The elevator joke that landed this professor in hot water
Last month, Richard Ned Lebow, a professor of political theory at King’s College, found himself in a crowded elevator with Simona Sharoni, a professor of gender studies at Merrimack College, during an academic conference in San Francisco. Sharoni asked Lebow what floor he needed. He replied: “ladies’ lingerie.”
It was a stupid joke—a “standard gag line,” Lebow later explained, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. But Sharoni didn’t think it was funny. And so she filed a complaint with the International Studies Association, whose conference they were both attending.
An ISA committee found that Lebow had indeed violated the group’s code of conduct.
Lebow tried to resolve the matter himself, and wrote to Sharoni. He said he had no intention of making her feel uncomfortable, but stopped short of a full apology…