20 May 2006

Topless Academic Comedy

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Diana York Blaine, a Senior Lecturer in the University of Southern California’s Writing Program, uses Flickr to host her photos, and ill-advisedly (but in keeping with her personal philosophy) chose to upload and display three topless photos of her middle-aged self.

Dr. Blaine’s anatomy came to public attention as the result of her proclivity toward public expressions of feminist victimhood. Blaine took several occasions of accusation of rape by members of the USC football team (all of which were subsequently dropped or dismissed) to declare the USC team and the entire USC male population obliged to stop rape by attendng feminist rallies.

So if a few bad eggs don’t respect women’s right to decide if to have sex with them, why should I hold the whole football team accountable? Because I do. Because I hold every single male on this campus responsible. Because every single male on this campus has the responsibility for stopping rape. Every fraternity brother, every science major, every professor, every one of them. Because they all rape? Of course not. But because only men rape and only men can stop other men from raping.

Annoyed by Blaine’s persistent accusatory rhetoric and narcissitic posturing, a student group blog called Cardinal Martini began publishing a series of postings quarreling with the professor’s statements, and characterizing them as FemiNazi-ism. One of these posts recently outed Dr. Blaine’s topless photos on Flickr, in the course of commenting on the inappropriateness of the lady’s linking to these from a blog she says she created for the benefit of USC students.

My blog is for the 100s of USC students who have told me they wish they could have further exposure to my ideas once our class time together has ended.

And the martyred matron responds:

Many people continue to contact me to express surprise at the outpouring of hatred against me and my unmutilated middle-aged breasts, which I had the audacity to have photographed in several spontaneous life moments and the unmitigated gall to share with others.

The nerve of some people! Don’t I know my place?

But seriously, I am not surprised at all. My life work has centered on researching the ways that sexism functions as a method of control, benefiting a few at the expense of the many. As women in the United States, we are encouraged to serve men, making them happy in ways often detrimental to our own well-being. Feminist scholars write about the many forms such institutionalized sexism takes, all the way from unpaid labor in the home to underpaid labor in the workplace. And because our scholarship opposes current patriarchal ideologies, we threaten the system and therefore are viewed as enemies rather than legitimate contributors to knowledge. Hence the attempts to silence us.

Worse than a Feminist, Dr. Blaine also styles herself a “thanatologist,” and visitors to her blog will find even more dreadful and appalling nonsense on the subject of attitudes and behavior associated with death and grief.

H/t to PJM.

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