Supplemental: Please don’t agree with what I just said!

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2014

Blasphemy conquers all:
We saw a lot of funky work in the Washington Post this weekend.

That report about the Ferguson police was extremely muddled. Ruth Marcus wrote a column which disappeared large chunks of modern press history.

We were struck by this piece in Outlook,
which described a misunderstanding on the Cape May ferry. Last April, something similar happened to us, with an adorable great niece of ours!

(We avoided having a nervous breakdown, since the other parties were trying to do the right thing. Increasingly though, the Post seems to enjoy nervous breakdowns, especially if someone ends up typing the magical R-bomb.)

That said, we saw an intriguing news report in Saturday’s Washington Post. It seems a blasphemy rampage broke out on last Tuesday’s Diane Rehm Show.

In this case, the rampage was triggered by Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, former president of George Washington University. We wouldn’t have said what Trachtenberg said. But we wouldn’t have rampaged either.

We thought the news report was intriguing, but the transcript of Rehm’s program bumped things up a notch. This is the way the Post’s Nick Anderson summarized events:
ANDERSON (8/30/14): The former president of George Washington University—who declared this week that women should be "trained not to drink in excess" so they can "be in a position to punch the guys in the nose if they misbehave”—said Friday that he did not mean to imply that drunk women should be blamed if they are raped.

Stephen Joel Trachtenberg…drew criticism for comments he made Tuesday on "The Diane Rehm Show" on the WAMU (88.5 FM) radio station. The show, on the topic of fraternities and sororities, veered into a discussion of sexual misconduct on campus.

"Without making the victims . . . responsible for what happens, one of the groups that have to be trained not to drink in excess are women," Trachtenberg said on the show. "They need to be in a position to punch the guys in the nose if they misbehave. And so part of the problem is you have men who take advantage of women who drink too much. And there are women who drink too much. And we need to educate our daughters and our children on that—in that regard."

A few minutes later, another panelist on the show questioned Trachtenberg's remarks. Caitlin Flanagan, a writer for the Atlantic, said she wanted to "take a slight exception or maybe a real exception to what Dr. Trachtenberg is saying about how if young women are sober they have a better chance of protecting themselves from rape by being able to punch the guy in the nose. That's not a realistic strategy for protecting ourselves from rape."
Question: Did any sane person actually think that Trachtenberg had said or implied that drunk women should be blamed if they are raped? People, we're just asking!

“In ensuing days, many others raised objections to what Trachtenberg said,” Anderson wrote. Anderson quoted “furious” people who objected to Trachtenberg’s remarks.

For ourselves, we wouldn’t have said what Trachtenberg said, for several different reasons. That said, we were a bit surprised by what we found when we reviewed the Rehm transcript.

We were especially puzzled by Flanagan’s exquisite indignation, which she displayed at several points in the program. We were puzzled because the discussion in question started, early on, when Flanagan offered these thoughts about the dangerous tie between alcohol and sexual assault at fraternities:
FLANAGAN (8/26/14): When kids are young men, you know, just out of high school—they're still finding themselves, they've maybe made some mistakes in high school and they're just still figuring out who they are—they can very well end up in a fraternity where things are really, where there is a lot of hazing, where there is extreme alcohol abuse, where there is a strong correlation of young men getting involved in the sexual-assault epidemic. And so fraternities, for a young man who's just as we expect freshmen to be in college—a little open minded, maybe a little naïve, maybe a little eager to sort of experience all that college offers—it can increase the level of danger that he's going to experience and maybe even participate in. So it can be a very mixed bag.

REHM: Is the same true of sororities?

FLANAGAN: You know, the big difference with sorority life is that, in sororities, you're not allowed to have alcohol in the house. Now, girls get around that all the time. But they don't throw the big, open parties that fraternities are known for throwing. And they're not known to be able to provide, you know, alcohol experiences. And so you don't have that intensity of dangerous activity, which congregates around heavy drinking.

And one of the authorities I spoke to in the piece, and Pete may disagree with this, but one authority says that, in his opinion, fraternities outside of the family are the single largest provider of alcohol to underage drinkers in the country. That there's an incredible accretion of that incredible deep, heavy alcohol consumption in the fraternity house in a mixed-gender situation, and that can be a real powder keg.
In this early exchange, Flanagan introduced the topic of sexual assault. Using appropriate, highly charged language, she discussed the correlation between heavy drinking and sexual assault in fraternities.

The next person to speak, Andrew Lohse, advanced this theme. After discussing “extreme binge drinking” at fraternities, he discussed the problem of rape and assault:
LOHSE: Nick Syrett, an historian, wrote a book, "The Company He Keeps." It shows that there's a long history of delinquency with fraternities in America. And to leave that on the doorstep of an 18-year-old boy who's joining strikes me as being rather ridiculous. In addition to the connection with sexual assault, another great book, written by Peggy Sanday, UPenn anthropologist, is called “Fraternity Gang Rape.” And in her book, you know, the findings showed that rape culture on most campuses is fueled by fraternities.
Flanagan and Lohse seemed to agree—there’s a lot of drinking and sexual assault happening inside fraternities. Quite explicitly, Lohse said you couldn’t really blame the teen-aged men—you had to blame the institutions which allow these cultures to exist.

Somehow, Lohse survived that statement. But after Lohse, along came Trachtenberg. He wouldn’t be so lucky.

We'll present his full remarks:
TRACHTENBERG: Well, my experience is that students that are in fraternities have higher grades on average than unaffiliated students. They get involved in philanthropic activities of one sort or another, providing great numbers of hours of service and fundraising on behalf of good causes. They have the opportunity to get leadership training provided by the fraternities. They get other kinds of training as well, combating sexual misconduct, values-based recruitment—

REHM: And you don't see them participating in sexual misconduct?

TRACHTENBERG: I think it turns out that there are good and bad in fraternities and out of fraternities. What we're focusing here on is a general situation. I think what we're doing is creating a false correlation. For example, we point out that the women don't drink—don't have sorority parties which have alcohol. They don't have to. They go to the parties at the fraternities. So it's not as if the women aren't drinking. They are, in fact.

Without taking— Without making the victims responsible for what happens, one of the groups that have to be trained not to drink in excess are women. They need to be in a position to punch the guys in the nose if they misbehave. And so part of the problem is, you have men who take advantage of women who drink too much. And there are women who drink too much. And we need to educate our daughters and our children on that—in that regard.
Needless to say, Trachtenberg’s goose was cooked. Flanagan challenged his words on two separate occasions. Later, a caller voiced her undying outrage. The blasphemy rampage was on!

Personally, we wouldn’t have said what Trachtenberg said that day. For one thing, we would have known that those words would set off a rampage, with people like Flanagan instructing the world on the scripts we’re allowed to recite.

That said, it’s obvious that young women should be warned about “that intensity of dangerous activity which congregates around heavy drinking” (Flanagan’s term). It’s also obvious that marks like Trachtenberg will find themselves denounced before the central committee when they make statements which deviate in any way from Current Official Scripts and Formulations.

Clarifications won't be permitted. The show trials must begin.

In some ways, Flanagan and Lohse were both more blasphemous than Trachtenberg was this day. Each suggested that you can’t really blame our well-meaning young men when they get drunk and start assaulting young women. After all, they’re very young, perhaps even naive, and various institutions have permitted the noxious culture they find inside their fraternities.

We wouldn’t rampage against those comments either. But Flanagan played the fool this day, and soon the rampage was on. By the end of the week, the Washington Post was treating the rampage as a news event.

Can we talk? Everyone agrees that our nation’s black parents must have The Talk with black boys and young black men. Absolutely no one rampages when this (unfortunate but obvious) necessity is acknowledged.

Based on the scary things Flanagan said, young women should also be getting a Talk, this time about the danger of getting black-out drunk among large numbers of drunken young men. But words like those are blasphemous now. Trachtenberg didn’t seem to know that, and Rehm didn’t want to step in.

Rehm’s three guests all seemed to agree on the dangers involved here. If anything, Flanagan and Lohse were softer on our teen-aged rapists than the traitorous Trachtenberg was.

That said, they all seemed agree that drunken fraternities represent a serious danger to young women. But we the humans love our scripts more than we love life itself.

We the humans love our scripts! On the modern secular pseudo-left, our scripts are now treated like scripture:
ANDERSON: In ensuing days, many others raised objections to what Trachtenberg said. A petition on change.org demanded, among other things, that the former president apologize.

"I'm furious at his remarks" wrote one person who supported the petition. "Even if he thought he was saying the right thing, he needs to know better."

Another wrote: "10 out of 10 rapes are caused by rapists. Not survivors who were drinking too much, wearing 'too little,' or walking alone at night."
Ten out of ten rapes are caused by rapists! You pretty much can’t get dumber than that. Everyone agrees with that. It was the first thing Trachtenberg said.

But lord god of Salon, how we do love our scripts! Increasingly on the pseudo-left, we want a narrow list of official things we’re all permitted to say.

Rehm’s guests seemed to agree on the facts. But as it has done through the annals of time, blasphemy conquered all!

28 comments:

  1. Yoimg men should be trained not to rape. Period. Or maybe they should be trained not to drink to excess which leads them to do things like rape young women. If women are not being blamed for their own rape, why does it always come down to them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boys will be boys, I guess. Their behavior is immutable.

      Delete
    2. Young black men should be trained not to shoot other people. Period. Or maybe they should be trained not to handle firearms to excess which leads them to do things like shoot other people.

      Delete
    3. 835: another racist troll drawn to the southie blogger's dogwhistle.

      Delete
  2. OMB (Flying With the OTB)

    "On last evening’s TV show, Rachel Maddow really seemed to be flying.

    To our taste, she wasted a lot of time with a lot of piffle-fed topics. She wasted time discussing herself, as she constantly does." BOB 8/29

    "We saw a lot of funky work in the Washington Post this weekend.

    That report about the Ferguson police was extremely muddled. Ruth Marcus wrote a column which disappeared large chunks of modern press history.

    We were struck by this piece in Outlook, which described a misunderstanding on the Cape May ferry. Last April, something similar happened to us, with an adorable great niece of ours!

    (We avoided having a nervous breakdown, since the other parties were trying to do the right thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "the Post seems to enjoy nervous breakdowns, especially if someone ends up typing the magical R-bomb" says Bob to describe the Outlook article written by a Caucasian father questioned about photographing his adopted teenage Asian daughters.

      Here is the explosive ending to that typed R-bomb:

      "Homeland Security instructs Americans: “If you see something, say something.” But at what point do our instincts compel us to act? And when does our fear of getting involved stop us? What causes someone to perceive one thing when an entirely different thing is happening?

      I’ve been thinking about this for weeks and have no clear answers. And that’s what disturbs me the most."



      Delete
  3. Nothing about Governor Ultrasound?

    He and the Mrs. are going to prison.

    S

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Special tonight in the MSNBC Commissary:

      Creamed Rachel

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    2. This is actually relevant. In this case blaming the woman backfired big time. The Gov was convicted on more counts than his allegedly out of control wife.

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    3. Poor guy. If he had taught the little lady not to drink she could have been the one pictured driving the Ferrari home.

      Delete
  4. I've noticed that questioning these things is also not allowed. When it comes to allegations of sexual misconduct there shall be no dissent. So let the flaming begin from the usual suspects here.

    BTW though-- it's kind of gratifying to note that a large number of Columbia students on the school's "BWOG" don't believe at all this fellow student of theirs who's now going around and carrying a mattress all over campus as some kind of senior project.

    I mention this because the media piety patrol does not seem to extend everywhere.

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  5. "Increasingly on the pseudo-left, we want a narrow list of official things we’re all permitted to say."

    Increasingly at Bob's blog, where he constantly tells others what this or that person "seems" to say, the blogger takes objection when others also read things into the words of others. Then he compares them to the menacing dread Reds.

    It’s also obvious that marks like Trachtenberg will find themselves denounced before the central committee when they make statements which deviate in any way from Current Official Scripts and Formulations.

    Clarifications won't be permitted. The show trials must begin."


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  6. What Flanagan said:

    ". . . take a slight exception or maybe a real exception to what Dr. Trachtenberg is saying about how if young women are sober they have a better chance of protecting themselves from rape by being able to punch the guy in the nose. That's not a realistic strategy for protecting ourselves from rape."

    What Bob immediately spun it into so he could argue:

    "Did any sane person actually think that Trachtenberg had said or implied that drunk women should be blamed if they are raped? People, we're just asking!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey asshole. As my old buddy Bob Summberbee ushed to say, "What’s the matter with (the term) “rape culture?”

      Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke. Yeah.

      Hey, I'm ready for another round. You buyin? Watch my keys
      while I go take a leak.

      Delete
  7. Too bad Lohse didn't say what Bob has him saying. But then Bob wouldn't be Bob and he wouldn't have his headline.

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  8. IMHO the reason feminists complained about Trachtenberg's comment is that they're not really interested in rape. Their interest is using the charges and blame to gain political power.

    The way I know that these feminists aren't really interested in rape is because of their silence about the horrendous events at Rotherham, England. Over a period of years, 1,400 girls, some as young as 11, were abducted, gang-raped, beaten, threatened with death and trafficked by a mostly Pakistani Muslim gang. Some were doused with petrol, and threatened with being burned to death if they tried to escape or tell anyone about their ordeal. They were targeted because they are members of a different ethnic or religious group.

    If the feminists truly cared about rape, they'd be all over this issue. They'd be demanding harsh punishment for the perps and for the bureaucrats who looked the other way and allowed this horror to continue. People who truly cared about rape would be looking for other communities where something similar might have occurred or might still be occurring right now. However, when faced with a real "rape culture", the American feminists have said and written almost nothing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "...the reason feminists complained ...[blah, blah, blah]."

      Wikipedia re: Caitlin Flanagan:

      "Flanagan works from home and employs a nanny and a housekeeper.Some of her essays underscore the emotional rewards and social value of a traditional housewife's role. Consequently Joan Walsh of Salon has criticized her for misrepresenting her life choices, and then condemning other women for not choosing the more traditional lifestyle."

      Do you ever get tired of being wrong?

      Delete
    2. Look verrry closely, feminists (especially those trudging through college campuses carrying mattresses on their backs) -- Rotherham, England is what an actual "rape culture" looks like.

      Thank you, diversity!!

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    3. Y'know, a lot of us were waiting for someone like you, benjy, to point out what REAL rape culture is.
      THANK YOU, benjy!!!

      Delete
  9. Parents do have that talk with their daughters. The problem is that it is a short step from telling women not to drink to excess, to not to drink at all, to not to ride public transit, not to drive, not to leave the house without a male companion, to not to leave the house without a burkha. All of the latter would avoid rape too. When do men start controlling themselves instead of controlling women?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, it's not a short step at all. Furthermore, it's downright ludicrous to argue that it is.

      Who the hell do you suppose is in FAVOR of blackout drinking by either sex or of rape?

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    2. Blackout drinkers and rapists.

      Delete
  10. Howler fans take note! This post pushes new ground in the green leafy
    era of TDH. The adjective "funky" appears for the first time to describe journalistic fare.

    Sadly Somerby slipped back into "muddled" at a predictable early point. Nothing fuzzy about that.

    ReplyDelete
  11. On another front in the funky but popular "Post Covers Man v Woman" front, the top four stories at the WaPo currently are about the McDonnell trial.

    We don't know when Mr. Somerby will get around to mentioning this "jihad" the Post began with prompts from Rachel Maddow, but it involves a total of 8 different reportorial bylines. Your Howler will have its hands full with Mr. Google and Sr. Nexis trying to figure out their collective ages and the amount of Ivy or cudzu clinging to their resumes. So be patient.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, imagine that WaPo wasting so much space and resources on yet another "ginned-up" story from the "scandal culture" on the day after the successor to Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson became the first governor of Virginia ever convicted.

      After all, the 11 counts of which he was convicted weren't all that "heinous" were they?

      Delete

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    ReplyDelete