I have a question wrote:
Doctor Scratch wrote:Thanks for tracking that down, MsJack. So now we know that, at minimum, she was equal in stature to Steve Smoot and Neal Rappleye at that time (assuming that this is indeed the same person).
If I may be so bold and presumptive as to interject a tad critically towards a faculty member, but I don't think you can say that Doctor Scratch. It is clear, is it not, from the make up of both Interpreter's Board Of Trustees and Board Of Advisors that "Jenny T" could not have been equal in stature to Steve Smoot and Neal Rappleye, even if she held the same Interpreter role and/or function. By virtue of a fact that you alluded to in your opening posting on this thread - she's a woman.
You may be right, IHAQ. Check out the latest
in a pair of responses from Sic et Non:
Dr. Peterson wrote:These two items bring me to the theme of this blog entry:
During the time that I served as chairman of the board of the old Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), the Foundation was sometimes criticized — and I, personally, was sometimes criticized — because that board was entirely male. The implication or assumption, I suppose, was that, as a result either of conscious and deliberate policy or of subconscious gender bias, we excluded women from leadership positions in the organization.
Now, it was true, on one level, that I was strongly disinclined to put a woman onto the board simply as a token or in order to achieve better “optics.” Any candidate for the board, in my view, needed to be someone of already-demonstrated commitment to the goals and efforts of the Foundation. And the pool of such candidates who were women was relatively small: Although things may be changing, there are still today significantly fewer female Latter-day Saint academics — and significantly fewer female members of the faculty at BYU, for example — than there are male.
Nevertheless, there were several women who fit the bill and, as chairman of the FARMS board, I invited them to join our board. But they turned me down. And they turned me down for a reason that had not previously occurred to me: For a generation or two, at least, every committee at BYU (and, I’m sure, everywhere else) has sought to include women. Given the relatively small number of available women, though, the practical upshot of this is that, while a male faculty member might serve on one or two committees, a woman might be serving on three to six of them. The women to whom I spoke were simply overextended. They were unwilling to take on more.
So I resigned myself to being condemned in certain circles, at least, as presiding over a restrictive “boys-only” club.
(To be continued.)
This is certainly an interesting story: here are the classic-FARMS Mopologists, claiming that they're aware of how it looks when they have zero women on their Board (and what about people of color, for that matter?). The crucial bit, though, is the part I highlighted: that DCP was only willing to consider women who "already-demonstrated commitment to the goals and efforts of the Foundation." Now, what do you suppose he means by that?
The sequel provides the answer
DCP wrote:Frankly, men tend to dominate apologetics because men are more inclined to be combative and more interested in certain styles of dispute. This really isn’t open to question, I think. It shows up in international politics, in crime statistics, in sports, and so forth. It appears already in children, when boys roughhouse and make weapons out of sticks while girls . . . play in other ways. (I’m trying to avoid political incorrectness here.) I saw a cartoon once — I haven’t been able to find it today — in which a husband is indicating how he and his wife divide up the responsibilities in their ordinary middle class home; his wife manages the house, the family budget, the family diet, the education of the children, vacation planning, and the like, while he concentrates on government economic policy, presidential politics, and appointments to the Supreme Court. Put another way: my own very level-headed and effective wife finds my more obsessive critics simply ridiculous and can’t figure out why in the world I pay them even the slightest attention.
LOL! Wow--this is like something out of Mad Men
. I hope you see what's on display here, friends: Dr. Peterson is treating this cartoon, which I assume was intended to be satire, like it is reality
. He says that the "fire" that fuels Mopologists is the same thing that leads to higher crime rates among men! But notice what else is going on here: in his previous entry, he noted that he was unwilling to admit any women onto the Board unless they were also "combative" and "interested in certain styles of dispute."
His analogy--of boys beating people with sticks--would seem to be telling: they deliberately went looking for women who were aggressive assholes, and (what a shocker!) kept coming up empty. Another way of looking at this is that the Mopologists are/were biased against women because women are too nice
. Sometimes I can scarcely believe what comes out of the Mopologists' keyboards. Hey, Dr. Peterson: Ward Cleaver called--he wants his cardigan back!
Peterson's entry continues:
From time to time, certain folks like to criticize today’s Interpreter Foundation because its writers and its leadership are preponderantly male. And this is undeniably true. The critics’ insinuation is that, whether deliberately or out of sheer, unreflective, chauvinistic, patriarchal bias, we exclude women.
The subject has come up again lately because of a specific case involving a woman who apparently volunteered for a time to copyedit some of the manuscripts submitted to us. (We don’t have a “staff.” We have no brick and mortar office. We rely almost entirely upon volunteers.) She was, I’m told, a very good editor. Apparently, though, she backed away from volunteering for us, a few months ago, on the grounds that she was just too busy. And now she’s publicly announced that she’s left the Church. (So far as I can tell, her departure is connected to her stance on gay rights and perhaps on gender issues more broadly. I can’t really say; I don’t know her and have never met or, to the best of my knowledge, interacted with her.)
Ah, so I was right: DCP "clarifies" that she was merely a "copyeditor." (At least he admits that "gender issues" may have pushed her out; by his own admission "gender issues" are rampant within Mopologetics.)
DCP wrote:Is it the policy of Interpreter to exclude women? Absolutely not.
But we can only engage as volunteers people who volunteer to be engaged.
We can only accept and publish manuscripts that have been submitted to us in the first place, and we have no control whatever over who sends work to us for consideration. For a few years, the Interpreter Foundation offered an annual prize designed to encourage female writers. (It was largely, though not entirely, sponsored by my wife and me.) We discovered, though, that the supply of female writing was, as an economist might say, relatively inelastic. If our prize had any effect on the number of submissions from women at all, that effect was negligible. Perhaps things would have been different if the prize had been significantly larger. I can easily imagine, for instance, that an annual prize of a million dollars might have had a measurable impact. But we did what we could.
Well, that's not really true, is it? I'm sure that Dr. Peterson is well aware of the push for "diversity" in universities across the U.S. (Heck, there is a trial involving Harvard underway that deals with this exact topic.) By "push" I mean that colleges will deliberately go out of there way to try to increase diversity: yes, there are things like scholarships and prizes, but there is also a deliberate attempt
to recruit folks to come aboard. Diversity *itself* is seen as a value: simply because a women doesn't share the same aggressive, condescending approach as most Mopologists doesn't mean she doesn't have something to offer. I bet that if Peterson unpacked his ideas on what qualifies someone as "committed to the goals and efforts of the Foundation," he'd be forced to confront some ugly truths. (And their boilerplate, public answers have been especially
telling: i.e., that they are all about "defending the revealed truths of the Restoration." Gee, if that's true, why is it that women avoid you guys like the plague?) Regardless, his just sitting there hoping that women will find their way to Interpreter is an awfully lazy way to address the lack of women on the Board. In fact, it makes it seem like Dr. Peterson ultimately doesn't really care that much. (Boy, no wonder that "copyeditor" left, eh?)
At any rate, his final paragraph is telling:
But we’ve never had as many women involved as we would have liked and we would welcome more manuscript submissions from female writers. Very, very much, in fact. We like articles from a variety of perspectives; they help us to see things that, from our own point of view, we might have missed. And we appreciate input on Foundation decisions from different viewpoints. We impose no barriers whatever based on gender, ethnicity, age, academic background, nationality, place of residence, or preference in breakfast cereals. We’re simply looking to encourage and publish high quality, faithful scholarship.
(Side-note: I notice that "sexual orientation" isn't listed among the things for which they "impose no barriers.")
Sure: "simply looking to encourage and publish high quality, faithful scholarship." Might it be that their modes of "encouragement" are tailor-made specifically for a certain brand of conservative white male? There is no escaping the basic facts: nearly all of the people involved in Mormon Interpreter
are white, conservative men. I see no indication whatsoever that the Interpreter
leadership gives two squats about diversity, and Peterson's new blog entries offer up yet more evidence. They don't care; if they did, they would have a more diverse array of authors and contributors.
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14