It was an evening class. I had to stay late after my own very long day of teaching, and I stumbled into his class tired and worn out. I took a seat at the foot of the seminar table, near the door.
And Dr. Dumbass introduced me. “The newest member of our faculty...” blah blah blah blah whatever whatever fuck infinitum, “...a former gay male porn star.”
I sort of woke up at that. I asked, “What?”
He smiled. “A former gay male porn star!”
And—I didn’t do anything. Nothing. Didn’t say anything. I didn’t tell him to fuck off, I didn’t get up and march around to the other end of the table and punch him in his stupid fucking nose. I didn’t do anything. I was tired. Worn out, worn down. I just sort of thought—Fuck, whatever. I went on and talked with the class about teaching and writing and stuff. Whatever.
A couple of days later I encountered Dr. Dumbass in the hallway. He said, “Hey! Here’s our former gay male porn star!”
I asked, “What the fuck are you talking about?
He made a surprised face. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”
I said, “Well, knock it the fuck off.”
It wasn’t until a long time later that I learned that there is a porn star named Mick Lovell (also known as Mick Phillips, google at your own risk—seriously NSFW). No doubt Dr. Dumbass was trying to google me prior to class and got my name backwards and misspelled and was—dumbassedly—amused. Or maybe he spent all his time in his office looking at porn!
Anyway. This was rude, of course, but it was a rude department, and what happened to me is nothing compared to how badly other people in the profession are treated—especially women, and women of color. Academia is like life in that it is too often full of people in power (or “power”) who enjoy stepping on anyone they can.
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