Horrible follow-up on male scholar choosing life over work

I can’t find the post, but a while back we did one on a widely reported story of a male scholar of work-life balance who abandoned his tenured job for his girlfriend’s career, publicly noting that women make this kind of sacrifice all the time without anyone thinking it’s remarkable. As I recall the comments got rather heated. Well, there’s been an awful development:

Robert W. Drago, a prominent scholar of issues affecting women in the work force, was arrested Monday in Washington, D.C., the police said. He was charged with misdemeanor sexual abuse and misdemeanor sexual abuse of a minor….
The charges relate to complaints that Mr. Drago’s then-girlfriend, Laurie A. Bonjo, and her 17-year-old daughter filed in late July with the Washington police following an alleged encounter that month between Mr. Drago and the girl. According to Ms. Bonjo—who said her daughter did not want to be named in an article—her daughter stayed overnight alone with Mr. Drago at his apartment in Washington during some travel between family members’ homes. While her daughter was at Mr. Drago’s apartment, said Ms. Bonjo, Mr. Drago put his arms around her daughter, kissed her on the lips, and attempted to fondle her breasts and buttocks.

He later acknowledged making the advances in text messages he sent to Ms. Bonjo’s cell phone, she said.

Last year The Chronicle wrote about Mr. Drago and Ms. Bonjo when he gave up his tenured professorship at Penn State so he could move to Washington to be closer to Ms. Bonjo, who is a graduate student in counseling education at Old Dominion University, in Norfolk, Va.

I thought this should be reported, but after the previous post I want to ask everyone to be very careful in comments here. Ms Bonjo and her daughter are going through a horrendous time.

14 thoughts on “Horrible follow-up on male scholar choosing life over work

  1. I guess that we should watch out for those who broadcast and publicize their virtues. I know several males who have sacrificed possible career or business opportunities to care for their families and they don’t feel a need to tell the world about it.

    It’s like those evangelical preachers of sexual purity who always seem to get caught in
    houses of ill fame.

    A good part of living a virtuous life is keeping your mouth shut about it (as Jesus points out.)

  2. Sucks that even men who try to be feminists can do really terrible things to women.

    I would say though in response to comment #2 that I don’t think situations like this are good reasons for men not to publicly support the women in their lives in regards to their career decisions. A good part of a virtuous life is about speaking up for the values you think your society is wrongfully ignoring. Yes, you probably shouldn’t act as if you deserve a parade for a show of human decency, but such silence will not help women in this matter, even if you end up doing something horrifyingly unfeminist and criminal down the road.

  3. Logos:

    Let me change my description of virtue to a more Aristotelian one and thus, a part of virtue is knowing when to shut one’s mouth about being virtuous.

    Romantic relationships tend to be among the most fragile and unpredictable of human projects, although each time most of us believe “this time it’s forever”.

    Although few relationships end as sordidly as the one described above did, it is best not to imagine them as political projects and if one does see them as political projects, prudence seems to dictate that one not publicize or broadcast that widely.

  4. SW, I think we could say that that is the virtue of humility, a virtue distinct in itself (or even, according to a number of philosophers who followed the one you mentioned in your first comment, “the mother of virtues”). You are on a roll in this thread with some astute, pertinent and pithy observations.

    (I salute the inscrutable wisdom of the censor who deleted my previous comment.)

  5. Nemo:

    No comment on the censorship.

    In any case, don’t get discouraged. Keep posting here.

  6. If the wisdom of our comment-deletion is inscrutable, then I can supply the following explanation: We do not provide a platform for rhymes or jokes about the situation in which the Bonjos find themselves, because they are suffering, they are readers of this blog, and their misfortunes aren’t funny.

  7. This is not simply a situation in which the Bonjos happen to have found themselves; it’s a situation which Drago, whom many are now understandably inclined to regard as a pathetic, ridiculous and hypocritical figure in this tale, has brought upon them and also upon himself. I hope one (if not thousands) may be forgiven for thinking that *his* misfortunes – albeit, as always, not the only narrative here – legitimately invite derision in their own right (assuming the allegations are true, etc.). Nevertheless, non mea voluntas sed tua fiat.

  8. I can see your point, Nemo, and your intent is (now) clear. But it is very hard to discern the intent of a jokey rhyme in many cases (including this one), and I didn’t want to risk making a bad situation worse. I kind of thought no explanation was needed since you ended after the rhyme you wrote “too soon?”. This suggested that you were suspecting it wasn’t perhaps the right time or place for jokes.

  9. Saturday morning quibble: from the fact that ridiculing Drango is an appropiate reaction to him, it doesn’t follow that its an appropriate reaction to the story related from a perspective sympathetic to the victims.

  10. Yes, you’re right. Some distance first would be best. I did know it was close. But the Bonjo’s lives have been plunged into misery and chaos, and I realize that mocking the party allegedly responsible for that is not an immediate priority, and that whatever risible aspects Drago’s own story presents, they are secondary. Perhaps it was without charity to Drago too, though his presumed behaviour was contemptible. The whole story is so appalling to hear, I guess I don’t even know how to react.

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