Anger Over Lecture Titled "Against 'Sexual''Assault''Awareness'"

Anger Over Lecture Titled "Against 'Sexual''Assault''Awareness'"

May 05, 2013

Students at the State University of New York at Geneseo are outraged at a professor who scheduled a lecture entitled "Against 'Sexual' 'Assault' 'Awareness.'" Theodore Everett, a professor of philosophy, says students jumped to conclusions without knowing what the talk was about. In response, a student at Geneseo created a petition calling on the administration to reaffirm the university's dedication to sexual assault awareness and denounce Everett's talk. The petition garnered 1,690 signatures in 30 hours. In a statement to the school, President Christopher C. Dahl said: "Geneseo knows where it stands on issues of sexual assault. We abhor rape and sexual violence of all kinds. We take seriously and will investigate all charges of sexual assault and sexual harassment. At the same time, however, Geneseo defends academic freedom and the right to offer a wide variety of opinions on campus." Everett says the purpose of his lecture was "to try out some dissenting arguments on a topic of extreme importance and great timeliness." The abstract of his talk states "the sexual assault awareness movement counts too many borderline cases (for example, badgering somebody into letting you give them a kiss) as true sexual assault, when they are not really sexual and not really assault. This diverts attention away from the truly damaging core cases of rape and sexual assault that everybody cares about and toward borderline cases that no one believes are equally important, even though they also shouldn™t happen." The lecture took place as scheduled on April 24.

Anger Over Scare Quotes
Carl Straumsheim
Inside Higher Ed
April 25, 2013

Sexual Harassment/Assault