University of Florida professor of food and resource economics Timothy Taylor has been fired after suggesting that Latin American women tend to dress more provocatively at the office than American woman during a lecture on sexual harassment. What exactly that has to do with food and resource economics we're not sure. Taylor, who allegedly has a history of making inappropriate comments towards women, has filed a grievance claiming his academic freedom has been stifled. Yes, because making sexist blanket statements about women of a certain ethnicity while discussing a seemingly off-topic subject apparently should fall under academic freedom.
According to The Gainseville Sun, Taylor had previously been suspended twice before, most recently in 2008, for "inappropriate interactions with female students," and warned that similar behavior could lead to his termination.
Other students have reported that Taylor often gave female students the ol' look-up-n-down and once asked a female student to dance in class to her phone's ringtone. He was suspended in 2008 while tousling a female student's hair at a party at his house that made the student feel inappropriate.
Taylor made the comments about the supposedly provocative dress of Latinas despite the fact that Riptide could find no readily available academic subject backing the assertion up. Taylor however did cite the recent mini-scandal involving Mexican television reporter Inez Sainz's claims she was made to feel uncomfortable while in the New York Jets' locker room.
"The University's investigation finds that your comments had the purpose or effect of embarrassing female students and, even after the opportunities you had to change your improper behavior, you persist in making inappropriate comments of a sexual nature," Food and resource economic Chairman Ray Huffaker wrote in Taylor's termination notice.
Taylor says that his comments were taking out of context, and overblown.
"If we can't go into a classroom and challenge people's beliefs and challenge them to be critical thinkers and maybe feel uncomfortable sometimes, how are we going to get them to think outside the box?" Taylor told The Sun.