Dankprofessor’s Weblog

A weblog examining sexual politics in higher education and beyond.

UNM student/professor couple murdered

The New Mexico Daily Lobo has reported that UNM English professor Hector Torres  and his girlfriend Stephanie Gray, A UNM grad student in Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, were found dead Monday in his home near campus.

Ralph Montoya, the female victim’s ex-boyfriend, is charged with two counts of murder. He is booked in Metropolitan Detention Court on a $250,000 cash-only bail.
According to the warrant issued by APD, Montoya walked into the downtown office of attorney Lauren Oliveros on Monday and confessed to killing two people on Sunday. He told Oliveros the two bodies could be found at the residence of the male victim.

When police arrived at the residence, at noon, they saw two bodies lying on the floor from the outside window. Upon entering, officers saw the male victim laying face down in a pool of blood with a gun aimed at his head.

According to the report, it appeared to the officers that the gun was placed there by another person to make it look like the victim committed suicide.
Officers reported that the female victim was found face up in a pool of blood, but no visible wounds were found on her body. The male victim is 54 years old, and his girlfriend is 43, according to the report.

In response to the murders, the UNM administeration issued the following statement-

 “The UNM community has been diminished by the untimely deaths of two of our own. Professor Hector Torres will be remembered as a scholar of great passion, dedication and kindness. Graduate student Stefania Gray was a scholar of great promise. Both were wonderful individuals and we join their families and many friends in great sadness.”

Professor Torres was on faculty in the UNM Department of English since 1986. He was born in Tijuana, Mexico, raised in El Paso, Texas and, with the benefit of the GI Bill, earned all his degrees, including a doctorate in English language and literature from the University of Texas at Austin. Currently, he was teaching a course on Chicano Culture, a theory course and was directing an independent study.

He regularly teaches courses in literary and critical theory, postmodernism and contemporary Chicana and Chicano literary discourse and film, English syntax and discourse analysis, as well as courses on writing about film. His research and scholarship focused on contemporary, postmodern Chicana and Chicano literary discourse and film, literary and critical theory.

In a 2007 interview he said, “I think being a Spanish speaker who learned English in school drove my interest in linguistics, language and literature.”

In 2007, with UNM Press he published, “Conversations with Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Writers.” The impetus for the books was in his study of social linguistics – or the relationship between language and society. “The language of literature is language of reflection rather than language through interaction, but the social linguistic approach still interests me,” he said in a 2007 interview.

Stefania Gray was a graduate student in comparative literature in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. She was working with Raji Vallury, assistant professor in French, on her thesis, “Dreams of Andalusia: Women, Gender, Memory and Nation.” She was to defend the day after spring break.

Vallury remembers her as “vibrant, beautiful and strong.” She was a heritage Spanish speaker who earned her undergraduate degree and then went out to the workforce where she was a flight attendant. She came back to school and was the first woman in her family to do post-graduate study. She was already planning to pursue a doctoral degree, Vallury said.

The dankprofessor must note that in the aforementioed statement the UNM administration  does not mention that there was a relationship between the murdered student and murdered professor.  Maybe such a mention would be out of order in this statement.  But I do know this- that in universities throughout the United States, including UNM, student prof couples function in a hostile environment which has been created as a result of a persistent rhetoric which functions to dehumanize such couples.   Universities have given a license to just about  everyone to demean and degrade student professor couples.  And therefore it is not a shocking statement that for the mentally distraught  this cultural framework may function as a LICENSE TO KILL.

March 9, 2010 Posted by | higher education, sex, student professor dating, Uncategorized, University of New Mexico, violence | 1 Comment

Otero University and student professor sex

As has been clearly demonstrated over the last few days, violence is no stranger to university campuses. Although it is more frequently violence by students toward other students and toward faculty, faculty to faculty violence is not unknown as was clearly demonstrated at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. We also find there to be faculty violence toward students as recently occurred at Otago University in New Zealand where student Sophie Elliot was murdered by lecturer Clayton Weathersome.

What makes the Otago U tragic murder different is that some people have come up with a way to prevent such violence.  They say the  way to do this is to have stringent measures taken against faculty who become sexually involved with a student. You see the Elliot/Weathersome affair and then murder was a student/prof affair.

Otago University has under taken a review of rules on staff-student romances, a review which was sparked by the brutal murder.  Persons, both inside and outside of the university, have been encouraged to make submissions on the issue. Elliott’s mother Lesley said she wanted vulnerable students who entered into relationships with university academics to be supervised and counseled, and for the academics involved to immediately resign.

The reaction of  the mother of the murdered student is understandable, but unfortunately all too often emotion carries the day when it comes to draconian measures enacted in the attempt to control violence, particularly sexual violence.

To view student professor intimate relationships as somehow intrinsically fostering violence is outrageous.  99.999 percent of such relationships do not lead to lethal violence.  If one was going to focus on relationships that are more likely to lead to violence and lethal violence, such would be student/student relationships.  And, of course, when it comes to campus violence and violence in general, alcohol consumption should be a major area of concern.

The mother stated-

“I feel something should be in the employment contract of staff to the effect that if a relationship develops, they are obliged to resign. We think this policy also needs to be highlighted to students… If students knew a person would have to resign, they may have second thoughts about going out with staff.”

Now it is this last line that irks the dankprofessor.  No student should have second thoughts about going out with a staff member because of this one tragic case.  And, of course, if this sort of thinking is taken seriously, then any person, student or non-student, would have concerns about going out with a lecturer because of the violence implication.

Now I know that some will say I am overreacting to the ramblings of a distraught mother.  Unfortunately, such is often how universities end up imposing stringent controls on student professor relationships.  People become distraught and want immediate action, and universities respond by not dealing with violence or coercion or sexual harassment but rather by demeaning those who are involved in consensual relationships.

Let us hope that Otago University does not go in the aforementioned direction.  What student professor couples want is what most other couples want and that is to be left alone as they pursue their mutual romantic goals.  To consider these couples as sort of criminal couples is not only absurd but is also criminal.

February 15, 2010 Posted by | consensual relationships, fear, fraternization, higher education, Otero University, sex, sexual politics, student professor dating, violence | 2 Comments

On defending Roman Polanski

The blog Shakesville periodically publishes material on the plight of Roman Polanski by guest bloggers or by one of their regular bloggers.  No matter who the blogger is on Shakesville you can be assured that Polanski always represents for them the ultimate societal enemy.  Anyone who deviates from their anti-Polanski party line is considered to be scum, to be a rape apologist.

So it is not surprising that their most recent anti-Polanski rant focuses on Johnny Depp who recently made some very public comments calling for the freeing of Roman Polanski.  And emerging out of the Shakesville closet is a blogger going under the name mschicklet.

mschicklet states-

Johnny Depp wants us all to know that Roman Polanski is no longer a threat. You see, Mr. Depp seems to think that Polanski is no longer capable of raping someone, because he is in his 70s and has a wife and children. So, there you go, nothing to worry about. We can all sit back, relax, and join the “Free Polanski” crowd.

Depp doesn’t say that Polanski is incapable of rape but for some 20 plus years he has been living a pretty sedate life- married with children and engaging in filmmaking and more filmmaking.  Such is the gist of Depp’s comments- that Polanski’s freedom does not represent a risk to society.

mschicklet continues-

Except, wait a minute. The second man who raped me had a wife and children. Every single day, I am blindsided by anxiety attacks brought on by the memory of his scent, his voice, even the sound of his name. Memory is a fickle thing, but I remember what he did to me. He raped me. While he was married. While his two young daughters were sleeping in the next bedroom.

But, Mr. Depp says there’s no way a man with a wife and children would do such a thing. No way someone who’s married for 20+ years, who kisses his daughters goodnight and tucks them into bed, could possibly rape anyone. So, does that mean my experience means nothing? Does that mean it really didn’t happen?

He doesn’t say that no married man with children could do such a thing, but dealing with Roman Polanski in a marital context, Depp says Roman Polanski has not done such a thing.

mschicklet continues-

I take issue with the fact that Johnny Depp is using his privilege to minimize and even deny the horrific events that so many victims have been forced to endure. And, after reading the Survivor Thread and listening to the stories of other rape victims in tear-filled counseling groups, I know my story isn’t all that rare.

Depp is using his privilege?  What privilege?  Speaking out for or against Polanski is not a privilege, it is a right.  He is no more privileged than the dankprofessor, and as far as I know my privileges are quite pesdestrian.  And Johnny Depp has not attempted to deny or minimize the horrors experienced by many victims of rape.

She continues-

Because, as we’ve learned, that’s the thing about rapists. They rape people. A wedding band doesn’t stop them, nor does the fact that they have children. Nor does their age. Denying this, as Mr. Depp is doing, silences rape victims. And, really, haven’t victims already been silenced enough?

Well, mschicklet attributes a whole lot of power to Depp.  He’s just an actor, mschicklet, he has the power to silence no one.  Now, maybe I am missing something, but mschicklet says that Depp is silencing rape victims and mschicklet is a rape victim and she has not been silenced.  OK, I know that victims of violence, rape or otherwise, respond differently to their victimage, but her prior paragraph she indicates that all rape victims respond in the same manner.  Note that I was more restrained, I said “many” rape victims.  But mschicklet stereotypes rape victims.  For example, not all rape victims want Polanski to be imprisoned.

She continues-

In addition to trying to be the final word on what a rapist is or is not, Johnny Depp also wants to know why Polanski was arrested. “Why now?” he asks. Why is this coming up now? Because Polanski fled the country for 30 years and refused to serve his time. By asking “Why now?” Mr. Depp is focusing responsibility on the wrong people – the people who want our justice system to do its job. Instead, he should be holding Polanski accountable. Mr. Depp’s words absolutely scream, “Poor him! Poor guy! Let him go! Leave him alone!” What sort of a society do we live in if so many people feel the need to defend and protect a rapist? If this isn’t rape culture, then I don’t know what is.

I do not believe that for a second that people who are defending Polanski are defending him because they have a need to protect a rapist.  I defend Polanski not out of some psychological need relating to rape but rather the belief that Polanski has been treated unfairly and he has been punished enough.  Whatever the circumstances were with with Samantha Geimer, Polanski cannot just be reduced to a rapist.  The complexities of this man are immense.  Few people in this world have gone thru the sort of horrific events that Roman Polanski has gone thru- a survivor of the Holocaust whose mother was gassed to death and a survivor of his wife’s mutilation and murder by the Manson gang.  mschicklet is distressed that people cannot open themselves to the horror associated with rape while at the same time she seems clueless as to the horrors experienced by Polanski.

And she continues-

And ever since the arrest of Polanski, that’s what I’ve seen from such a large portion of Hollywood and society in general. I’ve seen some of the most respected actors and filmmakers in Hollywood defend someone who doesn’t deserve it. Either they deny that he is a rapist, deny that he ever was a rapist, or blame us for not letting the rapist go. I wish Johnny Depp realized that by adding his name to the long list of rape apologists, he not helping the situation – he is hurting so many people who are now faced with the cold truth that one less person is on their side.

It must be nice to live in the fantasy world that Johnny Depp lives in. In fact, I remember when I had similar beliefs. Men with children are safe, I would think to myself, in large part because that’s what my mother taught me. It wasn’t until I was raped that I finally realized how wrong I had been. But it shouldn’t take something like that to “wake us up.” We shouldn’t have to wake up in the first place.

Unfortunately, mischicklet lives in a kind of fantasy world.  She rants on about rape victims, but if rape victims are so important to her she engages in a giant psychological feat when she never mentions Polanski’s so-called rape victim.  She must know that Samantha Geimer wants Polanski to go free; she must know at the latest judicial hearing Geimer was represented by an attorney who argued for Polanski’s freedom.  mschicklet chooses not to ACKNOWLEDGE a person she considers to be a rape victim.  What utter callousness!

And as for concern for safety which mschicklet mentions, I share her concern.  But my concern for safety entails being protected from persons such as mschicklet, persons who seem to embrace a form of vigilante justice, persons who give full vent to their anger, persons whose self-righteousness seem to know no limit.  And as for safety and Roman Polanski, I personally believe that those people who believe that Polanski represents a clear and present danger to society are in a state of delusion.

And as for her comment about our culture being a rape culture, such a notion has some merit.  But support for a rape culture has nothing to do with defending or opposing Roman Polanski.  Evidence that we are living in a rape culture is that “we” support sending persons to prison in which rape is often supported not only by inmates but also by prison guards.  The fact we can’t protect persons from rape who we send away to prison so we can be protected from being raped is quite damning!!

As for rape victims, speaking up in support of Polanski, click here and for a detailed account of the circumstances involved in the Geimer statutory rape, click here.

February 5, 2010 Posted by | celebrities, rape, Roman Polanski, sex, sexual politics, victimization, violence | 10 Comments

On Roman Polanski

On Roman Polanski

By

Barry M. Dank*

There is no question that what Roman Polanski did to a 13 year old girl in the 1977 was wrong, and illegal. But it is also wrong to drag Polanski back to the US 31 years after the crime and have him spend an unspecified amount of time in prison. What possible good would come about by Polanski doing time for the crime? Obviously, it would not function to rehabilitate him or change him in some way. The fact that Polanski has had a stellar film career and apparently lived a law abiding life for 32 years after the crime is indicative that the case for changing Polanski is simply irrelevant.

Then there is a case for punishment. Polanski did something illegal and he should be punished. Of course, Polanski has been punished. He did 42 days at the Chino Men’s prison under the legal guise of being psychologically evaluated; his stay at Chino was for the purpose of punishment as viewed by the presiding judge. He has been socially stigmatized as a child rapist and has lived in a self-imposed exile. Just as in the cchild sex situation Polanski’s decision making was screwed up when he decided to flee from a possible 16 month sentence and ended up living for 31 years in a situation in which he could be arrested and extradited back to Los Angeles .

But the 42 days and a 31 year exile as punishment dwells into insignificance as compared to the trauma and punishment he experienced as a child surviving the mass murders of the Holocaust while losing his mother to the Nazi murderers in Poland and to the trauma and punishment he endured when his pregnant wife Sharon Tate and his baby to be and his two friends were barbarized and murdered by the Manson gang.

But  many have argued that this insanity Polanski went thru simply had nothing to do with his illegal sex with a 13 year old girl. For example, Ellen Snortland in an open letter to Roman Polanski states: “I assert that the statutory rape in 1977 will plague you until you make some type of sincere public amends. Backing an ‘end violence against women and girls’ film would be an astonishing act of atonement. Consider it. Talk to the lawyers.” Somehow Snortland avoids dealing with the fact that Polanski was intimately familiar with violence against women, that both his mother and wife were murdered, such is simply of no relevance to her.

To argue that his past traumas have relevance to Polanski’s illicit sex with a 13 year old girl in 1977 does not mean that I am excusing Polanski or condoning child abuse of any sort.

What I do argue with is the notion that Polanski’s criminal act should be fragmented off from the rest of his prior life.  To advocate that one should not look at Polanski past as it related to his actions in 1977 is a form of know nothingness.   Being horrified by what Polanski did in 1977 should not close us off from the horrors experienced by Polanski.

I think it is a safe to assume that very few persons would not be adversely affected by the killings of their mother, their wife and their unborn child, as well as being at the scene of mass murder as a child. In fact, some who have been through such extreme situations become psychologically numbed and live a robotic life. Others may be plagued by depression, feelings of alienation and aloneness and anger.

As a person who has worked with Holocaust survivors and Parents of Murdered Children, I know that almost always survivors go thru periods of tortuous survivor guilt. No matter that they are morally and legally innocent, they all too often experience the burden of feeling- ‘I should have been able to do something’, or as Polanski stated in 1985- “Sharon’s death is the only watershed in my life that really matters. Before she died, I sailed a boundless, untroubled sea of expectations and optimism. Afterward, whenever conscious of enjoying myself, I felt guilty. A psychiatrist I met shortly after her death warned me that it would take me “four years of mourning” to overcome this feeling. It has taken far longer than that”.

Polanski’s filmmaking demonstrates that he was intimately familiar with the nature of survivor guilt. Such was quite apparent in his 1976 film THE TENANT, a film which he both directed and starred. This was the last film he made prior to his involvement in the child rape. I believe that this film can provide a partial understanding of Polanski’s psychological state around the time of the crime.

For this film Polanski insisted that he play the role of the protagonist. The viewer saw Polanski playing the role of a French citizen of Polish background (Trelkovsky) living alone in Paris gradually descend into madness. The Polanski character was plagued with feelings of survival guilt, and a complete ungluing of a sense of self as he gave full vent to his feelings of paranoia. Ultimately he buys a gun, has fantasies of killing others but eventually he commits suicide by jumping out of his apartment window. He ends up killing himself in the same manner that the prior tenant of the apartment had killed herself.

Viewers who understood this film and were aware of Polanski’s history “knew” that Polanski chose not only to direct the film but to play the major role because to a significant degree he was playing himself. Polanski and Trelkovsky both had lived alone in Paris, both were French citizens of Polish background; and both felt alienated and alone in their immediate environments. Both had gone thru experiences that separated them off from others, from others who could not possibly understand them and the horrors they had gone thru.

One of the most jolting scenes in the film is when Trelkovsy is sitting in a park looking quite morose and viewing a child playing. He stands up, walks over to the child and slugs the child in the face and then walks way. This image of Trelkovsky sitting in the park came to visually represent Polanski; it was used as the cover photo for his 1985 autobiography and as the photo for the DVD jacket of the documentary, ROMAN POLANSKI; WANTED AND DESIRED.  The usages of this photo by Polanski illustrates the blurring of Polanski’s identity with that of Trelkovsy’s.

polanski

On the other hand, some people believe that all we need to know about Polanski is that he is a pedophile, his sexual preference being children and adolescents.  However, looking at Polanski’s life then and now one can immediately discern Polanski’s attraction.  His present wife, Emmanuelle Seigner is 33 years younger than himself; Samantha Geimer at the time of her victimage was 31 years younger than Polanski.  So Polanski’s ongoing sexual preference is for those who are significantly younger than himself.  Maybe this preference is a defense mechanism used by some who have experienced catastrophic loss.  Such a preference could function to diminish feelings of powerlessness and helplessness in “intimate” relationships; of course, such feelings are illusionary. But for Polanski whose specialty is illusions he could see this as simply being an extension of his role of Director.

Polanski in the 1970s was a man on the fringe; his art saved him for a time but not all the time as evidenced by the rape in 1977. But also during his entire adulthood, Polanski has engaged in extraordinarily creative filmmaking. And his filmmaking may be viewed in part as representing a survivor mission, as a way of his expiating his guilt and his creation of a “monument” to those he loved and to those whose deaths he could not prevent.

In his autobiography Polanski stated: “In moments of unbearable personal tragedy some people find solace in religion.  In my case the opposite happened. Any religious faith I had was shattered by Sharon’s murder.  It reinforced my faith in the absurd.”

To now drag Polanski back in, to put him into a prison is absurd. Over the last 31 years Roman Polanski has freed himself from his psychological prison as evidenced by his devotion to his wife and 2 children.  I fear that Polanski may see his only way out as being the same way out he created in THE TENANT- suicide.

Barry M. Dank is an emeritus professor of sociology at Cal State Long Beach.  He lives in Tubac, Arizona.

© Copyright 2009 by Barry M. Dank

October 7, 2009 Posted by | rape, Roman Polanski, sex, The Tenant, Uncategorized, violence | 43 Comments

Framing Duke University

A Science Blog article, “Framing Technique Can Be Used as a Public Relations Strategy in Cases of Sexual Assault” reports on a new study published in the journal Communication, Culture & Critique.  Researcher Barbara Barnett of Kansas University reports on her qualitative textual analysis of public relations materials published by Duke from March 24, 2006 through June 18, 2007 relating to the three white Duke University lacrosse players who were charged with rape.  Professor Barnett found that “Duke University officials framed the crisis in terms of institutional reputation rather than the rape issue at hand.”

The Science Blog reported the following

Allowing for the examination of emphasis and meaning, Barnett’s analysis revealed that the University carefully crafted its response to allegations of rape, presenting itself as a voice of reason in an emotionally charged atmosphere, and as a victim of a rogue prosecutor, whose case relied on rumor rather than solid evidence. In a case that involved allegations of rape, there was surprisingly little discussion on the issue of rape itself.
Duke University proved adept at speaking about its own image and integrity, but failed to address the larger issues in the case, including sexual objectification of women, the risks of sexual violence on college campuses, and the perceptions of privilege in U.S. college athletics.

“In the end, the charges against the Duke athletes turned out not to be true, but for nearly nine months, Duke lived with allegations that three student athletes might have raped a student at a nearby university. Duke focused on its own reputation but missed an opportunity to talk about the larger issue of rape” Barnett notes. “Sexual violence is a serious matter, and organizations that find themselves confronting such charges, even charges they suspect may not be true, need to speak clearly and strongly to the issue of rape.

The dankprofessor finds Professor Barnett’s conclusions to be surreal.  The fact of the matter is that ultimately the Duke lacrosse imbroglio did not deal with rape but with false charges of rape.  What Duke proved adept at was never considering such a possibility but employed a frame which presumed the lacrosse players to be guilty.  Such a framing functioned to encompass the suspension of the players from class, the termination of the lacrosse coach, the termination of the lacrosse playing season, the acceptance of faculty and student stigmatizing of the players and a refusal to confront the flagrant racial objectification of the Duke lacrosse players.

Clearly a due process frame was an alien frame to the Duke University administration.  Ultimately Duke in some way could have employed what happened as a means of educating about the importance of the presumption of innocence, the personal devastation that can result from false charges, and the importance of holding those responsibility who directly and indirectly promulgate such charges.

And now we have Kansas University professor Barnett who avoids dealing with the irresponsible “framing” employed by Duke University.  Such represents another academic engaging in avoidance and denial.

August 27, 2008 Posted by | Duke University, ethics, higher education, political correctness, rape, sex, sexual politics, sexual rights, victimization, violence | 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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