A recent Columbia grad claims he was taken to task by the school’s Gender-Based Misconduct Office for jokingly referring to himself as “handsome” during Chinese class in the Fall of 2014.
“I am the living manifestation of the evil white cis patriarchy,” he writes sarcastically in The Tab.
One somber autumn morning, I took the opportunity to call myself handsome in Chinese. W? h?n shuài, I uttered in my unchecked malevolence and without care for cultural norms or general moral principles.
The next day, his professor requested he stay behind after class. Later, he was told his comment had upset a student and was hence reported to the Gender-Based Misconduct Office.
“She told me if I want to make those jokes, I should come to her office hours to do so,” he writes.
Later, he was scolded by his advising dean and told that referring to himself as handsome was “unacceptable.”
He defiantly told the dean that they “are doing the wrong thing and going after the wrong people in the name of fairness and justice.” He got the impression that she was too frightened to ever challenge Columbia’s overly PC culture.
The following Monday, he was asked to attend a “re-education” meeting at the Gender-Based Misconduct office, where he was told by the case manager that his “white privilege was playing a major factor in my lack of clarity into the depravity of my actions.”
What has he learned from this bizarre scenario? “The human toll of ‘triggered’ culture is a serious matter,” he writes.
I cannot help but feel for those who are deeply embedded in it, or rely on it for food and shelter. Furthermore, by reporting my innocuous statement, serious matters like sexual harassment and assault are trivialized and victims end up neglected. That is unacceptable.”
The worst part of it, he thinks, is that whoever complained “was able to report me and potentially cause damage to my own educational experience and future with full anonymity.”
Later that week in Chinese class, Sweetwood was asked to use a new sentence structure to talk about things that made him upset, and he decided upon:
“I get upset when I get reported to Gender Misconduct by my classmates.”