I found this question. The titular question is "How should a student act towards a prejudiced instructor?" This seems like a great question for us. Looking at the question itself, the OP seems to be suggesting that there was sexual discrimination because the professor is a feminist. Again, that is a perfectly fine topic. The issue I see is that I don't see any evidence of sexual discrimination. The professor's response to discussing grades with a 200-pound 6'3" professional boxer was that she felt intimidated. A question about how to deal with a professor who feels intimated by you is on topic. To me the two issues (dealing with sexual discrimination and a professor who feels intimidated by you) are so unrelated that I wanted the question clarified especially since claims of sexual discrimination often seem like acts of sexual discrimination. Is it possible to clarify the question?
I think you went overboard with your moderation on this post. The situation as it is described by the OP is a perfectly valid one and if you needed clarification or the question needed editing, you should ask so. Also, closing a question which already had been upvoted is something I have never encountered in a SE site.
Another issue with your moderation is that it was very fast. If any question is a not a good one, waiting for an hour or so is usually enough for any SE community to judge its merit. Closing sooner than that, especially in grey area questions is something that should be generally avoided.
Thanks for opening this meta question.
I have to say that the quick closing of this question was a surprise to me. Yes, the question seemed relatively biased and had a bit of an anti-feminist touch to it. However, this kind of questions ("My advisor / professor did something unfair. How should I react?") are almost always biased, fragmented, confusing, and (I would assume) oftentimes not factually correct as written. We usually do not close down these questions, but point out what inconsistencies we see, and what we think the OP should do based on the given information. StrongBad seemed to hold this question to much higher standards than comparable earlier questions.
In my opinion, I would prefer if the mods would use their power to unilaterally put a question on hold only for more clear-cut cases. A good example was a question put on hold by ff524 today, but I can't find it anymore. This question was about 15 fundamental questions in one, so it was entirely clear that it will be put on hold. blankip's question was much less obvious.
If you don't see evidence of reverse sexual discrimination in this scenario, you can write as much in your answer. We often answer questions here where people have misread the situation they are in.
The question is "What should I do, given I think I was the victim of prejudice in this situation?" and that question is answerable even if the OP has misunderstood the situation.
Just a remark from someone who was on the other side not so long ago: you did not abuse your mod powers. We have had some problems in the past with posts related to gender discrimination, where questions could quickly turn into flamewars. Considering the lack of clarity in the original question, closing it quickly was a correct thing to do.
A question on-hold, even by a mod, does not disappear, people can add comments, edit it, and can discuss about it on meta, which is exactly what happened. No reputation was lost in the process, no harm was done. This was not censorship, and that's why we have elected mods, to avoid having potentially problematic posts.
That said, one thing that could be held against you, is that you said in the questionnaire that:
As a mod I would try and shape the site with up votes, down votes, comments, meta questions/answers, and chat instead of using close/reopen votes (excluding blatant spam). I would not generally just mod hammer questions, but when the voting is clear (e.g., one or two more regular user votes are needed to close a down voted answer, I would happily hit it with a mod hammer vote).
As for the question itself, since we only have only one side of the story, it's hard to make any judgment, and all the details make it look like a rant rather than an objective question. I agree with you that there are two interesting questions:
- I feel I've been discriminated, what should I do? (and it's not up to us to judge whether there was indeed discrimination or not.)
- I think I'm intimidating my professor, what should I do?
Somehow, the question is a mix of both, which is not ideal to provide a clear answer.
Well it was directly related. I wanted people to answer based on the facts as I heard them at the time and not be influenced by later revelations. At the end of the semester the department head told me that she has had numerous issues with males in her classes and that he was looking into it with the Dean.
He also said that she said that she was intimidated by me because I was a big male and he even confirmed with other students that I was never aggressive around her. He apologized. I got my papers back. He told me that I would have gotten A's on them. Said I would receive P's on report card.
She left the school for undisclosed reasons after the spring semester as a tenured professor.
The question is more about how I should have handled it in that situation. She was sexist. There was an outcome. But I didn't state those in the question because it would taint the responses/answers.
Also as far as your mod powers to close a question you need to lay off. I find it abusive that you don't like a sentence so you close a question. I don't have to write my question for your personal PC views. No offense because you could be a great mod and great person but I feel this sort of censorship is the opposite of SE philosophy.
I didn't say I had this "feminist bitch teacher". No I just represented facts. There was no opinion in my whole question. I am sorry that if you hear the word feminist and all of a sudden it conveys horrible things to you. That is something you need to keep under control if you are going to be a mod.
I would personally like to hear how you would reword the sentence that offended you.