People sometimes ask me what it’s like to work with the biggest bunch of unhinged lunatics in higher education in America. I used to be able to give them a serious answer. But I can no longer do that because the title of most unhinged institution has slipped away from the UNC system and landed in the great State of Ohio. This is all thanks to administrators at Shawnee State University who have now been sued for punishing a professor because he refused to provide public affirmation to an emotionally unstable student. Specifically, he refused to heed to a male student’s demand to be referred to as a woman, complete with feminine titles and pronouns. The story of how the lawsuit unfolded is simply astonishing.
Philosophy professor Nicholas Meriwether handled the situation exactly the way I would have. When a student first informed me she was attempting to be a male, I simply made sure to use her preferred first name, thus avoiding the pronoun issue altogether. Similarly, Meriwether offered to use his student’s first or last name instead of using gendered titles or pronouns. But neither the student nor the university was willing to accept that compromise, thus forcing the professor to join in the student’s denial of reality.
The manner in which the controversy was initiated strongly suggests that the student’s emotional issues are not limited to suffering from Gender Identity Disorder, or GID. In January, during a political philosophy class, Meriwether simply responded to the male student’s question by saying, “Yes, sir.” This is just one example of how professional and respectful this professor is with all of his students. He uses “sir” or “ma’am” or alternately “Mr.” or “Miss” followed by their last name. In other words, Meriwether is a true professional who demonstrates respect for his students at all times.
In contrast, the student, who approached Meriwether stated that he was transgender and demanded that the professor refer to him as a woman with feminine titles and pronouns, is clearly unhinged. When Meriwether did not instantly agree, the student lost control of his emotions and began circling around Meriwether like a bully in a schoolyard preparing to start a fistfight. He topped it all off by getting in his professor’s face and telling him, “Then I guess this means I can call you a c*nt.”
Before walking away, the student promised to get Meriwether fired if he did not agree to all of his demands. Shortly thereafter, the student filed a complaint with the university, which launched a formal investigation. Far from resolving the matter, it led to the present litigation.
Shortly after the investigation was initiated, Meriwether repeated his offer to call the student by his first or last name only. Unsurprisingly, university officials refused to side with the reasonable adult, and instead sided with the emotionally disturbed student. Next, they formally charged Meriwether, alleging that he “effectively created a hostile environment” for the student. A warning in his personnel file threatening “further corrective actions” soon followed.
One wonders what “further corrective actions” will be next for professor Meriwether. Perhaps Shawnee State University President Jeff Bauer can have Professor Meriwether tied down to a stretcher and interrogated during the next hearing. Instead of witnesses, they could just bring in four men and ask Professor Meriwether, “How many women do you see?” They could keep him tied down and subject him to torture until he truly believed there were four women standing there. That is, unless the party of accusers decided there were five.
Of course, it would be grounds for dismissal if Professor Meriwether forced his students to give objectively wrong answers in class. Tragically, in the upside down world that is Shawnee State University, professors are actually being forced by their students to make objectively wrong statements in the name of gender identity politics.
I’ve said for years that at many educational institutions the lunatics are now running the asylum. That is no longer the whole truth. Now, it has become clear that the totalitarians are demanding that the lunatics be allowed to run the asylum — and that they should be immune from criticism while running it.
It has also become clear that sending your children to Shawnee State University or financially supporting the school in any way is a morally indefensible course of action.