Comments on: Shunning as a recourse for bad behavior http://www.historiann.com/2011/03/30/shunning-as-a-recourse-for-bad-behavior/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Mon, 22 Sep 2014 04:23:22 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Bullied out & shunning http://www.historiann.com/2011/03/30/shunning-as-a-recourse-for-bad-behavior/comment-page-1/#comment-1851788 Sat, 14 Dec 2013 17:10:15 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14690#comment-1851788 I was sexually harassed and reported it while on a tenure track. I was retaliated against, was denied tenure but overcame it in appeal. The next 10 years were one form of retaliation after another until it coalesced into large scale dept and administrator bullying. Make no mistake. The jerks and bully are not only in the domain of faculty. And, yes. The System protects the bully. I was thr recipient of shunning. No matter how you look at it it is hurtful and demeaning. It is used as a tactic to bully certain people out and it is not the sexual harasser!

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By: Bob Weete http://www.historiann.com/2011/03/30/shunning-as-a-recourse-for-bad-behavior/comment-page-1/#comment-833326 Sat, 04 Jun 2011 04:51:07 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14690#comment-833326 Actually,though I am still fighting the bitterness, I am “healing”. It is relatively easy to forgive here, because the pastors involved have been narcissists. I know this, as my wife has a neuro-psychologist, a great Christian, and, she has “diagnosed” him from our discussions. After reading about them, he is a dead ringer, and he is a dedicated one. Since this is a “disease”, I have to forgive what he can’t really help. The doctor says that psychologist/psychiatrists don’t have much success with these types as they don’t believe they have a problem. However, we are going to a Nazarene church now, and it is great. We are lovingly welcomed, with real smiles and body language says they are not “obligated” to say “good morning.” They actually talk with us, and the sermons are the kind that, when you leave, you know that your have been inspired. He is creative and humorous. Last Sunday we went to the adult Sunday School, and I was really impressed. There were at least 15 people there, and they were apologizing for such a small group, because all the snowbirds were gone. At our former church, there had been a group, but there were only 5 people, and two of the “leaders” of the church just sat there. In the Nazarene group, although we studied a very brief passage, EVERYONE participated, and felt comfortable in sharing their ideas, and it was great. So, I am hopeful. The only thing is that my wife has trouble leaving a church she has served for over 50 years. I do too, but I think this is the right move. Thanks for writing.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/03/30/shunning-as-a-recourse-for-bad-behavior/comment-page-1/#comment-833249 Sat, 04 Jun 2011 00:44:05 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14690#comment-833249 Bob–I am so sorry to hear your story. I hope that you’ve found a more supportive spiritual community, although I know from experience that even when one moves on, there is still a lot of anger and a lot of damage that doesn’t move on as quickly.

I really hope that your wife’s health improves, too. That’s quite a burden for you to carry on your own, much as you love her and want to do it.

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By: Bob Weete http://www.historiann.com/2011/03/30/shunning-as-a-recourse-for-bad-behavior/comment-page-1/#comment-833239 Fri, 03 Jun 2011 23:58:37 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14690#comment-833239 Interesting discussion. I didn’t really know that shunning was still used. That is, until I personally experienced it – in my church, for goodness sake! I was lay leader, had played the organ there for some 30 years, established and conducted a very successful bell choir, and my wife and I were instrumental in a number of inovations, projects, etc. and we were very devoted and dedicated persons to God and the church. Then, we got a narcissist pastor, followed by several more of the same. The first one was here for three months, and in that time I was suddenly shunned because a letter I had written was interpreted as a “resignation” from the church. I had taught English for 41 years, and suggested that I did, indeed, know how to write a letter of resignation, but the pastor told lie after lie about me, and the “leaders” believed it. I was called a wolf in sheep’s clothing from the pulpit, and many other negative statements ensued. The DS did nothing. I wrote him a letter concerning her “shacking up” with her boyfriend – something that really gets around in a small town. I was told I could attend church, (which included giving them a weekly check), but I would not be allowed to participate in activities in any way. When we planned and organized for a youth group, I was told he would resign if I went ahead. He was later fired, for sexual harrassment of the secretary. Now, we have another narcissist who has not allowed me to participate in anything. This, even though I have “volunteered” in many areas and he rejected me. And all this finally ended. My wife had had 4 strokes, and was disabled with short-term memory loss. For three years not one of the leadershiip bothered to ask how she was doing, yet they claimed to “love” her. “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors” really sounds good, but like the politicians, doesn’t mean a thing. Finally, I had to actually resign; I could not take their brand of “love they neighbor” any longer. Shunning os barbaric treatment. I can’t think of anything more horrible. And I did not “sin”. Actually, nobody has evern told me “why?”

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By: John Protevi http://www.historiann.com/2011/03/30/shunning-as-a-recourse-for-bad-behavior/comment-page-1/#comment-813312 Sun, 10 Apr 2011 20:18:36 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14690#comment-813312 Thanks for the link and especially for the good discussion. We have a follow-up post here you might be interested in: http://www.newappsblog.com/2011/04/following-up-on-our-posts.html

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By: Z http://www.historiann.com/2011/03/30/shunning-as-a-recourse-for-bad-behavior/comment-page-1/#comment-809753 Sat, 02 Apr 2011 03:23:48 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14690#comment-809753 Re the shunning — it’s fine but it’s not a replacement for other action. What amuses me on the philosophy blogs is that they’re just now considering it. In my fields (I have 3 disciplines and they are all large, so you can’t control everyone) there has in my time always been an informal knowledge about these things … don’t invite so and so, or if you do, realize that he is likely to xxxx … and it does at least help people avoid being caught unawares (sometimes).

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By: Z http://www.historiann.com/2011/03/30/shunning-as-a-recourse-for-bad-behavior/comment-page-1/#comment-809752 Sat, 02 Apr 2011 03:20:34 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14690#comment-809752 P.S. “You won’t want to sue [or strike, or whatever] because it will be so hard on you personally and financially, you should do something nice for yourself to feel better, and then move on to the rest of your life” is the line I’ve heard, both first and second hand, from administrations.

I do not think that this putative kindness and sensitiveness to individuals’ situations is mouthed with the prospective plaintiff’s best interests at heart. It protects institutions to have people realize “oh, it will be so hard on me, so no, I will not complain” and go away.

Again, I don’t mean to say everyone should complain / sue about everything. But it really is worth checking out reporting, and bringing action, before rejecting the idea out of hand. You have to be careful, and ask advice. The old timers on your faculty who are in AAUP and AAUW and senate, may seem ancient now but remember they are in the generation of SNCC and all that; now they will have had experience sitting on grievance committees; they can tell you discreetly what the lay of the land is and how things may go down. It’s worth talking to these people, preferably ones not in your department, off the record before you do anything. They know a lot, in my experience.

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By: Z http://www.historiann.com/2011/03/30/shunning-as-a-recourse-for-bad-behavior/comment-page-1/#comment-809748 Sat, 02 Apr 2011 02:49:13 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14690#comment-809748 Well actually, re suing and so on, it depends on what you are suing for. When, at another institution, I was turned down for tenure/promotion by the upper administration, I could see that even though I might be right, suing would be pointless. I could have negotiated it – they in fact wanted me to negotiate for a redo of the whole thing – I decided at the time not to, although in retrospect I should have.

On the other hand, I sued my current institution for costs related to an injury sustained on campus, and they settled. It was worth doing, and there was not retaliation, etc. I could perhaps have done better going to court, but didn’t think it was worth it in terms of energy/time, I was satisfied — and the thing was, my whole injury had happened due to a maintenance/equipment error, not due to malice or anything, so enough’s enough.

When I went looking for attorneys on the sexual harassment issue, I ended up not needing one because just a letter from a scary firm sufficed (and they wrote the letter as a courtesy / loss leader). But it wasn’t too hard to find people willing to take the case and to work with me on finances, because it was all pretty clear what was going on, who the witnesses would be, what kind of prior reporting there had been, etc., and how it fit into existing law.

Maybe this is just me in my coldheartedness. I’m not a lawyer but I do have some experience with courts and law because of the prison work I do. People freak out when they sue or contemplate it because they haven’t figured out that the law is about the law, and not really about justice. This means that there are some unfair events one should walk away from because you really will just waste energy and time and get yourself beaten up if you pursue the issue. Other times, though, it may be worth it and it really is worth doing. How to find out if in doubt – consult.

In my experience people tend to be unrealistically afraid to report / sue about SH, and unrealistically optimistic about suing re things like tenure.

On not pursuing, 1: I have a brother who also didn’t make tenure the first time (it seems to run in the family, Dad was afraid he wouldn’t, either, and we both realized his fear for him, unfortunately). From what I can tell this was truly unfair but I also read the faculty handbook of his institution and he really had no recourse. His wife, not in field, was convinced he should sue and he was all, no, I should put every piece of energy into the job market, for an academic job or any job, and they had a huge conflict over this. I am convinced, though, that he would have wasted his time trying to sue, right though he may have been.

On not pursuing, 2: I had another harassment type situation here, if you can define it as that which I am still not convinced of. I was very distressed in any case. A friend elsewhere basically insisted I start a semiformal procedure about it. It was my view that, bad though things were, it would be smarter just to wait the situation out. But, I took her advice. It sure did all blow up in my face, let me tell you.

So,summing up: you have to do what you’re comfortable with / what your gut feeling is, but also, you should really consult on these SH issues — it may be easier than you fear.

Footnote: when I sued for the injury, people kept asking how is it going, how is it going, how are you feeling, is it scary, etc. … and really it wasn’t, I wasn’t going pro se, the lawyer was doing it, I was just waiting. I think people get tied into knots just because it is the courts, or it is the IRS, or whatever, but I recommend avoiding that if you can. And as I say, I think that’s easier if you can accept that what you’re working for is to have the law followed … justice may coincide with that, but the coincidence may not be perfect, and you have to remain cool headed about that.

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By: Emma http://www.historiann.com/2011/03/30/shunning-as-a-recourse-for-bad-behavior/comment-page-1/#comment-809637 Fri, 01 Apr 2011 18:01:52 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14690#comment-809637 Right, because that’s what I said.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/03/30/shunning-as-a-recourse-for-bad-behavior/comment-page-1/#comment-809568 Fri, 01 Apr 2011 15:27:54 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14690#comment-809568 Yes, I am just weak and advocate that other academic women do nothing about sexual harassment or discrimination.

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