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Politically Correct Zoology 218

flynny51 writes "Dr. Dylan Evans of the School of Medicine, University College, Cork, Ireland, has had a two-year period of intensive monitoring and counseling imposed upon him and as a result his application for tenure is likely to be denied. His offense — sharing an article from a peer-reviewed journal on fellatio in fruit bats."


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Politically Correct Zoology

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  • Fuck Puritans. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Sunday May 16, 2010 @07:09PM (#32231030) Journal

    Seriously, grow up. As the paper in question demonstrates, the animal kingdom clearly has at least as many kinks as us humans do. It's not "sinful." Far from it -- if you believe in a deity, it seems obvious that this deity heartily approves of sex in all kinds of variety.

    Or, if you can't deal with that, fine, believe whatever you want -- but stop retarding scientific and social progress with your puritanical ideals.

  • by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @07:34PM (#32231210) Homepage Journal

    This government is demonstrating it is still in the dark ages, where idiotic canned morals and ethics based on superstitious and largely fictional books still dictate the rules of state.

    It's going to be a long, long haul getting rid of the "Sky Daddy" moralizers. Everywhere. In the meantime, the religiots will continue to look for contemporary alternatives to burning at the stake. Ruining one's career, and to some extent one's life... a fairly effective replacement, I'd say. A lifetime of suffering coupled with loss of ability to teach what one knows in an atmosphere of respect and personal and professional growth.

    Fellatio in bats. What should be extremely interesting, is instead a hair trigger for idiots.

    Sometimes I can go days without having to realize just how much I despise religion. And then something like this happens.

    By the way, IRISH MORONS: Sex is good. Violence is bad. Imposed government/social censorship is MORONIC. Freedom for people to view what they CHOOSE and make their own decisions is the ONLY correct path through this mess. Is that convenient for everyone? Will everyone feel good about it? No. But it is still the BEST path. Because freedom of knowledge for everyone totally trumps anyone's moral qualms.

    Teach your kids what you want to teach them. What you think is right. But don't attempt to sanitize the rest of the world in the shape of your morals and ethics. My kids are not your kids and you have NO right to impose your morals and ethics upon them. That's MY job. And I teach my kids that sex is good, and violence is bad. I'm not in the least interested in your goat-age, superstition-driven stupidity. Thanks.

  • Re:Details (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Securityemo ( 1407943 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @07:38PM (#32231236) Journal
    Silly. If a person lies in such amounts about something like this, the "case" should just be dropped. If he has evidence, he should sue her for slander, or whatever the equivalent legal process is in Ireland.
  • by smallfries ( 601545 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @07:39PM (#32231242) Homepage

    For which she provided no proof, and which were only mentioned in passing at the end of the complaint letter as an attempt to bolster her case. It also notes that the external examiners decided that the email exchanges between them that followed cast doubt on these allegation and did not uphold them.

    In fact the only part of the complaint that was upheld was that he showed her a published peer-reviewed article in part of a debate on biology.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 16, 2010 @07:42PM (#32231266)

    You need to read the detail - an investigation cleared him of sexual harrassment. The action taken against him is based on a paragraph in the investigation's findings where it states that the investigators found it reasonable that the complainant was offended by being shown the article as a joke when alone with the accused. The accused claims that they were not alone and the article was shown in the context of an ongoing acedemic debate.

    The fact that the complainant's husband seems to be a high ranking official at the university makes me think that this guy could well be being treated unfairly.

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @08:05PM (#32231410)

    Is there some objective definition for "being creepy" in the workplace?

    Creepiness is in the eye of the beholder. And absent a documented violation of some code of professional conduct, it's just the opinion of the accusor. So if such accusations are taken too seriously, it enables the least tolerant individuals to define the culture of the workplace. That's not a good thing, in my opinion.

  • by scotch ( 102596 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @08:09PM (#32231428) Homepage
    Way to move the goal posts.
  • by HungryHobo ( 1314109 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @08:46PM (#32231688)

    As you'd imagine he's not crazy about his career being fucked up by "sexually harassed co-worker" on his record with no warning or recourse.

    simply saying that everyone was within their rights is true but at the same time it would also be true if she'd complained about an overly friendly handshake- she'd have every right to avail herself of a standard procedure to file a complaint and the president of the university would have every right to determine any course of action.

  • by HungryHobo ( 1314109 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @08:50PM (#32231702)

    Is restraining someone against their will a violent act?
    I'd say it is.

    unless you can do that then

    1: many mental patients couldn't really be helped.

    2: enforcing punishment for laws against harmful but non-violent crimes becomes almost impossible.

  • by HungryHobo ( 1314109 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @09:25PM (#32231936)

    1:He wasn't screwing the person.
    2:This wasn't an undergraduate or student of any kind.

    This was another academic at the university.

    And the medical faculty at that.

    If a professor in the School of Medicine can't walk into another academics office and show them a peer reviewed paper about fruitbats that pretty much rules out showing them more shocking papers about anal warts and STD's.

    He also showed it to a few other people on the way over and the other person in the office at the time.

    You can shit on academic freedom all you want but if doctors can't talk about peer reviewed scientific papers which might embarrass the fragile sensibilities of someone where they work then they're not going to be able to do their job for fear of being accused of destroying the mind of the office wallflower.

  • by dasunt ( 249686 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @09:30PM (#32231982)

    This is not everything that he has been accusing of.

    " According to her statement, these include over-enthusiastic hugging and cheek-kissing, unwanted compliments about her physical appearance, lying to her about his qualifications, and spreading rumours about the special nature of his relationship with her and her husband."

    I read that part, but bear in mind that the investigation does not show any collaborations of these claims.

    He strikes me as a doctor who is overenthusiastic in his field, and doesn't understand that others may not share his same interest in behavioral psychology.

    She strikes me as someone was was deeply offended by the article, decided his interest in it was creepy, and recast any prior experiences with him in that light.

    But I could be wrong. All I have is the letters that were posted.

  • by Scrameustache ( 459504 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @09:45PM (#32232068) Homepage Journal

    How do you argue that violence is inherently bad?

    Can you think of a situation where violence is not inherently bad? I can think of many where it is the lesser of two evils, or just punishment, an understandable response, etc., but not any where it's actually something I would consider "good".

    CPR is a very violent, lifesaving act. When done correctly it usually breaks ribs.

    Also, slicing people open with a knife is usually a bad idea, and yet some very smart people have distinguished careers doing just that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 16, 2010 @09:47PM (#32232086)

    She laughed? So? Doesn't necessarily mean she was amused. Nervous laughter [wikipedia.org]

    And personal vendetta? Oh please. I read all the linked documents.

    Dr. Evans sexually harassed a colleague who put up with it until she'd had enough. The investigators basically dismissed every part of her complaint save the bat fellatio paper incident that was the last straw. Dr. Evans of course is all sweetness and light and "I don't have the slightest idea how she took that to be harassment." and "I offered to apologize" and then "My doctor put me on a course of valium as I'm so stressed out because of all of this." (so now he's playing the victim, poor baby.) And the letter from the guy at the Irish Federation of University Teachers is just pathetic.

    Dr. Evans managed to pull the wool over the eyes of everyone save the president of the university who saw through all of the bullshit and slapped Dr. Evans with what amounts to a 2 year probationary period with some sensitivity training. If Dr. Evans pulled a stunt like this in the states he'd have been out on his ass.

    This poses no threat to academic discussion. If someone hasn't been sexually harassing their female colleagues then they're quite safe showing a paper about fellatio in fruit bats to their colleagues.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 16, 2010 @10:02PM (#32232174)


    They threw out everything else because she was LYING and he was able to prove it with EVIDENCE like emails.

  • by mr_mischief ( 456295 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @10:32PM (#32232374) Journal

    I love how you use "like being a dick" to paraphrase how a court would view it. It's funny because it's true. Your response reads like an Onion article or the script for The Daily Show.

    One really difficult situation I've seen a few times is in same-gender sexual harassment. Sometimes gay guy hits on a straight guy or worse hits on a closeted gay guy in public on purpose. I've even seen guys do this to attempt to out someone against his will. Maybe a straight guy makes jokes about another co-worker or fellow student and the target is afraid to complain because that would be seen as effete by the harasser. In younger students, around middle school, boys tease each other about what they may or may not have done sexually yet. If a gay guy asks someone out who's not willing and the target makes sexual harassment complaints, there's a possible counter-complaint about homophobia and possibly about sexual harassment based on homophobia. If the guy being hit on is in the closet, the investigation of the complaint may out him as surely as the original harassment. Teasing people about their sexuality or their effectiveness at finding sex partners is clearly sexual harassment, but it's often overlooked and underreported. It's often embarrassing for the victim and not taken seriously by authorities.

    I personally had a problem with a female student sexually harassing me back in high school. I had to contact the equal rights officer for the district, remind him that men were just as equal as victims as women were as athletes and students, and threaten a lawsuit before the school even attempted to alter her behavior. I had previously complained to the vice principal in charge of student discipline and the school principal, and it was still a nearly daily issue until that point.

    I find it sad in this day and age of supposed equality that men's treatment of women is closely watched and critiqued, but men against men or women against men isn't even given credence once it's been brought to light. That combined with many people believing allegations and not questioning accusers or waiting for evidence, especially when it's a woman or child making the accusations (or as likely someone making allegations on behalf of a child) makes it a dangerous time to be a man.

  • by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @10:41PM (#32232474)

    Sometimes I can go days without having to realize just how much I despise religion. And then something like this happens.

    How exactly does religion enter into a potential sexual harassment lawsuit?

    What should be extremely interesting, is instead a hair trigger for idiots.

    Yes, that would be interesting. Very, very interesting. It's like they all own a "Jump to Conclusions" mat.

  • But does it really make violence "inherently not bad"?

    No need to go that far. There's no such thing as "good" or "bad" - just "good from my point of view" or "bad from my point of view."

    To you, bacon and eggs is a good breakfast. To the chicken, it's genocide, and to the pig, it's murder.

    You might enjoy "sport fishing". You say "I do catch-and-release, see how good I am?" The fish would be more likely to see it as wanton torture. You're inflicting pain on an animal that did nothing to you solely for your pleasure.

  • by Blue Stone ( 582566 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @11:05PM (#32232716) Homepage Journal

    I guess the lesson is, if you really want to harass someone and get away with it, use the HR department as a proxy.

  • Re:He's a Jerk (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @11:39PM (#32233004)

    In any setting there are expectations of a professional level of behaviour, and he chose not to abide by them.

    This guy is a Lecturer in Behavioural Science at a "supposed" School of Medicine!! What do you think his ***profession*** requires of him? What do you think he's paid to do? Is he required to discuss morally safe topics? Is he required to only talk about the Little House on the Prairie and other PG-Safe topics? What would be the point?

    The transmission of diseases rarely limits itself to PG-13 safe topics. Vectors of disease transmissions are rarely that palatable, or clean. A behavioral scientist in a school of medicine is, of course, going to study and lecture about abnormal behaviors. Whatever it is: Eating feces, promiscuity, infections, fellatios, incest, etc. I wouldn't expect anything else from the talks of a behavioral scientist in a "supposed" School of Medicine.

    No one in academia can claim not to understand where the line is drawn when interacting with other colleagues.

    This word "academia", as accurate as it may be in this case, loses the most salient underlying context. This is not an Art School, or even an English Lit School, the Science of Medicine is an infinitely more practical, pragmatic, and less clean professional environment, than what you would normally find in other Ivory Towers. And for good reasons. When someone gets squimish in Art History, nothing bad happens, but when someone gets squimish in Medicine, people die.

    "It was just a joke" has long since ceased to be an adequate excuse for offensive behaviour.

    And yes, the accused is taking issue with the "bad joke" interpretation. He's even taking to task one of the investigators for some of the things he said during the investigation. One would think that a panel of faculty members would be a little more willing to find out the facts, and interview witnesses (which they haven't done yet), instead of just editorializing their personal opinions and rendering subjective interpretations.

  • Re:Summary failure (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HungryHobo ( 1314109 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:42AM (#32236302)

    That sounds all very convincing except for the fact that when the external board looked into it Dr Evans was able to produce actual evidence such as emails which contradicted her account of what happened solidly enough that they threw out everything except the fruitbat paper.

    also your interpretation doesn't make much sense as was pointed out in the final letter:

    "On the one hand she seems to be complaining that Dr Evans was "manipulating"
    her to establish himself in a good light with her husband. Yet on the other hand
    she accuses Dr Evans of sexual harassment. Such a combination is surely
    unlikely to say the least."

"Everyone's head is a cheap movie show." -- Jeff G. Bone