« Making Sense with Sam Harris

#165 — Journey into Wokeness

2019-08-13 | 🔗

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Caitlin Flanagan about her work as a writer. They discuss controversies on social media, the contradictions within feminism, media bias, #MeToo, the new norms of sexuality, the wokeness of academia, affirmative action, college admissions, HR departments, sexual harassment, and other topics.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to the making sense podcast this is SAM Harris, okay, well, a major housekeeping seems to be in order, but it is big enough that I think I will do it separately, so this housekeeping will be brief. I just want to say a few things is about the app we are finally releasing the group's feature. I know I promise that a few weeks back, that's rolling out this week with the new update and we'll go week by week, with progressively larger cohorts of the subscribe So, if you don't get it immediately, that's what's happening. You will eventually get it. We just don't want to break anything. So anyway,
you're coming and in lieu of housekeeping. I wanted to present a lesson that was recently released on the app and this lesson is titled space time and attention so enjoy that. And then I'll be back with today's guest. I do you to consider what is real in this moment. That is what actually exists and one of the things that exist actually matter and what makes things matter, we tend to think of reality in terms of space and of things in space. We think of people and places that matter to us. We accumulate possessions things in drawers and closets that we care about or once cared about, we move from room to room in our homes into spaces. That maintain for different purposes. So, the same
of what is there for us in each moment is bound up with the sense of space, and we have digital lives that take place in virtual spaces, and we can now see distant places on earth in real time without having to travel, we can communicate with people who are elsewhere, but they're real to us by reference to their being in space, and if you believe that God exists well, then the question becomes where the reality of anything seems to entail its existence in space is abstract quantities, like numbers violate this principle that there exist. It's become so hard to think about, What sense does the number seven exist that becomes philosophically interesting and even inscrutable, because existence is so bound up
with our sense of space and time hovers over all of this, like a ghost, in one sense, it's another abstraction based on the how of change all things that exist seem to change, and one thing causes or cancels another. It's based on these changes that we form a picture of time. Now we can get closer to the truth by import in time into our thinking about things we can think in terms of processes rather than thing We can turn now nouns into verbs you is a person, are not really a thing, your process, your a stream of actions and This and your moment to moment engagement with the world of things and ideas changes you yorku. Our new skills and opinions and desires, and concerns
you're, not precisely who you were yesterday and you don't exactly know who you'll be tomorrow. Look at what matters to you. Your relationships. Relationship isn't a thing: it's built upon experiences with another person and a career. Isn't a thing and your health isn't a thing. Everything you experience is made of moments in time. But the real significance of time is not happens on the calendar or on the clock, But in our minds the true source of profundity is attention. That is the cash value of time. We all know what it's like to guard our time, but then just wander it by not paying attention to that which would have made the time we guarded valuable. It's always amusing, to see a group of people who've decided to be together, for whatever reason, perhaps lunch in a restaurant, but most
or even all of them are buried in their phones. The real coincidence of space and time that is meaningful is attention. Think, of some possession or place that you love some quantity of space. That gives you pleasure. Perhaps it's a work of art you have on your wall or piece of jewelry or a place in nature, a beach or a mountain. Perhaps there's a restaurant or bookstore that would be so and to know you would never see again. You maintain this connection to this object or place for the rest of your life. What is it's real significant? How is it possible to grasp it and take pleasure in it? How can it matter to you? All of this is a play of attention. This object or place exists for you and matters too,
a degree that it captures your attention. Precisely to that degree, you like to look at it or hold it or think about it. The real pleasure isn't in the object. It's in your mind, it's a matter of what it feels like to give this thing your attention- and this is where meditation reveals its real power. True profundity, we found not in garden space or even time the real profundity. He is being able to use attention in a way that truly rewarding you're only as free as your attention is. If you're lost in thought, even in a holy place on a holy day or informal meditation on your honeymoon or a child's birthday party or at work, you might as well be anywhere because for that money you are well and truly lost.
If, on the other hand, your ray guys in the nature of consciousness, it all so doesn't matter where you are or what time it is because the moment is found it in this middle place, where you're distracted with the objects and people and places that matter to you, where it really does seem to matter what you have and where you are. Your attention is bound up with your scene and hearing and thinking in a way that play is upon your preferences and your hopes and your fears. Think of the moment when you notice that your new car is dented or the jacket you love, has a ketchup stain on it or your checking account has less money in it. Then you expected the team. You were rooting for just won the championship or you just finished a project that you've been working on for months Happy hour just ended, but the waiter
still take your order and those are the best. Tacos on earth mostly live in this place with attention, and bound up with what we want and what we don't want. What we expect, what were surprised to find and then our minds continually wander into thoughts about the past in the future and then our wandering we lose awareness of the very things we want and have been. Silly gathering and garden and made and have in hand that best taco on earth hits your tongue and you taste it sort of, and then your attention races away to something else in space or time or merely within the space and time of your imagination. Think about what matters and how it's possible for something to matter. Many of us have thought about what we would grab from our homes in a fire. Just imagine your family
is safely on the street and you have a chance to grab something. What would it be photos? A computer, your father's watch you can't fit much in my hands is sometimes we're always in this situation we're all deciding what to grasp what matters. What is worth paying attention to in this moment because can only pay attention to one thing at a time. And it's only meditation that gives you a choice about what to grasp and what to let go of. It's as though we continually wake up in the burning house of the present only to find we're, holding and even straw Lynn under the weight of some worthless object. That's what bickering with your spouse is like. That's what rumination
like that's what most of our Warren is like. That's. What comparing ourselves to others is like that's. What envy and regret are like that's what pride is like. I mean really, the tape gallery was on fire and rather than rescue a Picasso or Davinci. You risked your life to grab some chairs from the coffee shop Without a meditation practice, you will just find yourself holding something: Staggering, under some burden again and again, reacting to something brooding about something. Fixating on something helplessly without a choice without the possibility of choice. Meditation is nothing more or less than the art of choice. Is the art of paying attention to what really matter
Okay. Oh, that is a lesson from the waking up course and if you want more information about that, you can find it at waking up dot com and another thing that I am now doing in the course. Done interviewing other meditation teachers and trying to get to the bottom of what they teach and why they teach it. These will be deep, into the minutia of consciousness and what can be cleaned about it from first person methods, whether they be contemplative or psych, Delacour, philosophical or otherwise, now for today's guest today, I'm speaking with Caitlin, Flanagan, Caitlin, is a really great writer. She writes now mostly for the Atlantic. It seems but she's been on staff at the new Yorker in the Wall Street
she's won a national magazine award to salsa her time and o the Oprah magazine, the New York times in the LOS Angeles times. She is a deeply your reverent and clever social critic. She has this two books girl land and to Hell with all that, and it was great to finally get on on the podcast fan of her work for many years and we had not yet met and the podcast occasion to finally sit down and talk, and we certainly do our best to make trouble for ourselves. We talk about the me to me: mint and feminism and immigration, affirmative action, the whole college admissions racket basically steered toward every third rail we think of anyway. I had great fun in the conversation now without further delay. I bring you Caitlin Flanagan,
I'm here with Kate and slamming and Caitlin thanks for coming on the podcast thanks for having me. So I am a huge fan. I've been reading you for quite some time, and I mean you, you seem to touch so many controversial issues and you do it in a way that it is I mean I. I can't imagine that some some back on you and you may regret having touch a particular topic, but is there anything that you any error you've gone into that you? You regret touching, never no it's funny. I talked to a lot of young women writers about this. It's almost become the part of my day, everyday there's a few of them. I know well and they're writing really interesting, stuff, really important stuff and there having such a hard time with the blowback and the response and I to
call them what nobody told me in the beginning, which was it doesn't matter. It absolutely doesn't matter not just from a standpoint of the largeness of a life. You know that you want to get to the end of the life where you didn't say what you thought. I don't think you do but even in the immediate sense, it's not gonna hurt your career that people are really angry. It's going to make your writing more noisy and people are going to be driven to it and then, inevitably, in that drive of people, do your work, some of them to find that they really love your work and that's going to expand the reach so I've. Certainly Well, the one that I got the most it's interesting. I wrote a big huge Atlantic Cover story a long time ago, like maybe two one thousand and six was manning story. Yes- and I remember handing that to my wife and I'm not even sure, I I knew who you were as a writer, but I I hadn't read much of your stuff and
remember handed to her like this like this is going to get. Nate in your hands. So just like just I I I don't think I don't think one way or the other is just let's just see what this does to your brain, but it was yeah. I can imagine that was intense to summarize what what your position was there and I may be back up for a second and just give our listeners a sense of the types of topics you've tended to touch, and then let's go to the the nanny story. I guess I would say I well I'm interested in politics always and I'm interested. Although I am a self hating Democrat, I am really interested and list of progress. The of the left. I just think it's it's just. I just try to have a a a a a comical attitude toward it, because it's just so x stream, but so I'm interested in that I'm interested in that I'm interested in always I'm interested in girls I'm into didn't being a mother, I'm interested in just I've always just followed the things that are kind of emanating from my own private life and just kind of tried to put them. I love so
history. So I love knowing why you do a certain thing that you just thought was coming completely from your own convictions and then you realize no there's actually a history to this, and it was twenty or thirty years, and this happened, and that happened. So they are kind of small kitchen table subjects, but. A few years. It is this too long. No, no! No afew years ago I went to Santa Monica Public Library 'cause. They have like bound editions of old magazines instead of having to microfilm or whatever, and they have all these back issues of time magazine, and so I gotta bunch from like, I think, the one thousand nine hundred and eighty and I went through them, and it was amazing how many of the stories they thought were the big stories. They got it wrong like hurricanes that didn't remember until they said it, you know, attempted coups that you know as it was newsworthy. Was it a cover story? Was it that big, no, but every single store very private life we just rang. True, you know that's the record of how
we live our lives. That's the record of you know when you come back home and the door is closed and the people you live with. If they're your family, you know the choices that you make in the things that you buy and the ways that you spend your time, the things that people really talk about after they finished talking about what they think they're supposed to talk about. That's what I like to write about on that point. It's been a while, since I've looked at it did you ever see the the multi volume history of a private life is history: private life, yeah yeah, the french, french theory, yeah yeah. I got all of them yeah, but you're often used of being an anti feminist by feminist right. Let's sort out that question. What is what's the allegation and what provokes it in your well the allegation, I don't think it's precisely enough stated and it changed a lot with time, but my thing with
so I was born in one thousand nine hundred and sixty one. So I'm fifty six or fifty seven, you maybe fifty eight this year right, that's what it's going to be my husband, just don't yes, it's fifty eight in the amount of math math gets harder. Yeah been hard for of the very beginning for me, but I was just always repeat how I grew up in Berkeley. Very lefty plays very lefty parents, very lefty experience where your parents, professors or my father yeah an historian in a writer in it was in the english department, but when the 80s came along and so feminism was part of this very happening like legitimate attempt to really change the world, and it was interesting to me and a lot of thing started being talked about when I was an adolescent, you know. People I was an
beginning of women talking about rape and about things you had to do. You know before it was all in metaphor: it was all coded language, you know, oh a boy might get fresh with you or this might happen, or that might happen. This was the beginning of women. Talking about rapes- and I I remember this is a teenager. They were talking about date, rape, sir any intimate partner, rape, but I'm I was a teenager thing. This is simply right and you know I need to know about this because you're mother, would always tell you and you need to not do this and you need to not go there and my father would say certain things, but they wouldn't say because some man may grab you and attack you in for sex upon you. They just wouldn't say it that directly, it was uh no, but was rude or just I don't know what it was, but I'm everything this is all very important, but then, when it got to be the mid 80s, and then it became about that. It was equally. The whole idea of feminism is it's kind of a marxist premise. All of women are class. Okay. You know that
true in some areas, the vote is true. Abortion, it's true, but then it became a this idea that getting this Yale graduate a job at this investment bank is really an important feminist issue. It's like this white woman that was raised. You know me middle class, maybe upper middle class. She went to a top cop college, and now it's good for all of us that she work in this callow industry and that we promote her and that and it's really criminal, that she doesn't have enough child care to get this important investment banking, it's criminal that she's not a partner in the law firm, and I just thought this is totally bogus, 'cause now now we're not a class. Now we're somehow going to push the very top white women into these careers that I certainly wasn't didn't. Who did you mean I'm not really interested in the investment bankers of the world, and I certainly don't see it as some, and it was. So once we're in the investment banks
then will fund the revolution. It was like once when the invest investment banks, then we can buy the beach house and not have to have our husband be the one to choose it. So I thought that was really bogus and and Stupid and I think now, there's a big element of a Grifton feminism that any kind of miss steak that a man makes any like the New York I mean they're really that you cannot single any story out for particular banality, but this one. It was about the space you know going to the moon in sixty eight, and it was like this was a program by and for white men, and there was another article where it was actually Russia. They had won the space race because they were the first to put a black man into space, and I just thought this is the most but the New York Times real reporting is still great and the armature in the depth of knowledge of the people who work there in the armature of the machine is still great, but their shoes is deep, inanity that runs through all of those social pieces.
All of that I just think it's bogus and stupid, but the main thing that I have a problem with is the erasing of boys and the erasing of men and the cackling, leaf away that they've done it. I despise those things, and yet I have to may the life. I lead the things I do the places I go, the right side hold. I have to absolutely feminism. For that- and I remember my mother- would- I was a kid like I don't know it just seems like now, Kate, you wouldn't When you get married, you have to always have a credit card in your name, because I see my friends like if their husband dies, they can't get credit, not like nine. I said what is credit. You know I don't wanna Hinks card for, but like all of those big changes that make me eat well to a man as far as my rights and abilities. I certainly go to the movement. So I'm not. You know, I'm not some like Phyllis Schlafly probably more interesting characters, probably right about how I don't really know anything about her except the top lines. But I am not someone who's.
In any way saying we need to go back or that women shouldn't work or anything like that. I just think that this combination of the grift and. The inanity of it that's being passed down to young women. I think it is just the inanity. I think it's silly in the grift is ugly. I actually want to talk about me too, and that movement- maybe we can jump into that earlier than I expected, but. Just a few more general point want one is that you so so obvious. You have a new ones position here and, as we have discovered new wants, is the the enemy of common understanding? More and more is just eat a if your. If your position can't be summarized in a sentence, some the tractor will find a completely false reading of it. I wish to summarize it right you're accountable to that
Well, the the the least charitable interpretation of one of your new ones. Points that needs to be by definition needs to be understood in context, becomes the advertisement for what your position actually has. So we just bring me back to old one just for members of the audience who haven't read your stuff. Hardly think. There's any members of the audience, and I haven't read this obskure- was writing ok well just or have forgotten that this absolutely friendly teal voice that you now here when someone gets on the wrong side of your pen. Your scorn is truly withering, and it's really it's it's delightful to. Need, but I can imagine I mean you take it right up to the line where it's just like you, you know yeah, I think at least once or twice and where it's at okay Caitlyn plan again as you, you know, get of murder here. Somebody call the FBI right mean you do essentially what hitch did, but you, I think you being a woman, makes it. I don't think it perceived as a bully the way he he was
I got to say you like I mean seeing you take on Naomi Wolf. I mean it's it's right up to the line like this. Is your just eviscerating her right, not enough. So anyway, I mean the pleasure of schadenfreude. You know in your articles is just immense, but you reek operate that at all now, in the social media, major you just did you set the dial at eleven back in the day and it is just stay there is somebody just got comes out in a major place like a network news program or are really visible newspaper, and they come up with some like in name idiotic thing And then there's sort of getting the imprimatur of whatever it might be, the New York Times or wherever it is it's a Naomi Wolf is published. You know very serious presses that just needs to be
Then I am the woman that will take care of that. You know, like I always say, with Kristen Kristen Gillibrand, like don't worry if she forget their head above water? I'm out, like I just have a total assignment that will be taken care of, so anybody who's really fair game and they are publishing or they're speaking or they're being accepted in a very elite space. Then I just it just drives me crazy and then the whole idea that they kind of skip over all these half truths. All I want to do is just expose the truth and then because I'm funny it becomes withering, yeah yeah and it's
very very funny all right. So I have an enemies list. I want to turn you loose on on my my enemies with okay, but all right, speed round and amazing. Let's, let's talk about, we touch than anything to tell us what was the was the controversy around your nanny article. There was a lot of discussion about the title for the essay. No one could come up with a good one, and then Colin Murphy at the Atlantic came up with the perfect title, which is a mouthful, but it's how serfdom save the women's movement. And it was just about the fact that for all these women suddenly to go into these jobs, including say middle class woman who need two incomes, but also women who were you know, Ivy League, hated women married to Ivy League educated men, so they could either one of them could have. You know curtailed their career a bit. The way They they made it happen not in the absence of a daycare culture which we didn't have, but that
Wasn't really the issue these? We didn't want their kids in daycare. They wanted them to be at home. You know, there's just always felt to be. Oh, my child's not in daycare my child is at home, she's in her own crib at nap time, she's playing in the backyard and and the person who's doing this caretaking she's, my direct employee. You can't really toss around a day care worker. You know she's an employee of the day care and she's responsible to her boss, and so the way that that circle was squared is that we were at the beginning of really the very beginning of mass immigration so that the cities were really filled with women who were easily exploitable. They were some of them not documented in any way, and some of the them were desperate. That did they needed work. They desperately need to work and they had a lot of great. You know mothering skills and so all
these women that were going back to work hired all these nannies and they did a lot of terrible things that they do to this day. Is that okay, a family hires in nanny and, oh you know, the nanny doesn't want to be treated in a cold way. Is an employee and the family doesn't think of her as an employee wouldn't leave our precious baby with some employee. Why a rose is a member of the family? she's a member of the family and- and we do a lot of things for Rosie know she was able to get a car and we paid the down payment and we the money down and got to the car and her brother was having trouble did this in that for them and you run into and with the nanny. Oh, it's roses, she's a member of the family and inevitably Three years later, you run into the mom and the kid where is Rosa? Oh, it didn't work out there something that happened. You know I'll tell you but it and it's the always be something that happen. And then rose. It goes on to our next job, but
inevitably I mean it's really rare to find someone who's paying their social security set asides for that woman. They don't want to do it. They want to have, and the woman doesn't really want it either. They want the full amount in that check, they want to say they're, giving Rosa full dollars, but you a low income worker and you move from job to job to job. You should be accruing. Those social security set asides and if you remain poor or even I can't remove the exact number, but it's like seventy percent of the in hum of people who are like over sixty who are maybe lower middle class is their social security, check your not paying into that and let alone. The fact planet, paying time and a half if they're working over this certain number of hours. But they are really grind down another woman they're getting ahead in their lives by grinding one down, and so I wrote extensive
about all that and there was a huge blow back And then all these women wanted to debate me in places like the 92Nd St Street Y was like. Are you kidding, but but then they were so serious women and I was getting a lot of heat from my publisher to do it, or that was when the book came out. That was from that article, but. They were such big people that it seemed really weird or fearful that I wasn't debating them, and I was fearful because I knew if I went to the 92nd St Y, there wouldn't be any one thousand women with nannies right, exactly and, and I guess, intersection reality, which is now is kind of in this weird way, which I hate, but it's sort of like really making the point that I was making so long ago, maybe would give me some cover, but so I came up with this audacious thing that I didn't think with work. And I won't say the names of the women who worked with, but it worked one hundred percent. I said I'll debate, anyone anywhere, but we're just going to get a neutral person to look at our taxes for the last five
'cause, they were all mom's and I was a mom and I knew I was clean. You know and they fell away meet it. They disappeared, they disappeared, and you know some people could say well you're blaming women for this when it's a parenting issue, I think nowadays really changed. Father's are more involved with those decisions but uh that time it was the women who made those decisions. The women who dealt with the nanny, the woman decided whether or not they were going to do the social security set asides and all that- and I just thought that that was how the women's movement depended on this kind of serfdom, and I think, to this extent in LA the number of people that don't do that and are really and think of themselves. As very progressive West side lies Angelus ' people and yet have a very low income worker in their home and think that she's going to be a lie.
Time retainer like it's some, you know Cary Grant movie where these, like you know, old retainers are wandering in and out she's. Not you know, I never had this funny thing and one of her final books of essays of like things to remember- and she said one of the most important things to remember- is that even the best babysitter of in the world won't work after a while. Your family is going to change. You know it's not going to be right, and what have you done for her is my question or to her, and this It is a lot of rage from a lot of women, but it also got me which and then we're just completely max them out, and this is why I keep telling people don't worry. I got invited to join. The new Yorker as a staff writer. So it's like, if you're a Big noisy rider and you're, taking up the space in the culture and you're, really saying some new things, much
If you're gonna have a lot of you know painful incidents, you know the world will take note of you here yeah. Well, I guess there. Obviously there are people who are getting canceled them as you. You have to be on a right side of certain questions because of you are, you are not right wing right, so you're you. You violate certain taboos of the left, but when push comes to shove, your arguing aggressive causes. I don't know if I can say that, because you had a, how would you describe yourself politically well, do you member the Covington incident when those kids here so great flash point I just was thank. Being so I was like. Oh this, I just heard the top line, these kids abusing this native american man or whatever I thought. Oh, that's terrible, and I just watched the little tiny piece of video
that everybody was saying this is the evidence. Everyone became a clairvoyant. Yes, it was a fair world piece of video was one child smiling in very Yeah enigmatic way standing close to a native american man who's playing a drum, and I thought I'm always thinking in cases like this. There must another clip they're using because clearly this doesn't show me anything that that guy did wrong, that this kid did wrong. And and then I just went farther and farther and farther- and it was completely bogus that guy is a real sort of formance artist who like mixes it up in this way in different places and gets attention and voting himself is a Vietnam vet and then a Vietnam era. Vet and the whole thing was just a fraudulent event and then NBC here I go again. These are the things
they. They give me an immediate trouble, but Amanda Guthrie on NBC was give I mean I they should have talked to me, the seventeen families. She was given the opportunity to interview that exact kid in his home back in wherever they're from Kentucky. I guess- and it was a very disparaging interview on her part. It was all the worst being sort of gentle in the way that she did it 'cause there's the morning show, but it was. She was not an honest broker to that kid, and- and the other thing is now- I know all these people- you know I don't know Samantha but like in that world enough that I go to events, parties, dinners with these people back east and the right is so the correct they are all extremely progressive. That is to a person. They are pro choice to a person. They are anti trump to a person, and so the right is actually correct that the,
mainstream media. The important media outlets are peopled by extremely partisan reporters editors and opinion writers who try hi at the best they can? They don't go in there and sort of say, let's make a plot to do this or that so yeah. I guess I guess my point. There was just that you would be. You would probably be cancellable if you were actually right wing and making some of the same point. So I could you didn't you? Could you couldn't check some of the Progressive box? Is that at the end of the day, make you look more saint than sinner from the point of view of the left, it's just just just take the new Yorkers response to the platforming or almost platform of Steve Bannon at the New Yorker conference right so
David Remnick had a total of mutiny on his hands. So if you, if the, if you were on some level pro ban and pro Trump, you know making those points, then you know that's, then you could you have some of the same essays. That would spark a same controversy, but when someone drill down they would discover that you were politically toxic and I think that would have a you're right fact, you're right, although Bannon, is certainly loathsome. I mean somebody does something in the mail. The other day from the magazine, based on a couple of tweets, that's and he's like I just don't underst, stand your position on immigration 'cause. I wasn't in one lane or the other, it's a very complex situation. Well that won't talk about immigration to isolate. Let me just so we're close to Certainly then, on on me too, and all right. Let's start, let's start there so who had a huge case is in recent memory that have focused
concern around sexual harassment and violence against women continuum from you. I get a bad jokes to rape and you know this is all been summarized by the hashtag meats. Movement. There was the Kavanaugh hearings The recently in the news we case, the Jeffrey Epstein case- Any of us who have a nuanced position on this are certainly worried that the continuum doesn't get eggnog. A continuum that you have in certain quarters. What appears to be a similar level, outrage around literally bad joke, You know we wanted people to lose their careers over bad jokes. I mean they're. Literally cases like this is the actor making the elevator who's, who crowded elevator to conference, and he says you know women's lingerie, please, and- and you know this is less like a bad. Dean, Martin style JO right and I didn't hear- the other shoe dropped there, but I think he was actually fighting.
For his career last, I heard that's what he was doing was fighting for Syria, yeah and people think it's totally warranted right. You know this is this: you have to her all these people from the rooftops and that's the problem is that where there so often located is in academic life, which is where ever smartest people, and now I think I should also also journalistic. I had that's what I said. Yes, you have the right. I had really thinking that I had Rebecca trays from the podcast and we didn't go too far in that direction, but she has very strong intuitions here, ethically that in the head, you have to break some eggs to make this this equity omelet- and it just doesn't matter on on some level that people in the people who lose their careers they'll be fine. I'll get another job. You know, and I met that's actually not adoration of of the position she articulated and like when I was you know the that one example I use was Matt Damon. You know, Matt Damon said something: utterly benign
and rational around these twenty megaton controversy, and he simply said listen, we just have to acknowledge that someone is not the same thing as raping someone and telling a bad joke is not the same thing as groping someone and let's just save our you save the car. You know one end of the spectrum and you know are raised eyebrow for the other end and Had he not immediately backed. I would certainly he perceived that. Had he not just apologize back down and shut up for all time on this topic, he was in some jeopardy as one of the most powerful people in Hollywood and people like Rebecca. I think it's good that he's terrified right like this. We gotta sign once any any tomorrow on this point. So how do you I want to talk about Kavanaugh? I want talk about actual violence against women, but I guess the larger question here. The question really have to sort out, and I have very few intuitions about how do we navigate the changing social norms
in the space there's no question that norms are changing and many probably should change, but there's just a very awkward landscape? I can't imagine what it would be like to be a young single person in an office you're just surrounded by other people, that the people you're going to meet on a day to day basis and you're trying to navigate workplace. Dating or not, and then we have these examples of people in the news who work we still seemingly, should admire me some, the most creative people around you know their biographies continually disgorge these these. What now or unseemly stories or an end war stories at the time just a few short years ago, the norms were different right. A joke told ten years ago, was being told in a very different context, so I'm just
how you think about the changing norm issue before we get into the actual spectrum of well part of what you're talking about with Matt Damon. That's the grift so long as we keep them all terrified so long as we show that we can cancel them, we can push ourselves ahead somewhere. We can push. Our our ideas are half baked ideas. We right did you be able to stand on its own without having to you know, police these people. Sometimes, I think, because I've certainly had experiences need to kind of experiences. Not at work don't go to the office, so you have to be like me to buy the dog hair and it is the history of women. Is the history of women? Is a history of rape and a history of assault? The history of you know. Some was just saying to me this weekend that there was a poll where they asked all these women
what do you do to prevent sexual assault in your life and they had these long list that came up with. Like thirty two, I keep my keys in my hand. I walk your I there and then they ask men the same sort of social class or office. What do you do that? What you talking about? I don't do anything. You know it's the history of of women and it's a terrible thing, and and there was you know when I was in college. There was this girl who really was raped in a fraternity, so this is like in the eighties and she went to the dean, and I mean she had to go when she woke up in a bloody shed in a fraternity house. She'd been a virgin all the rest of it. She got it
self to student health. She had you know, report on that level. I don't know it was a rape kit, as he would say today, but I mean she had been kind of bruised up and she went to the dean and the deans told her a man. You know she, he told the young man to be more of a gentleman any told her too what what you doing a fraternity that late at night and she was really not that it matters but she really was just doing something very understandable. She got her. This was before binge King was the norm for young women on campus. Someone had really handed or a spiked drink, So anyway, she decides to say at college the oh, the guy even I guess, if you might want to transfer this might be too humiliating. So there's an end to this story, which is that, like, years go by split ends with a hanging. It's just about. Does because she's, twenty years later, nineteen years later, she's about to go to Virginia Beach on vacation with her family, she gets the mail.
There's a letter and the guy who did it has joined a a and he's written. You know him make needs to make amends, so he makes his complete amends to her and she because the Charlottesville DNA and he's like okay, we got six months left on the statute of limitations, one and that guy went to jail and and so which so people have strong feelings about that. But the fact of it was I went to college. It really was a situation where there was a tremendous amount of rape at the University of Virginia it. It only. I mean I, I went there in the very early 80s. It had only been coed for about ten years and it was just really I mean I couldn't even imagine even thinking of going to a dean about anything in my personal life. So on the one hand, there's been this great prog,
press. On the other hand, young women want to participate in behaviors that aren't good for them that cause them tremendous grief and then looking for some reason for it. Oh, it's a rave culture. You know it's and and and then they also attacked the west. What the west does not have a rave culture, you know we have raped, but we don't have a rape culture, okay, so there was so much condensed in that in even just the last few sentences. That is one of plan, a few flags on some landmarks there. So then this is why it's very difficult to have this conversation 'cause. The ethical fact based conversation is clearly nuanced and, unless you take the party line here and ignore the new you're you're susceptible to a lot of blowback, but so what you just sketched there is obviously violence against women is a perennial problem. I mean just men are on average stronger than women. A certain
age of men are not going to force sex on women. This is just a crime problem that that has been with us before we had a concept of crime and then there are moments in culture where even totally apparently, civil, as people blithely ignore this problem and a as you describe your your college experience, that was the case, and so we we have woken up to the to the problem, and yet it seems like now we have executed a kind of pendulum swing of over correction, where now there are there hoax crimes right that we have to respond to that which was doing immense damage right, like that, the I don't know was what was actually believed to be about the natural. The rolling stone thing was radio case, yet it was. It was zero action by okay. So I mean that is just. I don't even know how to think about this, but clearly false allegation,
of rape do immense harm not just to the unfairly accused, but to all the women who actually get raped. Who then inherit this burden of disbelief? and it really only takes a few cases like that to to spread the skepticism about legitimate accusations. So there's the false accusation, problem and there's The exaggeration, which seems to be fairly well, subscribed at the moment of the the level of abuse of women and rape on college campuses in two thousand and nineteen, and for several years now, people have been claiming that the chance that you're going rape when you go to college, if you're, a girl is just a part of it if true, no one would send their daughters to college. I mean you know, I've heard people say it's like it's, like thirty percent chance, a thirty percent chance get raped in college right. Now: either their defining rape in Seoul, loose away as to encompass sex. You regret or something you know,
fairly, anodyne or they're just making things up, but there's no way Thirty percent of women are getting percent on college campuses. So is this a hard? is to navigate, and one thing I would add which goes to this issue of false allegations. My bias is always been. You know, unless there's something obviously anomalous in an account you base of the default setting. Is you just believe women right you leave the victims of the a and, and my intuitions here- are that it's just? It's such a pathological thing to make up a fake rape account had the likelihood that anyone would do it is, you know, almost infinite testable, and yet I had one conversation recently that has kind of knocked me back on my
bills? With respect that intuition? I was in London a couple weeks ago I was a dinner with a barrister in in in the UK. As you probably know, barristers the lawyers often work as prosecutors and defense attorneys. They just it is on a case by case basis, and I was asking him the kinds of cases he handles. He handles a lot of sex crime cases and I saw what percentage would you say of cases that come to trial there? Many they get dismissed. You know before they get there What percentage come to trial where you're, worried, let's say you're on the prosecution's. I you're worried that you're actually prosecuting a guy for a made up, a fence that this is not what was not actually a rape. It was not- and I was expecting him to say that virtue- really never happens and what I got from him was just the antithesis. I mean it was like thirty to fifty percent. In his experience, where he's he's as a prosecutor worried
that this guy is just getting railroaded by somebody who just regretted the sex or had some other reason to hate him and knew that this was a way to destroy his life. Now I don't again, this is just one conversation of one. And one barristers experience, but it completely ransacked my ethical intuitions here and again with a level Maybe we can filter this through the case of have on army. When I look to Kavanaugh, I saw this fraternity jerk, who see like. He was very likely guilty as charged, and while this wasn't criminally actionable, it was enough to warrant him not being on the Supreme Court. In my view, and his propensity to lie about it and and the Africa theatrically protest his innocence in the way that he did it just seemed like he was radioactive from my point of view, but half of the country had the opposite intuition, which is here's a guy who.
It's probably guilty of either nothing or something that verse really every college age man was guilty of at some point right, something that could be misinterpreted and now it's going to now. This is going to come out of his closet and and run his life high school event with high school. Then yeah right, I'm just wanted. So let's talk about this issue of say whatever you want about Cavanaugh. Let's just talk with this issue of false accusation and how just how to You mean what I got a lot of in the after the are hearing was irate emails and tweets from my audience. Around whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty. I mean the fact that there was no proof here, apart from her saying it was so seem to be DIS. Positive for people but again that was not my intuition at the time. It's it's not it's just not my default intuition. It seemed to me that there was nothing,
hurt again and everything for her to lose to give this testimony. So as far as motive to lie about this, it seems it is in very hard to find, but yeah. I just pitch that to you, because it's not a it's a very difficult thing to well. I had a very strange journey with the cab, no situation, because I had heard that there was this potential claim coming up. I was completely agnostic about Brett Cabin. I don't really know anything about him. I mean I knew that trumpet had been the one to nominate him, so you know I sort of had a bit of skepticism because of that, but then the guy he'd done just before Roberts was at it. He would you know he turned out to be, not bad, so anyways. I was agnostic about it, but I was hearing this rumbling that this woman and then I heard a little bit that was this high school event and then the next day, I'm just sitting at Santa Monica high school friend, I was becoming a non on gradual hall of fame are There- and I just you- know, kind of bored during the middle, the program I scroll through my phone and I and the Washington Post was just breaking that it was in her psychiatry
nodes. So I automatically said I believe you know 'cause. I knew so many people and something like this happened to me when I was in high school and I just thought well there it is, you know, you're not going to waste your time and money in your psychiatrist. Appointment too, bring up the thing that there's really no in there, and this is years before he would be nominated for Supreme Court right exactly the groundwork for very long con. You know it's like well, we've got all our representatives out there for like every man who could ever be possibly nominated, telling their shrinks things that he's done. So I just quit really that night just wrote out yeah, I believe her. You know I had this thing happened to me. I described it. It was very, very, very derailing and upsetting for me as a seventeen year old girl kind of in a sixteen year old. Sixteen or seventeen year old girl in my senior of high school and didn't tell anybody about it. I mean and then a few years past and when I went to college with the first time I heard the term date rape and it
just like sound like an oxymoron like date. Rape, but date is this, and I remember going. Ah, it was just like the world opened up to me that the two things could coexist so anyways. I wrote that and immediately I had to go to DC for just the Atlantic Festival and It was right in the middle of all this Kavanaugh stuff in the city was going crazy and- and we had all We had Lindsey Graham on the main stage, with everybody on the main stage and it was really the Atlantic. Was it the right time from the sort of callous news breaking way of talking about things so anyways. I go to bed the first. I wake up the next morning and I'm looking at my twitter and somebody's reached out to me and said Ben Sasse of Nebraska's reading your piece on the Senate floor. And I was like who's been sass of Nebraska. You know like what are you talking about and then I thought this they must have you know we have things
doing twitter you're, always getting tagged on things. You have no reason being it and someone else said Ben is, is reading your piece into the record and here's the video and then I click in this video and it was the most embarrassing thing. I'd I mean what can I say, I'm always embarrassed, I'm just I live in state of embarrassment, but it was just, awful, because he was just calling me MRS plan again, which is my mother's name out. I'm not business plan again and then he was like poor in his. Is really laying it on like poor. Mrs then again. You know she never thought she could get a date again. Imagine how MRS Flanagan would have felt night after night, like he's just laying it on, and I'm like this is really mortifying. Like them at one hundred telling myself well, that's the cost that you pay You put your personal stuff out there. You know, like you might
of louts retweeting it or you might get it read on the Senate floor and be like in a pot and embarrassed way. But then then I thought, but I guess he's voted against Kavanaugh because he really sees my these and then I found out he didn't vote against cabinet was like I was really jacked up. I was like so so I'm in DC and, like my editors like go talk to him right now and and then he had just left in Nebraska. And now we've gotten to know each other pretty well, and I like them a lot so that all happened and then after that happened Michael Barbaro from the times did you ever listen to the day, yeah yeah, so he happened to be out in LA and he had never done it a story that wasn't from the times reporting. But he said this seems to
lee- and he has this- there's this fabulous guy and emails who works there is yeah yeah. I know I do now. I am okay, just just by phone and email, but yeah he's he's fantastic. It's been a week in with it as it was a great guy and really smart anyways. Can you do and I'm like? Yes, so, my lips, so this thing happened when I was sixteen. This conversation with Michael Barbaro happens when I'm like fifty six or whatever we decided. I am, and I had never ever in my whole, life talked about it in any other way, except philosophically, because when the trauma happened, I wasn't telling anybody and then I learn about date, rape years later, and then I'm like. I understand this new term revolutionary, you know. I had something like this happen and for some reason I just sat down across from Michael Barbaro, and he goes tell me about senior year of high school.
And I I never have had anything like this happen to me in an interview I just couldn't keep it together. I was mortified. There were all these young people there. I thought I can't cancel I literally thought I'm not going to make it through this and I realized that there realized. A tremendous amount of trauma that had been holding in my body for forty years, that I talked about it to people, but always in a yes, I'm on the side of these young women. You know I had something like this happened. He wants out of beach. You know one of my parents moved this guy didn't know. Well and ah do you feel that it was. A genuine unmasking of the trauma that was there or do you feel like the framing and focus in this way that you were given a very very of therapeutic framing. An problematized focus did that kind of amplify
well it was a weird advent in that the nice young people who make the show that are very smart. They would describe me like in the I think, maybe in the promo to the Peaceman online, like we're going to be talking with sexual assault survey so right away, I hold their name for what happened to me. You know, whereas some of that happened to me on a date is more correct. You know so, but but truly. I didn't think I was unguarded at all when I went into that interview and suddenly these people are leaning in and asking me, I'm just telling you the thing that came out of me. If it had just been the therapeutic context, I would have been different. I would have said yes, a knife we'll feel to other young women and this and that it was like that it was like. I was sixteen years old. I really didn't think I get through it and I just think you know. There's all these women you know, men always think that women are hysterical and we are a little bit hysterical 'cause. We hope
all this trauma in us, like even women like me, who are just very careful about you know when I was young and and sexual danger, and things like that. It still happens, and I think that it then we get into arguments like the cabin argument where we aren't logical and men are like this- isn't logical, where your evidence you're saying something happened forty years ago, she doesn't remember where it happened. She does remember this. How can you possibly be trying to say this should stop a man from becoming a supreme court? Justice and women are just in this volatile fellow feeling of having Things like this happen to them and we all went a little bit nuts, but it was so it's it's. I don't think men or women are as logical as man on a lot of things, and it's because
is. Maybe we should just stop that erase that part you know, will keep that, but it will just just a sanity check here. Even that statement in the current environment is anathema just to acknowledge that there's any biological difference between men and women, which has psychological, coral, it's that is alright already among the sisters, a taboo right now that you know that if you go far brother, to a lot of you just go far enough left, certainly on women's issues. It's just been women's issues is not a term anymore yeah. Well, I'm I'm sure. I'm a dinosaur in several several different ways in this conversation, but if to be woke, is to be convinced on this point that all of The apparent differences between men and women are culturally enforced to the detriment of women, and what you want is a kind of hard reset of
cultural expectations, and thereafter you will find that you should have a fifty fifty represent asian women in every walk of life and except the death row. They don't want fifty, if it like it's like okay, let's really only come as by the serial killer, yeah exactly the way it's like. We would have to introduce into our collective make up enough violence and enough power enough rage that we could get ourselves and death romantic. Serious way and we can't break in it's a freaking glass ceiling on death row. So it's just you It doesn't hold up to me that these things aren't legitimate. I think we have your next title. The death row glasses
So then, what do we do about the prospect of either false allegations or honest confessions of trauma over things that shouldn't be, traumatizing, so that we now have a generation of people who have been convinced that certain things are traumatic, which other generations could rightfully say. Those were normal and unavoidable, and you should have a thicker skin right like this. And where is the line there, because clearly there norm is that we do want to change right. I mean this is like not like the mad men era is the. It is something we should be discounted for, but although the main premise of the show was Mastalgia yeah yeah, I know how it's it was as fascinated and I'm a fan of the show. But some of the things you saw in the show you couldn't believe we're actually true, then
I assumed that they were not that actually taking much much poetic license, but it was just mind boggling the stuff that was normal. You know around gender and race and everything else so yeah. So what do you do like? the rolling stone case right. Listen. Let me tell you about that. If this woman on her big contract at rolling stone, had turned that piece in and it was something that was hugely maligning, let's just say, a very leftist group on a particular campus and saying you know this this, the social Democrat you know the American Democratic Socialists at Cornell are actually a den of rapist, I have no evidence except one unhinged person. That told me a story that did not check out at all, but you have to be careful about these leftists on campus and if your child says they're going to the democratic Socialists of America, you better think twice.
That would not get published immediately. There was the whole idea that fact checking is now was going to somehow be set dairy to believe all women, even if you have this incredibly unstable young women, A lot more has come out about her she's, really unstable person that and I'll tell you what On the one hand, Sabrina Hedderly is the name of the woman who wrote it Sabrina, Rubin early On the one hand, I have compile and say compassion, empathy, cause I know what it's like when you have a story coming out the next day and I'm always getting anything wrong like once. I got wrong the state that Dick Lugar was from, and it was just I remember getting the news and the checkers were really apology. Sizing, and I was trying to be a grown up about it. But, in my mind, Would you have let this happen to me? You know, of course it's a big non issue, so I can't
imagine what it would be like to find out publicly that your whole thing is wrong and you've made unbelievable claims with a huge legal ramification. Let's just remind people, this was a a allegation of a gang rape at a fraternity at a fraternity house at the University of Ginia, which all things come circle nobody's ever written about this. The reason that girl made that story up is that was the, turn the house where list the girl. My told you about earlier: that's where she was raped. Her book about the subject had become an assigned book. At? U Va and so this idea of violent, really violent rapes and nobody listens and fraternities was percolating among the women and that that was the whole cloth at this girl used to create her story
as ironically, truthful account of rape at this fraternity just planted the seed for a manufactured account right, but what you were saying earlier about the potential solid you have someone who would make up. You know a rape. Well, I would submit to you it dipped slightly different thing: a young woman that that's not pathological at all. A young woman has a sexual encounter with the young man, and she feels really bad about that. You know she feels like she didn't expect it to go so far so fast or she she you know was they were both really drunk and she was Okay with it then, but whatever so she's kind of trying to figure it all out, and then she goes to a campus therapist and the therapist job is to always build up your own sort of sense, south and ego and and then the therapist would absolute. Because they're all infused with this notion have you ever thought that this could have been a rape.
You know will know: I'm nineteen I'm in college. You know I've met what and the therapist kind of explained some that and the girl walks out wow you and she talks to her friends and they're like yes and then at that point, the ugly thing happens, which is everyone goes, you got to turn him in you got to go. You got to tell him right on and that's the whole phenomenon where being the empowered victim is, if that's the ugliness that then happens, and that this idea that they seem to have that everybody's. So I think that the grift comes in the poison comes in the grift comes in that you have a whole generation of older feminists, own college, who are
Very much creating this context that yeah these boys are rapists. These girls need help we're going to have title. Ninety we have these new rules coming in we're going, follow them and finally, to solve this problem. In reality, an awful lot of young men get railroad and I'll. Tell you for absolute certain, an awful lot of young men that actually probably did something large campuses, never get reported. 'cause, they're, big, successful, popular athletes, they're they're, just kids. That would you know that you wouldn't want to be known as the girl who wrote them down because they are powerful and popular and all sorts of ways on campus. So I think that whole system is a mess, but what's interesting about it is that so we used to have a system that when women went to college, when anybody went to college there was a lot of supervision. You know especial for young women. There were parietal that sort of you could be checked. If the guy was going to take you on a date, he had
sign you out of the dorm, which of course is you know paternal patriots or whatever is quite but they've got his name. I mean there was just a little bit of like yeah. We've got your name, and we know you went out with her at this time and we know you're coming. There was just that little an and There was a notion that you know in parties that were hosted by the school had chaperones like the big dances and whatever they had shop around. I'm not saying there wasn't plenty of date, rape, but there was some implemented acceptance that the male students are a threat to the female students, and we are really watching and we really, you know employee. Bring a lot of things to say. We're aware of that, and we're really trying to and the guarantee sort of the mother of America. I think was that we may not return of virgin to you in four years, but will return. Someone who can maintain the appearance of you know what he gets. It's like. We've got enough
some place to do that, but now, of course, there's no more in Loco parentis, the kids simultaneously. These young women simultaneously feels super powerful to go and do wherever they want. Then as though they're constantly being attacked, and they need constant intervention from the university to into their sex lives to protect them in a super maternal paternal way, so We've really emphasize an empowered some really some behaviors and thoughts that make women feel feeble on the one hand, and then caustically, empowered and powerful on the other and the other that women want say is that there is an element of drama. You know, there's a draw. Matic element, it's a lot of times. I think what can happen, and again I am a survivor as they say now. So I certainly and and then I had something at University Virginia, and that was terrible. So I certainly
These things happen, I'm certainly on the side of of young women, but there's a thing where okay, so how can I say this just clearly not even politically correctly, sometimes what will happen, and we see this in a lot of the big viral things that have happened in the last couple of years with Aziz Ansari on sorry and others, sexual encounter where a woman wants to fully own the freedoms of today- and I think I have to take my hat off to young woman. I did not think they would be able to achieve a reality where they could have truly casual sex, truly hookup sex and no social stigma, or you know no idea that. Well, you could do that, but you be a slug and you're not going to get married or whatever that they could really do it and maintain absolute parrot
with any guy that sleeping around a lot. They achieved that what they didn't achieve was the same emotional fabric into which in a sexual encounter can live. You know so that when they have this encounter and it's consensual sexually, but he hasn't really been nice to her or did in her or following up with her, I think that can be very painful in ways that young women are not. You know it was. It was so lecture. The Argent my generation that it was hampering, but there is a sense that I want. I want to resolve this on an emotional level. I want to legislate this. I want to talk it over and I want to be in your presence, and I want to
We live in. We live this moment and talk about it in very precise clinical terms, which I think is become it's really weird again. When I was young, it was wow in the newspaper they're putting the exact fit. Cool things that happened during a rape that was really powerful and it was like wow. You know women are using these words in there. Billing allowed to put in the paper, and people are saying what really happened to her, and I bet that jury is going to find him guilty 'cause. They have an exact language now that language has taken on a weird pornography, a life of erotic content, and I think some of these descriptions of the whore well Epstein cases with the massage and the this and the sex toys. It's told in a way that that there's a lurid crossover between the facts of a case, a weird creation of erotic, pornographic material anyways back to the college girl. If she
you can make this. On the one hand, she seems really angry and certain, but she's also going to bring herself back into world of that night and back into the world with that young man and back into the world where he has to account for himself and really what she wants him to account for a lot of times is the emotions that he stirred up in her, but did not in any way understand the power of those emotions and didn't think that casual sex, hookup culture, whatever that he owed more affection. In that context, he was taking it right ahead. We're in a new culture, we're in a hook up culture, she's initiating this, it's okay to do these things, and I think that that's what's at the heart of a lot of these. These events that now maybe Rebecca tracer, would want to put into a very clear by binary, you know it's an assault, it doesn't matter what things may be led up to it. It
it matter. What emotions happened? It's an assault. All assaults are by definition, wrong, and he needs be even if a few extra get railroaded and have to register sex. If Anders in their own community that better. So I think that's what goes on is maybe not discussed much. One thing you referenced with respect to how psychiatrists and psychotherapists can frame this that's a place where you can see a moral panic getting Kindle, because it is what is what happened with the the childhood satanic abuse paddock of several decades ago, where you had this notion this. This clinical notion that hypnosis was a way to uncover buried memories of trauma, and then you just had a report. This massive experiment of witness tampering, essentially where you had these these manufactured memories- and it was amazing to look back on because the no
members of accusations and there The Florida rationality surrounding them that perhaps you're familiar with this. Some of this writing, but Middle Lawrence Right, for instance, wrote about this in in the new Yorker and he wrote a short book on this when his empire Cassie to heat, to of the story where he realized he had a problem because he or that we had a problem because he he went to a train. Main led by a law enforcement agent at H, the height of the the satanic abuse panic, and this was a training for journalists and- and I guess just the interested public. But he said this again is a cop Given this information to the public, he said every year now there are fifty thousand murders of children by satanic cults and Lawrence.
For a second that women there has never been a year where there have been fifty thousand murders of any kind in the US right. So what is happening Here- and I don't think the the me to overreach hat- has achieve that level of hysteria. But you could see how, could write like a more what came before capable of imagining. You know, satanic cults, in our midst, sacrificing babies, it's easy to see how this pendulum swing could could go way too far. But you know the difference. Is there were no satanic day? Here's and there are women that get raped. You know what I mean, so you know, but that just makes it harder. That's why I'm saying that's where it's just not we we can't just say cuz? I remember all that going on. Remember my my father and I can't really remember like one day we were watching at the Phil Donahue Show, and it was just like it was just as you're saying that cop was saying, like you want watch like forget
Cortana. Do you watch the nightly news and they would kind of report like this? Is it because of this growing set an problem in America, which any it was just really reported on that level. It was really a mass delusion. Here again it was getting back to my earth, It was not on related to women, leaving children for the first time in large scale and wondering what was happening as and and a lot of a lot of talk in the press that you should never leave a child. You shouldn't go to work, your child isn't gonna. You know people were. I have always been looking for some definitive reason why women shouldn't go to work and leave their child, and I think that's when they could come up with is that you might be in a satanic day care. You know oh, but it really took hold to that. When I got my first teaching job in LOS Angeles in one thousand nine hundred and eighty seven, I had to get fingerprinted it was like say what now like
I'm from New Orleans right like I was teaching school, but what I have to get the ribbon into the William visiting at Martin Preschool. All all teachers in California have to be fingerprinted, so the I had to get fingerprints because somebody was like having a a delusion yeah and the horrible thing about that is. I forgot forgot about this whole story. Wait until I spoke with Lawrence and then I realized that my memory of the mcmartin trial was that the whole thing was re, and they were guilty and they were sent to prison for good reason. I mean they were sent to prison, but you know of the lives of apparently totally innocent people ruined by these kind of creepy
well in other ways, but not at all email. So let's talk about how one comes back from something like this or anything for which it seems like there should be some possible apology. That should be redeeming right. Like the you know, we if we have truth and reconciliation commissions for guys who have been jerks right, obviously that there has to be a path back because, okay to be a jerk, because we know there are people who get out of prison after twenty years and they get they get forgiven by society because they paid their dues. Let's take the capital case. Let's say it was exactly as she described. Let's say he wanted to
just admit it and move on because he stood in relationship to his past callousness in the same way. In the same place we do, which is we he he's just as judgmental of it as Yes, we are right is horrified by being a drunk sixteen year old. Who would treat a girl that way, perhaps I'm sure, there's some delta between one he thought he was doing and the effect it would have and the effect it in fact did have right. So, for instance, if never in a million years would have actually raped her. Right? She doesn't know that right so she's experiencing an attempted rape right- and let's say it's true- to say that you know that was not even in the realm of possibility for him. You know he just thought he was. He was wrestling with her having showing up to his friend going off to his friend whatever it was, he was an asshole, but in his own mind, he was not an aspiring rapist. So is there a possible apology that
would have worked for him in in the in the sense that would have rebooted hit his chance of being a Supreme court justice or is this? Is that The whole thing kind of proves the horrible reality of the fact that he was confirmed the reality of our time is that the most important I have had to make some apologies in my life believe? You me it is the hardest. Thing like so many people, don't know how to apologize. I'm sorry. You felt that way. You know or like just sort of like point. Forgive right now, exactly exactly and it's like. No, when you apologize, you sit there and you have to really come to terms with everything you did wrong and humbly. State that you know all these things. You did you and there's you need to explain why you did it. You just need to say these were really wrong things and I really apologize to you and is there anything I can do them to right the situation. I mean it's a humbling, it's hard, it's the worst thing to have to do, but it's the best thing to do, because you
Get you get your relationships back or you're, just right with the world again. But what? But? What do you think, if Well it does yeah is. Is that there's no conceivable apology that would have worked? So what do you think should make an apology satisfactory? Well too, I'm american contemporary Feminism, there's, no apology. That's just a confession of the most heinous crime right, but that's clearly pathological. If people can grow and people can change and people can therefore be redeemed Let me if that, if you don't see a path to change and Well, then, everyone is condemn by by their worst moment in adolescence or whenever, whenever it came and there's nothing more to say, you know, their life is derailed by. You know one drunken moment or one when they were under tremendous stress or when they were asked to go fight, a war that they
didn't choose, and you know they're on a battlefield and they're abiding by rules that just don't make any sense in civilian life or whatever it is well. I think the most important thing for today is I just always say this. I think Dan Savage and his podcast are absolutely like. I don't have anyone anything to tell anybody about how to have a life full of you know, sort of semi anonymous, sex. I don't know anything about it, but he gives exactly the right good advice to something. That's just foreign to me and he'll say you know you guys need to set this all up beforehand. You need to talk about it explicitly you need to be absolutely on the same page and- and he gets into some moral issues where people want to cheat on us on a partner, and he said things like you know: that's not right unless you both of his does that that can be part of the relationship, so he at least is giving people an idea of some kind of framework- they can just really
one hundred percent on the same, is it along the lines of what is now advocated, popularly on campuses, where every increment of intimacy has to be pre. Negotiated words: it's like you know. Can I do this? Can I do this kind of this? Unless you get an explicit yes state along the way you're in dangerous territory. I don't know if Dan would say that eggs exactly, but he would say. I know that he said just this year at the Atlantic festival. He said you know you straight people, you get that one agreement on consent and then you go to town and afterwards somebody's hurt. He said for gay people, that's the start of the conversation, so I don't know if it's that Contina Firme consent, but I do know another thing about the New York Times, which is like great paper in so many ways, but whenever they walk around going, we just don't know why people don't like us, it's because if things like they were on this fit, you could just tell that they supported this piece. It was a Womans opinion piece. She was
pretty been hooking up with a twenty five year old guy from tender, and he just kept asking. Is it okay? If I do this. If I apply it, I do that and she was just tearing him apart in the piece that you know this isn't sex. This is ridiculous. You know I would have brought you over to my empty house on a snowy day from tinder. If I didn't want us to have this hook up or whatever then by the end of the article which is really upset about it. They didn't call her again. So it's like it, but they didn't address no editor said Gee Susie. It seems like you're, saying here, it's really hurtful to you is that he said he was going to Q this dinner with a balsamic fig reduction, but he never called you back to make. That is literally the detail. Maybe that's what you're upset about not that he asked for all this consent, so women wanna have they want to have things that are very much in the world of kind of. We would think of. Maybe the nineteen fifties they want wanted date, structure where there was suspected there's where the women in the past, learn to gauge a man.
Level of affection and attention before they sexuality. Now they want to have sex and just assume that men won't be jerks as you're saying and that men will give them that affection and and so forth, but they'll also mock them if they do, if they aren't like macho enough, when they're you know having sex with, then there's not as horrible as the old codes were, and they were really revel in a lot of ways. At least everybody when they, even when they were violating the code, they knew they were violating the code and no there's no code. I'm not sure we gave anyone dating advice. They can use okay I'll get by here, but it's certainly interesting was a slight pivot to takes us on a similar territory, but it seems that college Campus is a lens that now focuses so many of the issues. We've been
worried about it and and ways in which the the left is to ranging itself, I want to put a band. That's finally, back into a question of poly: text buddy- I think many of us who are liberal in certainly the social lambs are worrying that the left is becoming a caricature of itself to the point where In the near term, you know four more years of trump are virtually guaranteed and worse. It is amplifying and all too explicable populist, right wing backlash against political correctness, an wokeness and intellectual dishonesty, and it's so unique. You mentioned that the New York Times several times, it's so consequential me when the New York Times gets it wrong in predictably politicized ways
it it just seems. We have a problem on the left for which the college campus was the first crucible that really reveal hold the chemistry here and now it has spread to tech and to journalism and elsewhere, and you have some unique. Site about the educational system, because you were a college counselor at at a at a very prestigious high school, and then you wrote it that we had this. This admission scandal which read what you wrote. This absolutely still take down piece in the Atlantic. Just give me your your view of the just the conveyor belt takes these young minds into the citadel of Wokeness on an american university campus? Well, the first thing I think about that is you know growing up in Berkeley. I was born in one thousand nine hundred and sixty one and my father is a professor at Berkeley, and so what was going on in my childhood? What were the student revolutions of the 1960s? And let me tell you these kids had skin in the game. They were striking from
university, they were dropping out. They were extremely estranged from their parents. There was all this heartbreak The big saying at the time was: what did we do wrong? Why is our child not talking to us anymore and they were invested in breaking with the order specifically of their parents? But these you know social justice warriors has become kind of a problematic phrase in itself, but these super boozy kids. Who are at expensive private colleges and then they're, gonna lecture me or you or other students about the right way. Be one with the people. You know, if you really of those values. Well, that's great, but what How are you doing at a private college? You should be. You know. La City college is safe, for our city is a great place to go to school at some great classes You'll, really, you won't have to manufacture social outrage.
As you'll see what it's like to be among the people that are trying to get an education while there well, there were working and how hard it is to get a class, and you know so this idea, and then the parents, the white parents, they fetishize their white children, stupid appian end because stupid political opinions are now just as like in the four these. Having like an argyle sweater was a sign that your son was a college man. Now, if he got these jackass opinions, then it's like yeah he's at Princetonian. You know like yeah, he's an idiot but he's at Princetonian like so there's this whole echo chamber, and they say these things and they want these things. But you follow the trajectory over time, they're very conventional people. They end up in huge numbers marrying in their thirties in sort of stay in, and then they end up in huge numbers, having kind of conventional marriages. So this is the definition of a phase four
he's like upper middle class, white kids that demographically it's interesting that the most woke people are disproportionately white and well off right. This is like an affect station I mean ironically, and paradoxically, it's a symptom of. Why privilege to be especially woke. You know so that's not to say that no one about a money to be woke, you know, and to not, if you're, really struggling and in other ways you know you're with like a multi. You know very genuinely. If that's the other thing, I would say, there's a difference between genuine diversity and the socially engineered diversity of these campuses because, when you're in a really diverse workplace, as my kids have been in their summer, jobs, people in America work really, well together, like everybody's, like you know, doing their job. With its making the pizzas or whatever they're doing and
we're learning about each other and they're learning that you know when they inevitably have more in common than not their young kids working at a tennis shop, but once you get them pulled out into this super rarified world and- and I think that the elite colleges exploit african american students like crazy and I think the elite colleges have cost us too. While generations of black doctors an. I think that what do you mean by that Harvard I mean first place But there's a lot now at colleges by now. There's a lot of second generation college in third and fourth generation College african, american kids. But there's still Large number of kids is the first generation of college, and these kids want to do what every first generation wants to do. They want to be doctor you know what my you know, the first son to be born in America back in the day. That's what he wanted to do, and it's a lot of times. It's all over there up,
location. You know like that's what I want to do. I'm the top science student I'm this and I'm going to be a doctor and Harvard sits in that admissions committee, and they know he can't you can't get here from there. You know if you, why, because it here, she is not a good enough student, no it's because he or she is stuck in a you know, not great public school, that day don't have a lot of advantages, maybe does have all the AP courses and maybe that students extracurricular activity is working twenty hours a week and giving most of the money to mom to help raise other kids. You know for me, be worthwhile person, but he's going to be in Harvard. With all of these no like Palo, Alto, kids that are you know. Maybe there tiger parented asian kids, who were just they've, had every science advantage. Everything they've been tutored they've had experience, is that you, you know in labs that you can't believe high school kids have and they
ruler in through the program, and you can't to say: well, we're provisionally admitting you but you'll have to take like a you know, a remedial program to get in here. Obviously harbor. It's not going to do that, and so the numbers of black It's in stem at Harvard are just as really a scandal, so just some context here so Harvard is now getting pilloried for the con, of their affirmative action policy. No, no nobody by the world, because it's so it's to say that they let in large number of african Americans and first number of Asians at this point or have been for some time and then there's a lawsuit from you know some asian american Group, which seems which is also understandable, but it's say, it's a question of what to do about the ground truth. Here. I think I think it's. I think it's true to say that if it was a pure
blind meritocracy if they were just looking at test scores and essays- and you know the documents in a true the race blind way. I think I think the numbers were Harvard admitted that they would have fifty seven percent asian, something like thirty percent. White and something like two percent African American, I don't know what what the other categories were, but in an effort to have some balance that reflects the general society. If you are Asian American to have the same Klay Hood of getting in as an african American to Harvard or to even this might be a wide for the whole Ivy league, you had to have more than a more than four hundred points higher on the on the S, a t, it's just you know. Clearly the deck is stacked against aids. At the moment. Yes, how is what you're saying interact
and with those well? The first thing is: if you, the colleges got together forty years ago and a social scientist said, we want you to start a race war. They could not have done a better job. They're like let's, let's let in some whites with lower scores, because their fathers went here what the hell does that have to do with anything let's keep out a lot of Asians with really high scores, because we don't want too many of them, and let's it's just like, let's but in a lot of african american students who have lower scores so that that can kind of be a representation of America and inevitably they've caused grave harm to students, and I was really interested to things that really caught my attention before. I like write a piece on this and get some our data. But these are just too as you're saying, with the barrister, anecdotal things I read Michelle Obama's autobiography. Did you read? It is a fantastic book I was just like after Hillary Clinton was like there's no way
It's going to be good, it was phenomenally great. It was just so honest and she's such an excellent person in every way here, but one of the things is all her life. She wanted to be a pediatrician, her whole life and it makes and she loves children. Once you got out of the law firm, she went to work in hospitals that really where her heart was, and something happened to Princeton she's a little vague on it. She says the classes were much harder than she thought and she spent time elsewhere, and I think she ended up with she associate G major, maybe one way or another, not that a Harvard law school. Isn't you know the cram Della cram in its own way, some way or another, she didn't become a pediatrician. Somewhere another. She ended up in the humanities and then the other piece of since I don't say evidence, but that really caught my attention is. Did you hear about the big incident at the Williams College this spring in the
student government, with the young woman asking for money for the I had seen it like online. It was like some vile, really right wing sing and I was like what are you talking about: I'm gonna watch the whole video was the whole thing was on Video Williams College Young black woman is the first to come in and, He wants to have some money allocated to her for the pre frosh weekend. She wants to have some events for african American to since and she you know a couple of meals and some music and some located places, and she wants a very small amount of money to do this. And so the kids are like you know: they're geeking out, as student government kids will do you know they always think they're? Each of them are on the ways and Means committee asking all these questions, and but at the end today they they're like great here's, your full budget and thank you so much and we'll get that going so, I'm thinking. Well, this can't be the problem. It's like fifteen minutes later she and a guy, a friend of hers, another african american kid. They come
slamming into the room, and they are outraged and it turns out she had just been keeping her temper, the hall time 'cause. She feels that and he feels that this is how bad kids were treated at Williams. She wants the small amount of money and he was smart. He said you know, take out your calculators. What percent of your budget was she looking for, of course, a zero point? Seven percent and you put her through all this and ask her all these questions and you made her do all these things, I'm kind of listening like interesting. I just looked interesting to think of how she perceived You know and I'm like the wonder, who's right. You know, of course, the stupid student government were so powered by a black a person saying they done something wrong, that none of them had any courage to say. Well, you know, actually everybody has to do this. We do this to the Jews and the exactly an you know in a lot of people, don't get the money or whatever. I'm sure. That would be a perfectly good answer to this some kind of back go back and forth and student government, the student. I really feel for the girl in the girl
ways, because, even when she was asking for the money she said when she come to pre frosh weekend. There was a night. There was a dinner for freshman and she just kind of looked in and everybody see I'm so remote to her and such another world. She just slunk away and didn't have any dinner, and I cannot tell you how many times at conferences that I'm invited too and get paid to go to and she was admitted like I just have like look at the list, another night of Eminem's in that you know hotel room from the mini bar. So I get that feeling, but then he said the best thing, he won the argument in my opinion, because he said you treat us this way, but you need us because you want to go the number one liberal arts College in America and one of the things you need to have is diversity to get your number one. I was like he won the argument like they do use these black kids. They know the admissions absolutely no you're right that they're, admitting kids who are ferociously test to kids.
Who have spent a billion hours, whether for cultural reasons, whether for the individual reason of the kid for whatever whether because of the advantages that they've had just come, lately doing the math science thing all the time. And they know when they take that kid from that disadvantaged background, particularly african american kid that they don't have a program. That's the natural next step for him or her. From that background to being a physician- and they know in their heart of hearts- are going to have a lot of science, kids that come in as science, kids and they, come out as gender studies, kids and different soft sciences. That has a whole different life trajectory whole different income trajectory just a whole different profile, and so it all gets parroted- probably rightly so, his grievance studies, but I think they do have great. These kids do have a grievance
Just don't recognize exactly what it is, because the admissions departments won't tell the truth. They won't say we really want you you're, an incredible person. You have really achieved so much in your character is clearly better than most of these loser kids. He let in all the time we you want you you're, a great person. We should let you know you probably won't last in our science program, so you probably won't end up a doctor but will help you and lots of other ways? They know that's true, but they're not going to write in the letter- and I think they have really- I think african american students should be suing those places was this to then what should the policy be mad? What what could Harvard to stay Harvard is the test case, because this is the one that is, has the spotlight shined on at the moment. What should Harvard's policy be with respect affirmative action. I think that if that's their goal- and it's it's an admirable goal to have at our you know- harvard- is just
like this. One word around the world. People know Harvard University and I think it's admirable for them to say that it is of great worth to society. For you know all kinds of students coming here, not just the ones that have the perfect test scores and not just the ones who have wealthy parents. Therefore we to take apart, are hall Science Program and do it differently and it might not be the premier science program after we do that, but it will be a program, that's ethically consistent with what we're doing, which is that are take in black kids and saying you belong here, one hundred percent Harvard's going to make your dreams come true. It's not going to make their dreams come true, but they won't be honest enough to say you have to come over the summer for a remedial program to get. You started, they're not going to say that is that
summary says: they're not gonna ever change their science program because they want to be the number one science program in the country. Don't you think we? Someone has to produce the best scientists in a generation. So what so? Maybe the the the ground truth is. There are certain fields where you're not gonna be able to walk the path in that direction. Unless you have certain, things in place by age. Fourteen right, so maybe that maybe the problem is we have to solve for the fourteen year olds aspiration. So it's a problem with high schools that the college like Harvard can't- wrecked for SAM and then just you know, I'm imagining that this could be true of some field. I don't know if it's well. I think that you know Harvard needs to speak honestly to itself about what it's doing and if it's admitting the students which you know it's certainly great- to walk on campus there and see it. Looking so different
I did thirty or forty years ago or maybe forty years ago, but if they're going to do that. Knowing that a kid says, this is my dream. In life and no, doing who they're going to be up against, then I think they either need to say well we're going to be a different kind of science. When you know, if I could imagine some like multiple intelligences person saying you know that test scores are horrible reflections and we should teach science in a whole different way or something like that, but I think right now, they've they've performed a grave disservice to the nation into the kids by saying you know, when a kid gets into Harvard They don't know. I can tell you this for a fact, because I've been in meetings. They don't know that the admissions committee stop for forty five minutes and talked about. If that kid is going to make it at the college at all, or would they be home? the end of first semester, let alone the fact that they want to be a doctor. You know and then
decide, there's enough social support and the kids strong enough and he's gone through enough things on his own, that we're going to do it, and then he comes there and is understandably. They confused and heard and assuming racism when he finds out that that he's not in the same class as his white roommate is that wants to be a doctor? You know, I think Harvard hasn't answered hard questions yeah. It's such a complex issue because I think diversity on some level isn't intrinsic good It's easy to see how affirmative action seems to be the answer to a social problem I remember when I had Glenn Lowry on the podcast. Glenn is a an african american economist at Brown who
I'm is just so sane on race and you know, says the things that it's often impossible for white people to say without immediate charge of racism. But his his point in in this area was that one problem with affirmative action. As you, you take the case of the example he used was getting in black and jin earing students into m. I t say rest in that the best you know yeah. I know what you're talking about the the hardest most selective, the engineering program- or you know, one of three in the country and the issue there. Is that even if you were in the 99th percentile in the country and in a quantitative ability, you're now in a classroom where everyone, the ninety, nine dot, nine th level of a quantitative ability, and so you
are going to be at the bottom of the class just because of this selection mechanism that they got you there and psychologically that sucks and it did it doubly sucks, for a kid who has to worry that everyone perceives him as an affirm faction case right images. It is just lousy for a person's self esteem. For understandable reasons and from Glenn's point of view, it was complete unnecessary because an engineering program at a at a yeah yeah. If you just go to you, just go down, ten runs better, you know a perfect, play fine engineering program would not have produced this experience at all in the student. The end, the dirty secret. You know, I'm clans account- is that many of these kids wind up washing out of the program. That's what I meant when I said they became gender studies. Major right, yeah may just be that it's not. There may not be a solution at the college level. They may just may just propagate back
to the inequalities and lack of opportunities. You're talking about inner city schools that are publicly funded that are, are inferior to other school rules that kids are coming out of will also we just look at talent with kids, such a narrow way. I was at it a school visit, eight nine thousand eight hundred and ten years ago in Englewood it was a charter schools in all black charter school, and they had me look at some english classes. Yeah there good classes, kids! Are there their behavior was really excellent and their program was good and then they're like now 'cause, you ain't going to write or we're going to take you to the creative writing elective, and I was like, oh god, 'cause. You know, kids, creative writing, usually whore all. But I was like how great I love it. These kids are their poems. There was a depth of town and in that room I literally could not believe it. The depth of talent of these young black poets was, I was just stunned and I thought, if there's this much talent in the other five electives '
you know in the arts and this and that and yet we're just holding these kids feet to the fire on there tests. Yours for who they're going to be and where they're going to go. You know we look at. We still look at people in this. Very narrow way, and I don't know I don't know what's right But I do know that Harvard doesn't tell the truth about a lot of things and one of the things it doesn't tell the truth about is it takes in under represented minorities, particularly african american kids, and they know they won't end up in the stem fields that they think they're going to be getting a degree and they know it. What else do people not understand about the college admissions process that you have seen? and as a counselor well in the larger scale. As with everything in this country, immigration is part of it. We have 20th century solutions that were trying to apply to 21st century problems. You know this idea that a vast middle class It's still really go to college away from home with
l plan, even if there's seven great colleges, you know commuting distance from my parents house, where you know one more plate at the dinner table and you stay in your room- the idea that they should have that experience that it's a really important foundational experience. You've really missed out. If you didn't and that you should have all this fun and meet all these people and that's the way to do an education. That's not a 21st century answer. We're still stuck in that idea of that being the ideal, but it's going it's gonna collapse, pretty say, That's not the way anymore for middle class people to do college. You know we to be more on the european model where you know unless you have oodles of money or unless you got an incredible grant package, 'cause you're such an incredible, incredible stars or more other. You should be. You know, european kids. They live at home, go to school and driving distance from home and they treat it more like a job. They do their work all day, long and then the come home and are you know, go out with their friends, but they eat dinner at home and that you know right now,
woman board. That's six! In grand a year times, for you know that a lot of money that doesn't make sense for them to be spending and it ends up in this kind of endless student loan debt. That's completely unnecessary here. So what do you think college will collapse, into an eight in ten years? You think the landscape. Well, they can still do what well do you know there isn't in jail. Not going anywhere. You know the top fifteen percent you know the wealthy kids and has ever much financial aid is, there is that's going to continue, but this hall vast you know every year they tried to downplay, but I would always get it as a college. Counselor you get this print out now, I'm sure it's totally online, but all the places that still need kids like it's at the very end of the school year, and this college in that college, in the other college forget about their yield or whatever they They need more kids. Can you get as a kid at what tear these are like third tier colleges or
yeah? Third, for it I mean we have when we have thirty six. I can never member how many colleges to give a four year degree, but we this huge number of colleges. We don't even have that many kids that that even our qualified are are have that the you know that any kind of basic financing to do it and the colleges are like you, gotta get some more kids in the dorm. You've got to help us out. You know a Harvard: Westlake wouldn't have kids for them, but maybe another public school would right. Right, so you as a counselor, you must have seen the most neurotic. I can only imagine what what where you're catching parents and their kids in there ITALY's around wealthy parents yeah, that is it yes, you're getting like the most entitled neurotic topspin to a fairly stressful moment in in a in a young person's life
What was that like that? How how well? How long did you an english teacher there for four years, and then I was did that for three years now, like I gotta get out, I just got to get out it's a hell because to these people the difference between yeah Elle and Northwestern this I am the earth, it is this guy in the earth. You would think they were trying to get a kidney transplant for their trial. They would really, if you even said something like you know what we have to and if you wanted to go to Yale and if you're like okay, that's great will do that application. You know what I like about NW with. They would just look at you have, since you said you know, you know you're, going to really like about not having two children is that you have an only child. You can do more, they would literally act as though I was saying that their kid was going to die. I mean that is what they would be like, and they would be speaking the most crash ways you can think of about money. They would say racist things. They would they just couldn't
bear the idea that their kid that there's there in the social class, where you just gotta, fight and fight and get the best of everything and you gotta, learn everything about the fanciest car get that fancy. Car and you've got to live in the right. Neighborhood and you've got to have a kid. Yeah, not at northwestern what is staying on the family. Would it be a blighted future for the kid course by the end of it, the kid gets into northwestern doesn't get into Yale, and now the parents are. This is the God's honest truth. Sam now, the parents are really pissed off that you don't promote. Northwest even more, because everyone needs to know how hard it is to get into northwestern and our friends need to know that is a really top college. 'cause I've met people who, who couldn't tell the difference in know western and northeastern, and that's really a problem for our that's kids. So what is it psychologically? Is it the scarcity? It's that because they've
you know the idea before was, if you're a prep school kid you've turned you down. Well, you did good. You got good grades, you didn't block your copybook, didn't get caught. Like getting high like in the science lab or whatever you're going to go to a top college you're at a prep school, that's prep school doesn't mean prep for public universe, really it's an old term. That meant you know the schools that you went to, and then you went to these Effete EAST Coast schools, that's what they think they're buying and when they find out that there, not getting it and that others in the class are getting it and that They rightly assumed that a lot of those people are working angles and they don't know what those angles are, and they rightly assume that the school kind of nose
those angles are and kind of like allowing well let let's, let's drill down on those right assumptions, what are the angles that the school knows about? Well, it could be, you know, rich people, no other rich people, that's been as growing up is a middle class kid that it's been a revelation to me ever since that job and then my later career is that rich people, no other rich people. They didn't just like they've, come up in this verified small world, so somebody no someone on the board. Somebody knows someone with a lot of juice at the school very up very high at at top saw. But is obviously a person with a lot of money. They don't have a great institutional history of giving to educational places so there being tutored by the college about what will be expected of them as a giver. That's all going on an admissions is talking to us about that that propagates back to the high school
Well, I'm talking about a really really top level of high school, where you know they're, probably just fifty in the country or something but where it's like that, which Harvard Westlake, does have the reputation of just unambiguously being the best high school in LOS Angeles, that's got to be one of the best in the country. It is yeah, So at that level the colleges can't afford to piss us off because as we are channeling the top kids around the country, you know that they want their horse trading the more open we are with them, the more open they be with us and the more we can kind of put a really top kid toward them. The more juice will have for somebody else. So it's a very relationship built business that the counselors to have to keep secret from the parents, because that it would feel like they weren't getting their equal opportunity, which they're not and so there's just a lot of like very explicit conversations that hey. This is a multi. However, many
Windsor billionaire. But it development office has researched that family and they don't give to colleges, only at two younger kids that went through, and so, and then I'm black. I don't know what to do about that and they're like oh well. Our development people are reaching out and they're kind of getting involved with them. So there's very explicit versation's going on and a station, which would be a kind of quid pro quo, where listen if we do let your kid and we're expecting a donation of a certain size, and that's that becomes explicit and and that actually gets anil through you is the come out when you would just be told when you're like endlessly going your lists she's getting out she is. Is it okay, as a development? Is o? Okay, great? Okay, keep going problem solved, yeah right, so what percentage of people at a top school the
I think, had to find some angle of that sort to get in and what percentage is just. This is just a soccer c, or a diversity quota that sort of more through the front door. There was talk about the drama of the on hook, cat just a kid. Without any of those things, they're, not right they're, not ah an athlete they're, not the kid of a really wealthy they're, not the legacy they're, not an original, really right, not a lot that's, not a lot are going to get in. I mean everybody do this way. If you find at Harvard a white kid whose dad's a doctor is not a working class because they really want working class kids now his dad's a doctor, and he's got not an athlete. He's got a lot under the hood. He's got a lot under the hood and it has it been kids not
old enough for me to have thought about this, yet, but my oldest daughter's ten and who knows if colleges will exist in ten years just be self driving cars and implantable chips, unreadable, books, yeah, but rumor has it that something's happened in the last decade or so to internationalize the the mall meeting of all these colleges, where you used to be in competition with just the domestic population now you're in combat, patient with people from all over the world, and so is the chances of getting into a top college, have gone way down. Is that yeah it was it was there? Can you play that? Can you date that change? When did that happen? Well, you I'll, see that, like thirty five years ago, would be a twenty percent admit rate toe like a Harvard, and now it's a four percent. So yes, the idea of wanting to be very diverse in all senses that, but now it's a four percent of a global
in pool exactly right here. What when did it become global, or was it always global, but it's not as well Margaret has always been able to get whatever kid on the planet that harbor wants to get, because it's Harvard. I think it's kind of a tear down that you have a couple of tears down where you have. As it really says, a great export is american college education. You have a lot of people personally, chinese families that one american college educations that at that are you know coming in and that that are helping to fund the bubble in a way all right. So I only had two topics, one which probably can be pretty abbreviated, but you had a great piece on HR departments and how counterintuitive their their mandate is to many people, people understand about an HR department, one hundred percent. They are on the side of the best resolution for the company
and the minute that you come in there with any kind of complaint. Their first job is to manage liability from the for the company. Their first job is to prevent a lawsuit. Their first job is to make sure that you don't sue them about something. They didn't take care of. So your you might come into that office where you have a casual relationship with the HR person Then you talk about like your dental benefits, Can you talk about like these extra Disneyland tickets that are on sale for thirty percent off? You have a close relationship, you think, and so you think can go in and close the door and say you know. I don't really do anything about this, but this happened or that happened. You need to know oh that you're automatically being slotted into a very carefully thought out process that you cannot retreat from and that's going to have probably some in the best case in uh,
I was going to solve the problem and in the worst case scenario, is going to have a lot of other problems for you down the road, because what they're trying to do this protect the company and if you're, a woman and the guy who who ask you, is below you at work, they're going to get rid of him. But if he's above you, if he's a big, or, if he's a big asset to the company in other ways, they're, probably going to try to protect him in some way or another, and they. Not required by law to do anything to that guy, they are required to make sure you never get harassed, so they could just give him like some online training that he has to do, or something like that right now, in the days of me to the days of noisy exits, companies really are interested in firing that guy very publicly right now, because it shows there on board with me too, but that subsiding already and if you're a man this
if you're a man and you're at work and suddenly get this email from HR. Saying we'd like to see you today, please these are the times I I would grab my jacket and say to my colleagues who want Starbuck I'm making a run and get out of there in college lawyer as fast as you can and say. I think I might we're going to be. I don't know what to do now. What should I do and get some advice? Even if you don't know what this is about, you Ali H, I was gonna. Tell you what they want to see you about. You know, HR is going to say. Can you come up, so we can talk about such and such when it's like? Well, we need to see you today. You know here's two times. If that doesn't work, we can meet you after the office closes, and if you have any sense that, may you've had a flirtation or something if you kind of in your mind or like, oh god, this could be this other thing, don't walk in there blind do not do that because they're going to there I've just sat through all their best this is you're going to sit down and they're going to say. Why do you think we've called you in here
because of me and Susie O. What's going on with you, you know you're going to incriminate yourself you're not allowed to bring a lawyer. It's work, it's not the public sector, and so, if you're not allowed to bring a lawyer, why consult one? Well because a lawyer is going to tell you what did you do it? Yeah, ok, you're, going to resign right now, 'cause you're not going to leave this job and get fired because then you'll, never, you know once you're fired they're not going to give you a recommendation. You know if you think you're guilty. We going to get you out of there right now, so that you are not trying to get your next job from a position of having been fired for sexual harassment, and the only thing they old company will do is confirm dates of employment, you're not going to get another job that way and what back to our previous topic was
actually constitutes. Sexual harassment was, what's the lower bound of the category at this point, and you think it's where it should be well, it's all set by the policies of the print companies? Young women have a very different, very, very, very different notion of what is us a sexually harassing event in a workplace. Then older women. Do. Maybe that's great. Maybe it's great that young women are have a zero tolerance policy, but but when that same young woman is kind of flirtatious and fun in some ways and then somebody's flirtatious back, I mean they'll, be I've, heard really minor things getting brought up, and I think that HR, if it's, if it's a good age art apart
it kind of works through that and quietly talks to the guy, but there was a guy. I just think of. I can even tell this, but he was yeah. He was in trouble because I got called into a jar because every time he stood up from his cubicle, he would move his shirt back into his pants, and that was seen as a sexual gesture by two women uh. Well, I I question his clothes but right, you see people I see men doing that like they stand up and there is a button down shirt. But this year in that shirt, size in a law, firm, say or a guy who's got a shirt tucked in I have I have some shirts yet so then what happens with a claim like Probably he would just get counseled but he'd be pretty humiliated. You know it's, it's a very it's a very strange world and I think that I think Jordan Peterson said the most insightful thing about this words. Somebody said to him: can men and women work together? He said we don't know it's
we've been going on fifty years. He got crucified, I know he did and then he went, but it they're, really good answer like evidently we can evidently the EEOC is saying ninety percent of women who have, HR, never even go and tell hr because they're so afraid of it. So we have no earthly idea of how often it goes on and we just had a huge movement. Women saying it happens to us constantly. So evidently, so far we haven't figured it out. Yeah, I think, happened to Jordan images and then he went out about lipstick and then it was just like with more deep breeding point of right wearing makeup in the workplace, if it sexual overtures want yeah, the problem is that problem is: there are things that are true, in evolutionary terms, biological terms, which don't give you any guidance for how to live. Among cult norms in the present right like, even if, even if it is in fact, true to say that the origin
of our preference for the red lips over. You know thin wizened. You can just spell it out in a a terms, hence the the primacy this on looking young and wearing cosmetics, I wasn't agreeing with him on any of that, but I was really agreeing with the fact that the answer is supposed to be yes, of course, but also the answer is yes, of course, we get that we can work together. Yes, but obviously all movement is saying we have I figured it out. You know we have. I figured it out right. Well, clearly. We haven't found an optimum that we can, that we recognize as an optimum the one issue and again this is a taboo point to make if you're talking about an awkward unattractive guy who a woman does not welcome the attention from the line is in one you're talking about Ryan Gosling, red wine is in another place.
God Ryan thinks I'm pretty like he likes my sweater as awesome. But if you're talking about the spectrum, guy who's radar, you don't want to be on as a woman No word out of his mouth is going to seem desirable. How do you create a policy around that? I don't know, but I'll tell you this, I will you know I have some. I was with a group of women. I know who are lawyers they're, really really sharp top lawyers. It is our talk about things that they've gone through harassment starting out in firms are at law, schools as professors, and it was really shocking to me Gillian academic space, case, what men had thought that they could do to these women, and so which was a really bright line thing and the other, but then the other problem with that kind of casual workspaces that there's different environments in different fields, some fields have
of a kibitzing environment. You know creative fields or whatever, and it's like asking people to keep all of that under wraps, like a writers room on a comedy right where people are pitching jokes by definition, these are the off color you're gonna you're gonna go past the line of what you could possibly use in the show and actual innuendo is going to be more or less a constant and uh. You know I heard Amy Schumer had this job. I thought it was a really funny joke and I really laughed at it, but then I thought well so we're so she was she's like I was really drunk. I woke up and some guys going down on me. I had no idea, so it was, but that man was a hero, and I is like that's very funny. But then I thought well wait a minute. Aren't we all supposed to be his indecision that you're drunk you're passed out this guy shouldn't, not be this is a section so that everything is EV anything thing is on women's terms, if it's funny and great it wasn't an assault if they
so they didn't like it wasn't assault, and I think men rightly feel that. That women really are are kind of Exploiting these good laws and these good policies so that they can get head in certain ways or get what they want in certain ways and that you know women are kind of sometimes parlaying all of this into into an advantage, and I don't think men are wrong to think that it's just don't have any answers. Am I just think it's a really messy messy situation, now that we sorted all that all out and you how to behave in the workplace, workplace in the school and topic the the presidential race,
really become convinced that Trump was going to win again because they're going to make the same? Is I don't think it's going to be the wokeness they're going to make the same mistake Hillary made, which is that they will not say anything on immigration other than ways they're going to in a positive way, make it better for undocumented people and for people who want to come in and in that little group of swing states that are going to make this election one way or another and immigration on this levels, very new to them and they don't they, and they just want to hear something. You know the right answer on immigration. Is so obvious, and it's never gets out related the one is. We want a positive view of immigration and quite clearly, there's the you know it. It's a net benefit Yet there are costs to it I mean not. Everyone wins with immigration of any kind right we want. We have whatever it is twelve
in people currently here send them back is- is a nonstarter for a ton of reasons to economic and ethical, although Obama sent posted two million dollars but like that idea that we're going to round up twelve million percent back when one whole sectors of the economy depend on them and two it would be. Seeing given just who these people are and how positively oriented they are to the country. If as a criminal, fine. We want to find them and send them back, but we have people here who are contributing to our society immensely. So we want a path to citizenship, and you know it perhaps just blanket amnesty is the answer there, but In addition to that, there is no argument for not having a defensible border right. We clearly we would want to be defended well, whatever, whatever it takes to you know who is coming in truth about the border 'cause. I I've really been there- and I really know- we don't know how to secure the border every Clinton
well. So then, then, why not build Trump's wall? You know the wall is a really good idea if mankind even invented the ladder. Ten thousand years ago I mean go on Youtube and just check how many people come over on. Ladders. You know the wall is in some ways better than some of these other solutions, but the bottom line is all these things are 20th century solutions. You know they want to have a Marshall plan for the countries in the northern triangle. It's the 21st century. It's not just about Central America. All the world is on the move, the whole southern hemisphere trying to get to the northern hemisphere. The population of Africa is gonna, be grown by one point: five billion people in just twenty years. We don't have an answer. Well, it says that, but that that's the Okay, so, presumably, if it were important enough, we could have a border that you couldn't just walk.
Twenty years we've been, you know, Clinton tried to do it and couldn't do it. Bush tried to do it and couldn't do it. Obama tried to do it. They've all tried to do it. I don't I don't know what the problem on the left is. Desire for a defensible border is treated as xenophobia or racism. There's an implicit open borders policy being argued for on the left right now, which is There is, and not only that I mean this is where I just hate these people. So Elizabeth, porn is, like my whole question about Hume, right on the border is: where were these people during Obama? Where were they? I see them out in force when Obama's era was profound, rights violations to those sixty thousand unaccompanied minors. Now Elizabeth Warren says you know up I'm elected I'm going to hold president from criminally responsible for everything happen. You can hold Obama criminally responsible to you know, that's the problem with so Trump is
on my view. Basically a monster I mean like there's almost nothing. I don't think we can survive them again. This does almost nothing so uncharitable to be said about him. That isn't basically true. But it really matters when you can find these kinds of instances of hypocrisy on the left so like so, if Trump is doing, something on for, and Obama was doing the same awful thing or if this awful thing started with Obama to not honestly talk about them, is even just artistic going to Pennsylvania and you have you know plenty of people, people of good will really dislike Trump, an hate him as profoundly as we do, but their top issue is immigration. Their top issue is, I don't want my schools to be packed. I don't want my schools to look like the California schools, where everybody's going to private school, that they and possibly afford it, I'm nervous about too many immigrants, and you have one
guys saying I'm going to build a hall wall and keep them out and you everyone else saying nothing. Hillary said nothing the base, wouldn't let her say anything. She said nothing and I think that's where she lost the election in this first democratic debate, you had not only an implicit open borders pool being signed onto by everybody you had the one saying that anyone who successfully gets here gets medical care? Networking will commit like all you do? All you have to do is get into the country successfully and we will pay for your medical care for life. Apparently we can't even cover the medical care of everyone who's in the country as citizen right. If you had to roll the dice with a candidate now, who would you Oh for the Democrats, whose is it gonna be or who would who would you? Who would you hope it might be? I had an editor. He said that Mayor PETE is like well, it won't say what he said it's like I just like he's the guy. I would pick even though he has no experience, and he
it's been a mayor, not particularly successful of a small town, but he just sort of he speaks in a cage. It's in a language that resonate with. He seems like one of us but um you know, Biden is gonna, get and he's gonna blow it I mean he's. Just Do you think that he'll actually get the nomination? I think he will and he's he really good at whipping the vote like he's going to blow it before. You think I just think the wheels are. We're never on this time around and they're going to come off. I don't know, I don't know we'll see, but I think Emma could haul elections going to come down to immigration. I think, and I think that person's going to be forced by the base, the Democrat days to not say anything and people in Pennsylvania and Michigan. You know I hate Trump, but I really don't think the country can have an unlimited flow of low wage workers and rebuild the middle class at the same time, because it can't
oh and Bernie, admitted it like as a proud daughter of a socialist. I can say you: can't have unions with unlimited workers, Cesar Chavez, what is that you know he was the hero of my childhood always with my mom at some United Farm Workers event, everybody pictures everywhere. He was a phenomenal man in every respect, but the union didn't work. In the 1980s. He was calling for deportations and he went to Congress and said you're. Bringing in all these were workers from Mexico and they're breaking are strikes the the work, the growers and break the strike. Immigration broke the strike and You know you not going to lift up the worker and the dignity of the worker through the only power worker, has is union organizing? You can't do that when Tyson Chicken is, you know, got a guy not he does risks his whole life to get to the strawberry field. The San Joaquin Valley, you're, not gonna, say, say you know so Lynskey said we have to strike.
So would you mind sitting it out for a few weeks like no he's gonna pick those strawberries, so I don't think there's an answer to immigration. I really don't, but if the Democrats aren't willing to put a little bit of teeth in I think: they'll lose it in those important states. Okay, we sort it all out. All is covered. Okay, good! Thank you for that. Thank you. It's so great to finally get you on the podcast, I know I'm excited I'm so excited I have. I haven't said anything to get me cancelled, but if I did that's fine, I'm and tired, I believe we can sell yourself canceling exactly it's like it's like a suicide by cop like I gotta get out of this job Going SAM Harris's podcast. Say that women are exaggerating, rape, claims and then I'll be done. Well. If anyone listens to the entirety of what you said, your point was clear. So thank you again, that's good and that's good. If you find this podcast
able there are many ways you can support it, you review it on Itunes or Stitcher, or wherever happen to listen to it. You can share social media with your friends. You can blog about it or discuss it on your own podcast or you can support it directly and you can do this by subscribing through my website at SAM Harris, DOT, org and there you'll find subscriber only content, like my ask me anything up as a as well as the bonus questions from any of these interviews.
Transcript generated on 2019-09-15.