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Philosopher Colin McGinn falsely accused of sexual harassment
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Glock Offline
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Philosopher Colin McGinn falsely accused of sexual harassment
I searched the forums for Colin McGinn's name to see if anyone had posted this story already. The only mention of McGinn was in a post on philosophy in a thread started a year ago, so I believe I am not duplicating anyone else's post.

Linked below is a very interesting article by none other than Katie Roiphe in which she concedes that the famous philospher, Colin McGinn, who resigned from his tenured position at the University of Miami, may not be guilty of the sexual harassment allegations made against him. His reputation was destroyed by allegations of sexual harassment by an anonymous 26-year-old graduate student who wouldn't even talk to Roiphe for her Slate article.

Once again, it looks like another false accusation, or at least an embellishment, made by a vindictive female accuser. Prof. McGinn gave all his emails to Roiphe, and it appears that the graduate-student accuser's story is not consistent with her own emails and texts. Here are the best quotes:

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/r..._that.html

"Like other journalists pursuing the story, I wrote to Nicole for her side of the story, but she did not speak to me. Instead she authorized her boyfriend of nearly two years, Ben Yelle, to speak on her behalf, as he has done in all the previous news stories."

Quote:The problem with Ben’s account is that the emails and texts between Colin and Nicole, which went on for more than six months and many of which I have seen, do not support it. Instead what emerges is a picture of a strange, strained, but avid and affectionate rapport between them. Until sometime in June, there appeared to be a reciprocal warmth. The two developed an elaborate private language based on some philosophical work they were doing about the hand with private jokes and private references. Her tone in the emails and texts over the winter and spring was often enthusiastic, playful, effusive: “Colin! My prehensive companion! How I miss you!” They both refer to the unusual relationship as “the Colin-Nicole union” or the “Colin-Nicole companionship.”

In the emails and texts, she did not seem to be passively replying, or tepidly appeasing him, but rather actively creating and nurturing the private language. There were times when he pulled back or expressed pessimism and she reassured him of the strength of the bond, and argued for the adaptiveness or resilience of their connection. There was a moment in February when she said she would be “devastated” if he lost interest. Her texts, which remain in his phone, say things like “thank you, dearest,” “sending you virtual hugs,” “I send you a hand squeeze,” and “you have an incredibly sexy mind.”
(This post was last modified: 10-18-2013 10:43 PM by Glock.)
10-18-2013 10:26 PM
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2Wycked Offline
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RE: Philosopher Colin McGinn falsely accused of sexual harassment
Notice the title: Was this a clear-cut case of sexual harassment?

Already set up to put Colin at fault because he is a privileged, white male who should have been aware of the incredible nuances of power presented in the relationships. Lest you be led astray: Roiphe does not understand power.

Let's dig into the ending part of the post

Quote:Should a man, even an arrogant man, lose tenure and a long, lustrous career over what was probably a blundering excess of attachment, a burst of infatuated blindness? His mistake was that he was romanticizing what was happening, was carried away by an idea, by a feeling, and did not take the sensible or professional steps.

Nice way of framing the question and also reinforcing artificial demarcations between humans with a weak attempt at appealing to professionalism.

Quote:The sexual harassment script is so vivid in our minds that to a certain extent it doesn’t matter if events technically unfolded according to it; one can feel the writers of the original Chronicle of Higher Education article, and the New York Times piece, rushing past the details of the story, which are murky at best, to the meaty and wonderful generalizations.

Of course, with the obligatory nods that most will have reading it, as if they came to the conclusion that people who hear of sexual harassment really care about the victims. No, she is admitting that people aren't interested in the victim, the accused or the truth by the overarching narrative of male oppression of female victims and the desire to fire up the torches and gird themselves with pitchforks to take down people with "unearned power" (a very dangerous phrase, indeed).

Quote:One bright, ambitious young philosopher I met at a party says it doesn’t matter if there was a warm consensual romantic relationship. He said the problem of sexual harassment is so rife in philosophy that it is good for someone to be strung up and an example to be made. He went on to explain that Colin is precisely the kind of abrasive, arrogant man who would do something like this, and used as an example the title of his memoir, The Making of a Philosopher, which he viewed as a sign that Colin is narcissistic and full of himself. (I have by this point in my reporting absorbed that many people think powerful, arrogant men should be punished, though I myself like a powerful, arrogant man.)

Really the money quote of the article that even mentions the word I am so fond of using: narcissism.

First, consider the young philosopher. Of course, he admits to no statistics but wholeheartedly agrees sexual harassment is so rampant in philosophy that even the innocent need to be made an example of.

They should take all the bigots, all the racists, all the feminists.....

This young man is simply using the white-hot black & white rhetoric surrounding sexual harassment to express his own insecurities about his ability to compete with superior minds and admitting that he doesn't know how to think, but only what to think. As such, men like this will spend their living justifying the status quo - inventing arguments that bolster outrageous feminist claims, justifying this and arguing for that not because he believes an objective review of the evidence warrants that, but because he is nothing more than a vessel for his indoctrination.

Further, accusing Colin of being narcissistic? Sure, Colin admits to something like that when he describes his life as a character in the novel in the piece, but he does need to accuse of him of that. The sentence that Roiphe pens next explains why:

Quote:I have by this point in my reporting absorbed that many people think powerful, arrogant men should be punished, though I myself like a powerful, arrogant man

This is the most important line in the essay.

Our society teaches us that authority figures and bad people are only those that hold power. Take a look at the modern education system with regards to bullying. Do administrators and teachers actively encourage young kids to stand up for each other? Think about it, this system can only result children learning that bad kids exercise power over one another (intervening in other's lives) and only authority figures can step in clean up disputes between equals. See the problem?

Our society has transformed from one where men and women of high character, refinement and class were lauded (they obeyed the rules) to one where we worship those who pursue the heights of human achievement. Sure, there can be narcissism without greatness, but there can be no greatness without narcissism.

However, this situation is incredibly unstable as worship is heaped on the high achievers, but the many pretenders to the throne are left out in the cold. As Roiphe states, many people (egalitarians, power & privilege left-wingers, feminists) hate those at the top as they see themselves as personally entitled to those positions, but don't have the will, gumption and talent to ascend to those lofty positions.

So they cling to privilege analyses, advance arguments that the things white men earn and achieve were far easier for them to achieve because they were white and male. White men who aren't at the top will always be highly skeptical of that, simply because you don't rise to the top unless you either worked for it or lucked into it. Why do you think so many women congregate in Hollywood or shit sites like Jezebel? There really ain't much female talent there and it is all politicking and luck to get the coveted spots.

Women like Roiphe, however, are in a terrible place. Powerful, arrogant men have been highly attractive to women since the dawn of time. How can you simultaneously hate what you are hypnotically attracted to?

You can and it is part and parcel of our narcissistic society that is further splintering apart and more and more defenses (irony, nihilism and rage) are being erected to combat the complete and utter destruction of the person. Women like her pick men to whom they are not all that attracted to because they fear the terror of personal attachment to a sexy man. They have sex with men they find sexually attractive and leave it at that because it allows to them experience the rush of sexual attraction without any of the attachment.

I can't remember the member here, but he noted (at Dalrocks?) that a tell-tale sign a woman isn't actually into you is that she wants to be your girlfriend. You can tell a woman who is really into you because she is interested primarily in sex. Bingo. Women get to hide behind the social construct that men are the commitment-phobes, but really fear of commitment is a female fear for many obvious reasons. Divorce issues aside, men stand to gain the most from marriage because they cannot get sex, female attention outside marriage, as women focus their energies on sexually attractive men.

Reconsidering Roiphe, the palpable resentment with which she perceives the men she is sexually attracted to is a mirror to the anger the beta directs at women. It means that positive relations between men and women are necessarily curtailed in ways that further atomize the individual and further contribute to the destruction of an American's inner life.

It should be noted that women like Roiphe are highly over-represented in media.

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10-19-2013 12:10 AM
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Rutting Elephant Offline
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RE: Philosopher Colin McGinn falsely accused of sexual harassment
He clearly carried on a weird affair, obsessing about secret handshakes with a weird girl almost 40 years younger. It was unprofessional and really, really stupid.
And he didn't even get laid.
10-19-2013 12:29 AM
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Samseau Offline
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RE: Philosopher Colin McGinn falsely accused of sexual harassment
(10-19-2013 12:29 AM)Rutting Elephant Wrote:  He clearly carried on a weird affair, obsessing about secret handshakes with a weird girl almost 40 years younger. It was unprofessional and really, really stupid.
And he didn't even get laid.

Why shouldn't men be able to have sexual relationships with women who are 26 years old? What difference does being her professor make?

Hugo Schwyzer banged tons of his students, yet he never got a single sexual harassment charge. The only "crime" this professor committed was being too beta and creeping out this chick.

And note, once again, that the accusation is as good as the crime.

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10-19-2013 01:42 PM
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Glock Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Philosopher Colin McGinn falsely accused of sexual harassment
We have arrived at a regime in which "everything is a crime" if the woman in question, in her unfettered discretion, chooses to bring charges. What is different about Schwyzer is not what he did but whether a woman chose to make an accusation about feeling "harassed. "

The crime now consists of the mere existence of a report of a female's unhappy feelings, and nothing more.
10-19-2013 01:58 PM
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cardguy Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Philosopher Colin McGinn falsely accused of sexual harassment
I touched on this in the philosophy thread mentioned above. Also - Colin McGinn happens to be my favourite philosopher.

Firstly - Colin McGinn was never accused of sexual harrassment. Even the university investigating the case realised there was no harrassment involved.

The only thing he was found guilty of was 'not declaring a close relationship with a student'. Even though the relationship was non-sexual. And even though that 'charge' is ambiguous as hell.

The problem for McGinn is that alot of women think there is a big problem with sexual harrassment in philosophy. So - the case against McGinn has being used (in many articles) as a jumping off point to analyse the subject of how women are treated in philosophy. And on top of this - McGinn seems to be a bit of a divisive figure in philosophy due to the controversy caused by his 'ho holds barred' book reviews over the past 20 years. Nobody in philosophy is prepared to be as outspoken and rude as McGinn when it comes to reviewing the work of a fellow philosopher.

And in doing so - people mistakenly believe McGinn has being accused (or found guilty) of something similar.

It is funny. But to move on to a separate point. The only section of society who are not allowed to be openly sexual are middle aged/older men. To me it is shocking the amount of abuse men (in their 50s and 60s) get for being interested in attractive young women. Being a 'dirty old man' is the ultimate in shaming language, and should be embraced by men in the same way gays and blacks have embraced the insults that were once used to try and insult them.

Still - I do think McGinn has being a bit of an idiot. It always best to avoid anything which can be held against you when texting/emailing a student.

And you should never trust a woman.

Ever.

No matter how close you get to one and how 'cool' you think she is. She will always bring you down - if she thinks it is in her interests.

They have no shame.

And to finish. I am against the harrassment of any person. But more and more - I feel harrassment accusations are being used as a weapon to try and bring down men. As opposed to trying to stop long-running campaigns of abusive behaviour. It seems that alot of women today have no idea what real sexual harrassment was like back in the 1970's.
(This post was last modified: 10-19-2013 02:09 PM by cardguy.)
10-19-2013 02:02 PM
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cardguy Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Philosopher Colin McGinn falsely accused of sexual harassment
Mcginn has dealt with all the allegations and misconceptions on his blog.

My impression is that he very pissed off about the whole situation. But finds the incredible amount of misinformation around the case a bit amusing. As such - he only dips in and out of the topic from time to time.

http://mcginn.philospot.com/

Also - he has a wife. So - he seems to be a bit tied up in terms of how much detail he wants to go into in order to give his side of the story.
(This post was last modified: 10-19-2013 02:44 PM by cardguy.)
10-19-2013 02:06 PM
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Wutang Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Philosopher Colin McGinn falsely accused of sexual harassment
(10-19-2013 01:42 PM)Samseau Wrote:  
(10-19-2013 12:29 AM)Rutting Elephant Wrote:  He clearly carried on a weird affair, obsessing about secret handshakes with a weird girl almost 40 years younger. It was unprofessional and really, really stupid.
And he didn't even get laid.

Hugo Schwyzer banged tons of his students, yet he never got a single sexual harassment charge. The only "crime" this professor committed was being too beta and creeping out this chick.

Pretty much. McGinnis didn't go nearly as far with his student as Schwyzer has a multitude of his students. This just shows that what is billed as sexual harassment is pretty much just poorly executed game. Schwyzer got away with much more because he's a good looking guy who knew how to seduce people and sweep people off of their feet with his charm.

I'm sure most people including feminists will agree that sexual harassment is when someone makes unwanted advances on another person who isn't receptive to it. Well what's going to be more likely to be receptive to a girl: a shy, well meaning guy meekly asking a girl for coffee in a clumsy way or Johnny Depp (insert some other guy who hash high value among females if you want) brashly asking a girl straight up if she wants to bone? When you have high value, you can get away with a lot more. When women say they hate aggressive sleazy guys they really mean they hate UNATTRACTIVE aggressive sleazy guys. An attractive guy doing the same thing would be seen as daring and smooth.
10-19-2013 02:27 PM
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Glock Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Philosopher Colin McGinn falsely accused of sexual harassment
I agree with cardguy that the University did not charge McGinn with sexual harassment. But that does appear to be how Ben and "Nicole" sold it to the media, and even how she presented it to the University initially. It is how Nicole got her gullible boyfriend to lay all the blame at McGinn's feet and to act as her mouthpiece to the media.

She's a real Lady MacBeth -- innocent and flirtatious until she gets her chance to strike, and then a victim who needs her white knight boyfriend to ride to the rescue. Don't you love how women get to choose whether to be "strong and independent" or vulnerable and in need of protection, depending on what suits them at that moment?
10-19-2013 02:45 PM
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AnonymousBosch Away
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Post: #10
RE: Philosopher Colin McGinn falsely accused of sexual harassment
(10-19-2013 02:02 PM)cardguy Wrote:  The problem for McGinn is that alot of women think there is a big problem with sexual harrassment in philosophy.

My view: women are never taught to control their emotions, particularly in terms of relationships, and would prefer to get swept away in an ocean of bullshit drama than to rationally consider what they're getting into. Modern mothers and teachers don't teach emotional maturity, because they've never matured themselves. Their friends encourage drama, because it's an easy way to make it seem like something is happening in a woman's life, otherwise it would take hard work and effort to produce exciting change.

It creates Narcissists.

It's all mood swings and tears and passive-aggression and make up sex all through high school, but now they're suddenly in college / university, become arrogant at what they believe is their superior intelligence; and believe they're now mature, independent women, so are ripe for a Real Adult Relationship.

Narcissists are bascially following a script where they believe they are the star of their own movie, so they're looking for Any Man to fill that role. The narcissistic feedback loop requires an older male lover who offers the woman the script that they are being valued for their intelligence and maturity.

They will simply pick the most likely candidate in their field of vision. Who he is is irrelevant. Remember, he's just a supporting player.

If you're a man in higher education, in a dominant position of power, you will be targetted by one of these needy actresses. There is one in every class, who wants to prove she's above the herd, and thereby try to ingratiate herself to the man, and start lengthy (would-be) intellectual conversations where her opinion gets taken seriously.

Unfortunately, very few women are unique and creatively-intelligent, or have mature, interesting ideas at that age, so they simply fall back to capturing the man's attention by sexualising the discourse. It gets flirty, though this is rationalised away via cognitive dissonance: "He's interested in my mind."

All this creates a pleasurable feedback loop for the Narcissist: I'm mature and intelligent enough to have captured this wise older man's attention. Me Me Me Me MEEEE!

When the relationship fails, they'll instantly turn back into immature little girls, as the Cognitive Dissonance protects their inflated self-image: "He abused his power over me." "I found myself...." "He took advantage of a young girl..." All of this is more flattering to their ego than saying: "He didn't find me unique, mature or intelligent."

It's a toxic cycle that plays out again and again. Male educators need enough game to not be swayed when deliberately-targeted - and they are) - by these girls.

It's not limited to education. You'll find it anywhere a mentor relationship involves power over the other, where any bored women can make her life more exciting by targetting a successful older man. Your life, hopes and goals are unimportant to her: provide me drama!
10-19-2013 03:35 PM
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Veloce Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Philosopher Colin McGinn falsely accused of sexual harassment
The sexual harassment and rape tourettes in this country has gotten to a point where I have fantasies about men in this country, ALL men, pick up their bags and head elsewhere, leaving an entire female population completely alone, desolate, and without any male attention.

It would never happen, but it's nice to think about.

"...so I gave her an STD, and she STILL wanted to bang me."

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10-19-2013 03:37 PM
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cardguy Offline
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RE: Philosopher Colin McGinn falsely accused of sexual harassment
Oleanna by David Mamet is a great piece which deals with some of these films. Really interesting film.



10-19-2013 03:38 PM
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