An elevator joke and an academic career

Recycling a joke that was already old when I was a teenager, academic conference-goer on elevator calls out “Ladies’ lingerie” in reference to a floor stop. Then begins the acrimonious process in which he must defend his career against the complaint filed by a women’s and gender studies professor who was present and took offense. [Ruth Marcus, syndicated/Houston Chronicle] More: Katherine Mangan, Chronicle of Higher Education.


  • It is in fact no longer acceptable to make any jokes. No sexual innuendo. No puns. No naughty limericks. The motto of the day is “That’s not funny”.
    Yes it is possible, like the prof I knew long ago who made about 10 sexual jokes per hour with ladies present, to go too far, but this case is certainly not an example of that.

  • “…As a survivor of sexual harassment in the academy, I am quite shaken by this incident.”

    Crybullies… she could have the simple wherewithal to make a comment in the moment to a fellow professional. But now everyone feels that they have to run to an authority figure and use a cludgel, when a simple rebuke is all that could possibly have been needed.

    Writing a formal complaint is the act of a coward deserving no respect. If she felt strongly, then speak up in the moment, or hold your tongue later.

  • It’s a bit cute that this happened to a professor of political philosophy.
    But his accuser, Dr. Simona Sharoni, has him beat. Her Merrimac profile lists her as a public intellectual. She should start with the 3d paragraph of that bio. It’s gibberish and in need of a grammarian.

    Evergreen State College – even the students there didn’t particularly like her, based on her RateMyProfessor reviews.

    Plattsburg SUNY- her pro-Palestinian statements lead to calls for her resignation. Her quote:
    (It’s) “clear that the main goal behind this request is to intimidate me and damage my scholarly reputation by painting me as a subversive ‘troublemaker’ on my campus and more broadly,” she said.

    But she has no problem doing that to another professor over even the mildest remark.