For those of you who have been following the breaking news out of Chicago about the professor who mistook his classroom for a brothel, I commend to you his cri de coeur. Northwestern University Professor John Michael Bailey has issued a “statement” about the optional after-class activities he offers to students in his psychology class on human sexuality. In the self-aggrandizing style unique to the self-absorbed academic, the “statement” begins:
I teach a large (nearly 600 person) human sexuality class at Northwestern University. During the class I lecture about the science of sexuality. Many days after class I organize optional events. These events primarily comprise speakers addressing aspects of sexuality. This year, for example, we have had a panel of gay men speaking about their sex lives, a transsexual performer, two convicted sex offenders, an expert in female sexual health and sexual pleasure, a plastic surgeon, a swinging couple, and the February 21 panel by Ken Melvoin-Berg on “networking for kinky people.” These events are entirely optional, they are not covered on exams, and I arrange them at considerable investment of my time, for which I receive no compensation from Northwestern University.
Before parsing Professor Bailey’s statement, let’s review the description of his course, offered in Northwestern’s School of Continuing Studies:
This course treats human sexuality as a subject for scientific inquiry. Major topics include the evolution of human mating psychology (including physical attraction, sexual arousal, evolved sexual strategies, and sexual jealousy), sexual minorities (e.g., homosexuality), sexual coercion, and AIDS. Carries science or social science credit.
Such courses are offered on many campuses; most of them do not include sex offenders as examples of “sexual diversity” equivalent to all women and gay men. At least I hope they don’t.
Back to the first paragraph of the “statement.” Its most revealing sentence is the final one. It tells you all you need to know about Professor Bailey: “I arrange [the after-class presentations] at considerable investment of my time, for which I receive no compensation from Northwestern University.” The good professor wants us all to know that his employer does not compensate him for his extra-curricular modules. If you didn’t know better, you’d think he received hourly wages instead of a salary. But you do know better, so you are instead wondering who does compensate him for arranging “these events,” since his locution strongly suggests somebody is.
Bailey next explains why he “recruited” the couple who performed a sex act in front of his students. It seems in prior years “speakers covering similar topics had not been very interesting.” Imagine. Instead of whipping out their genitalia, these speakers had the bad taste “to merely [give] PowerPoint presentations.” These pedants “were also unwilling to answer questions about their sex lives.” The nerve of them! Thinking that they were addressing students in a classroom instead of talking to clients on 1.900.SEX-TALK!
Professor Bailey concludes this section of his apologia by delivering his homily: “Sexuality diversity is surely a reasonable thing to address in a human sexuality class.” A little defensive are we, Professor? By the end of the “statement,” defensiveness has given way to the feeblest of excuses in the academic’s very large warehouse of tools for avoiding taking any kind of responsibility for lapses in judgment (or sanity): “Thoughtful discussion of controversial topics is a cornerstone of learning,” he says primly. Yeah. “Thoughtful discussion,” “controversial topic” and most of all “learning” are exactly what come to mind as we gather ‘round to watch a woman masturbated by a “finance” old enough to be her father.