Has no one to blame but zerself
Here’s a gem that got lost in the tumult of JK Rowling and Harris v EEOC.
Transgender athlete and professor Dr. Veronica Ivy recently shared a performance review from her college departmental administration, and it is glorious.
Ivy, formerly known as Rachel McKinnon on Twitter and still posting under that moniker on Facebook, posted the review out of anger rather than good sense.
Not surprisingly, the review says that Dr. Ivy/McKinnon has been “doing a rather minimal job in teaching writing and in preparing students for future work in philosophy.”
Shocking! Who could have predicted that someone whose PhD thesis amounts to a defense of their own Dunning-Kruger stupidity would turn out to be a bad teacher?
Perhaps Ivy/McKinnon was too busy tweeting.
But wait, there’s more! This review is filled with delicious tidbits of academese.
For instance, department chair Larry Krasnoff calls Ivy a lazy writer, but in a bright, professional tone.
You see, not only has Ivy been deriving new articles from previous work, “she” has also tried to fob these rewrites off as original work in order to meet publishing expectations.
Which might be forgivable … if only Dr. Ivy would bother to show up for meetings:
You did complete the small service projects assigned to you during your alternative duties in the spring of 2019. Beyond that, though, your service to the department this year was non-existent. You did not volunteer to assist with anything, and you failed to do even the minimal things that your service expectations letter reminded you that every department member is expected to do (and not receive any special credit for). You did not attend a single department meeting or event, either in person or by Skype, and so absented yourself from every departmental deliberation and activity. Though you have disability accommodations from the EEO office, those accommodations say, “It is essential that all faculty attend department meetings and participate in the governance of the program.” At this point, you are simply not meeting your basic obligations as a citizen of the department.
RECORD SCRATCH NOISE. What was that?
Though you have disability accommodations from the EEO office
Wait, wait — whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!
Dr. Veronica/Rachel Ivy/McKinnon has a disability?
The world champion “female” indoor cyclist is disabled?
Stop the presses!
What kind of disability are we talking about?
It can’t be a physical disability, surely. Though I would not be shocked if the professor tried to identify as disabled to enter the paralympics.
So, what? Neuroatypical? Mental illness?
A personality disorder, maybe?
Perhaps the kind of disorder where someone adopts different names and identities, making desperate, pitiable efforts to enlist other people in their alternate reality?
Maybe just maybe?
A little bit?
The media attention was for McKinnon's obscene, gloating remarks about the death of Magdalen Berns, a young feminist who had brain cancer. I went to the Post-Courier with screenshots and I held CofC's feet to the fire to force them to respond.
WE ARE NOT HELPLESS AGAINST THIS. pic.twitter.com/GvdprvAS5b
— AM Rourk (@amrourk) June 13, 2020
Dr. Ivy/McKinnon’s troubles began last August when the professor celebrated the untimely death of gender critical YouTube commentator Magdalen Berns.
Berns was a lesbian who rubbished notions such as ‘ladypenis’ and ‘male lesbian.’ Ivy/McKinnon denounced Berns as a transphobic bigot and expressed pleasure that she had died of a brain tumor.
As a result, the president of Charleston College called on “faculty members to make every effort to exercise appropriate restraint and show respect for the opinions of others when engaging them on challenging issues,” obliquely addressing Ivy/McKinnon.
Then in January, Ivy/McKinnon declared pansexuality to be the only morally defensible orientation because it includes trans people.
Get that? Being gay is no longer acceptable, people!
The professor later deleted this homophobic tweet, but the complaints to Charleston College redoubled.
Then, in early May, there was a third round of complaints after Ivy/McKinnon suggested on Twitter that a rape relief shelter in Vancouver had nailed a rat to their own doorway in order to frame trans rights activists protesting their women-only hiring policy.
That third time might have been the charm, for the annual performance review is dated just two days later.
Indeed, is it really just a coincidence that Dr. Rachel McKinnon turned into Dr. Veronica Ivy after things got bumpy last August?
We now have many more questions than answers. Chief among these is: can a mediocre professor ever make full professor at a third-tier college? *
For unless Ivy/McKinnon is willing to engage the very opponents he refuses to debate, and the inconvenient facts they marshal in defense of existing sex-based sporting divisions, the answer is no:
[N]one of this challenges your opponents’ conviction that the above standard should be the normative basis for what they understand as the justified distinction between men’s and women’s sports. None of it takes up the question of whether you think there is any normative justification for, and thus should be, a distinction between men’s and women’s sports. Maybe you don’t have to have an answer of your own to this question, but then you need a compelling answer to the question of why you don’t have to answer it.
I go into this level of detail because I think that the way you address this particular question is likely to be the decisive factor in assessing the quality (and not just the quantity, which is thus far beyond question) of your new line of work. If you have a theoretically compelling response, then I think you are likely to be judged as having made an important contribution to this area of applied ethics. If you simply evade the question, then I think you are likely to be judged as doing less than philosophically successful work. Given your current trajectory, this question is likely to be at the heart of the evaluation of your research if and when you apply for promotion to Professor.
Ivy/McKinnon was clearly upset by this performance review and it is not hard to see why.
Having made an entire career by competing against women with his male body and arguing that this makes him a great philosopher as well as a woman and that he does not have to explain himself at all, Rhys McKinnon is on notice that he must explain himself, after all.
He must explain how this is not a picture of unfairness, how this can ever possibly be fair, and why we shouldn’t consider him just a mediocre male cheating women out of their own sports.
* That’s not a dig on Charleston College, which is probably quite lovely with wonderful people. It’s just a fact that most of us, including this author, don’t get to attend an Ivy League school.