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Female Students are a Perk?

Terence Kealey is vice-chancellor,

University of Buckingham, and the author of Sex, Science and Profits at the University of Birmingham in England. In a recent column about seven deadly sins of Academic life for the Times Higher Education magazine. Kealey's assigned "sin" was lust. Kealey dropped the following gems about the nature of a male faculty members' job.

The myth is that an affair between a student and her academic lover represents an abuse of his power. What power? Thanks to the accountability imposed by the Quality Assurance Agency and other intrusive bodies, the days are gone when a scholar could trade sex for upgrades. I know of two girls who, in 1982, got firsts in biochemistry from a south-coast university in exchange for favours to a professor, but I know of no later scandals.

Kealey notes that "girls fantasize" about their middle-aged male instructors, and goes on to assert that

Normal girls - more interested in abs than in labs, more interested in pecs than specs, more interested in triceps than tripos - will abjure their lecturers for the company of their peers, but nonetheless, most male lecturers know that, most years, there will be a girl in class who flashes her admiration and who asks for advice on her essays. What to do?

Enjoy her! She's a perk. She doesn't yet know that you are only Casaubon to her Dorothea, Howard Kirk to her Felicity Phee, and she will flaunt you her curves. Which you should admire daily to spice up your sex, nightly, with the wife.

Let's ignore that sweeping generalizations about the interests of "normal" undergraduate women, and his metaphorical comparison of university classrooms to Stringfellows, an establishment primarily known for lap dances, and focus on the basic premises of his argument:

Undergraduate women "flash [their] admiration," and "flaunt you their curves"; the male faculty member should therefore "admire them," in order to "spice up your sex, nightly, with the wife."

Nice. So it's a perk to prey upon female undergraduates, and then exploit them vicariously with sex with "the wife"--whom Kealey makes sound like a bionic sex toy. Notice the emphasis throughout is on Kealey's predatory male gaze, and Kealey's sexual pleasure. The female students, and, presumably, "the wife," are mere prey.

Notice too the implied assumption that an undergarduate female who does want help with her essay, rather than sex with an aging male prof, is not "normal." His ostensible defense, quoted here, that his decision to use what he describes as "inappropriate and transgressional language" was done as a literary devices meant to highlight the idea that "trangressional sex" between faculty and students is "inappropriate" fails dismally in the context of this essay by Kealey on the sex appeal of the mature and balding man. This isn't funny. It is offensive and more than a little stupid. Kealey's language is almost predatory. He sounds in this piece very much like one of those profs that young women warn each other about; you know: "He's ok in lecture, I guess, just don't ever go to his office hours. And if you have to see him, bring your boyfriend or something." I'm not the only one reading him this way; according to the BBC, the British National Union of Students has publicly condemned Kealey's comments as insulting and disrespectful to women.