Merrimack College professor Simona Sharoni reported King’s College London political theory professor Richard Ned Lebow for saying “ladies’ lingerie” when asked which floor he wanted to visit, reported The Washington Post. Because you know: at first it’s only a harmless joke, but next thing you know this 76-year-old man will be out raping in broad daylight.
Sharoni and Lebow were attending a conference in San Francisco, of course, held by the International Studies Association. In her complaint to the ISA, Sharoni said “I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that [she and another colleague] froze and didn’t confront him….As a survivor of sexual harassment in the academy, I am quite shaken by this incident.”
When he found out she had complained, Lebow wrote to Sharoni, saying he “had no desire to insult women or to make [her] feel uncomfortable,” calling her complaint “frivolous,” and saying that, like her, he is “strongly opposed to the exploitation, coercion or humiliation of women….As such evils continue, it seems to me to make sense to direct our attention to real offenses, not those that are imagined or marginal.”
But ISA executive director Mark Boyer called Lebow’s joke “offensive and inappropriate,” said that his calling the complaint “frivolous” was an even “more serious violation,” and ordered him to send Sharoni an “unequivocal apology” if he doesn’t want to be punished, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Lebow has refused to apologize and good on him. Of course, the true harassers in this scenario are Sharoni and the “scholarly” group for, like some sort of totalitarian police force, trying to extort a false confession out of this poor man. Perhaps the International Studies Association needs to study up a bit on what has happened internationally in societies that punish thoughtcrime.
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