Simona Sharoni, “College Professor, Author, Public Speaker, Curriculum Innovator, Facilitator, Activist,” Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies, Merrimack College.
The Chronicle of Higher Education describes how a professor of Gender Studies was triggered by a standard “travelling-in-an-elevator” joke, leading to big trouble.
The fuss started when Richard Ned Lebow, a professor of political theory at Kingâ€™s College London, and Simona Sharoni, a professor of womenâ€™s and gender studies at Merrimack College, ended up in the same crowded elevator during a conference at a Hilton in San Francisco last month.
She said she offered to press the floor buttons for people in the elevator, whom she described as mostly conference attendees and all, except one other woman, white middle-aged men. Instead of saying a floor, Lebow smiled and asked for the womenâ€™s lingerie department “and all his buddies laughed,” Sharoni wrote in a complaint, the details of which he disputed, to the association later that day.
“After they walked out, the woman standing next to me turned to me and said, â€˜I wonder if we should have told them that it is no longer acceptable to make these jokes!” she said in her complaint.
Sharoni, who wrote in her complaint that she has experienced sexual harassment in academe in the past and was shaken by the incident, said it took her a while to figure out that Lebow thought it was funny “to make a reference to men shopping for lingerie while attending an academic conference. I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that we froze and didnâ€™t confront him,” she wrote.
After glancing at Lebowâ€™s name tag, Sharoni says she went back to her hotel room to check out the associationâ€™s code of conduct. She then wrote to Mark A. Boyer, the associationâ€™s executive director. He forwarded the complaint to the groupâ€™s Committee on Professional Rights and Responsibilities, which determined that Lebow had violated the conduct code.
Obvious craziness, but what can you expect when colleges and universities hire professional neurotics to teach whining and complaining in special Grievance Studies departments?