Professor Faces Discipline for Joke in Crowded Elevator

Professor Faces Discipline for Joke in Crowded Elevator | 1525806812064 | Free Speech US News
Simona Sharoni, left, filed a complaint against Richard Ned Lebow, right, for a joke he made in a crowded elevator at an academic conference. (Merrimack College/King’s College London)

Given May 15 Deadline to Issue Apology

Editor’s Note: One must be careful what they say as the walls have ears and the political correctness Stazi are ubiquitous. Given this the appropriate agencies will have to further scrutinize Professor Lebow’s political allegiances, social media activities, sexual proclivities, financials, and of course whether or not he still beats his wife. 

Caleb Park of FoxNews reports:

A male professor who made a joke in a crowded elevator at an academic conference is now facing disciplinary charges after a female professor who was there filed a formal complaint.

Richard Ned Lebow, professor of international political theory at King’s College in London, was in a jammed elevator when someone asked him what floor he needed to get off on, according to a Washington Post opinion piece.

“Ladies’ lingerie,” he joked.

He was attending the International Studies Association conference in San Francisco at the time. Simona Sharoni, professor or women’s and gender studies at Merrimack College in Massachusetts, also present in the elevator, took offense and several hours after the incident, she filed a complaint with the association, which found that Lebow violated the group’s code of conduct.

After Lebow was made aware of the complaint, he sent Sharoni an email telling her “I certainly had no desire to insult women or to make you feel uncomfortable.” He also suggested she may have “interpreted my remark out of context.”

“Like you, I am strongly opposed to the exploitation, coercion or humiliation of women,” Lebow wrote, according to the Post. “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. By making a complaint to ISA that I consider frivolous — and I expect, will be judged this way by the ethics committee — you may be directing time and effort away from the real offenses that trouble us both.”

The ISA committee found fault with Lebow characterizing Sharoni’s complaint as “frivolous.” It instructed him to issue an “unequivocal apology,” which he refused to do.

Lebow told colleagues this is “a horrifying and chilling example of political correctness” that “encourages others to censor their remarks for fear of retribution.”

“For decades, women and other marginalized groups in the academy had to put up with white men who decided what counts as a violation and what is ‘frivolous,’” Sharoni told The Chronicle.

Lebow faces appropriate sanctions from ISA if he doesn’t write an apology by May 15.

ISA did not immediately respond to request for comment.


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About The Author

James F. Tracy's work on media history, politics and culture has appeared in a wide variety of academic journals, edited volumes, and alternative news and opinion outlets. James is editor of Union for Democratic Communication’s Journal Democratic Communiqué and a contributor to Project Censored’s forthcoming publication Censored 2013: The Top Censored Stories and Media Analysis of 2011-2012. Additional writings and information are accessible at memoryholeblog.com.

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