Ellen Lewin tells it like it is

Ellen Lewin is a professor in the anthropology department at the University of Iowa. Like all of us, she is constantly dunned with email announcing this, that, and the other thing at our universities, and sometimes we get email that makes our blood boil. In this case, she got mail from the College Republicans, announcing a “coming out” party (like Republicans in the midwest are a closeted and oppressed minority…) that featured some hagiographic movie about George W. Bush (that ignorant ass), an “animal rights barbecue” and other such joyful shenanigans to celebrate the party of morons and thugs and self-destructive ideologues.

Ellen Lewin had enough. Ellen Lewin got angry. Ellen Lewin fired off a one-sentence reply.


I think I’m in love with Ellen Lewin.

She later apologized for losing her temper — and I can sympathize with that, too — but I hope she never backs down in her righteous contemptuous opinion of the Republican party. I share it. I think her response was relatively mild.

Now, of course, the right-wingers are outraged. How dare she disagree loudly with an entire party of mouth-breathing, sanctimonious idiots? Read the Free Republic for examples of their response; the first comment sarcastically complains that “Liberals are SO CLASSY!!”, and then the rest, with no sense of irony, posts a picture of her and proceeds to call her a “pervert”, a “lesbian”, a “cow”, a “demonic lesbian demon”, a “bitter, old, ugly, lesbian with a hairy lip”, and suggests that she has sex with dogs.

And more! Those delicate little flowers, the College Republicans, are so hurt by her unkind words that they are filing an official complaint.

Ginty, 21, a junior, filed her complaint with the provost and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity. In the complaint, she states that the April 18 email from professor Ellen Lewin and Lewin’s followup “halfhearted apology” violate general standards of decency, respect for civility in public discourse and the university’s antiharassment policy.

Ginty’s complaint says “there is little doubt that the university would not tolerate a similar string of emails by a member of the faculty targeted at a number of other student groups.”

She has a point. It wasn’t civil or respectful (although turning a brief outburst into a case of harassment and a “string of emails” is a bit much). But you know what? I approve of incivility and disrespect towards organizations that deserve it, and the Republican party is currently the party of know-nothings, hypocrites, liars, and greed — it’s the stagnant, festering slime towards which all the worst elements of society now gravitate. The problem isn’t college professors snarling at them, it’s that the party itself encourages short-sightedness, idiocy, and hatefulness. So, until the grown-ups wake up and clean out the bigotry and ignorance from their own house, I think it’s only fair for us to air our vigorous disgust with them.

I stand in solidarity with Ellen Lewin.