I just can’t imagine who has the time to go through everything I have written online with a fine toothed comb and grasp at any straw they can to slam me. My guess is that someone with no other life is either devoting their life to finding anything they can to malign me or it is someone’s job. In any case, the latest in the smear campaign against me is an anonymous posting slamming me as “harassing students” for making the following statement:
I am probably the only one in my department who exposed students in my diversity class to both the writings of radical feminists and the writings of more conservative feminists, such as Christina Hoff-Sommers (who I actually agree with
on a number of points) because I wanted them to have both points of view.
I committed what one of my cyber stalkers apparently considers the sin of actually exposing students to multiple perspectives on feminism in a diversity class. Imagine that! Not sure if this individual feels it is horrible I taught about radical feminism or horrible I taught about Christina Hoff-Sommers’ work (who is highly critical of radical feminism) or horrible that I gave students multiple perspectives and encouraged them to think critically about whatever they read. That’s the whole point. I don’t just teach perspectives that I agree with because the whole purpose of education, by my philosophy, is to teach students how to think, not what to think. In other words:
Teaching students how to think in a rational, critical manner, is education.
Teaching students what to think is not teaching or education at all; it’s indoctrination. If students just absorb material like sponges and then just uncritically regurgitate it back on some test to please the instructor, that is a complete waste of time and of the good money they are paying to get an education. Of course there are certain facts and skill sets that need to be taught and learned, but at the end of the day, it is how they think, not what they think, that counts and makes them a professional rather than a mere technician.
The final assignment I gave that class, by the way, was to have them pick a controversial issue, identify what their position is on it and then turn around and play devil’s advocate, producing the very best arguments they can find for the opposing position and then write about their conclusions and what they learned from doing so [I did this very thing on my potentially harmful therapies blog, by the way, when I gave the very best arguments I could possibly find for prone restraint and thoughtfully examined them]. I always graded students on the quality of their arguments and students who produced well-written, sound arguments got high marks, regardless of whether I agreed with their position.
It this is their best shot against me, someone must be getting pretty desperate. Talk about grasping at straws. And of course the post is continued with the usual untrue and completely unsupported assertions that I was fired from FSU and that I “ranted” to the class about various topics I did not. This is easily refuted by references I am happy to provide from people who actually worked with me at FSU. Who will people believe? Those who worked with me and know me or an anonymous coward? A real head scratcher — not.
Although I have yet to identify the anonymous individual is or individuals are who has been posting libelous material about me and yet lacks the courage to put his name to what he or she posts, it is interesting to note that whoever they are, have been literally flooding the internet with libelous and defamatory postings of all kinds about me since the dismissal of Federici v Pignotti. Perhaps whoever it is was unhappy with the outcome?
Just a guess on my part but it is interesting to note that during the three months this case was active, there were very few derogatory postings about me and even those were quite mild, compared to the overtly libelous ones that have been posted since March 4, 2011. And before anyone attempts to put words in my mouth, again, please note that I am not accusing Dr. Federici of making these postings, but whoever the anonymous individuals are seem to have stepped up their activities posting untrue statements about me since the dismissal. While a few might just be internet trolls jumping in on the action, it is a big stretch to think that all of the posters are just trolls, given the timing and the nature of the postings and that some had knowledge of things that were not in the public domain that a so-called “troll” could not have found out about by being online.