RSSCategory: Communication

Spanish Nun Questions Mary’s Virginity

February 2, 2018 | By | Reply More

What is the price one pays when one suggests that sex is a necessary precursor to having a baby? Death threats! What follows is apparently deserving of the death sentence, according to the NYPost:

“I think Mary was in love with Joseph and that they were a normal couple – and having sex is a normal thing,” Caram told the Chester in Love Show, according to the Guardian. “It’s hard to believe and hard to take in. We’ve ended up with the rules we’ve invented without getting to the true message.”

According to the article, these sort of free-thinking questions also require an apology or, at least, that is what Sister Caram felt compelled to do.

The take-away: It is apparently the safer practice to proclaim that Mary got pregnant without having sex.

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Defining Rape and Disparaging Women

January 25, 2018 | By | Reply More

With the #MeToo movement in full bloom, it is apparent that the discussion we are now having about consent and the contentiousness of this discussion have not moved much since 1993, when Katie Roiphe wrote “Date Rape’s Other Victim” in the NYT.  I am in general agreement with Roiphe’s analysis.

Like many important issues today, we have divided into tribes and locked horns. Regarding this particular issue of consent, it is apparently impossible for many people to see that expanding the notion of rape beyond physical threats and physical coercion can only be done at the risk of denying that women have commensurate intelligence, communication skills and autonomy as men.  Here is an excerpt from Roiphe’s 1993 article:

This apparently practical, apparently clinical proscription cloaks retrograde assumptions about the way men and women experience sex. The idea that only an explicit yes means yes proposes that, like children, women have trouble communicating what they want. Beyond its dubious premise about the limits of female communication, the idea of active consent bolsters stereotypes of men just out to “get some” and women who don’t really want any.

Rape-crisis feminists express nostalgia for the days of greater social control, when the university acted in loco parentis and women were protected from the insatiable force of male desire. The rhetoric of feminists and conservatives blurs and overlaps in this desire to keep our youth safe and pure.

By viewing rape as encompassing more than the use or threat of physical violence to coerce someone into sex, rape-crisis feminists reinforce traditional views about the fragility of the female body and will. According to common definitions of date rape, even “verbal coercion” or “manipulation” constitute rape. Verbal coercion is defined as “a woman’s consenting to unwanted sexual activity because of a man’s verbal arguments not including verbal threats of force.” The belief that “verbal coercion” is rape pervades workshops, counseling sessions and student opinion pieces. The suggestion lurking beneath this definition of rape is that men are not just physically but also intellectually and emotionally more powerful than women.

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Lee Camp Replies to “Neo-McCarthyite” smears of RT Network

December 20, 2017 | By | Reply More

Lee Camp refuses to let go of important issues of the day, and that is why he, and others who follow the facts where they lead, ended up at RT. But RT’s shows are now being smeared with a broad brush, as though all of its shows are the product of Russian propaganda. Lee Camp’s response:

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John Cleese Speaks Out on Political Correctness

December 10, 2017 | By | Reply More

John Cleese argues that if we don’t reign in political correctness, we will drain our society of humor, all of which challenges, and is critical. If allowed to an extreme, political correctness drives us not toward something useful, but to something Orwellian.

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Trump’s Three Main Techniques for Avoiding Honest Communication

December 10, 2017 | By | Reply More

I have a difficult time even wanting to think about the man who is further degrading the Presidency every day, but it is important that we cut through the noise and work hard to understand how he convinced so many people to vote for him.

John Oliver identifies three specific techniques Donald Trump uses to avoid meaningful communication:

  • Delegitimizing the Media
  • Whataboutism
  • Trolling

This video is filled with video illustrating these problems. This video is one month old, but very worth watching for its precise analysis of these problems.

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What Happened at Yale regarding the Halloween Costume Email?

October 28, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More

An explosion of victimhood/censorship at Yale regarding a Halloween Costume email is often referenced. This article in Atlantic spells out many of the details.

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On Raising Fragile Children

October 27, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More

Lenore Skenazy (an early critic of helicopter parenting) and Jonathan Haidt have written a detailed article describing the problem that modern paranoid parenting is producing fragile children. “The Fragile Generation” published by Reason.com, is an excellent read. Because I grew up in the 60’s where free play was ubiquitous, this passage on free play especially resonated with me . . .

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The Effect of Concepts Creeping to the Left

October 24, 2017 | By | 3 Replies More

In this paper titled, “Why Concepts Creep to the Left,” Jonathan Haidt supplements Nick Haslam’s paper titled “Concept Creep,” in which concepts such as bullying, trauma and addiction morph over time. And there are newish terms that have become prominent and expansive in recent years, “trigger warnings” and “microaggressions.” But these concepts don’t merely change. They change to the whims of the political left. And they especially change for current students and young adults rather than those over 40. In his article, Haidt asks why there is a direction to that change. Haidt writes:

These terms are part of a new conceptual package that includes all of the older concepts long referred to as “political correctness” but with greatly expanded notions of harm, trauma, mental illness, vulnerability, and harassment. These concepts seem to have expanded in just the way that Haslam (2016) describes — horizontally, to take in new kinds of cases (such as adding the reading of novels to the list of traumatizing activities) and vertically, to take in ever less extreme versions of older cases (as is made explicit by the prefix “micro” in the word “microaggression”). In this conceptually augmented political correctness, the central idea seems to be that many college students are so fragile that institutions and right-thinking people must all work together to protect vulnerable individuals from exposure to words and ideas that could damage them in a lasting way. If this protection requires banning certain speakers from campus, or punishing student newspapers that publish opinions that upset the dominant campus sensibility, then so be it.

What are the reasons for this expansion of these concepts to the left. Haidt explores several possibilities . ..

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Mob behavior and threats to free speech described and discussed by Nicholas Christakis

October 11, 2017 | By | Reply More

I recommend this excellent discussion by Nicholas Christakis on the topics of mob behavior, moral panics, and current threats to free speech. Illiberal behavior is destroying our ability to talk with each other, notably on the places where we would most expect vigorous exchanges of ideas: college campuses. Christakis is a sociologist and physician who conducts research in the area of biosocial science, investigating the biological predicates and consequences of social phenomena. He directs the Human Nature Lab at Yale University. Sam Harris presents this discussion on his Waking Up podcast.

At the tail end of the podcast, Christakis and Harris mention the work of Greg Lukianoff, President of FIRE, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

The mission of FIRE is to defend and sustain individual rights at America’s colleges and universities. These rights include freedom of speech, legal equality, due process, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience—the essential qualities of individual liberty and dignity. FIRE’s core mission is to protect the unprotected and to educate the public and communities of concerned Americans about the threats to these rights on our campuses and about the means to preserve them.

FIRE has achieved long successful string of legal victories through its Speech Litigation Project. 

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