Handing a rightwing media don and author of pop ev psych books commission to wrote 500 words on the subject of “Lust” for a start of term humour article has to pretty much go in the “what could possibly go wrong?” column. But I think even the THES editors must have been a little bit surprised at what they got. A classic example of the sort of thing where having shown a draft to a single close female friend might have saved the day, and in the process offered a useful insight into the distinction between the concept “refreshingly un-PC” and the concept “creepy”, and perhaps the Pleistocene conditions on the veldt which might have given rise to it.
I am more or less diametrically opposed to Dr Kealey’s point of view, which I consider wrong on two counts. On the one hand, this “look but don’t touch” stuff is guff; students and lecturers are both adults and don’t need to be protected by special rules not imposed on the rest of us against their own occasional tendency to have bad sex. On the other hand, it’s perfectly possible, if you actually are an adult man, to have a conversation with an attractive young woman and interact with her professionally without leching over her all the time. In fact, it’s not only possible, it’s the law (specifically the law with respect to sexual discrimination in the workplace). Sheesh.
I don’t know why I feel compelled to offer up red meat for the wowsers, prigs and good-government types, but I do … anyway, lecturing me on how very, very wrong it is for lecturers to have sex with their students is a recreational activity of sorts, and given the context a relatively harmless one, so go for it; have this one on me. The weekend starts here, particularly if you’re at the University of Buckingham.
Update: Actually, I can’t believe how good I am to you guys; Dr Kealey is, correctly IMO, being hauled over the coals for using the phrase “perk of the job”. I note that in the post linked above I have “interfering with the cargo” (my only possible defence: it was topical at the time as John Prescott, whose autobiography had recently been published at the time I wrote it, was fired from the Cunard line on this charge after having had a holiday romance with a passenger). Friday on my mind!