Instapundit pointed to this post by Mike S. Adams, in which he highlights an email that was written to him by a student responding to his post about the school's performance of "The Vagina Monologues" ("Blind feminists find nut, details at 11"). It will be important to read the entirety of the latest post before reading my comments, though I will excerpt some of it, so go do that, and then come back. It is a fairly short read.
Back? Good. I know nothing about Mike Adams, except that when I read his biography on his page, it lists him as a Texan, where he was a member of the 5A division Soccer championship team from Clear Lake High School. He was, at one point, an atheist and a Democrat, and apparently had a change of heart at some point (which clearly makes him much more credible. I used to be a Bible-beating Christian, but I'm pretty sure Pat Robertson isn't going to be calling me to provide an insight into liberal culture on "The 700 Club" just because I used to speak the language). He is now a Conservative professor at UNC-Wilmington, and has made "appearances on shows like Hannity and Colmes, the O’Reilly Factor, and Scarborough Country..." Yes, he really is quite something.
I'll address all his pithy points here, but first let me say that it is poor form to try to discredit the text that you are disputing by pointing out typos. This was obviously an email, written relatively articulately, by someone who passionately disagreed with Professor Mike. By constantly "(sic)"-ing the typos in the email, he only succeeds in proving himself a bully with a bigger megaphone.
But on to his points.
1. Would I be guilty of sexual harassment if I sent a message to a student with a subject line reading "My Penis is very mad at you?"
Of course you would, if it was an unsolicited email with no reference to a source material. When Rebecca wrote and said "My vagina is very mad at you," it was in an obvious reference to "The Vagina Monologues" and the overall tone of the piece. It is not student-on-teacher sexual harassment for her to write a strongly critical email but begin it in a way which indicates an intent towards good-natured discussion. And I'd even go further to say that if you replied to Rebecca's email with that very line, it wouldn't be sexual harassment, but a reference to her original email.
2. Would I be fired if I told a female student she thinks with her vagina?
Yes you would. Fortunately, Rebecca didn't tell you think with your penis. She mentioned that often men get pigeon-holed by being accused of thinking with their penises, and that "The Vagina Monologues" have, at their core, the intent to eliminate the stigma around the word, for women.
3. Is it really acceptable for a student to send emails to a professor laced with the p-word and the c-word? Is anything off limits at this university? The f-word? The n-word?
Again, context is important here. You wrote about the school's performance of "The Vagina Monologues," and she wrote about the use of those words in the play. Taking it to language beyond the context of the play, and your invocation of racial language, is inflammatory, and your point is lost, sir.
4. Did Chancellor DePaolo's decision to attend the Vagina Monologues send a bad message to our students? Did she legitimate this kind of behavior when she not only attended but was recognized at the event by the Vagina Warriors? Is there any link, here?
Although I know nothing of Chancellor DePaolo, I would say that of course her attendance sends a band message to the students of UNCW, if you are of a culture that finds the women's movement, or really any method of women's self-identification, troublesome. Her attendence legitimizes open discussions (something that I'd always hoped would exist on university campus, but perhaps I'm a bit Utopian about that). Or maybe she just wanted to take in the school's version of a show that has been shown on Broadway... I dunno.
5. In her message, Rebecca equated her vagina with her self. Rather than saying “I am very mad” she said “My vagina is very mad.” Don’t rapists look at a woman and see a vagina, not a person? Isn’t Rebecca reinforcing the rapist’s view of a woman?
This is the only halfway legitimate point in your column. Still inflammatory, but you make a decent point. Again, I'd point you to the context of the show, which seeks to allow women to change their attitudes towards social stigma surrounding the vagina. She used it in an attempt at humor and humanization, not de-humanization.
6. In 2001, a student accused me of libel for implying that her speech was "bigoted," unintelligent," and "immature." Do you remember searching my email account because my "abusive" speech was sent via our campus email system? Well, I feel the same way about Rebecca's speech. Will you punish me by reading my email again?
Obviously, I don't know anything about the previous situation, but the fact that you've been accused of inflammatory language before goes a long way in reinforcing that you are possibly on the wrong side of the fence on this one.
7. Will you charge Rebecca with sexual harassment so that men and women will be treated equally at UNCW? You do care about equality, don't you?
This is asinine. You now want the school to take action against a student because she disagreed with you. Now you want to accuse her of sexual harassment just to make a smarmy point. There was nothing in that letter which harassed you in any way (the only way it would make it more difficult for you to advance in your job is if it became public and painted you in a certain way, but you were the one who took it public, and it doesn't make your workplace a hostile one just because someone writes you a letter that disagrees with you.
Apropos of my post yesterday on the Right's infringement on the progress of the women's movement, this is just another example of conservatives choosing to stereotype women who speak their mind as irrational, hysterical, and somehow deficient intellectually. Instead of engaging Rebecca on the facts, the Professor attempts to delegitimize her point of view by delegitimizing her. It is bullyish, it is baseless, and it is wrong.