CITIZENS’ CORNER: A New Firsthand Account of Dr Harold Bloom’s Improper Touching of Young Women, via Professor Emeritus of English at Kent State University, Parallels Grievance Filed with Yale by Dr Wolf
Dear Dr. Naomi Wolf,
I am Professor Emeritus of English at Kent State University. I am writing to you today because I have recently heard in the media an attack on your work; I want to offer my support for your investment in young people and the causes of democracy. While I myself have not read your books since your groundbreaking “Beauty Myth”, I can attest that many of my students follow your writings and other media. I have been impressed with how widely you are admired among this generation of young women.
I also, however, want to say that I recently noticed on Wikipedia that you were discredited by Harold Bloom when you accused him of sexual harassment years ago at Yale. This attack on your veracity has led me to share my story. In 1979 or 1980 when I was a 26-year-old graduate student at the University of Virginia, I had occasion to be invited to a professional dinner with Harold Bloom in Washington, D.C. I was sat next to him at dinner and during the dinner he kept on placing his hand on my leg under the table despite my moving away from him. I was too shocked and anxious to say anything or get up and leave before the dinner was over– given his daunting stature and my relative diminutive position. I have spoken of this incident to a few colleagues and friends in passing but of course have never spoken of it in public, until now. Yet it remains a very unsettling experience in my graduate career.
Thank you for your work on behalf of women, democracy, and free speech. I do agree with you that women of our generation should speak out regarding abuse of power and sexual harassment.
You may publish this letter if you wish.
With best wishes and regards,