The Emily Yoffe Edition

The Emily Yoffe Edition

i_00i_248_tnWhat’s good business ethics? There are a lot of ways to talk about business ethics but let’s simplify. When you buy something, take it home and it works perfectly right out of the box, you are experiencing a form of good business ethics. Unfortunately not all products come in neat boxes or can be unpackaged in a physical way.

Such is writing. We absorb a lot of writing every day. I read at least two hours every day and on most days a lot more.

This morning there was a lot of amazing things on the web. I spent close to thirty minutes reading about the Guardian’s expose on the John Doe investigation in Wisconsin. And there was a lot more. I remember feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume and power of the business ethics issues presented today.

And then I came across an article in the online magazine, Slate, “The Woman Who Taught Me Prudence.” 

Here’s a paragraph –

There’s another thing, too. As we were becoming friends, I had just become a mother and was still trying to figure out how to put that together with the vagaries of freelance journalism. One of Marjorie’s great subjects was the intersection for women of family and work—she was writing brilliantly about the dilemma I felt I was figuring out badly. One day, stuck at the veterinarian’s office trying to corral my miscreant beagle and my 3-year-old daughter, a Washington talk show appeared on the waiting-room TV, and there was Marjorie. She looked glamorous and was dropping bon mots, and I felt the sharp sting of jealousy. I hated myself for it, especially since I knew that Marjorie’s success was earned. How well I knew this was demonstrated by the fact that before I undertook any writing of my own, I would read something by Marjorie. Not to copy her voice, but to help me find my own, to be inspired by her tart precision.

This is good writing, very good. Follow my advice and go read the whole thing.

So today, instead of or in addition too, writing about various horrors perpetrated on the American people and this is important. I’m going to let it take a back seat to writing about the glory and wonder of doing it right.

Emily Yoffe wrote well today.

James Pilant


Emily Yoffe Needs Advice

Rape (Photo credit: Valeri Pizhanski)









Emily Yoffe Needs Advice

I believe you can write a column and strongly recommend that women be careful about drinking too much while still holding men accountable for their behavior. Ms. Yoffe wrote a column discouraging women from over indulging but did not hold men accountable. That’s not acceptable. She said she did hold them accountable but I did not get that from her writing, if you did please comment. 

Is this a business ethics problem. Yes.

Giving people advice is a serious business. Implying that female drinking puts too much temptation out there is different than saying taking precautions is wise. The difference is where you place the responsibility. The responsibility is always on the perpetrator not the victim.


James Pilant


Emily Yoffe, advice columnist, blames college women for Rape Culture


Okay, Emily Yoffe–obviously alcohol makes you randy and more aggressive, no matter your gender. And obviously college-aged women invariably act like Lindsey Lohan when they consume too much of it, and, worse yet, can be unwittingly drinking a mixed drink full of date rape drugs. However, to somehow suggest that their consumption of alcohol creates a more rape permissive environment and only seeks to embolden potential rapists is, well, like saying women should be raped for wearing provocative clothing. Furthermore, a woman can be discussing her menstrual cycle while drinking O Doul’s in a beekeepers uniform, and college dudes will still try to rape her. As we all know, rape is purely about dominance. The introduction of alcohol, although certainly offering rapists a golden ticket, is by no means the fault of the woman or somehow the only invitation to rape. And this is coming from a guy, Emily Yoffe.


via Emily Yoffe, advice columnist, blames college women for Rape Culture.


From around the web.


From the web site, Yes Means Yes.

Yoffe is wrong, as her Slate colleague Amanda Hess, tells us, because you don’t solve a structural problem with a personal self-help solution. We didn’t deal with drunk driving in this country by telling people, “hey, you can’t control drunk drivers, so minimize driving when the bars are closing!” We dealt with it by a combination of a massive public awareness campaign, and imposing real accountability- not just jail sentences, but more prosaically, license suspensions. Drunk driving costs the drunk drivers something now, and it didn’t three decades ago. We didn’t end drunk driving deaths, but we knocked them down a lot.

 Yoffe is wrong because rapists are not weather systems. I mentioned this earlier today, and I’ve written about it before. The implicit model of rapists in her piece is one of an unthinking phenomena, one that does not respond to stimulus, that therefore we can’t do anything about but get out of the way. There’s a pernicious undercurrent to this thinking in many areas, from forest fires to global climate change – but for a moment, let’s just accept that there are some things we can’t prevent or deter. All we can do it look out for them, avoid encountering them, and minimize the damage when they occur. Yoffe, and many others, treat rape like this. That’s wrong. Often, they start from the proposition that rapists are bad people who don’t misunderstand, but rather rape because they want to. That’s true. But they take the wrong lesson from the research that shows us that. They infer that the rapists are irrational and can’t be influenced, when the Predator Theory research indicates just the opposite: that they do, in fact, respond to stimulus, by choosing the tactics that are least likely to get them caught. I’ve seen it in small, tightly-knit communities, too. When they have enough victims report and can no longer convince people of narratives about crazy victims, misunderstandings or one-time poor judgment, they move on to new communities where they can get a fresh shot at bullshitting their way through their victims’ reports. Since we know that they use the tactics that work and respond rationally to stimulus, we know that they are not like weather systems and we should discard that model.