHT AWAY, Men ?

        The answer in re the W H Y ?
        As to .why. “good” men stay silent ?
        As to .why. you purposefully and determinedly remain mute ?

        The answer has squat to do with my making copies.
        The answer has squat to do with guns.
        The answer has squat to do with my professional licenses.

        The answer HAS to do with THE FIRST FULL SENTENCE
        upon p279,

        Blue

        • Blue
          Posted October 28, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

          of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Female_Eunuch#cite_note-5
          “Greer said of her book that ‘The title is an
          indication of the problem. Women have somehow
          been separated from their libido, from their
          faculty of desire, from their sexuality.
          They’ve become suspicious about it. Like
          beasts, for example, who are castrated in
          farming in order to serve their master’s
          ulterior motives—to be fattened or made
          docile—women have been cut off from their
          capacity for action. It’s a process that
          sacrifices vigor for delicacy and succulence,
          and one that’s got to be changed.’ ” and
          in re p279’s first full sentence thus,
          “Greer argues that men hate women, though
          the latter do not realise this and
          are taught to hate themselves.”

          Blue

  24. Posted October 26, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    My friend Raven used to say she liked being looked at and appreciated for her curves and such. *But*, she also knew there were men and women who also enjoyed her brain and her talents (art and such) so why not pay more attention to those who are *more* into you?

  25. Merilee
    Posted October 28, 2018 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    Bravissima, Blue.

  26. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Good article. But I sat up and blinked on this:

    While I believed that Kavanaugh was unfit for a position on the Supreme Court—based on his behavior at the hearings as well as other reasons—Yancy is absolutely sure she was innocent, something that I can’t go so far as to say. All we have is our take on the hearings and a tentative judgment.

    As far as I understand Ford was innocent of being subject to (sexual) violence, unless she outright asked Kavanaugh to use his body to hold her down on a bed, and Kavanaugh’s partner to pile on.

    As for Kavanaugh, there was a partly self confessed pattern of unfettered party behavior.

    • Posted November 3, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      I think Prof. Coyne meant “innocent” of falsely accusing Kavanaugh.


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