Re: Patriarchy, evolution, etc.

Peter D. Junger (junger@PDJ2-RA.F-REMOTE.CWRU.EDU)
Sat, 16 Mar 1996 10:02:22 -0500


I guess I have to respond to this, if only because of the nasty
charges that Ruby Rohrlich makes against the school where I have
taught for the last twenty-five years--or are they directed at the
school that I attended some forty years ago?

Ruby Rohrlich writes:

: Ronald: It is Peter Junger who defined a society ruled by old men as a
: patriarchy.

That is not quite the definition that I gave, but I have responded to
that point, and the fact that ``gerontocracy'' is not the same as
``patriarchy'', in another posting.

: He is apparently not familiar with the word "gerontocracy",
: but as his post reveals, his ignorance is equal to his arrogance.
: What he has got, though, is a big blustering mouth, a perfect example of
: the way cowards become bullies on this list.

I will cheerfully admit that I am a devout coward. I am rather proud
of the fact that I was brave enough to post an article here that
I feared would--as it did--produce a cowing response by Ruby Rohrlich.
I fail to understand, however, how a defense of our sweet English
tongue--even were it were the result of ignorance--can merit the label

: He attends a school that is notorious for its vile treatment of women.

I don't have the slightest idea what Ruby Rohrlich is alluding to
here. She once sent me a message asking if my school was the one that
had been charged with mistreating women and I responded: ``Not that I
know of.''

I fear that what I say next may be taken as bullying, and perhaps it
is. The fact remains, however, that those charges, if
unsubstantiated, amount to an actionable libel against the school that
I attend. (I suppose, however, that the defendant could prevail by
demonstating that there is no such school, but that depends on how one
defines ``attend''.) Case Western Reserve University Law School has
lots of faults and has over the years mistreated lots of people, some
of whom were women, but, despite the best efforts of its PR people, it
has never been notorious for anything.

But, in any case, I fail to see what the alleged wrong-doing of an
institution with which I am associated, but over which I have no power
(except perhaps to get the faculty to adopt a resolution that I am
foolish enough to openly oppose), in any way reflects on the validity
of my definition of the word ``patriarchy''. (How does one spell

: But he and his ilk are not really important.

This is certainly true, except for the fact that I don't have an ilk.
I am just your obedient servant, Peter Junger, not the Junger of that

Peter D. Junger--Case Western Reserve University Law School--Cleveland, OH