Gender activists call for sanctions, mandatory sensitivity training after Russia's Foreign Minister assumes Rex Tillerson identifies as a boy
College campuses across America have canceled classes after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov assumed that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was a boy.
Russian media reported on Tuesday that Lavrov said that "my mother used to tell me: always be a good boy, don’t ever dance with other boys" — an apparent swipe at Tillerson's negotiating abilities.
Lavrov's comment was in response to an earlier statement made by the US Secretary of State, who said at a meeting of NATO diplomats, "Sure, you can dance with Russia and you might also gain something out of it. But for sure you cannot tango with [Sergey] Lavrov because he is not allowed to dance that one."
Gender activists and students at Ithaca College, located in the Southern Tier-Finger Lakes region of New York, said that the foreign minister's comments show that Russia commits acts of microaggression without remorse or concern for the college's community guidelines.
"We are organizing a campaign to petition the Russian government to require Lavrov to undergo mandatory sensitivity training," Christopher Tendies, a senior at Ithaca and head of the college's Microaggression Response Action Committee, told Reuters.
Ithaca's Comparative Feelings Studies department canceled classes on Wednesday, and plans to host community meetings, group counseling sessions, and candlelight vigils.
"Lavrov's attempt to compartmentalize Tillerson's gender shows that Russia truly is a nation of thugs," wrote professor Claudine Brownfaucet in an email to students.
"Safe spaces will be available between 2pm-9pm at the Raytheon Center for Intercultural Learning. Don't forget to bring your crayons," she added.
The college's Student Government Association says it is already preparing sanctions against Moscow.
"Sergey Lavrov will be sanctioned with a Level 5 Bias Incident, which of course means that he/her/zer/eir/hir/xyr/vis/thons/hus/nir/cos will lose student housing," according to student body president Fiona Sadsmith.
The Russian Foreign Ministry declined to comment.
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