The controversy over the “underwear” comment still exists due to the society’s refusal to appeal from the professor

The International Research Association rejected an appeal from a professor who was jokingly asked that the elevator at the conference hotel was parked in the underwear department and found responsible for violating its code of conduct.
Richard Ned Lebow, a professor of international politics at King’s College London, responded that he would meet with his lawyer on Thursday and would like to file a defamation suit. Lebow had threatened to sue the association unless he found it beneficial to him and did not immediately answer questions about what he should sue.

The association’s lawyer said in a letter on Tuesday that he would not take any action against Lebow if he offered a “clear apology” to Simona Charoni, a professor of women and gender studies at Merrimack College. .

The letter said that if he does not apologize, the association will issue a formal private condemnation letter.

In an email sent to the Chronicle on Wednesday, Lebow made it clear that he had no intention of apologizing.
The turmoil occurred in a crowded elevator at the annual meeting of the Hilton Hotels Association in San Francisco in April. Sharoni said that she had already proposed to press the elevator seat button, she said that the elevator occupants are mostly male conference participants, want to get off.

She wrote in the complaint that Lebow asked the women’s underwear department and the rest of the elevator to laugh. Lebow objected to the details of her account, but admitted to joking that it was released on the underwear floor.
When he learned that he was upset, he said that he tried to resolve the dispute informally because he believed the association’s code of conduct encouraged. He wrote an email to Sharoni saying that he didn’t want her to feel uncomfortable or insulting the woman. He suggested that Sharoni, who was born in Romania and grew up in Israel, may have misunderstood his remarks. He said that in the 1950s, when he grew up pretending to be in a department store and asking the elevator operator about the hardware or underwear department, it was a “standard plug line.”

In an e-mail after the start of the commotion, he told the “chronographer” that Charoni ” tried to impose her definition on my remarks, took unnecessary attacks, and used this as an excuse to make a complaint and to make comments. Freedom and a sense of humor for a cold reception.”
In a letter last month, the president of the association, Patrick James, said that Lebow’s email to Sharoni had been found not to apologize, and that “the comments on her elevator” were “marginalized and despised”. The letter said that this also seems to be an attempt to intimidate her, so she will not accept her complaint.

In an interview on Wednesday, Sharoni rejected the idea that the issue should be resolved informally. She said it is unfair to “educate” those who feel injured or violated those who do not professionally in a professional environment.

She added: “I hope that ISA spends six months to decide to appeal, a fact that does not prevent others from using the association’s code of conduct in the face of unprofessional and inappropriate behavior.”

Sharoni said that Lebow refused to apologize and insisted that he was the victim, but given his strong opposition to him, he added “insulting harm.” She said she was overwhelmed by e-mails and letters, which she called “strong opposition to anti-feminism, injecting sexual cues” and threats of violence.

She added: “Now, I should provide new online harassment to those who have the right to refuse responsibility.” “But at least ISA has maintained its decision.”

Enomi Wessman

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