Dankprofessor’s Weblog

A weblog examining sexual politics in higher education and beyond.

Anti-sexual zealotry at Yale

The witch hunt for sexual deviants is just beginning at Yale.  As reported in the Yale Daily News, the Women Faculty Forum wants to employ the new consensual relationships policy as a launch pad for a more encompassing sexual control policy.

In its report, the Women Faculty Forum also recommended that new, University-wide policies against sexual misconduct replace existing policies, which vary across Yale College, the Graduate School and the professional schools. They also want Yale to shift its focus from sexual harassment to the broader issue of sexual misconduct — an umbrella term that applies to both sexual harassment and assault, and includes other sexually motivated behaviors intended to intimidate or threaten.

The Women Faculty Forum also called for the creation of a centralized sexual misconduct grievance board to administer the new policy and address complaints from undergraduates, graduate and professional students, faculty and staff alike. Currently, complaints are evaluated by four different grievance boards across the University.

“We don’t think there’s a lot of additional study necessary in terms of outside research,” Woman Faculty Forum report co-author and School of Management professor Connie Bagley said. “I hope the group is serious about the issues and willing to roll up their sleeves, dig into the [Women Faculty Forum] report and policy and just get this done.”

Miller said the University’s quick response to the report’s demand for a review committee and new policy on student-faculty relationships signals a “recommitment” to preventing sexual harassment and sexual misconduct.

“The administrators we’ve been working with agree that sexual misconduct has no place at Yale,” Bagley said last month. “They’re serious about trying to take additional steps to eliminate it.”

Both Bagley and Priya Natarajan, a professor of astronomy and physics and a co-chair of the committee that authored the report, said they are pleased with the University’s response to the Women Faculty Forum report so far, but added that this is just the beginning of the process. The new committee must act quickly and decisively and follow the policy changes outlined in the report, Bagley said.

The report came from over a year of research, writing and consultation with faculty and administrators, most of whom supported the group’s proposed policies, Bagley said. Members of the committee responsible for the report worked with the General Counsel’s Office to ensure that the policy changes offered in the report were legally feasible.

The Women Faculty Forum began work on its report on sexual misconduct in fall 2008, after several pledges to the fraternity Zeta Psi posed for pictures outside the Women’s Center with signs that read “We Love Yale Sluts” and 100 medical students wrote a letter to School of Medicine administrators in December 2007 expressing concern over the prevalence of sexual harassment at the school, according to the report. The Women Faculty Forum’s goal in writing the report was to help administrators to develop a workable, University-wide anti-sexual misconduct policy, Bagley said.

The dankprofessor finds it breathtaking that the report promulgates a policy of eliminating all sexual misconduct at Yale while at the same time insuring that the policies are legally “feasible”.   Eliminating/eradicating sexual misconduct is simply not compatible with law that recognizes due process and civil liberties.  Such elimination can occur but only in an authoritarian state ruled by sexual zealots.  Of course, “elimination” should be in quotes since so-called sexual misconduct is never completely eliminated.  The anti-sexual zealots know this and know that their work is never completed; vigilance is always necessary in their world view.

What this and other similar policies also foment is the use of informants, third party informants who will report on sexual dissidents.  Based on reports to me from distraught students and profs, the usage of informants is commonplace in  American universities.  Getting a handle on this situation is difficult since the identity of such informants is kept secret by university authorities.  In fact, most often the entire proceeding against sexual dissidents is of a secretive nature.  What makes the Yale policy even more fertile for the fomenting of informants is the usage of the nebulous term “amorous relationships”.  So if the behavior is perceived as not sexual but amorous such is enough to initiate the charges.

But one may ask who would be prone to become informants at Yale or any other university?  The prone would be distraught or jealous students or faculty.  A student who believes that she or he was unfairly given a poor grade may come forward with a false charge knowing that ones identity is protected and knowing in some cases that there are no rules regarding false charges.  Or one may be jealous of a fellow student or fellow faculty member or one may be a distraught ex-boyfriend.  The list can go on and on.

The world of Yale is no different than the worlds beyond the walls of ivy.  The small minded are everywhere.  The paranoid are everywhere.  The sexual zealots are everywhere.  The question is whether they will be allowed to takeover Yale and recreate Yale in their image.

For my prior posting on the Zeta Psi fraternity controversy, click here.

The dankprofessor will also be reporting on prior incidents of sexual hysteria at Yale and on a faculty member who was subjected to said hysteria.

December 15, 2009 Posted by | consensual relationships, ethics, fear, higher education, sex, sexual harassment, sexual policing, sexual politics, sexual rights, student professor dating, Uncategorized, Yale University | 2 Comments

   

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