[At the end of this article, you will find a number of updates regarding the current content of Dr. Klein’s article which now contains a number of stealth edits on the PT site. The original article is quoted in it’s entirety (with comments) in this post. I’ve attempted to document all changes he has since made to the article.]
According to Dr. Marty Klein at Psychology Today, I am what’s wrong with women these days. And he wrote a whole skewering article about how I am a whiny attention whore. Now, to be fair, he doesn’t name me, so it could be another particular blogger in her mid-30s who was handed a swingers card at a conference. I’m sure there are hundreds of us around.
And you know, at this point, I get it; plenty of emotionally delayed people do not understand why the incident was upsetting to me. But in this case, Klein “tweaked” the story to make me sound like an entitled prude who uses even the mere mention of sex at a conference to smear organizations. (And by “tweaked” I mean “changed relevant facts to fit a narrative that makes ‘a woman’ who is very obviously me sound like an entitled prude.”)
I recently attended the national conference of a large progressive organization. It was well-organized, stimulating, and fun. The people were mostly energetic, interesting, and friendly; it was a good mix of ages, sexual orientations, and divided almost 50/50 male-female.
I was eventually asked, as a sex therapist, what I thought about Sexual Harassment. Apparently a couple at last year’s conference had gotten friendly with a particular woman in her mid-30s. Eventually “Mary & John” handed the woman their card—suggesting quite clearly that they were “open” to “adult activities.”
Klein starts off with one tiny change in the details of my experience, one tiny change that alters the entire context of the situation. In Klein’s version of my story, “John” and “Mary” have reason to believe I might be interested in joining them to socialize our genitals. Now, if by “gotten friendly” he means “accepted Facebook friend request” and “stood in front of a room while the couple was present and delivered a talk about how everyone needs to get Tdap”, then yes, I concede, we “got friendly”. But I doubt that’s what he meant. What I think he means is that I was asking for it.
I’m not the one with the PhD in psychology, but I’m fairly certain that if this couple thought that my statement that most children catch pertussis from unvaccinated adults was me secretly dropping subliminal messages that I’d like to get tight and shiny under the stairs with them, then the problem with this interaction does not begin or end with me.
The couple were strangers. The extent of our conversations included a couple of comments he made on my Facebook wall, a question of how much Hug Me! I’m Vaccinated teddy bears cost, and whether I’d take a picture with them after the event… and then them handing me The Card. Which I made clear in my account.
Fact checking I guess isn’t a big deal for Marty Klein.
The woman didn’t want to share this kind of fun, which is perfectly fine. But she was somehow “offended,” which is not. In fact, the woman felt that this invitation constituted Sexual Harassment, and she complained. Even worse, this previously loyal movement member then blogged and blogged and blogged about it, urging her female readers to stay away from the organization. Now the word is out to younger progressive women—don’t go to this group’s conferences.