Professor resigns after calling for a ‘social dialogue’ on her Facebook page

A University of Virginia associate professor has resigned after posting comments on Facebook, including references to minor-attracted persons, his sexuality and a nude video of the UVA lacrosse team. Daniela Giovannoni, a professor of philosophy at the University of North Florida, resigned on Nov. 5 after administrators at UVA began investigating. Giovannoni said that the allegations were “not true,” but they resulted in his resignation. UVA officials had said in a press release that they began investigating on Oct. 30, the day after they received a complaint from a concerned alumna. According to a copy of the university’s statement, dated Nov. 5, Giovannoni’s school of philosophy was referred to a regional office of the state’s Division of Human Rights “in response to claims that Dr. Giovannoni posted comments in Facebook that are considered derogatory to a group of persons, including minors, and that degrade or demean women.” One of the alleged posts was a Facebook meme with the text “never forget who the real dykes are” and a photograph of a nude male who had “#minorattractedpersons tattooed on his leg.” The caption for the post read, “We are why a person can support trans rights.” Another post showed a caricature of a woman with the word “skin” inscribed on her back. In a statement, Giovannoni said, “The picture of my Facebook feed on the eve of Halloween provoked a great deal of online comments and I stand by my post on transgender politics in light of the damage my post could potentially cause trans folk and those of us who do not approve of their transformation.” He also said he was “very sorry for any harm my statements have caused” and that the post was “not meant as a term of derogation toward women and trans folk.”

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