Stay Classy, CU “Visiting Conservative Scholar”

Dr. Steven Hayward.

Dr. Steven Hayward.

As the Boulder Daily Camera's Sarah Kuta reports, the University of Colorado's "visiting conservative scholar," Dr. Steven Hayward, who we've discussed a few times in this space, is indeed giving CU students badly-needed exposure to political opinions not generally found on traditionally liberal college campuses. That was the purpose, after all, in GOP kingpin turned CU President Bruce Benson and Republican CU Regents creating the "visiting conservative scholar" program to begin with. To expose college kids to conservative views.

If anything, it appears that Dr. Hayward is doing his job a little too well:

Student leaders at the University of Colorado are speaking out against Steven Hayward, the university's first-ever visiting scholar in conservative thought, for statements he made in a recent interview and in a blog post…

The student leaders pointed to a post Hayward wrote on the blog PowerLine in October titled "Off on a gender-bender," in which he described his discomfort and confusion after attending an orientation for new faculty members about gender identity.

Hayward poked fun at members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the same blog by writing: "LGBTQRSTUW (or whatever letters have been added lately)." [Pols emphasis]

He also wrote that he doubted any students had ever told a professor about their preferred gender pronouns or asked to be called by a different name.

If turning the acronym "LGBT" into a gratuitous alphabet soup, a slur which seems more at home on the Rush Limbaugh radio show than the work of a professor at our state's flagship university, isn't enough for you, it gets even better. Check out how Dr. Hayward recommends CU philosophy professors deal with that department's recent sexual harassment scandal:

Hayward suggested that victims should deal with their harasser directly.

"Well, I don't know, my mother and my mother-in-law both said, 'You know when those kinds of things happened to us, usually a lot worse 40, 50 years ago when they were in the working world, they slapped people,'"  [Pols emphasis] Hayward said in the interview. "Maybe we ought to get back to that."

Because, you know, slapping people in the workplace goes over so well! Why follow the laws that allow victims to hold their harassers accountable when you can just slap them and be done with it? Despite the superficial allure, something tells us that an outbreak of harasser slapping in workplaces around the country would not be greeted well by Dr. Hayward's financial backers.

Again, Dr. Hayward was brought to the CU campus to help supplement a perceived lack of "conservative thought."

Mission accomplished, though he may result in CU creating more liberals.

68 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. dwyer says:

    Is Paul Krugman a visiting professor in the Business School at CU?  I didn't think so.

  2. ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

    It saddens me that the acronym soup quip offends you so deeply

  3. Progressicat says:

    If I were the visiting Liberal scholar at Liberty University, I would deliver some neo-marxist and atheist stuff that would make their collective heads explode.  That's sort of the point.  Bringing scholars like this in is intended to expose students to ideas that they don't noramally encounter, in a place where ideas are supposed to be freely discuassed, preconceptions are supposed to be challenged, and ideologies deconstructed and rebuilt.

    As for the "slur."  That's what we see.  He's exposing a legitimately (and I think widely) held belief among Conservatives that far more is made of this than need be.  I would challenge the consistency of that, in that Conservatives say that the names we give things have meaning of their own (see marriage), but it's still part of their belief system. As for the slapping, well I found that funny.

    I got to enjoy a course in college that was co-taught by a Liberal and Conservative.  Each class one would make their argument and the other would offer rebuttal.  Sometimes, outsiders would speak– I still remember the long pause after I asked a slavery apologist, who had just listed all the "rights" slaves had, "what about liberty."  It was one of my top three favorites.

    I'm a strong believer that colleges are exactly the place for these discourses to occur (as long as there isn't punishment or personal harassment involved).  I wouldn't have fired Ward Churchill (although the stuff he said was crazy), and I don't have beef with this dude.  I will say, however, that picture shouts Conservative professor.

    • Early WormEarly Worm says:

      I generally have to agree, although I would have fired Ward Churchill for plagiarism. What LGBT groups call themselves is a fluid thing, and I do think that it is a mild poke to point out that they keep adding letters, including "Q" for queer. Twenty years ago, I believe that was considered an offensive, derogatory term. It has apparantly been "reclaimed."  That is great, but it is tough for some of us old farts to keep up sometimes. 

    • Tom says:

      The thing is that the ones expressing outrage are students and faculty that have to deal with this guy. As a visiting endowed chair, none of the usual feedback mechanisms are in play (student surveys, departmental review, etc) and the guy affects students in a fundamental way through their GPA because he's teaching in the classroom. 

      If Hayward was perched in some research sinecure, paid by entirely with private money, there probably wouldn't be so much of a problem. Instead, students are faced with taking courses in which their professor's avowed cluelessness makes the experience less of a discourse in contrasting views and more of a counter-indoctrination. 

      • Progressicat says:

        If his courses are optional or also taught by other instructors, he's only affecting those students (in terms of GPA) who choose to have a course with him.  Having said that, I've had Conservative instructors who had strong opinions that differed greatly from mine.  All they cared about was that I could support my arguments, not that I made theirs (same with the liberal ones, with whom I sometimes disagreed).  If any instructor can't live up to that standard, they should be removed.

        As for indoctrination, that's what my Conservative fellow students often expressed concern about from their Liberal professors.  In college you only get the education you demand. I told them to raise their hand and make a counter argument.

        • Tom says:

          He's already shown that he's dismissive of sexual harassment law and of gender identity. There isn't much evidence that he's going to recognize, much less reward, a well-reasoned argument that disagrees with his personal opinions. 

          If Hayward had mouthed off some well thought out incendiary conservative BS, I could see it as stimulating a discussion. Since it sounds like he hasn't examined his own beliefs well enough to understand his ideological opponents, the fact that he is teaching undergraduates (and apparently graduate constitutional law!?) is pretty disturbing.

  4. dwyer says:

    RE: Progressicat

    "As for the slapping, well I found that funny.:

     

    I don't know who you are, your gender nor your age.  However, I am old enough to know that any woman who slapped her boss when sexual harrassment was legal, lost her job.  I remember when single mothers supporting their families were absolute targets for men who knew that the job was too important  for such women to refuse their advances.  It was not funny then, it is not funny now.

     

    • bullshit!bullshit! says:

      Wow, unexpected thank you dwyer. I didn't find it funny in the least.

    • Progressicat says:

      And I simply disagree.  I found the notion of a stunned harasser getting an immediate response from his or her vicrim entertaining.  That doesn't mean I believe that harassment is acceptable if it can be responded to with violence, that physical violence is appropriate, or that I believed in a myth that fighting back would have had positive results half a century ago.

      If I felt outrage at the deeper social realites of every joke I heard, I'd never have made it through a Cris Rock DVD, and I'd be boycotting Colbert.

      • BlueCat says:

        The point is that many conservatives do see this as an option for dealing with something (sexual harassment) that they see as no big deal. As far as they're concerned, if you're a woman this is just something you should be prepared to deal with. As for the harasser, well boys will be boys and yes they do see this is as a men and girls (regardless of age) thing. 

        It isn't a matter of whether or not the joke is offensive. Like you, I'm not a pearl clutcher by nature. The point is that it illustrates a pretty archaic attitude that is not likely to resonate with most of today's college age kids. It may be a light remark but he isn't presenting it as parody. Pretty sure he means what he says, that today's "girls" should handle it the way mom says she would have.

        I totally agree that it's a good thing to invite conservatives to air their views. I don't know how long ago you went to school but the conservatives of a few decades ago bear little resemblance to those of today. The more of this type who get invited to address today's young people, the less appeal conservatism will have for them so, yeah. Bring 'em on. Get Tank and BWB in there, too.

        And just BTW, if you're too young to remember, widowed and divorced women with children to feed were routinely forced to accept not only inappropriate remarks and "playful" touching but to completely submit to sexual advances in many cases if they didn't want to be fired. The cute slapping was mainly relegated to romantic comedy films. Pretty sure what would technically be physically assaulting a coworker or boss would still get you fired. Just sayin'.

        • Progressicat says:

          Actually, BC, I completed my bachelor's degree five years ago (into my fifth decade, late bloomer).  The class was about six years ago.

          As for the thinking behind the remark and the attitudes it engenders, I think you're bang on.

           

      • dwyer says:

        Look, Progressicat.

        You don't understand the difference between satire and humorist and  the consequence of a person in a position of authority and or trust, exploiting a subordinate sexually.

        As for today, unless victims are wearing a wire, it is sometimes he says/she says…..and attitudes such as yours encourage bullies.

        bullies are not funny, pedophiles are not funny; exploiting women is never funny.

        Perhaps if you stick around for a while, we can help you see the destructive  error of your ways ….

        If you had a daughter (and perhaps you do, god help her) you might be more 

        understanding.

        • Progressicat says:

          All that because I found an element of humorr in something that you don't?

          Physician, heal thyself.

          • BlueCat says:

            I do hope you don't imagine that my remarks mean I join Commandant dwyer in recommending re-education camp for you. surprise

            • dwyer says:

              @BC

              You apparently have an obsessive/compulsive reaction to comment to anything I post, even when your comment makes no sense but only serves to refocus the attention on yourself.

              I have no objection to being the target of this need, but in the long run, it will not help you become a healthier person.

              • BlueCat says:

                So I probably should join Pcat at reeducation camp. Just give me some time to pack. Hey Pcat. I'll bring the catnip if you bring the good canned stuff. 

              • DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

                Obsessive/Compulsive disorder is a serious psychiatric illness that is poorly understood by the lay public. 

                You should be deeply ashamed of yourself for trivializing such a debilitating condition by comparing it to BC's desire to call you on your patronizing tone of moral superiority whenever it rears its ugly head.

          • dwyer says:

            @pc

            There is a long list of things I do not find any humor in…..sexual exploitation is one of them.  

            • Progressicat says:

              My comment had nothing to do with your sense of humor.  Rather it was directed at your sense of entitlement to judge and condemn someone because you disagree with them.  To call them a bully while you tell them how you'll make them right if they just listen to you. To proclaim their profound lack of understanding while at the same time claiming your complete understanding of them– a person who the sum total of your knowledge about consists of a few internet comments.

              • dwyer says:

                @pc,

                We insult each other on this blog, all the time.  You should think about developing a thicker skin and perhaps a more accurate eye.  This is what I posted:

                "attitudes such as yours encourage bullies"

                You were not called a bully.  I absolutely will speak up when I encounter statements that I think need to be refuted. I will reiterate, I don't think there is anything funny about people being exploited.  I think it important, particularly as a CU alum, to denounce the comment made by this visiting professor.  If you don't like that, to use an old army expression, TS.

                Speaking of "old army," for any  of us who knew people who were in the "re-education" camps in SE Asia and who escaped,  re-education camp is not a term to be tossed around lightly.  So, I don't.

                • Progressicat says:

                  Why would I need to develop a thinker skin?  Your posts aren't causing me emotional distress.  If they did, I wouldn't follow up with my own,  And as for growing a thicker skin, isn't that what those who oppose anti-bullying campaigns suggest?  That people need to be "roughed up" to develop thicker skins and make it in the world?  Isn't "grow a thicker skin" just the bully's way of shaming the weakness of his target rather than owning up to his own misbehavior?

                  I've never told you that you were ignorant, or that you need to be taught by your betters how to think, or that you enabled negative behavior (although I just did accuse you of exhibiting it), or that your child would need God's help to survive your poor parenting ability.  It's you that's thin skinned.

              • BlueCat says:

                Dwyer doesn't find anything funny. It's all garment rending and the self righteous indignation of the self designated morally superior. Here comes some more. Wait for it…. 

    • ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

      AGREED.  My mom has some horror storied from her days as an attorney before the profession became more accepting of females.  Stuff that goes beyond mere unwanted sexual harassment. 

      Not cool. At all. 

      • gertie97 says:

        The grab asses and bullies are still out there. A few years ago I had the misfortune of working for a teevee general manager who told me his preferred hires, particularly in sales, were newly-widowed or newly-divorced women with little kids. They'd work any hours and do anything, he said.

        It hasn't stopped, EF, but they have to be a little clever about it.

         

  5. ajb says:

    It was a really stupid thing to say. Here you are, the conservative scholar at a liberal institution. You're there (in part) to convince skeptics that there are serious, legitimate conservative arguments. 

    Then you insult your hosts and follow up with an off-color joke. Now you're just another grumpy old white guy yelling "Get off my lawn!". 

    • BlueCat says:

      They can't help themselves. They are grumpy old white guys (and fans of grumpy old white guys) yelling get off my lawn. Unfortunately they are yelling at inexorably advancing time (and demographics) and the 21st century is here to stay. It's not going to to get off their lawn.

  6. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    It's fricking snowing outside, in Pueblo, in April. It's wet and cold and classes are over for the day but I have to be here two more hours. So…..

    dwyer's original remarks, that sexual harassment, subtle or not, is something all women take for granted in the workplace, is spot -on. When I was pregnant with my second child, and trying not to be around toxic fumes from the job we were working on, my boss, a married born -again evangelist Christian, hinted that "some people" had "girlfriends on the side", and "did each other favors", so if I wanted him to help me out…you see where I'm going with this. Slapping him would have probably gotten me arrested and/or fired, and I did have kids to support.

    I pretended not to know what he was saying, but was soon assigned different duties, with a cut in pay. I sued his ass through the Civil Rights Division, and won.  Every woman has stories like that. I'm not sure that it's much different today, seeing as we have one Clarence Thomas, who was very credibly accused of the same crimes, as a sitting Supreme Court Justice.

    Alphabet soup – well,sorry, but that is kind of funny. I happen to be the "B" in LGBTQRST……and when I say that, most people get it. I'm not really offended by that part of Dr. Hayward's remarks. That list of letters is getting pretty unmanageable these days.

    As far as the back and forth between you all on this thread..it's slightly entertaining, but mostly pointless. I'd invite you all to a wet, sloppy snowball fight, if that would make you feel better.

    I've had a couple of conservative professors that had integrity, and were able to challenge their students to back up their assertions. Any English teacher worth his/her thesaurus will do the same. It isn't about the specific politics – it should be about how well one can make and support a claim.

    Splat.

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      I usually give the list as GBLT, yielding the pronouncable acronym 
      "giblet."  Otherwise, you're left with LGBT as "large butt" which will get you in trouble.  When we were going through the Negro/black/African-American and Chicano/Hispanic/Latino things, I proposed an 800 number that we could call to find out what to call those folks on an given day.   Maybe a webside would work today for LGBT etc. 

      • ajb says:

        Maybe we should have a mnemonic contest for LGBTQRST?

        • BlueCat says:

          Could we just simplify to something like NTO for non-traditional orientation? In any case, if you don't like that one (just off the top of my head), something simple that could apply to a wide variety of orientations and preferences without having to add a new letter every five minutes?

          • Ralphie says:

            That term makes it sound a little like it's a choice.  It's not a choice.

            • BlueCat says:

              I don't think "orientation" in this context is generally used to imply choice but, like I said, it's just an example. Anything short, at least no longer than LGBT, would do fine. I just think it's kind of silly to keep adding letters on to LGBT as more self defined groups seek to be included in recognition and under the names they prefer.  If an acronym is too many letters for anyone to readily remember it's not much use as an acronym.

          • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

            BC, I would put this question to the Queer Borg and let them get back to me, but the QB seem to be busy infiltrating Cory Gardner's campaign right now. (Feel free to spread that around, folks – and be ready for Cory's "evolved" position on gay marriage sometime before Pride day (June 22). You think I'm joking? Wait and see. wink

            Anyway, the reality is that we have to let people define and label themselves. I typically do not go around sharing my sexual orientation with people who are not a "need-to-know" basis, but when I do, I say I'm bi, and leave it at that.

            Does every heterosexual person on here like the term "straight"? Probably not. Does every heterosexual person on here have identical sexual practices? Definitely not. I was one of the people who, 30 some years ago, was promoting the idea that human sexuality is on a continuum, and that people can and do move back and forth on that continuum.  Hence the rainbow as a metaphor.

            (Rainbow Ocean by Thelma1)

            "Gender Bender", "Non-conforming gender identity", and "Queer" are terms various people use as catch-all terms.  LGBT terms and definitions site:

            Please Note: It is very important to respect people’s desired self-identifications. One should never assume another person’s identity based on that person’s appearance. It is always best to ask people how they identify, including what pronouns they prefer, and to respect their wishes.

            • BlueCat says:

              I agree about respecting people's desired self-identifications but it just isn't practical to try to include a letter for every possible self identification in an acronym. It kind of defeats the purpose of an acronym if it's so long nobody can remember all the letters and what they stand for. That's all. Just a matter of pragmatism. I'm happy to call anyone whatever they prefer to be called.

      • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

        Sorry about the above. My nephew posted this on Facebook this morning and made me laugh. Every April the only thing more predictable than the snow is people forgetting that it always snows in April.

         

  7. dwyer says:

    The University of Colorado system is governed by an elected Board of Regents.  I urge those who might feel that  Professor's Haywood's humor was not property appreciated and he might feel unwelcome, to contact your elected Regent and express your support for the Professor. If on the other hand, you feel that the Professor was dismissive of the laws governing sexual harrassment, then I urge you, also, to contact your elected Regent.  Here is the link:

    http://www.cu.edu/regents/meet-regents

  8. dwyer says:

     

    Yes, I absolutely want my elected Regents to know how I feel about the "conservative" professor they have selected to present "conservative viewpoints."  Academic freedom is important, but the University has guidelines on how students are to be respected and how the laws on sexual arrassment are to be observed.  I would assume that any professor's contract would stipulate that the professor was in agreement with those policies. 

     

  9. dwyer says:

    This is my technical issue.  I had written more paragraphs on this topic; but they would not post.  This first paragraph posted.  If there is now a limit on number of words or something, please let us know. Or if we can't name the professor  or special guidelines, please let us know.

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