[Associate Professor Spamman: “She should look for a job elsewhere”]
Department heads : Sorry.
Honored friends : No.
Major female guest : You’re right.
Dozens of female students : Ugh.
First women at party : Uh, am I supposed to be at parties?
Only girl on the school rugby team : Ah. But how much fun is it for me?
[Dozens of male students laugh]
Passionately pouting male student : Please, keep it up, littlegirl.
Star-favored head of underclassman sardine frat house: Three chicks together is seven chicks together.
Babysitting hired for field trip: ouch.
And on and on: “hater” and “slander” and “sexual predator” and on and on. It’s likely that professors of children’s literature across the nation have never had such a successful front end to a lecture series.
Are these frank admissions troubling? You bet. But it’s also likely that, were this series pulled for lack of worth, nobody would notice. To adapt a say-on-say poetry collection from the late, great Tim O’Brien, this group of unidentified disgruntled professors has tossed forth venomous words of judgment after essentially little else: their lecture series is a bad idea, have you ever thought this would be a bad idea? This is a good idea! This is a bad idea!
The sexual identity politics inherent in the politically correct college environment has been a focus of recent debate among writers and artists for many years, from authors such as Susan Orlean and Camille Paglia to scholars such as Peter Hart and Wendy Doniger. To most (if not all) of these experts, one wonders whether calling one’s sexual history into question makes one literally a walking, talking self-revelation, and has a powerful adverse effect on budding and established writers.
Matt Spamman is the author of Asylum and a prolific journalist and commentator whose articles have appeared in such national publications as The New York Times Magazine, Condé Nast Portfolio, Vanity Fair, and NPR’s Morning Edition. He is a guest on The Peter Boyles Show every Friday at 10:00 am ET on 970 AM KFAM.