Chris Rock once said that he likes hip-hop, but finds it hard to defend sometimes. That’s kind of how I feel about Northwestern sexologist J. Michael Bailey right now.
The man has done some truly brilliant work on sexual orientation, and he flouts both right- and left-wing political correctness. I think he was treated unfairly in the wake of his controversial book about male transsexuality, The Man Who Would Be Queen. I was editor of the Northwestern Chronicle as the controversy was wrapping up, and we published Bailey’s explanation of what happened.
Northwestern students and administrators are defending an explicit after-class demonstration involving a woman being publicly penetrated by a sex toy on stage in the popular Human Sexuality course last week.
The optional presentation last Monday, attended by about 120 students, featured a naked non-student woman being repeatedly sexually stimulated to the point of orgasm by the sex toy, referred to as a “[f***]saw.” The device is essentially a motorized phallus.
The 600-person course, taught by psychology Prof. John Michael Bailey, is one of the largest at NU. The after-class events, which range from a question-and-answer session with swingers to a panel of convicted sex offenders, are a popular feature of the class. But they’re optional and none of the material is included on exams.
Last Wednesday, Bailey devoted six minutes of his lecture to addressing mounting controversy regarding the incident and articulating his educational intent. He told the class he feared the demonstration would impact the after-class events, which are sponsored by the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and he explained the educational purpose of the events.
“I think that these after-class events are quite valuable. Why? One reason is that I think it helps us understand sexual diversity,” he said, according to an audio file obtained by The Daily.
“Sticks and stones may break your bones, but watching naked people on stage doing pleasurable things will never hurt you,” he said to loud applause at the end of his speech.