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17 ноября, 07:19

Florida Democratic Party chair apologizes after 6 women complain of 'demeaning' behavior

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TALLAHASSEE — Six former Florida Democratic Party staffers and consultants say that current party chairman Stephen Bittel has created an unprofessional workplace environment for women that includes persistent inappropriate comments, leering at young women and even inviting them on his private jet.The women, who were reached independently by POLITICO Florida and insisted on anonymity out of fear for their jobs, said Bittel never inappropriately touched or threatened them. But he made them feel so uneasy that they didn’t want to be alone with him due to his body language, suggestive remarks and even the breast-shaped stress squeeze-ball he has been known to keep on his desk. Depending on the circumstance and the person discussing Bittel, they said he would make references about women cooking dinner, showing their breasts, their age, whether they wanted to ride on his plane, come to his hotel room or if they thought he was attractive. “There was a lot of boob stuff in his office,” said a woman who was a fundraiser years ago and had to interact with him. “I was told by other women not to go into his bathroom. I was warned.”In a written statement, a spokesman for Bittel didn’t dispute the women’s accounts and acknowledged he had the breast-shaped stress balls. But, he said, they were a gift “from a former female general counsel of his company years ago as a joke for his birthday. He keeps them in a drawer with other gag gifts.”Bittel also apologized. “Every person, regardless of their gender, race, age or sexuality should be treated with respect and valued for their hard work and contributions to our community and if any of my comments or actions did not reflect that belief I am deeply sorry,” Bittel said. “I have much to learn, but my goal is and has always been to make sure every member of our party has a safe environment in which to succeed. It seems I’ve not been successful in that goal, and I will do better."The gist of the women’s accounts, bolstered by the observations of two male Democrats who worked with the women and a former female candidate for a prominent office. They, too, did not want to be identified criticizing Bittel out of fear of angering the powerful party chairman, an independently wealthy developer who has long been a prominent political rainmaker tied to a secretive donor alliance.“He’s just so f----ng creepy,” said a former female party staffer, anger palpable in her tone. “He just leers at you, and stares. I don’t know if you know what that feels like, but he just leers at you. I don’t know how to describe the feeling.”The allegations come at what’s a turning point for addressing sexual harassment, an element that has long been an ingrained part of Florida politics, but only recently has bubbled to the surface in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual-harassment case that rocked Hollywood, media and national politics.The environment in Florida changed, in large part, following the resignation of former state Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth), who POLITICO Florida reported had an extra-marital affair with a lobbyist. That was followed by six women telling POLITICO Florida that state Sen. Jack Latvala touched them against their will or made demeaning remarks about their bodies or appearance. The Pinellas County Republican and gubernatorial candidate, who denies wrongdoing, is facing two Florida Senate complaints for sexual harassment.In recent days, as Democratic women began approaching POLITICO Florida with their stories, Bittel’s supporters worried it would jeopardize his new post as party chair, which he won in a disputed party election after the 2016 elections.Among Democrats, Bittel had a reputation for a brusque style that made enemies or led to mockery behind his back.Before a 2016 Miami fundraiser, for instance, Democratic National Committee staffers made fun of him and conspired to give him poor seating away from President Obama, according to hacked emails published by the group Wikileaks last year. And this June, after his election as chair, Bittel ran afoul of black lawmakers in a dispute at a party gala where he called some of them “childish.” Bittel apologized and offered his resignation.'He’s very demeaning'The women who spoke with POLITICO Florida about Bittel said there’s often a palpable sense of discomfort when interacting with him, and several described an informal policy of staffers not leaving women alone with the multi-millionaire South Florida commercial real estate developer.“The biggest thing I will say is that it became a policy that women, especially junior staff, were never to be left alone with him in his office, plane or house,” said a former party staffer.She said that Bittel’s remarks and the environment he created for women staffers was one of the reasons she no longer wanted to work for the Florida Democratic Party.“There is a reason I left,” she said. “He’s very demeaning. He’s inappropriate in his comments he makes to women.”She mentioned that Bittel liked to talk about women’s breasts. But she didn’t want his specific remarks -- though corroborated by a second source — printed because she was concerned it would reveal her identity. The same woman says the fact that Bittel is known within party circles for having a belittling attitude towards women largely explains why the party wasn’t more strident in attacking Latvala after his scandal.“It’s not an accident they’ve been so quiet,” she said.Like the others interviewed, she said Bittel would offer rides on his private airplane.“The most suggestive thing he does is invite women on his plane or over to his home when his wife is not in town,” she said. “It is not like these things are in the eye of the beholder, the suggestion is very clear … His reputation is very clear, and it has been there since before he was party chairman.” Bittel was elected to the job earlier this year.‘Why ask about a woman’s boyfriend?'A former party fundraiser who spent time working in Bittel’s office prior to his time as chairman said he was overtly “creepy towards women.”She did not work directly for Bittel but during her time working with FDP she regularly interacted with him. One of her most indelible memories was Bittel’s frequent inquiries about her boyfriend. “Really, who does that. Why would he ask about a woman’s boyfriend?” she said. “And it was not like a ‘how is your significant other doing?’ It was not that at all.”She said shortly after leaving the Florida Democratic Party, there was a memorable goodbye call with Bittel. He asked if he could help her in her next career move, and then asked whether she might consider moving to Miami for a job opportunity. And then she recalls him saying, “‘will your boyfriend be moving with you?’”“I hung up,” she said.She quickly called back with a clear message.“I’ve never had this type of guts, so I’m not sure where it came from, but I told him he’s creepy towards women, makes them feel uncomfortable, and it’s not ok,” she said. “It needs to stop.”In response, he sent a text message she remembers clearly.“Thank U for ur honesty,” she says he wrote back. “I hope your words make me better.”‘It’s inappropriate’A recently departed Florida Democratic Party staffer tells a similar tale, underscoring a consistent theme with women overtly uncomfortable being alone around the party’s chairman.“He makes comments about what women wear, about how they look,” she said. “It’s inappropriate.”She said there are women she knew that have left the party, in part, because of how Bittel interacted with them.“It just, at a certain point, becomes difficult and uncomfortable to do your job,” she said. “And everyone there knows that.”Another young woman staffer who no longer works for the party said she made sure not to be alone with Bittel. But one time in the office, she said, he wound up standing so close to her that she felt uneasy. A co-worker, she said, spied the situation and made sure to enter the room and stay there. “He never said or did anything, but he was just too close and I just felt him in my space,” she said. “He was just a weird, creepy guy to be around … Maybe he doesn’t know how to read a room or control his voice.”A fifth woman who also formerly worked at FDP headquarters in Tallahassee said she remembered the first time she met Bittel he commented on her looks and then asked her “do I look good?” The woman, who was older than the younger staffers Bittel was known to be interested in, said the comments struck her as inappropriate because she felt “objectified. I mean, who does that the first time you meet them?”Bittel also kept a breast-shaped squeeze ball on his desk. “It was weird,” she said. Another Democrat said it just made people “uncomfortable.”The strange behavior of Bittel wasn’t just limited to staffers and consultants. A former female candidate for office recalls bringing two young attractive young staffers with her to see if she could rustle a donation out of the donor.Bittel didn’t pay much attention to her, but he spent time staring at her two staffers, the candidate told POLITICO Florida. She said Bittel kept remarking about the young women’s age.“I felt uncomfortable leaving them in the room with him,” she said. “It was kind of icky.”“I didn’t even get the check,” she added.A consultant who worked years ago with Bittel she recalled he would enjoy talking about young women and repeatedly brought up topics, such as the sex lives of others, that she would often “try to shut down. But he would bring it up again.”She said she hoped Bittel had changed his ways and said she was disappointed, but not surprised, that so many women are starting to complain.“He is not a predator. He’s not a terrible person.,” she said. “But he’s inappropriate. And he’s been allowed to be inappropriate for a long time.”

17 ноября, 07:19

Florida Democratic Party chair apologizes after 6 women complain of 'demeaning' behavior

TALLAHASSEE — Six former Florida Democratic Party staffers and consultants say that current party Chairman Stephen Bittel has created an unprofessional workplace environment for women that includes persistent inappropriate comments, leering at young women and even inviting them on his private jet. The women, who were reached independently by POLITICO and insisted on anonymity out of fear for their jobs, said Bittel never inappropriately touched or threatened them. But he made them feel so uneasy that they didn’t want to be alone with him due to his body language, suggestive remarks and even the breast-shaped stress squeeze-ball he has been known to keep on his desk. Depending on the circumstance and the person discussing Bittel, they said he would make references about women cooking dinner, showing their breasts, their age, whether they wanted to ride on his plane, come to his hotel room or if they thought he was attractive. “There was a lot of boob stuff in his office,” said a woman who was a fundraiser years ago and had to interact with him. “I was told by other women not to go into his bathroom. I was warned.”In a written statement, a spokesman for Bittel didn’t dispute the women’s accounts and acknowledged he had the breast-shaped stress balls. But, he said, they were a gift “from a former female general counsel of his company years ago as a joke for his birthday. He keeps them in a drawer with other gag gifts.”Bittel also apologized. “Every person, regardless of their gender, race, age or sexuality should be treated with respect and valued for their hard work and contributions to our community and if any of my comments or actions did not reflect that belief I am deeply sorry,” Bittel said. “I have much to learn, but my goal is and has always been to make sure every member of our party has a safe environment in which to succeed. It seems I’ve not been successful in that goal, and I will do better."The gist of the women’s accounts were bolstered by the observations of two male Democrats who worked with them and a former female candidate for a prominent office. They, too, did not want to be identified criticizing Bittel out of fear of angering the powerful party chairman, an independently wealthy developer who has long been a prominent political rainmaker tied to a secretive donor alliance.Bittel is so-well connected that the state’s best-known Democrats, Sen. Bill Nelson and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, call him friends and he has hosted President Obama and Vice President Biden at his home. Privately, many women weren’t as much awestruck by Bittel as turned off.“He’s just so f----ng creepy,” said a former female party staffer, anger palpable in her tone. “He just leers at you, and stares. I don’t know if you know what that feels like, but he just leers at you. I don’t know how to describe the feeling.”The allegations come at what’s a turning point for addressing sexual harassment, an element that has long been an ingrained part of Florida politics, but only recently has bubbled to the surface in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual-harassment case that rocked Hollywood, media and national politics.The environment in Florida changed, in large part, following the resignation of former state Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth), who POLITICO reported had an extra-marital affair with a lobbyist. That was followed by six women telling POLITICO that state Sen. Jack Latvala touched them against their will or made demeaning remarks about their bodies or appearance. The Pinellas County Republican and gubernatorial candidate, who denies wrongdoing, is facing two Florida Senate complaints for sexual harassment.In recent days, as Democratic women began approaching POLITICO with their stories, Bittel’s supporters worried it would jeopardize his new post as party chairman, which he won in a disputed party election after the 2016 elections.Among Democrats, Bittel had a reputation for a brusque style that made enemies or led to mockery behind his back.Before a 2016 Miami fundraiser, for instance, Democratic National Committee staffers made fun of him and conspired to give him poor seating away from then-President Barack Obama, according to hacked emails published by the group Wikileaks last year. And this June, after his election as chairman, Bittel ran afoul of black lawmakers in a dispute at a party gala where he called some of them “childish.” Bittel apologized and offered his resignation.'He’s very demeaning'The women who spoke with POLITICO about Bittel said there’s often a palpable sense of discomfort when interacting with him, and several described an informal policy of staffers not leaving women alone with the multi-millionaire South Florida commercial real estate developer.“The biggest thing I will say is that it became a policy that women, especially junior staff, were never to be left alone with him in his office, plane or house,” said a former party staffer.She said that Bittel’s remarks and the environment he created for women staffers was one of the reasons she no longer wanted to work for the Florida Democratic Party.“There is a reason I left,” she said. “He’s very demeaning. He’s inappropriate in his comments he makes to women.”She mentioned that Bittel liked to talk about women’s breasts. But she didn’t want his specific remarks — though corroborated by a second source — printed because she was concerned it would reveal her identity. The same woman says the fact that Bittel is known within party circles for having a belittling attitude towards women largely explains why the party wasn’t more strident in attacking Latvala after his scandal.“It’s not an accident they’ve been so quiet,” she said.Like the others interviewed, she said Bittel would offer rides on his private airplane.“The most suggestive thing he does is invite women on his plane or over to his home when his wife is not in town,” she said. “It is not like these things are in the eye of the beholder, the suggestion is very clear … His reputation is very clear, and it has been there since before he was party chairman.” Bittel was elected to the job earlier this year.‘Why ask about a woman’s boyfriend?'A former party fundraiser who spent time working in Bittel’s office prior to his time as chairman said he was overtly “creepy towards women.”She did not work directly for Bittel but during her time working with FDP she regularly interacted with him. One of her most indelible memories was Bittel’s frequent inquiries about her boyfriend. “Really, who does that. Why would he ask about a woman’s boyfriend?” she said. “And it was not like a ‘how is your significant other doing?’ It was not that at all.”She said shortly after leaving the Florida Democratic Party, there was a memorable goodbye call with Bittel. He asked if he could help her in her next career move, and then asked whether she might consider moving to Miami for a job opportunity. And then she recalls him saying, “‘will your boyfriend be moving with you?’”“I hung up,” she said.She quickly called back with a clear message.“I’ve never had this type of guts, so I’m not sure where it came from, but I told him he’s creepy towards women, makes them feel uncomfortable, and it’s not ok,” she said. “It needs to stop.”In response, he sent a text message she remembers clearly.“Thank U [sic] for ur [sic] honesty,” she says he wrote back. “I hope your words make me better.”‘It’s inappropriate’A recently departed Florida Democratic Party staffer tells a similar tale, underscoring a consistent theme with women overtly uncomfortable being alone around the party’s chairman.“He makes comments about what women wear, about how they look,” she said. “It’s inappropriate.”She said there are women she knew that have left the party, in part, because of how Bittel interacted with them.“It just, at a certain point, becomes difficult and uncomfortable to do your job,” she said. “And everyone there knows that.”Another young woman staffer who no longer works for the party said she made sure not to be alone with Bittel. But one time in the office, she said, he wound up standing so close to her that she felt uneasy. A co-worker, she said, spied the situation and made sure to enter the room and stay there. “He never said or did anything, but he was just too close and I just felt him in my space,” she said. “He was just a weird, creepy guy to be around … Maybe he doesn’t know how to read a room or control his voice.”A fifth woman who also formerly worked at FDP headquarters in Tallahassee said she remembered the first time she met Bittel he commented on her looks and then asked her “do I look good?” The woman, who was older than the younger staffers Bittel was known to be interested in, said the comments struck her as inappropriate because she felt “objectified. I mean, who does that the first time you meet them?”Bittel also kept a breast-shaped squeeze ball on his desk. “It was weird,” she said. Another Democrat said it just made people “uncomfortable.”The strange behavior of Bittel wasn’t just limited to staffers and consultants. A former female candidate for office recalls bringing two young attractive young staffers with her to see if she could rustle a donation out of the donor.Bittel didn’t pay much attention to her, but he spent time staring at her two staffers, the candidate told POLITICO. She said Bittel kept remarking about the young women’s age.“I felt uncomfortable leaving them in the room with him,” she said. “It was kind of icky.”“I didn’t even get the check,” she added.A consultant who worked years ago with Bittel she recalled he would enjoy talking about young women and repeatedly brought up topics, such as the sex lives of others, that she would often “try to shut down. But he would bring it up again.”She said she hoped Bittel had changed his ways and said she was disappointed, but not surprised, that so many women are starting to complain.“He is not a predator. He’s not a terrible person,” she said. “But he’s inappropriate. And he’s been allowed to be inappropriate for a long time.”

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28 января 2015, 22:27

Симпозиум, посвященный 120-летию со дня рождения Михаила Бахтина (Венгрия)

28 – 29 мая 2015 г. Литературо- и Культуроведческий Институт Университета Паннон совместно с Академической Комиссией Венгерской Научной Академии г. Веспрема и Института Изучения Языков и Культуры Университета Монаш организует международный симпозиум к стодвадцатилетнему юбилею со дня рождения Михаила Бахтина и в память сороколетия со дня его смерти.  Михаил Бахтин (1895–1975) является одним из самых часто цитируемых оригинальных мыслителей двадцатого века, который оказал исключительное влияние на формирование дисциплин изучения человеческой природы. Вся многослойность и важность этого влияния еще так и не была до конца раскрыта богатыми и широкоохватывающими исследованиями. Его произведения в большинстве университетов являются частью процесса изучения гуманитарных наук. Самая известная его работа – полифоническая модель романа, разработанная им для описания прозаических произведений Достоевского – содержит ключевые мотивы воззрения ученого и мыслителя. Эти мотивы – диалог, многоязычие, речевые жанры, двуголосое слово (карневализация, хронотоп) – выходя далеко за рамки литературоведения, охватывают области философических, эстетических, языковых, коммуникативно-теоретических и культурно-теоретических дискурсов. Данную обширную продуктивность, очевидно, можно объяснить такой укладкой, что Бахтин переосмысливает предметы разъясняющих наук, сопровождающиеся изолированием, с позиции модальности жизненной событийности, посредством чего «исследует» не только мысль и ее объект, но и формирует культуру мышления. Находки, разгадки и концепции Бахтина по этой причине также влияли и на начавшиеся во второй половине двадцатого века исследования семиотики, теории прозы, поэтики, риторики, нарратологии, культуры семиотики и культурологии, а также широко и на лингвистическую сферу. Полный спектр его работ мы так и не смогли оценить до последнего момента по той причине, что часть его трудов была доступна только в форме рукописей. В период 1996–2012 гг. было издано семь томов произведений Бахтина на русском языке, содержащих также и критические замечания, параллельно с этим были опубликованы тексты со спорным авторством. Таким образом, стало возможным создать обширную картину его творчества, и подвергнуть его детальному изучению. Прочитать до конца теоретические труды Бахтина означает сегодня то же самое, как если бы через ракурс некоторых ключевых проблем переосмыслить процессы формирования лингвистики, философии и изучения литературы начиная с 20-х годов прошлого века до наших дней, а также заново поставить их актуальные вопросы. На сегодняшний день уже и так понятно, что Бахтин сделал попытку перешагнуть через гносеологическое и феноменологическое мышление, когда инициировал толкование диалога в качестве методологического принципа в области гуманитарных наук. В результате этого человеческое мышление переместилось в горизонт онтологии, субъект которого – согласно аргументации Бахтина – «бытие, раскрываемое в высказывании и в речи», которое не уступает принуждениям, не может быть сковано, а свободно раскрывается перед нашими познавательными поступками. Предлагаемые для обсуждения темы: - Теория поступка Бахтина и традиция философской антропологии (Kierkegaard, Scheler, Cassirer, Buber и другие) - Место Бахтина в современной теории литературы и в философском дискурсе (Ricœur, Levinas, Merleau-Ponty, Lacan, Frye, Mamardashvili, Jauss, Gadamer и другие) - Слово, знак, троп, символ – аспекты семиотики и лингвистики - Лингвистические и металингвистические аспекты высказывания и языковой гибридности (многоязычие, перевод и т.д.) - Теория жанров художественных произведений (от речевых жанров до романа) - Культура смеха - Нарративная идентичность и диалогическая идентичность (теории субъекта) - Поэтика и герменевтика двуголосого слова - Искусство прозы Достоевского - Продуктивность взгляда Бахтина в толковании литературных произведений Языки симпозиума: английский, русский. Дата проведения симпозиума: 28 – 29 мая 2015 г. Место проведения: Веспрем (Венгрия), Университет Паннон, ул. Вар 20. Заявки и участие: Просим подавать заявки на английском и русском языках. Просим включить в заявку название выступления и краткое описание (аннотация) объемом не более 300 слов или 3000 знаков, имя автора и принадлежность к научной организации, почтовый и электронный адрес. Заявки просим отсылать на имя Гезы Хорват Horváth Géza ([email protected]) или Каталин Ситар Szitár Katalin ([email protected]) в формате ВОРД WORD. Срок подачи заявок: 1 марта 2015 г. Ответы на заявки мы разошлем до 1-го апреля 2015 г. Регистрационный взнос: 100 ЕВРО Важнейшие сроки: 1 марта: подача заявок 1 апреля: регистрация заявок, ответ 15 апреля: утверждение заявок 28-29 мая: конференция: Интернет-страничка конференции: http://magyarweb.uni-pannon.hu/index.php/hu/irodalom-es-kulturatudomanyi-muhely/bakhtin-after-cognition