5 years ago
Gad Saad is Professor of Marketing at Concordia University, and an expert in the application of evolutionary psychology in marketing and consumer behavior. He is the host of "The Saad Truth with Dr. Saad" podcast, and the author of "The Saad Truth about Happiness: 8 Secrets for Leading the Good Life." www.gadsaad.com
I get a lot of letters from people asking me, well, you know, I'm facing a similar situation. What should I do? Professors out and my answer is fight back hard. So I've had a couple of these situations I had a guy on twitter the guy the guy whom I referred to as a retard started started contacting my university Trying to get me fired When he when it wasn't working with his tagging my university on twitter He actually contacted the HR department human resources department at my university. This is a random person What's a troll you got in touch with a troll and you gave him what he wanted attention and then he started to run with It you basically gave him an opportunity to score. He's playing a video game exactly But now here's what happened the the university's HR person contacts me after hours I mentioned this actually recently on the Rubin report The the lady in question contacts me to say look here's a complaint that's been filed against You know, my first react instinct was oh someone In my job as a professor at the university has complained about me, which I couldn't think who that would be But I would think that that's where the the the template of their influence over me would reside. No They had actually taken seriously a random person on twitter Contacting them and finally complained under the guise of he's a student. Well, he's not my student, right? I mean if a student accosts me in an alley to mug me I can't fight back because bruh, he's a student or I'm allowed to deck him, right? So this is a guy that I'm just having fun with I mean, I'm doing it with a smile We're going back and forth decides that he's willing to go as far as try to get me fired now Let's suppose that he had succeeded Let's suppose that I hadn't fought back because basically what I did with university I said, are you literally thinking that it is reasonable for you to be? Monitoring what I do on my twitter account and the example I gave her as an analogy I said if if I see you coming out of a pharmacy with your daughter And I feel that you're speaking to her in a curt manner That I don't agree with as a parent Can I report you to the university and that pretty much ended the conversation very quickly? But the fact that they felt sufficiently emboldened to actually reach out to me to address this complaint shows you how Chilling the environment is It is right but let's play devil's advocate sure if I was someone who Was taking your class Or if I was someone who is very sensitive or someone who has certain ideals or morals And the professor who's teaching the class that I take called somebody a retard I would I mean just being honest and I love you They I would I would say why is this guy doing that like that's a stupid thing to do like why are you engaging? With these people online and these right these base insults like that just tasteful insults Fair enough. Why why engage with people like that? I mean literally the reason I do it is once in a while My wife falls asleep. I don't feel like working on my scientific papers or my book procrastinating. I'm or whatever I'm tired and i'm on twitter and I've heeded your advice to try to not engage with people Some idiot catches my oh gee. I use the word idiot. You're allowed to say idiot for some strange reason Okay, any more on is okay. Okay, you just can't call me So so someone someone our word catches my attention and I decide to spar with them You you like to get into the octagon and and do mma sparring I go on twitter and I have fun with some idiot Right, but but I just enjoy it and usually we both laugh it off and we move on It's just part of my personality, right? I'm i'm a fun guy I could be deadly serious and very academic and scientific And as you've correctly pointed in the past I could not take myself seriously and be just one of the guys So this is a manifestation of that Now that this person felt sufficiently emboldened in his indignation that he would try to fire me That's where you should be focusing on sort of I don't think that's real. I don't think he really felt So emboldened I think what it was is he recognized that there's a climate Today where a person like yourself who's a professor who uses a certain word that is deemed to be offensive by society That he can call you on that word and get you caught right you got caught up in a net of your own doing sir Well, i'm i'm still here smiling and looking tan. So that's okay. You do you do look tan Do you regret using that word? More than anything I regret that I ever get sucked into these battles Yeah, that's that's it's much because again, it's a slippery slope today. It's retard tomorrow. It's moron the next day. It's schmuck Yeah, well that is true in terms of like We're people don't understand Calling someone a retard like say if you're a 30 year old person today or 25 year old person. Let's try 25 You realize that that is a forbidden taboo war when you and I were 25 that word Was nothing right that word you would you get called it by your teacher, right? I mean it's true That was and it and it was known to be someone who was retarding your growth or retarding the class or saying things that were Retarding development of ideas and and logic moving forward that you're you're you're a roadblock You're a pile of rocks in the road, right? You fucking retard like that's how people talked about it Like that's how they said it but then it's become a new Word that's victim to this war on words because you're not saying you have down syndrome, right? What you're saying is you're a dumb person, you know and That terminology like especially the word retarded. It is not even used medically, right? So it's it's not a word and the to say that there's no nuance and this word cannot be used About a really stupid fucking person, right?