I have spent a great deal of my time at Rice contemplating what it means to be a man. Over two weeks ago, when Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court, I learned a little more about the answer to that question. In light of the Kavanaugh hearings, it seems to me that to be a man is to be given license to lie under oath, to respond to legitimate questions with churlish non-answers, to break norms of decency, civility, and indifference to partisanship central to the survival of our democracy and to override the credible testimony of women with nothing to gain. In sum, it is to live by a lower standard — to be expected to do no more than the bare minimum — and then have that standard lowered again if it ever becomes inconvenient.
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Ultimately, if the spirit of the Academic Freedom Working Group was unclear from Tuesday’s article, we hope to illuminate it now.
Our segment of the Berlin Wall defaced.Willy’s Statue became a canvas for hate.If you see the Rice community’s exceptionally brief, muted response to these acts of vandalism as testament to its coolness under stress and unwillingness to bend to provocateurs, I sincerely applaud your ability to see the good in an apparently unfortunate situation.