The Tyranny of Gertrude

Lara Bazelon wrote a pretty good post at Politico about why Stanford law professor Michele Dauber’s jihad against Judge Aaron Persky for his sentence of Brock Turner is a terrible thing.

In a charge spearheaded by Stanford law professor Michele Dauber—a close friend of the victim’s family—an effort is underway to recall Persky from office. Sixteen state legislators have demanded that the California Commission on Judicial Performance investigate Persky for misconduct. Over a million members of the feminist organization UltraViolet signed an online petition voicing their agreement. The group also hired a plane to fly over Stanford during graduation carrying a banner that said, “Protect Survivors. Not Rapists. #PerksyMustGo,” and paid for a billboard on a nearby, high-traffic freeway that sends the same message.

Spare us all the heartfelt Persky was WRONG!!! comments. Whether he was or wasn’t, you wouldn’t have a clue, despite your parsing the million details, some true, some false, some relevant, some not, to justify your outrage. They’ve all been heard before. Got it. This is the worst injustice ever because RAPE!!!

But before reaching her point, Bazelon did something curious:

On this we can all agree: Brock Allen Turner, a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, one-time All-American Stanford freshman swimmer, is stone cold, beyond-a-reasonable-doubt guilty of committing a violent sexual assault against an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. Because what Turner did was brutal, criminal and depraved, and because of his utter lack of remorse—much less insight into his behavior—he should have gone to prison.

Can we “all agree”? Of course not. There’s enormous disagreement, though almost all of it is as baseless as Bazelon’s own assertion. Did she witness the crime? Did she sit through the trial, at least?  Then she doesn’t get to pronounce indisputable fact. Neither do I. Neither do you. Not that people don’t believe with every fiber of their being that they actually know what they don’t know at all, but they don’t actually know anything except what they’ve been fed through the media meat grinder, as tainted by reporters with agendas to sell.

But then, Bazelon didn’t include that paragraph because she actually believes that her vision of the facts, based on whatever the voices in her head tell her, actually reflect something we can all agree on.  She’s Gertruding.  She’s trying to quiet the obvious retort of the angry and ignorant mob by feeding them their narrative and rubbing their tummy, before writing something that’s going to make their heads explode.

Gertruding.

I would never say that I don’t need to prove that I don’t need to prove that I’m opposed to cops being murdered. Because it’s obvious that I don’t need to prove that I don’t need to prove that I oppose murder, and rape, and revenge porn, and all of the other bad things. It goes without saying. And nobody would suggest that I need to prove that I need to prove that I’m opposed to bad things unless I proactively insisted that such was not the case.

So, once and for all, not only am I opposed to all the bad things, but also I don’t need to prove it. And furthermore I don’t need to prove that.

I hope it’s obvious. I would hate to have to prove that I don’t need to prove that I don’t need to prove that I oppose all of the bad things.

Bazelon took a leap into the abyss of feminist hate by challenging the feminist mob, and started by announcing that she was not a rape apologist and didn’t think rape was fine. Yes, Turner wasn’t convicted of rape, but such a nuanced understanding of the conviction will only evoke additional cries from the mob. Don’t go there. It’s pointless.

But to read the comments to Bazelon’s post is to see that her effort failed, and failed miserably. Not even Gertrude will save you anymore. And before anyone chalks this up to feminists, this applies to everything. When someone criticizes cops, they include the required Gertrude that not all cops are evil, most are wonderful humanitarians. When someone criticizes a law as unconstitutional, they include that revenge porn is horrible and the harm it causes is devastating.

The first stage of Gertrude ruling our discourse was that the absence of Gertruding produced a stream of accusations that the failure to Gertrude meant you were a hater of whatever you failed to Gertrude. And so, a quick Gertrude was added to blunt the stupid.

That didn’t last. We then entered second state Gertruding, as reflected by Bazelon’s “we can all agree” that Brock Turner was the worst person ever on the face of the earth. And as the comments show, that didn’t even slow down, no less blunt, the stupid.

And so, the next stage of Gertruding is upon us, where we return to where we started and stop the tummy rubs, the restatement of the obvious, the hyperbolic effort to quell all the blithering idiots who are incapable of grasping that writing about Michelle Dauber’s leading the outraged mob is not a pro-rape manifesto.

To borrow from the litany of whines, it’s exhausting to try to explain to the myriad morons on the internet that supporting free speech doesn’t mean that hate speech is groovy. If you can’t think past that, then go to reddit, find a room where others who share your level of intelligence will love you the way you need to be loved, and knock yourself out.

It’s unfortunate, really unfortunate, that Lara Bazelon felt it necessary to open her otherwise good post with a Gertrude, especially one that began with the ludicrous phrase, “On this we can all agree.”  If you want your echo chamber, go find it. But enough of Gertrude, and enough of those who demand that they be introduced to Gertrude or else. It’s time to bury Gertrude. Get over it.

8 thoughts on “The Tyranny of Gertrude

  1. REvers

    All feminists are not drooling idiots (we can all agree on that, right?) but “Over a million members of the feminist organization UltraViolet signed an online petition voicing their agreement” pretty much proves Judge Persky needs to keep his job.

      1. Mike

        You mean women shouldn’t be barefoot, pregnant and chained to the stove? /sarc

        If by old school feminist, you mean treat women with the respect they deserve, I agree. Most men of our age were raised that way.

        It’s just that feminist today is such an ugly word and movement.

        1. SHG Post author

          That’s why I started using neo-feminist, because it frankly disturbed me that a worthy cause was hijacked by the special snowflakes.

  2. Jim Tyre

    Not that people don’t believe with every fiber of their being that they actually know what they don’t know at all, but they don’t actually know anything

    My one-eyed head is spinning.

  3. Tom

    Wait! Just how many stages of Gertrude are there? Is it really possible that its Gertrude all the way down? That’s a dismaying thought for the middle of the week.

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