Dankprofessor’s Weblog

A weblog examining sexual politics in higher education and beyond.

Coercing women in the name of protection

Following is a comment in response to a comment I had on the

D’Souza blog –


Dear Barry Dank:

You miss the point completely. It is not merely the age difference as it is a difference in power. A young college girl is going into the ‘real world’ for the first time and the potential for manipulation is too great. Anyone who has ever been a boss knows this is true. I have never gotten involved with anyone from my work because the potential for workplace romance-related disaster is just too great. Clergy, bosses, teachers have as much sway over a young woman as a rock star! It just isn’t right.

Keith J. Mohrhoff at 8:04AM on Aug 27th 2007


Dankprofessor response-

The response of mine which Keith did not like focused on age issues since so many persons who had comments on the D’souza blog argued for a student-prof ban because of the alleged age differential between students and professors.  None of the respondents assumed that there might not be an age differential or that the professor might be younger than the student which was the case in my relationship which led to marriage.  Protection is assumed to be paramount; protection of young women from the older male.  When I stated that persons so offended by a significant age differential might wish to consider a ban on age differentiated relationships, no response was forthcoming.  Of course, this attitude may be a result of the student-teacher labels which for many imply adult-child relationships.  If such is the case, the professor is seen as a predatory molester, and there can be no discussion or debate, issue closed.  I think the professor-student as adult-child functions as a default assumption for many.


As Keith notes, “it is not merely the age difference as it is a difference in power.”  What Keith fails to understand is that the position he and others advocate functions to take away the power of young women; they are held to be incapable of consent.  In this framework, the power goes to the so-called protector- the chair, the dean, the sexual harassment officer; protectors who are all too often zealous feminists who can now asssume Big Sister roles in exerting power/abuse over male professors and who view consenting female students as non-existent since in their view differential power precludes consent.

In more direct terms, the female dissenting student just doesn’t count.  Big Sister counts; of course, Big Sister is wrapped in a therapeutic language of caring and concern; caring and concern which is coercive; coercive caring, what a great concept.  It still amazes me that so many people are so easily seduced by

the Big Sister rhetoric which stripped down is just old fashioned authoritarian rhetoric.


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




August 30, 2007 Posted by | coercing women, consensual relationships, D'souza blog, higher education, sexual politics, sexual rights, student professor dating | Leave a comment

Dissent on Senator Craig

A dissenting viewpoint which asserts that Craig’s behavior appears not to be criminal; such may be the case.  But there are two bottom lines here- he pled guilty to a lesser charge, and his behavior as described is morally reprehensible, particularly for a person in a leadership position, i.e, to secret himself in a public restroom either to solicit or be solicited for impersonal sexual behavior.  In addition, he obviously puts himself at risk and many other people who have put their faith in him. Whatever one may have thought of Clinton, he engaged in a sexual relationship in private with a person who was known to him.  Soliciting a stranger for impersonal sex by a person in a position of public trust is dangerous behavior, dangerous to self and potentially to many others.

August 30, 2007 Posted by | Senator Craig, sexual politics, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Senator Larry Craig

Watching Senator Craig opine “I am not gay” was surreal.  If Senator Craig believed that he was gay, it is quite likely that he would not have ended up in a tearoom cruising scenario and become a part of a sting operation.   For those who wish to maintain a heterosexual facade  and are same sex attracted,  mens rooms have functioned for persons of this genre as a psuedo public and pseudo private cruising ground.  As pointed out by Laud Humphreys in his infamous study TEAROOM TRADE, heterosexually married homosexually attracted men have found such scenes particularly attractive for impersonal sex in a same sex setting in which any man can enter with no implication concerning ones sexuality.   Bathrooms in transient settings, such as roadside bathrooms and airport restrooms facilitate said impersonality.  Of course, the Senator has put not only his career at risk but also his his friends, relatives and wife to whom he probably lied to about who he is in his attempt at passing.  Of course, the Senator Craigs of this world have lived lives via passing in a breastplate of righteousness; they did not flaunt their homosexuality but rather denied and repressed, a denial and repression that was a product of homophobia.  How tragic!  I remember when I was doing research in the 1970s on heterosexually married homosexually attracted men, I was particularly taken by one man who I had interviewed- he was about 50 at the time of the interview, and had accepted himself as being homesexual for the last 5 years.  Prior to that time he had denied to himself he was homosexual, had heterosexually married and was the father of two children.   At the time of his arrest in a mens room for soliciting sex, he had been a minister for some 20 years.  The woman he had married who he had always loved and always lied to was traumatized and humiliated by his arrest; she saw her primary role in life as being the minister’s wife.  Unfortunately, she dealt with the situation by taking a gun and killing herself.  Her husband when I interviewed him was overwhelmed with guilt and bemoaned the fact he could not have come to terms with his homosexuality at younger age so that he would not have involved an innocent woman who married him and believed in him.  At the time of the interview he was giving all the support he could to his son who was gay and was a president of a university gay students union.  What a difference a generation made.  Of course, the irony being he did whatt the dominant society wanted him to do- pass as straight, providing homage to the powers that be.  Now those powers will be morally outraged, will distance themselves from this disgusting pervert believing that they had nothing to do with how this man ending up living his life, living a life of lies; I guess such a life is not all that much at odds with living the political life.

August 30, 2007 Posted by | homosexual, Senator Craig, sexual politics | Leave a comment


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