On nipples.

Did you hear the story about Dirty Dr. Diana?

I heard about it through Bitch Ph.D. Start here, then follow the links to Dr. D’s own, um, coverage of the scandal.

I’m not ashamed to say that I hunted around in her flickr account to view the nudie pics myself, and they are lovely, and funny, and witty, and about the least pornographic thing I have ever seen. In fact, they communicate the kind of quick intellect and sense of humor that I would hope to find in a teacher.

Here’s the thing: they’re just nipples. I have them, you have them, even Jesus had them. And yes, shocking though it may be, professors have them too.

Of course, Dr. D is right when she says that it’s obviously not about the nipples. It is, among other things, about the way our culture objectifies female bodies such that, when we want to discredit the authority of women, we can always charge them with the dirty and shameful possession of boobs. I mean, how are college students going to get a decent education from boobs???

Women’s bodies are the open secret of our social world. And some of us live in them.

18 thoughts on “On nipples.

  1. That’s fantastic. It makes me want to take a class in feminist theory. Does Haverford offer English classes in feminist theory, do you think? Because dammit I don’t know how else I’d take it.

      • I can’t take that one, sadly (damn Psychology lab), but I’m definitely in for this one in the Spring, if it looks like that, then.

        But, question:
        Your Top Five Favourite Books. Go.

      • Obviously that is an impossible question to answer immediately, completely, and faithfully. But the first 5 that come to mind are

        Jane Austen, Emma
        Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
        Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass (or the His Dark Materials trilogy, if that can count as one book)
        John Milton, Paradise Lost (have to, if I’m going to put Pullman on there)
        Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

        Other top favorites that came to mind as I was writing those 5:
        R. Zamora Linmark, Rolling the R’s
        Jessica Hagedorn, Dogeaters
        Franz Kafka, The Trial
        Kay Thompson, Eloise
        Jean Craighead George, Julie of the Wolves and My Side of the Mountain
        Mary Shelly, Frankenstein
        Maxine Hong Kingston, China Men

        I am going to arbitrarily stop there, or else I’ll be here all day.

      • Mary Shelley, that is, of course.

        Actually, now that I think about it, every title on your writing seminar syllabus is on a Top Something list of mine. That’s one of the reason I loved teaching that class so much — it might as well have been called “A bunch of my favorite books of all time.”

  2. I mean, how are college students going to get a decent education from boobs???

    ’cause, you know, college students never watch porn or anything. Especially when they’ve got the Internet now! (When I went to college, we still had to sign up for time on the University’s mainframe if we wanted access to a network. heh.)

    Seems to me that if one is combining boobs with education, students will cut class to watch porn less. But then, that’s just the pornhound talking.

      • We need more pornhounds on the academic payroll.

        Believe me, if I had the patience to teach, I’d be chainsmoking in a stuffy little room somewhere teaching creative writing instead of banging away on computers all day. But I get the feeling I’d throttle the dumb ones.

        My life would become a Don DeLillo novel.

        I must work on my patience…

  3. Totally off-topic.

    I normally read you (and everyone else) through my flist, of course. But while replying to this, I find myself looking and your layout, and I absolutely, positively adore it. Pre-made or did you cook it up yourself? And if the latter, how does one go about doing such a thing? For I must.


  4. http://www.theonion.com/content/node/48461

    “who had already read through three drafts of Samoskevich’s sprawling, 38,000-word dissertation, titled A Hermeneutical Exploration Of Onomatopoeia In The Works Of William Carlos Williams As It May Or May Not Relate To Post-Agrarian Appalachia. “It was an incredible act of bravery. This laptop sacrificed itself in order to put an end to Jill’s senseless rambling.” ”

    “ut it never lost sight of what was right, and it’s comforting to know that it’s in a better place now, and it took that abomination of literary masturbation with it.””

    “”Thanks to this laptop’s valor, Jill’s classmates or future students will never have to pick their way through dense and discursive passages about ‘The Red Wheelbarrow’ and North Carolina farming communities. Also, I get to have a free lunch period Thursday.””

    “One determined computer has triumphed over years of misapplied literary theory.”

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