I decided just to boost this comment I made in the thread below about Dr. Kealey’s failed attempt at humor. (My sexism. Let me show you it.) I considered removing the bad words, but then decided, fuck it. If Panera bread is banning CT from its wireless for you right now, sorry hypothetical Panera-eating CT readers. Who can’t read this apology.
I’d like to share a little anecdote from my college years. I had a Roman History prof who would frequently make comments on my appearance, in front of the gathering class, as I made my way to my seat in the front row (because I was a very diligent student!). And at a gathering of students and faculty I decided to leave and put on my coat, but then got sidetracked into a discussion with him and said I needed to take my coat off. And he said, you can do that but if you do I’m going to stare at your breasts—but you knew that when you got that tattoo there. (The tattoo is like 3 inches below my clavicle anyway, thank you.) He actually said that to me! And then, when I was applying to graduate school, I had to approach my advisor with a problem, because normally I would ask this prominent scholar who gave me an A+ (which, I may say, I thoroughly deserved) in Roman History to write a recommendation, but I knew from previous experience that I didn’t actually want to be alone with him in his office. And so my advisor had to convince another professor, of equal status, to write me a recommendation that was somewhat fictional, on the assurance that when I did have a class with him that term he would find me everything promised, etc. He kindly did so and didn’t regret his decision. So where I’m going with this is, that fucking sucked and was a terrible experience for me, and Dr. Kealy is a fucking asshat who is even now making the lives of his attractive female students needlessly miserable. And just FYI, dsquared’s reliable, not-making-a-big-deal-out-of-it, stand up feminism makes him infinitely more sexually appealing to the leftist ladies of the world. That shit is like catnip. It is only the strict, sex-hating conventions of Crooked Timber, under which fraternization between co-bloggers is totes banned, which keeps us apart right now. And the happily married thing.
Just adding, it was particularly irritating about the grade, because I really did deserve an A+ in that class, but it was impossible to know whether my grade was influenced by my breasts. My boyfriend at the time, for example, questioned it on this basis. I doggedly went on earning the same grade in other classes until at one point my GPA was above 4.0. But the tarnish never really went away. And all of this fell under the look but don’t touch rubric, while still being humiliating and awful.
Particularly humiliating and awful in light of the fact that a teacher at my middle/high school “fell in love with me” on the first day of 7th grade (when I had just turned 13) , and proceeded to have a protracted—I don’t know what you would call it, affair, maybe—which he carefully avoided consummating until four weeks after I reached the age of consent in Washington D.C. The schmuck wrote a book about me, in addition to taking approximately one billion pictures of me (he was the photography teacher, natch.) I mean really, a whole novel. What a pitiful, yet shitty thing to do. And then I finally told my mom about it, and he got fired from the school in my senior year, and then almost all the girls at my (all-girls) school turned uniformly against me and treated me awfully for “ruining his life.” So think how happy I was to get to college, where there would be real scholarship and adults who behave with minimal decency! Hollow laughs ensue. Now I’m not writing this so you can all say, poor Belle, that’s really awful. I’m fine now and that’s not the point. But there’s a reason all those annoying strident feminists go on about how the personal is the political. Kealy doesn’t know the personal histories of the female students he’s ogling. And they deserve to be treated like human beings, not fresh-faced dollies to use as mental props during masturbation.