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08/08/2014

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Kathleen Lowrey

This seems potentially like a good illustration of "bad climate hurts men too". I even wonder if Barnett could build a legal strategy out of it. Going to bat for a mentee against an administrative decision could have been nobly motivated. That he didn't twig to the fact that doing so by slut-shaming a female grad student was egregiously sexist, wildly inappropriate, and an all-round horrible idea might possibly speak to the degree to which he was under the influence of a toxic workplace. He could argue that the very fact he imagined faculty colleagues and university admin might find this kind of document compelling says as much about the institutional climate as it does about him. The fact that the university fired him wouldn't help this argument, of course. But the fact that the student in question had to threaten to bring a lawsuit against the university previous to their making that move would.

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