Posts Tagged ‘ due process ’

Zeitgeist Spam: Are all people fucking stupid??? re the Margaret Atwood/#MeToo thing – an article from the Guardian with my commentary added

Are all people fucking stupid??? re the Margaret Atwood/#MeToo thing – an article from the Guardian with my commentary added

Margaret Atwood faces feminist backlash on social media over #MeToo

Writing in the Globe and Mail, Atwood said the #MeToo movement, which emerged in the wake of sexual assault allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, was the symptom of a broken legal system and had been “seen as a massive wake up call”.

However, she wondered where North American society would go from here. “If the legal system is bypassed because it is seen as ineffectual, what will take its place? Who will be the new power brokers?” Atwood asked.

[Red herring. If women assert that they’ve been treated badly, and a few men lose their jobs, all western civilization will fall. How many times have we heard that? The same has been said about people of color getting “uppity”, about LGBTQIetc. people asking for a baker to make them a cake, about Muslims in Europe and the US, about people who aren’t Xtian, etc etc. If this is the best you have, Atwood, you have nothing, nothing at all.]

The 78-year-old author of The Handmaid’s Tale drew a parallel between these concerns and those who accused her of being a “bad feminist” after she signed an open letter last year calling for due process for a University of British Columbia professor facing allegations of sexual misconduct.

The university’s administration released few details on the case against Steven Galloway, the former chair of the creative writing program, saying only that he was facing “serious allegations”. After a months-long investigation he was fired, but the official findings were never released. The faculty association said in a statement that all but one of the allegations, including the most serious allegation, were not substantiated.

[If the official findings were never released, how does the faculty association know this? Hmmm … there is something in this that simply doesn’t compute.]

In her piece, Atwood pointed to the university’s lack of transparency around the allegations and noted that Galloway had been asked to sign a confidentiality agreement.

“The public – including me – was left with the impression that this man was a violent serial rapist, and everyone was free to attack him publicly, since under the agreement he had signed, he couldn’t say anything to defend himself,” she wrote. “A fair-minded person would now withhold judgment as to guilt until the report and the evidence are available for us to see.”

[No. He CHOSE to sign an NDA. A fair-minded person would say he didn’t have to sign if he didn’t want to. And then conclude that they don’t know why he did, but the university and he agreed that both they and he would keep their mouths closed. And a fair-minded person would understand that reports in such cases are not made public to protect BOTH the accuser(s) and the accused. And would then assume that the details of the case are none of their business.]

She likened the affair to the Salem witch trials, in that guilt was assumed of those who were accused.

[Witch trials, all of them, not just the Salem ones, WERE conducted according to law and due process. This is a horrible and ignorant example, which doesn’t help her case any. The fact that we no longer agree with the way the law worked at that time does not mean anything more than times change and don’t. I say they don’t because Atwood’s bringing up the witch trials here essentially equates #MeToo to the Inquisition and the judges in Salem, etc. Given how we now feel about the Inquisition and those judges, she has just made monsters of #MeToo. People who compare this to a witch hunt or witch trial are doing to women just what the Inquisitors, etc. did.]

This idea of guilt by accusation had at times been used to usher in a better world or justify new forms of oppression, she wrote. “But understandable and temporary vigilante justice can morph into a culturally solidified lynch-mob habit, in which the available mode of justice is thrown out the window, and extralegal power structures are put into place and maintained.”

[I used the term red herring above re this argument, please see above.]

Many online took issue with her view. “If @MargaretAtwood would like to stop warring amongst women, she should stop declaring war against younger, less powerful women and start listening,” wrote one person on Twitter. “In today’s dystopian news: One of the most important feminist voices of our time shits on less powerful women to uphold the power of her powerful male friend,” wrote another.

Some accused Atwood of using her position of power to silence those who had come forward with allegations against Galloway. “‘Unsubstantiated’ does not mean innocent. It means there was not enough evidence to convict,” read one tweet.

Others defended Atwood. “Genuinely upsetting to see Margaret Atwood attacked for pointing out that ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is the key to a civilised society. That has to still be a thing, yes? How can that suddenly be a bad thing?”

[The professor was fired. He wasn’t thrown in jail. The university felt it had cause. He signed off on it. If he hadn’t he could have sued them. It seems that this has nothing to do with “innocent until proven guilty.” So far, since #MeToo has arisen, about 10 rich and powerful guys have lost their jobs. Oh woe, oh woe. It’s the end of the fucking world.]

In a statement to the Guardian, Atwood pointed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, echoing an earlier tweet in which she defended her view by noting that endorsing basic human rights for everyone was not equivalent to warring against women.

Her opinion piece, she said, was meant to highlight the choice we now face; fix the system, bypass it or “burn the system down and replace it with, presumably, another system”.

[That’s the first intelligent thing she said. The system should be burnt down. I’d suggest she do a little reading to see why. She could do worse than to start with Maria Mies’s Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale (1986), and Women: The Last Colony (1988)]

Source: Zeitgeist Spam: Are all people fucking stupid??? re the Margaret Atwood/#MeToo thing – an article from the Guardian with my commentary added


All the way in with Zeitgeist Spam on this. Wonder what she thinks of military law wherein a defendant is considered guilty until proven innocent. Wonder if she forgot about how Anita Hill was verbally abused by Congressional hearings that chose to dismiss her testimony against Clarence Thomas, a Supreme Court Justice. – Donna Fleischer

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