College Student Silenced by Professor’s Academic Freedom

Dear Liz,

I have a professor who has recently been talking about a sexual assault case. The perpetrator was a woman and a school guidance counselor who plead guilty to four counts of felonious sexual assault. The victim was a 14-year-old boy who was later diagnosed with PTSD and depression, after the assaults took place. Three college professors wrote a character statement for the defense team supporting the perpetrator. The president of the college fired the professors for supporting her. My professor personally knows the perpetrator and keeps telling my class how she is a good person and how her life is ruined because of this case. He also keeps telling us how it is stupid that the professors got fired. He expressed how this “one bad thing” is going to ruin her life. During this discussion in class I was getting really upset, but I did not feel comfortable speaking up. My roommate and I both have him as a professor, but in different classes. The next day my roommate came back from his class crying, because she was so upset about the conversation he had with her class. Later that day, my professor sent both classes an incredibly biased news article, basically expressing support for the three professors and the defendant. I think it is incredibly ignorant of my teacher to talk about the case the way he has been. However, I do not know how to address this problem. Please help! Continue reading

Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wallets: Why Patriarchy Relies on Taking From Both

In mid-December, a student wrote in seeking advice on how to convince her boyfriend that the wage gap and rape culture were real (How Do I Convince My Boyfriend that the Wage Gap and Rape Culture are Real?  December 2016). I passed along the challenge (re: the wage gap issue) to my students, and as expected, they did a wonderful job.  With their permission, I’ve taken from their responses and incorporated them within.  I have also contributed my own understanding of patriarchy and rape culture.  To all of my students who help me and their classmates learn each day, thank you, and well done! Continue reading

How Do I Convince My Boyfriend that the Wage Gap and Rape Culture are Real?

Dear Liz,

I was showing my boyfriend the article and essay I am writing for your Women and Gender Studies class. We got into an argument because he said that the wage gap between men and women isn’t real, and that rape culture doesn’t exist in the United States. How do I convince him he’s wrong? Thanks. Continue reading