Nancy Snow, Philosophy Chair, Livid Over Marquette Warrior Criticism of Politically Correct Instructor
We were just at lunch at the Tory Hill Cafe (in the Law School) with some colleagues and a Political Science job candidate.
We were accosted by Nancy Snow, Acting Chair of the Philosophy Department. She said [paraphrasing] “now you are picking on graduate students” in reference to the instructor, one Cheryl Abbate, who is indeed a graduate student.
She added “I’m so mad at you” and added “your student is lying.”
We responded “we have the audio, Nancy.” She repeated “your student is lying.” She further claimed the student should not have recorded the conversation. Suspecting that he was going to be called a liar, he was smart to do so.
We do indeed have the audio, and the quotes we attributed to the instructor are exactly what she said.
As for “picking on a graduate student:” when a department puts a graduate student (or anybody else) in the classroom, in charge of a class, they are responsible for the person acting in a professional manner. Put somebody in a position of power and responsibility and you are responsible when they abuse that power and responsibility.
Excluding certain opinions because they might offend some special interest group, or labeling a student’s views as “homophobic” is unprofessional. Indeed, it’s intolerant.
Snow, to whom the student complained, apparently thought she could blow off the complaint. But then our blog post appeared.
If Abbate in fact told Snow that the student lied about her comments, Abbate is in fact lying. But we do not know firsthand what Abbate told Snow.
In fact, if anybody wants to make an issue of it, we will share the audio with anybody with the authority to deal with the situation whom we trust to keep the student’s identity confidential.
Aside from the audio, it’s easy to see how Abbate would have said what we reported. Her blog is titled “Thoughts from a Vegan Feminist Philosopher.” Some of the stuff seems quirky and bland, such as her criticism for a Catholic parish for having a pig wrestling contest.
Less benign is her essay titled “Yes All Men…Contribute to the Prevalence of Rape.” Yes, it’s a common theme among feminists and Exhibit One of the reality that hard-core feminism is, at root, about sexist antipathy toward males.