Lovell’s Falsehood: Abbate Received Threats
He claimed this in a letter to the Wall Street Journal:
Instead of expressing his concerns through established internal channels, he chose to blog about our graduate student—publicly shaming her, questioning her values and including a link to her contact information. Through those actions, he exposed her to a flood of violent threats and hateful messages.He has done this multiple times, for example on an April 2016 FAQ posted on Marquette’s website:
Dr. McAdams disagreed with the way one of our graduate students led a classroom discussion. Instead of expressing those concerns through established internal channels, he chose to blog about our graduate student — publicly shaming her, questioning her values and including a link to her contact information. He sought opportunities to amplify his public shaming of her on cable news and talk radio. Through those actions, he exposed her to a constant stream of threats and hateful messages.The “hateful messages” part is true. But “threats” is an entirely different matter. Threats are a matter for law enforcement.
Abbate Says No ThreatsIt’s odd that Marquette would make this claim, since Abbate herself says she received no threats.
She discusses her experience in a long essay on her blog. Amid the usual rhetoric about the evils of patriarchy and violence against women, she said this:
As you will note, none of the men who e‐mailed me or left a violent comment about me directly stated “I am going to blow your brains out,” “I am going to rape you”, or “I am going to physically assault you.” Yet, although these men were careful not to frame their messages in the form of a direct threat, their comments and emails should not be dismissed as just “harmless comments.” First of all, it is often the case that there are violent intentions that motivate these somewhat carefully constructed comments (they are careful in the sense that they do not express direct threats). To write‐off these abusive comments by saying “he didn’t say he is going to rape you; he just said he hopes you are raped!” is to wrongly trivialize the real threats of harm that very well might be contained within these comments.Translation: since feminists are obsessed with violence against women, comments that are not threats can be viewed as threats.
Furthermore, even if these comments do not express actual threats of violence, these comments are harmful in the sense that they are intended to engender fear in women by reminding them of the very real and prevalent violence women experience.
Another interesting thing shown in Abbate’s essay is that she apparently spent considerable time looking around rather marginal websites (she mentions IOTW Report and Auto Admit) for comments about her. So many of the nasty comments she quotes did not come in e-mails to her, but were posted in some obscure corner of the web.