Saturday, April 15, 2006

WorldNetDaily: Librarian attacked by profs for promoting 'Marketing of Evil'

Picture this: a university librarian is accused of sexual harassment. Now what did he do? Did he proposition a fellow librarian, or secretary, or book borrower? Did he post a calendar full of girls in their underwear (or their swimsuits, which might as well be their underwear these days), or crack dirty jokes? When I see the phrase "sexual harassment," that's what I think of--because my affiliation with a major firm (which shall remain nameless) required that I accept training in what sexual harassment is, how to avoid it, and how and when and to whom to report it.

Imagine my surprise when I learn that by "sexual harassment" was meant nothing more serious than recommending a reference work to new students at the university.

The book is David Kupelian's The Marketing of Evil, which is all about sexually oriented messages, given the Madison Avenue treatment, and how these might be contributing to the disgusting spectacle of teachers having affairs with students (said affairs being overwhelmingly heterosexual, but with some homosexual affairs thrown in). And the three professors accusing him are all men! The twist: these men are homosexual, and they automatically assume that The Marketing of Evil speaks out against people like them.

First, have they even read the book? Or are they relying on an account that springs from someone's fevered imagination?

Second, since when is recommending a reference work an act that creates a hostile work environment? I should think that The Marketing of Evil would have the opposite effect--because what I saw represented to me as sexual harassment in the training I got (see above) is pretty disgusting, and the sort of thing I would not permit if I had anything to say about it.

Or are these three professors hoping to sexually harass the new male students, and thus see this work as a threat to their activities?

The article has multiple links, including one to a cease-and-desist letter sent to the university and another showing some of the threatening e-mails that this librarian got--threats he dismissed as inconsequential until those professors actually got the Faculty Senate involved. Here's a sample:

As a gay man I have long ago realized that the world is full of homophobic, hate-mongers who, of course, say that they are not. So I am not shocked, only deeply saddened – and THREATENED – that such mindless folks are on this great campus.
Sorry, pal, but a hostile work environment requires demonstrably lewd, obscene, and lascivious remarks, suggestions, or proposals manifestly intended to embarrass, threaten, or annoy a person or group of persons. I see no manifest intent for anything except a toning-down of the sexual tension that has gotten so much Madison Avenue.

The Alliance Defense Fund has taken up this librarian's case. Let's see whether those three have the intestinal, or gonadal, fortitude to risk a lawsuit naming them personally as defendants.

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