Keep 'Adam and Steve' Out of His In-Box. Is That So Hateful? - New York Times
Mr. Daniel, who repairs printers at William Paterson University and also takes courses toward a master's degree there, was reading his e-mail before work on March 8 when he came upon a message sent in connection with Women's History Month announcing the showing of a film, "Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House." Mr. Daniel, 63, who has been a Muslim since the 1970's, had no interest in the film. He believes his religion condemns homosexuality. So following the instructions, he sent a reply to the e-mail address of Arlene Holpp Scala, chairwoman of the department of women's studies.
"Do not send me any mail about 'Connie and Sally' and 'Adam and Steve.' These are perversions," he wrote. "The absence of God in higher education brings on confusion. That is why in these classes the Creator of the heavens and the earth is never mentioned."
Two days later, Dr. Scala filed a complaint with officials at William Paterson. It read: "Mr. Daniel's message to me sounds threatening and in violation of our University's nondiscrimination policy. I don't want to feel threatened at my place of work when I send out announcements about events that address lesbian issues." She said Mr. Daniel should be informed that he had violated university policy and that she was not sure what else should be done to censure him and "make me feel I am working in a safe environment."
What, if anything, was in this stupid woman's head? What on earth did she think that she, chair of an academic department--if you can call "woman's studies" an academic discipline--stood to gain by going after a computer tech on staff? I've seen comparable things happen and I'm baffled. It looks like you get some sort of prestige by demonstrating how weak and sensitive you are, how scared you are for your personal safety, and how loudly you can whine.
Dr. Scala, I suspect, was playing Let's Pretend. A cloistered (and I'd bet tenured) academic, she imagined herself a foot soldier in the feminist movement, a powerless woman working in a hostile environment, surrounded by big, hairy, threatening males out to get her, daring to assert herself and striking a blow for the sisterhood. And, of course, it must have been sweet to punish someone who held views with which she disagreed, particularly someone whom she believed could not fight back--makes me wonder how she deals with students who are foolish enough to take her courses and argue against the party line.
Mr. Daniel (who, being a competent technician, is probably just smarter than Dr. Scala) won his case. But I find it outrageous that silly asses like Dr. Scala can make frivolous complaints that jeopardize the livelihood of innocent parties without any adverse consequences.