Feminist activist and Rhodes Scholar Naomi Wolf ’84 recently accused Humanities and English Professor Harold Bloom of sexually harassing her while she was an undergraduate at Yale, the New York Observer reported this week.
Wolf’s accusations will appear in an article she is writing for next week’s New York Magazine, the Observer reported.
Bloom is well known at Yale and worldwide for his scholarship on Shakespeare, Chaucer and Milton, as well for writing over 20 books including “Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human” and “How to Read and Why.” Bloom — who, according to unidentified sources in the Observer article, wrote a recommendation for Wolf when she was applying for the Rhodes Scholarship — declined to comment on the accusation.
New York Magazine spokeswoman Serena Torrey said she could not comment on the specific content of an article that had not yet been published but said Wolf’s story will appear next Monday.
“In next week’s New York Magazine, Naomi Wolf will have a story outlining 20 years of incidents of sexual misconduct at Yale and her search and hope for an appropriate response from the administration to these situations,” Torrey said.
Yale spokeswoman Helaine Klasky said Wolf contacted Yale with her accusations, but she explained that Wolf had not acted within the two-year statute of limitations for such complaints.
“As we explained to Ms. Wolf, Yale has very clear guidelines and policies for any sexual harassment claims,” Klasky said. “Any claims must be brought in two years after the alleged incident. At the time when she was a student, she did not avail herself.”
Klasky said Wolf asked for an apology but was told that Yale can’t issue an apology “when there’s no finding of wrong-doing.”
“Yale takes any claim of sexual harassment very seriously,” Klasky said. “That is why we have such stringent policies and procedures in place and why we encourage students when appropriate to avail themselves.”
Klasky said Wolf does not intend to take legal action against Yale.
Wolf, author of “The Beauty Myth,” and “Fire With Fire,” gained notoriety in 2000 as an advisor to Al Gore’s Presidential Campaign, during which she suggested that Gore become an Alpha male and discard what she referred to as his Beta male tendencies.