Too Venal for Words category archive
Writing at Psychology Today Blogs, Susan Krauss Whitbourne describes how Facebook profiled its
users victims. Here’s a bit of the article:
As part of the expose now coming to light, one study, in particular, has not received a great deal of attention, but in some ways is even more ominous than the Cambridge Analytica story alone. In 2015, Kogan published a scientific article (link is external) with collaborators from well-respected academic institutions as well as his company, and Facebook researchers, in which the claim was made that people of higher social status have fewer international friends. The underlying theory was that people with greater wealth and power don’t need to affiliate with people who aren’t like them; i.e., people from other nations. The authors didn’t seem to think that using data from millions of Facebook data, without their awareness, would constitute an ethical violation. See what you think after reading the details of this paper.
Robert Reich notes a malignancy in our society, one exemplified by the “Pharma Bro, Martin Skrelly. A snippet:
Shkreli will do whatever it takes to win, regardless of the consequences for anyone else. He believes that the norms other people live by don’t apply to him. His attitude toward the law is that anything he wants to do is OK unless it is clearly illegal — and even if it’s illegal, it’s OK if he can get away with it.
He’s contemptuous of anyone who gets in his way — whether judges, prosecutors, members of Congress or journalists. He remains unapologetic for what he did. He is utterly shameless.
The Seattle Times rounds up some #metoo moments. Here’s one:
Ali Cho, in contrast, has no doubt that an Uber driver entered into #MeToo territory when he kept pressing her for a date during a drive to the airport. Cho, a University of Washington senior who heads a leadership program, was headed home on spring break.
“I love Asian girls,” the driver said. She told him she had a boyfriend. He suggested it might not last.
All the while, she thought in the back of her head, “He knows where I live.”
More moments at the link.
Frankly, this is a new one on me.
And it’s not the first time.
Almost a year ago , over 3 feet of hair was cut from Chloe’s 4-foot tail. Back then, the tail of the Hollars’ black-and-white Tennessee Walking horse, Matt, also was shorn.
The owners think the tails were stolen because “the flaxen color is especially prized for use in hair extensions and craft projects.” The story goes on to point out that such thefts have been reported sporadically in the past. They are cruel, also, as the horses’ tails are now too short to brush away insects and may take four or five years to grow back.
I must say that, in none of the places I’ve worked–and by that I mean my own little corner of the company, not the company as a whole–have I heard of, let along witnessed, predatory sexual behavior such as that recently in the news.
Nonetheless, the recent news stories in no way surprise me.
I know that such conduct went on in parts of at least one company I worked for. It was early in my career, which started just as the Mad Men days were coming to a close. As one of my co-workers told me at the time, “No woman wants to be in the elevator with [Vice President X]. He thinks every woman in [Department Y] is a member of his harem.” I also recall that, when an accomplished and diligent woman in my department received a promotion, it was accompanied by a whispering campaign that she had “slept her way” into it (she didn’t).
Historiann argues that there much more going on workplaces which tolerate such behavior than sexual hanky-panky. Here’s a bit of her piece; follow the link for the rest.
This is the playbook for sexualizing people and workplaces as a part of the process of marginalizing and alienating the junior folks who get caught up in these relationships, whether they’re consensual or not. This is also a primary means by which men re-create the hierarchy of men over women, again and again. Exploiting younger women (which is the overwhelming majority of sexual harassment and abuse cases) is a win-win for these guys, because they can get their rocks off, and–here’s the beauty part–you keep junior women from becoming senior women who might step on your nuts about all this because you’ve created an sexualized environment in which the junior women must either become victims or collaborators. Most of them will quit eventually, and the ones that hang on are compromised because they’ve been drawn in as collaborators (or heck, even apologists for the abuse of younger women.)
At the Boston Review, Bonnie Honig sees both similarities and differences between Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein. The similarities she perceives are not surprising, but the differences are chilling.
Here’s a bit:
. . . Trump has changed the rules of the game. Trump would never offer to get treatment to save his job. He would never ask for a second chance. If you are emailing your friends asking for support, if you say you will seek treatment, if you are hoping for another chance, you are already—in Trump’s grade school terms—a loser: reality’s victim, not its maker. The game is over.
Follow the link for the rest; it is quite worth your consideration.
Alfred Doblin considers the similarities between Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein.
Just read it.