[eDebate] "Illegal debating" discussion

Ede Warner ewarner
Mon Nov 5 11:40:11 CST 2007

Yep.  I lot more direct and clearer than my efforts, but that is exactly what I was trying to say.  

From: "James E. Radford jr" <jeradford at gmail.com>
To:<edebate at ndtceda.com>
Date: 11/5/2007 12:20 PM
Subject: [eDebate] "Illegal debating" discussion
I've been following this discussion with some interest, and wanted to add something briefly: 
I think it's important to note that "sexual harrassment" is understood by most to have a specific legal definition, and, when a specific act or set of acts takes place that meets that definition, those acts may constitute one element of a legal claim, in court, for monetary damages, under law. Similarly, many institutions, such as universities, have their own definitions of specific acts or processes that constitute "sexual harrassment," and, if one engages in those acts, there is some specific penalty involved. 
While Wende may be correct that her partner felt uncomfortable and offended by the team's sexual simulations, it is a big leap to jump from "offended" or "uncomfortable" to "the team engaged in specific acts which are proscribed by (a) law, entitling us to monetary damages, or (b) institutional policy, subjecting the team to a penalty." 
So, there should really be two separate discussions here: (1) Did the actions constitute actionable "sexual harrassment," and (2) Even if not, were the actions so reprehensible and offensive, and so lacking in pedagogical, artistic, or political value, that the team should not have done the performance? 
I think that, based on Wende's characterization, the actions probably did not meet the def of "sexual harrassment," and, in that case, that term should probably be extracted from the debate, so that we can focus on the merits of the performance and not get distracted by a misleading legal term. 
Just my two cents, J.
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