Defend academic freedom in Malawi

Rachel Cooper writes:

The philosophy department at the University of Malawi is currently in extreme difficulties. Protests at the university started when a political science lecturer was interrogated by police because of topics discussed in class. Since then the lecturers have been on strike, and there are moves to sack the union leaders, and close the university. The protesters in Malawi have gained a court injunction which currently prevents the union leaders being sacked or the university being closed, however this partial success is fragile. I’d be very grateful if you’d consider signing the petition below in their support, and also forwarding this email to any others you know who might be willing to sign it. The purpose of the petition is to ask the Malawian authorities to ensure academic freedom and keep the university open.

You can read about the events in Malawi here and here.

You can sign a petition here.

From investigator to victim

A very honest, depressing and also fascinating first-person account from a police officer who specialised in sexual offences, and then (through a completely separate chain of events) was raped. He discusses his unwillingness to press charges, the pressure that well-meaning collagues put him under, and the new insights he now has.

Another question I’ve had to ask myself is why, as a police officer, I am not doing everything I can to get my attacker off the streets. But I’m a victim first and a police officer second. I’m not the first victim to decide not to press charges, and I won’t be the last. Being a cop means I know the system, and it has scared me off. I know this case would be likely to end in court and, from that point, I couldn’t maintain my anonymity. I couldn’t cope with the added burden of being a cop as well as a victim.

Thanks, Jender-Parents.

More on the shunning proposal

NewAPPS has a follow-up post discussing all the attention that’s been paid to their posts on sexual harassment, and responding to misconceptions. They do a great job with it. One thing I especially appreciated was this:

It is a bit disturbing that our initial post received so much attention for repeating things women feminists have been saying for years. Men who are feminists need not apologize for taking action in their own names and as feminists – indeed, we urge them to do so – but at the same time men need to be aware of, and to disavow, the privilege their words receive even in the context of feminist intervention. Such privilege is a mark of how much work remains to be done. Let’s get to work, then!