Similarly, some professors might not want to attend parties at the homes of other professors who are cohabitating outside of marriage, or involved in homosexual relationships. They may have young children they do not want exposed to such lifestyles at an early age. Perhaps they should not have to spend money for a baby sitter just to keep from getting a negative performance evaluation.
Hypothetical situations aside, I have a very real reason for avoiding these kinds of gatherings. Some years ago, a fellow professor began harboring the delusion that I was trying to poison her with tear gas. Do you consider it wise to require both of us to attend the same social gatherings? Or, put another way, is it safe to combine a) a delusional faculty member, b) a person whom she thinks is trying to poison her, and c) alcohol? This is probably the easiest question I have asked so far.
Many years ago we hired a feminist professor who occasionally shared details of her sexual exploits in social situations. After a couple of drinks, she once offered me an all-to-detailed account of committing adultery and engaging in oral sex on a public beach. Should I be compelled to socialize with someone I consider to be vulgar? Is it my fault for being narrow-minded or judgmental with regard to adulterous acts in public settings?
Legal issues aside, such infinitely malleable criteria cannot pass the straight face test. The idea that a feminist department chair (who has since finished her term) would treat her party invitations like state subpoenas is both patently amusing and somewhat sad. Demanding rigid conformity by using the power of the State to manipulate the social lives of subordinates is certainly inconsistent with feminist notions of privacy, choice, and individual autonomy.
Henry Kissinger once observed that, in academic life, the politics are so petty because the stakes are so low. I would advise the UNC administration to nullify these inappropriate, immoral, and illegal evaluations. Otherwise, the stakes may soon be much higher.
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