The Mount St. Mary’s University Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Human Services and the Mount’s chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta, an honor society of sociology, have invited Dr. Simone Kolysh to deliver an on-campus lecture on the recently published book titled Everyday Violence: The Public Harassment of Women and LGBTQ People.
The lecture is scheduled for April 6th at 7 p.m. in Laughlin Auditorium.
Dr. Kolysh is an assistant professor of sociology at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. According to publisher Rutgers University Press, “Everyday Violence is based on ten years of scholarly rage against catcalling and aggression directed at women and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people of New York City.”
The homepage of Dr. Kolysh’s professional website refers readers to the professor’s public Twitter account. Dr. Kolysh’s Twitter biography reads: “Non-binary polyamorous dyke (they/them). Immigrant witch bitch & mom of 4. sub/dom switch. Academic. Author of Everyday Violence (2021).”
On this account, Kolysh has made the following statements:
“My wife is reading some bdsmbook and the manz author included a chapter from his wife talking about how being a sub is a religious experience and I knew she was a catholic before knowing she was a catholic. Release your shame!!! #bdsm” [BDSM are defined as erotic practices involving bondage, discipline/domination, sadism/submission, and masochism] (6/20/21).
“I am pro-abortion (not just pro-choice), I’ve helped many people get theirs and will continue to do so if I have to learn how to perform them illegally, my wife had an abortion at 24 (!) weeks of pregnancy because we were in NY in 2018, but what if we were in TX?” (9/1/21).
“God I hope all my kids are lgbtq. I think the oldest might be straight. *shudders, hopes it’s a phase*” (9/24/20).
“F*ck your job and its rules, f*ck your parents and culture and religion and literally anything that doesn’t ONLY bring you joy, f*ck ideas around gender and sexuality and sex and anything others tells you about you, f*ck social norms and respectability and mediocrity.” (3/23/22). [Asterisks inserted for vulgarity].
“Your daily radical take: lots of pro-choice folks say things like, ‘if you want to stop abortions, do XYZ, outlawing will not stop them,’ and it’s like…I don’t want to stop abortions, they are not a monstrous thing, it’s part of healthcare, so please, get a new talking point.” (1/29/21).
““it’s the best thing women can do, babies, you are bringing spirit into the world…other women are so selfish, they won’t enjoy kingdom of god” / so I said “I’m an atheist lesbian with 3 baby daddies so the kingdom of god can wait.” He shut up. Amen.” (12/11/21).
“As a homosexual, I use god’s rest day to spread the gay agenda through prayer and meditation.” (3/6/22).
“You’d think after god created dogs, she’d know making men would be redundant” (2/5/21).
“Folks with a clitoris have been shamed for masturbation, sex, and sexuality. Yet, that is the only body part made specifically for pleasure and since we can use our orgasms for magic, to harness source energy, folks without a clitoris lied, because they’re less powerful. Sad.” (12/19/21).
Kolysh has also published a 2017 article titled “Straight Gods, White Devils: The Impact of Christianity in the Lives of Black LGBTQ People.”
Dr. Kim Hansen, associate professor of sociology, invited Kolysh to speak on campus in his role as faculty advisor for the Mount’s chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD). Hansen claimed that “the tweets are not germane to the event. Dr. Kolysh hasn’t been invited to give a talk about their tweets.”
Hansen further asserted that the topic to be explored by Kolysh “fits very nicely with our undergraduate mission statement in that it will help our students ‘to understand and to challenge or embrace the cultural forces operating on them.’ … The fact that the speaker privately disagrees with the Catholic Church shouldn’t be disqualifying … Not sure where any ‘controversy or confusion’ would come from.”
Dr. Jack Trammell, chair of the Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Human Services, stated that the “Department – consistent with the Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts mission – always encourages open and honest dialogue about the complex issues of our time. We facilitate that by inviting outside presenters using The Mount’s official guidelines and best practices to do so.”
In response to a request for comment from The Brownson Record, Provost Boyd Creasman defended Kolysh’s sponsored lecture, on behalf of academic administration: “Dr. Kolysh’s presentation has academic merit since it will shed light on the mistreatment of women in our culture.”
Creasman continued: “Since the Mount recognizes that some external speakers may hold views that are not consistent with Catholic teaching, we adhere to a speaker policy that encourages external presenters to show respect for Catholic values. As we have done with previous external speakers, we are communicating the guidelines of our speaker policy to Dr. Kolysh.”
Dr. David McCarthy, associate provost and chair of the Catholic Identity Committee, referred the Record to Provost Creasman’s statement, saying that “the Catholic Identity Committee will do its work and report through the normal processes.”
Dr. Peter Dorsey, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, also referred the Record to the statement provided by Provost Creasman.
Emmy Jansen, president of the student body in the Student Government Association, told the Record that she “find[s] the tweets inconsequential to the work they have been contracted to do on our campus. … As student body president, I’m excited for this opportunity to engage our students in important academic discourse.”
One member of AKD, a senior criminal justice major, told the Record that “an individual’s political opinions are not everything that [one is] nor should it have an effect on their studies and their achievements.”
One senior sociology major commented that “catcalling, slurs, and sexual violence are real problems that a Catholic institution, such as ours, should address. … I wish my department had looked for someone more worthy of my respect to discuss the ways that women, like myself, and people with same-sex attraction are harassed.”
In addition, a junior criminal justice major shared the feeling of being “completely distraught after learning about the future speaker who will be talking to the Mount community. As a Catholic school, this seems unacceptable and honestly completely disrespectful to the beliefs that this school holds, or so I thought.”