SJWs Converge on Medieval Studies—in Real Time!

Unlike their modernist colleagues, medieval historians rarely get to study events as they are unfolding in real time.

Usually we are stuck in the library, poring over manuscripts, hoping for a good bit that will give us a glimpse into the passions and provocations of the past, making do with chronicles written tens or hundreds of years after the events they are recounting, having to imagine what it must have been like through analogy with our own experiences, all the while knowing that we are more than likely projecting our own concerns onto the scraps of evidence that we find.

But not this week! This week in our little corner of academia we got to witness a SJW convergence in real time—just like Vox Day describes!

The opening move came on June 27, with this status posted to the Facebook Group for the International Congress on Medieval Studies (K’zoo) (I would link to the Group for you, but I can’t, for reasons which will become clear in the course of this narration).

Puzzled—and, of course, curious—some of us (including yours truly) went to look at Dr. Joy’s own Facebook page, where she had posted this status:

Since Dr. Joy had set her Facebook profile to Public, I assumed she wanted everyone to know about her concerns, so I shared her post to my own Facebook profile with the caption “Breaking News.” The post occasioned discussion among some of my friends, particularly over the significance of the image, which discussion Inside Higher Ed recounted in its coverage of Dr. Joy’s concerns. (See also the comments on this article.)

But the discussion on my own Facebook was a mere sideshow to the main event: the takeover of the Group in which Dr. Joy had made her original post.

I first became aware of the attempted takeover Monday evening, July 16, when it had already been in progress for some hours. The administrator and founder of the Group had been trying to moderate a discussion over the concerns presented in Dr. Joy’s original post (“Fuck the Kalamazoo Congress Committee”—funny, I got into a lot of trouble last autumn for using that word) and subsequently elaborated by others, including certain colleagues who claimed to have tried to prevent my attending certain sessions at the International Congress this past May. (I wasn’t interested. I had attended a similar session at the Medieval Academy Annual Meeting in March and learned what I needed to know about trolls.) The BABEL Working Group was interested in getting others to sign on to a petition they were circulating about the way the Congress Committee had made its session selections, and the discussion had gotten somewhat ::ahem:: heated. 

It was when the administrator turned the Group setting to Closed that things got really going.

Never mind that the offending phrase—“like Topsy, ‘just growed’”—was taken from one of the best-selling books of the nineteenth century credited with the abolition of slavery. Thanks to SJW logic, it is now considered racist even to mention Uncle Tom’s Cabin, much less use a popular phrase taken from the book.

The pile-on was relentless and went on for hours. 

The administrator was challenged on what he thought the Group was for, asked whether he had meant to deceive in making everyone believe the Group was officially connected with the Congress (it wasn’t, it was simply his personal service to the field creating a place where people could post calls for papers and requests for information), called upon to apologize for not submitting to the accusations made against him, told his apology—“I was deaf when not hearing concerns expressed by...”—used a “derogatory” metaphor (“deaf”) and should have been more sensitive (he apologized again), and then called out for his numerous “moderation stumbles in this space.”

The administrator tried to set some rules of engagement (a limit on the number of posts), but was called out for that. He asked one person to leave for posting an “offensive emoji,” another for “flouting a direct request” he made as administrator, and a third for the same. A few tried to stand up for him, but were themselves called racist for their pains.

Anyone who tried to suggest that maybe using a famous phrase from a best-selling abolitionist novel was “not really that important” was told otherwise, in no uncertain terms: “It is because you are a white man that you can’t see how important it is.”

By the next morning, less than 24 hours after the original attack, the administrator had apologized as much as he could, to no avail. He surrendered the Group—the Group he had administered for the past seven years—to a new administrator, and quit.

The new administrator promptly conducted a purge—or so I assume. When I tried to visit the Group (of which I have been a quiet member for years now), it was no longer there. Friends tell me that they can still see it; I can’t even find it in a search. 

I asked some of my friends to check if there were posts about or by me still in the Group. There is only one.

It isn’t over yet. SJWs always double down.

Some of my fellow medievalists got together to found a new Group for Open Discussion about the Middle Ages, which has gained over three hundred members in a matter of days. (The old ICMS group had about 2.2k before I was kicked out.) 

My champion Dan Franke tweeted about the new Group on Wednesday.

And was promptly taken to task.

Here is one of the threads Dan is referring to.

Note the use of dehumanizing language (“termites,” “roaches”) and my change in status (“the white guys have created a safe space for themselves.”) (Fun fact: Judging from their avatars, several of the speakers in this thread are “white guys.” I have been in conversation with one of them since, at his invitation.*)

Soon, however, names like “termites” and “roaches,” never mind “normal racist misogynist blowhards” and “penises” would seem like compliments. (Fun fact: The new group is 38% women, 61% men, and 1% “custom,” which is about the gender balance in History as a field. English tends to have more women.) Funny, Dan and Paul have never called me names, and I am pretty sure I am a woman. Yes, I checked. I am a woman. Dan, on the other hand, is a “wankmaggot.”**

(Note my continuing status as She Who Shall Not Be Named! Apparently Dr. Joy did not know of the existence of my champion until this week. I think she may be referring to my friends in Three Kraters Symposium in this post—some do have bald heads and several of the most handsome have beards!)

But, of course, no MedievalGate social media battle would be complete without allusions to my fabulous friend, preferably with intimations that my friendship with him is certain to be occasion for violence.

Oh, you haven’t read Joe Bernstein’s latest effort to associate Milo with white supremacists like Dylann Roof (who Milo says should get the death penalty)? Or rather Bernstein’s latest effort to hypocritically disassociate himself from one of his most regular and useful sources? (Better title: “Buzzfeed’s Bernstein Rushes to Distance Himself From His Favorite Source, Psycho Patricide Lane Davis.”) You know what I think about Bernstein after his piece about Milo (and me!) last autumn. Now Bernstein confesses to having a years long relationship with a man who killed his own father, and he wants to paint Milo as the one too clueless to know how dangerous Lane Davis was likely to be? Milo fired Davis almost immediately; Bernstein used him as a regular “source” for years. By his own standards Bernstein is a far worse judge of character than Milo—who tossed Davis after only a few months, when he realized how crazy Davis was. Bernstein used him right up until the news that Davis had killed his own father. And just like Bernstein, Buzzfeed is willing to believe everything anyone says as long as it damages Milo****—much like my academic colleagues seem to believe everything they read in Buzzfeed. Bernstein needs to look in a mirror if he can’t figure out why young men like Davis might feel like they are “not worth shit in today’s economy.” Maybe my colleagues in medieval studies could tell him. Some of them support Antifa on their twitter.

Meanwhile, back in Medievalist Social Media Land, we have now reached full fascist in the accusations being thrown at me and any of my friends bold enough to stand up to the insults. The SJWs have taken over the ICMS Facebook Group, and anyone associated with me is going to be in for a torrent of abuse, if not from Dr. Joy (who, by the by, is of an age with me, and seems to confine her insults to fellow academics—Fencing Bear salutes***), then from the many members of the Facebook Groups emboldened by her criticisms of me. 

To date, six hundred of our colleagues have signed the BABEL Working Group’s Open Letter to the Congress Committee. 

I wonder how many of them understand what they have signed?

*He tweeted about the “cowards” who just take screenshots and post them to FB. I assumed he meant me! So I tweeted back to him. Fingers crossed he accepts my invitation to come visit in person.
**Snaps to Eileen on this one! It is almost a Tolkienian insult! 
***Also, in previous threads in the ICMS Facebook Group, Eileen has stated unequivocally that she does not think I am a fascist, nor has she called me racist. I disagree with her that Milo is “hateful,” and I vigorously deny the “ethno-supremacist” label she would put on me. I know that elsewhere she has suggested that I am “intellectually dishonest,” but she has not clarified what she means.

****Including the famous story that Milo had “42 interns” who did all of his work for him. Milo had perhaps three. There were 42 people in his Slack, including lawyers, contractors, artists, activists, and so on. Bernstein asked Milo if he had 42 people in his Slack and used that to justify a story about “42 interns” writing his stories for him—but there are two lies here. First, most people in the Slack were doing something else, not writing; second, Milo had researchers and assistants, not ghostwriters. SJWs *ALWAYS* LIE.

For the full story of my adventures as a conservative in academia, see MedievalGate. For my story with Milo, see The MILO Chronicles.

UPDATED: July 20, 2018, 5:47pm

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