Charity is hard when one is in the grip of a burning fury. When the fury is justified, perhaps charity isn’t even a virtue. I will suppress my revulsion at Terence Kealey’s reprehensible and revolting comments long enough to over-charitably say that at least he said that lecturers shouldn’t touch (i.e., have sex with) their (female!!) students.
(Suppressing a stream of colorful invective right now.)
I won’t delve into the rich feminist literature about the male gaze at the moment, but instead report on what female colleagues have told me about the experience of being a visual perk: It sucks. Even putting aside the probability of escalation, it’s not like “lookers” are y’know, subtle. If you stare at someone’s breasts or legs…if you stare at enough of them, the staree’s going to notice. If you think that they typically feel happy, flattered, or even merely indifferent to your stare, then you really need to rethink your understanding of the world. At the very least, you should recognized that of course you are going to think it’s harmless…it benefits you. You are a highly interested party working in a sexist tradition that shapes and rewards your sexist behavior.
It’s one thing to acknowledge that it may not be easy to avoid staring at someone you find attractive. It’s another thing to sanction and encourage such staring. (Note, we don’t need to flip over into absurd measures like putting blindfolds on horndog lecturers.)
And, of course, this kind of talk from an official makes it much harder for us to get to a point where the odd stare, by anyone, is an idiosyncratic, but hopefully minor, embarrassment instead of a serious, and systemic, problem.
Oh, yeah. Kealey: You’re a total ass. Resign and move on.