An 88-year-old NYU psychology professor is under fire for, among other things, not using the preferred pronouns in referring to transgender students.
August Enzer, a junior at NYU, wants Professor Edgar Coons, who has taught at the college since 1965, to be disciplined and for the resolution to be made public, the New York Post reported Saturday.
Enzer told NYU’s student newspaper, the Washington Square News, that Coons made “transphobic” comments and used the term “abnormalities” while discussing gender and sexuality during an Introduction to Psychology course freshman year.
Coons has denied Enzer’s allegations.
“It’s not true. Not at all,” the professor told the Post last week.
In November, Coons denied using the word “abnormalities” in the lesson or using the wrong pronouns to address transgender people, the Square News reported.
But Enzer claims that Enzer was “disrespectful” to transgender people.
“Coons’ lesson plans are just very blatantly disrespectful, very blatantly transphopic,” Enzer told the NYU paper. “The school has done nothing to combat this or educate him.”
Enzer said that he was prompted to file the complaint after speaking to another transgender man, an NYU sophomore, who said that Coons referred to him as a woman.
Coons said that he has not faced any discipline from NYU so far, but would not elaborate.
Coons told the Post he had not been disciplined but would not elaborate.
The conflict has sparked a passionate campus debate.
“This is insane … gender politics is a relatively new phenomena and I bet a lot of the older professors aren’t aware of these nuances,” wrote one commenter to the student newspaper story.
“You’d have to do some serious mental gymnastics to say this guy was being intentionally malicious,” said the poster, who described himself as a former Coons student.
Countered another: “I have no idea about this particular situation, but the reality is NYU does not care about disciplining any of its staff for misbehavior.”
Enzer did not respond to repeated messages.
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