Thursday, February 19, 2015

Which Do You Want?

Instapundit links often to excesses of feminist advocacy groups, particularly in connection with sexual  accusations on college campuses.  He is at a university, so the issue likely looms larger for him than it would for others.  I only click trough about a quarter of them. Other issues loom larger for me.

One, by Harvard Law professor Janet Halley, looked intriguing, and it is. Trading the Megaphone For The Gavel in Title IX Enforcement.  She essentially asks feminist groups “Do you want to complain or do you want to govern?” and describes the distinction.

Advocates for any cause are not held to the same standards of fairness and judgment as people making decisions are. This makes me crazy in discussions, because the emphasis then switches to “How can I win?” instead of “What is the best answer?” They can interrupt, they can walk away, they can leave out important facts, they can end-run around procedures and go to public opinion. Run your memory over the things that religious groups, environmental activists, industry spokespersons, and social justice warriors of all stripes say in order to secure votes, funding, or customers. But those who govern, who make decisions, don’t have that luxury.

It is a very clarifying essay, and I wish her all the best in her career going forward.  I cannot imagine that we don't disagree enormously on a dozen crucial issues.  No matter. She can step back, she can reason, and she can tell her allies where they are wrong.  Elizabeth Warren cannot do that. Hillary Clinton cannot do that. Janet Halley likely overlaps with their views more than mine. But I would rank her six rungs above those others.


Texan99 said...

That's a thoughtful and honest article. The situation she describes is horrific. It's really discouraging to read of young women who expect their colleges or workplaces to remove all possible sources of emotional trauma--including the chance of seeing a young man who merely reminds her of someone who hurt her. How women can expect to be treated as equal adults in such a system baffles me. All that's likely to happen is that people will become hardened to even reasonable requests for accommodation by vulnerable people, and suggest that they should confine themselves to a more cloistered life.

Sam L. said...

You might want to ask Stacy McCain at, he being so often linked.