Friday, October 23, 2015

wtf philosophy: McGinn sued in federal court

The McGinn mess is back in the news again, because the Miami philosophy grad student involved is suing McGinn and the University of Miami. The Huffington Post has a depressingly detailed story quoting extensively from emails that McGinn* sent the student, as well as a copy of the suit.
But just a few weeks after he hired her, McGinn started to harass the student in correspondence, her attorneys say.
He emailed her at least once a day between Dec. 19 and Dec. 27, with little response from her. In a Dec. 27 email, he wrote, "I think you owe me unlimited hand strokes and full body grips for abandoning me over Christmas." Over winter break, which lasted about a month, McGinn emailed her more than 30 times and spoke with her just once, according to his own count in an email he sent her Jan. 15, 2012.
After multiple emails from McGinn, including a request to come to her apartment, she replied, "I see no reason that we can't continue the beautiful and unique relationship that we have developed." She did not directly address the request to visit, but said she would see McGinn in class.
In a January 2012 meeting, the graduate student says he held and kissed her foot, according to the lawsuit. After that, court papers state, she frequently wore sneakers that she hoped would discourage that behavior.
McGinn wrote that he missed Morrison and wasn't able to see her as much as he wanted. He complained about their working relationship, stating in an email he is not "getting much in return" and said "I need you to make a big gesture in my direction--anything would do." 
She wrote back that she had been feeling sick and dealing with stress at home, but reassured him "I am so excited to be [in] the Colin McGinn intellectual lineage." In other emails, Morrison wrote she was "flattered" by attention from him. 
In a Feb. 24, email, McGinn wrote:
I have a rather modest unassuming leg--nothing flashy, but quite agreeable. Not like your spectacular look-at-me legs! We should have a foot race one day--I expect to be left in the dust. Also, what about wearing shorts or a skirt one day so I can actually see them--so far I've only strictly seen their shape. Not that I'm obsessed or anything. Your mind should model itself on your legs--powerful, muscular, beautiful, agile. Oh reader!
She did not respond.
Morrison's attorneys say she often avoided his direct questions about his coming to her apartment or wanting to see her, saying she was sick or had spotty Internet or simply was too busy.
One March 2012 text message exchange provided to HuffPost is emblematic of her general response to his comments, the attorneys claim:
McGinn: I love your essence
McGinn: Plus it gives me a slight erection
Morrison: Can I borrow your philosophy of physics book…the one by lange [sic].
McGinn texted her later that day to say he had an "erotic" and "religious" dream about her; she responded, "Strange."
The texting language then escalated, according to copies of messages sent April 25 that were provided to HuffPost:
McGinn: So I expect a hand job when I next see you.
McGinn: Yes.
McGinn: I like to amuse you.
McGinn: Now I've got a slight erection.
McGinn: I'm imagining you.
Morrison did not reply to the texts.
Later that month, McGinn pressed her for a response, and she eventually texted, "Yeah, I was a bit surprised" and said "I won't really know how to respond [sic]...I suppose I should be flattered?"
In May, McGinn offered her a paid summer position working for him, and her attorneys said she accepted because she felt she needed the funds. Afterwards he sent her messages saying one of her comments about the weather "gave me a boner." He also said he wanted to visit her apartment. On May 18, he texted "I feel like kissing you." She responded, "You can't do that."
He doesn't take 'no' for an answer. Look what he does next.
On May 23, 2012, McGinn allegedly made multiple verbal comments about having sex with her. She said no, her attorneys said, and stated, "I don't know why we have to have this discussion." He then sent an email saying he needed a compromise. "Here's one (I'm not necessarily advocating it): we have sex 3 times over the summer when no one is around, but stop before next semester begins," he wrote.
The full email:
Need to avoid the scenario I sketched: you meet someone else, I broken hearted, our relationship over (except formally).  This follows pretty obviously from current policy.  To avoid my heart break I need to prepare myself mentally, which means withdrawing from you emotionally--not good for either of us.  Also no good to just have full-blown relationship--too risky and difficult in the circumstances.  So need compromise.  Many are possible. Here's one (I'm not necessarily advocating it): we have sex 3 times over the summer when no one is around, but stop before next semester begins.  This has many advantages, which I won't spell out, but also disadvantages, ditto.  I am NOT asking you to do this--it is merely one possible compromise solution to a difficult problem, which might suggest others.  It has the FORM of a possible solution.  Try to take this in the spirit in which it is intended.  yours, Colin
The next day, May 24, McGinn wrote the student in an email, "If I could I'd marry you." Later that day, she texted him, "I am in no mood to continue talking about our relationship. And I don't know what more you expect to come from an extended discussion...the past two days have made me feel increasingly uncomfortable with the situation."
You want to be depressed? (something the former student reportedly now suffers from, and no wonder.) Read the whole sorry story here. Over at the Smoker, Mr. Zero has a perceptive take. My only take is that reading this makes me want to take a shower.

*Yes the same McGinn who wanted to rename and rebrand philosophy.

No comments:

Post a Comment