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Blaming the victim is apparently OK when the accused in a Title IX proceeding is a feminist literary theorist

Article here. Excerpt:

'That would seem to be the takeaway from this remarkable letter (written, I am told, by Judith Butler) in support of Avital Ronell, who teaches in German and Comparative Literature at NYU: Download BUTLER letter for Avital Ronell. The signatory list reads like a "who's who" of "theory" (as they call bad philosophy in literature departments), from Butler to Zizek (with a few honorable exceptions, of course). But far more revealing is the content of the letter.

Professor Ronell, it seems, is the target of a Title IX complaint and investigation at NYU; the details are not known to me, and are not revealed in the letter. But this is apparently irrelevant. From the remarkable first paragraph (boldings added by me):

"... We wish to communicate first in the clearest terms our profound an enduring admiration for Professor Ronell whose mentorship of students has been no less than remarkable over many years. We deplore the damage that this legal proceeding causes her, and seek to register in clear terms our objection to any judgment against her. We hold that the allegations against her do not constitute actual evidence, but rather support the view that malicious intention has animated and sustained this legal nightmare."

Imagine that such a letter had been sent on behalf of Peter Ludlow, Colin McGinn, John Searle, Thomas Pogge or anyone other than a feminist literary theorist:  there would be howls of protest and indignation at such a public assault on a complainant in a Title IX case.  The signatories collectively malign the complainant as motivated by "malice" (i.e., a liar), even though they admit to knowing nothing about the findings of the Title IX proceedings--and despite that they also demand that their friend be acquitted, given her past "mentorship of students".  (I imagine many faculty members found guilty, correctly, in a Title IX proceeding have also mentored lots of students, chaired a department, and produced notable scholarship.)  If Professor Ronell had any role in soliciting this letter, it looks to me like a clear case of retaliation against the complainant that will compound her and the university's problems.'

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