Korean audiences are having problems handling the theatrical presentation of “The Professor and The Female Student” which is “about a 45-year-old university lecturer discovering his power through sexual intercourse with his female student. The show includes a sex scene, where both actors are naked for about five minutes.”
The lead actress Choi Jae-kyeong
had to be replaced when she suffered a nervous breakdown after it was discovered that a man had tried to video record images of her nude body with a hidden camera several days earlier.
A month earlier a man in the audience suffered a heart attack which he attributed to being overly excited. Then a few weeks later a man from the audience tried to grab Choi during the play.
These incidents have been widely reported in the blogosphere and the dankprofessor blog has been visited by many seeking additional info on the play and the audience reaction.
The dankprofessor can offer very little on the subject since there were no students and no professors involved in the reported incidents. Choi was play acting as a student and the male actor (name not given) was play acting as a professor. Such is patently obvious. But somehow some believe that this play and the audience reaction to it provides insight into student professor relationships. Of course, student professor couples don’t have sex in public in front of an audience.
Only the dimwitted would use these audience reactions to the play as a basis for condemning student professor sexual relationships. Clearly some Korean theatre goers can’t cope with sex and nudity on stage. The Korean authorities should take the necessary steps to protect the play’s actors and actresses. Let the show go on and hopefully Choi will recover and soon return to the stage.
The insidehighereducation article, A Bathroom of Her Own(along with the comments) on gender segregated or gender integrated bathrooms in college dormitories explores just about all the issues/concerns/solutions regarding the gendering of bathrooms in college dorms. The dankprofessor hold that this is a must read article for persons who are seriously interested in campus sexual and gender politics.
Almost all but not all the issues are explored in the article, such as why the all gender bathroom option does not exist on the campus as a whole? Or why should the option only apply to dorms?
On some of the campuses where there are non-gendered bathrooms, there are still faculty and non-faculty bathrooms. I have no doubt that the existence of non-gendered bathrooms on campus with no attention given to student, faculty or staff status would not be given the green light. Why? Potential sexual harassment issues would be immediately brought up as well as fraternization issues- if persons who are banned from having sex with each other are allowed to frequent the same bathroom said bans would be undermined. Or to put it in other terms, bathroom fraternization could very well lead to the undermining of the whole campus stratification system.
No mattter what is happening in the dorms, outside of the dorms whether it be at Oberlin or Williams or Reed, et. al, people are expected to know their place. People who are seen out of place may very well be at risk of being displaced or replaced.
I am not sure if I got it right in the headline. So with a few more words I hope to do a better job.
Princeton coed Margaret Sullivan, class of 2012, posed nude in DIAMOND, a “Harvard” magazine, and she assumed that if she only used her first name no one would uncover her real identity, she couldn’t be googled. She said she posed because she is a poor Princeton student and needed the money.
Maybe she didn’t know she would be on the cover of DIAMOND and it is damn hard for any cover girl to remain undercover.
Now the Diamond text just above the picture reads- “Who knew smart people could be so sexy?”
Well who knew that a Harvard magazine could be so stupid to assume that any smart woman would pose on their cover? Or who at Harvard would asume that a sexy woman couldn’t be smart? And how could any woman assume that after being on a cover of a “sex” magazine she could still remain undercover?
Or, of course, this could be all hype. If not, the Diamond editor could be just another undercover agent for the blues.
The Los Angeles Times recently reported on the naked oblation run at the University of the Philippines. The run has been an annual event at the UP, but this year according to Armand Padilla, a fraternity alumnus, the new run was a part of the University’s centennial celebration with the blessing of the University’s centennial committee.
The Times gave the impression that the nudity was engaged in only by fraternity members. But such was not the case as indicated by the following photo-
View other photos of the run within the environs of UP. The pictures do speak for themselves in terms of the success of this event.
And the dankprofessor cannot help but note that our last posting reported that the University of New Hampshire terminated its Freshman camp because of the nude rituals of the camp counselors. Truly we have two different worlds here with the Philippines being eons “ahead” of New Hampshire. It seems that it was only a few years ago that the Philippines was dominated by the sexually repressive Marcos. Better to have public nudity than closeted shoe fetishes.
Freshman camp at the University of New Hampshire is no more. Such is a result of freshman camp counselors, both male and female counselors, getting naked.
The New Hampshire Union Leader quoted a UNH disciplinary report in the following terms-
Counselors got naked for campers on two occasions: during a skit and when campers were departing on a bus, the report says. In the second incident, female counselors lifted their shirts for campers, while several male counselors mooned campers and other male counselors stood by naked, with only socks or hats covering themselves.
In addition, one counselor urinated on herself during a talent show skit, the report says.
“The counselors all wildly clapped and cheered” in response to the urination, the report says.
Although UNH faculty members attend portions of the three-night, four-day camp, none were on hand for any of the antics that led to the camp’s closure.
The disciplinary report indicated that counselor nudity was nothing new going back as far as 2004. The report also expressed concern that counselor nudity could potentially be considered as a form of sexual harassment. Although no harassment charges had been filed or represented a clear and present danger of filing, the powers that be felt that the prudent thing to do was to close the camp down.
Anne Lawing, UNH’s senior assistant vice president for student affairs said “the university is replacing freshman camp with an as-yet-undecided program that will focus on leadership skills and healthy involvement in campus life.
Freshman camp is not funded by UNH, but UNH has the final say as to the continuance of Freshman camp.
As for students who attended Freshman camp this past summer, one camper framed the situation in the following terms in a letter to Union Leader.
I was very taken aback by the above article as I have myself went to camp this past summer. The activities that took place may have gotten slightly out of hand, but were not like this article describes. I got to know many of the counselors personally and I highly doubt that they would not want to cooperate with the administration and devise a board to side step the university. I met the people I feel most comfortable with today at camp and I truly believe it is because the counselors were able to help break the ice by acting foolish themselves so we might all have something to talk about.
And another student commented-
I would wonder exactly what kind of reporting goes on at the Union Leader, reading this newspaper. Being an alcohol/substance free student at UNH for the fall 2007 Semester I attended, I cannnot agree with much of what this article has to say. I attended freshman camp, and it was one of the most rewarding experiences I had at UNH. The counselors were supportive, friendly, helpful…for someone like me, who is not good in social situation, and doesn’t do well with crowds, I had thought that Freshman Camp would not be at all for me. Furthermore, I can report NO nudity whatsoever during my stay at the camp. There were certainly suggestive themes to some of the activities, but that is not only a fact of life, but a very unavoidable fact of life at university. If anything, the camp prepared those who attended for the real side of UNH and most college campuses – the truth that sex and substances are ubiquitous and common throughout the post-secondary education system in this country, and no amount of conservative right-wing narrow-mindedness can change that. I would question the responsible journalism of this article as it seems that no priority was given whatsoever to interviewing those who attended this organization, those who were responsible for its administration, or indeed anyone except those responsible for its end. As an attendant of UNH and Freshman Camp 2007, I am both offended and disgusted that reporting has fallen to this level of mud-slinging one-sided opinion-based slander.
– Travis Gates, Pembroke
Clearly, Freshman camp had much to offer. Such camps help students to transition to entirely new environs. And very importantly, these students when they arrive on campus, already have friends which helps to make this transition a little less difficult.
The dankprofessor cannot read the minds of the counselors as to their motivations for engaging in the reported nudity antics. However, given that these behaviors had been going on for a number of years, such can be viewed as social bonding rituals, rituals which function to differentiate group members from the larger society and then make the exiting process a little less difficult.
No matter that the antics did not include any sexual contact, Freshman camp had to go. We have two different worlds here- the world of the young at heart and the world of the prudent and the conservative. And for the prudent and conservative, it may have been that their final judgment was based on fear of sexual harassment suits; that some anonymous other at some future time may be offended and decide to sue. If such be the case, how terribly sad that the legalists and the lawyer possessed play such a pervasive role in campus life.
Oh, and let us not forget that the antics of the Freshman camp were nothing compared to the booze based bonding rituals of university based fraternities and sororities throughout the United States.
I am not sure as to how to frame the above photo. NUDES IN A TREE would seem to be an appropriate caption. But some might argue that the caption does not provide a protest discourse since without an initial organized protest this photo would never have been taken.
And what was the nature of the protest?
Last year, the University of California announced that it was going to build a new athletic training facility next to Memorial Stadium at the eastern edge of the Berkeley campus. Unfortunately, in order to build the facility as planned, the University must remove several oak trees that are currently growing on the site.
For reasons that are not entirely clear, local activists have seized on the fate of the “Memorial Oak Grove” as the cause du jour, and a vigorous campaign has been launched to stop the project and save the trees. To that end, protesters have been actually living in the trees since December of 2006, alternating in shifts every few days or weeks. The controversy has received an inordinate amount of media coverage.
OK, so maybe the caption should have been NUDE TREE DWELLERS. But there is more.
Completely unrelated to any of this, a local art photographer named Jack Gescheidt has recently become well-known for a photo series he calls the “TreeSpirit Project,” which involves naked models pictured climbing and hugging trees. But when Gescheidt heard about the Memorial Oak Grove brouhaha, he sensed a perfect media opportunity. He announced that the next installment in his Tree Spirit Project would be a nude photo shoot among the oak trees next to Memorial Stadium. And this time he wouldn’t use only professional models: he issued an open call for anyone and everyone to come get naked for the trees.
And so on Saturday, March 17, 2007, the planets came into alignment and a disparate confluence of people found themselves gathered together in the oak grove: tree-sitters, nudists, activists, journalists, Jack Gescheidt and his assistant, perverts, pornographers, the police and passersby…
OK, how about NUDE POSERS IN BERKELEY TREE?
The whole scene could or should be dedicated to the UC Berkeley nude guy of yesteryear, Andrew Martinez.
For the complete photo shoot, click here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration to the same email address.
Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor™
© Copyright 2008
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 email@example.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration
to the same email address.
Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessorTM
© Copyright 2008
Harvard women prepare to go nude in the new online magazine Diamond to be published by Harvard student Matthew M. Di Pasquale. Di Pasquale began to solicit Harvard coeds for nude photo opportunities via the Dunston House email list in February. The Harvard Crimson reported yesterday that “Harvard women posing nude alongside their theses just might be the way Diamond magazine wins over feminists.”
On Thursday evening Diamond founder Di Pasquale and Harvard student H Bomb editor Brandon Perkovich (H Bomb is an ongoing sexually orientated publication at Harvard) met with a dozen Harvard undergraduates at the Harvard Women’s Center to discuss the sexually orientated publications. The discussion was sponsored by the Radcliffe Union of Students.
Much of the discussion put Di Pasquale on the defensive. He told the crowd numerous times that Diamond’s purpose is to allow women to “express themselves” in a pro-sex light-not to objectify them-and that he understands their concerns about typical pornography.
“One of the ideas behind Diamond is that [the models] are not just sexy girls, but intelligent, smart, successful, Harvard girls,” he said. “I want the reader to understand who they are what they’re doing in their lives. I read the interviews in Maxim.”
While H Bomb received praise-Julia T. Havard ’11 said that it was “artistic expression” with “a message behind it”-some of those present feared that Diamond would be less like H Bomb and more like mainstream pornography.
“[Pornography] perpetuates the idea in society that it’s okay to see women on a page, that it’s acceptable in society to objectify women in terms of sexual attractiveness,” said Shanti S. Kris ’11, who identified herself as a feminist.
“In rape, you’re objectifying women through a violent action, so the danger is that it makes it acceptable to look at women as objects,” she said.
But despite the fact that the discussion became spirited at times, the conversation ended on a positive note, with those present praising the rise in sexual publications on campus.
Di Pasquale indicated that the premiere issue of Diamond will be on May 12. “Di Pasquale said that day will be a celebration of women and pornography-and perhaps the start of a profitable, enjoyable business venture.”
In a February article, the Harvard Crimson reported that the then Harvard student editor of H Bomb, Michelle E. Crentsil, supports the efforts of Di Pasquale. “I think artistic magazines involving the way people think about their bodies is always a great thing,” Crentsil said.
DiPasquale did not dispute the reference to Diamond as an artistic magazine.
“Diamond will be more mainstream-“more Hollywood”-à la Maxim or Playboy, he said. Diamond will feature nude female models and possibly shirtless males, but not explicit sex acts, he said.
He said that he sees potential in Harvard women to make Diamond a “really sexy magazine.”
Not everyone is excited about Diamond’s debut. Leo J. Keliher ‘10, co-president of the premarital sexual abstinence group True Love Revolution said he believes that anything that allows men to look at and fantasize about women “just objectifies women.”
But campus sex blogger Lena Chen ‘09 gave her nod of approval to Diamond. “I think that any increase in dialogue about sex on campus is certainly positive because Harvard is kind of Puritanical,” she said.
Maybe somewhat Puritanical but not as puritanical as Yale. The dankprofessor cannot imagine the Yale Women’s Center hosting a discussion with the editor of a campus publication which was recruiting Yale female students to pose nude. We have two different worlds here. In fact, the Yale Women’s Center ultimatum to the Yale administration to respond to their demand for corrective action by March 7 regarding the Yale fraternity “I love Yale sluts” imbroglio did not pass without notice. Click here for an update.
If you wish, you can write to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration
to the same email address.
Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessorTM
© Copyright 2008
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