The Brett Kavanaugh Modeling Agency ... Errr, HR DEPARTMENT
Gather 'round, kids! Let's talk about how institutions like Yale Law School spin a protective cocoon around powerful men like Judge Kavanaugh, forming mutually beneficial relationships to reinforce everyone's power and prestige.
Meet Amy Chua, professor at Yale Law School and author of the bestseller Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, in which she repurposes her own childhood trauma and sells it to Americans as this ONE WEIRD TRICK to ensure that your kids play at Carnegie Hall and go to an Ivy League college.
Here's a fun story about Chua teaching her daughter to play piano when she was THREE YEARS OLD.
When I tried to pull her away from the piano, she began yelling, crying, and kicking furiously. Fifteen minutes later, she was still yelling, crying, and kicking, and I'd had it. Dodging her blows, I dragged the screeching demon to our back porch door, and threw it open.
The wind chill was 20 degrees, and my own face hurt from just a few seconds' exposure to the icy air. But I was determined to raise an obedient Chinese child if it killed me. In the West, obedience is associated with dogs and the caste system, but in Chinese culture, it is considered among the highest of virtues. "You can't stay in the house if you don't listen to Mommy," I said sternly. "Now, are you ready to be a good girl or do you want to go outside?" Lulu stepped outside. She faced me, defiant. A dull dread began seeping though my body. Lulu was wearing only a sweater, a ruffled skirt, and tights. She had stopped crying. Indeed, she was eerily still.
"Okay, good - you've decided to behave," I said quickly. "You can come in now."
She seems ... NOT NICE AT ALL.
Professor Chua's ends-justify-the-means parenting philosophy extends to her work advising applicants for judicial clerkships at Yale Law. Chua and her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, also a professor at Yale, gave very specific warnings to female law students applying to clerk in DC's federal court. A female student told HuffPo,
Rubenfeld took care to warn her about two judges in particular: First, Alex Kozinski, then a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, was known to sexually harass his clerks, he told her. (Kozinski retired in December amid accusations of harassment.)
The other was Kavanaugh. Though the judge was known to hire female clerks who had a "certain look," Rubenfeld told her, he emphasized that he had heard nothing else untoward.
"He did not say what the 'certain look' was. I did not ask," the woman said. "It was very clear to me that he was talking about physical appearance, because it was phrased as a warning ― and because it came after the warning about Judge Kozinski."
You may remember that Kavanaugh told the Senate last week that he was SHOCKED, SHOCKED to find out that Judge Kozinski, for whom he himself clerked, sexually harassed women in his office. Leaving aside the dubious veracity of Kavanaugh's claim to be the only person in DC unaware of his mentor and later colleague's proclivities, Chua and Rubenfeld participated in a system that not only ignored serial abuse, but fed Kavanaugh the prettiest Ivy League superstars to staff his chambers.
(But not White Power Barbie, who graduated from Harvard.)
The Guardian reports,
Chua allegedly told the students that it was "no accident" that Kavanaugh's female clerks "looked like models". Student reacted with surprise, and quickly pointed out that Chua's own daughter was due to clerk for Kavanaugh.
A source said that Chua quickly responded, saying that her own daughter would not put up with any inappropriate behaviour.
Surprise! Chua and Rubenfeld's daughter got a coveted clerkship on the DC Circuit with Judge Kavanaugh. Wasn't it nice of Chua to write this WSJ editorial singing his praises for all the pretty ladies who got their start clerking for him? Strangely, she didn't mention that a pretty face was a job requirement. Must have been an oversight!
Gosh, wouldn't it be the most 2018 thing ever if Chua and Rubenfeld were involved in a #MeToo scandal of their own?
LOLOLOL! Here's a passage from a letter sent to the Yale Law community this summer, quoted at length by Above the Law.
YLS has hired an outside investigator to look into Professor Rubenfeld's conduct, and folks should reach out to her if they have something to share. The sooner the better, and it's possible to talk to her in ways that preserve anonymity (see details below).
More specifically, it seems [the investigator] is interested in hearing about, among other things:
· Disparate treatment of, or boundary crossing with, women in the YLS community. She is interested in hearing from subjects of, or witnesses to, that treatment. (E.g., comments about female students' physical appearances or relationship histories, conversations that seem designed to "test the waters," intimidation or efforts at manipulation targeted at female students, etc.).
· Conduct related to excessive drinking with students (driving with students while drunk, etc.).
· Inappropriate employment practices relating to RAs or Coker Fellows.
· Retaliation against students who do not show sufficient loyalty.
Does Rubenfeld have some extremely problematic opinions on how difficult it can be to know when a woman consents to sex, especially when she's unconscious? That train is never late! The Guardian also reports that, "Students have also raised related concerns to Yale authorities about Chua's powerful influence in the clerkships process."
Powerful people with crackpot ideas about elitism entrenching their own friends in power after which everyone can prey on the young women as the price of admission to Privilegeland?
WELL, COLOR US FUCKING SHOCKED.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.