Categories
#metoo empathy deficit men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny quillette rape culture sexual assault sexual exploitation sexual harassment

Quillette: Placido Domingo’s accusers are too unimportant to be allowed to sully the reputation of a star

By David Futrelle

Twenty women have accused opera singer Placido Domingo of sexual harassment and, in at least one case, of outright sexual assault. In Quillette, reactionary propagandist Heather MacDonald argues that, regardless of the truth or falsity of their accusations, these women are simply too unimportant to be allowed to derail the career of “an artist of Domingo’s stature.”

MacDonald, a Manhattan Institute fellow whose politics lie in the general vicinity of the so-called “Intellectual Dark Web,” devotes a good deal of her essay to glorifying the talents of the “Three Tenors” alum — praising his “warm, soaring voice” and his “remarkable pitch control” and declaring him “one of classical music’s greatest ambassadors and impresarios.”

Never mind that, according to an Associated Press investigation, Domingo’s reputation as a predator was such an open secret in the profession that staffers went through elaborate machinations to try to ensure he he was never alone with a woman. MacDonald treats Domingo’s mostly anonymous accusers with a deep disdain, dismissing these “females” as “small-time soloists” and “disgruntled bit players.”

MacDonald seems to have no trouble imagining that at least some of the accusations are true; she just can’t bring herself to care. The alleged incidents took place long ago, she repeatedly notes, and besides, it’s not like the now-elderly singer is going to keep harassing and groping women in his vicinity.

At one point, astoundingly, she posits that he might well have felt a professional obligation to act out the part of a sex-obsessed lothario.

“As the object of so much sexual attention” from fans, she writes,

Domingo could have been forgiven for thinking that his own advances were part of the mix. He clearly belongs to the “Latin Lover” prototype, a good-natured, charming seducer from the old Hollywood era. Learning to deal with such types used to be part of a woman’s skill set. 

But MacDonald’s most outrageous argument, one that makes clear her profound elitism and lack of empathy for whole classes of human beings she clearly considers disposable, is that Domingo is too important to accuse.

It is a grotesque inversion of the proper hierarchy between public accomplishment and private sexual behavior to sacrifice an artist of Domingo’s stature for the sake of 20 disgruntled bit players, laboriously harvested from thousands of professional interactions characterized by graciousness and consideration.

How dare these unimportant women sully the reputation of such a star — especially because he only (allegedly) harassed a small percentage of those he interacted with. Which is a bit like saying we should ignore a serial killer’s crimes because most days he wasn’t killing anyone at all.

Put simply, the discomfort of these belated accusers decades ago is not worth Domingo’s head.

Harassing and groping is evidently a-OK if you have perfect pitch control.

Civilization rests on the realm of public achievement in ideas, politics, and art. The private realm of Eros should be subordinate to the public realm; how someone behaves in or getting to the bedroom is irrelevant to his achievements in the public square, absent criminality.

Do I need to point out that sexual assault is a criminal offense?

If we discovered that James Madison, say, was a skirt-chaser, that fact should have no bearing on his achievements as a political theorist and statesman.

The flaws of even the most eminent of thinkers are highly relevant to our assessment of their legacies. Historians have long wrestled with the fact that many of America’s “founding fathers” were both champions of freedom (for white people) while at the same time owning and, in the case of Thomas Jefferson, raping slaves.

Yes, as MacDonald argues, “Domingo brought beauty into the world.” He also seems to have brought great ugliness into the lives of many women around him. No amount of talent can absolve a sexual predator.

Send tips to dfutrelle at gmail dot com.

We Hunted the Mammoth relies entirely on readers like you for its survival. If you appreciate our work, please send a few bucks our way! Thanks!

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

100 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Katherine the Adequate
Katherine the Adequate
11 months ago

Wow. When McDonald writes of “bit players”, she describes herself.

Naglfar
Naglfar
11 months ago

@Cyborgette
I’ll try that. Thank you for the suggestion. He might still try to spin that into “class, class, class” but it’s definitely worth a try.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
11 months ago

@Naglfar

Yeah, honestly I’m not optimistic about his reaction. But best of luck.

TimS
TimS
11 months ago

@Naglfar,

For me, class-first analysis simply can’t explain the American experience, where immigrants (eg Irish, Poles, Greeks) arrived with basically nothing and within a century were accepted as potential members of the status-quo-favoring political elite.

For black folk, the equivalent time would be from 1865, yet they still are not generally acceptable. The US wasn’t even pretending to try until about the 1960s, a time period longer than it took immigrants to be fully accepted.

Class-first analysis can explain the immigrant experience. It can explain the black experience. It cannot explain how those two experiences happened basically next to each other. There are essentially no immigrant equivalents of the burning of Black Wall Street in the 1910s, yet the black community suffered some similar kind of deliberate setback essentially every decade (up until at least the 1980s if you count red lining, or the 1990s if you count the crack epidemic).

YMMV, but that history is what pushed my out of my privileged, class-first, noblesse oblige style leftism.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
11 months ago

W00t!

Scheer lost.

And the fascist-adjacent PPC came out of it with zip. Bupkis. Nada.

Fabe
Fabe
11 months ago

W00t!

Scheer lost.

And the fascist-adjacent PPC came out of it with zip. Bupkis. Nada.

Nice,so who did win?

tim gueguen
11 months ago

The Liberals will form a minority government. How long it will hold up remains to be seen.

The PPC did so poorly that even its formerly popular founder, Quebec MP Maxime Bernier, lost his seat. Guess he should have stayed a Conservative instead of forming a vanity party.

Dalillama
Dalillama
11 months ago

@Naglfar
I’ve got a good citation for you, might have to wait til tomorrow to find it.

Betrayer
Betrayer
11 months ago

@Naglfar

It might be worth asking how he expects oppressed people to show class solidarity with him if he won’t show solidarity with oppressed groups.

Dirtbag leftism is a self-defeating ideology peddled by people who want systemic change but don’t want to change their own behaviors.

TacticalProgressive
TacticalProgressive
11 months ago

@tim gueguen

Any status updates on what’s happening with the NDP at this time, if anything?

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
11 months ago

Civilization rests on the realm of public achievement in ideas, politics, and art. The private realm of Eros should be subordinate to the public realm; how someone behaves in or getting to the bedroom is irrelevant to his achievements in the public square, absent criminality.

Oh dear, civilization is crumbling.

Moggie
Moggie
11 months ago

@Buttercup:

“Women’s brains absorb information like pancakes soak up syrup so it’s hard for them to focus, the attendees were told. Men’s brains are more like waffles. They’re better able to focus because the information collects in each little waffle square.”

Good grief, it’s like someone watched that Harry Enfield “women: know your limits” sketch for research.

These sorts of workshops are bought in from external consultants, and in my experience HR departments have rather poor bullshit filters, so it’s easy to sell them any old crap in a training package.

In unrelated news, I’ve just been made redundant from my job, so I suppose I should be looking for a grift!

Katamount
11 months ago

@tim gueguen

The Liberals will form a minority government. How long it will hold up remains to be seen.

If JT has any political savvy (questionable), he’ll read the tea leaves and understand that he can’t play coy about critical issues and needs to start walking the walk. Pharmacare. Green New Deal. I found a group on Twitter called Iron and Earth, which is a group for oil sands workers looking to transition to green jobs. They look legitimate as far as I can find, but I know little about them. If they are, it’s exactly the kind of group that cuts into the Tory support base among oil and gas workers. Convince them they don’t need to be wedded to Kinder Morgan or Conoco-Phillips and all the Tories have is right-wing idpol.

There’s opportunity here, but only if the Liberals seize it.

Naglfar
Naglfar
11 months ago

Thank you to everyone for the suggestions. I’ll try to talk about those next time I see him.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Betrayer,

I think some of them (most of them?) don’t even want systemic change. They just want to say they do so they can feel edgy and cool. It’s why the mask slips so easily.

Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
11 months ago

Class undoubtably is part of oppression, but to say it’s the main focus is ridiculous.

CONTENT WARNING: Discussions of institutionalised violence, kidnapping of children, ignored missing and murdered women, and forced sterilisation. All of Indigenous people in Canada.

Here’s a concrete example. In Canada, indigenous women make up 4% of the population in Canada. (Source)

Yet they make up 10% of the Missing and Murdered women. (Source)

But wait! I can imagine him crying. They are in a lower class!

Here’s an excerpt from an article

In general, the employment rate for Aboriginal people is much lower than for the general population of Canada, while the unemployment rate for Aboriginal people is much higher than their non-Aboriginal counterparts. According to the 1991 Aboriginal People’s Survey, which looked at the labour force activity of Aboriginal people aged 15 (and over living both on and off reserves), only 43 per cent of Aboriginal people were working for a monetary income, compared to 61 per cent of the total Canadian population over 15. Fifteen years later, data from the 2006 Census shows the employment rate for Aboriginal people of core working age (25 to 54) increased to 65.8 per cent. Despite this increase, the employment rate for Aboriginal people is still far less than the general population (81.6 per cent). In addition, Aboriginal people are twice as likely to be unemployed than non-Aboriginal people.

(Source.)

If it was solely class, why is this particular group of people affected like this? What isnthe unifying theme, besides their ethnicity? (There is a LARGE number of seperate cultures being lumped in here, btw)

Simplifying it all down to ‘class’ ignores so much. It oppression were class based, it wouldn’t have been just indigenous kids who were kidnapped and put in abusive schools. Indigenous communities wouldn’t be the ones suffering from intergenerational trauma of the 60s scoop and residential schools etc. Indigenous women wouldn’t make up such a large number of missing and murdered people.

Here’s a final point. I want your friend to find a *solely class based explanation* for the fact that indigenous women are *still being forcebly sterilized*.

In North America, forced and coerced sterilization of Indigenous women is usually described as something of the past, a dark blemish in American history and a symptom of colonization and the 20th century eugenics movement. The data is sparse but significant: Anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of the Indigenous women of reproductive age in the U.S. were sterilized between 1970 and 1976. In Canada, 1,200 Indigenous women were sterilized between 1970 and 1975, according to Karen Stote, researcher and author of An Act of Genocide, one of the only books on the history of forced sterilization in Canada.

Now more than 100 Indigenous women from various First Nations in the region have come forward to say they were coerced or forced into a sterilization procedure as recently as 2018. Many are part of a class-action lawsuit led by Indigenous rights attorney Alisa Lombard, which has been developing since 2017. The women are calling for sweeping reform to the health system, and $7 million (CAD) each in damages.

But most importantly, perhaps, they are calling for a recognition of colonization and genocidal practices that never ended.

(Source.)

Here’s the wikipedia article on it. How does a ‘class’ based understanding of oppression deal with eugenics?

Eugenics movements bounced up in many European and American jurisdictions in response to historical, social, scientific, economic, and political processes occurring at the time.[2] Francis Galton invented the term “eugenics” in 1883, building it from its Latin roots meaning “good in birth” or “noble in heredity”.[3] “The science of eugenics was concerned with the improvement of the human standard and focused on the influence that would give ‘the more suitable races or strain of blood a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable'”.[attribution needed][4] Eugenicists were concerned with managing the direction human evolution would take: natural selection, about which Galton’s cousin Charles Darwin wrote, was insufficient to deal with the needs of modern society.[5] If left solely to nature, eugenicists argued, the dangerous classes who were thought to have a high-volume reproductive rate would take over; ideas, promoted abroad, were quick to gain popularity in Canada in the early 1900s.[6]

Tl;dr – yes, class plays *a part*. But there are other factors as well.

Moggie
Moggie
11 months ago

Be wary of anyone who says “it’s all about x“, for any value of x.

@Rhuu:

Now more than 100 Indigenous women from various First Nations in the region have come forward to say they were coerced or forced into a sterilization procedure as recently as 2018.

Holy fuck! I knew it was recent history, but it’s not even history! Why isn’t this outrage better known? Wait, don’t bother answering that question.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

And if anyone wants yet another perfect example of what we’ve been discussing.

This thread is a fucking doozy

https://twitter.com/aishaismad/status/1186062407258562560?s=19

Naglfar
Naglfar
11 months ago

@Rhuu
It is very disturbing that this happened at all, and even more so that it was continued until so recently. I was aware of the sterilization of indigenous people, but I thought it had ended decades ago. I’ll show this information to the skidmarxist in my life. Thank you for the notes.

@WWTH
I have to admit, for people who claim to care about the working class, these skidmarxists are classist as fuck. It’s pretty obvious they don’t actually care, they just want to look like they do while being edgelords.

Dalillama
Dalillama
11 months ago

Historically in the US race has been much more important than class in terms of legally structuralised oppression, and significantly more so in economically structured oppression. There’s a wonderful book that perfectly describes it with citations, but apparently copies go for $1000 and up. IIRC I got it from interlibrary loan, the title is “Labor’s Untold Story”, the 1955 one, not the 2018 one.

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
11 months ago

For some odd reason, the reference to Latin Lovers is putting me in mind of an old interview Entertainment Tonight did with actor Ricardo Montalbán, probably best known today for his roles as the original Mr. Rourke on Fantasy Island and the original Kahn in the Star Trek franchise. The interviewer asked him who was the greatest Latin Lover he ever knew, and and without hesitation (that I recall anyway) said – his father.

The elder Montalbán loved only one woman – Ricardo’s mother – all his adult life, never cheated on her, or anything like that. In the younger man’s mind, that made him one of the greatest Latin Lovers ever. And a quick look at Montalbán’s Wiki page indicates that he followed in his father’s footsteps regarding loving his wife.

Just thought a different take on how to define a good Latin Lover might be good now, given the bad example under discussion in the OP.

Katamount
11 months ago

@Rhuu

Boom. Mike drop. That’s always what I keep in the back of my mind whenever class reductionists rear their ugly heads.

In case folks missed it, a pair of New York Proud Boys were sentenced to four years in prison today.

Catalpa
Catalpa
11 months ago

I found a group on Twitter called Iron and Earth, which is a group for oil sands workers looking to transition to green jobs.

The website and group looks promising.

I just wish the name wasn’t something that immediately triggered my “oh god is this a ‘blood and soil’ Nazi dogwhistle?” suspicion.

Hopefully I’m just being oversensitive and I wish the group luck with their progressive goals. Worker-driven initiatives are something we could use more of.

RE: The Canadian Election

I’m kind of disappointed that Canada overwhelmingly chose the Liberals in the face of their many scandals, broken promises, Trudeau’s attacks on Indigenous children and his fucking blackface. They might be better than Sheer, but that’s a low effing bar to clear. I had much higher hopes that the NDP would be able to gain some more momentum.

Well, I suppose I can at least hope that being forced to work with the NDP to maintain their power will mean that at least some of the Liberals progressive talking points will be more than just talk.

Naglfar
Naglfar
11 months ago

@Katamount

In case folks missed it, a pair of New York Proud Boys were sentenced to four years in prison today.

Hopefully the rest of the Proud Boys and their fascist ilk join them there soon. Maybe Gavin McInnes can share a cell with Jacob Wohl if they both get arrested. The “Godfather of hipsterdom” and the denizen of hipster coffee shops.

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
11 months ago

OT: Pickup artist gets jail time for being pickup artist: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-50137960

Apparently he will change his “entrenched” behavior. Anyone want to make a bet he doesn’t?

tim gueguen
11 months ago

@Catalpa it’s a minor miracle that the NDP did as well as it did. A lot of people expected a near wipeout, one bad enough that they might have lost official party status. Instead they came out with 24 seats, which is still a loss of 20 seats since the last election.

Catalpa
Catalpa
11 months ago

lot of people expected a near wipeout, one bad enough that they might have lost official party status

They did? Hm, I must run in different circles than you, because that isn’t what I heard.

What was the reason for the expected wipeout? Racism against Jagmeet, I assume? (That seems to be most of the reason for the lost Quebec seats, which make up the majority of the NDP losses.) I don’t know of anything else that the NDP have done to merit being wiped out.

Bluecat
Bluecat
11 months ago

In amongst the validation of entitlement (the “when you’re a star they let you do it” excuse), may I mention the racism?

He’s a “Latin lover” and apparently that explains/excuses/permits him to treat women like commodities. Like “Latins” do.

littlem
littlem
11 months ago

Okay, well, wow, M. Quillette.

It sounds to me as if we need to let Ronan Farrow and Sil Lai Adams know about that.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/its-not-just-ronan-farrow-nbc-news-killed-my-rape-allegation-story-too

The other side of the racism Bluecat mentions is that one of the reasons Sil Lai Adams’ allegations were suppressed is that Black and Latino perpetrators aren’t revealed unless their *victims* are white.

So it’s quite possible that the other reason they’re trying to dismiss the allegations is that none of M. Domingo’s victims are white either.

tim gueguen
11 months ago

Expectations of an NDP collapse were based on the party’s low standing in a number of polls throughout 2019. For example the polling firm Nanos had the NDP with numbers as low as 13 percent amongst decided voters in the first half of 2019. One poll after the start of the campaign, by the Forum firm, had the NDP as low as 9 percent. CBC’s Poll Tracker predicted a mere 16 seats for the NDP on September 11th, and at the time some pundits thought they might end up with 12 seats or less.

Perceptions weren’t helped by reports the NDP was still trying to find candidates for ridings as the campaign started, or the defection of several NDP candidates to the Greens in New Brunswick.

The NDP also has financial problems. They’ve been operating at a deficit for several years, which limits the kind of campaigning they can do. https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/2018-ndp-annual-financial-filings-1.5271927

Orion Anderson
Orion Anderson
11 months ago

Given how many PUAs are out there doing so much terrible stuff, I wondered what line this guy crossed to actually bring law enforcement down on him. I have a sinking feeling the answer might be “being named Ahmed.”

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
11 months ago

@Moggie – Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear about your job. Sending positive vibes your way. Hope you can find a new position soon.

Men’s brains are more like waffles. They’re better able to focus because the information collects in each little waffle square.”

This makes zero sense, when you think about it. They’re trying to argue that men are superior because they compartmentalize information, thus ensuring that each concept remains isolated from the others. But that means pancake brains, which have no arbitrary syrup boundaries, are more holistic, more creative, and more adept at solving problems. Pancakes would thus be more suited to big-picture jobs, while waffles should focus on more narrow (menial) tasks.

They forgot one other category: crouton brains, which are stale, unabsorbent, and painful.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
11 months ago

@tim gueguen: Well, that explains why the NDP is always begging me for money I don’t have (or, at least, can’t easily get to them). Or to “phone bank” … not only am I terrible with phone calls, but the “battleground ridings” they’d want me to call people in aren’t the one I’m in, which means they’re asking me to make a buttload of long distance (= expensive) calls on their behalf …

Moggie
Moggie
11 months ago

@Buttercup:

Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear about your job. Sending positive vibes your way. Hope you can find a new position soon.

Thanks, but I’m feeling quite burned out, and, looking at the jobs available, I’m seriously considering taking early retirement. I’m a semi-old, and the pension package on offer through the redundancy programme is quite attractive.

This makes zero sense, when you think about it. They’re trying to argue that men are superior because they compartmentalize information, thus ensuring that each concept remains isolated from the others. But that means pancake brains, which have no arbitrary syrup boundaries, are more holistic, more creative, and more adept at solving problems. Pancakes would thus be more suited to big-picture jobs, while waffles should focus on more narrow (menial) tasks.

The more I think about it, the harder it is to believe that anyone thought this material would fly. Maybe it’s relevant that the woman who wrote it came out of Ross Perot’s EDS? They always seemed a little cult-like to me.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
11 months ago

Out of Topic : a superb example of corporatisme stupid misogyny : https://www.huffpost.com/entry/women-ernst-young-how-to-dress-act-around-men_n_5da721eee4b002e33e78606a

I can’t even. I can’t start to have a beginning of even. It’s insulting for everyone in several thousand way, even if like usual the crux of doing anything is entirely on the women.

Naglfar
Naglfar
11 months ago

@Buttercup Q. Skullpants

They forgot one other category: crouton brains, which are stale, unabsorbent, and painful.

Also, biscotti brains, which need tea or coffee to be usable. I know a number of people who are actually like that.

Cat Mara
Cat Mara
11 months ago

Re: my last post, it seems like another big name in IT has decided to come out as an obnoxious, misogynist jackass, coming out on the side of that “simpleprogrammr” shitgoblin. Step forward, Robert “Uncle Bob” Martin¹²!

#MeToo is coming to tech and a lot of the bros are spooked…

¹ TBH, I was always a bit meh on the guy. I heard him once on an episode of the Stack Overflow podcast and thought he came across as insufferably smug. Also, I worked in a place where his books were held in almost cult-like reverence. Didn’t seem to improve the quality of the code, though. 🤔

² Who calls themselves “uncle” FFS?!

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
11 months ago

@Cat Mara

Uncle Bob has been awful for a while unfortunately. Clean Code apparently uses sexual fantasies about Angelina Jolie as an example to demonstrate… something? The quote read like he was hunting for a way to shoehorn that in, TBH.

And yeaaahhhh, I don’t think “Uncle” is a coincidence.

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
11 months ago

@Orion Anderson

That was my suspicion as well. A distant second possibility is the the underage girls that he was trying to pick up. But I think it’s more likely because his name was Ahmed.

@Cat Mara

I read the post you linked, and I have to confess I did not see the relationship to the shitgoblin of the first comment? Or is it just an overview of the dude’s work? I read the Manhandled post, which did come across as clueless old codger and gave advice from the perspective of someone who can afford to follow it from both a personal and financial safety perspective, but not unsympathetic to women.

Katamount
11 months ago

@Catalpa and @timgueguen

Tim has it exactly right. The NDP coffers were so bare that the candidate in my riding couldn’t even get signs up for about a week into the campaign. I have seen analysts point to the lack of money as a point against the NDP’s leverage, which is likely true and something the Liberals will be keeping in the back of their minds.

Either way, I’m looking to get more involved myself. I’ve checked out the NDP Socialist Caucus as one way of getting involved. There are some spots that trouble me but at least they’re fighting to push the NDP back to where it belongs.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
11 months ago

Our team watched a couple of Uncle Bob clean code lectures at work recently. As a presenter, he’s a bit jumpy and gimmicky, rather like a birthday party magician. I found the props really distracting, and I had the disquieting sense that he wasn’t talking to me, but to an imaginary twentysomething techbro.

Uncle Bob is from a different era, and he freely admits that being a boomer white male has colored his outlook and his sense of humor. He acknowledges he has a lot of catching up to do on #metoo and the social aspects of tech. For someone so prominent in the field, though, he’s moving at a glacial pace. At his keynote talk at RailsConf in 2009, he got a lot of flak for his comment that C++ is the testosterone of languages and Java is the estrogen of languages. He apologized for that, but then he later went on to defend James Damore’s memo. Two steps forward, one step back.

@Moggie I hear you. It’s a tough dilemma to unexpectedly lose a job at a later stage in life. Starting over can be exhausting, and a financial drain if you have to take a pay cut somewhere else. Older workers don’t have a long enough time horizon to work their way back up the ladder at a different organization.

Wishing you the best, and I hope you have good support around you as you figure out what comes next.

Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
11 months ago

@Ohlmann:

Just looking at the title of that thing reminds me of my mother. She was always telling me what to wear and do around boys so I wouldn’t cause any problems. She accused me of sexually harassing men with my clothing on multiple occasions (I like wearing tank tops because my arms get really hot and I’m tall so a lot of times dresses that fit my body end up being short on me).

What awful conditions to work under!

Naglfar
Naglfar
11 months ago

@Buttercup A. Skullpants

At his keynote talk at RailsConf in 2009, he got a lot of flak for his comment that C++ is the testosterone of languages and Java is the estrogen of languages. He apologized for that, but then he later went on to defend James Damore’s memo. Two steps forward, one step back.

The Damore memo was relatively recent, so if he’s still defending that, I question whether he’s made much progress at all.

He acknowledges he has a lot of catching up to do on #metoo and the social aspects of tech.

Then he ought to actually do something rather than staying the same.

Moggie
Moggie
11 months ago

@Buttercup:

He apologized for that, but then he later went on to defend James Damore’s memo.

I think anyone who defends Damore’s screed ought to be asked to critique Yonatan Zunger’s response to it.

It’s a tough dilemma to unexpectedly lose a job at a later stage in life. Starting over can be exhausting, and a financial drain if you have to take a pay cut somewhere else. Older workers don’t have a long enough time horizon to work their way back up the ladder at a different organization.

Wishing you the best, and I hope you have good support around you as you figure out what comes next.

Thanks. I’m more fortunate than most. I have no dependents, no debts, a lot of saleable experience, and live in a city where there are numerous and often lucrative jobs. Except… none of them excite me, and in fact the thought of earning 50% more in fintech is just depressing.

If I take early retirement, I don’t actually have to stop working. But I’ll be drawing a pension, enough to live on, which gives me the possibility of finding work which I enjoy, even if it’s part time, low paid, or even unpaid volunteering. Or I could spend a couple of years retraining. Or I could work hard on an open source project, and hope that I can parlay that into a dev job. My plans aren’t firm yet.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
11 months ago

[Deleted, thought better of it.]

Lesley
Lesley
10 months ago

I’m actually more right of center than anything and even I got sick of Quillette after a short time because I realized it’s pretty much nothing but a protracted whine in magazine form. I make a point of reading stuff across the political spectrum and it was one of many websites I used to visit once or twice a week. I stopped fairly quickly after realizing that every one of its articles just recycles three arguments over and over:

1. Postmodernism irrevocably ruined the university

2. People in recent years have raised concerns about traditional gender roles and even biological categories and this is intrinsically calamitous

3. Crackpot theorist, rude eccentric, or person with no verbal filter #7582 said or did something outrageous and people shunned them and now free speech or art or genius or whatever is in imminent threat of vanishing from the face of the earth

I even think there is some underlying truth in those claims but the level of apocalyptic exaggeration and pearl clutching over these same things over and over just left me rolling my eyes.

numerobis
numerobis
10 months ago

Catalpa: for me, Singh lost me early in the election cycle because he was so quiet — if you can’t be loud and obnoxious in parliament, what’s the point of voting for an opposition party? So I voted Green.

Singh found his voice during the election, which made me less certain when I went to vote.

Racism is what got the Bloc elected in the same places the CAQ won — not racism against Singh so much as being for Blanchet, who is a pretty good speaker.

Not over-the-top blatant racism like Bernier was selling or like the previous Bloc leader was moving towards, Quebec is too polite for that. Similarly the ADQ had to tone it down before rebranding and getting elected provincially and cutting immigration and banning school teachers from wearing a hijab.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
10 months ago

@Lesley:

I’m actually more right of center than anything

Why?

I even think there is some underlying truth in those claims

Evidence?

Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
10 months ago

Oh jeez, yeah, I’m also going to need to know what the ‘underlying truth’ to those claims is, @Lesley. Because, to my dog-whistle trained eyes, they read like this:

1. We’re admitting too many women and PoC to universities, and focusing on making sure they are listened to/succeed/have an environment that isn’t toxic. (I know this is debatable, and we have a long way to go, but this is their argument.)

2. Uh, there are no dogwhistles here. What is the underlying truth you agree with to ‘people are challenging gender roles, and that’s bad’?

3. Free speech means ALL SPEECH IS SACRED (as long as it is preformed by White Men), you aren’t allowed to assign any consequences to FREE SPEECH or we will all be living in a totalitarian gulag comrade.

So, yeah, please expand on what is true about these statements, because I’m a little confused about how we get there, from this website.

Fraser
10 months ago

” If we discovered that James Madison, say, was a skirt-chaser, that fact should have no bearing on his achievements as a political theorist and statesman. ”

I sort of agree with Mac Donald. Madison’s political achievements wouldn’t be less because of his womanizing. Jefferson’s writing on religious freedom is just as insightful to me despite his being a complete racist.
But saying Jefferson’s flaws doesn’t affect his achievements doesn’t mean he gets a free pass. Jefferson was a racist and a great thinker both; if we’re judging him as a historical figure, both have to be considered. And if they committed crimes, they don’t get off because of the awesome stuff they’ve done, any more than Polanski gets to handwave the rape conviction away because he’s a talented filmmaker.
I’ve never heard any claims Madison was a skirt-chaser. I wonder if Mac Donald picked him because he isn’t, so it’s a less controversial argument than “being a slaveholder should have no bearing …”