Current Events

A Modest Proposal: Make Academics Who Call for Papers to be Retracted Do Their Jobs!

In the light of both the Gilley case (“The case for colonialism”) and the Tuvel case (“In Defense of Transracialism”) I’ve been thinking a lot about what an appropriate response would be to the originators (and signers) of the petitions that called for the retraction of their papers on the grounds that they were defending views that were “offensive”.
If you organize a mob to demand someone else’s work be silenced then you have horribly misunderstood your role as an academic–or else you just don’t care about it. (I think you’ve also misunderstood your moral obligations as a rational person, but I’m willing to accept that “activists” might have different duties in these cases than academics.) As I noted earlier rather than attempting to silence persons you disagree with you should attempt to rebut their views. If you claim that you shouldn’t do this as this would “dignify” the view you disagree with then you have simply abdicated your role as an academic. In any case, refusing to engage with views you disagree with and demanding their retraction is a clear example of professional misconduct.
So, what to do about “academics” who try to silence those they disagree with? I have a suggestion–which despite the Swiftian title of this post is absolutely serious.

Institutions should require that faculty who originate such petitions (and, perhaps, even those who sign them) to publish a peer-reviewed article rebutting the views they disagree with to be eligible for any future additional research support from their home institution. (I’d also suggest that the rebuttal should appear in a journal ranked the same or higher than that in which the “offensive” article appeared, and be at least as long as it was, so that “Response Notes” in low-ranked journals don’t count. The rebuttal should also be published in a journal in the same field as the article that is being criticized, not in a journal in the field of the faculty member doing the criticizing, if this is different. Thus, if an English professor criticizes the work on an economist, published in an economics journal, then the rebuttal must also be published in an economics journal.) This requirement would have several advantages:

First, it would clearly indicate that the institution that imposed this requirement on its “activist” faculty took the free exchange of ideas very seriously.

Second, it would require that the critical faculty member demonstrate that his concerns are legitimate–and that they are recognized as such by the academic peers of the original author.

Third, it would impose some costs on those who demand retractions. The required article would be more time-consuming to write than a petition and would take time to pass through peer-review before acceptance. During this time the faculty member would receive no additional research support–no course release, no conference funding, no technology grants, no research assistants, no sabbaticals.

Fourth, this suggestion would not involve taking anything away from those guilty of misconduct. It would simply withhold (or, in some cases, withdraw) benefits. And the benefits withheld would be those designed to aid in the free exchange of ideas–an enterprise that the faculty member guilty of such misconduct has shown his- or herself unwilling to engage in. This response would this be a fitting one for misconduct of this nature.

Finally, the faculty members thus castigated could not claim that they are being “censored” or “shut down”. They are not. In fact, this approach is the very opposite of silencing–it’s requiring them to express their views in a manner coherent enough to warrant publication.

 

 

  • DBritt

    This idea isn’t workable in response to the act of signing a petition (it’s not like 1000 peer reviewed articles are likely to be published on the exact same topic).

    As regards initiating the petition, there may exist cases in which one subfield becomes too insular, and it thus able to effectively “defend” its journals against external criticism of this nature. I don’t think a requirement to publish in any particular set of journals works. In any case, we should have faith that high quality journals will not allow criticisms related to other fields without reviewing them appropriately.

    What you’re proposing entails a certain risk of career suicide for a young faculty member. Knowing how political academic subfields can be I believe that’s a danger you have to consider seriously.

    • James Taylor

      “…it’s not like 1000 peer reviewed articles are likely to be published on the exact same topic”.

      I agree! But that’s a feature, not a bug.

      “What you’re proposing entails a certain risk of career suicide for a young faculty member.”

      Again, I take that to be a feature of this system, not a bug. My aim is to make people think very, very carefully about what they’re doing when they involve themselves with petitions that articles be retracted on the grounds that they don’t like the conclusions they draw,

      • DBritt

        But that would just be a de facto prohibition on signing such petitions. If that’s what you intend, better to say it up front 🙂

        • James Taylor

          Not at all! If you’re not an academic, my response won’t apply to you. If you are, then this approach will simply provide you with an incentive to do what you’re supposed to you–which is to engage with the arguments you object to. If you don’t want to do that, that’s fine–my argument doesn’t require that you do so. Nor does it prohibit your initiating or signing such petitions. It just takes your doing so when this is *not* coupled with a published response to signal that you shouldn’t be provided with the additional support that is intended for people who engage with arguments.

          • DBritt

            Sorry, I meant signing such petitions *if you’re an academic.* I certainly see your point about engaging with the work. But academics criticize each other in settings that aren’t peer reviewed all the time. Sometimes those criticisms are political and not based in sound academics, but sometimes they are. One could imagine a relatively well argued petition to retract that makes substantive points. I don’t see why every academic co-signer should have to produce a separate peer-reviewed version of the petition. And to say that a junior academic signing on would risk his or her career in doing so also doesn’t make sense to me. I think this is particularly true in the Gilley case, where the original piece was not peer reviewed itself.

            I just think there are some serious unintended consequences you’re not considering here when you think only of the thing you’re trying to stop and not what other things your policy might also stop. I have a particular case in mind in my field, chemistry. There was a series of very interesting results on which a young chemist essentially based his career. He discovered what are known as “stripy nanoparticles.” He published a number of papers, and other academic (some of them quite influential) published follow-ups that seemed to confirm the initial finding. Another chemist found some serious problems with the work and pursued them doggedly, partially in the format of a blog. In the end it turned out that “stripy nanoparticles” most likely don’t exist. The initial observation was based on an electron microscopy artifact that was reproduced (unknowingly, giving the benefit of the doubt) in more than 20 followup papers from different groups. The chemist who figured this out thoroughly documented the findings, including reproducing and fully explaining the artifact. However, because of the political well-connectedness of the original author the journals in the field were extremely reticent to publish his findings. In the end it took *three years* after the initial submission (which was itself after much work) to get it into print. Now, this is a bit different from your case because it doesn’t involve a petition. But one could see how it might have. Indeed, one could see how such a petition might be highly appropriate given the fact that the field’s journals were unwilling to publish the correction! And your policy would have a chilled the circulation of such a petition so as to make it virtually impossible, or the punishment unreasonably extreme.

  • It is not reasonable to require publication of a peer-reviewed article rebutting the contested view in a journal in the same field ranked the same or higher than that in which the article expounding the contested view appeared. When someone submits a paper critical of a contemporary orthodoxy, the editor may reject it out of hand (‘we do not wish to publish a paper on this topic at the moment’); but if he does send it out to referees, he will try to send it to people who are versed in the subject-matter, i.e. for the most part, people who are heavily invested in the orthodoxy being criticised. Many academics are preoccupied with dogmatic defence of their own orthodoxies and use their role as journal referees to silence dissenting views by rejecting papers that make them feel uncomfortable: their referee reports are defensive, perhaps self-deceptive, trash. The only academics who have not been on the receiving end of this will treatment be brown-nosing teachers’ pets with no independent thought of their own. In short, your proposal is intended to get academics to behave as they ought. But it would work only if academics already behaved as they ought. So it is impractical. (It is like statists saying that social problems should be rectified by the state.)

    It would be better if it were just made clear that it is unacceptable for academics to try to silence views they dislike, and thus if it were clear that calls for retraction of journal articles will be ignored and that the people who make them will lose the respect of their peers. But how can we get even to that position from the current state of academe?

    • Giuseppe Cacciatore

      Except that calls for retraction are made against papers which defend unpopular opinions, not mainstream ones. Do you really believe that there is no high-ranking feminist journal which would publish a well-written reply to Duvel’s article? And the same goes for a rebuttal of the thesis that colonialism was good for the colonized people. This is not just about the two cases at hand. A call for retraction is basically a mob attack against a published paper. Without a mob, you cannot do it, so the signers have to be numerous.

      • Nicely put; but, I think, not entirely correct. Numerous does not imply a vast majority; and a paper may be unpopular with one segment of opinion but popular with others. Views which have until recently been mainstream in academe, such as the biological basis of some psychological differences between males and females, are now coming under attack from numerous vocal zealots. One can imagine that some time soon, in at least some fields, it will be impossible to get a paper discussing the biological basis of such differences published, because it gets sent out to referees who see it as their job to ensure that such views are never discussed. So a biologist who (unwisely) demands that a scientifically ignorant journal article on the ‘social construction of gender’ be withdrawn would have no chance of having his or her rebuttal published in a respectable journal, or at least not in the same field as the journal in which the ignorant article was published. That is just one example.

        • Giuseppe Cacciatore

          1) Do we agree that, theoretical cases aside, the actual cases seen so far aim at suppressing unpopular views?
          2) The fact that we have continuous shifts in the opinions of the majority in almost all fields is a sign that most of the times the conspiratorial case of all the people of a field rejecting a good piece of work because it supports a view they don’t hold is not real.
          3) Of course there are different, maybe opposite, schools of thought in some disciplines. The proposal we are commenting does not advocate that the rebuttal has to be published in a journal that wants to advance the work of a school of thought. Instead, the idea is to publish the rebuttal in a journal of the field. Therefore, you don’t have to publish a rebuttal to a paper poorly defending the social construction of gender in a feminist journal, but in a biology journal. It seems implausible that there wouldn’t be any available journal to publish a well-written rebuttal if there is a strong minority of academics that still doesn’t defend the idea you are opposing ( and this seems to be the case you depict).

          • First I’ll comment on your points (1) – (3), then I’ll return to my original point.

            (1) I’m not sure. The Tuvel paper was unpopular with particular kinds of identity theorists, but I would imagine it was quite popular amongst others. It is a good paper that makes some interesting points (which are challenging for some political views rife on contemporary campuses).

            (2) I never put forward a conspiratorial case. Put yourself in the position of an editor: to which referees should I send this submission? Pretty obviously, people who are going to be competent to judge it, the most salient of whom will be those who have published on the topic. Most of those people will, almost by definition, be those who hold the orthodox view (if there is an orthodox view). Put yourself in the position of one of those people: what should I say about this paper, which appears to blow holes in the collection of theories that I have spent years studying, expounding, defending and teaching, given that my career prospects will very probably be substantially impeded should that collection of theories fall out of favour? Many people in that position (but not all) will be inclined to reject the paper and set out their spurious reasons why (reasons which might not seem spurious to them if they are deceiving themselves, which is quite possible for someone in that situation).

            (3) The problem need not be that the editors of the journal want to advance the work of a particular school of thought (though that may be the case and it may even be affirmed explicitly in the aims of the journal). But the editor needs competent referees, so back to what I said in (2). Publishing the article in a biology journal would not count under James’ proposal.

            Back to my original point. We have a problem in academe of partisanship that wants to shut down debate. James’ solution is to require would-be silencers to get a rebuttal published. But that solution may stumble on the same problem in a milder form: the tendency of quite a few academics to stifle critical debate of positions that they hold (either for careerist reasons or for more emotional ones). This is not conspiracy theory; it is an analysis of the logic of the situation. The remedy, if there is one, will be institutional.

  • martinbrock

    A more modest proposal: When someone petitions for an offensive paper to be retracted, ignore them.

  • Sean II

    This is bit like looking at someone who’s just leapt off the Sears Tower, and saying “a coat would improve his situation”.

    Almost certainly true. Must be pretty chilly jumping into the Chicago wind from 1,500 feet. So a coat probably would make the experience more comfortable, all ~10 seconds of it. After that conditions would change a bit, enough indeed to remove any meaningful distinction between the coated and the coatless.

    In this case we’ve already taken the fateful leap. Once it was decided to build a culture around sacred beliefs that don’t and can’t defend themselves in rational argument, we bought the ticket down. Academic freedom and free speech have to go splat. Throwing on an extra layer of procedural protection won’t help, except in the shortest of terms. The pavement awaits.

    • Sean II

      I should add: both the Gilley case and especially the Tuvel affair are perfect examples because they involve internal contradictions. That is, they involve people screaming to silence opinions which are, in fact, fully contained in their own actions and beliefs.

      The contradictions in anti-colonialism are performative. One need only look at 3rd world policy since 1992 to see that, whatever they say, our elites obviously agree with Gilley. No one in a responsible position of global power actually wants to let these countries run themselves.

      They just don’t want anyone to name the thing they’re all doing, or god forbid state the principle behind it.

      Meanwhile the Tuvel affair is a lab grade specimen. Here are four things every up-to-date right thinker is supposed to believe:

      1) Race does not exist
      2) Gender exists but is fluid, only partly overlapping biologic sex.
      3) You can change your gender
      4) You can’t change your race

      The problem is obvious: it should be easier to change the thing with no biologic definition (race) than to change the thing with partial biologic influence (sex). But instead we are meant to believe the latter can be changed at will, the former not at all. Not just that, we are supposed to believe this is so obvious that anyone trying to deny 4) must either be a joke (Dolezal) or a threat (Tuvel).

      Put yourself in the Goodthinkers’ shoes here: what, other than SHUT UP!, could you possible say in response to this? What paper could anyone write circling the square of points 1) – 4)?

      There isn’t another way to preserve all four parts of this orthodoxy, except to ostracize those who draw attention to the problem.

      You have to treat such people the way Catholic schools treated those odd, inconvenient lads who sometimes asked why, if the Trinity is a unity, the Son and the Ghost are not one with each other.

      You ignore them. Or if that fails, mock them. Or if that doesn’t work, you punish.

      • R.Levine

        Ok, I’ll bite re: trying to steelman the “goodthinkful” argument here. Let’s try:

        1. Race is socially constructed
        1a. Note that if something is socially constructed, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. Rather it just indicates that its meaning is determined by some collection of social attitudes, behaviors, traditions, relationships, etc.
        2. Gender is partially socially constructed, but also partly biological
        3. The biological component of gender manifests as an innate drive to align with particular sexual behaviors and attitudes. Often (but not always) these line up with the social constructions. When they do, they often (but not always) line up with the socially constructed “default” binary genders (which is probably how we ended up with those defaults – they were simply the most common preferences)
        4. Hence, when someone wants to “change gender” it’s probably merely reflective of their innate gender drives not aligning with the default that society chose for them.
        5. Race does not have an innate drive analogous to that of gender; rather race is at its most fundamental level a socially constructed ingroup/outgroup situation
        6. Since certain races are oppressed, they deserve extra sympathy and we should especially admire and respect they for the adversity they have to overcome
        7. So, if someone like Dolezal thinks she can “change race” to a more oppressed one, she is effectively gaming the system we’ve built. She still gets to enjoy white privilege (since that’s the racial identity that society has assigned to her) but she also gets to enjoy the nobility and sympathy we afford to members of an oppressed class. It’s offensive of her to think she can have her racial outrage cake and eat it too.
        8. NB the argument in 7 could apply to a transwoman as well if we thought they were doing it for similar reasons, but we tend to give people the benefit of the doubt that they’re sincerely acting as described in point (4)

        That’s the best I got. Point 7 is probably the weakest; we could probably work a bit harder to make everything a bit more clear/robust but I’m not sure how much value there’d be in such an exercise. There are of course also a ton of empirical difficulties throughout that I’m sure I don’t have to spell out, but I think it’s at least possible to be reasonably theoretically consistent about being pro transgender and anti transrace.

        I know we’re already on a tangent to the main discussion here, but perhaps also directly relevant to the topic:
        – Feminists that feel socially threatened by trans-men (and not just TERFs; there was a Steve Sailer piece a few years back on movement feminists at Wellesley resenting the dating competition from trans-men). So there are groups on the left that are skeptical of transgender in the same was as transrace, but probably only in an “exception that proves the rule” kind of way
        – The dismissal of, in particular, successful black men as “honorary whites” or “oreos”, which I have always found particularly infuriating. It’s as if to say “our narrative is that blacks can’t truly be successful because whites are oppressing them, so if we see someone who is successful it must be the case that he sold his soul and is working with the enemy. He’s can’t be a ‘real’ black man if he has the audacity to be successful and happy in a white world”

        • Sean II

          I thought of something like that, and I think the problem you name is key:

          The trouble with Dolezal can’t be that she appropriated opressed status, because trans-women are eligible for the same criticism. Hard to name anyone more privileged than Bruce Jenner. Yet two days in he was considered an eligible receiver for body-shaming, sexism, objectification, etc.

          Even more important is the fact that not all whites are privileged, nor all blacks oppressed.

          If being black just meant “sharing in the legacy of oppression”, Rachel Dolezal would have just claim to be blacker than Colin Kaepernick, and Barry Obama wouldn’t get to be called black at all.

          So, no save. Even among people who SAY race is socially constructed it turns out there is an ancestry test, and indeed one they energetically enforce.

          • R.Levine

            Fair enough, and I’m not going to beat a deadnamed horse here trying to construct the best possible ideal argument for pro transgender / anti transrace. In any case, it’s probably way too charitable to think that the typical advocate carefully constructs a consistent argument to justify this position before he becomes absolutely convinced that it’s an inarguable matter of fundamental human decency.

            Amusing, though, that if they attempt to justify it at all, what I expect they’re doing is exactly the sort of statistically valid stereotyping that everyone is appalled by in other contexts. I.e., if you could find a convincingly sincere case of transrace (“for the right reasons”), or a manipulative/exploitive/selfish case of transgender (“for the wrong reasons”), I’ll bet you could get some agreement from a hard leftist… but in general I think they look at the information available and say “most transgendered people are sincerely people stuck in the wrong body at birth, so I trust this one when ze says that too”, whereas “most transracial attempts are just attention-seeking misappropriating assholes, so what are the odds this one’s any different?” We could dispute the validity of the dataset they use for both of those judgements, but that’s pretty close to the explanation I tend to get from my left-leaning / upper-middle-class / urban / 20s-30s / fairly STEM-oriented friends (though that last qualifier may skew things a bit toward more quantitative thinking, obviously).

          • Sean II

            1) “I’m not going to beat a deadnamed horse here trying to construct the best possible ideal argument for pro transgender / anti transrace…”

            Although your argument probably IS the best one could assemble from the broken shards available.

            2) “if you could find a convincingly sincere case of transrace (“for the right reasons”)…I’ll bet you could get some agreement from a hard leftist.”

            Of course that’s the crazy thing: part of what drove the mockery of Rachel Dolezal was how heartbreakingly earnest she seemed to be about her assumed identity. That was the setup which made the punchlines work.

            3) The Orwell answer to all this is: of course you have to seed your belief system with arbitrary nonsense and obvious contradictions. Because how else could the group be sure of its power? If an idea makes sense, people may nod along merely because they believe it. But if it doesn’t make sense, and people nod along anyway, and especially if they scream at anyone who isn’t nodding, then you can be sure they’re doing it out of conformity.

            Note: contra-Orwell, no conspiracy or central direction is required to make this happen. Ideologies have a natural tendency to trip over themselves, and thus ideological leaders tend to be people who can deftly pass off those stumbles as choreographed dance moves: “of course you realize I meant to do that…”

            Some people will refuse to play along, but they get driven out by the many who are willing to agree. What you have left after the culling is a group of proven obedience.

            4) “We could dispute the validity of the dataset they use for both of those judgements, but that’s pretty close to the explanation I tend to get from my left-leaning / upper-middle-class / urban / 20s-30s / fairly STEM-oriented friends…”

            Of course the real reason isn’t hard to figure out. The cost of going trans-black is so low, and the benefits so great, if we allowed any such thing millions of white boys would make the switch for college application purposes alone. Millions more for purposes of hiring and promotion once in the workforce. The social-racial system we’ve built since ~1970 would collapse almost overnight.

            So that’s why trans-race can’t be a thing.

            Meanwhile trans-gender has a secret weapon to keep it in check: politics aside, most people still find the thought revolting. There is no danger that millions of men will suddenly give up their masculinity to gain a better spot the hiring list for the fire department, or whatever. Not worth alienating every woman who might ever sleep with you.

            So trans-gender is a luxury we can afford.

          • Peter from Oz

            For many years in Australia there has been a form of transrace activity occurring. This involves people who are really 98% white and 2% Aborigine, identifying as Aborgine especially when government grants and prizes are being handed out to Aborigines.

          • Sean II

            Yes, we have something similar here.
            Google “Ben Jealous + Vince Vaughn” for an amusing example of how thin the barrier can be between a one-drop certified brother and a jive ass honkey mother Trumper.

            The average admixture for US blacks is 25%, one white grandparent.

            But interestingly, people with 7 white great grand-parents are allowed to claim the mantle, and indeed tend to be strikingly overrepresented among the leaders of activist groups.

      • King Goat

        There’s a complete misunderstanding here. There’s a history of white people ‘appropriating’ or adopting features of black culture to their advantage that doesn’t have a comparable analog re: transgenders transitioning from man to woman. The ‘privilege’ you note for Caitlin Jenner is an incredibly recent thing and in large part an understandable, compensatory reaction to the very real fact that throughout 99.99999% of human history someone doing what he did would result in his being beaten, jailed or worse.

        • R.Levine

          Agreed that plenty of historical analogs of Jenner probably faced condemnation that in some cases was pretty horrible, and we certainly shouldn’t beat, jail, or do worse to them now (I don’t think anyone is saying that we should). I’d go further and say they probably deserve our sympathy, and we could further debate how far that should go on the spectrum of “just leave them alone” to “protected status” to “bathroom rights” to “publicly funded reassignment surgery” to “emotional damage reparations”.

          Why then shouldn’t a person who sincerely feels they are black despite being born in a white body be afforded the same sympathy at a minimum? I’ve never understood the “appropriation” argument against this – who cares if someone does end up benefiting overall from adopting features of another culture (even though that seems unlikely here, since white privilege is supposed to confer such overwhelming undeserved advantages in the first place)? If someone does end up living a better life (by their own measure) as a “transracial person”, shouldn’t we just be happy for them?

          The best attempted example of “cultural appropriation is wrong” that I’ve heard is white people in blackface, but I don’t think it quite works – it seems to me like we already condemned that practice as offensive well before any concept of “appropriation” entered debate, and that we did so for relatively independent reasons – i.e., it’s offensive because it’s mocking and belittling, not because it’s in some general category of “appropriation”. So I think if one could show that Dolezal was acting in a blackface-esque context there’d be a stronger argument to make, but from what I read of her in profiles and interviews she certainly seems like a sincere and true believer in black identity & causes. And in any case, why should we get to assume her motives in the first place, but not those of the transgendered?

          • King Goat

            See, you’re missing the point.

            The complainers here weren’t so much against the idea that a “a person who sincerely feels they are black despite being born in a white body be afforded the same sympathy at a minimum.” They’re saying it needs to be said that such a move isn’t sociologically equivalent to a man becoming a woman because there’s historically approval of whites dabbling in being black, but, in contrast, death, beatings and discrimination for men being women.

          • R.Levine

            Maybe I’m missing the larger point, but I don’t think so? I think I probably have the same gut reaction to each case that you do: if I see someone white trying to pass for black my heuristic assumption is that they’re probably an ass and trying to garner sympathy that they don’t really deserve by appropriating another group’s historic oppression. I am much less likely to make that assumption of a man who wants to live as a woman (or vice-versa).

            But the thing I still don’t understand is: granting that (as you mention) these two things have different historical precedents, why doesn’t that mean we can’t tolerate anyone wanting to live as whatever X they’d like to in 2017? Accepting your premise that there’s historic tolerance of trans-black but historic discrimination against trans-women, why should the 2017 response be to reverse those positions instead of tolerating both? If these things (race/gender identity) are largely or entirely socially constructed anyway, it’s not clear to me why we should ever tell anyone “you have to be in category X just because you were born that way.”

        • Sean II

          “Defending a lawyer who pretended to be Jewish in 1940 NYC by citing Jews in the Midwest at the same time pretending to be Christians would be similarly outrageous.”

          Why? Both men are pretending to be something they’re not in order to gain social status among people who would otherwise discriminate against them for being what they really are.

          • King Goat

            The Jew in the Midwest pretending to be a Christian is hoping to get *any* employment, club membership, etc., along with not getting their ass beat regularly. The Christian in NYC pretending to be a Jew is trying to get from being an upper middle class lawyer to a middle class lawyer. The latter invoking the former in order to justify what they’re doing is false equivalence at best, incredibly insensitive at worst.

            Take another example. Let’s say Vanilla Ice, when charged with appropriating black culture, responded thusly: “well, back in the Jim Crow South, lots of black people tried to pass as white, taking on aspects of white culture! I’m just doing the same thing!”

          • Sean II

            1) “The Jew in the Midwest pretending to be a Christian is hoping to get *any* employment…”

            Ashkenazi never had an unemployment problem. Not even in the midwest.

            2) “…club membership, etc…”

            Club membership? Clearly a basic human need there.

            3) “…along with not getting their ass beat regularly.”

            Jews in heartland America have never been the victims of “regular” violence. To the extent that problem existed for them anywhere, it was on the East Coast, for a little while, at the hands of other immigrants groups – Irish, Italians, etc., and later at the hand of internal migrants – Blacks.

            4) “The Christian in NYC pretending to be a Jew is trying to get from being an upper middle class lawyer to a middle class lawyer.”

            Yeah, this sounds like the same kind of first world problem as “trying to get a spot at Bushwood”.

    • IllaConsiderit

      Ouch!

  • CJColucci

    A classic solution in search of a problem.