Memorial University provost Noreen Golfman has come under fire for her cavalier dismissal of protesters this week, and is answering back with a stinging blog post that targets men and social media.
Golfman has been the subject of social media scorn — even newspaper cartoons. Students and others are angry over fee and tuition hikes at the university. Some have even called for her resignation.
The controversy surrounds Golfman's reaction to protesting students earlier this week, which was captured by a CBC camera.
Golfman can be seen dismissively waving a piece of paper and sticking out her tongue as she walks past a group of angry students.
Her actions ignited a furore, with some calling it a Marie Antoinette-like moment, suggesting she was being arrogant and appeared to be out of touch with students.
The incident followed an earlier public comment in which Golfman referenced peanut butter sandwiches when defending the university's spending practices.
Admits to being foolish
In a blog post published Friday on the university's website, Golfman said she is "deeply appreciative of the lessons learned on this journey," lauded the students for their activism and tried to explain her behaviour.
"Thanks for reminding me that an admittedly foolish, if totally honest, few moments of face-making reaction to a call to fire the president, can, indeed, go viral in our age. That gave the media a lot of useful filler, too, for which, I am sure, they are grateful. Thanks, especially, for reminding me what hateful demonizing, misogynistic, profane sites Twitter and Facebook can be."
Golfman said her "inbox has never been so full of venom," and from one gender in particular.
"(Mostly) male students/strangers from as far away as the USA have written me directly for me to resign or drop dead, whichever comes first — a useful reminder of the anti-women aggression that persists in our culture like a very bad smell.
"It is always wise to be mindful of it, as well as the nagging theme that, as some have put it to me directly, I am 'not really from here.'"
To read Golfman's post in its entirety, click here.