As we’ve noted before, because we’re complex human beings, one may on occasion notice a particular student as something other than an earnest and serious learner, though one generally refrains from talking about such things in public, especially in our litigious age, and when we’re supposedly a bit more sensitive to the male gaze as it oppresses and humiliates its female objects. Except B. does it all the time. Evil, as Martin Luther claimed, and as B. taught his students, is ingrained in the human soul. So there’s his excuse for a line like “that was a sexy summer”. I guess that’s his excuse: So call me evil, then. I can’t help it. It is ingrained in my soul. Hypocrite reader.
I’ve had women colleagues on countless occasions mention how beautiful a particular student is. I more or less nod and move on as quickly as possible. I may have on occasion made mention of such a thing to very close, private and trusted friend or two, someone with whom my relationship was more than strictly collegial or professional. But heck, all 20-year olds, male or female, are beautiful. Never once, and I mean never, has a man said something like that to me about a female student. A couple times a gay colleague has mentioned how beautiful one of the young guys is. And with that, I’m just about done with this line of meditation, which this stupid “poem” has pushed me kicking and screaming toward. I can see no benefit to it, and the poem is a wastrel and a toss-off anyway. There’s no benefit to following its direction because in the sociopolitical climate in which I operate, where young women—married or not—are so often assaulted and harassed, and as a member of the privileged group so often feeling empowered to do the assaulting and harassing, and given the justified backlash against said assaulting and harassing power group, the safest course is to keep my mouth tightly taped-over and zipped shut and air-tight. Not a sound about how “sexy” Mrs. H., Mrs. T, and Mrs. N made my summer through their mere presence sitting in my class, wanting to learn about Martin Luther. What an ass he could be. Apparently in 1960-whatever you didn’t have to worry about such things yet.