Kathryn Pogin, a philosophy grad student at Northwestern, has followed up her open letter to the Chronicle of Higher Education with an editorial at the Huffington Post, where she relates her experience discussing her concerns with the Chronicle’s editors – which include their reference to her original letter as an ‘incomprehensible tirade’. (I for one found her original letter pretty easy to follow and understand. Perhaps the editor’s inability to do so reflects more on them than it does on Kathryn.) She also elaborates her concerns about the article (by NU professor Laura Kipnis) the Chronicle published:
Laura Kipnis is perfectly welcome to hold whatever view of faculty-student relationships she likes. She is also welcome to publish those views, and the Chronicle of Higher Education is welcome to assist her in doing so. What is not welcome is willfully misleading the public, particularly when Kipnis is exploiting the misrepresentation of events which are surely deeply important and deeply painful for all of those directly involved. It is striking that those concerned in publishing a piece which questions the credibility of women who allege to be victims, and mocks their experiences as ‘melodrama,’ only feel the need to qualify some allegations as allegations, and seem to feel no need to be sensitive to how inaccuracy might damage their own credibility. Perhaps when you are an accomplished university professor, or the most respected news source dedicated to higher education, credibility comes in comfortable excess. The entire affair is fitting, though, as a microcosm of the dynamics behind the larger problem of sexual violence on college campuses.