Professor Receives Slew of Backlash after F-word E-mail · 25 April 2011

By Nina Earnest - The Daily Iowan


A University of Iowa professor who sent a vulgar e-mail to members of the UI College Republicans has seen an outpouring of negative e-mails from students, graduates, and community members.

UI anthropology/women's studies Professor Ellen Lewin has received more than 370 e-mails in the last two days, expressing strong distaste for the message she sent Monday. The e-mails were obtained by The Daily Iowan through an open records request.

In response to the College Republicans' universitywide e-mail encouraging students to take part in "Conservative Coming Out Week," Lewin sent an e-mail saying, "FUCK YOU, REPUBLICANS."

In an e-mail exchange between Lewin and UI spokesman Tom Moore regarding a public records request for the messages, Lewin said, "Do you really want all these? They're pretty ugly."

The disapproving e-mails ranged from swearword-riddled rants to detailed repudiations of Lewin's comments. Many e-mails to Lewin included foul and sexually oriented slurs, some of which The Daily Iowan chose not to publish due to their offensive content.

"You're a cartoon. You make my 10-year-old grandson look like St. Augustine," "You're a terrible human being," and "I'm glad you suffer," were among the statements.

A professor named Jacque from Florida said he was "appalled and ashamed" that she could have used such vulgar language toward students.

"As a psychologist, I highly recommend you seek counseling for your poor impulse control and unresolved rage and hate for anyone with a different view as yours, that is pathological!" he wrote.

However, Lewin also received some encouraging e-mails.

One graduate student in the Anthropology Department supported Lewin, telling her he "completely and utterly [agrees] with every thing you said."

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