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?

  • What would constitute "evidence" here? Surely anything written on this site is purely hearsay. The way I interpreted the OP's post is that, in his opinion, the professor had no cause to be intimidated by him other than his appearance. Certainly he could be exaggerating/lying but is it not also feasible that he is correct? I don't see evidence either way. Furthermore, I don't think think the OP's logic was "Femanism implies discrimination against males." His logic sounds more like "I suspect I am being discriminated against and my professor's reputation as an extremist supports my claim." Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 18:26
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    I edited your question to remove the "reverse" in front of discrimination. Reverse discrimination is a term with hidden nuances that "OKs" the discrimination because the person is usually discriminating on the offending party, which taken quite literally means that you think that I usually am sexist, therefor anyone displaying sexist behavior towards me would be displaying reverse discrimination. You should educate yourself on discrimination and how the media and certain groups push for wording just like yours to downplay real discrimination.
    – blankip
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 5:39

5 Answers 5


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.

  • 8
    I fully agree with both of these points. Closing down a question with mod-powers that does not have a single close vote from the community, and which even had a bit of discussion going on when it was closed, seems not right to me.
    – xLeitix
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 16:28
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    "closing a question which already had been upvoted is something I have never encountered in a SE site" - it happens all the time on other sites. Though I'm not saying that should necessarily carry over here; each site has slightly different norms for when questions should be closed and how votes are used.
    – David Z
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 18:43

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.

  • I agree with this one - "I think you may be reading this wrong" is still answerable.
    – Fomite
    Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 4:25

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.

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    Why did the question seemed biased? I was just trying to give facts of question and honestly don't understand the bias I conveyed. I think if I would have left out the context people would wonder why the dept head pulled me from the two classes after one quick discussion. I have no biases towards women or even this person. The punk college kid in me at the time was like, "Sweet, don't have to go to two classes for the next 2 months!" It was so shocking to me at the time I didn't know how to react. I didn't understand what my adviser was warning me about either.
    – blankip
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 20:12
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    @blankip "(...) she just would not talk to me based on how I looked." ... "(...) had a reputation for being an extreme feminist." ... "My adviser who was female, basically said 'sorry about this'". ... it is of course possible that everything was exactly as you said, but I was certainly a bit sceptical whether you are telling the entire story here. Hence my statement that the question seemed (not "is definitely"!) biased.
    – xLeitix
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 20:29
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    Reputation for being extreme feminist was just repeating what was said to me... and she told me it was based on how I looked and she even told dept head... I know you get some bad questions on here but I wouldn't jump to the "OP must not being telling us something" for everything. I was just passing on what I was told or saw in the question.
    – blankip
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 20:37
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    Any ideology can be taken too far. It sounds to me like OP displays a bias against extremism, not feminism itself. I share in this bias and I suspect most people do too. Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 18:35

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.

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    +1 for "I don't have to write my question for your personal PC views" and more or less I agree with you. On the other hand, you are also a bit harsh on this answer and toning it down, especially in "That is something you need to keep under control if you are going to be a mod" would be appreciated. We are all friends here.
    – Alexandros
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 15:51
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    I was way more sympathetic toward your situation and your post before I read this.
    – Fomite
    Commented Jul 3, 2014 at 23:21
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    I know this is old, but this corresponds to all mods on all stacks: Moderation should be done ONLY in line with your stacks policies, not your personal views or political leanings. Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 23:03

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