A law professor at Howard University has been found guilty of “sexual harassment” for including in one of his exams a question about a hypothetical legal case involving a bikini wax.
According to the Daily Mail, Reginald Robinson got into trouble after two students complained about the following question:
Although Robinson didn’t lose his job over this question, the Daily Mail reports that he now has to undergo sensitivity training, have all of his future exam questions screened by a staff member, and have his future classes be supervised.
Now, don’t get me wrong — Robinson’s question definitely was kind of weird. I mean, just how much bikini-wax-related research did this guy have to do in order to write a question like this, and were those detailed waxing descriptions even really necessary? Oh, and then there’s this: Just how in hell is anyone staying asleep while she’s getting hair ripped out of her body? Is it meant to be inferred that the tea “A” drank may have been drugged?
Still — weird or not — calling this question “sexual harassment” is completely insane, and that becomes perfectly clear when you look at the specifics of these students’ complaint.
According to the Daily Mail, one of the reasons the students complained was that they said they felt that Robinson was asking them to disclose whether or not they had had a bikini wax themselves — even though it was a multiple-choice question, and it’s really not clear how they could have inferred such a thing. Maybe I’m missing something, I don’t know.
What I do know, however, is that their other reason for complaining was even more ridiculous. According to The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, as reported by the Daily Mail, the students were upset by the use of the word “genitals.” Yes — genitals.
News flash: Law jobs, by their very nature, deal with things that are illegal — and some illegal things are quite disturbing to think about.
Look, kids: If you want to be a lawyer, then you’re going to have to be prepared to hear about “genitals” from time to time. (In fact, if you’re going to be a human being of any kind, then you’re going to have to be prepared to hear about “genitals” from time to time.) Did the exam question describe a potentially triggering scenario? One that could easily make anyone uncomfortable to think about? Yes, but if you want to become a lawyer, you have to know how to deal with uncomfortable, triggering situations. It’s kind of part of the job description.
As dumb as this is, this is far from the first time that we’ve seen this kind of idiotic thinking on a college campus. Last year, I wrote a piece about Oxford University’s undergraduate law professors allowing students to leave class before lessons about rape or violent crime if the students feared that those lessons would be too triggering.
Newsflash: Law jobs, by their very nature, deal with things that are illegal — and some illegal things are quite disturbing to think about. If you can’t handle thinking about disturbing things, then that’s fine. No one is forcing you to go down that path, but if you can’t handle hearing about genitals, then you probably can’t handle a career in law . . . and probably not one as a preschool teacher, either.