Chris Uggen is a Distinguished McKnight Professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota. He studies crime, law, and deviance, believing that good science lights the way to a more just and safer world.
I am contacting you because currently in the Whitehouse a petition is going to the Obama Administration that could help cut the staggering ~207,000 sexual assaults a year. The petition is requesting funds be granted to schools willing to adopt curriculum’s/bring in speakers/have academic functions that would support an environment which would educate the youth on sexual assault/abuse. This petition could not only give kid’s a route out of sexual abuse (~1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys are victims – 43% of crimes are committed by someone the child knows), and potentially create a dent in the number of current survivors in the United States (over 20 million according to the CDC). This petition:
could legitimately save thousands of lives and billions of dollars if it got the support and publicity it needed. I was thinking, since you run a great website, you could maybe sign the petition and signal boost this to your audience?
If you are interested in this at all and would like more info please contact me back by email, thank you and have a nice day.
Dear Mr. Uggen:
I suppose it’s telling that a site that claims to be “talking about society with society” doesn’t actually offer a means of contact on its website.
I left a comment on a recent article about the site Upworthy that was deleted. My comment wasn’t offensive. It was admittedly snarky, but no more so than the article. And I believed my comment had a point. In part my comment had to do with how academics come to see themselves as gatekeepers of what is true and acceptable and tasteful in the world, and your site’s action simply reinforced that. My comment wasn’t academically based, but as the writer himself noted in his postscript, neither was the original article. Which was part of why it offended me.
I’ve spent enough time in the academic world to think it should embarrass your site to publish articles like the one I commented on without expecting any dissent.
I’ve been a reader for a long time, but no longer. I’ve watched the internet for more than 20 years, and it’s painfully obvious when sites cross over into this kind of territory and start to take themselves for granted. I hope for the sake of your remaining readers that you will adjust how you respond to such things in the future.
Sorry to hear you’ve had a bad experience, Will. I’m not sure what happened with your comment, but I’m guessing it was probably made on one of our community pages. Each page on TSP has discretion over whether and how to handle comments. We’ve been talking about ways to be more interactive with readers on our main TSP page, but we don’t want to promise more than we can deliver (which is frustrating and disappointing, as you point out). We’re often really interested in following up on comments for each of our stories, but as full-time academics we don’t have great capacity to do so. As TSP grows, we’re hoping to develop a more robust capacity to interact directly and follow through on a broader range of reader ideas and comments. Thanks for reaching out and for reading TSP. -cu
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