Notes from the Cloister

I have read the petitions, and I still cannot understand why so many of the (all female) students of Wellesley College are having a major freak-out about this piece of sculpture.  This is from a student petition to have it removed:

On contrary, this highly lifelike sculpture has, within just a few hours of its outdoor installation, become a source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault for many members of our campus community. While it may appear humorous, or thought-provoking to some, it has already become a source of undue stress for many Wellesley College students, the majority of whom live, study, and work in this space.

Seriously?  It's a freaking sculpture.  I had thought that the whole point of women's colleges was to focus on creating strong, empowered women.  My wife always felt that way about Vassar (where the culture of educating strong women apparently existed even after it went coed).  But this story tells me that women's colleges have become cloisters to protect hothouse flowers whose fragile sensibilities can't handle a piece of art that is not particularly racy or outré (in the context of today's standards).   This is taking the fake campus right to not be offended and turning it into a pathology.   If you think I am exaggerating, go to the linked article and read the students and alums quoted.

To me, this art tells a story of a man's vulnerability and helplessness.   I would have thought the feminists would have loved it.


  1. Elam Bend:

    I think it's pretty creepy, but maybe it's the setting. It's on the better side of the uncanny valley for sure. Still, I don't get the outrage or the 'triggering.'

  2. S:

    Installed in a museum, it could be interesting and thought provoking. Put 20 feet from my front door, where I suddenly run into it as I'm hurrying out the door to work, it's scary and would have me calling the cops. Put outside one of the buildings at my corporate job, it's creepy and horribly inappropriate.

    For a college student who lives on campus, it would be closest to someone putting this in their front (or back) yard. You're not just seeing it when you go to a museum; you're running into it after pulling an all nighter studying, or just before taking a major test, or in all sorts of situations where it's just not appropriate.

  3. Griffin3:

    ... says the man with a face-eating bear as an avatar.

  4. obloodyhell:

    }}} This is taking the fake campus right to not be offended and turning it into a pathology.

    Dude, it's ALWAYS been a pathology. This is just a case where you can't not notice that. :-D

  5. obloodyhell:

    I can see this argument when you first bump into it. The notion that it won't become BACKGROUND NOISE to anyone with a brain is not particularly convincing to me.

    And I have news for you -- it's a hell of a lot more interesting as a piece of art than UF's $100,000 "French Fries From Hell"

    (More here)

  6. Guest:

    Your argument makes no sense...

  7. obloodyhell:

    His name was "Oolong", by the way.... He has since passed away after earning his 15 mins of fame as an internet meme. His successor in all things pancakey and head-sitty is named "Uebing".

  8. Me too:

    That thing is creepy. It's too real. Maybe they could dress him for the different seasons. I get why hyper liberal young women don't like it.

  9. Elam Bend:

    Ha! but at least it's no where near the uncanny valley. (it's from a photo set of really bad taxidermy)

  10. A_Nonny_Mouse:

    Oh, come ON, girls!

    Havva sensa yumah.

    Dress the thing in footie pajamas and duct-tape a styrofoam cup of cocoa to his hand. Or, put a kilt on him. . . or a bunny suit. Get creative.

  11. Matthew Slyfield:

    -1, he has a short stack of two pancakes on his head. :)

  12. MingoV:

    I'd petition to remove the sculpture because it's among the stupidest I've seen. Even if the sculpture was of a similar looking woman in briefs, I'd want it removed. This is art?

  13. marco73:

    Used to have to walk right past that abomination for years.
    In downtown Tampa, there's the taxpayer funded "exploding chicken" in front of an office building. Bad art is an epidemic.

  14. irandom419:

    My first reaction was to wonder how many people thought someone was going to freeze to death.

  15. Another_Brian:

    "To me, this art tells a story of a man's vulnerability and helplessness. I would have thought the feminists would have loved it."

    Maybe they don't like being reminded that the patriarchy isn't made up entirely of vile oppressors. Some are just dudes in briefs with sleep problems.

  16. c_andrew:

    I dunno. He looks like he's a well preserved zombie who's just been flash frozen - for the freshness, you see...

  17. DanSmith:

    How many feminists does it take to screw in a light bulb? THAT'S NOT FUNNY!!!! ;)

  18. Truthsword:

    WOW! The thing that is amazing is that these Wellesley Women were normal American High School teenagers just a short time before making these shrill protests and posts. Sure, their doting Progressive Parents laid a bit of the groundwork, but almost NO high school seniors would feel the outrage that Wellesley sophomores feel. The progressive academy is DESTROYING the common sense and sense of proportion of its own students. Really fast.

  19. Truthsword:

    It's not just the Wellesley professors and staffers, of course. There is certainly a profoundly feminist selection bias in who chooses to go to Wellesley, and those students themselves indoctrinate each other and enforce the groupthink. Still, the point remains that something happens to them at Wellesley that transforms precocious young scholars into shrill feminists. That force is destructive, and it is shockingly strong and fast-acting.

  20. Truthsword:

    And, re: "Triggering," I have to say "Oh COME ON!" Wellesley women have suffered FAR LESS oppression, rape, sexual harassment, etc. than the general population. The students at this elite, expensive, private women's college have been relatively sheltered from sexual oppression. They are cloistered away from real men, so they claim to be harassed by sculptures of men??!! Sheesh!

  21. Barbara S. Meyer:

    It is stupid. Why the underwear? Let strip him down and see if the rest of him is as ugly as we see here. That should not arouse anyone - but nauseate. 80 yr. old Mom