HR Strange But True!
August 24, 2006

Ah, for the good old days of college, Latin seminars, and professorial groping.


A female classics professor at Cambridge University has stirred up a maelstrom of academic controversy by saying she misses the days when male dons' tutorials included the groping of students.

Professor Mary Beard stunned colleagues with her fond recollections of female students putting up with advances from older professors in order to get inspirational teaching, according to The Times of London. She wrote: "It is hard to repress certain willful academic nostalgia for that academic era before about 1980 when the erotic dimension of pedagogy which had flourished since Plato was firmly stamped out."

Beard later defended her statements, saying that didn't approve of such conduct by professors.

"It is impossible not to feel sisterly outrage at what would now be deemed persistent sexual harassment and the abuse of power," she told The Times. "On the other hand, it is also hard to repress certain wistful nostalgia.

"I do feel nostalgia but that is different from saying that is how I want it to be," Beard said. "The best comparison I can make is with smoking. One looks at Humphrey Bogart movies with rings of cigarette smoke and we have a wistful nostalgia for it. That doesn't mean I think smoking should be allowed in public."

Source: TimesOnline

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