The Sanctimonious Hypocrites05-29-2022
I wrote about the free-speech case against Princeton Professor Joshua Katz two weeks ago. Now Katz has been fired from his tenure-track position not for his criticisms of colleagues, but for not cooperating with an investigation into a consensual relationship he had with a student nearly two decades ago. Katz’s wife Solveig Lucia Gold writes about her husband and how she has lost all faith in Princeton and Universities. I should say I make no claims to knowing the full story of what Katz did in his relationships or in the investigation. But the firing of Katz and the character assassination leveled against him is, on one level, the latest example of the frenzy for character destruction and virtue signaling that is leading to the merciless sacrificing of individuals on the hypocritical altar of sanctity. On a deeper level, as Lucia Gold writes, it is about the tragedy of a dedicated scholar and teacher who is being used as an example in the culture wars.
In 2022, it seems, all sex is to be celebrated—except between older men and younger women. Student-teacher relationships are unwise for all sorts of reasons, and Joshua will be the first to tell you why. But when the same people who think that children can consent to puberty blockers claim that a 21-year-old woman cannot possibly consent to a relationship with her professor, it’s hard to take them seriously.
Let me tell you about our relationship. We wake up, we compare Wordle scores (and Dordle and Quordle), I make him exercise. We clean the dishes from the night before while singing made-up songs about bears, he chides me for not squeezing out the sponge, we spend some hours apart writing, I tell him what I want for lunch, he makes it for me, we go back to writing, we pick a new recipe to cook for dinner, I chop the onions, he minces the garlic, and then I make him dance with me around the kitchen. We’re weird, but we’re extremely well-matched.
My point here is that we are a relationship of equals. Power transfers back and forth in any relationship, and my relationship with Joshua is no different. But ask anyone who knows us: I am the alpha.
And as much as the naysayers have tried to get me to feel ashamed about my husband, I am tremendously proud of him.
I am proud to be married to a man who owned up to his one big mistake and repented for it. A man with courage of conviction, who did not walk back his comments about anti-racism when his colleagues demanded he do so. A man who did not let despair and depression win, even as lifelong friends deserted him overnight.
The prospect of no longer teaching at Princeton is devastating for my husband: He loved his job, and he has given his entire adult life to the university. The relentless bad-faith efforts to destroy his career and reputation have driven him sobbing into my arms more nights than I can count.