All entries by this author

Move over

May 5th, 2017 10:25 am | By

Here it is again, that idea that feminism is required to defer to everything else while the reciprocal obligation does not exist. Feminism, and feminism only, has to defer to all other social justice movements. What does that remind me of? Oh yes, sexism. It reminds me what has been required of women since forever.

It’s a new comment on the Hypatia grovel.

Ruth Pearce 1) I agree that this statement should have explicitly addressed the specific issue of anti-blackness.

2) A lot of people here talking about freedom of speech etc. I wonder how many of them a) are aware of how the peer review process works, b) have relevant academic knowledge and/or personal experience of racism

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He faced financial challenges

May 5th, 2017 9:34 am | By

We’ve been talking a little about presidential pensions, and whether or not it’s regrettable for former presidents to accept huge speaking fees from banks and other obese felines, and why presidents get such a nice golden handshake when they leave. Something I didn’t know: it’s because Truman.


Once out of office, Truman quickly decided that he did not wish to be on any corporate payroll, believing that taking advantage of such financial opportunities would diminish the integrity of the nation’s highest office. He also turned down numerous offers for commercial endorsements. Since his earlier business ventures had proved unsuccessful, he had no personal savings. As a result, he faced financial challenges. Once Truman left the White House, his

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Not enormously impactful

May 5th, 2017 4:41 am | By

Jia Tolentino read Ivanka Trump’s new book and found it wanting.

In the preface to the book—titled “Women Who Work,” after an “initiative” she launched, in 2014—Ivanka emphasizes that she wrote it before Donald Trump became President. She has since announced that she will donate the profits and refrain from publicizing the book “through a promotional tour or media appearances,” in the hopes of avoiding the appearance of ethical conflicts. (Instead, she has been shilling for the book on Twitter, where she has nearly four million followers.)

Which is a conflict of interest. What on earth makes her think it’s ok to shill for the book on Twitter? She’s exploiting her name recognition as the president’s daughter to … Read the rest

The sheer nastiness

May 4th, 2017 5:58 pm | By

Brian Leiter collected some responses to the monstering [he calls it the defamation] of Rebecca Tuvel. They are consoling after reading the dreck from the Hypatia Associate Editors and that open letter. A few snips:

Philosopher José Luis Bermudez (Texas A&M):

I am deeply concerned about what appears, on the evidence available, to be an egregious episode of collective persecution that breaches longstanding norms, not just of academic life but of civilized behavior. I have no comments on Dr. Tuvel’s article, but the correct response to an article with which one disagrees is surely to write a response pointing out perceived flaws in argumentation and evidence.

You would think. You would especially think that in the case of academics. … Read the rest

They had a party

May 4th, 2017 4:45 pm | By

The House Republicans were carrying on as if throwing millions of people off health insurance were an exciting football game this morning.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and his GOP leadership team held what amounted to a pep rally for rank-and-file members in the Capitol basement Thursday morning as they predicted victory in their push to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

Leaders played the “Rocky” theme song as lawmakers walked into the meeting. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) put an image of George S. Patton on the screen and read inspirational quotes from the general.

“Let’s get this f–king thing done!” Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) told her colleagues, according to sources in the room.


Then they got that fucking thing done, … Read the rest

Grin some more, fiends

May 4th, 2017 1:29 pm | By

Just look at them.

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As he marked the National Day of Prayer

May 4th, 2017 1:06 pm | By

Trump did a little bit to damage the separation of church and state, but not as much as his godbothering fans wanted. Sad!

President Donald Trump is seeking to further weaken enforcement of an IRS rule barring churches and tax-exempt groups from endorsing political candidates, though his executive order on religious freedom is disappointing some of his supporters.

As he marked the National Day of Prayer at the White House Thursday, Trump signed the order asking the IRS to use “maximum enforcement discretion” over the rarely enforced regulation, known as Johnson Amendment.

Ah no, the godbotherers wouldn’t like that. They want him to tear up the Johnson Amendment and then set fire to it.

Trump spoke to religious leaders

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Those theorists whose lives are most directly affected

May 4th, 2017 12:45 pm | By

There are different, clashing rules in play in this “how dare Rebecca Tuvel” issue. Let’s revisit the open letter to look at them:

Many published articles include some minor defects of scholarship; however, together the problems with this article are glaring. More importantly, these failures of scholarship do harm to the communities who might expect better from Hypatia. It is difficult to imagine that this article could have been endorsed by referees working in critical race theory and trans theory, which are the two areas of specialization that should have been most relevant to the review process.

Wait. Are they? Who says so? Why? Hypatia is a journal of feminist philosophy. Why is it expected to consult people in critical … Read the rest

Party time

May 4th, 2017 11:33 am | By

The fuckers passed it.

In a major victory for President Donald Trump, the House has voted to dismantle the pillars of the Affordable Care Act and make sweeping changes to the nation’s health care system.

The bill now heads to the Senate where it faces daunting challenges because of the same ideological splits between conservative and moderate Republicans that nearly killed it in the House.

Trump will hold a celebratory news conference at the White House, and GOP lawmakers are expected to take buses from Capitol Hill after the vote.

Yeah, you celebrate, you pampered rich boy piece of shit. You celebrate the millions of people you’re working hard to consign to premature death, untreated illness and disability, pain, … Read the rest

A privileged standpoint

May 4th, 2017 10:50 am | By

Here’s another example of that bizarro-world idea that women are now privileged unless they are also Of Color or trans:

I concur that it’s a mistake to treat the problem (of speaking from a privileged standpoint without full engagement with the work of those most vulnerable) as unique to any one person (or to any one group, like white cis women).

See that? We occupy a privileged standpoint now, just like that. Boom, feminism is over, women are dominant unless they are non-white and/or trans.

The author is not unique, nor is Hypatia unique in being willing to publish some work that handles race and gender identity questions in insufficiently attentive ways. Hypatia does, however, have a special commitment to

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One of the signers

May 4th, 2017 10:10 am | By

Lisa Guenther, one of the academic philosophers who signed the letter demanding that Hypatia retract Rebecca Tuvel’s piece, explained her signing a couple of days ago.

[Jesse Singal’s] article, like the post at the Daily Nous, goes through the arguments of Rebecca Tuvel’s article, “In Defense of Transracialism,” to argue that they’re not so bad after all: no outrageous claims, no offensive slurs, nothing but reasonable arguments. But this is precisely the problem: it’s what Charles Mills critiques as “ideal theory,” which attempts (in the words of author Jesse Singal) to “pull up one level from the real world and force people to grapple with principles and claims on their own merits, rather than — in the case of

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The vandals are inside the walls of the city

May 4th, 2017 9:16 am | By

The House Republicans suddenly decided yesterday that oh yes they have the votes now so they’re going to hurry up and vote today to take health insurance away from millions of people.

THE BIG IDEA: Kevin McCarthy has guaranteed victory when the House votes today on a health care bill that would overhaul Obamacare. “Do we have the votes? Yes. Will we pass it? Yes,” the majority leader told reporters last night. The Rules Committee met late last night to take procedural steps and approve the compromises that have been made.

— Some guidance on timing, via Steve Scalise’s office: Around 10:30 a.m., the House will have its first votes of the day. Then the chamber will begin formal

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Yes it will

May 4th, 2017 8:55 am | By

White guy doesn’t like to see black guy get a decent pension. White guy gets to work to slash that pension.

Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz suggested Wednesday that former President Barack Obama’s $400,000 Wall Street speech has prompted a coming measure to cap presidential pensions.

Utah representative Chaffetz plans to reintroduce a 2016 bill to the House that would cap presidential pensions at $200,000, with an additional $200,000 in expenses, USA Today reported.

Last July Obama vetoed a bill that would have curbed the pension of former presidents if they had an outside income of $400,000 or more and limited expenses at $200,000, arguing that if implemented it could have left staff of former presidents suddenly without work.

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An untrained mind bereft of information

May 4th, 2017 8:00 am | By

Golly, I agree with George Will about something. He says the state of Trump’s mind is so parlous that it amounts to a disability. I think that’s right.

It is urgent for Americans to think and speak clearly about President Trump’s inability to do either. This seems to be not a mere disinclination but a disability. It is not merely the result of intellectual sloth but of an untrained mind bereft of information and married to stratospheric self-confidence.

I’ve been doing that all along. In that area my conscience is clear.

What is most alarming (and mortifying to the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated) is not that Trump has entered his eighth decade unscathed by even elementary

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The personal identity they wish to assume

May 3rd, 2017 4:36 pm | By

That bit of Tuvel’s paper I reserved to take issue with later:

Generally, we treat people wrongly when we block them from assuming the personal identity they wish to assume. For instance, if some one identifies so strongly with the Jewish community that she wishes to become a Jew, it is wrong to block her from taking conversion classes to do so. This example reveals there are at least two components to a successful identity transformation: (1) how a person self-identifies, and (2) whether a given society is willing to recognize an individual’s felt sense of identity by granting her membership in the desired group. For instance, if the rabbi thinks you are not seriously committed to Judaism, she can

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The monstering

May 3rd, 2017 3:44 pm | By

Justin Weinberg wrote a piece at Daily Nous about the monstering of Rebecca Tuvel.

In the paper, Professor Tuvel takes up the question of whether the considerations that support accepting transgender individuals’ decisions to change sexes, which she endorses, provide support for accepting transracial individuals’ decisions to change races. She defends an affirmative answer to that question.

The result has been an eruption of complaints from a number of philosophers and other academics, expressed mainly on Facebook and Twitter. Among the complaints is the charge that the paper is anti-transgender.

That charge may come as a surprise to some readers, as it comes through quite clearly in her paper that Professor Tuvel supports accepting transgender individuals’ decisions to change

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A coupla smart cookies

May 3rd, 2017 12:10 pm | By

Trump’s clueless stupidity strikes again:

U.S. President Donald Trump said he would meet with Kim Jong Un amid heightened tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program if the circumstances were right.

“If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it,” Trump said Monday in an Oval Office interview with Bloomberg News. “If it’s under the, again, under the right circumstances. But I would do that.”

He’d be “honored” to do it. He is such a fucking fool.

McCain is not impressed:

Speaking to Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday, McCain said that Trump’s latest attempts to side with leaders like Kim

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These awful, clueless, evil avatars of supreme privilege

May 3rd, 2017 11:48 am | By

Jesse Singal this morning:

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Behold a mean person

May 3rd, 2017 4:37 am | By

I’m told that Zoé Samudzi perpetrated a Twitter storm on Friday, and I gather that may be what set off the flamers who quickly got Hypatia to agree to throw Rebecca Tuvel under the bus. Samudzi tweets a lot, so I haven’t found the storm yet, but I found a more recent squall, and it’s nasty enough for any taste. She’s responding to Jesse Singal’s article yesterday.

The piece is about Tuvel, specifically the attack on Tuvel and the retraction of her article along with a public attack by the editors. … Read the rest

Tuvel’s peers are busily wrecking her reputation

May 2nd, 2017 5:28 pm | By

Jesse Singal has written a blast against the public trashing of Rebecca Tuvel’s article.

In late March, Hypatia, a feminist-philosophy journal, published an article titled “In Defense of Transracialism” by Rebecca Tuvel, an assistant professor of philosophy at Rhodes College in Memphis, as part of its spring 2017 issue. The point of the article, as the title suggests, is to toy around with the question of what it would mean if some people really were — as Rachel Dolezal claimed — “transracial,” meaning they identified as a race that didn’t line up with how society viewed them in light of their ancestry.

Tuvel structures her argument more or less as follows: (1) We accept the following premises

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