Professor: Obese People Can't Get PhDs
Does social media make people think they have the OK to discriminate?
By Chris Hoenig
Geoffrey Miller, an associate professor of evolutionary psychology at the University of New Mexico, is being railed around the internet after making that assertion on Twitter last weekend. Miller, who is on leave from UNM and currently working as a visiting professor at NYU tweeted: "Dear obese PhD applicants: If you didn't have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won't have the willpower to do a dissertation." And if you weren't sure whether or not that tweet was a joke (he couldn't have been serious, right?), he included "#truth" at the end.
The anti-portly PhDs professor was recently on the lookout for new doctoral students for his lab, posting on his UNM faculty page: "I am looking for bright, motivated, conscientious students with very strong GRE scores (above 700), a strong commitment to a research career in evolutionary psychology, good research experience, and solid academic training in psychology, biology, and/or anthropology. Interested students should contact me directly by email."
Fellow NYU professor Jay Rosen fails to agree, calling Miller "fat-shaming" and his claims mind boggling.
Astonishing fat-shaming tweet, since deleted, from an academic, @matingmind. The mind boggles. http://t.co/KLe93DEjHm
— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) June 2, 2013
NYU is letting Miller keep his job, telling The Observer that what Miller "said on Sunday on his personal Twitter account was regrettable. Professor Miller apologized for the tweet and deleted it. NYU considers the matter closed." Miller's home school, however, is a different story. "We are deeply concerned about the impact of the statement, which in no way reflects the policies or admission standards of UNM. We are investigating every aspect of this incident and will take appropriate action," the university said in a statement, adding that Miller claimed the tweet, which has since been deleted, was part of a research project. "We are looking into the validity of this assertion, and will take appropriate measures." Both NYU and UNM say the tweet does not meet the standards necessary to be classified as "research."
There are, of course, some PhDs out there who carry a little extra weight – both physically and in their work. Dr. Cat Pause, a "fat studies" lecturer in New Zealand, went as far as to start a blog celebrating that fact. Her "F**k Yeah! Fat PhDs" site (WARNING: the site does not include the "**") has received dozens of submissions from across the U.S. (including NYU), Australia, Canada and England.
The women of AbbVie are role models, learners, doers and so much more. Learn what they would teach their younger selves, how they're empowered to achieve more, how they've been inspired by other women – and find inspiration in others.
The Children's Place may not be so welcoming if you're Black or Brown.
Miriam and Carlita Alejandro, Latinx sisters, shopping at The Children's Place in Camp Hill, Pa., got harassed by a nosey store clerk when they ask to price match clothes. A sales associate said the women were angry because they're on welfare.
Miriam said she was there to help a family who had lost everything in a fire by purchasing clothes for a child. Ms. Rhonda, the store clerk who was helping the ladies, said they may have to wait for the price check because the store was busy.
Miriam wrote on her Facebook page that she responded to Ms. Rhonda: "'Lancaster never gives us any issues or said such a thing, but okay.' Then Price Match Patty aka Genie who was never in our conversation started getting smart saying that we (my sister & I) 'were mad because we were on welfare.'"
Ms. Rhonda didn't know what to do when the Alejandro sisters reported what the nosey store employee said, but she attempted to chastise her. Miriam started recording to document the experience they had.
Price Match Patty has been fired, according to a company statement provided on Monday. Carlita Alejandro posted on Facebook that the company called and offered gift cards and reward points to continue spending her money at the retailer.
Because that's the way to handle your company's screw up-- buy off the people your employees have offended?
Alejandro wrote, "I will NEVER feel safe nor welcomed shopping their stores again!!"
The Children's Place has a history of discrimination. In 2000, they lost a lawsuit concerning profiling customers and had to provide anti-discrimination training in all stores in Massachusetts and hire a consultant to look at their policies.
Unrelated to the incident, two executives left the company this week (Pamela Wallack and Anurup Pruthi), "to pursue other opportunities" — the only minority and the only female in the C-Suite (other than the female CEO). The Children's Place Inc. has never participated in DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity competition.
CEO and president Jane Elfers said, "As we approach the last phase of our major systems implementations, the opportunity exists for significant efficiencies across the organization, and today we are announcing a more streamlined senior leadership structure."
Price Match Patty has not been fully identified yet, but some commenters on social media say she's married to a Black man, like Key Fob Kelly in St. Louis. That wouldn't excuse her behavior anyway.
Others say they have been profiled at that same store by Price Match Patty and others before:
"I truly wanted to make a difference and never intended to put anyone in danger," Albury said.
Former FBI Agent, Terry James Albury, 39, pleaded guilty in April to one count each of unauthorized disclosure of national defense information and unauthorized retention of national defense information.
"Do not assume you are properly registered to vote," warns activist Shaun King.
"Do not assume you are properly registered to vote," warned Shaun King repeatedly. His wife went to vote with her registration card in her hand, and they said she couldn't vote. King said some of the reasons that people are being turned away are nefarious.
Fifteen states close registration today, including Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas. States that do not have online registration: Arkansas, Michigan, Mississippi, and Texas.
A list of every state's deadline and links to each state's voting requirements was published by the New York Times.
An ally defends the women and calls the police. This time, the racist goes to jail.
Two women casually conversing in a supermarket in Rifle, Colo., get rudely interrupted by a woman growing increasingly irate and aggressive. Their offense: Living while Latina and speaking in Spanish in front of a white woman.
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Black women keep watch and push forward as Ford's day in court proves to be a far cry from 1991.
For every woman of color who watched the hearing today, or has followed any of the drama up to this point, our backs are heavy.