September 16, 2019
Brave Science Woman Selam Jie Gano, who describes herself as “a polyglot, a polymath, and multiracial,” has had enough of men exercising their free speech in male-created fields such as science and technology.
She’s now calling for “burning everything to the ground.”
An MIT scientist appeared to defend Jeffrey Epstein and stated that his victims being ‘entirely willing’ was the ‘most plausible scenario’ in leaked emails revealed by a graduate.
Richard Stallman, a computer scientist considered to be one of the most influential in his field, has been quizzed over his stance on the now-deceased financier’s actions.
Engineering alumna Selam Jie Gano shared a blog post that called for the immediate removal of Stallman who is a visiting scientist at the school.
She revealed correspondence that appeared to show his belief that there was no wrongdoing by Epstein nor another alleged attacker Marvin Minsky, who worked at MIT.
Below are some parts of her original blog post titled “Remove Richard Stallman.”
I’m writing this because I’m too angry to work.
I’m writing this because at 11AM on Wednesday, September 11th 2019, my friend sent me an email that was sent to an MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) mailing list.
This email came from Richard Stallman, a prominent computer scientist.
In it, he’s responding to a female student’s email about this Facebook event, which calls for a protest by MIT students and affiliates regarding Jeffrey Epstein’s donation.
The announcement of the Friday event does an injustice to Marvin
“deceased AI ‘pioneer’ Marvin Minsky (who is accused of assaulting
one of Epstein’s victims )”
The injustice is in the word “assaulting”. The term “sexual assault”
is so vague and slippery that it facilitates accusation inflation:
taking claims that someone did X and leading people to think of it as
Y, which is much worse than X.
The accusation quoted is a clear example of inflation. The reference
reports the claim that Minsky had sex with one of Epstein’s harem.
Let’s presume that was true (I see no reason to disbelieve it).
The word “assaulting” presumes that he applied force or violence, in
some unspecified way, but the article itself says no such thing.
Only that they had sex.
We can imagine many scenarios, but the most plausible scenario is that
she presented herself to him as entirely willing. Assuming she was
being coerced by Epstein, he would have had every reason to tell her
to conceal that from most of his associates.
I’ve concluded from various examples of accusation inflation that it
is absolutely wrong to use the term “sexual assault” in an accusation.
Whatever conduct you want to criticize, you should describe it with a
specific term that avoids moral vagueness about the nature of the
There are so many things wrong with what Richard Stallman said I hardly know where to begin. First, he didn’t even give the typical, whiney, ‘he’s accused but not convicted’ defense. No, Stallman went much further than that. Instead, Stallman said “Let’s assume that Marvin Minsky had sex with an underage girl who was a victim of child sex trafficking”…
The reference reports the claim that Minsky had sex with one of Epstein’s harem…Let’s presume that was true (I see no reason to disbelieve it).
…and then he says that an enslaved child could, somehow, be “entirely willing”. Let’s also note that he called a group of child sex trafficking victims a ‘harem’, a terrible word choice.
We can imagine many scenarios, but the most plausible scenario is that
she presented herself to him as entirely willing.
This is someone who is respected far and wide by the technology community.
This is someone who is a Visiting Scientist at MIT.
Women are above logical arguments and attempts at refutation. Their outrage should be enough reason to abdicate to their will and shut it all down.
She’s not going to bother arguing against Stallman, she’s just going to can’t-even.
MIT claims it never wanted to elevate Epstein’s reputation by allowing him to donate. But, here they are, not only elevating but funding and endorsing a person like Richard Stallman as a visiting scientist.
What’s more, somehow Richard Stallman decided it was appropriate to email his opinion to an almost department-wide mailing list (“csail-related”) which had undergraduate students on it. In an email further down the thread, he also said,
“I think it is morally absurd to define “rape” in a way that depends on minor details such as which country it was in or whether the victim was 18 years old or 17.”
in response to a student who said “Giuffre [the victim who testified] was 17 at the time, this makes it __rape__ [sic] in the virgin islands” .
Again, this mailing list has undergraduate students on it. It is likely some of them are “18 years old or 17”.
Whoa, what a monster. I don’t even have to explain why he’s wrong or why he’s a monster because Vagina is Truth.
I was shocked. I continued talking to my friend, a female graduate student in CSAIL, about everything, trying to get the full email thread (I wasn’t on the mailing list). I even started emailing reporters — local and national, news sites, newspapers, radio stations. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. During my 45-minute drive home, when I normally listen to podcasts or music, I just sat in complete silence.
The only reporter who responded quickly was one from WBUR, and they didn’t seem to be in a rush to publish this information. So, I told my friends that I would just write a story myself. I’d planned to do it after work today; instead, because I can’t possibly focus, I’m working on it now.
MIT does not deserve its women.
The world does not deserve them either. I thought back to every person who has ever asked me how to “fix” the gender problems in STEM, how to “get more girls” to join STEM programs. I thought about every time that someone has suggested “men are better at spacial thinking” and that “testosterone is linked to better performance in math”.
No one deserves the actions of women. So true.
In my mind I look at all these people, a crowd that is gathered. And in my mind, I stand up and I scream at them. I would put my hands around their shoulders and shake sense into all of them, individually, if I had enough time and enough hands
The problems are so obvious.
There is nothing wrong with women. There is nothing wrong with girls in STEM. There are many women and many girls who, in spite of everything, love STEM-related disciplines. Some of them even go through 4-year bachelors degrees at MIT, maybe even 7 years of a PhD, and then begin questioning whether they should continue in these fields, because they are filled to the brim with so, so many shitty men.
Jeffrey Epstein. Marvin Minsky.
Travis Kalanick. James Damore. The laundry list of men in tech and academia who have continued this pattern of harassment, misogyny, and discrimination.
It’s MEN’S FAULT!!!!121111111254! that women are not taking over tech!!!!
I’m telling you, if only men stopped making patriarchal jokes or talking about touchy subjects and like trying to be logical about things, then the world would be a much, much better place and women would be able to contribute tremendously.
All these female inventions that we don’t have? That’s on you, men.
Why do we excuse people simply because they are “geniuses”?
As Michelle Obama says, “they are not that smart”. Even in STEM fields, I have to agree.
There is nothing I have seen a man in tech do that a woman could not. What’s more, the woman would probably be less egotistical and more team-oriented about it.
In theory, they could be doing many of the things men do, but are they?
Why aren’t they? Oh, right, because women just can’t function when someone says something they don’t agree with, just like when someone takes advantage of their weak spot.
Perhaps funnier than this mongrel thinking that women can do anything a man can, is that she thinks that women would be “less egotistical and team-oriented” about it.
Teamwork and leadership are intrinsically masculine.
I know, now, that if prominent technology institutions won’t start firing their problematic men left right and center, we will do nothing. Ever.
I don’t care anymore that the Epstein issue is airing the dirty laundry within our community, even though Harvard has certainly taken far more Epstein funding and stayed far more silent about the matter. I understand, now, that powerful institutions will not remove their problematic members until we make it messy and public and awful. I am ready, now, to join others in calling for burning everything to the ground.
Remove everyone, if we must, and let something much better be built from the ashes.
Yeah, if we don’t remove men from institutions, nothing will ever get done.
I’m fine with burning everything to the ground and having all men sit back, relax, and watch how these uppity women try to build something from the ashes.
It will certainly be more fun than having to deal with their hurt feelings while trying to get things done.