A political theory professor at King’s College London is facing backlash after he made the epitome of a “dad joke” while riding the elevator alongside a small group of other professors.
Professor Simona Sharoni, whose leading the charge against Professor Ned Lebow, teaches women’s and gender studies at Merrimack College (go figure). She says that while in the elevator, she asked the other riders which floors they would like her to press when, much to her disgust and horror, Professor Ned Lebow asked her to press the floor for the “ladies’ lingerie department.”
Horrific, right? That lingerie comment is right up there with “the holocaust didn’t happen” and “slavery should still exist.”
Well, of course, Sharoni wasn’t going to take that comment laying down, and like any empowered woman she immediately filed a complaint with the executive director of the The International Studies Association.
The US News has more:
[…] in a complaint she filed last month that she was standing near the elevator at a San Francisco hotel and she offered to press the elevator buttons when Lebow “said with a smile on his face, ‘women’s lingerie’ and all his buddies laughed.”
She said she froze and didn’t confront him. As the men walked out of the elevator, the only other woman in the elevator turned to her and told her maybe they should have spoken up. They said it is no longer acceptable to make such jokes.
After Boyer informed him of the complaint and asked him not to communicate with Sharoni, Lebow said he wrote her an email telling her he didn’t mean to offend her and to explain that saying “Ladies’ lingerie” was an old joke from the days when elevators had human operators and people would shout what they were looking to buy in a department store.
“In my view, this is not only a frivolous complaint but one that is damaging to serious issues of discrimination and misogyny,” Lebow said.