The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 03, 1989, Page 4, Image 4

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UntwMy «f H*r»ita Unoofci
Readers: Gifford perpetuating
myth that victims are to blame
We were appalled when we read
Mark Gifford s reply to Lisa Dono
van and Carol Grell. He states that
.. if you are one of the women that
have personally been exploited, it
cannot have happened without your
consent . . Unfortunate**.- ttys
sadfyoQfesentauve attitude perpeJlM
ales die myth that victims are theories
i ttM^iuiutUr that Uto jogger in
Mew vvs Central Park did not
consent ufigm# rape by a group of
teenagers, but was left in a coma for
week*? Dots it matter that the eight
year-old Lincoln boy mentioned in
the Lincoln Star dad not consent to
being accosted in Us own home by a
midnight intruder, btst will undoubt
edly remember the incident for the
mnsotriue life? Does it matter that the
women joggers who were attacked
while running through Aniekipe Park
did not consent io being molested, but
will likely be scarred forever? Are the
victims really to blame?
It is difficult to comprehend Gif
ford’s (and all too many others’) rea
soning about exploitation. Women
aojJ children throughout history have
been oapfotied in a variety of ways
wtfddlng incest, rape, pornography
and prostitution. The’’photographs'’
and ’’contests” Gifford so proudly
i of (with or without consent)
Id be considered for what
think his ou_
liefs, especially in LSgUef his fu_
career as an objective jchhoalisL
Carolyn M. Feharlow
Michael fc. Coplen
\WU .
&UJL vw; to
Intellectual passion goes too far
Sex between student, teacher inevitably leads to disappointment
To find someone who stimu
lates intellectual curiosity for
the first time, or manages to
revive a latent academic passion, is
an invigorating and flattering experi
ence to both a pupil and a teacher.
But what happens if the intensity
of what began as a shared intellectual
experience is carried over into the
The behind-closed-doors relation
ships of some students and their in
structors may be too taboo for many
even to acknowledge. But the fact is,
that in any academic community —
including the University of Nebraska
- such relationships do exist And the
repercussions of those relationships
can be too damaging to ignore.
Students and faculty members
who find themselves struggling with
sexual feelings while pursuing intel
lectual curiosities shouldn’t be criti
cized. Sharing on such an intense
intellectual plane can naturally trig
gsr feelings on the physical plane.
ut acting on those feelings can
complicate matters.
Does life in the intellectual lab go
on as usual af ter a student has sex
with a professor or teaching assis
Not usually.
Perhaps the student and professor
know beforehand what a particular
encounter means and still feel the
same way afterward. But, the best
planned emotions often can change
when intensified by the heat of the
So the student and faculty member
now have this emotional/sexual bag
gage they are lugging with them into
classes, labs and other activities re
lated to their field of study. This
baggage can manifest itself through
terse exchanges or even an inability
to work together. Not only do the
student and professor lose out, either
immediately or in the long run, but so
do the other students and professors
who have to work with them.
This disappointment becomes
magnified when compared to the
obvious excitement a student feels
when fusing both intellectually and
emotionally with someone in their
chosen field of study. Something
clicks inside, and suddenly two
people share a particular view of
what it means to be an economist,
journalist or psychologist.
Like any good obsession, the stu
dent feeds it, reading the latest books
in his or her field and hanging out at
the labs where ideas for all the latest
research is bom. Being a psychology
major no longer is a passive experi
ence. The student believes in the re
search that struck him or her as off
base a few months ago. And then the
student develops a hypothesis worth
And when a professor or graduate
student takes this hypothesis under
advisement, a mutually beneficial
experience should begin.
But some undergraduates find
themselves having romantic feelings
for instructors wno reveal to them
aspects of the world that also unlock
mysteries of the self. After all, col
lege is a time of exploration. These
undergraduates now want to act on
feelings that were considered taboo
only a few years ago.
Sex was one of those taboo experi
ences. And if someone is acting on i
sexual feelings for the fust time, and
these feelings ait coupled with a lot
of intense emotional feelings, the
student's expectations may include
desiring a lasting relationship after
sex. s
This expectation may not be met,
whether one is having sex with a
faculty member or another student. It
is complicated enough to share inti
macy with a peer and then have future
advances rejected.
But what happens after the sex,
when a student who relies on an in
structor indirectly for self-confi
dence and inspiration, is suddenly
rejected? Does the student perceive
the rejection strictly in terms of the
sexual relationship? Or must the stu
dent reclaim the personal and school
related strengths he or she had fos
tered under the instructor's tutorship?
The situation becomes all too
com plicated. Unnecessary conflicts
brought on by muting sex and studies
may not seem clear until you have
seen the pain and confusion it has
caused other people.
Rather than face these emotional
repercussions, and possftly penalties
far violating university rules, these
encounters should be avoided.
The beat insurance against finding
oneself in an educational soon-to
become sexual experience is to ac
knowledge that sexual feelings may
ignite when working so closely with a
student or professor.
Prepare yourself not only for sex
ual feelings, but for that incredible
feeling that comes with plugging into
the field of study that’s right for you.
Both are experiences worth hav
ing,end less complicated, if encoun
tered independently.
Chris CarraU U a water aw aSitortei m»
Nr. My Wrterateaa rate wait and auppie*
lettefi^j- . ■ 'wV
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes
brief letters to the editor from all
readers and interested other?. ,
Letters will be selected for publi
cationmtfcefcasi&of clarity, original
ity. timeliness and space available.
Headers also are welcome to sub
“ S'**1 opinions.
Whether material should run as a let
ter or guest opinion, or not to run, is
left to the editor's discretion.
Submit material to the Daily Ne
braskan, 34 Nebraska Union. 1400 R
St. Lincoln. Neb.68588-0448.
Ad'fnyiaL— ~ --—
oiniwHiTl __________
Signed staff editorials represent
the official policy of the fall 1988
Daily Nebraskan. Policy is set ty the
Daily Nobraskan Editorial Board. Its
members ana Amy Edwards, editor;
Lee Rood, editorial page editor; Jane
Hirt, managing editor; Brandon
associate news editor. Bob
Nelson, columnist; Jeff Petersen, col
umnist; Brian Svoboda, columnist.
Editorials do not necessarily re
fleet the view* of the university, its
employees*, the students or the NU
Board of Regents.
editorial columns represent the
opinion of the author.