Lesbian Feminist Prof Accused of Sexually Harassing Gay Man

Otherwise known as the best Title IX investigation ever.

Avital Ronell, a lesbian feminist anti-Israel professor who specializes in famous gibberish, was accused of sexually harassing a gay male grad student. A number of lefty academic celebs, including Judith Butler, who once said that Hamas and Hezbollah are progressive organizations, rushed to her defense. Also celebrity lefty Slavoj Zizek But the verdict is in. And it isn't good.

 An 11-month Title IX investigation headed by NYU’s Office of Equal Opportunity found Professor of German and Comparative Literature Avital Ronell responsible for “inappropriate physical contact” and sending sexual texts to former graduate student Nimrod Reitman. Ronell has been suspended for the upcoming academic year for the policy violations.

Ronell — a leading feminist scholar — was Reitman’s doctoral advisor. In the report, he alleges that over the course of three years, starting in the spring of 2012, the professor nonconsensually touched his body and kissed his cheeks and lips on many occasions. On one occasion before he officially began his doctorate program, Reitman alleged that in Ronell’s apartment in Paris, she “… touched his crotch over his clothes, with her buttocks, by pushing her body into his.” Among descriptions of similar encounters, he said Ronell made him lie in her bed, refused to work with him if he did not reciprocate and emailed and called him constantly.

That part couldn't be proven, but the text messages are inappropriate enough.

However, the investigation did find sufficient evidence for inappropriate verbal contact, such as  “inappropriate” texts to Reitman over the three-year period that called him her “baby love angel” and said “I wish I could kidnap you,” through dozens of emails and some voicemails from Ronell.

The report lists 44 other similar statements sent by Ronell to Reitmen, including “now let’s cuddle like cubs,” and “time for your midday kiss. My image during meditation: we’re on the sofa, your head on my lap, stroking your forehead, playing softly with your hair, soothing you, headache gone. Yes?”

Ronell apparently had some major boundary issues.

Reitman told investigators that Ronell would require him to take her to the opera, out to dinner, to visit her mother and have his nails painted.

Here's the Butler/Zizek letter on Ronell's behalf.

"If she were to be terminated or relieved of her duties, the injustice would be widely recognized and opposed. The ensuing loss for the humanities, for New York University, and for intellectual life during these times would be no less than enormous and would rightly invite widespread and intense public scrutiny. We ask that you approach this material with a clear understanding of the long history of her thoughtful and successive mentorship, the singular brilliance of this intellectual, the international reputation she has rightly earned as a stellar scholar in her field, her enduring commitments to the university, and the illuminated world she has brought to your campus where colleagues and students thrive in her company and under her guidance."

A clear understanding indeed.

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