Date: 1/29/18 7:30 pm
From: Krystyna 00 (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Re: Sexual harassment. Perhaps too offensive.
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-------- Original message --------
From: Jack Rogers <jack...>
Date: 1/29/18 9:49 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: Wayne Forsythe <wforsythe...>
Cc: Frank Enders <fkenders...>, Carolina Birds <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Re: Sexual harassment. Perhaps too offensive.

I'll have no comment as to the relevance of the "rant", but if anyone else was curious like me, it came in at 1252 words (6847 characters).

On Mon, Jan 29, 2018 at 9:39 PM, Wayne Forsythe <wforsythe...><mailto:<wforsythe...>> wrote:
My, my, could someone please tell me what in the hell Mr. Enders rant, has to do with birds and or the Carolinabirds listserv? Surely, at the very least, this post is not appropriate for this venue!

Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 29, 2018, at 9:07 PM, Frank Enders (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...><mailto:<carolinabirds...>> wrote:

I am a bit afraid to bring this up.

But, when I heard that a professor who used to grope women's breasts on campus actually got a secretary fired from the university, since she punched him out in the elevator when he assaulted her, I have had a bee in my bonnet.

I knew, almost firsthand, that he groped a grad student's wife, also, but, like the Protestant theologian, I wasn't a woman, and I was not close to these women, so I thought it was none of my business. It continues to rankle me that there are memorials to people who assaulted women.

A dean told me, some months ago, that the school did not wish to take the opportunity of an award in the groper's name away from field biologists. I myself, were I a university official, would not take "blood money", or would give it back. But, as I already said, I had not put any money into the funds; I had really wondered about the plaudits laid on the groper online. And, the Wildlife Resources Commission, which has an award in the name of the groper, made no reply to my phone call.

I know I am not the only person who was aware of this abuse, but I am fairly slow, AND powerless.

But, I merely had contempt for a man who was not going below the belt (so, not as bad as the Michigan State University problem), and I actually felt sad for the young men who probably were subsequently treated badly by the young women (who would trust men, given the abuse?).

The issue that rankles is getting an abused woman fired, for defending her own honor. I have lived in poverty in spite of all my education. Jobs, money, are very important to me, more so than my honor.

The firing incident was described to me by a female professor, now about 98 years old, and the issue sneaks up to the surface of my brain whenever, as so frequently happens, in the last year, another abuser is outed.

I thought about asking the one person I know had contributed funds, but I do not know him firsthand, and he is around 90 now.

I have always thought that the evil people as well as the good, all are universally saved by the God so many worship (with no repentance needed--this is an omnipotent, good God). And, the evil so many people do does not always live to be known after their deaths.

What has held me back was, first, that, in general, college professors were simply not getting in trouble for molesting students. And, second, that I have had such a visceral disgust and anger at the worthless research and execrable behavior of this individual, that I figured I not only was too angry to be rational, but also would be condemned for bringing something up which most people did not want to hear, let alone have to clean up.

And, third, the professor who informed me of the retaliatory firing was not one of my favorites, another reason I was not up and at 'em earlier. I disliked her hard attitude. But, she was an early campaigner for equal pay and opportunity for women in higher education, and the experiences my one daughter had at work and elsewhere probably helped drive me to this. The professor is, I am sure, a very reliable source. My own wife has described a professor in a school of education who took each of his female student teachers out to dinner---she just did not go too dinner.

I also thought "let he who is without sin cast the first stone", and that I also engaged in sexist assaults, but that was when I was 11 or 12, not 40 to 60 years old. Maybe the miscreant I am describing was eventually ashamed of and regretted his behavior, as I do (actually, for both his and my behavior).

The homosexual assaults and harassment which I suffered as a young man were, mercifully, not much to write about; but, the fact is, young men that hitch-hike are more vulnerable, and could be blamed for their own misfortunes, so much more than female students and secretaries in a university.

It may be sexist to write that last sentence, but I hardly care. It does not harm anybody if a man customarily walks on the roadway side of the sidewalk used by a woman, and men should defend women, since men typically are physically stronger.

I both care and do not care. Others, more influential or conerned than I might do something about it. What to do?

For me, the best outcome would be for people to get together and make contributions to the Wildlife Resources Commission and the university to substitute for the "dirty money" honoring what has to be called a dirty person. Provided the institutions would agree to such.

When Dr. Nassar of MSU was described by the judge as "devious", I had that twinge of recognition of the typical behavior of the crooked uxorious professor, which contributed to my longheld disgust.

If people want to forgive me, they might want to remember my beloved mother. After World War II, in Germany, the same man was the gauleiter who had told my mother that he could have my Catholic mother disappear, "and nobody would know anything about it". But, my mother also got her payback when she was loaded on the last boat out of Genoa, and described as a Jew. (She had not only had the temerity to tell the gauleiter that Germany was a democracy and her father had a right to be charged or released from jail, but she had also urged the Jews in her hometown to leave now, before the Nazis killed them all.)

Just another brick in the wall, and probably both men, like so many in history, have simply gotten away with crimes.

But, history, meaning NC birding history, is not the past--it is not even over. What to do?

I am old and tired, too busy to feed birds this winter, or to go out birding. That might be my problem. Not enough fun. I have always wanted to improve things, continuous quality improvement. But, I also agree that conservatives want to repeat old mistakes, while liberals wish to make new mistakes.

This matter of "awards" in the name of an evil groper is very much like the issue of statues and streets in the name of slaveholders. Calling such problems "controversial" does not help. Even the uproar about the holocaust has not stopped Rwanda, Yugoslavia, Syria and Myanmar. We cannot stop major problems, but, perhaps there is some solution for smaller problems.
It will be up to women to decide how offensive the awards are, just as it has to be up to people of color to decide how offensive historical figures have today become.

Talk about "controversial" stuff! Wish we had talked, decades ago, but I do like to sweep stuff under the carpet. I guess those involved would rather talk about what they enjoy, and ignore the dirt.

My apologies if I am offensive in any way, now, or in the past or future. Hopefully our problems will be less, in the future.

I am just asking if others had not noticed the problem. (Whenever people in Germany and Austria say they did not know, I always wonder how my mother noticed?)

Frank Enders, Halifax, NC

Jack Rogers
Mt Pleasant, SC
My Flickr page< >

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