There is a remarkable thread on a public Facebook post by Jennifer Lackey (Northwestern), in which she and her colleague Sandy Goldberg voice support for the "substantial character and high integrity" of their graduate student who accused Peter Ludlow of nonconsensual sex; this is in response to the dissection of the case by Laura Kipnis in her now much-discussed book. (In fact, I think it is possible the graduate student has substantial character and high integrity even if most things Kipnis says are absolutely correct: there are failures of memory and misleading nuances of recollection that are not the product of bad faith, bad character or dishonesty, especially in an emotionally charged situation like this one). The usual and familiar perpetrators of group polarization show up in the thread, as well as the two philosophers who have been leading the charge for honest discussion of the Ludlow case against the herd, Benj Hellie and Jessica Wilson. In the course of the exchange, Hellie delivers a set of remarks that encapsulate the pathology of the social media portion of the profession of philosophy these days; they are so apt and so damning they deserve to be memorialized here:
Look, you [David Sobel, not Lackey or Goldberg] and your comrades set out on a cause you took to be righteous. In the course of it, the field was agitated into an angry mob against Ludlow. In consequence, Ludlow was driven out of his job, and out of philosophical society; lost his house and savings, and wound up with no source of income. Now, that is not a nice thing to happen. Thinking about it makes the heart ache. Of course, if it happens to a bad guy who deserves it, then instead of heartache, time to clink the champagne.
So of course that is what people want to believe. Moreover, your group has made this a big rallying point: a shibboleth, if you will, by the ritual recitation of which people recollect their big success and restore group solidarity. So you and your crowd really have it as a big part of your self-identity that Ludlow got what he deserved.
I add also that the group sees itself as setting the moral tone for philosophy as a whole: I think Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa made a point to that effect the other day, about how it is important not to let outsiders (like me, I guess) define philosophy's response to this debacle. I acknowledge the success of your campaign: there is truly a chilling effect, where almost no one is willing to challenge your verities in public; and perhaps some of the causes the group stands for are to the good (set that aside).
Now comes Laura Kipnis. The world is paying close attention; and the judgement of the world is that this very central rallying point of your group is a grave mistake. Within the group, it does not seem that way, but that is really very blinkered: a great many folk out there think your shibboleth is a false god.
Now, reiterating the point above, from the point of view of your group, that is quite unsettling. The smashing of the icon inevitably threatens group cohesion. And the moral supremacy of the group within philosophy is also on very shaky ground, if the rest of the field wakes up to the overreaching and decides to give the raspberry.
So, regarding the pressures in question: both the internal cohesion of the group, and its external capacity to exercise power, are threatened. Neither of those is something anyone would abandon willingly; but I suspect each is something all see looming on the horizon...A pressureful situation, without a doubt.
Among the weirder allegations I've seen on Facebook as to why philosophers shouldn't read the book is that Kipnis doesn't understand the difference between sex and rape. This is an absurd fabrication, and was not, of course, supported with any textual evidence. But it is a good indication that Hellie is on to something here about how desperate some of those involved in the initial witchhunt are feeling about the world at large now knowing how reckless some vocal members of the "profession" were.