UW hall director sends mass email about a lack of female orgasms, then apologizes
A residence hall director at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse was compelled to issue an apology after sending a mass email to students bemoaning the lack of female orgasms.
Within hours of sending that email last Wednesday, Drake Hall Director Jude Legiste followed up with an attempt at clarification, but eventually had to issue a formal apology Sunday night, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
“It's time to be honest about something women don't talk about much: the orgasm deficit,” Legiste wrote in the original email. “As few as 7 percent can climax regularly from this method—and worse, some men don't seem to even realize it!”
The subject line of the email, which was sent to approximately 300 students who live in the building, read “You Gone Learn Today!!,” according to The La Crosse Tribune, which adds that pejorative terms for both male and female genitalia were sprinkled throughout the missive.
There followed, in the description of the Journal Sentinel, “crude, salacious descriptions of how to achieve orgasm through different methods,” after which Legiste closed by saying, “Your enthusiasm and willingness to learn is a crucial first step.”
Several hours later, Legiste sent another email acknowledging that the email had not gone over well with some recipients, and encouraging a dialogue about the issue.
“Some viewed it as helpful and an honest conversation on a topic that rarely gets discussed," Legiste noted defensively before conceding that "others see it as offensive, creepy and that it was not my place (as the hall director) to send it in the first place.” Expressing a desire “to validate all those feelings,” he went on to suggest a hall forum to discuss the matter, and encouraged students to meet with him individually, as well.
The forum was quickly cancelled after local radio host Mark Belling obtained a copy of the emails, prompting complaints to roll in from students and parents, and Legiste issued a formal apology Sunday night following a Friday morning meeting with supervisors.
“I had no idea it would be shocking," Legiste told the Journal Sentinel, adding that he is willing to “take full responsibility” for his actions and admitting that “It wasn't an accident; it was poor judgment.”
Nonetheless, he maintains that discussion of the female orgasm deficit is important, saying, “if people don't have equality at that level, it's not going to happen anywhere else.”
“For me, a large part of it was to start a conversation about gender equity,” he told The La Crosse Tribune.
UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow told the Journal Sentinel that Legiste will receive a letter of reprimand for his “unacceptable behavior,” but that there are no plans to fire him.
“We really don't think this is a fireable offense," Gow asserted. "If it were, some due process would be required … I don't think it's fair to destroy his career over a single incident of bad judgment.”
Gow explained that while the topic of female orgasms is certainly a valid one to discuss on a university campus, Legiste was “colossally unprofessional” in the way he handled it. “If you want to be a leader in higher education,” Gow observed, “you have to have the sensitivities to different audiences in a university community.”
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