October 4, 2016

"Even if I agree with you, I obviously couldn’t say anything."

Said the dean at the University’s Gender-Based Misconduct Office to the student who had been forced to see her after another student had complained about his calling himself "handsome." (The context was practicing speaking in Chinese in a Chinese class at Columbia University.)

He was sent on to a case manager in the Gender-Based Misconduct Office, who went back and forth with him and finally said: "Even if I were to agree with you, you know I can’t say anything."

81 comments:

Rumpletweezer said...

We shouldn't call them Millennials, we should call them Gen Del (for delicate).

cf said...

Mute prayer,
hand of the Most High be upon us all.
Godspeed, America

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I don't have the sense or the patience to absorb the basics of whatever it is the guy's trying to say.

That said, he looks like he could be credibly cast in a dinner theater production of Robin Hood.

And that's certainly handsome enough.

zipity said...


The novel "1984". Cautionary tale, or Liberal Leftist Democratic handbook?

You decide.

coupe said...

This is exactly why ice picks were designed. If you go up under the rib cage and wiggle it, you can sever all the arteries, if not puncture the heart.

rhhardin said...

"Well, don't talk to women," as my boss said to me after just such a complaint.

Achilles said...

Elect Hillary. See what happens. Patience = 0.

Gilbert Pinfold said...

You have a highly-compensated job. You can't speak the truth, and you can't stand up for the truth. You don't quit that job--what does that make you?

Roughcoat said...

America has gone fucking insane.

paminwi said...

You just can't make this crap up.

Nigel Tufnel said...

Mattress Girl went to Columbia. She must feel terrible having contributed to creating an unsafe space for people making a joke at their own expense in Chinese class.

I wonder if she still carries her burden post-graduation.

TreeJoe said...

You know, I've put alot of money into my young children's 529s. Granted, there is still time for those to be good investments...but I'm going to look into other avenues I can use that money as educational expenses for them.

traditionalguy said...

American Colleges will just shut down soon. Nobody will voluntarily pay to go to a Cult Re-education Camp.

Michael K said...

""Well, don't talk to women," as my boss said to me after just such a complaint."

Then they will complain you re not talking to them,

My grandson is 11. If things are not better by the time he is 18, I will strongly encourage my son to recommend the military. Of course, if Hillary is elected, that will be gone, too.

Oso Negro said...

I am of the belief that it is possible to observe the roots of all historical human behavior in everyday life. If you wonder how a band of Cambodian academics could possibly take the steps that lead to the killing fields, you can see it right here. People that will formally discipline a boy for such a statement in a foreign language class will go along with pretty much anything.

rhhardin said...

If you say what you notice instead of the party line, it gives you a remarkably stress-free life, albeit not on a management path.

That was even in The Peter Principle, on avoiding the Peter pitfall.

Paco Wové said...

Back in the era of "microagressions", I could at least figure out what the molehill being made into a mountain was. I've read the linked piece twice, and I still can't figure out what wrong this guy was supposed to have done.

YoungHegelian said...

Stalinists gotta Stalinize.

Robert Fulton said...

This story was old in 1615: "My lady, yonder knave spoke to me harshly and used Saxon words."

Women use whatever power is available to "get" whatever knave has offended them. In our times, it is the micro-whatever. Seeking to determine what it was in the particular action that the female alleges in her complaint is a waste of time. The counselor should try to find out what else was said in order to determine the real complaint. It will be a complaint that is not actionable or that casts the female in a bad light; hence her turning to the remedy at hand.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

rhhardin said...

Then they will complain you re not talking to them,

Ah. But the boss just needed a closing line sounding like it resolved the problem. Paperwork, you know.

But it was at bottom a guy talking to a guy in code about women.

Every guy in the department thought it was funny too.

jr565 said...

he described HIMSELF as handsome. How could anyone take offense at an observation about oneself?

Bob Ellison said...

TreeJoe, I've got sons in and on their way to college, and my best answer is: online school. ASU and others look to be doing to traditional colleges what Uber is doing to taxi companies, and they don't face as much regulation-litigation (reglit?) as Uber does.

Nigel Tufnel said...

Good thing he mispronounced the word. He said "handsome," but he MEANT "horny."

"Me so horny!"

Dan Truitt said...

I'm so glad I'm 62 and not 22.

buwaya puti said...

Cambodian academics required a whole lot of Cambodian peasant boys to do their killing for them, or more to the point, a whole lot of dying for them, to put them in that killing position in the first place. Without that, the Cambodian academics would have been irrelevant. I dont see that the modern US-Cambodian academics have any significant number of peasant boys backing them, willing to die for them, they just have a lot of money.
Btw, you, the US, really need a proper movement of peasant boys to sort those Cambodian academics of yours out. Silliness like this is just the tip of the iceberg. Beneath the madness there is a mass of corruption and mediocrity.

buwaya puti said...

I dont know, I think it would be so much fun to be 22 again. So much to rebel against, so vulnerable they are to so many tricks and pranks. A target rich environment, licensed hunting ground to the young.

jr565 said...

The person who took offense didn't respect his adjectives.

ddh said...

So many academic bureaucrats want to stick it to The Man, especially if they can earn more than $100,000 a year doing so.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

You could read this between the lines: The complaint was that he called himself handsome in the context of hitting on his teacher. His teacher's response was to tell him that if he was going to hit on her, he should come to her office hours.

Drew W said...

I went there. I feel ill.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Pack: I THINK the complainer claimed the guy was flirting (I.e. abusing or disrespecting) the teacher.
On David Thompson's thread about this, it is suggested that Columbia employees at least 14 staff in that gender complaints office. Now you know where the tuition dollars go. Also, now you know where Gender Studies grads get jobs.

Gabriel said...

@Fred Drinkwater: I THINK the complainer claimed the guy was flirting (I.e. abusing or disrespecting) the teacher.

We'll never know the answer to that, since complaints are made in confidence. Most of the big schools have Bias Response hotlines.

Ann Althouse said...

"I don't have the sense or the patience to absorb the basics of whatever it is the guy's trying to say."

LOL. I love when commenters do that.

EMD said...

"but that she didn’t want to get in trouble herself. "

A good German.

Larry J said...

Michael K said...
""Well, don't talk to women," as my boss said to me after just such a complaint."

Then they will complain you re not talking to them,

My grandson is 11. If things are not better by the time he is 18, I will strongly encourage my son to recommend the military. Of course, if Hillary is elected, that will be gone, too.


My oldest grandkids are 12. If things continue the way they are, I will actively discourage them from joining the military. I come from a family with a multi-generation history of serving in the military. However, based on what I've learned from coworkers who're still serving in the Reserves, political-correctness is now in charge. The stories of the Equal Opportunity Officers remind me of the old political commissars in the Soviet military. Yes, it has gotten that bad. When the primary emphasis is on political correctness than on combat effectiveness, a lot of people are going to get killed for no good reason. At a time when the Marines and Air Force are having to search museums and bone yards for spare parts to keep their planes flying, the Pentagon is funding sex change surgery for active duty and civilian personnel. Insanity.

As for their education, there's still good work out there in the trades. A classmate of one of my coworker's son went into welding after high school. He finished a certified welding course in 8 months with no debt and began making $70,000 a year. There's a lot less room for political correctness in a field were real results count and people could die if you do it wrong, which is how the military used to function.

Char Char Binks said...

The Struggle Session is real.

DKWalser said...

This reminds me of a Facebook conversation my wife had with her niece, yesterday. The niece had linked to an article enumerating some of the things we should now avoid saying because someone might be offended. My wife pointed out that it is all-but-impossible to foster close personal relationships if everyone is constantly looking for an opportunity to take offense. Her niece insisted that we cannot stamp out intolerance without constant vigilance.

I think this is a generational thing. My mother taught me that the greater sin was to take offense when none was intended than to not be offended when an insult was intended. So, in my mother's circle you had to try hard to insult someone because the listener was obliged to assume the best of any plausible interpretation of what was said. This certainly didn't prevent insults from being exchanged -- they just had to be overt. Her approach required a generosity of spirit that allowed conversation to flow without the burden of needing to parse every utterance for possibly offensive, if unintended, meanings.

The example of a "don't" shared by my wife's niece is that you shouldn't ask a childless couple if they intend to have children -- the couple may be struggling with fertility issues and the question might bruise sensitive feelings. My wife pointed out that, absent the ability to ask such a question, it would become the kind of friend who could offer appropriate support during a difficult time. My thought is without being able to share such intimacies, you wouldn't be friends at all but only acquaintances.

Robert Fulton said...

I think that my (this) comment is on point. Today in his blog, Scott Adams spoke about Twitter taking political action against him and then added a PS:

"P.S. The one and only speaking gig I had on my calendar for the coming year cancelled yesterday because they decided to “go in a different direction.” I estimate my opportunity cost from speaking events alone to be around $1 million. That’s based on how the rate of offers went from several per month (for decades) to zero this year. Blogging about Trump is expensive."

If you wonder about the media all being anti-Trump or silent there is a lesson here. Being a Trump supporter is expensive. Sort of like Hollywood and most college campuses. Clinton supporters (and maybe "Never-Trumpers"?) believe that this is a good thing. If Clinton wins, we will all be on be "on campus" and it will cost nay-sayers real money, if not incarceration. Oh, not right away, it will take 4 or 5 years for the Supreme Court to get all of the package out there.

This used to be crazy talk. If you think it is still crazy talk, review the recent case of the baker who refused to bake the cake for the gay wedding of his customers. See how the new justice worked for him.

gerry said...

I was in a bar the other night and the bartender (a millennial) told me that she no longer goes to the local Renaissance festival because she saw two people there wearing kimonos, and she hates cultural appropriation. I told her I also stopped going because I saw so many people costumed as Klingons, and I hated cultural appropriation, too.

These people are crazy. I can't bear to think what they are doing to their children as they raise them.

Yancey Ward said...

I have written it before, and I will no doubt write it again in the future: The Onion isn't parody, it is news media sent to us from the future.

Yancey Ward said...

Robert,

It is only a matter of time before Dilbert is dropped from the newspapers.

Nurse Rooke said...

@Drew W

I feel your pain. Worse, probably, than you do because I was the English Department.

EMD said...

he described HIMSELF as handsome. How could anyone take offense at an observation about oneself?

You are such a cis hetero shitlord and you don't even know it!

bagoh20 said...

Is there a more evil, civil rights-ignoring institution in America than our universities. And you have to pay dearly for the opportunity to be publicly and permanently ruined at the start of your career. Nice place you're running there. Truly doing God's work.

EMD said...

"I was in a bar the other night and the bartender (a millennial) told me that she no longer goes to the local Renaissance festival because she saw two people there wearing kimonos, and she hates cultural appropriation"

I hope to dear god she never has to serve Tequila. Imagine her shame!

jaydub said...

Can any academics out there answer the following questions for us rubes:

1. What is the difference between someone in 2016 anonymously reporting a presumed thought crime to the university gender police and someone in 1956 anonymously reporting a presumed thought crime to the East German Stasi?

2. In what other justice system are undefined crimes, anonymous accusations, secret proceedings and arbitrary punishments considered to be desirable features?

3. If the article accurately describes the Columbia University gender police practices, can Columbia be considered to be less of a police state than was the German Democratic Republic?

4. Don't any of the accused own a gun?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

What's the solution? Why, more speech, obviously!

Oh, and let's get some higher-priced bureaucrats to fill out our Gender-Based Misconduct Office. Right away, hurry, hire hire hire! We can't let that office fall behind the Diversity and LGBT Affairs departments, can we?

What's that you say, tuition is climbing at an unsustainable rate while students aren't actually educated all that well and have trouble finding jobs when they do actually graduate? Gee, I can't imagine why.

ALP said...

I would normally skip a story like this, but this one is funny and well worth reading - the author reacted as any SANE intelligent person would.

And let us not forget the frequent exhortations of women's magazines and self help culture, which would certainly encourage women to see, and speak of themselves, as beautiful. But oh no, men can't be handsome.

But I'm SCARED! I have been reading lots of Philip K. Dick recently, an author well known to those into sci-fi. I just told a woman at work yesterday that I was reading "Dick" and that at an upcoming big book sale, "I'll be looking for lots of Dick".

Shit - that misstep will probably catch up to me. The PC police at work probably haven't gotten to my name yet. If I never post here again, BigLaw did something cruel and final to me as punishment.

mikee said...

Way back when adults ran universities, I once inadvertently violated a campus rule. I was sent to see the Assistant Dean of Housing, who accepted my guilty plea with explanation, and then put in my student record as an adjudication of my infraction a letter stating that I inadvertently violated that campus rule. And that should such infraction again occur, "further measures would be taken."

I have used that wonderfully meaningless phrase in my dealings with subordinates, tenants, bureaucrats and management ever since. I strongly urge its use on campuses today for about 99% of the issues that make the news about students' feeeeeeelings being hurt.

Rob McLean said...

The "Gender-Based Misconduct Office" sounds like something Orwell was going to put into "1984", but rejected it because it just sounded too ridiculous.

Nigel Tufnel said...

"The "Gender-Based Misconduct Office" sounds like something Orwell was going to put into "1984", but rejected it because it just sounded too ridiculous."

Worse yet -- if the re-education fails, the next stop is the Gender-Reassignment Surgical Center at the Columbia U Med Center.

That'll fix ya.

Mike said...

What a profile in courage you are, Dean [redacted].

ALP said...

gerry @ 11:28 -
"I was in a bar the other night and the bartender (a millennial) told me that she no longer goes to the local Renaissance festival because she saw two people there wearing kimonos, and she hates cultural appropriation. I told her I also stopped going because I saw so many people costumed as Klingons, and I hated cultural appropriation, too."


That is a hilarious response. Anyone wearing blue jeans could be accused of appropriating the culture of 1800's cowboys and miners. How dare these desk jockey, symbol-manipulation professional types appropriate from people that worked their assess off, doing jobs that took years off their lives!

Virgil Hilts said...

I have thought for sometime (wrongly) that you were going to start seeing instances like this trigger organized resistance and push back. Had one of my kids been in this class, they would have stood up and yelled (ala I am Spartacus) "I am handsome too, in fact I may be a damn site more handsome than this other dude."
But.. . My kids and their ilk would never elect to attend a SJW cesspool like Columbia or Brandeis. Life is too short. These SJW schools are attracting and producing pussy-whipped cowards and will never regain the prestige they are losing.

Unknown said...

The totalitarians in our society are all leftists. You principled liberals have been warned.

damikesc said...

Is there a point to college now? Why spend thousands to have your kids become intellectually stunted children?

But, no offense, professors are the ones humoring this nonsense. She had to report it because a student complained? Tell the student to go fuck themselves.

I dont know, I think it would be so much fun to be 22 again. So much to rebel against, so vulnerable they are to so many tricks and pranks. A target rich environment, licensed hunting ground to the young.

No joke. Shame so many kids are so scared of "ruining their lives" by not just following the herd.

1. What is the difference between someone in 2016 anonymously reporting a presumed thought crime to the university gender police and someone in 1956 anonymously reporting a presumed thought crime to the East German Stasi?

Ask something they'd oppose (they would support the Stasi). What is the difference between 2016 and reporting Communists to HUAC?

DKWalser said...

...Had one of my kids been in this class, they would have stood up and yelled (ala I am Spartacus) "I am handsome too, in fact I may be a damn site more handsome than this other dude."...

Your kids never would have had the opportunity to stand up in support of the guy about whom the complaint was made. These complaints and the resulting investigations are made in secret. Often, the target of the investigation is warned not to discuss the matter with anyone. If they do speak up, they are further investigated for "retaliation". In this case, the guy didn't come forward with his story until after graduation -- a full two years after the incident.

Secrecy is allegedly required to protect both the accuser and the accused, but it also works to prevent other students from rising up in defense of their fellow students.

David said...

Essentially the judges are afraid of retribution. As well they should be.

This is why the call for "due process" in campus adjudications is not going to solve the problem of bias in favor of the accuser. If the judges and gatherers of facts who inform the judges are too weak or indoctrinated or vulnerable to act with vigor and impartiality, the mechanism is still corrupted.

Right now the culture is one of inquisition. It won't take long before the Baby Torquemadas figure out how to cover their Inquisition with a robe of due process.

Virgil Hilts said...

DKWalser said "...Your kids never would have had the opportunity to stand up in support"
As I read the article, the kid shortly told some of the people in the Chinese class what had happened. That is when the opportunity to stand with the guy arose.

Joe said...

"Esta su casa?

How dare you assume I have a house!

Mike said...

Kid ought to sue. FIRE would back him up, I'm sure.

Roughcoat said...

I really am mad as hell and I really will not stand for it anymore.

marybeth said...

He should have just asked each person he was required to talk to about this, "Are you saying I'm unattractive?". That he didn't do that makes me wonder if there's more to the story than we're reading now. (I still think it's stupid, just that there may be context that we aren't getting because none of it makes any sense.)

Richard Dolan said...

He never quite says so in his article, but he has obviously learned that the best way to deal with these inane aspects of university life is mockery and publicity. It's Kafka's trial re-imagined as a farce set in a university not to be named -- because, of course, it could be any of them. An anonymous complaint (just try to picture the complainant and who would play the part in a movie!) that he called himself handsome results in re-education at the Office of Multi-Gender Silliness. It's quite the hoot, at least now in the retelling if not at the time, and as the re-education sessions play out, even the enforcers of the PC regime couldn't take it seriously.

Remind me again about who was getting re-educated.

robother said...

From the words of the letter, it sure looks to me like the teacher herself made the complaint. Hard to say what really was going on, but in my experience, no teacher likes a class clown. (We all know who's the real butt of his humor.)

If he really was trying to flirt or appear to flirt with her, and she was, say, a Chinese woman raised in a that culture, maybe her taking him aside was a way to get him to cut it out. When he treated that as a joke, I could imagine her taking it to the official level. Not saying that any of this PC enforcement belongs in a higher ed environment, but I still wonder about the real world interactions that we're only hearing one side of.

TBlakely said...

We are so screwed:

Worst political class in history
Worst citizenry, responsible for above
Unsustainable amounts of ever increasing debt
Increasingly hostile, erratic world

Frankly I don't see anyway out. But hey, all civilizations end.... it's just a question of the death toll and how long the next dark age lasts.

buwaya said...

"Frankly I don't see anyway out. But hey, all civilizations end.... it's just a question of the death toll and how long the next dark age lasts."

What I figured out some years ago.

wbwittmeyer said...

Just inform Columbia that you have decided you will not contribute to their fund raising campaigns. Any legacy you leave will not go to Columbia. There are better things to do with your money than fund stalinists.

Clyde said...

I hope that SMOD 2016 comes down right on top of Columbia's Gender-Based Misconduct Office. It's like a giant tumor that perfectly exemplifies everything that is wrong with this annus horribilis.

Brando said...

Not available for comment--new Dean of Sensitivity Programs, Mattress Girl.

Why does Congress allow universities to enjoy federal benefits and nonprofit status when they are run this way?

MarkJ said...

"I hope that SMOD 2016 comes down right on top of Columbia's Gender-Based Misconduct Office. It's like a giant tumor that perfectly exemplifies everything that is wrong with this annus horribilis."

As the poet once sang, Columbia puts the "anus" in "annus".

Amadeus 48 said...

Re: the millennial bartender who hates cultural appropriation.

Did she see what the Romans did to the Greeks? OMG!! And Arabic numerals!!! WTF!! And the Anglo Saxons and the Normans!!! Who stole from whom??? Not to mention Chipotle! And fusion cuisine!!!! And just-in-time manufacturing!! I can't stand it!!!!!!

There is no end to it. In most places it is considered human progress.

Freeman Hunt said...

"I self identify as handsome."

YeeHaw! said...

Worse, people who should know better STILL send their kids to these schools.

Why?

Char Char Binks said...

First they came for the handsome, but I was not handsome, so I said nothing...

Michael K said...

" it's just a question of the death toll and how long the next dark age lasts."

Yes.

buwaya said...

Reminded by Instapundit, it seems tomorrow is Vaclav Havel's birthday (would have been 80).
Its just a matter of time I suppose before his works are banned in the US and preserved in Russia.

sean said...

Note that Prof. Althouse does not condemn this sort of totalitarian trampling on the right of free expression. Plausible deniability--aka cowardice--is her modus operandi. That's the kind of cowardly mentality that the tenure system attracts into the univerisity.

Char Char Binks said...

@sean

You're full of shit. AA opened this subject up to commentary. In no way did she do anything cowardly. She brought attention to and allowed us to comment on a ridiculous, frightening, and oppressive situation, and we should be grateful.

Richard said...

Reason number 10234 why I will never give my alma mater a red cent.

Rusty said...

sean said...
"Note that Prof. Althouse does not condemn this sort of totalitarian trampling on the right of free expression. Plausible deniability--aka cowardice--is her modus operandi. That's the kind of cowardly mentality that the tenure system attracts into the univerisity."

Flunked her class huh.