Novel Critique of Campus Sex Speech Codes

, Malcolm A. Kline, 2 Comments

A veteran professor has come up with an objection to new campus sex codes that may not have occurred to other critics of the recent policies who are fixated on the First Amendment. “You have to feel a little sorry these days for professors married to their former students,” Laura Kipnis writes in The Chronicle Review. “They used to be respectable citizens—leaders in their fields, department chairs, maybe even a dean or two—and now they’re abusers of power avant la lettre.”

Laura Kipnis

I suspect you can barely throw a stone on most campuses around the country without hitting a few of these neo-miscreants. Who knows what coercions they deployed back in the day to corral those students into submission; at least that’s the fear evinced by today’s new campus dating policies. And think how their kids must feel! A friend of mine is the offspring of such a coupling—does she look at her father a little differently now, I wonder.”

Kipnis teaches at Northwestern. “It’s been barely a year since the Great Prohibition took effect in my own workplace. Before that, students and professors could date whomever we wanted; the next day we were off-limits to one another—verboten, traife, dangerous (and perhaps, therefore, all the more alluring).”

“Of course, the residues of the wild old days are everywhere. On my campus, several such ‘mixed’ couples leap to mind, including female professors wed to former students. Not to mention the legions who’ve dated a graduate student or two in their day—plenty of female professors in that category, too—in fact, I’m one of them. Don’t ask for details. It’s one of those things it now behooves one to be reticent about, lest you be branded a predator.”