The Corner

PC Culture

‘Bonfire of the Trannities’ at Harvard

On the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. (Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)

How dumb do you have to be to allow your house to be stolen from you? So dumb you’d almost have to be a progressive Harvard Law professor, in this case one who was punished for trying to be kind to a lesbian and her transsexual friend. Like a lot of people, I read this insane story of what has to be one of the most elaborate con jobs ever pulled and thought, “What Tom Wolfe would do with this!” Rod Dreher came up with the perfect headline: “Bonfire of the Trannities.” You might also call this story Woke Fatal Attraction.

The Cut, the site on which the story appears, is making something of a specialty of serving up yummy schadenfreude for conservatives by relentlessly exposing the foibles of the expensively educated and strenuously woke. The story is really long but if you can’t make time for it, I’ll tell it backwards. Two extremely wicked people, one of them a cute French-American woman and the other her transsexual (man to woman) friend, apparently are running multiple overlapping scams against unsuspecting men for no reason except to mess with them. Don’t ask them for motives: “I just hate the patriarchy, that’s all.” The French cutie lures men to bed by walking up to them on some ridiculous pretext, like not being able to find the batteries in a hardware store, and saying something like, “By the way, you’re very attractive.” Men, be suspicious if this happens to you. You’re not irresistible.

Harvard Law Professor Bruce Hay, the mark in this elaborate story and a former liberal law clerk for Justice Scalia (who liked to have a devil’s advocate around), had sex with the woman a couple of times because he was pretty sure his wife wouldn’t mind. (She minded. They were legally divorced, but had moved back in together and were raising two children.) Hay didn’t ejaculate, due to his anti-depression meds, but later fell for it when the woman, a professed lesbian who said she didn’t have sex with other men, told him she was pregnant. Not only did he trust her, “he felt it would have been insulting for a heterosexual cisgender man to question a professed lesbian as to whether she’d had sex with other men. He believed her when she said her sexual relationship with him was an exception.”

Hay says she started making hysterical demands, got him to sign a sheaf of papers he didn’t read (he figured that since she was an accountant, she knew best) and on a thin pretext gave him a check for $3000 which he cashed. It turned out he had signed over his $3.5 million house to her and her trans buddy for lease at a nominal rate. The check was framed as a “security deposit.” The woman and her trans friend first moved all of the stuff out of the house, charging the expenses to his credit card, access to which he had also provided them.

Fortunately for Hay his (ex) wife saw a lot of this coming and had arranged to have the house put in her name only, which made the lease invalid. Hay has incurred $300,000 worth of legal bills sorting all this out. Also, the woman who seduced him charged him — falsely, according to him — with sexual abuse, causing Harvard to suspend him automatically under its Title IX policy.

Hay got sucked into a vortex of things that light up all the pleasure circuits of the woke: a hip international lesbian, a trans person of color (Indian-Pakistani descent), an unconventional living arrangement (the two friends, plus the boyfriend of the transsexual, were raising children together), Harvard, and, of course, lots of political discussions about victimhood. Hay was under the impression that the trans person was the victim in this story when in fact he was. He fell for a progressive honey trap.

Hay, by the way, wrote a vile piece that amounted to dancing on the grave of his former employer Scalia when the latter passed away. The piece essentially charged Scalia with making life miserable for people like . . . the people who were making life miserable for Hay.

Just about no one deserves to live the nightmare that happened to Hay, but the credulity that comes along with super-wokeness is stunning to behold. Once you have willed yourself to believe that a man can become a woman simply by identifying as one, what else might you be willing to believe? This piece is the slippery slope in the form of a black comedy. Dreher says a friend wrote to him, “the story has it all — decadence in our elite institutions, erosion of due process, a bizarre transgender subplot, Modern Family-style living arrangements.” He follows up with this: “You can’t keep crazypants liberals from blowing up their lives, but from a public policy point of view, the most important question raised by this story is: What is it going to take to get Title IX reform?”

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