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Interventions

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.28.18

It's hard not to put this against a backdrop of Kavanaugh, but it's actually unrelated. I've got jumbled thoughts and I'm hoping that writing this out clarifies things.

I'm on the Title IX disciplinary panel here, and have been for the past couple semesters. A common thing that we see is that a romantic relationship is generally awful and dysfunctional in a way that I think of as common for people in their late teens and early twenties - fighting a lot, grabbing each other's wrists, lots of extreme rudeness and shouting, tracking each other's behavior compulsively, and so on. Often times the bad behavior seems symmetric between the two parties, but something was reported - maybe by a third party - to the school, and that triggered an automatic Title IX investigation.

We're encouraged to think of this as an opportunity to have an early intervention in what may be the beginning of a cycle of violence and abuse, (over a lifetime, even if this particular couple splits up.) This is helpful to me, because without it, if you were just considering two grown adults, the answer would often be "Butt out, there's not exactly a well-defined crime or problem yet."

At the same time, if we're considering this as being paternalistic by design, well, a lot of bad behavior just naturally works itself out. A lot of people can say "my first real relationship was absolutely awful. I worked on my shit and matured and got together with other people who I don't fight with like that." What is the role of Title IX meddling if the individuals are just progressing through a developmental stage, and this is how people learn and grow?

There are other cases which are clear-cut power imbalances, abuse, and violence, where one person is more locked in the victim role and the other person more locked in the aggressor role. These cases that I'm thinking of are more fluid, with both people seeming to torture each other.

Maybe there's no discussion worth having about these ambiguous cases, if I'm not going to get into specifics. Clearly each ambiguous case is ambiguous in its own little Tolstoy way. But it is something that is muddled in my mind, and I'm not sure what I lack clarity on.

It's possible that it's entirely wrong-headed to try to have this discussion while we're all roiling from the Kavanaugh shit-storm. In my head, these occupy such different spheres of life that they're clearly distinct, and also I couldn't think of anything else to post about.


 

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Being White

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.27.18

Today is clearly another big news day, but the Part Deaux thread is still on the front page, so I'll let it hang out there.

This is a nice organization for, basically, supporting white parents who are thinking about bucking the conventions of their peer group by sending their kid to their local public school full of nonwhite kids. (The link goes to a blog post anecdote, which was what I saw linked, and then I poked around the organization a little bit.)

On a different note - my mom has a friend who really liked the SkippyJon Jones children's book series, so my mom ordered us 6 or 7 of them off Amazon. Holy moly they are problematic. (The premise is a Siamese kitten who likes to pretend he's a Chihuahua and descend into imaginary adventures as his Mexican alter ego, Skippito. It's chock full of making things rhyme by tacking on -ito and -o onto English words for laughs.) It's not particularly any different than the racism of things we grew up with, but it does feel anachronistic and I suspect we should, well, recycle them.


 

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Guest Post - Academic deference and its exploiters

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.26.18

Minivet writes: Content note: physical descriptions of severe child abuse.

In all the cases he has worked on, Holick has never concluded that a child was being abused. On the rare occasions when he didn't diagnose EDS, he attributed the bone fractures to rickets or Vitamin D deficiency. Many geneticists and bone specialists find it troubling that he diagnoses EDS in nearly 100 percent of the cases he examines. According to the National Institutes of Health, EDS affects, at the most, 0.02 percent of people worldwide.

Especially frustrating because given the way the child protection system works, it's plausible that at least a few parents over the years have been wrongly accused for having no explanation for fractures, and lost rights or been imprisoned when the true explanation is a rare bone disorder. But looking at the totality around this particular doctor, it seems hard to believe he doesn't have a secret price sheet for his testimony.


Heebie's take
: The doc looks like Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz made a love-daddy.


 

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Space Dust

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.25.18

Don't Ever Call Me Again. A neat story via one of you at the other place. And Alan Bean's art.


 

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Cosby

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.25.18

Cosby sentenced to 3-10 years. Good.

Dunno if there's much to say about it.


 

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Impending loss

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.25.18

It's hard to come up with anything to post besides Kavanaugh's creepy yearbook and the rapey 80s. One silver lining is that the victims were on career trajectories substantial enough to make them very formidable witnesses in 2018, as opposed to victims whose lives are later compounded by poverty and other derailments. But let's leave this discussion in the dedicated thread.

Two beloved family members are gravely ill - both in their 70s, not children or anything - and my mom is caretaking a friend of hers in her 90s, in steep decline, and another friend is posting frequently about cleaning out her densely-packratted (but well-labeled, organized, and intentional!) Victorian childhood home jammed with antiques. (Picture multiple closets that she'd never known existed, rooms filled to the gills, and so on. It's giving me the vapors to watch this happen.)

I'm dreading the onset of this new stage, in which the generation above me starts to flicker out, or slowly decline, and we lose them while having to manage all the logistics of their stuff.

I suppose you get used to it, the losses and the sorting? Not that it gets easier, but maybe it gets practiced? I don't know. Right now it's very frightening. Tell me how it's going for you. Or how it went for you. Take the mysteriousness out of the equation for me.

(I did read Roz Chast's Can We Talk About Something More Pleasant? recently, which was recommended here, and it's a lovely book. Not too grim, but not dodging the central point, either.)


 

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Handsy

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.24.18

Octopuses on ecstasy are fun to read about.


 

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Part Deaux

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.24.18

The old Kavanaugh and Ford post ran off the front page, so here's one for ease of clicking.


 

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