Dankprofessor’s Weblog

A weblog examining sexual politics in higher education and beyond.

Sadomasochistic website viewers to become subject to arrest

CODE RED ALERT (CRA indicates that post reports on a situation that represents a clear and present danger to the civil liberties and privacy of the citizenry.)

 Sadomasochistic website viewers will become subject to arrest in the United Kingdom with the upcoming passage of a new obscenity law.  UK viewers of websites originating from the United States will be subject to arrest while the US website owners will not be subject to criminal prosecution. (Read on to find out how Americans can also be arrested under this law.)

Such is not the unforeseen effect of the law rather it is the intended effect.

The creation of the law was spearheaded by Liz Longhurst, the mother of Jane Longhurst.  Jane Longhurst was murdered five years ago by a person who was revealed to have been accessing websites showing images of women being “abused and violated”.

The law criminalizes the viewing of “extreme pornography”.  The major question then becomes what is extreme pornography.  Extreme pornography is defined in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill which is scheduled to get Royal Assent on May 8 .

As reported by the BBC News, extreme pornography is defined in the the following way-

As defined by the new Criminal Justice Bill
An act which threatens or appears to threaten a person’s life
An act which results in or appears to result in serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals
An act which involves or appears to involve sexual interference with a human corpse
A person performing or appearing to perform an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal

Until now pornographers, rather than consumers, have needed to operate within the confines of the 1959 Obscene Publications Act (OPA). While this law will remain, the new act is designed to reflect the realities of the internet age, when pornographic images may be hosted on websites outside the UK.
Under the new rules, criminal responsibility shifts from the producer – who is responsible under the OPA – to the consumer.

But campaigners say the new law risks criminalising thousands of people who use violent pornographic images as part of consensual sexual relationships.

Opposition to the legislation 

is led by Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer, a Liberal Democrat peer who has fought to have the legislation amended.

“Obviously anything that leads to violence against women has to be taken very seriously,” says Baroness Miller. “But you have to be very careful about the definition of ‘extreme pornography’ and they have not nearly been careful enough.”

She has suggested the new act adopt the legal test set out in the OPA, which bans images which “tend to deprave and corrupt”.

But the government has sought to broaden the definition and the bill includes phrases such as “an act which threatens or appears to threaten a person’s life”.

Speaking from her home in Berkshire, Mrs Longhurst acknowledges that libertarians see her as “a horrible killjoy”.

“I’m not. I do not approve of this stuff but there is room for all sorts of different people. But anything which is going to cause damage to other people needs to be stopped.”
To those who fear the legislation might criminalise people who use violent pornography as a harmless sex aid, she responds with a blunt “hard luck”.

“There is no reason for this stuff. I can’t see why people need to see it. People say what about our human rights but where are Jane’s human rights?”

Baroness Miller says the new law also threatens people’s privacy.

“The government is effectively walking into people’s bedrooms and saying you can’t do this. It’s a form of thought police.”

She says there’s a danger of “criminalising kinkiness” and fears the legislation has been rushed through Parliament without proper debate because it is a small part of a wider bill.

Another critic of the law states-

“How many tens or hundreds or thousands of people are going to be dragged into a police station, have their homes turned upside down, their computers stolen and their neighbours suspecting them of all sorts?”

Such “victims” won’t feel able to fight the case and “will take a caution, before there are enough test cases to prove that this law is unnecessary and unworkable”.

Another opponent of the new law is Edward Garnier, an MP and part-time judge, who questioned the clause when it was debated in the Commons.

“My primary concern is the vagueness of the offence,” says Mr Garnier. “It was very subjective and it would not be clear to me how anybody would know if an offence had been committed.”

…opponents have also seized on what they see as an anomaly in the new law, noted by Lord Wallace of Tankerness during last week’s debate in the House of Lords.

“If no sexual offence is being committed it seems very odd indeed that there should be an offence for having an image of something which was not an offence,” he said.

With that partly in mind, the government is tabling an amendment that would allow couples to keep pictures of themselves engaged in consensual acts – but not to distribute them. Lord Hunt, who has charge of the bill in the Lords, admits it is being rushed through to meet a deadline. But he denies the law has not been thoroughly considered and maintains it will only affect images that are “grossly offensive and disgusting”.

Such is the nature of the absurdity of what is about to happen in the UK.  And what the dankprofessor finds to be ironic is that the UK initiated change in their laws to legalize same sex sexual consensual behavior way before homosexual law reform occurred in the United States, and now the UK will be criminalizing UK viewers who view consensual sm behaviors on websites originating in the United States.  And for those blog readers who may think this issue has nothing to do with universities and sexual politics, think again since the viewing of such websites in universities throughout the UK will become illegal.

And let us not overlook the Draconian nature of this legislature, images of actual harmful behavior need not be presented in these websites, it is appearances that count.

Such would make the San Francisco website kink.com, which was recently the subject of a feature article in the NY Times, play an unintended role in facilitating the arrest of their UK viewers.  And, of course, some of these viewers in the UK may be American citizens who in a state of naivete access a website that can lead to their being arrested.

Times do change.  In the old days, Americans returning to the US from Britain with copies of Lady Chatterley’s Lover risked having their copy seized and risked being arrested.  Now Americans in Britain could be arrested in Britain for viewing American websites.

Unfortunately, the attack on adult sexual consensual behavior/viewing knows no limits.  This attack on sm consensual behavior/viewing is simply another contemporary example of a sexual crusade which has no respect for individual autonomy, and personal privacy in the implementation of moral zealotry.

FOR AN UPDATE ON THIS STORY, CLICK HERE

—–
If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration
to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor™
© Copyright 2008 

 

 

 

April 29, 2008 Posted by | censorship, consensual relationships, ethics, higher education, pornography, sadomasochism, sex, sex work, sexual politics, speech, Uncategorized, United Kingdom | 1 Comment

Colorado College persists in persecution of CC students

I have previously posted on the absurd decision of the Colorado College administration to persecute Colorado College students by equating student parodying with student violence.  When FIRE entered the case, I was hopeful that the Colorado College administration would see the light. However, as reported in FIRE’s latest update on the case, such has not occurred.  The FIRE press release in its entirety follows.

Colorado College Denies Appeal of Students Responsible for ‘Violent’ Parody

 COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., April 28, 2008-Colorado College has denied student Chris Robinson’s appeal of its finding that he and another student violated the school’s “violence” policy for posting a flyer that parodied a flyer of the Feminist and Gender Studies program. The school also has decided not to remove any letters about the case from the students’ files until after graduation. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is assisting Robinson in his case against the school.

 “First, Colorado College trampled over Chris Robinson’s right to engage in an obvious parody, and now the school has further embarrassed itself by denying his appeal,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “The judicial procedure was a joke: the same administrator who found Robinson guilty in the first place was the final judge of his appeal. FIRE calls on Colorado College to remove this guilty finding once and for all from the students’ records. As long as they are deemed guilty for engaging in satire, the school’s extensive promises of free expression are brazen misrepresentations.”

 In early 2008, Colorado College’s “Feminist and Gender Studies Interns” distributed a flyer called “The Monthly Rag,” which included a reference to “male castration,” an announcement about a lecture on “feminist porn,” and an explanation of “packing” (pretending to have a phallus). As a parody of “The Monthly Rag,” Robinson and a second student, who wishes to remain anonymous, distributed a flyer in February called “The Monthly Bag” under the pseudonym “The Coalition of Some Dudes.” The flyer included references to “tough guy wisdom,” “chainsaw etiquette,” the shooting range of a sniper rifle, and a quotation about “female violence and abuse” of men from the website batteredmen.com.

 Shortly thereafter, Colorado College President Richard F. Celeste sent out a campus-wide e-mail declaring that “The Monthly Bag” included “threatening and demeaning content, which is categorically unacceptable in this community,” and asking the “Dudes” to come forward. When they did less than an hour later, they were subjected to a three-hour hearing and charged with “bias” and violating the college’s values of respect and integrity.

 FIRE wrote to Celeste on March 21, 2008, pointing out that any punishment would contradict Colorado College’s own policies and advertised commitments to free expression, including a policy that states, “On a campus that is free and open, no idea can be banned or forbidden. No viewpoint or message may be deemed so hateful that it may not be expressed.”

 After the “Dudes” faced penalties including expulsion for three weeks, Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students Mike Edmonds finally wrote to the “Coalition of Some Dudes” students on March 25, stating that they had been found guilty of “violating the student code of conduct policy on violence.” The punishments included having the finding of guilt placed in their student files and being required to hold a forum to “discuss issues and questions raised” by their parody. Although Edmonds acknowledged that the intent of the publication was to satirize “The Monthly Rag,” he wrote that “in the climate in which we find ourselves today, violence-or implied violence-of any kind cannot be tolerated on a college campus.” According to Edmonds, “the juxtaposition of weaponry and sexuality” in an anonymous parody made students subjectively feel threatened by chainsaws or rifles.

 Robinson appealed Edmonds’s decision, but the final judge of the appeal was Edmonds himself. Robinson was notified on April 21, in a letter dated April 11, that his appeal had failed and that the finding would remain in his student file until he graduates.

 Also on April 21, the Director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program, Adam Kissel, spoke on campus to some controversy. Posters announcing his speech were found to have had the words “Political Science Department” scratched out from the line “sponsored by the Political Science Department,” although that department did invite Kissel to speak.

 “Colorado College should declare the students innocent immediately,” Kissel said. “FIRE will continue to pursue this case until these students’ records are completely cleared of any alleged wrongdoing. President Celeste still has a chance to do justice in this case.”

 FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, due process, freedom of expression, academic freedom, and rights of conscience at our nation’s colleges and universities. FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty at Colorado College and at campuses nationwide can be viewed at thefire.org. 

 CONTACT:
Adam Kissel, Director, Individual Rights Defense Program, FIRE: 215-717-3473; adam@thefire.org

Richard F. Celeste, President, Colorado College: 719-389-6700; president@coloradocollege.edu

Mike Edmonds, Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students, Colorado College: 719-389-6684; medmonds@coloradocollege.edu

Nancy Woodrow, Secretary, Board of Trustees, Colorado College: 270 Bushaway Road, Wayzata, Minnesota 55391

 

 

 

April 28, 2008 Posted by | academic freedom, Colorado College, ethics, higher education, sexual politics, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

University of Georgia president and composer withdraws Clarence Thomas invitation

Blog readers, I have surreptitiously obtained a pre-release copy of a letter from the renown composer and President of the University of Georgia, John Adams to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas withdrawing an invitation to Judge Thomas as the UG commencement speaker.  The letter follows, expletives are deleted.

Dear Justice Thomas,

It is with a deep sense of regret that I now write to you withdrawing my invitation to you to be the graduation speaker for the Spring 2008 UGA commencement.  Such is no easy task for me.  But as President of a great university I must be responsive to the concerns and issues raised by the UGA faculty.

As you know, the University of Georgia has been subject to a number of sexual harassment cases this past academic year.  And as it has been pointed out by Psychology Professor Pamela Pick and many others, having a speaker such as yourself as a commencement speaker cannot help but bring to the surface angry feelings concerning these cases.  No matter that you have denied being involved in any form of sexual harassment, no matter that you have never been charged with sexual harassment, no matter that you had been thoroughly vetted by the US Senate on this issue as part of your confirmation process for the U.S. Supreme Court, I must give priority to the sensitivities of the faculty and students of the University of Georgia.  Priority must be given to the facilitation of a campus culture of tranquility and comfort.  Adversarial debate and discussion certainly has its place in the courts of our great land, but an adversarial campus culture can only function to hinder education and lead to a hostile learning environment.

And very importantly I find that the UGA faculty is genuinely bitter about your speaking at UGA.  Unquestionably an ignored faculty will become  a bitter faculty.   And it is in this context that I tell you that terminating your invitation in the name of our faculty, provides our faculty with something to believe and in the present case they can believe in themselves, that they can make a difference.  As you know, Justice Thomas, all people need something, some idea, some ideal to cling to.

As for myself, I must confess to you that this whole process has been very disheartening for me.  The truth is that I initially selected another speaker, a speaker who had been a crusader for financial and moral justice in America.  And so I must tell you that I withdrew the invitation to Governor Spitzer in a state of complete shock.  Now to have to sacrifice a Georgia native son, a wise man of few words, an esteemed Supreme Court Justice who has even been featured on 60 Minutes, is a most burdensome task.

I also must tell you that in selecting a replacement for you as commencement speaker, I consulted with some of most erudite persons in America.  It should bring some satisfaction to you that in choosing your replacement I relied heavily on the advice of your colleague Antonin Scalia and TV newspersons Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric.  I selected a person who has become an icon for many in America and, has respect for the constitutional limits imposed on him which prevents his pursuing the dream of becoming President of the United States.  Finally, the fact is that he has a close working relationship with the Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, and has a long and continuing friendship with PBS magnet Charlie Rose, made this decision a bit easier for me. 

So I will be welcoming as the UGA commencement speaker, the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Most sincerely,

John Adams, Composer and President
University of Georgia

—–
If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration
to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor™
© Copyright 2008

April 28, 2008 Posted by | ethics, higher education, political correctness, sexual harassment, sexual politics, University of Georgia | Leave a comment

University of New Mexico’s statement on Lisa Chavez

Sex In The Public Square is to be commended for posting the entirety of the position statement of UNM Deputy Provost Richard Holder on the fitness to teach of English Professor Lisa Chavez.  To view this statement, please click here. To view all of the dankprofessor’s prior postings on the Chavez controversy, click here.

Particularly note the following excerpt from the Holder statement.

First, I do understand the concerns and outright pain this situation has caused on behalf of almost all who have considered it carefully, and I regret the entire matter as much as any of you. However, we have to be guided by our carefully crafted policies and avoid at all costs trampling on the rights of any one of us, no matter the feelings any extramural activities may provoke.

Avoiding at all costs trampling on the rights of others is the key central point of this statement.  It merits applause from all academics who take the academic enterprise seriously.  The only question remaining is whether the Deputy Provost can talk the talk but also walk the walk.  And I have little doubt that the Deputy Provost will be tested given that following the sending of the statement, the Director of Creative Writing resigned in protest and a number of faculty who opposed the Provost’s decision continued with their protests.

Of course, the dankprofessor hopes that the parties opposed to Professor Chavez will accept the goodwill and good statement of the Deputy Provost.  However, given academic life as it is at most universities in the United States, goodwill and good statements are often not enough to bring an immediate resolution to matters such as this one.  Let us hope that this goodwill will lead to a civil welcoming back of Lisa Chavez by her English Department colleagues this coming Fall semester.

—–
If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration
to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor™
© Copyright 2008

April 26, 2008 Posted by | ethics, higher education, lisa chavez, sadomasochism, sex, sexual politics, University of New Mexico | Leave a comment

University of Georgia prof defends faculty protest

Janet E. Frick, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Georgia,  has written an op ed piece explaining why some UGA faculty signed a petition in opposition to the selection of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as the graduation speaker for the UGA 2008 Spring commencement.

Basically Professor Frick argues that the UGA faculty just can’t take it anymore.  This past academic year the university has gone through one sexual harassment scenario after another.  And the good professor feels

The UGA community has been hungry for leadership on this issue. The selection of a commencement speaker who was embroiled in arguably the most public sexual harassment case in history – for this year’s commencement – demonstrates neither leadership nor sensitivity.

The leadership and sensitivity not displayed have been by Michael Adams, president of UGA.  According to Frick, a sensitive UGA president would not have selected “any speaker embroiled in controversy about sexual harassment – yes, that includes former President Bill Clinton – would be seen as an ill-advised choice this year.”

In the dankprofessor’s opinion, Professor Frick’s advice is not good advice for the UGA or for that matter any university.
Such advice reflects a descent into the culture of comfort.  Being committed to comfort and sensitivity will almost always be at odds with a culture of controversy and dissent, a culture which should be a part of any campus.

The rationale for avoidance of controversial speakers or the suspension of academic freedom is almost always justified under the mantel of offense or sensitivity or under the argument that some campus group can’t tolerate the speaker or the controversy. As for the argument that the faculty of UGA just can’t handle controversial speakers on sexual harassment, such is a very poor reflection on the faculty.  Maybe these faculty should resign if controversial speakers are too much for them to handle.

Janet Frick concludes her piece with the following statement- “I would like to see our president acknowledge that this decision was controversial, and defend the right of members of the UGA community to object to it.”

Of course, at this point in time it is obvious that the President’s decision was controversial; acknowledging it would be superfluous.  And as for defending the right of members of the UGA to object to it, is it not taken for granted at UGA that the right of objection by faculty and others is axiomatic?  If persons are attempting to suspend such a right then Professor Frick should publicly identify these persons.

—–
If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration
to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor™
© Copyright 2008

 

 

April 26, 2008 Posted by | academic freedom, ethics, higher education, political correctness, sex, sexual harassment, sexual politics, speech, University of Georgia | Leave a comment

Dankprofessor is staggered by widening Georgia sexual scandals

Georgia’s State Department of Transportation has been shocked by two major sexual scandals that involve the ruling powers that be at the DOT.

Gena L. Abraham, Georgia’s state transportation commissioner, who is the first woman to run what is one of the most powerful government agencies in the state, is likely to step down as the commissioner.

Such is likely to be the case since the NY Times reported that on

“last Thursday evening, the transportation board chairman, Mike Evans, shocked members in an executive session with the news that he was involved in a romantic relationship with Ms. Abraham. Department policy forbids intimate relationships between subordinates and their superiors.”

Both Ms. Abraham and Mr. Evans, 47, are single.

Mr. Evans, a developer from Cumming, Ga., who had recently won a bitter re-election battle for the board, resigned his post and his seat on the board. The board announced that he would be replaced by the vice chairman, Garland Pinholster, until a new chairman could be elected in May.

By Monday, however, Mr. Pinholster had also stepped down as chairman as news spread of a sexual harassment complaint filed against him by two department employees.

Ms. Abraham had said on Friday that she would resign. But she backed away from that position after Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle raced to the department’s offices and called her into a meeting in a stairwell there, with a guard posted outside the door.

On Monday, the board voted 8 to 3 to reprimand Ms. Abraham for failing to report the romantic relationship in a timely manner, but not to dismiss her.

The revelations about Ms. Abraham and Mr. Evans surfaced just three weeks after she sent a memorandum to all department employees saying she would not tolerate misconduct or violations of department policy.

“The sheer number of offenses that we are discovering is staggering and embarrassing to the department,” she wrote in the memorandum, which was dated March 31, and she added that she would not hesitate to fire employees for unethical or unlawful behavior.

Ms. Abraham later admitted that when she sent the memorandum she was already romantically involved with Mr. Evans.

“I was very hopeful for Gena Abraham, and I still am,” Mr. Lewis said. “It won’t be easy for her to come out of this, but before everyone found out she was falling in love with the chairman of the board, it wasn’t going to be easy either.”

But others believe that Ms. Abraham’s days at the department may be numbered.

Still, other longtime employees were philosophical about the drama surrounding the department.

“It’s a little surreal, obviously,” said David Spear, a department spokesman. “But I’ve been around for a long time, and affairs of the heart have their own agenda.”

The dankprofessor puts Gena Abraham in the same category as Eliot Spitzer- utter hypocrites.

Ms. Abraham may find the behavior of her subordinates at the DOT as embarrassing and staggering, but such does not compare to the staggering and embarrassing behavior engaged in by Ms. Abraham.  In fact, the dankprofessor is staggered.  I am in a Lloyd Price state of staggerlee.  Threatening to fire employees for the same behavior that she was engaging in is just not acceptable.  She should do the same thing that Spitzer did, resign.

Of course, the dankprofessor does not hold that her having a consensual relationship with the Board Chairman of the DOT is wrong or unethical.  It’s simply no ones business when adults are engaged in a consensual sexual relationship.  Policies banning sexual relationships in the workplace or the university place simply do not work.  What they work to do is to facilitate lying, dishonesty and fraudulent administrators.

University administrators, corporate administrators, administrators in the public sector are not competent to supervise the sexual lives of their employees, and some like Ms. Abrahams are not competent to supervise themselves ethically or sexually. 

Both the University of Georgia and the State of Georgia are not competent when it comes to dealing with the sexual lives of others.  The only policy that would appear to be a viable policy for both the state and university is a laissez faire policy except for those behaviors which function to directly sexually constrain others.  And even in this area, we must have administrators who are constrained by due process of law.

I agree with David Spear, a DOT spokesman who said ” …I’ve been around for a long time, and affairs of the heart have their own agenda.”  Amen, and lets stop others from imposing and preaching and hypocrising their own sexual agendas on others.

 —–
If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration
to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor™
© Copyright 2008

 

 

 

 

 

April 24, 2008 Posted by | consensual relationships, ethics, higher education, office romance, sex, sexual harassment, sexual politics, University of Georgia, workplace | Leave a comment

University of Georgia, sexual harassment and Clarence Thomas

The University of Georgia has been the site of a string of sexual harassment cases this past academic year.  The UG student newspaper has been diligent in reporting on said cases in detail.  Now the RED & BLACK reports that that the UG administration  has been dealing with the sexually harassing accused faculty in such a way as to minimize the pain for these faculty of being separated/terminated by the University of Georgia.

In at least four cases, the violator of the sexual harassment policy was not fired but instead allowed to receive the remaining money owed to them on their contract before leaving the University.

UG golf coach Todd McCorkle is set to make $100,944 in total following the day of his resignation through the end of his contract in June.

William Bender, a tenured professor in the college of education, faced sexual harassment complaints reaching as far back as two decades. He issued his resignation in September, but it does not become effective until May.

Bender is teaching online courses.

He will earn $40,448.40 between his resignation and the end of his contract.

Then there is Mark Jensen, assistant professor of genetics and epidemiology, who issued his resignation in March.

He was found in violation of the policy for sending frequent flirtatious e-mails and being “touchy” with students, documents show. Jensen will make $8,246 in the period following his resignation.

And there is Stephen M. Shellman, an assistant professor in the School of Public and International Affairs, who admitted having a problem with alcohol and resigned March 7.

He was under investigation for two incidents involving alcohol and inappropriate contact with students. Shellman will have made $8,615.54 post resignation when his contract expires April 28.

But it is the golf coach that the UG student newspapers feels that the University of Georgia has mismanaged in the sense of making McCorkle’s “departure” too pain free. The student paper reports the following as having occurred.

On May 7, 2007, McCorkle resigned from his post as women’s golf head coach, amid a sexual harassment case initiated by his players.

Allegations were made that he repeatedly directed sexual comments and jokes at players, such as making jabs about their underwear.

The golfers also said he showed them the Paris Hilton sex tape, according to documents obtained from the Office of Legal Affairs.

One unnamed player claimed, “He is randomly rubbing your back or flipping hair, or a pat on the butt — and otherwise not thinking anything about it.”

The records indicate McCorkle admitted explaining the definition of “blue balls” to his players and calling one player “sexy” on the way to an SEC Tournament banquet.

Due to these admissions, he was found in violation of the Non-Discrimination Anti-Harassment Policy.

However, Steven Shewmaker, executive director of Legal Affairs, did not recommend that McCorkle be fired.

Instead, Shewmaker proposed McCorkle undergo extensive sexual harassment training and go without pay for the month of July.

McCorkle resigned three days later ­- three days before the NCAA tournament was set to begin.

At the time, Athletic Director Damon Evans said McCorkle would be reassigned within the athletic department.

“We are appreciative of Todd’s contributions to our golf program,” Evans said in a 2007 news release after the resignation. “We look forward to continuing to work with him within our organization.”

McCorkle now has a new title, administrative specialist-managerial.

He even has an office phone number listed on the University Web site. The problem is the number routes to current women’s golf coach Kelley Hester.

Nobody in the athletic department could provide The Red & Black with even a semblance of McCorkle’s job duties.

They didn’t know…

Associate Athletic Director Claude Felton took his best stab at explaining the former coach’s new title.

“I don’t know where he is,” Felton said. “He’s not physically here anymore. Since he’s under contract, he could still be asked to perform some function within the department.”

When asked of the likelihood of McCorkle returning, Felton said, “I would not foresee him being involved in the future.”

Felton said McCorkle’s case was not out of the ordinary. He referenced former basketball coach Jim Harrick and former football coach Ray Goff, whose contracts were honored after they left.

While Harrick endured a scandal of his own, neither had a sexual harassment case swirling around their terminations.

Evans did not return phone calls, inquiring into the nature of McCorkle’s reassignment.

And Felton said he did not know how the evolution of McCorkle’s new role was determined.

“I think that probably the Athletic Association would decline to comment on matters such as this,” he said.

McCorkle still is being paid as the head women’s golf coach even though he is 360 miles from campus.

He teaches golf to the general public, as an instructor at The Golf Club at North Hampton in Fernandina Beach, Fla.

McCorkle spoke to The Red & Black Wednesday afternoon, right before conducting a clinic at the country club.

“There really is a good story there, but I’m at a point in my life where I’m content with each of us going our separate ways,” he said of his dealings with the athletic department.

McCorkle’s contract with the University expires at the end of June, when he will no longer be paid by the University.

For now, he receives paychecks from the University and North Hampton.

But now comes the zinger and what on the surface might appear to be a non sequitur.  In response to this sexual harassment outbreak at the University of Georgia a number of UG faculty are protesting the scheduling of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as the commencement speaker for the upcoming June graduation.  The Associated Press reports -“Some University of Georgia faculty are concerned having U.S Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as the institution’s graduation speaker sends the wrong message after a year of sexual harassment scandals on campus.”

“What a slap in the face this is to everyone who has been working to bring to light the realities of sexual harassment, and to establish appropriate methods and offices for addressing this significant problem on our campus,” Chris Cuomo, director of UGA’s Institute for Women’s Studies, told The Red & Black student newspaper.

UGA spokesman Tom Jackson said Thomas has a close relationship with the UGA School of Law and has visited campus several times to give lectures.

“We’re honored to have an associate justice of the Supreme Court bringing our commencement address,” Jackson said.

Some faculty members told The Associated Press they planned to speak on the issue during the University Council meeting Tuesday afternoon. Associate professor Janet Frick said she was using her two psychology lectures Monday to educate students about the history of Thomas’ appointment to the Supreme Court.

I trust that the protesting faculty will point out that the almost all of the UG faculty resigned from UG rather than face sexual harassment charges and such comes to represent an admission of guilt.  In contrast to these faculty, Thomas has never resigned from any position regarding sexual harassment.  When faced with a charge of sexual harassment by Anita Hill, Thomas protested the validity of her testimony and was open to being fully interrogated.

The fact that many people believe he harassed Anita Hill is not the point.  The point here is that these protesting faculty presume Thomas to be guilty.  Will these faculty make such a distinction clear to their students?  If such not be the case, then it is the concept of civil and fair discourse that is “receiving a slap in the face.”

And talking about the consequences of sexual harassment charges, I trust that these faculty protesting against Clarence Thomas appearing as the UG commencement speaker would be just as adamant in their protests if Bill Clinton was the commencement speaker.  Such should be the case since Bill was charged with sexual harassment by Paula Jones and many believe that Paula’s charges were true even given that such charges have never been proven in court.  Of course, the Paula Jones case ultimately led to the impeachment of Bill Clinton, a rather severe penalty to say the least.  And as in the case of Clarence Thomas, Bill Clinton protested his innocence and was “exonerated” by the US Senate just as Clarence Thomas was exonerated by the US Senate. 

Politics do make strange bedfellows or putting it in more direct terms, sexual harassment charges do create strange bedfellows.

—–
If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration
to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor™
© Copyright 2008

 

 

  

 

April 24, 2008 Posted by | ethics, higher education, political correctness, sex, sexual harassment, sexual politics | | 1 Comment

Rape charges dropped against Penn State football star Austin Scott

All rape and sexual assault charges have been dropped against Penn State football star Austin Scott. The charges were dropped by the Centre County district attorney.  The District Attorney’s office filed the charges in early October 2007 one week after Scott had been suspended from the Penn State football team.

Penn State football coach Joe Paterno said Saturday that he wants to help former player Austin Scott get to the NFL but does not regret his decision to suspend Scott from the team last fall.  Scott’s attorney, John P. Karoly characterized the prosecution of Karoly as being “overzealous”.

The rape charge, and the suspension put Scott in a state of psychological and career limbo.  The forfeiting of his senior football year and the stigma of the rape charge created severe doubt as whether Scott could ever play in the NFL.

In withdrawing the charges, the Centre County district attorney’s office issued a statement saying its case was handicapped by a ruling to allow the defense to cross-examine the accuser about rape allegations she made in 2003 against a Moravian College student who was later acquitted.

In a written decision, Centre County Judge Thomas King Kistler cited as reasons to allow the cross-examination, 19 similarities between the two cases, including assertions that the woman never cried for help and that she kissed both men goodbye after intercourse.

Karoly, who has won multimillion-dollar settlements in brutality and misconduct suits against the Bethlehem and Easton police departments, said he is still hoping for an apology from Paterno or the university or both.

Before Saturday’s Blue-White spring football game at Beaver Stadium, Paterno said Scott — a running back who led Parkland High School to a state championship in 2002 — was suspended for the remainder of the season because he was out late two nights before a football game.

”My problem with Austin, irrespective of [the charges], was the fact that he was out until 3-4 o’clock in the morning during the season — period,” Paterno said. ”He knows that.”

He also said he would like to help Scott, 23, pursue a future in the NFL.

With the District Attorney’s office knowing of the prior rape charge and the 19 similarities of the two cases, in the dankprofessor’s opinion this case should have never gone forward.  The decision to go forward functioned to punish Scott without trial.  Even though the ruling judge effectively undid the prosecution’s case, the District Attorney’s office needlessly allowed this charge to stand for some seven months until they were forced to admit that they had no case against Scott.

In a press conference held by Scott’s lawyer and by Scott, they implied that a lawsuit would be forthcoming.  By clicking here, one can click on and see the entirety of the press conference video.  I urge my blog readers to do so.  The video allows viewers to experience the plight of Austin Scott in a more up close and personal manner.  In the video it was also stated that a lawsuit against Penn State University was not being ruled out.  Scott is hoping to receive an apology from the university.

As for his coach Joe Paterno, he sated the following- ”Austin and I talked last week on the phone, and I said as soon as we get through this thing, you should come up and we can talk about your future a little. I told him, if I can help him get a better opportunity with a pro team after this thing is over with, I’d do that.”

As for the university’s handling of the case, such appears quite similar to how Duke University handled the rape charge against the members of their lacrosse team.  Assume guilt and offer no refuge to the presumed guilty.  Such is the world view of too many university administrators, particularly when charges of some sort of illicit sex are involved. The Duke University administrators who facilitated Duke moving against the lacrosse players still remain at Duke in good stead. Let us hope that Penn State takes a more proactive stand in attempting to right their wrongs against Austin Scott

And the Morning Call which has reported on this case and which I cite as my source in this posting has not righted their wrongs.  In the Morning call article, the Morning Call did not use the name of the woman; the Call stated that the woman’s name is being withheld “because it does not identify alleged rape victims”.  But the Call just doesn’t get it.  The woman is no longer an alleged rape victim.  The victim has been shown to be Austin Scott who was was the subject of a false rape report. 

It appears self-evident to the dankprofessor that a charge against the woman for filing a false complaint should be forthcoming.   Will the Call then reveal the woman’s identity?  And even if a charge which should be charged is not filed, the Call should still reveal the woman’s identity.  If her identity is not revealed, it will be demonstrated to like minded others that one can make false rape charges with minimal public opprobrium.

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If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
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Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor™
© Copyright 2008

 

 

April 22, 2008 Posted by | consensual relationships, ethics, higher education, litigation, rape, sex, sexual politics, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Professor Lisa Chavez and higher hypocrisy education

The Albuquerque Journal reported today on the controversy surrounding University of New Mexico Professor of English Lisa Chavez.  On the whole, the Journal piece was primarily a rehashing of prior reports on the the controversy, but there was some unreported items and the major contribution of the Journal story was to provide their readers with additional insights into some of the leading players in this imbroglio.
 
As for a new item, the Journal reported that the identity of Professor Chavez online was Mistress Jade.  The fact that it took several months for any newsgathering source to discover this moniker provides further evidence to the dankprofessor that Chavez had made a concerted attempt to separate her professorial id from her sm performance id.  And an ad for the sm website “characterizes Mistress Jade as “a stern teacher ready to punish unruly students.”” Of course, such is a  frequent sm fantasy.  But as far as punishment goes, it is clear that several persons at UNM would like to punish Chavez in the real world for her acting out punishment scenarios in a fantasy world.
 
The prime would be real world punisher as previously reported is just resigned Creative Writing Director Sharon Warner.  For Warner the fact that UNM refuses to punish Chavez for “moolinghting as a phone sex worker” is beyond the pale.  She had expected UNM to take “swift action to protect the UNM learning environment”.  The only reason she could fathom for UNM not doing this, as is reported in the Journal, is that “UNM instead caved in to threats of litigation”.
 
As for the UNM administration response, they reject the idea that they had caved into anything; they simply see no evidence that that Chavez threatened the integrity of the learning process at UNM.
 
And Deputy Provost Richard Holder who has represented the UNM administration throughout the Chavez controversy is not exactly a laissez faire advocate when it comes to student professor relationships.
 
The one constant principle, Holder said, is that faculty shouldn’t be romantically involved with students enrolled in their classes. “And if such a relationship begins, we try to get the student out of the class and into another class if we know about it,” he said. He said the power inequity between faculty and their students creates too great a potential problem. 
 “If things are going well in the relationship, you could say that the faculty member is more likely to give a very good grade,” Holder said. “But the opposite occurs as often when people are breaking up. They might get an F in the class and not deserve it. It works both ways, and it’s just better not to have that sort of relationship.” 
Holder said in Chávez’s case, there was not a romantic relationship with the student. 
   
Of course Holder’s views are utter poppycock when it comes to student professor romantic relationships.  He cannot present a scintilla of evidence that professors grade the romantically involved in any way differently then they grade the non-romantically involved.  What he believes without any evidence for said belief should not be considered a justification for taking a student out of class and forcing her/his transfer to another class.  Such represents what Holder characterizes as a power inequity, but here it is the university administrator with the power over both student and professor.
 
Holder goes on to state that in the present Chavez case and the student who preformed with her, both the student and professor were adults and their behavior “didn’t seem to impinge on the classroom.”  Yes, Holder apparently got it right in this case, but he doesn’t seem to be aware that this rationale would be the same rationale for not intervening in student professor romantic relationships unless the evidence showed that said relationship impinged on the classroom.
Yes, act based on the evidence which was applied in the Chavez case but then do not turn around and act on what one believes to have happened, and hold as Holder holds in student professor romantic relationships that one can and should act without an investigation of the facts of the case.
 
But for Professor Warner it becomes irrelevant what Deputy Provost Holder’s investigation found since she believes that “faculty members must maintain their objectivity, whatever it takes.” No need for Deputy Holder to investigate since Warner knows that their could not be objectivity in Chavez’s class.
 
However, the Journal went on to report that many of the UNM English faculty who are critical of Professor Chavez do socialize with students. As reported by one faculty member, “colleagues invite graduate students to their homes for end-of-semester parties and other gatherings. “But the faculty member said “faculty members should respect appropriate boundaries””. 
 
Now in the dankprofessor’s opinion this ‘I socialize with students’ smacks of that now dreaded word “elitism”.  Yes, I will drink with students at the appropriate time and place; reminds me of Hillary guzzling beers at the appropriate time and place which supposedly functioned to shed her elitist performance face.
 
And then last but not least the Journal cites another Chavez colleague, Diane Thiel, who indicated what disturbed her the most “was that the student who posed with Chávez was enrolled in her pedagogy class at the time”.  “The point of the class is to cover such things as teaching ethics,” she said.
 
Bless the ethics teaching professors since they know in some ultimate sense what is ethical versus unethical.  And the student who does not internalize ethics from above has ethically strayed.  So much for independent critical thinking. So much for objectivity in the classroom; you believe in what I believe and you are a good student. Hypocrisy is existent throughout our society but it utterly knows no bounds in the land of higher hypocrisy education.
—–
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Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor™
© Copyright 2008
 
  

April 20, 2008 Posted by | consensual relationships, ethics, higher education, lisa chavez, sadomasochism, sex, sex work, sex workers, sexual policing, sexual politics, student professor dating, University of New Mexico | 1 Comment

Yale’s con artist

There is a media frenzy going on over Yale art student, Aliza Shvarts.  In today’s Yale Daily News, Aliza “confesses” to doing the following in the name of art-

For the past year, I performed repeated self-induced miscarriages. I created a group of fabricators from volunteers who submitted to periodic STD screenings and agreed to their complete and permanent anonymity. From the 9th to the 15th day of my menstrual cycle, the fabricators would provide me with sperm samples, which I used to privately self-inseminate. Using a needleless syringe, I would inject the sperm near my cervix within 30 minutes of its collection, so as to insure the possibility of fertilization. On the 28th day of my cycle, I would ingest an abortifacient, after which I would experience cramps and heavy bleeding.

To protect myself and others, only I know the number of fabricators who participated, the frequency and accuracy with which I inseminated and the specific abortifacient I used. Because of these measures of privacy, the piece exists only in its telling. This telling can take textual, visual, spatial, temporal and performative forms . copies of copies of which there is no original.

And what will Ms. Shuarts do with the result of her art project? Of course, given that she is an artist, she will put it on display at Yale next Tuesday. Her display will feature video recordings of these forced miscarriages as well as preserved collections of the blood from the process.  And according to the Yale Daily News, her reason for having the display is to ..”spark conversation and debate on the relationship between art and the human body.”

But as of yesterday Yale formally announced that the artist did not do any blood work or injecting of semen, such was a fabrication which was all part of her performance.  But now the artists denies the denial of Yale.  And Yale then denies the denial of the art student.

All this denial of denials reminds me of schizophrenic inducing communications which occur to deny any validation of any reality at any time.

The denial of denials and using fabricators to promulgate fabrications have been the product of artists for many a year. These artists are most frequently referred to as con artists.  And what may be the purpose of her con?  In the dankprofessor’s opinion, such is to con the media and Yale so she can get an Andy Warhol 15 minutes or more of fame for herself and for herself over and over again. 

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If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration
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Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor™
© Copyright 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 18, 2008 Posted by | art, con artists, ethics, higher education, sex, Yale University | Leave a comment

Professor Dave Cass dies

It is with a great sense of sorrow that I must report that Professor Dave Cass of the Department of Economics of the University of Pennsylvania has passed away.  The Chair of the economics department sent an email to the community indicating that he had passed away.
 
David Cass played a significant role in my intellectual and ethical development.  It was Dave in the middle 1990s who showed me up close and personal how university intrusion into the private lives of students and professors represents an abuse of power and functions to needlessly hurt couples who simply want to be left alone.  Dave had the inner strength to directly confront and challenge his accusers.  David Cass and Claudia Stachel became the first student professor couple to come forward publicly and declare their right to have a private life and simply be left alone.  He encouraged me to write about their experiences, and I did so.  One can read my article on the “Cass Case” by clicking here.
 
Last August, Dave and I communicated concerning the initiation of the dankprofessor blog.  We decided to create a post devoted to the many aspects of his fight against sexual correctness and sexual repression. Click here to read this post.  In September of last year we were scheduled to meet in Philadelphia to brainstorm on matters of mutual concern.  Due to my own health problems, on very short notice I had to postpone our meeting.  Much to my sorrow there will now be no meeting.  I was planning to meet with him this forthcoming September.
 
I know that Dave’s contributions to the field of economics were huge and that he successfully mentored many students who went on to become successful economists and academicians.
 
Personally, I will do what I can to communicate to others the good works of Professor David Cass.
—–
If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration
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Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor™
© Copyright 2008

April 18, 2008 Posted by | David Cass, ethics, higher education, obituary, sexual politics, university of pennsylvania | Leave a comment

Cigarette harassment at Yale?

A Yale faculty member who is a professor in the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department “has been accused of sexual harassment, according to a Yale Police Department report filed April 8″.  Such was reported by the Yale Daily News.  And according to the YDN,

The accusation will likely be handled internally by Yale Graduate School administrators, YPD spokesman Sgt. Steven Woznyk told the News on Tuesday. The YPD and the Graduate School have agreed to try to resolve the harassment complaint without formal police action, Woznyk said. Despite the confirmation of the report, administrators within the department and Graduate School remain tight-lipped, and the accused faculty member – whose name the News is withholding because no formal charges have been filed and no finding has been made by the University – denied the accusation to the News.

I think the policy of the YDN not reporting the name of the Yale professor is a wise policy particularly since there has been no formal charge lodged against the professor.  However, the policy as implemented by the YDN appears to the dankprofessor as a psuedo-implementation since the the YDN report narrowed the suspect population to male profs in the Near Eastern Languages and Civilization Department.  The population was further narrowed down when the YDN reported that the professor was a cigarette smoker.

When contacted by phone by the YDN and informed of the sexual harassment charge, the professor responded-“You are incorrect, if I were harassing someone, I would know.” 

The YDN then reported on the comments of an anonymous department insider with knowledge about the case who said

the faculty member asked a lector to purchase cigarettes from Walgreens and bring them to the faculty member’s residence. The professor then refused to pay back the lector, the insider said.

“There was a condition for [the lector] to pick up the check,” the insider continued.

The lector rejected the condition and left the residence immediately, the insider said, and the nature of this situation made the lector very uncomfortable.

The faculty member returned to the NELC department on Tuesday, April 8 – the day the case was filed with the YPD. According to the insider, the faculty member called the lector into the hallway at the beginning of a class the lector was teaching and proceeded to yell at the lector in the hallway, insisting that the lector take the money for the cigarettes.

“Everybody was uncomfortable,” the insider said. “All the students were scared because of the way [the faculty member] was talking and the way [the faculty member] was making noise in the hallway.”

There were roughly 20 students in the classroom at the time of the incident. A student in the class confirmed the information relayed by the insider, which was shared with the class on Thursday.

The insider said the loud conversation outside the classroom hinged on discussion of the cigarettes and the money.

“Everybody was wondering what happened,” the insider said.

The dankprofessor must admit to being perplexed in regards to this case since a sexual harassment charge is at issue but there was no indication in the YDN report that anything happened of a sexual nature.  Apparently the lector was uncomfortable in regards to exchanging money for cigarettes.  Of course, some persons regard cigarette smoking in itself as being sexual and apply a Freudian interpretation to cigarettes. 

A more likely scenario is that the lector viewed the professor as trying to seduce her into becoming a cigarette smoker. Such could be regarded as cigarette harassment.  Given Yale’s politically correct environment, it seems to me that it is rather problematic for a professor to have a student or lector buy his cigarettes.  In this kind of case, shouldn’t the professor being doing his own dirty work?  Shouldn’t he be the one going to a cancer promoting cigarette peddling Walgreens to purchase his own smokes?

—–
If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration
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Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor™
© Copyright 2008

 

 

April 17, 2008 Posted by | ethics, higher education, political correctness, sexual harassment, sexual politics, Yale University | | Leave a comment

The dankprofessor will not back down

Students as well as some administrators at Princeton University have taken a stand against internet website JuicyCampus. JuicyCampus primarily relies on anonymous postings, the majority of which specialize in character assassinations, mudslinging and unsupported rumors of every kind.

Inside Higher Ed reports on the Princeton protest-

The issues raised by anonymity – online, in bathroom graffiti and in more mundane contexts such as defaced or removed posters – aren’t unique to Princeton, whose section on JuicyCampus is relatively tame compared to those of other campuses. But the collective impact of expression that lacks accountability and even contributes to the decay of a campus culture, they believe, led some students to try a more constructive response than calling for banning the site or denouncing those who use it.

The petition declares a “stand against anonymous character assassination, a culture of gossip, and all other acts of ethical and intellectual cowardice.” It continues: “Anonymity may have its place in certain kinds of political speech, journalistic endeavors, and other arenas, but its overuse and abuse is not consistent with the standard of behavior we, as members of an academic community, wish to maintain.”

About 250 students arrived on campus both last Tuesday and Friday with T-shirts bearing the equation “anonymity = cowardice,” said Thomas Dunne, the associate dean of undergraduate students who worked with Diemand-Yauman on the campaign. The campaign has also produced posters with the message “You Can’t Take Me Down”: “Tearing down posters on campus because you don’t support the viewpoints expressed by the organizations involved or the content of the program is a type of vandalism and an act of censorship.”

In the dankprofessor’s opinion the Princeton students and their administrator supporters are doing the right thing.  Anonymous attacks accompanied by unsupported materials have no place in academic discourse or for that matter in any kind of discourse.

Such anonymous postings have no place on the dankprofessor blog.  I have refused to allow such postings, most recently as comments regarding the Lisa Chavez case.  If I published postings from unidentified posters whose posts contain unsupported scurrilous attacks, such would represent the trashing of this blog.  I have been attacked on another blog for not publishing these posts.  All of these posts may have originated from one or several posters.  I do not know.  I have informed them and I now inform my readership that these posts will not be published on my blog.  Sex in the public square which also has had a focus on the UNM Lisa Chavez case has also refused to publish these postings; to read their position statement, click here.

Unfortunately, there are some academic blogs which disagree with our stance.  Such is unfortunate.  Such also represents their right of publication.  I will continue to cover the UNM case as well as report on and comment on sexual politics on campuses while attempting to maintain the highest possible journalistic standards.  I hope that my readership continues to support my quest for truth and justice in academia. 

—–
If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration
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Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor™
© Copyright 2008

 

 

April 17, 2008 Posted by | academic freedom, ethics, higher education, lisa chavez, Princeton University, sadomasochism, secrecy, sex, sex work, sexual politics, speech, University of New Mexico | Leave a comment

Creating Professor Lisa Chavez as an harasser

The University Diaries blog critically reviewed one of Lisa Chavez’s poems and UD found the poem to be outside of her preferred poetics.  But such does not really concern the dankprofessor.  What irritated me is the response of blog reader Laura. Her response follows-
 
This post made my day, as I absolutely hated this poem when I came across it some time ago. It’s smug, mean, and does its best to destroy collegiality. Like Chavez seems to have done at UNM – remember this is the dominatrix sex worker prof. who harassess her students and colleagues. Next we’ll see her write: “The White professor Holds Forth on Sex Worker Profs who post images of doing sex work on our students. We’re such an oppressed group.” Nice title, huh?
 
It’s not her excessive sss  in “harassess” but rather her convoluted thinking that leads her to believe that Professor Chavez had harassed someone. And who did she harass?  The student who was involved in the controversial scenario has publicly protested that she was never harassed by Lisa Chavez, and that the people supposedly protecting her essentially treated her as a non-person; they don’t care about her, what her experience had been with Professor Chavez and what she might have to say about Lisa Chavez. 
 
As for Professor Chavez harassing her colleagues, Chavez engaged in the sm scenario never invoking her university or her professorial affiliations.  She was involuntarily outed then investigated and found by UNM to not have engaged in any conduct meriting UNM attention.  Case closed?  Of course such is not the case since the Director of Creative Writing in the English department along with some of her colleagues are engaged in a public sexual crusade to get “rid” of Chavez.
 
Laura states Lisa Chavez “is the dominatrix sex worker prof”. Of course, she was never a sex worker professor.  She separated the two occupational roles.  It was others, such as Laura, who help create this imagery. 
 
What perplexes the dankprofessor is that no one at the University Diaries blog has come forward to critique Laura’s view.
The dankprofessor has found UD’s critical faculties to be most impressive.  But in this case to date, UD has remained silent.  
 
 
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Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration
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Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor™
© Copyright 2008
 

April 14, 2008 Posted by | ethics, higher education, sex, sexual politics | 2 Comments

Sexual crusade likely at the University of New Mexico

Once again Elizabeth Wood of sexinthepublicsquare.com has performed a great service in facilitating student Liz Derrington writing about her relationship with Professor Lisa Chavez.  

As Liz indicates in her essay, which is excerpted below and can be read in its entirely by clicking here, she never had any kind of sexual relationship with Professor Chavez; they had a  relationship first as co-workers and then as friends.  As for the pictures of herself and Lisa Chavez, Liz indicates that the

the pictures we took during the two or three photo shoots we engaged in were entirely staged. Professor Chávez and I were playing characters, essentially: we worked under pseudonyms, along with assumed personas. As Professor Chávez has said in the past, it’s not like our photos bore captions with our real names and explanations of our connection to UNM, so I think it’s a stretch to say our work for PEP could be construed as damaging to the reputation of UNM, the English department, or the Creative Writing division.

Whatever the relationship that Liz and Lisa had, it was not a sexual relationship, and that their relationship in no way impacted on Professor Chavez’s fitness to teach.  In what I consider to be a key passage in her essay, Liz states-

Again, many of those people are the ones claiming that their objection to Professor Chávez being called fit to teach comes from a concern for students, but none of them ever asked me what happened; they simply stopped speaking to me.

Such is key to understanding the utter hypocrisy of persons attacking Professor Chavez, particularly Creative Writing Director Sharon Warner. Warner, et. al., have cloaked themselves in a garb of being committed to protecting students.  But as we see here such a cloaking is quite transparent.  Professors of this genre simply use students to promulgate their agenda aimed at stigmatizing and punishing professors they consider to be deviant.  The reality is that the student becomes an invisible, non-person.  Students only become visible when they are robotic in the sense of affirming everything the sexually crusading professors have said.

Complicating matters in this case is that both Lisa Chavez and Liz Derrington have become for too many effectively sexually objectified.  No matter what they say or do, they will be interpreted in sexual terms.  Or to put it in other terms, people who are sex workers, people who are phone sex workers,  are seen by the man in the street or by unthinking professors as being totally defined by the sex in sex worker.  Professor Chavez’s status as a professor is trumped for them by her sex worker status.  She and student Liz are mediated thru sexually tinged lenses. They become “prisoners” of the labels put upon them. For persons adhering to this framework, the idea of a person being a professor and a sex worker is an impossibility.  For them, the fact that the UNM VP welcomes Lisa Chavez back to the university is simply intolerable.

Persons such as Professor Warner feel morally violated and they will deal with the pain of their violation by embarking on a sexual crusade.  And if enough people are recruited to becoming part of this campaign, no one will be safe, not VP Holder, not the Chair of the Department of English, not any faculty member who publicly supports Professor Chavez and certainly not Liz Derrington, unless she disavows her friendship with Professor Chavez.

I am not engaging in any hysterical thinking here; I am basing this on what I have seen occur on university campuses and beyond over and over again.  I can’t definitively say what will be the outcome at the University of New Mexico since I do not have enough familiarity with the political and “moral” climate at the university and its environs.  I will be surprised if we do not see in the near future New Mexico state legislators involved in this imbroglio with threats of financial retribution being directed toward the university. 

My advice to persons at UNM who are concerned with civil liberties and academic freedom at UNM is too hope for the best and prepare for the worst.  And don’t engage in pipedreams about good and decent academics who will not do nasty things; engage in knowing ones enemy and fighting for values that would be unthinkable to abandon, such abandonment could put university life in the hands of moral absolutists.  Most immediately publicly support the UNM administration.

As indicated, here are the excerpts from the Derrington essay-

I am the graduate student referred to in the Sex in the Public Square post from April 4, entitled “Lisa Chavez speaks out.” I wanted to take some time to do some speaking out myself, as I have not done so before now aside from during the official investigation.

I began working for PEP in February 2007. Lisa Chávez and I began taking calls at the same time, but that was entirely a coincidence. I was taking a class with her that semester; it was an elective for me that I opted to take partly because I thought I would learn a lot and it would look good on my CV, but also because I had a great deal of respect for Professor Chávez as a writer and had heard good things about her as a teacher. As was the case with many of my professors in graduate school, I was able to be friends with Professor Chávez outside the classroom while still respecting her authority in the classroom. We never discussed our phone sex work in class, nor did we discuss class during the two or three photo shoots we engaged in. As Elizabeth has pointed out, the pictures we took during the two or three photo shoots we engaged in were entirely staged. Professor Chávez and I were playing characters, essentially: we worked under pseudonyms, along with assumed personas. As Professor Chávez has said in the past, it’s not like our photos bore captions with our real names and explanations of our connection to UNM, so I think it’s a stretch to say our work for PEP could be construed as damaging to the reputation of UNM, the English department, or the Creative Writing division…

As Lisa said, though, in July an “anonymous” letter arrived in the English department, “outing” Professor Chávez as a PSO. My understanding — Professor Chávez is the only one who has both seen the letter and talked to me about it — is that the letter contained photos from the website, some of which included me. Or it might be that the letter referred to the website, and upon viewing the website, other professors recognized me as well as Professor Chávez. At any rate, it came out that the two of us, along with a student who’d graduated in May 2006, were working for this company. At first it seemed like UNM’s lawyers didn’t see anything wrong with Professor Chávez participating in PEP activities with an adult graduate student, but by the fall an official investigation was underway.

People were ostensibly concerned for me. They wanted to make sure I hadn’t been coerced into working for PEP, hadn’t been recruited via the University, that my grades hadn’t been contingent on my work for PEP, that I didn’t feel like I’d been harassed or made uncomfortable, etc. Honestly, though, at this point I have a hard time believing that they want Professor Chávez to be punished, or at least for further investigations or reviews to be made, because they’re concerned for students. One reason for my skepticism is that the official investigation was thorough. As the Daily Lobo article points out, the Deputy Provost found that “the graduate students involved ‘reported their activities were consensual, and all disclaimed any recruitment, solicitation or coercion.'” And yet the anti-Professor Chávez contingent continues to call for her head.

Another, more pointed (for me) reason for my skepticism is the fact that once word of my involvement with PEP (not to mention the photos) began to spread, many of the professors in the department began to shun me. Most notably, my dissertation advisor at the time refused to work with me anymore, meaning I had to switch advisors less than three months before my dissertation defense. That same professor also told more than one other person that she felt she ought to contact the university where I now work — I had the job lined up last semester — to tell them that I’m not morally fit to teach. I hadn’t intended to continue doing phone sex work once I started teaching anyway (largely because I found it mentally and emotionally draining), but I ended up having to quit several months sooner than I’d planned because I began to have panic attacks anytime the phone rang — I was afraid it was someone from the English department calling to check up on me, to accuse me further of engaging in immorality. My credit card balances still show the damage that quitting before I had another job available did to my finances. I sank into depression, not because of anything Professor Chávez did — indeed, she has never been anything but supportive of me, professionally and personally — but because I felt betrayed and abandoned by a number of other people in the department whom I had trusted and respected.

Again, many of those people are the ones claiming that their objection to Professor Chávez being called fit to teach comes from a concern for students, but none of them ever asked me what happened; they simply stopped speaking to me.

Furthermore, word reached me at one point that I was being blatantly slandered within the department, that people were being told that Professor Chávez and I were engaging in a sexual relationship, and that we were also engaging in prostitution. PEP does offer in-person domination sessions, and while I appreciate that such sessions tread a very fine legal line as they are sexual in nature without involving actual sex, the fact of the matter is that Professor Chávez and I never participated in such sessions; the work we did was strictly over the phone. I hired an attorney once the official investigation was underway, because I feared being slandered further, and I felt that the English department was doing a poor job of representing my interests. In the end, the only evidence I had of the slander was hearsay, and so I didn’t take legal action, but I felt a great deal of hostility directed at me within the department, particularly on the part of many of the same people who would like to see Professor Chávez punished further, if not fired…

I graduated in December, and am now working as an adjunct instructor. I want to focus now on my teaching and writing, on trying to establish my career, but this scandal continues to occupy my thoughts, and not just because I consider Professor Chávez a good friend and it upsets me to see her being treated the way she’s being treated. I still have concerns about my professional future: I know that there are a number of faculty members at the University of New Mexico who would give me a strong recommendation if asked. However, I also fear that there are faculty members who, if asked about me, would give me a negative evaluation based not on the work I actually did at UNM, but on their disapproval of my work as a phone sex operator. I dislike feeling like I have to keep looking over my shoulder, so to speak, every time I put UNM down as a former employer. I’m not foolish enough to put the professors who have clear objections to my behavior down as references, but my fear is that if another department were to take it upon themselves to do an exceptionally thorough background check on me, the aforementioned professors would be all too willing to bring up subjects that would be inappropriate in that context. My hope is that by speaking out, I will, if nothing else, be able to control the narrative being told about me, at least to a certain extent.

—–
If you wish, you can write to me directly at
dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor™
© Copyright 2008

 

 

April 6, 2008 Posted by | academic freedom, consensual relationships, ethics, higher education, lisa chavez, sadomasochism, sex, sex work, sex workers, sexual policing, sexual politics, sexual rights, University of New Mexico | 3 Comments

Chavez student speaks out

Marisa Demarco, a student of Lisa Chavez, has spoken out in defense of Professor Chavez in part in the following terms-

“I’m a graduate of UNM’s English-creative writing department. This story in the Daily Lobo this morning hit me in the face like a bag of nails. Sharon Warner, the program’s director, is stepping down. Apparently, Lisa Chavez, an instructor, posed on an S&M website with some graduate students and didn’t get punished (enough?) for it. (There’s a punishment joke in here somewhere, but I’m not going for it.)

 I’m a huge Lisa Chavez fan. I had a couple of classes with her and thought she was brilliant. Her poetry is often breathtaking. It’s clear to me that I don’t have an unbiased view of this situation.”

Oh, and the drawing, it’s not by the dankprofessor; I am artistically challenged.

—–
If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor™
© Copyright 2008

 

 

 

April 5, 2008 Posted by | higher education, lisa chavez, sadomasochism, sex, Uncategorized, University of New Mexico | Leave a comment

Comments from throughout the USA on Sharon Warner/Lisa Chavez story

How are people across the USA comprehending this story?  To find out, click here.

April 5, 2008 Posted by | higher education, lisa chavez, sadomasochism, sex, University of New Mexico | Leave a comment

dankprofessor apologizes

The dankprofessor apologizes to Sharon Warner.  I referred to her as the Writing Director and not the Creative Writing Director.  Such was my failure.  In fact, maybe this whole Lisa Chavez story is a creative writing project.  Might this be a creative way of getting a publisher interested in this story as a book to be? 

April 5, 2008 Posted by | higher education, lisa chavez, sadomasochism, sex, University of New Mexico | | Leave a comment

UNM Prof Lisa Chavez speaks out

There have been major developments on the UNM Lisa Chavez story. The website sexinthepublicsquare has published an in-depth and definitely worth reading interview with Professor Chavez.  Professor Elizabeth Wood, the interviewer, is to be congratulated for her good work.  The dankprofessor urges blog readers to read the entirety of the interview. And sexinthepublicsquare is now on the dankprofessor’s very selective list of blogs that merit reading on a regular basis. 

In addition, TV station krqe had a news segment on the Chavez sitution in which Sharon Warner was interviewed and images of Professor Chavez partaking in a sm scene were shown.

In the interview, Professor Chavez makes it quite clear that this incident did not involved a sexual relationship with a student-

I was not in a relationship with the student in the photos–other than the relationship between co-workers at PEP and as friends.I do not think adult students need to be protected from faculty. Of course I believe sexual harassment and any coercion are wrong, but I don’t believe consensual relationships are wrong. In fact, there are cases of such relationships in my department, but they have always been heterosexual. There are also cases of true harassment, which have not been pursued. I believe I am being treated this way partially because the purported relationship was between two women, and also because they see a certain “luridness” in what some in my department called  the “sex trade.”

I do think students and faculty both can benefit from close relationships–not sexual relationships per se, but friendships–and this is especially true in my field of creative writing. I have become friends with a number of the students I’ve worked with (and, for the record, I have never had a sexual relationship with a student, though I do not mean to condemn all such relationships), and I believe that the friendship helps us work better together. Creating writing is often a sort of soul-baring, and I believe that to work well together, we need to build up a mutual trust, which is something that goes beyond a formal student/teacher distance.

Bravo to Professor Chavez for not engaging in a condemnation of student professor relationships and reciting the cant that differential power precludes consent.  But even given her non-sexual involvement with students, the campaign against her will in all likelihood continue unabated.

What has become most clear to the dankprofessor is that resigned UNM Writing Director Sharon Warner is the major protagonist.  One does not have to read between the lines to figure out that she has de facto communicated that she was the one who broke this “story”.  She appears to be the “third party informant”. There was no story until she came forward.  Prior to her coming forward, Professor Chavez as part of an sm scene or performance was not recognized as such on the internet; she was not identified personally on the website.

Professor Warner in essence wrote the story.  And she is the story, not Lisa Chavez.  She is the absolutist moral entrepreneur attempting to sell her story at the expense of Lisa Chavez.  In essence, Warner’s story is summed up in the following quote- “We think a message must be sent out not only to her but to other faculty members because: If this is not unethical, what is unethical?”

Nothing here about protecting students from harm; it’s primarily about sending out a message to other faculty members, a message reaffirming traditional sexual morality.   For her, Lisa Chavez is a sexual outsider.  I have no doubt that this woman will not rest until Lisa is exiled or excommunicated from UNM. 

Adding melodrama to the story is Professor Warner’s resignation as Writing Director.  She just couldn’t handle Lisa Chavez not being punished by the UNM administration and she could not handle her colleague returning from sabbatical still in good university standing.  So she resigns in protest. The dankprofessor’s reaction is “big deal”.  Such was a symbolic protest with no substance; she did not resign as a tenured English professor; hardly anything as an academic really changes for her.

Professor Warner has promised to continue to campaign for the university censuring of Professor Chavez; she indicates that she will take this to the desk of Governor Richardson if such becomes necessary.  Not boding well for Professor Chavez is none of her English faculty colleagues have publicly indicated any kind of support for her while 13 of her colleagues have signed a petition asking for further university evaluation of her actions.  The dankprofessor estimates that there are 43 tenured faculty, including faculty who may be untenured but are on a tenure track in the UNM English department. Even if the UNM administration maintains its position as to not punish Professor Chavez, Chavez could very well find upon her return a very hostile and non-welcoming English faculty.  The fact is that bullying of academics by fellow academics is rife in the academic world; in this context, do checkout the website bulliedacademics.blogspot.com

Academic bullying can range from outright shunning to verbal hostility to a myriad of false charges having nothing to do with the original charge to the assignment of particularly unattractive teaching schedules to never getting another sabbatical leave to never getting promoted.  Of course, the intent is to punish the bullied and to make life so difficult that the bullied “chooses” to resign.  I call this a definite example of power abuse!  Nothing consensual about this, my point being that Professor Chavez engaged in a consensual SM performance.  Those trying to get rid of Chavez or bullying of her in the future, if such be the case, do not give a damn about consent and are the ones engaging in power abuse.

To date the administration of the University of New Mexico has been exemplary as to how they have dealt with this situation.  They merit the support of academics who truly take academic freedom seriously.  Unquestionably their power is and will be continued to be challenged.  Let us hope that they do not capitulate.

—–
If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor™
© Copyright 2008

April 5, 2008 Posted by | academic freedom, consensual relationships, ethics, higher education, lisa chavez, nudity, pornography, sadomasochism, sex, sex work, sexual policing, sexual politics, sexual rights, Uncategorized, University of New Mexico | 7 Comments

Opposition coalesces against UNM for not punishing sadomasochistic posing professor

The University Of New Mexico’s student newspaper, the Daily Lobo, reported today that Sharon Warner “UNM’s director of creative writing said she will resign because her colleague has not been punished for posing in sexually explicit photos with students.” She submitted her letter of resignation on March 23 and is expected to vacate her position on April 15.

As previously reported by the dankprofessor, Professor of English Lisa Chavez had been investigated by the UNM administration for posing nude on a sadomasochism website, People Exchanging Power (PEP). She had posed nude with some of her students who had previously been involved with PEP. The investigation determined that Chavez had not exerted undue influence on these students, that the student involvement was consensual.

Two weeks ago Deputy Provost Richard Holder representing the UNM administration indicated that based on the investigation that Chavez was fit to teach and that she would not be subject to any university sanctions or penalties. The investigation also found that Chavez’s actions did not create a hostile environment and no university facilities were involved.

In her resignation letter Sharon Warner expressed dismay with the University’s position, and indicated that Chavez should be punished. The Daily Lobo reports that in the letter that

Warner said English department Chairman David Jones failed to report images of Chavez and a student enrolled in her spring 2007 class.

However, Jones said he received photos of Chavez posing for the Web site in July but did not receive the group photo until later.

“(Warner) has a very different recollection on matter than I do,” Jones said. “She believes she showed me the images several months before I actually saw them.”

Jones said he received an anonymous letter in July with photos of Chavez posing for the Web site. He said he immediately reported the incident to administration.

In an interview with the Daily Lobo, Warner stated:

“Mainly, what it amounts to is the chair, the dean and UNM legal counsel have all told me on multiple occasions that I was – and to quote them – ‘perilously close to being sued by Chavez’s attorney,’ and that I would have to pay for my own counsel,” she said in a phone interview. “I was told that they would take my house, and that I may be sued down to my grandchildren.”

English Chair Jones stated that Warner “has been immensely valuable to the program. She has built the program into what it is today,” he said. “However, it is also true that this is not a lifetime appointment. Other people have told me that it might be time for a change.”

However, a number of English department faculty also want change, but change of a different genre as indicated by the following-

English professor Gary Scharnhorst said he is not happy about Holder’s decision. Scharnhorst said he has signed two petitions to refer the issue to the ethics committee.

“I’ve written letters to a number of administrators at the University,” he said. “I believe that what happened was profoundly unprofessional conduct and should be sent to the ethics committee for review.”

Warner said both petitions were signed by 13 faculty members in the English department.

She said the latest petition has been sent to interim Provost Viola Florez.

“We’re continuing all the way up to the academic chain,” she said. “We’re prepared to take it all the way to the governor if we have to.”

So here we have academic politics in full operation. Jones has been attacked by Warner and the English faculty are organizing in opposition to their Chair and Chavez and VP Holder and organizing in support of Warner.

The dankprofessor had predicted in my prior posting that there would be concerted opposition to allowing Chavez to teach at UNM. And now the dankprofessor predicts that the English faculty will attempt to censure and possibly remove their Chair. And as for Warner’s April 15 resignation, such could also be a political ploy to get the UNM administration to reconsider their position.

The UNM administration did the right thing in the way they handled the case- they investigated the situation and had detailed findings that simply did not support the punishing of Professor Chavez. But now the UNM moral mafia situated in the English department are engaging in pressure politics to punish and/or get rid of Chavez.

And there is no way of telling where this political pressuring and posturing could lead. If, as Warner threatens, it ends up on the desk of Governor Richardson, it will also probably end up entering the national political primary arena.

 With Richardson having fully embraced Obama, and Richardson having been accused of being a Judas by key Clinton supporters, it becomes within the realm of the politically possible that the Clinton campaign would embrace the politics of Karl Rove if Richardson and then by association Obama do not affirm traditional values by demanding the termination of Professor Chavez.

The dankprofessor believes that more on this will be forthcoming soon with the the deadline day being the taxing day of April 15.

For an update on his story, click here.

—–
If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration
to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessorTM
© Copyright 2008

April 3, 2008 Posted by | consensual relationships, ethics, higher education, lisa chavez, litigation, nudity, pornography, sadomasochism, sex, sexual politics, University of New Mexico | 2 Comments

Poetics

Poetics will periodically appear in the dankprofessor’s blog. Why not start in the area of dementia?

THE PURE MAD POETIC DEMENTIA by Larry M. Blumenfeld © Copyright 2008 (larrymblumenfeld@yahoo.com)

The pure mad poetic dementia becomes the transcendental vision of the personal perspective-driven reality of the omnipresent wordslinging streets…..that special reality given only to those few scruffy angels who fearlessly seek the veracious flash of ultimate truth. These magnificent misbegotten troubadours somehow survive amidst the neverending swarm of fascist zombies crawling out from every toxic planted rock in every false dead suburb of the burning polluting murdering white rape of all black and brown pagan pawns from the Mississippi Gulf Coast to the Congo. But the believe it or not clarion call goes out under the following banner of boom doom and soon: Trust me these milky white Jesus days are on the fringes of over.

The pure mad poetic dementia makes my balls ache with voodoo transformations of wild and frenzied nights and the tumbling free magic of the ejaculated word: You want a piece of me is coming from the back seat of a car boombox the girl’s raspy sex-charged voice igniting my libido to the image of the piece of meat carnality of her transmitted song in a delicious reflection of tits and young skin and ass and wet cunt and my exploding cock…..all of this blister-beetled orgasmic desperately wished for congress amidst endless newscasts of blasted bloody beaten dark damned dead arabs mixed in with hosts of scream-visaged women and stunned ripped and broken babies, not to mention the thousands of American dead blown away chunks of meat and the surviving thousand mile stares oblivious to their missing arms and legs left in some mass Iraqi ditch.

The pure mad poetic dementia grinds away in timeless memories of raw jungles and freezing wandering tundras filled with bugs and snakes and huge cunning predators waiting in ambush for the smartass crafty cunning beast who walks upright getting past his spears and stone weapons in just enough time to rip his fucking guts out hanging them in
tall trees for a dark moonlit feast with their hungry cubs…..The purpose to survive but the hoped for result is to thin the population of these packs of killers who love to kill even when their guts are sated…..Yea, Reader, there will come a time…..believe me, there will come a time.

The pure mad poetic dementia includes feasts of stars a soft wind in the trees the low roar of well fed lions rolling on cool leaves loving only the moment…..no plans for world wide dominion…..only the powerful but
closed-clawed paws cuffing their young in playful but instant satisfaction with no crafty serpentine rationale for alt their tomorrows: God bless the natural order but Goddamn those who refuse to leave it alone…..The ultimate result may be the universal denial of dominion and the extinction of its pontificators.

April 2, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

College runs amok

The dankprofessor makes few recommendations re particular colleges and universities, but here comes one of the few. If one is seeking to attend a college of the absurd, Colorado College of Colorado Springs should be on the top of your list.

I just published a post on how Colorado College had demeaned and degraded two of their hockey players in regards to these students alleged violation of their so-called sexual misconduct policy.

Now the powers that be at CC have found two students guilty of violating their policy on violence. Finding these students guilty of violating their violence policy is absurd since these students did not engage in any act of violence. This latest Colorado College absurdity is spelled out by FIRE in their recent press release. Fortunately FIRE has come to the assistance of the two students. Components of this farce are presented in the context of the following excerpts from the FIRE press release.

Two students at Colorado College were found guilty of violating the school’s conduct code regarding “violence” after they distributed a satirical flyer mocking a publication of the Feminist and Gender Studies program. As part of their punishment, student Chris Robinson and a second student have been required to hold a campus forum discussing issues brought up by their satirical publication…

In early 2008, Colorado College’s “Feminist and Gender Studies Interns” distributed a flyer called “The Monthly Rag.” The flyer included a reference to “male castration,” an announcement about a lecture on “feminist porn” by a “world-famous prostitute and porn star,” an explanation of “packing” (pretending to have a phallus), and a quotation from The Bitch Manifesto.

As a parody of “The Monthly Rag,” Robinson and a second student, who wishes to remain nameless, distributed a flyer in February called “The Monthly Bag” under the pseudonym “The Coalition of Some Dudes.” The flyer included references to “chainsaw etiquette,” the shooting range of a sniper rifle, a quotation regarding a sexual position from the website menshealth.com, and a quotation about “female violence and abuse” of men from the website batteredmen.com.

Shortly thereafter, Colorado College President Richard F. Celeste sent out a campus-wide email about “The Monthly Bag,” stating that “The flyers include threatening and demeaning content, which is categorically unacceptable in this community… Anonymous acts meant to demean and intimidate others are not [welcome].” The e-mail asked the authors of “The Monthly Bag” to come forward. When they did less than an hour later, they were charged with violating the college’s values of respect and integrity…

Two weeks after their hearing before the student conduct committee, Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students Mike Edmonds finally wrote to the “Coalition of Some Dudes” students on March 25, stating that they had been found guilty of “violating the student code of conduct policy on violence” and that as a punishment, they would be required to hold a forum to “discuss issues and questions raised” by “The Monthly Bag.” Although Edmonds acknowledged that the intent of the publication was to satirize “The Monthly Rag,” he wrote that “in the climate in which we find ourselves today, violence-or implied violence-of any kind cannot be tolerated on a college campus.” Apparently, according to Edmonds, “the juxtaposition of weaponry and sexuality” in an anonymous parody made students subjectively feel threatened by chainsaws or rifles.

“Not only has Colorado College wrongly punished students for expression that any reasonable person would easily recognize as parody that threatens no one, but according to Edmonds’s standard, countless movies, songs, and other artistic endeavors that ‘juxtapose weaponry and sexuality’ are inappropriate for the adult students of Colorado College,” Adam Kissel, Director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program, said. “Colorado College must live up to its own promises of free expression and allow its students to engage in robust debate and satire-even when some members of the campus community may feel offended.”

The dankprofessor’s read on this is that one can’t speak of violence unless there has been a victim of violence. And if one has been violently victimized then one should contact the criminal justice system, i.e., call the police. Obviously, the CC administration has conflated being offended with being violently violated. Taking their belief system seriously opens up a Pandora’s box when it comes to issues of freedom of speech; freedom of speech simply would no longer be.

But one should not view the CC perspective as if it was idiosyncratic. Such is not idiosyncratic since advocates of anti-sex puritanical feminism have advocated just such a perspective. Such was the advocacy of feminists Andrea Dworkin and Catherine Mackinnon particularly when a writer wrote about fantasies of raping MacKinnon and Mackinnon equated it with actual rape. Such blatantly conflated words and deeds. Or more precisely text and deeds. To get a more complete picture of Mackinnon’s ideas on words and deeds, see her book ONLY WORDS.

Bottom line for students and for sane faculty- stay away from Colorado College.

—–
If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration
to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessorTM
© Copyright 2008

April 1, 2008 Posted by | Colorado College, ethics, feminism, higher education, rape, sex, speech, violence | 1 Comment

   

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