Good, glad they went down. In the real world trustees are window dressing and bank accounts... not ideologues and bloggers. In terms of fundraising, what's the effect of letting on some bum law professor instead of an executive? The bum may think he's doing Dartmouth good by fighting his little trustee fights, but he's gotta send his kids to college, and he can't buy new stadium lights, buildings or professors.
Not to mention Zywicki is a horrible writer, as is obvious to anyone who read his petition statement. He's a total C-leaguer, fit for his podunk law school but not for an Ivy League institution.I hardly need to defend Zywicki (just read his Volokh Conspiracy posts for that) but it needs to be said that this kind of elitism is just plain harmful for the school and self-consuming. I'd like to crack a joke, but the open plutocratic prejudice is absurd enough as it is.
I agree with his policies, but it's a scandal that a venerable institution like Dartmouth made a riff-raffian like him a trustee. I suppose this is the same logic that will put Miers on the Court over people like Luttig or McConnell. Good job guys.
But I had promised a post on Scott Glabe's coverage of the Harvey Mansfield manliness debate. Here it is:
It is clear from reading Glabe’s coverage of the manliness debate that he has never read any feminist theory, which is a problem if he intends to refute it.
Scott gets a little mixed up on what “gender is a socially constructed category” means-—he accuses Professor Travis of both talking about men as if they had an identifiable nature and denying that they have one (by asserting the constructed nature of gender). This would be a keen criticism if “socially constructed” meant “utterly non-existent” and “gender” was perfectly synonymous with “biological sex.” Unfortunately for Mr. Glabe, neither mean what he thinks they mean—“constructed” does not mean “illusory” or “non-existent,” it means “made.” If I say, “My, that building looks constructed,” I am not making a claim about my ability to observe it empirically. I am making a claim about the history of its manufacture. Gender is a manufactured category, but it is undeniably present. It is something you do, and is therefore completely observable and distinguishable from other elements of personality.
Biological sex is different from gender in that it is something that is in most cases innate. While there are some cases where sex is from birth indeterminable or ambiguous, the whole guys’ and girls’ restroom division Glabe employs as a cheap rhetorical trick does work pretty well. And there are undeniably demands on a person for their gender performance to match their biological sex—that’s the situation feminist criticism highlights, not that it seeks to deny. But the point is, there is no single measuring stick for gender—-there are multiple ways of performing gender. Pink popped-collar shirts is one, as is acting like Woody Allen or emulating Sylvester Stallone. Gender performances are recognizable, but not deterministic.
Thus, the question Mansfield asked Travis, “If manliness doesn’t exist, how can it be bad?” is completely answerable. The property of being an ignorant asshole doesn’t exist as an innate factor, but it is identifiable and it is identifiably bad.
Glabe squeaks in delight in a few places where he recounts a showmanly trick or two that Mansfield employs, but the whole article reeks of uninformed obstinance as does the interview with Mansfield, which merely replays the same flaws in understanding Glabe shows us in his article. Well, and Mansfield's musings on education, affirmative action, and gayness, none of which are remotely surprising or interesting.