my favorite professor at harvard was denied tenure and let go this fall for mysterious reasons. i cried then because i would miss her.
a few hours ago it came out that the mysterious reason was that she had publicly supported student sexual assault survivors at the school and the harvard administration disapproved of her “political activity.”
i’m now crying out of frustration. i don’t want to go back to an institution where the best academics are let go because they support victims, where even a small amount of “political activity” is enough to make you an Undesirable in the eyes of the powers that be, a Dismissable and a Non-member of the community. A To-be-gotten-rid-of-as-soon-as-possible. such a place constitutes a hostile environment for anyone who would speak up against violence, not to mention those who are the victims of such violence, and i just don’t know. I just don’t know what I want from such a place. I don’t know what it can give me now that won’t somehow feel like an extended, backhanded insult.
and then, of course, is the fact that the anthro department knew about her being let go and didn’t band together against it. they didn’t write a letter to be co-signed by all members of the department, they didn’t make a public fuss. of course, they could still do this, but I just feel very let down by the world right now. things like this will just keep happening because everyone is too concerned about their own fucking self and money etc that they won’t risk anything for the people around them.
congrats, ayn rand, you’ve won.