The #MeToo-ing of Junot Díaz and The Assault on Truth
Cathy Young

Whether or not it was in this case, yelling can 100% be misogynist. I’ve both heard of and seen it happen. A colleague of mine yells at women he works with. He does not yell at men. Sometimes the yell is *at* them (that is “You [whatever],” while other times it is yelling more or less *around* them (he’s mad about something and yelling, but not yelling about their behavior). Both are unacceptable. Since he is doing in to intimidate, etc. and make himself feel better (kind of like a toddler), and he only does it at women, there is an element of misogyny, or at least discrimination. (He is treating female colleagues both differently and worse than male colleagues).

I have seen male academics shout down female academics, talk over them, shame them, etc. and NOT do that to male colleagues. Sexism.

To pretend that to call out sexist argumentation is somehow anti-intellectual is absurd.

Also, there are power dynamics to consider. While you might consider “wide-eyed 26 y/o” to be infantilizing, in the academy, if she is a graduate student, and the person she is dealing with is a big name in the field, she is 100% almost powerless in the situation. (This also goes for male students in the same situation, of course, but I haven’t seen nearly as much of this from male academics to male grad students. I’m sure it happens, too. One example I can think of is the Sandusky Penn State debacle. A grad student reported him. They did nothing — and to push it would have probably cost the student his career. That’s a clear example of a BAD power dynamic among men.)

The problem is that subtlety is a real thing. A man yelling at a woman is not always sexism. It isn’t always a power disparity. It may in fact not always be a problem. But if you have a man with a lot more power than a woman, yelling at a woman, then at minimum that behavior needs to be stopped and shamed. (Yes, shamed).

Frankly, if you’re an academic and you can’t argue and disagree without yelling, you’re not a very good academic.

In this instance, too, it is one example out of many that proves to be at worst an out and out lie, and at best a particular, not necessarily accurate, experience of a situation. But from what I understand there were several problems over time. I’m sure at least one person speaking against Weinstein is either mistaken or lying. That doesn’t mean he isn’t a creep who assaulted other women.

And that’s the issue here. The problem with situations like this isn’t actually the danger of innocent men being hurt. The statistic likelihood of that is incredibly small. The larger risk is that now people will be inclined to say “I’ll bet every story about him is false!” So in that sense, yeah, I wish the woman hadn’t done this, but not because the intellectual freedom of men is so fragile and at stake, but because the change in culture to a situation where this behavior, when it happens, isn’t 100% unacceptable is fragile, as it the realization and admission that this kind of thing happens A LOT.

(And I’ve got my sexism stories from grad school, too. Though I never was sexually harassed in any way. )

Like what you read? Give Emily a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.