Why Dorothy Kim Hates Me

I have never met Dorothy Kim. I do not know why she decided to make me her target in January 2016. Since it is clear that many even in our field of medieval studies do not know – or are refusing to admit that they know – what she has been saying about me on social media, I will show you.

On June 5, 2015, I posted a short blog post, listing three “cheers” that I suggest we talk about as products of Western, a.k.a. European, a.k.a. “white” civilization. I entitled it “Three Cheers for White Men.”

On January 18, 2016, I learned from friends on Facebook that Dorothy Kim had found this post and was encouraging her friends in the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship Facebook group to condemn me for posting it. Here is her initial post:

In response, I wrote a long series of blog posts clarifying what I had meant in praising “white” men for idealizing chivalry, consensual marriage, and women’s full participation in our representative democracy. These posts are linked in the original “Three Cheers for White Men” post. In conclusion, I wrote a post about my experience “Blogging with Tenure,” and thanked Dorothy Kim for giving me the opportunity to clarify my position. This is what I said about her then:

In September 2016, I began watching Milo Yiannopoulos’s campus tour. I started blogging about him because what I learned from watching his tour was how wrong the representation of him in the mainstream media had been, but also because I realized that he shared my hope to recover a respect for our Western culture and particularly our ideal of freedom of speech. I have published over sixty blog posts since that time talking about what he says, why his fans follow him, and how badly misrepresented he has been. I am acknowledged in his best-selling book as one of his sources of “intellectual nourishment” because I have also been writing about the values he and I share. I have met him in person and count him as a friend.

On November 30, 2016, I posted a “guide for conservatives” to his method “for winning the cultural wars,” which Breitbart also ran as an article. I had not had contact with Dorothy Kim during all of this time, not since our interaction in January 2016. On December 22, 2016, a friend sent me this screenshot:

I forwarded this screenshot to senior colleagues, asking what I should do. They told me: “She should get on with her academic work, stop worrying about you.” I took their advice and said nothing.

On April 23 [corrected], 2017 [corrected], I received this screenshot:

During this time, other colleagues had taken up the mantle against me, about which I wrote in detail in February and March, in defense of Milo and the slanders that had been thrown against him. On May 18, 2017, the Divinity School newsletter Sightings published a piece in which the author insisted I was not the problem; rather it was our entire field of medieval studies. I wrote this post in response:

On August 15, 2017 [corrected], I received this screenshot:

On August 28, 2017 [corrected], Dorothy Kim published her blog post “Teaching Medieval Studies in a Time of White Supremacy.” Given that she has been calling me a white supremacist for a good year, I took this as a direct attack against me. She has no other example of someone in our field of studies who might conceivably be called a white supremacist. I wrote the post I published this past Thursday to demonstrate that she is also wrong about me.

I blame her supporters, almost all of whom are more senior than she is, for encouraging her in this campaign against me. They should have given her the advice my senior colleagues gave me in December: “Get on with your proper work.”


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