Today's neurotic campus + The revolt against expertise + Intersex rights

#1
Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus
https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/05/bo...ances.html

EXCERPT: Read enough stories about the madness whipping through college campuses right now, and you can’t help but wonder if our institutions of higher learning have put the “loco” in in loco parentis. There was once a time when America’s students and faculty were united in their desire to defend their free-speech prerogatives, but no longer: Universities are now hypervigilant about protecting students from ideas that might be considered offensive or traumatizing, and many students are hyper-assertive in their demands to be protected from them.

I do not want to reduce the turbulence on today’s college campuses to caricature. (Though last month’s flare-up at Middlebury, which turned a planned colloquy into a crime scene, makes for a pretty fat target.) Those who defend trigger warnings, safe spaces and “empathetic correctness” have reasons for doing so, and no one wants vulnerable young people to experience gratuitous suffering.

But it’s also hard to ignore the irony here: Universities are now terrible places to find political heterogeneity. Campus discourse has become the equivalent of the supermarket banana. Only one genetic variety remains.

Among the educators who recently found herself at the treacherous intersection of free speech and sensitivity politics is Laura Kipnis, a film professor, cultural critic and dedicated provocateur at Northwestern University. Responding to a new campus directive that prevented professors from dating undergraduates, she wrote an essay for The Chronicle of Higher Education in February of 2015 entitled “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe.” Within days of publication, she was brought up on Title IX complaints for creating a “hostile environment.” She spent 72 days in the public stockade for it, until the university cleared her of any wrongdoing.

Kipnis has now written a book, “Unwanted Advances,” about feminism, relationship statecraft and the shadow world of Title IX investigations. It is invigorating and irritating, astute and facile, rigorous and flippant, fair-minded and score-settling, practical and hyperbolic, and maybe a dozen other neurotically contradictory things. Above all else, though, “Unwanted Advances” is necessary. Argue with the author, by all means. But few people have taken on the excesses of university culture with the brio that Kipnis has. Her anger gives her argument the energy of a live cable....

MORE: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/05/bo...ances.html



A revolt against deference
http://www.spiked-online.com/spiked-revi...deference/

EXCERPT: When political commentators talk of the emergence of a post-truth world, they are really lamenting the end of an era when the truths promoted by the institutions of the state and media were rarely challenged. It’s a lament that’s been coming for a few years now. Each revolt of sections of the public against the values of the elites has been met with the riposte that people are no longer interested in the truth. What the elites really mean is that people don’t care about their version of the truth. So when the French celebrity philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy asserted that people have ‘lost interest in whether politicians tell the truth’, he was venting his frustration at an electorate that no longer shares his values.

Today’s elite angst about so-called post-fact or post-truth public discourse is but the latest version of an historical struggle – a struggle over the question of who possesses moral and intellectual authority. Indeed, the rejection of the values and outlook of the holders of cultural power in many Western societies has long been portrayed as a rejection of truth itself. The reason elite values have been enshrined as ‘the truth’, right from the Ancient Greeks onwards, is because the rulers of society need to secure the deference of the masses. The masses are being encouraged to defer not to the power of the elites, but to the truth of elite values.

That this is not widely understood is due to contemporary society’s reluctance to acknowledge that cultural and political life still relies on the deference of the public – passive or active – to the values and moral authority of the elites. The term ‘deference’ – ‘submission to the acknowledged superior claims, skill, judgement or other qualities of another’, as the OED defines it – suggests a non-coercive act of obedience to authority. [...] In the 19th century, it was frequently used to imply people’s willingness to accept and bow down before the elites on the basis of their superior wisdom. Deference presumed the intellectual and moral hegemony of the educated middle class, or cultural elite, over the wider public.

In recent decades it has been suggested that the era of deference is over. We are told that people are far too critical to defer to the superior wisdom of others. In this context, the idea of deference has acquired negative connotations, and is often identified with uncritical thinking. However, in practice, deference is still demanded by elites. But it is demanded in the form of calls to respect the authority of the expert, because he speaks the truth. So, in almost every domain of human experience, the expert is presented as the producer not just of facts, but also of the truth. Those who fail to defer to experts risk being denounced as irrational, superstitious or just plain stupid....

MORE: http://www.spiked-online.com/spiked-revi...deference/



People born intersex have a right to genital integrity
https://aeon.co/essays/people-born-inter...-integrity

EXCERPT: [...] No one advocating for intersex rights disputes that, if a child needs a lifesaving surgery, it should happen. [...] But most intersex surgeries in early childhood do not happen out of medical necessity. They happen because of doctors’ desire to make a child’s genitals look and function in more culturally acceptable ways. [...]

Although many think that the intersex controversy is primarily about gender assignment, in fact the great majority of people born with differences of sex development who have become activists are not unhappy about their own birth gender assignments. Rather, they criticise the system because parts of their bodies were cut off or altered; because in some cases medical professionals later lied to them about their histories; and because they were treated as if they were unacceptable when they should have been accepted and accorded the same rights that others enjoy....

MORE: https://aeon.co/essays/people-born-inter...-integrity
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#2
Speaking of unwanted sexual advances, do you think it possible to legislate a genetic condition? I mean if something has changed genetically that stifles the wolf whistle and I'm genetically predisposed to purse my lips and release that high pitched tone when a good looking member of the opposite sex walks by, then I feel it unfair.   Angel
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#3
(Apr 16, 2017 12:52 AM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: Speaking of unwanted sexual advances, do you think it possible to legislate a genetic condition? I mean if something has changed genetically that stifles the wolf whistle and I'm genetically predisposed to purse my lips and release that high pitched tone when a good looking member of the opposite sex walks by, then I feel it unfair.   Angel


Doubtless the Bacall fembot will become all the rage when a wolf deterred by shock-collar needs an auxiliary siren tagging along to issue the shrill whistling for him: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacall_to_Arms#Plot
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#4
(Apr 16, 2017 03:32 AM)C C Wrote: Doubtless the Bacall fembot will become all the rage when a wolf deterred by shock-collar needs an auxiliary siren tagging along to issue the shrill whistling for him: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacall_to_Arms#Plot

I take it you mean siren in a mechanical context. 

By legislating human behavior are we not altering memes? I don't think there's any doubt there's a good chance of that. It just strikes me odd those who are opposed to everything from paper coffee cups to Genetic Modification are actually not too concerned about modifying human traits passed down through centuries of evolution. Not that I'm opposed to those folks, I just find them amusing, but an integral  part of a nature that challenges the organism to adapt. Religions have been doing it for a long time. It's true, 'The more things change, the more they remain the same.'
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#5
(Apr 16, 2017 02:54 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: I take it you mean siren in a mechanical context. 

Actually both seductress and acoustic source (I mean, it was whistling "put your lips together and blow" film noir Bacall after all -- whether the exaggeration in that classic cartoon, the original film actress, or a future fembot tag-along mechanical pet for a "vocally-neutered" human wolf).

Quote:By legislating human behavior are we not altering memes? I don't think there's any doubt there's a good chance of that.


Just a slippery slope or eventual oscillation back to a resemblance of the strict etiquette / conduct, censorship, and general prudishness of a puritanical era. But that culture springing from secular discourse and origins this time around rather than religious offshoots.

Quote:It just strikes me odd those who are opposed to everything from paper coffee cups to Genetic Modification are actually not too concerned about modifying human traits passed down through centuries of evolution. Not that I'm opposed to those folks, I just find them amusing, but an integral part of a nature that challenges the organism to adapt.

Don't expect SJWs to be broadly harmonious in their activism any more than paladins of the "moral right" would be consistent in terms of public propaganda and their private behavior. If one faction is preaching selective modification of people then another is denouncing cures for items like deafness and autism as eugenics: http://ussanews.com/News1/2017/04/04/wil...awareness/

But where those grassroot impulses ascend into full-blown transhumanism, that ideology is constituted of libertarians as much as the liberal left. Although the internal political struggle between them supposedly resulted in a moderate-leftward stance in 2006, there's still a distinct or identifiable libertarian transhumanism.

Quote:Religions have been doing it for a long time. It's true, 'The more things change, the more they remain the same.'
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#6
I guess that for humans, wrangling with social issues is just another innate trait. Why doesn't the evolution of human behavior include a time when everyone agrees on a subject? ....... That would be the memetic mutation of the ages Wink But since it has never happened and is extremely unlikely to ever occur then total agreement is probably non-beneficial to the species. Don't hold out too much hope for world peace....lol
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