We’re gender-neutral, but all children are either girls or boys

Our town is building what is, on a per-student basis, the most expensive school ever constructed in the United States. Thus, when it comes time to do sex ed they need to rely on materials from Procter and Gamble. The conservative Midwesterners try to be up to date regarding the irrelevance of biological sex:

But notice that they commit the sin of gender binarism. The school population falls into just two categories: girls and boys.

Separately, although the materials are targeted at the full rainbow of students, including those who identify as “boys”, the only available role models in the teacher slides appear to be cisgender females:

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Wailing over Elizabeth Warren’s defeat betrays heretical anti-rainbow flag religious beliefs?

A Facebook friend who is passionate about both Elizabeth Warren and the Rainbow Flag (LBGTQIA+) religion posted “Elizabeth Warren endured sexism at every step of her campaign” (Guardian):

The next president, it is now assured, will be a man.

Setting aside the insulting dismissal of Tulsi Gabbard, this statement betrays extreme cisgender-normative prejudice and a denial of gender fluidity. How does the author (or anyone) know that Joe Biden won’t identify as a woman by the time January 2021 rolls around?

Nobody predicted Bruce Jenner adopting a new gender ID, right? Is there something more inherently male about Joe Biden than there was about Bruce Jenner? (an immigrant friend after Super Tuesday: “I can’t believe they picked the most demented puppet. The guy had to be defended by his wife from a vegan. He needs a physical and a head CT. Strikes me as a guy with cortical atrophy.”)

If there is nothing special about being born with a doctor-identified female biological sex, how can there be anything special about Elizabeth Warren compared to Joe Biden purely on account of her (potentially transitory) current gender ID?

From March 9, 2020 in our righteous neighborhood (Lincoln, Massachusetts, soon to be home of the most expensive school building, per student, ever constructed in the United States):


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Black Death lesson: immigration will discourage women from working

“The Black Death: The World’s Most Devastating Plague” by Dorsey Armstrong, a professor at Purdue, includes a great lecture on economics. One of the effects of a reduction in population was a rise in wages. Market-clearing wages turned out to be high enough to induce women to work in much larger numbers than previously. This, in turn, was one reason it took hundreds of years for the European population to return to pre-Plague levels. Working women would elect to delay having children and would have fewer total children.

Via immigration and children of recent immigrants, the U.S. has been expanding its population, the reverse of what happened during the Black Death. Simultaneously, Americans are decrying (a) stagnant wages for the working class, (b) the lack of women in the workforce, and (c) the wages paid, specifically, to those who identify as women. (One definite difference between the Middle Ages and today is the percentage of the population that can qualify to be placed in the “women” category!)

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Elizabeth Warren bows out with a dose of cisgender-normative prejudice

From NPR:

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren ended her bid for the presidency on Thursday, acknowledging her place as the last major female candidate in the race “and all those little girls who are gonna have to wait four more years.”

Absent cisgender-normative prejudice and the heretical assumption that gender is not fluid, how does she know that the U.S. won’t have a president who identifies as a “woman” starting next week? Did God call up Elizabeth Warren and tell her that Donald Trump will never experience gender dysphoria?


  • “Elizabeth Warren: ‘Girls will have to wait for woman president'” (BBC)
  • “Transcript: Elizabeth Warren Speaks After Suspending Campaign” (WBUR): in response to people saying that she was too angry to appeal to voters, Elizabeth Warren uses the word “fight” three times in the first two paragraphs. “I say this with a deep sense of gratitude for every single person who got in this fight, every single person who tried on a new idea. … I guarantee I will stay in the fight for the hardworking folks across this country who’ve gotten the short end of the stick over and over. That’s been the fight of my life and it will continue to be so.”
  • “If Elizabeth Warren doesn’t become president… will the New York Times blame voters’ prejudice against women or voters’ prejudice against Native Americans?” (post from January 3, 2019)
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NYT “How to Make Your Marriage Gayer” article has a simpler explanation?

“How to Make Your Marriage Gayer: Same-sex spouses feel more satisfied with their partners than heterosexual ones. What’s the secret?” (NYT):

Women in different-sex marriages reported the highest levels of psychological distress. Men in same-sex marriages reported the lowest. Men married to women and women married to women were in the middle, recording similar levels of distress.

Complex theories are proposed, especially regarding dishes (presumably the author has never met an actual man, e.g., Don Gorske, and therefore does not realize that an American man in his native environment does not generate any dirty dishes, only McDonald’s wrappers).

Could there be a simpler explanation? What if men get on women’s nerves after a few years (half of women will stop wanting sex with a husband after four years of marriage, says Good Housekeeping)? This makes those who identify as “women” unhappy. As a reflection of that and being constantly around a resentful person, those who identify as “men” in heterosexual marriage are not too happy.

This would explain why homosexual relationships are less distressing: there is no man to make a woman unhappy.

It wouldn’t be enough to explain why male homosexual couples are happier than female homosexual couples. For that, though, we could just posit the simple statement: “women are generally more open to expressing unhappiness.” Now everything in the article is explained without reference to who washes which dish.

[See “The happiest children in Spain live with two daddies”: “children who lived with their two mothers were extremely unhappy, one of the most dramatic differences in any two populations presented at the conference” (i.e., a same-sex marriage in which both adults identify as female is the most miserable situation from a child’s perspective, even worse than having separated or divorced different-sex parents).]

(The author suggests an alternative explanation for why male homosexual partners are happy: they’re having sex with their friends and neighbors.

One distinctive strength of male couples is that their tendency to candidly discuss respective preferences extends to sexuality as well, including choices that may startle some heterosexuals. For example, while the extent of non-monogamy in gay-male partnerships is often exaggerated, openly non-monogamous relationships are more common than among lesbians or heterosexuals. Many gay couples work out detailed agreements about what kinds of sexual contact are permissible outside the relationship, under what circumstances and how often.

If we assume that sex with new friends makes people happy (litigators told us that the only thing that makes Americans happier than this is getting paid to have sex with new friends), this would also account for male-male couples being happier than female-female. )

Separately, I think this article is consistent with a long line of American journalistic thinking. Americans can become like the French and run an awesome low-cost (as a percent of GDP) health care system. Americans can become like the Japanese and give up both guns and violent crime. Heterosexual Americans who identify as “men” can become just like homosexual Americans who identify as “men”, except when in the bedroom, and extra happiness will ensue. (Diversity is our strength, but we don’t want glum heterosexual married people. Everyone needs to strive for the level of happiness achieved by homosexual married people.)

Some fun reader comments:

Molly in Boston: Can only speak for myself and my own experience, but I feel that my queerness by its very nature makes me a better partner. Both my girlfriend and I–via the process of realizing our own sexuality in a heteronormative world and coming out in that world–have done a great deal of soul searching and work to know ourselves which in turn helps us to state our emotional needs more clearly and address each other’s needs in turn. In general, it just seems that we have more practice in emotional intelligence than a typical different-gender couple.

AW, NYC: They make more money and don’t have kids. Simple.

A New Yorker: As a gay man who has been life-long single (by choice), I would like to note that this article might be missing the ultimate summary. Among gay men, only those who really want to get married and have kids, go that far. That maybe why their marriages work better. Hence, the corollary could be that maybe fewer heterosexuals should get married and even fewer should have kids.

GP, from Oakland: This is fake news. First, the article makes the mistake of conflating correlation with causality. “Doing the dishes” may correlate with “marital unhappiness,” or whatever, but the author doesn’t even try to show causality. Couples who share the dish-doing might also enjoy greater wealth creation or longer lives, but that doesn’t mean it has anything to do with dishes. Second, why look at only one household task–one that typically women have been expected to perform? Why not look at lubricating the deadbolts or replacing missing shingles on the roof? Because in fact, the “studies” knew the answer they were seeking before they asked the question. Not exactly scientific. Third, when you’re writing about some group or other, always reverse the order to see how it reads. How about an article entitled “Gay Couples Should be more Hetero” or the like? Immediately the bias becomes clear. Articles like this encourage right-wing pushback, and for good reason. The articles are biased, the logic is specious, and the data corrupted.

Angelica, Pennsylvania: Dishwashing is just symptom of a larger, hidden issue not openly discussed in the article: women are expected to fully carry the burden of planning and managing the household. It’s meaningless if my husband washes dishes when I have to ask him vs him taking initiative. If I have to manage my “partner” the way I manage my kids, that is a problem that causes discord. Who wants to have sex with someone who needs the same level of management as kids do? I’d rather be single in that scenario.

David H, D.C.: I bet that a study of second marriages among heterosexual couples would reveal far less stress for women. [At a minimum, they’d have a lot more cash to spend if they planned that first marriage properly!]

Amanda, Nashville: Same-sex couples have chosen each other largely on the basis of sexual compatibility, which is a big predictor of marital satisfaction. Heterosexual women in particular are often guilty of entering into marriages where their sexual needs aren’t being met, if they even know what those needs are.

British Columbian: Also, I would expect that hetero couples engage in child-rearing more often than same-sex couples do. If that is the case, it’s well-known that much tension between partners arises from the stresses of child-rearing. So this could well be another explanatory factor.

Charlie L: It’s always “dishes and laundry”, the wicked duo of drudgery. Worse, actually, than being shackled in the hull of a slave ship. Two jobs which are done indoors and have been made vastly quicker and easier by machines invented by men. [A Bill Burr fan?]

Stephen, NYC: The problem with opposite sex couples, is that men and women may be lovers, but they are also enemies. It’s a paradox. [Let’s send some woke “allies” to his apartment!]

Caroline st Rosch, Hong Kong: There is a theory that you should have 3 loves in your life – your first, young, romantic love; the love you have children with and the love you grow old with. [Until the “love you grow old with” lawyers up and sues: “When 80-Year-Old Parents Divorce” (nytimes, same date!)]

Nancy Robertson, Mobile, Alabama: “Would you like to guarantee the marriage and birth rates plunge even lower than they are today? Then go ahead and insist that straight men do more housework.” [She might have met Don Gorske!]

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Every American welfare program eventually turns into welfare for rich white people?

“A Surprising Finding on Paid Leave: ‘This Is Not the Way We Teach This’” (nytimes):

One of the biggest arguments for paid leave for new parents has been an economic one: Research has repeatedly shown that women with paid time off after childbirth are more likely to keep working.

But a new study, the largest to be done in the United States, found the opposite. In California, which in 2004 became the first state to offer paid family leave, new mothers who took it that year ended up working less and earning less a decade later. They averaged $24,000 in cumulative lost wages, it found.

For first-time mothers, there was a clear negative effect. After 10 years, the new mothers who took paid leave right after they gave birth were 5 percent to 7 percent less likely to be employed, and those who were employed earned 5 percent to 8 percent less. The researchers said the earnings decreases could be because they worked fewer hours, moved to jobs with lower wages and more flexibility, or became self-employed.

These patterns held no matter the age or prior earnings of the mother, and were true for both unmarried and married mothers, though the decreases in employment were slightly larger for unmarried women

Not too surprising. Pay people to refrain from work and they discover how enjoyable it is to hang out at home!

Usually it takes a while for a welfare program to be co-opted by rich white Americans, but this one was immediately latched onto:

Despite the large sample, the effects were limited to women who took leave immediately after it became available. Only about a fifth of women who gave birth then did so, and that group might have been more inclined to step back from work in the first place.

A variety of research has found that this group was more likely to be older, high-earning, white and college educated than those who took leave after the program had been in effect for a while. Even later, awareness of the program was low, particularly among low earners — exactly the group that research has shown gets the most economic benefits from paid leave.


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European + Eskimo/Inuit culture = female-led society

My Facebook feed recently lit up with righteous Americans celebrating the a new female-led government in Finland. “Change in Finland: A government led by five women and the world’s youngest prime minister” (Washington Post) was a typical article. More substantive, “Finland’s New Government Is Young And Led By Women—Here’s What The Country Does To Promote Diversity” (Forbes):

The new female prime minister’s coalition government was formed with all five party leaders being women – the majority being under 40-years of age, … Feminists across countries applauded and congratulated the new prime minister inspired what might promise more change and innovative solutions to come. … Research from the past 30 years suggests that quota provisions and the type of electoral system are good predictors for women’s representation in parliament across countries.

The Eskimo/Inuit world, however, reached this milestone decades ago. During our Northwest Passage cruise, I commented to an anthropology professor on board that all of the people we’d met in Nunavut with steady government paychecks were women: the mayor of every town, the teachers and other school employees, etc. She said that it was like that everywhere in the Inuit region of Canada: “Women are the ones to go to college and they run all of these towns, from the mayor on down.”

Here’s the mayor of Cambridge Bay:

In addition to some locally useful content, the library features Women Who Write Are Dangerous:

Traditional Eskimo society, which includes people from the Bering Sea through to Greenland, involved a strong gender-based division of labor (and there were only two gender IDs available). Men were responsible for hunting and making tools. Women were responsible for having babies, taking care of children, technical sewing, and cooking. This was a sustainable way of life for at least 2,000 years.

Europeans barged in with cheap industrial food and factory-made tools, thus devaluing the traditional role of men. Except for the sewing activity, the Europeans made the traditional female role more valuable. Where children had previously been a burden and a woman would have to find a man to help her feed the extra mouths, the government now frees women from all of the costs of child-rearing. As in the U.S., the Inuit woman who gives birth is entitled to government-supplied housing, government-supplied food, and government-supplied health care. What if she has 10 kids? “Every time a child turns 5,” replied a single mom, “the government has to give me a bigger house. It is illegal for children over 5 to share a room.”

The private houses that we saw advertised for sale were absurdly expensive compared to potential incomes for any non-government job. Public housing is $50-100/month; a comparable quality house across the street might be $300,000 to purchase.

(Inuit have among the highest population growth rates in Canada now:

source: https://www.itk.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Inuit-Statistical-Profile.pdf )

What’s left for the men to do? Some seem to have construction jobs, but there is a lot of alcohol (in industrial quantities, another gift from the European invaders) and Xbox. A teenager told us that his father had 9 children total and had not, as far as he had observed, done anything by way of gainful employment. Suicide statistics are frightening and nearly every Inuit person we met seemed to have a story about a brother or father who’d killed himself.

(https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2019/10/10/inuit-highest-suicide-rate/ : “If Nunavut, the semi-autonomous Canadian territory that is home to roughly 28,000 indigenous Inuit people, were an independent country, it would have the highest suicide rate in the world. The suicide rate in Greenland, whose population is mostly Inuit, is 85 per 100,000; next highest is Lithuania, at 32 per 100,000. Nunavut’s rate is 100 per 100,000, ten times higher than the rest of Canada and seven times higher than the US. When I visited Nunavut’s capital, Iqaluit, in July, virtually every Inuit I met had lost at least one relative to suicide, and some recounted as many as five or six family suicides, plus those of friends, coworkers, and other acquaintances.”)


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Boston Museum of Fine Arts establishes a ghetto for female artists

If you’re looking to escape the Boston winter, our Museum of Fine Arts is showing “Women Take the Floor” currently.

The entrance sign explains that “[the underrepresentation of female artists in museums] is not because great women artists did not exist–they did, and they do. Rather it is the result of systematic gender discrimination… The MFA itself has had an inconsistent history in supporting women artists. We acknowledge the fact and seek to remedy it. …. we are dedicating this entire floor to work by women-identified artists…” A sign further notes that only 5% of acquisitions by the MFA in the past ten years have been “by known female-identifying artists”.

If there are so many “great women artists,” why the need for a female ghetto floor? If other museums and collectors don’t yet recognize these artists as “great,” why not sell off some of the insanely valuable work by male-identified artists throughout the museum and use the profits to buy currently undervalued work by “great women artists”? When other museums gradually shake off their sexism, the overall value of the MFA’s collection and endowment would vastly increase and visitors would see an organic mixture of male-identifying and female-identifying work throughout the museum.

The female art ghetto includes artists who explicitly stated that they did not want to be in a female art ghetto, e.g., Louise Nevelson (“I am not a feminist. I am an artist who happens to be a woman.”; she also rejected alimony, a pillar of modern feminism)

An artist who lived for 105 years is quoted as saying that there was a single time during which she felt discriminated against because of her sex:

There is a book section:

A poet speaks truth about power:

Canteloupe + video camera = art:

Elizabeth Warren’s cousins are depicted:

There are a lot of ways to be a “woman”, but if you’re not in a wheelchair you have to wear a dress or a diaper:

The largest special exhibition space, underneath the American Wing, is showing “Nubia: A Black Legacy”

Exercise for readers: What’s missing from the “Black Legacy” exhibit? (The photos above are not a biased selection.)

A reminder from Yoshitomo Nara that it might be time to go home and walk the dog:


  • “Baltimore Museum of Art will only acquire works by women in 2020” (Washington Post): “Over the past decade, only 11 percent of art acquired by America’s top museums for their permanent collections was by women, according to a recent survey. … The researchers found that to truly correct the canon, curators will need to rethink not just their exhibitions but their permanent collections.” (but how do they know which artists actually did identify as “women”? And in a country plagued by inequality and racism, how does a rich white female artist get priority over a poor black artist who has the misfortune of identifying as male?)
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How was Ivanka Trump’s keynote speech at CES?

My Facebook friends were outraged that Ivanka Trump had been asked to speak at the Consumer Electronics Show. How was her talk?

A senior citizen white male programmer linked to “Ivanka Trump Keynoting At CES Is All That is Wrong For Women In Tech” (Forbes):

Both in 2017 and 2018, the keynote lineups did not have a single woman included on the main stage. … The presence of the so-called “booth babes” continues to anger many. While they were officially outlawed years ago by the CTA, it seems that booth babes are now on stage disguised under tight exercise clothing.

If you are a woman in tech, like me, you are very familiar with the T.WA., the “token woman appearance” on keynote stages and panels. I have been one myself several times, mostly being called to facilitate an all-male panel.

Whose job is it to decide that a person working in a booth is a “booth babe” and must be ejected?

[The author claims to be “in tech” and yet the biography at bottom says

Carolina Milanesi is the Founder of The Heart of Tech, a technology market research and consultancy firm focused on tech in education and diversity in tech.

Isn’t she actually in the diversity industry?]

All of his Facebook friends are white male senior citizen programmers. They were similarly outraged.

Of course, I couldn’t resist:

Me: It is refreshing to see older white men with the courage to boo young women off the stage before they have started to speak.

White Boomer Coder 1: She isn’t there because she is young or a woman. She is there only because of who her vile father is.

Me: I am just waiting for [the original poster] to ask “Why isn’t she home with her three children?”

White Boomer Coder 2: “before they have started to speak” is a rather bizarre claim. She’s not an unknown personna and she’s ever bit as vile as her father. And as already noted, she has literally no relevant skills to this conference.

White Boomer Coder 3: You seriously think she’s credible within the tech community? Age and gender have nothing to do with this. You’re missing the point entirely. I can think of multiple women, white and not-white, who would be almost infinitely more credible, intelligent and knowledgeable, than Ms. Trump. I’m incredulous that this decision was made for any reason other than to pander to the squatter in the WH.

White Boomer Coder 4: Philip Greenspun Are you a troll or an idiot? Serious question. She has no qualifying characteristics for delivering such a talk. It has nothing to do with race or gender. I don’t care one whit about boycotting CES or not. But shame on anyone who would attend that talk. And shame on the fools and tools who booked her. If you are serious about breaking the speaker mold, there are credible choices out there. However, you clearly are not serious about this…

How is CES lately? The folks protesting Ivanka Trump’s presence there make it sound like a sacred temple. I was there so long ago that silicone (adult film stars and their products) and silicon were able to coexist on the same floor. If almost everything interesting in technology is happening inside smartphones, how relevant is a show centered on “everything else”?

And, circling back to the top… how was Ivanka Trump’s talk?

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Campusland: novel of sex and inclusion

Our ground school at MIT starts today (videos from last year linked from course web site). I’m hoping that there are no similarities with a recently finished novel: Campusland.


Colleges don’t make fools, they only develop them. —GEORGE HORACE LORIMER

How to be a popular university president:

The protesters spotted Milton and instantly became animated. “Hey, Milton! Divest from Israel now! Stop the murder!” cried one. “Divest now! Divest now!” Their homemade signs thrust up and down like pistons. Milton smiled and walked over. “It’s great to see everyone. Really great.” He began shaking hands, much to the bewilderment of the protesters, who didn’t know what to do other than shake back. “Keep up the good work, and welcome back to school!”

Unrealistic: Mom walks out and leaves potential cash-fountain daughter with rich dad in Manhattan (perhaps an extremely poor understanding of New York family law?) After Dalton, Lulu ends up at Devon University, in “Havenport, Connecticut” (Yale?).

Her application was pushed over the finish line with a substantial check. … Her politics, to the extent she gave them much thought, closely adhered to the agendas of the benefits and political fund-raisers to which she aspired. This meant that by default she was a Democrat, like Sheldon (or she would be, as soon as she figured out how to register). She supported all the causes of the moment. Lately, she’d memorized a wholly impassioned-sounding plea for transgender rights that seemed to play well. Not that she’d ever met a transperson, but she was sure if she did, she’d know how to use the correct pronoun. Pretty sure.

The Progressive Student Alliance decides to target an English professor who includes Mark Twain in his syllabus, but not any African-American authors. The class is canceled and the professor goes on administrative leave and the subject of an investigation by Dean Martika Malik-Adams, Dean of Diversity and Inclusion. Lulu turns out to be his biggest defender against the diversity protesters, but things go south after a private moment in his office:

Lulu was drinking heavily, licking her wounds. She hadn’t told anyone about the incident in Professor Russell’s office, nor would she. There was nothing to gain from it. Sure, she’d been aggressive, but no one had ever turned her down like that, let alone heaved her unceremoniously onto the floor. Not even the ones with girlfriends. He must have known where she was going—she couldn’t have been more obvious, and she could feel him responding to her. How dare he humiliate her, especially after what she’d done for him!

After drunken sex with a frat boy, she falls and strikes a coffee table with her face.

Yolanda’s [graduate student RA] eyes narrowed. “Did someone do this to you?” “No, no one did anything.” “Something happened.” “Really, Yolanda, I just want to get a couple hours’ sleep and then get out of here…” “I smell alcohol, and your clothes are disheveled. What happened to you? Did you have sex with someone last night after drinking?” Yolanda’s eyes were now two slits. “Is there any other way it happens?” Lulu giggled, despite herself, which only made the pain worse. Why wouldn’t this woman go away? “You don’t understand. By university policy, a woman cannot give consent while under the influence. Sex under the influence is automatically assault.” Yolanda looked almost excited. As an RA, she’d had over thirty hours of mandatory training on sexual assault protocols, and she was sniffing the first opportunity to put her training to use. … Yolanda grew frustrated. “You’re not hearing me. In all likelihood, you’ve been raped, and on top of that someone obviously struck you. I’m a mandatory reporter, and— “A what?” “Mandatory reporter, which means I’m obligated by the Devon Committee on Title IX Enforcement to report this.” “Would you please relax? No one’s been raped.”

The book is in sync with the latest New York Times thinking that all U.S. wealth can be attributed to the profits of slavery (1619 Project):

One of the female students [occupying the president’s office] took up the reins. “This place, this place you call Devon, is white, white, white. It’s violent, in your face, everywhere you go. You, the university president, you’re white. It’s oppression. But know this: we owe you nothing. It’s Devon that owes us everything. We built this. This is ours. This place was built on the backs of our people, and yet we are second-class citizens on this campus!” The girl was so worked up tears were now steaming down her face. Milton nodded, as if in profound agreement, deciding not to point out that slavery was largely nonexistent in eighteenth-century New England when Devon was founded and was completely abolished by the time most of the current campus was constructed. But surely the girl was speaking metaphorically, and her pain was plainly real. “Please, tell me how I can help.”

[The occupation is eventually ended when the university agrees to require that all first-year students take a course titled “Identity and Privilege”.]

Lulu gets some inspiration from Columbia:

About halfway through, past the hard news, an article caught her attention. Called “Campus Nightmares,” it was about the wave of sexual assaults on American campuses. The victims—known as survivors—were bravely coming to the fore, exposing their pain for the common good. There was a lot about Emma Sulkowicz, the famous “Mattress Girl” at Columbia, who had carried a mattress around campus for an entire year to protest an alleged assault by a fellow student. Lulu thought there must be less exhausting ways to get attention, but she couldn’t argue with the results. Sulkowicz had become a campus celebrity and a feminist hero. She even got invited to one of Barack Obama’s States of the Union. Lulu googled Mattress Girl, and there were 2.7 million hits. Another girl had accused a teacher of assault and her whole campus had rallied around her cause. She was hailed with words like brave and pathbreaking and was said to be taking on the “power imbalance” between teacher and student. Something new was happening here. Victims as celebrities. Yolanda Perez had kept on her about that black eye last month, the one that forced Lulu to hide her first week in St. Barts. Perez had even shown up at her door with some woman from a campus feminist group. They pressed Lulu hard for a name, promising to “title nine his ass.” As much fun as it might be to get the hairy man-boy in trouble, Lulu didn’t have time for a bunch of dykes. As a likely English major, she was, however, intrigued that title nine was now being used as a verb. … She needed a plan. Simply being another run-of-the-mill “survivor” would not suffice. That market was getting crowded. Some of the early girls got a lot of play, sure, but only Mattress Girl had transcended her own campus. The mattress angle was clever, but it had been done. Lulu needed a bigger play, something original.

I don’t want to spoil the book too much, so let’s just say that she comes up with a brilliant plan.

The professor, meanwhile, goes through the Title IX process in front of Dean Martika Malik-Adams:

“Excuse me. A question, if I may. Where is the rest of the tribunal? If Ms. Coughlin is counsel, and Ms. Gomez is the stenographer, that just leaves … you.” “That’s correct.” “So where is everyone else?” “I am the tribunal, Professor Russell.” “Just you?” That lawyer warned him it might be the case, but Eph had found it difficult to believe that the university would put his professional future in the hands of a single person. “The majority of Title IX cases are adjudicated by a single person; it’s well within the federal guidelines. It’s a question of efficiency.” “Will there be an investigation? How does this process establish facts?” “I also perform that role, and it has already begun.”

Readers: is this factual or literary license? Can a university have a single person investigating and deciding Title IX cases, expelling students and faculty from campus?

Per usual, authors and editors don’t go a great job with general aviation. A rich alum is going to show up in his Gulfstream G650:

Since this was his first trip to Devon in his new iron, his people had had to call to make sure Havenport Airport’s lone runway had the necessary length. It did, if just barely.

(New Haven has two physical runways (four distinct numbers, one for each landing direction) and nobody would call an FBO or airport manager to find out the runway length, since this kind of information is available in public databases and web sites.)

More: read Campusland.

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