Harris noted, "Harassment policies are frequently used to suppress any speech that someone might find offensive." William Paterson University of New Jersey reprimanded a graduate student and employee who sent an e-mail to a professor in which he objected to a movie about two aging lesbians -- he called them "perversions" -- after the professor complained that she felt threatened by the e-mail. In December, after FIRE got involved, the school revoked the reprimand -- but the reprimand never should have happened.
The AAUW study even listed someone calling you "gay or lesbian" to be sexual harassment, if the words are unwanted. This should scare you: 57 percent of students polled want their college to set up an Internet site where they can make anonymous accusations of sexual harassment. This reinforces the strong sense I get that the AAUW doesn't think students have an obligation to fend for themselves.
Worse, universities are instilling students with the belief that they have an "absolute right not to be offended," Harris noted -- which means that when they graduate, "they're in for a rude awakening in the real world."
The AAUW also trivializes criminal behavior by lumping it into the sexual harassment category. The study didn't refer to rape as sexual harassment, but the AAUW released the study with a statement by a student who said she had been raped. Rape -- that's a felony. But she talked about it as if it were not a matter for the authorities, but for her school's women's resource center, 24-hour-hotline and free counseling.
One sophomore noted, "There's a guy in all my classes who consistently touches me in a sexual way that I really don't appreciate." What is her major? Victimhood.
Forget anonymous tip lines and counseling. Get angry, and stand up for yourself. If a guy grabs a body part he has no business touching, you yell, warn him to stop. Complain to your professor. If that doesn't stop the brute, punch him. Trust me. It works.