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Talk:Critical legal studies

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Sex ex x[edit]

On the value/disvalue of critical legal studies, I'll plead ignorance. But on the issue of "hostile environments", I'll give you this: I agree that there's nothing wrong with (consensual) sex. I disagree with the idea that the solution to puritanism is overexposure, and expecting everyone to be okay with that (edit: hence the consensual part - sex isn't just physical). No, sex is not sacred, but there really are some things that should not be present in the work place.

A case I remember (vaguely): some guy put up a Hustler (or something like that) calendar in a prominent part of the workplace. A woman who worked there requested that it be removed. The guy who put it up refused, and it of course lead to the usual "What, you don't like that? What are you, some kind of frigid bitch?" talk. First of all, I would be uncomfortable if someone put up a porno calendar in the office/workplace/what-have-you, and I'm a pretty voracious collector of porno. I have no interest in knowing the kinks of my co-workers. Nobody, man or woman, should have that forced on them.

The whole point of pornography is to sexualise a person to the point that that's all they are: a sexualisation (and I'm not talking about erotica here, I'm talking about porn). One gets off on that. Okay, cool. Men do it, women do it. It's not real. But it is a private thing, at least when it's that visceral. What does it say about a guy who puts that up and refuses to take it down, even if he doesn't start calling the sexuality of his accusers into question? He's basically putting up a sign saying "I like titties; women are for titties". I mean, what message exactly is one trying to send, if not that? And how is that anything but hostile? You can plead ignorance, but, come on, you'd have to be pretty fuckin' stupid.

And if he does start putting pressure on the woman who asks him to take it down? And what if all the other men gang up with him and ostracize this woman for her opinion? "Nothing wrong with that, you're just a prude," is the polite defence, I suppose. Well fuck that, if I'm a prude or a slut is none of anyone elses business, and it shouldn't be a factor in the workplace. That's peer pressure. That is a hostile environment. The golden rule is "don't be a dick". Putting porn up at the office, and ganging up on the woman who doesn't like it, is being a dick.

Now, that case was just something I pulled from memory, and I did extrapolate a touch from there. But while I don't think you would advocate putting porno mag clippings up around the cubicle, you can see why I'd be a bit wary when someone puts hostile environment in scare quotes. I get it. There are definitely people who exploit this. There are men who have done absolutely nothing, and they get railroaded on trumped up accusations, or simple misunderstandings. There IS a grey area, and my illustration above is rather clear cut (at least to me). But greyness is true of most legal conflicts. What do you suggest is the alternative here, if not legal recourse? If the company/business refuses to deal with, or all out ignores the guy who's pulling this? I don't mean to sound hostile with that, I'm seriously curious how you'd have someone deal with the above situation.

Whether or not companies should pay out a bazillion dollars is another issue entirely. But there is such a thing as a hostile work environment. It's much more frequent than we'd like to believe in our enlightened society. --IN SOVIET CANUCKISTAN, BEAVER DAMS YOU!!!YossarianThe Man from the USSR 01:00, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Most decidedly seconded. I’m sorry, ListenerX—I’m sure there are “hostile environment” harassment claims that are unwarranted, but the idea that these cases are, QED, unreasonable puritanical feminazi contrivances is (pardon me for saying so) complete bullshit. If somebody’s being ostracized and demeaned in their workplace because of their gender, and their employer refuses to act, they deserve legal recourse. Period. Christian scientist (talk) 01:34, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Yossarian, I suggest that you knock off attempts to impose your view of sexuality and smut (which sounds a lot like Andrea Dworkin's) on companies and their workers. I do not particularly appreciate people plastering smut all over the place (and I know several people who do that), but that is not my business.
It is regrettable if someone's co-workers should become hostile to them, but whyever should the law butt in solely on account of such hostility appearing to be on account of something sexual (I stress appearing, because that is one of the major problems with the hostile environment law — these situations are highly subjective), unless the State is holding to a particular view of sexuality and imposing it?
As to my solution for the problem: It is the same one, and the only one, currently employed to deal with hostility at work when there are no politically fashionable factors involved. If you are experiencing hostility from co-workers and the company will not deal with it, you can quit your job.
Christian scientist, laying aside the merits of the law's intent and/or practice for a second, there is also the way these laws were made: written by a woman who was never elected to any legislative office and brought in by judges with no constitutional authority to legislate. I do not blame the judges, who acted within the letter of the law, but instead the lawyers who violated its spirit.
Also, I did not say "feminazi;" I said "communist." Slight difference. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:46, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
If you are experiencing hostility from co-workers and the company will not deal with it, you can quit your job. —ListenerX
But shouldn't you be able to feel safe in your own workplace? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 04:51, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Paranoid people do not feel safe at all. In the U.S. at present, a very puritanical attitude is taken toward sex, which can make such a paranoid person seem "reasonable." Radical feminists are known to boost the "cause" of people whose paranoia centers around sex. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:57, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Now you're just being an asshole. If you deny sexual harassment in the workplace is a real issue, you're a fucking nutcase. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:19, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
As I said above, I have no problem with laws against quid pro quo harassment, since they are much more objective. I also recognize that having a hostile environment at work can be a problem, but the way these laws deal with it and the way they were brought in are both unacceptable. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:23, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for not taking my profanity personally. I appreciate that, I was just pissed off, and I'm glad you didn't let that derail the conversation. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:46, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Dammit, don't be going all rational on me like that! That's just poor form, sir. I got the impression that you didn't think that hostile work places were a real problem. Apologies for misunderstanding, at least on my part. Anyway: Andrea and I are pretty much not on speaking terms, if we ever were. I really have no problem with porn. Sexualising someone isn't necessarily a bad thing; it'd be pretty hard to have sex without that factor. Whacking off to porn is not the cause of society's problems, as many would have us think. I could write you an essay defending pornography, so let's leave Dworkin out of it, alright? Nor do I want to impose my opinion of "smut". I don't even think there really is such a thing as smut, in the negative sense of the word (unless it involves an unconsenting party, but that's pretty much my rule of thumb regarding "good" and "bad" sex). eDiT: What I'm saying is, porn isn't a bad thing, but rather that there's a time and a place, and it's not as clear cut as saying the guy didn't mean to offend someone with his tentacle rape manga pinups. Subjectivity is the whole problem. Porn means one thing to you and me, and another to someone else, and we can't dismiss the other opinion out of hand because it's "puritanical". edit 2, electric--: Actually, intent is the problem, and intent is subjective.
I agree with you that the state should not have a position on the morality of sex. A countrymen of mine said it best: "The government has no business in the bedrooms of the nation." But the bedrooms (semen crusted office chairs, if you will) of the nation and a place of work are two very different things. And this may be where we disagree: whether such a distinction exists. It would be wonderful if sexuality could be something more open in society, and I think one day it will. One day people will be able to put up porn in the office, and no one will care, and it won't be an issue. In a thousand years. Perhaps two. And it may make me sound like a PC policeman, but I really do think the feelings of others count, and that it contributes to running an efficient workplace, or even society. There should be a better protection for women than "you're free to quit, biyotch." You may have a point, that the laws and processes in place (at least in the States) are flawed, but I don't think the inherent idea is wrong. There has to be something in place to even the playing field, and to deal with these issues fairly. Women have come a long way in the past hundred years, but sexism isn't going to go away without some sort of concerted effort. It's all well and good to say that if someone is objectionable, society will eventually boycott them, but that's on awfully optimistic view, in my opinion. I guess this just comes down to a difference of opinion on collective rights and individual rights. --IN SOVIET CANUCKISTAN, BEAVER DAMS YOU!!!YossarianThe Man from the USSR 06:02, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I do not enjoy porn that shows people who don't look happy. However, even the ones I don't like do not show "scars" or "bruises". Sadly, I do see pron that looks like junkies earning a fix. That make me sad, and of course, makes my erection a flaccid version of its former self (sorry!) So I click on to better porn. People enjoying posing nekkid. ħumanUser talk:Human 07:51, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

(undent)Actually, saying a concerted effort will wipe out sexism is a pretty overly optimistic thing to say, too, but a man can dream. --Purple George!YossieSpring in Fialta 06:18, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

I do not subscribe to the whole "people have a right not to be offended" thing, even if restricted to certain grounds; freedom of speech is useless if you do not have carte blanche to offend people with it.
I also do not subscribe to the idea that smut "sexualizes" or "objectifies" people "to the point that that's all they are;" it is just pictures of people without their clothes on, perhaps in strange poses. If this somehow "reduces" people, you could say the same thing about any photographic advertisement.
"...we can't dismiss the other opinion out of hand because it's "puritanical"." Watch me. Watch the Wiki.
"One day people will be able to put up porn in the office, and no one will care, and it won't be an issue. In a thousand years." Ah, the old "after the revolution" defense.
As to making a better work environment for women, I think the market can do most of the work: a company that has a reputation of providing a good work environment (something that companies have a right to do even without sexual harassment laws) can get the benefit of the best of the female work-force. But whatever the market is capable of, it is quite difficult to make a highly abstract problem of this sort go away by passing laws against it. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:28, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I am curious as to where you got "the ends justify the means" (where your external link led to) from "in a thousand years, maybe". Yossarian was merely drawing a hypothesis from an observation, saying "eventually, so and so". ("Eventually" by the way, is the same argument your making in favor of letting "the market" handle it—e.g. eventually the free market will get around to fixing it.) Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:45, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I was knocking communists who claim that certain measures are "temporary" until the Fabulous Communist Utopia is brought in, but the measures turn out to be permanent. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:52, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
That argument, by the way, really gets on my tits. "Rather than using every tool at our disposal to try and improve people's lives, we decided to sit around and let nature take its course. I mean, eventually it'll get around to fixing itself. I'm sure your grandchildren will thank us for our genius. (You're generation's still screwed, though.)" Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:45, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
A lot of people have thought it a bad idea not to cast all other concerns to the wind in pursuit of a certain goal. They have tended to be immoderate fools who promise heaven and deliver hell. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:49, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Are we "casting all other concerns to the wind"? That we don't know all the potential consequences of a specific government action is an argument for caution, not an argument for throwing our hands up in the air and waiting for the problem fix itself. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 07:08, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Oh, and I find the argument that "bad things might happen if we do something, so let's do nothing", to be pretty lacking when when weighed against "bad things are happening, so we ought to do something". Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 07:08, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Reds are very single-minded that way. With the anti-smut ordinance its proponents were thumbing their nose at free speech and State neutrality. With the sexual harassment law the disregarded concerns were freedom of association, the freedom for companies to agree with workers and unions on whatever workplace policy they saw to be the best, etc. In both instances, democratic process was given short shrift.
As far as Marxist policy is concerned, the argument is more, "Bad things will happen if we listen to them, as they always have." On the other hand liberal laws have actually made accomplishments in this area. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 07:20, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Who are these "reds" you are so angry at? Also, have you ever studied Marxist analysis (there's a huge difference between "Marxist policy" and "Marxist analysis"), or do you just hate communists (like Jesus)? PS, there's a red under your bed! ħumanUser talk:Human 07:44, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Way to ruin my Red-Under-His-Bed gag, Human! Now he won't be surprised. Listener, pretend you're surprised when Marx jumps out at you! And don't steal his beard. --sloqɯʎs puɐ suƃısuɐɪɹɐssoʎ 07:58, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Since we don't have a main article on Critical Race Theory yet[edit]

Not to cite things out of context, but an example of a quote I found quite remarkable is from a 2007 Critical Race Theory study (that I stumbled into just now):

Following others in the CRT tradition, therefore, the paper’s analysis concludes that the most dangerous form of ‘white supremacy’ is not the obvious and extreme fascistic posturing of small neo‐nazi groups, but rather the taken‐for‐granted routine privileging of white interests that goes unremarked in the political mainstream.

I post this here mainly as a source dump for future writing, though I believe it goes without saying that the above conclusion is one of significant controversy. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 16:40, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

I'm a new poster, and I'd like to raise an issue with one of the most controversial yet passive of the sections in this article, which reads: "The movement has been accused of having a more-than-slight anti-Semitic streak." There is no citation to support this except to an popular book review by Judge Alex Kozinski, praising two law professors who, back in the 90s, rang some unnecessary alarm bells about "radicalism" in law schools (they are stultifying conservative, still, FYI, even if its ranks are filled with people who call themselves "liberal," including these two). Kozinski re-cites a cited line in Bell's extremely-well-labeled-as-fictional allegory, "The Chronicle of the Space Traders," for his evidence that Bell--and CLS/CRT--is anti-Semitic. Anyone else reading that story would be hard-pressed to read the line that way, as the entire thesis (indeed, of all of Bell's late work) is that the US needs an oppressed minority to sustain its social structure, and so would have to find a way forward and might, as hard to believe as it might be, screw over Jewish people (again). Unpalatable to think about, perhaps, but it isn't anti-Semitic although Bell would be the first to admit it's anti-US. No one except for these three have ever called the CLS/CRT movement anti-Semitic--and, I guess, the poster of the RW article. In other words the accusation, based on hearsay and selectively stretched interpretations of obvious fiction, is thin if not transparent. The section on "Anti-Semitism" should be deleted or mightily rewritten to reflect that this accusation is coming from a dinky quarter, and has some logic problems.Michjenb (talk) 12:36, 8 November 2017 (UTC)

Derrick Bell was not anti-semitic, period.[edit]

I continue to delete the section accusing CRT of anti-semitism and explained why in one post below, it keeps cropping back up. Derrick Bell discussed anti-semitism in relation to/as racism in another one of his creative essays, "The Rules For Racial Standing," which is in the book Faces at the Bottom of the Well, and it is blindingly clear where he stands. If whomever keeps shifting it back needs a reference, here, check out pages 121-2. — Unsigned, by: Michjenb / talk / contribs 17:56, 8 February 2018 (UTC)


This whole article is a bullshit strawman. Oxyaena Harass 11:41, 14 May 2020 (UTC)


In light of the general ideological shift this wiki has undergone, I believe it only makes sense to begin reassessing this article. Oxyaena makes a point that this article is something of a strawman, nor does it contain many examples of the use of critical legal studies in the past decade or so. It behooves us to reevaluate this article and bring a leftist perspective to it. RoninMacbeth (talk) 16:33, 8 June 2020 (UTC)

Agreed; this seems somewhere between tonedeaf and clueless. Critical Race Theory (page title?) is big in the news and the zeitgeist lately, with many people intentionally misunderstanding it, and I think RationalWiki doesn't currently offer a cogent understanding of it. I can't write in the style needed but I hope RW can provide a better primer. (talk) 11:49, 24 June 2021 (UTC)
This article is a piece of shit. I vote in favor of burning it down and starting over. -- (talk) 14:45, 28 June 2021 (UTC)