Ethics Dunces: Cynthia Kwiecinski

Bullies, toxic language police, mean-spirited feminists, and, to be blunt but appropriately so, assholes, Kwiecinski and Colby are the co-chair and executive assistant respectively to the Easthampton Schools committee that offered long-time school principal Vito Perrone the position of superintendent. When Perrone sent an email to the two after his selection addressing them as “Ladies”…

…the two ladies were so offended by what they termed an unforgivable “microaggression” that the job offer was rescinded. Kwiecinski told Perrone that using “ladies” as a greeting was hostile and derogatory. Moreover, “the fact that he didn’t know that as an educator was a problem.'” In the email, Perrone had opened up the question of whether he could get higher pay and more sick days, since the total package Easthampton Schools had offered represented a pay cut from his current job. That, however was not cited as a reason for the withdrawn offer. Just a single word. That’s how the Left rolls these days. So many previously common and harmless words are taboo that it’s difficult to express some things. (And that, you know, is the point.)

This radical intolerance and perverse sense of priorities is so clearly unethical that I wonder if I should take the time to explain why. Should I? It leaves the Golden Rule in the dust. Who wouldn’t feel that they deserve a second chance, empathy and mercy when they stumble into someone’s special sensitivity by using a particular word or phrase? The treatment of Perrone goes beyond mere intolerance to fanaticism. If he meant no harm by using “ladies,” then the statement should not have been treated an insult, and, of course, it would have been ludicrous to deliberately insult someone while negotiating employment terms. In the interview, the disappointed principal told a reporter, “I grew up in a time when ‘ladies’ and ‘gentlemen’ was a sign of respect. Well, it still is. I hear “Ladies and Gentlemen’ in various venues, though not as frequently as I used to. Sherm Feller, the legendary public address announcer for Boston Red Sox games, used to introduce every contest in his unique baritone by saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls: welcome to Fenway Park!” It still gives me chills. Now it’s a micro-aggression? Bite me. But never mind: if his superiors don’t want to be called “ladies,” swell. Tell him; now he knows. Instead, Kwiecinski treated an innocent rhetorical choice as a fatal land mine: touch it, and you die.

Writing on that aspect of the abuse of Mr. Perrone, Prof Turley writes,

“I have had debates over my opposition to how microaggression policies have been used to limit free speech and target dissenting voices on campuses. Advocates for these policies often struggle to clearly define them. They were originally deemed as a category of speech that fell below outright discriminatory or hateful language. However, the language was still considered “harmful” or not helpful. In the past, I was told that microaggression policies are not free speech concerns because they are not treated as seriously as outright discriminatory language.

“It is now apparently enough to lose a job in a single greeting.”

That’s the case when a self-righteous, unethical progressive bully like Cynthia Kwiecinski is calling the shots, anyway. She’s the one who should lose her job. She’s the one whose attitude “as an educator is a problem.”

31 thoughts on “Ethics Dunces: Cynthia Kwiecinski

  1. These two woke ladies prioritize (unwarranted) punishment over and above educating.
    Me thinks they are in the wrong line of work.

    • It’s just moral luck, but this guy is lucky the new job fell through when it did. Presumably, he still has his old job. He’d have been run out of the new position in a Massachusetts minute if he’d shown up and acted like such a slug (in these women’s eyes).

  2. Using a term like “ladies” is irrefutable evidence one is simply not down with the whole progressive movement. That’s why they withdrew the guy’s offer. They don’t want to have to work with someone who’s a veritable antique troglodyte.

    I have to admit I get a kick out of addressing a group of women of my age (72) casually as girls, as in “Hello, girls!” or “How’s the girls’ club meeting going?” You can see the conflict in their faces. They maybe they should feel angry for being demeaned, but then they think maybe it’s kind of nice being considered young at their age. And of course, I have no problem whatsoever with anyone thinking I’m not down with the whole progressive movement.

  3. This radical intolerance and perverse sense of priorities is so clearly unethical that I wonder if I should take the time to explain why.

    C’mon, it’s not like he called Soros Uncle Georgie…is it?

  4. Although I have not been aggressively tagged with the “microaggression” complaint, I have informed people in the past that accusing a person of using a microaggression is itself a microaggression. No one accuses a friend or someone in a group that they like or agree with of using a microaggression. The accusation is only used against people that the “victim” doesn’t like or whose group (race, religion, political affiliation) the victim doesn’t like. The accusation of using a microaggression puts the accused on notice that he/she is being watched, their words are being dissected and the victim will report the slightest offense. If the alleged use of a microaggression is evered levied against me, I plan on countering that I feel threatened by the accusation and the implication that I am somehow “less” than the accuser.

    • I arrived at the same conclusion BThompson.
      If/when the target of woke fascist oppressive slurs, just respond with an accusation of your own. It is all fabricated anyway so just beat these fuckers at their own game.
      Immediately shifts the entire pardigm and puts them on the defensive which is exactly where they deserve to be.
      Verbal Ju Jitsu.

      • Great analysis, BOYS. I go bananas when I hear about people thinking they have a moral and social obligation to “call out” someone for something. Calling people out is just plain rude and demeaning and uncivil. Of course, Ann Althouse would label my point of view “civility bullshit.”

    • That sounds like a great way to turn that sort of thing back on the vermin who use those tricks. One could even claim that the second aggression was worse than the first, in that it was deliberate and intended to cause harm, rather than accidental. Of course, that could logically trigger an infinite circle of accusations… which might be even more fun.

  5. The only relatable issue I have is that I don’t like to address things to “Messrs.”

    I will simply say, “Mr. X and Mr. Y.”

    I am not sure if there is a feminine equivalent (or even gender -neutral equivalent) of “Messrs.,”(I doubt “Ladies” qualifies) but I would probably avoid that too.


    • When I have more than one male client I address the emails as Gents – always and it’s just a thing I do that I haven’t really thought about.

      I have not had more than one female client that I have ever address an email to but I would probably say Ladies if I did.

      When I had coworkers, and it was a group of women I needed to address, I would say Ladies if we were friendly – but I usually always simply address multiples in an email as Team, All – or not address it to any acknowledgement of the group at all and simply write what I needed to say.

      My wife and I address ourselves in writing to our friends as the Mesdames with our last name.

      Anything formal I would address specifically Mr. and Ms. or Mrs. to each person by first and last name.

      None of this has ever run me afoul of anyone but I also have the social armor of being a black lesbian…woke white women don’t come for me because I seem to outrank them in the hierarchy of grievance – and this tickles me as much as it makes me sad lol.

      • Anecdote alert:
        A number of my single friends have explained that woke white women are bitter and resentful because the most desirable men refuse to date them. I wonder why?

        • I’m not so sure of that theory, Caped Crusader. They can always gain significant notches on the hierarchy of grievance by playing for the other team. Then they can be really pissed.

          • I have listened to a lot of amusing stories recounted by my buddies actively involved in the dating scene, and there is one word that nicely captures the essence of the contemporary woke white female—> unpleasant.

            Wokesters, I am just the messenger so please do not track me down to firebomb my house and kidnap my children.

  6. Most of these incidents, and most claims based on microaggressions in general, are about power projection and sticking it to someone lower on the intersectional spectrum, rather than an expression of true outrage or hurt. Those “ladies” would never, NEVER, dare to make such a claim or go after a black guy (or any BIPOC) guy for doing even worse. It’s pathetic, and what’s more pathetic is that assholes like these “ladies” keep getting away with it. We need a national “bite me” campaign!!

  7. Thirtyish years ago I was denied tenure at the college where I was teaching. The rationale was, shall we say, rather weak, mostly having to do with the new dean thinking he didn’t need to keep the promises made by the old dean. I remember telling a dear friend about it. She responded: “You could sue them, and you’d win, but then you’d have to work for those assholes.” For some reason that memory keeps coming back to me.

  8. I’m a lifelong resident of the Washington DC area. When I was a child during the 1960’s my mother pointed out that the Washington Post consistently referred to white women as white ladies and black women as black women. She instructed me to refer to all women as ladies. This was a poignant lesson for me. I still feel that use of the word lady or ladies is a sign of respect. Indeed abandoning my practice of using this term feels like disrespecting my late mother and the lessons she taught me about civility and racism.

  9. 100%. Spot on analysis, and all the other comments that followed.
    So, tangent time. Why do I cringe at the idea of doing this? I’m 18.5 years into a corporate career and university prior to that. I would never begin a professional email with “Ladies” or “Gents” or “Gentlemen”. But why wouldn’t I? I know it’s not morally or ethically “wrong” but it still doesn’t “feel right”, professionally.

    Is it because it unnecessarily genders and groups people without respect for their titles and purpose?
    Is it because it attempts to initiate a colloquial relationship?

    The whole thing is ridiculous and the quickest fix would have been a “Keep it professional.” response and let it die then and there…but it is a bit icky, right?

  10. Is ‘Friends, Romans, Countrymen etc.’ ok. Or perhaps it is racist or even exclusionary .. the Romans bit .. to Protestants or even Muslims.

    So hard to know. Professionals used to communicate in Latin which has some appeal. But with three genders there is even more scope to take offence. If in doubt assume neuter?

    “Those whom the Gods wish to destroy, they first make mad” (?)

  11. To bring this up to date: The local support for Perrone has been outstanding. About 150 folks gathered in Easthampton on Monday evening to protest the committee’s decision. Then on Tuesday night, so many people tried to access the school committee’s regularly scheduled meeting that both the Zoom feed and the webstream crashed. The meeting was cancelled and will be rescheduled. Stay tuned!

  12. Looks like the Kwiecinski’s have some pull in town:

    City Clerk Barbara LaBombard swore in new city councilors Owen Zaret, Thomas Peake and Homar Gomez, and the six incumbents, Daniel Carey, Joseph McCoy, Margaret “Peg” Conniff, James “JP” Kwiecinski, Salem Derby and Daniel Rist.

    A new mix of School Committee members were sworn in as well — incumbents Marissa Carrere and Cynthia Kwiecinski, and newcomers Alexandra Dodge, Laurie Garcia, Shannon Dunham and Jonathan Schmidt.

    • It’s not what “actually happened,” it’s the spin the culprit tried to put on it after the episode was written about by me, Turley and others. The fact that she makes such a big deal about “ladies” in the statement shows just how deranged she is. I mentioned the other demands by the rejectee, and that those were valid justifications to be negatively inclined towards him, but that it was clear that his use of “Ladies” is what really poisoned the well. It still is clear.

      I’m letting you through moderation against my better judgment. Next time you accuse me of not doing research (when I have) will be your ticket to Spam Hell.

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