Knowing What to Say…

… is usually not as important as knowing when to shut up. At least, that’s what I’ve learned over the years. (Especially over the last year and a half of marriage.)

I was just reading a story over at the Washington Post Online which caught my eye, for a number of reasons. The story talks about a journalism professor who was fired from Boston University after making a few rather interesting remarks on his personal blog. Just for kicks, here’s what he said…

“Today was my first day teaching course 308/722 at the Boston University Dept. of Jounralism (sic). There are six students, most of whom are probably smarter than me, but they DON’T READ THE PAPER!!! Not the Globe, Times, Herald or Wall Street Journal. I can shame them into reading, I guess, but why are they taking the course if they don’t like to read. But I digress.

“Now here’s the nub of my issue. Of my six students, one (the smartest, wouldn’t you know it?) is incredibly hot. If you’ve ever been to Israel, she’s got the sloe eyes and bitchin’ bod of the true Sabra. It was all I could do to remember the other five students. I sense danger, Will Robinson.”

This, of course, wasn’t the end of it. Maybe he should’ve listened to his sense instead of his wing-dang-doodle.

I know, you’re probably thinking the same things I did when I first read this. “Well, he’s a guy. He thinks guy-like thoughts, right? What, just because he’s a teacher, he’s not allowed to be attracted to a student, ethical issues aside? The stupid part was talking about it in such a public — and trackable — forum.” Here’s the rub: he didn’t stop there. (D’oh!) This is where a normal admiration for beauty (ok, it borders on lust, get over it) turns into adolescent idiocy.

In reply to his blog post, a forewarning came:

Congrats on the gig and the proximity to a hottie, but be careful. Not with her, but with this site. She or your bosses could Google your name and the university at any point and find this thread.

Ouch. Although I’m all for freedom of speech, I also understand that this doesn’t mean freedom from consequences. So did this voice-of-reason. In reply to this post, the professor in question replied witht the following:

Dear Folks: I suppose I should be flattered that many of you think this gorgeous woman who’s half my age would consider having sex with me. Which, if I have any news instincts, she won’t. My problem is losing my focus when I meet her to-die-for eyes.

Wrong answer, bub. Yes, I know you’re a guy, blah blah blah — but you’re letting your dirty-old-man libido run wild.

Now, although I don’t agree with the way the Washington Post article was written (very politically correct, and very chiding of the fact that Mr. Gee, the professor/blogger chose to express his personal feelings, even if it was in his personal website), I do agree in that Mr. (ex-)Professor should’ve maybe retracted his comments, or at least moved them to a place where the comments couldn’t be tracked back to him.

Frankly, were I him, I’d replace that entire post with a big “oops” and yank the post. But I’m not, and this story’s a lot more interesting for it. There’s more to the Mr. Gee story, but you’ll have to check that out for yourselves. By the way, here’s another account, more scolding of Mr. Gee’s actions, though honesly, I have more issues with the uber-sensitive, feminidiots in than with Gee’s lack of social graces.

Sidenote
Ok, I wasn’t going to do this, but after having read the comments again, I have to say something about the comments on Ms.Musings.

The comments posted on that site were either all written by women who don’t understand that men and women are biologically different, militant lesbian golfers, or emasculated males who have forgotten what a real man is. And I say “is” because real men do exist, though you’re not going to find them in strip clubs, bars, or in the AmbitiousBoy recliner, watching footbal while their wife has to go out and work to keep them afloat financially. I’m all for equality, but the responsibility of being the man should be left to the man. (Read Man of Steel and Velvet if you want to figure out how masculinity and sensitivity work together. Here’s a hint: it has nothing to do with getting in touch with his feminine side.)

The only comment that I saw that made ANY sense was this one:

Anybody who thinks teachers don’t notice the physical appearance of their students is fooling themselves.

Any teacher who lets it effect their treatment of their students or conduct of the class is betraying a trust.

Any teacher dumb enough to put it in a blog deserves public humilation and loss of income, just like he’s getting.

This guy/gal hit it right on the nose. A guy can’t go without noticing a woman he finds attractive any more than a woman could look at a sign full of words and not read them. What the guy can (and should) do is respect the trust placed upon him by the students, the school, the parents, and his own family and shut the hell up about it. No, I don’t care how good this girl looks. This guy couldn’t shut up, and he got what he deserved for it. (Just a guess here: he’s not married.) It’s called self control people.

Finally, as for the “racist” remarks — those are just WAY off base. And I mean on the part of the Ms.Musings readers. So he points out what race she is. What is the big freak’n deal?! Have these people become so brainwashed by their pseudo-Utopian political correctness that the mere description by simile is considered racist speech? He wasn’t saying anything bad, he was just describing a generic racial profile!

The only person that made any sense in that entire whine-fest was “L”, whose comments I won’t repeat here, but who understands the balance between nurture and culture. Although I don’t agree with his stance on Gee’s chosen outlet, I do agree with just about everything else; Gee’s only crime is to be honest. The problem was that he was overtly honest, which can — sadly — be just as bad, since we have to take people’s feelings into consideration once in a while.
End Sidenote

This entire situation got me thinking: it’s not the first time a blog’s ever gotten someone in trouble. Heck, even I’ve been slapped in the wrist for comments on my website by my ex-boss for making public a rumor that floated around the office. (Although I still think the guy’s no better than a thug-gangster or a pimp, I had to take a few rumors I heard — various times, from different sources — off the page for legal reasons.) In fact, I’ve heard too many stories about people fired for blogging about their jobs, even if it’s unintentional. It’s the main reason that despite some requests, I keep job related things out of this blog. I’ll talk about my business, my life, and my beliefs, kittens, and politics, but I won’t talk about the J-O-B or the people in there. (This sentence should be read twice by the Shawni Lama, and maybe a third time by Danniel Karaoke, of Who Is The Best? fame. Take the nicks lightly, guys — I like you both ;).)

There you go, a good old-fashioned rant. The point of the story? That guy should learn how to control the things he can control, and those posters should stop their whiniy, knee-jerk reactions and learn to analize an issue without victim-colored glasses.

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