The folly of men of advancing years…

I have passed the pleasure of writing this story over to my far more acerbic (and rather dull, pompous and academically flatulent) brother, Professor RD Charon.

A view from Academe on the issue of Lust.
Professor RD Charon

I write from the perspective of many years in academe and not once was I touched by the desire to flirt with a female student or, it has to be said,  be the recipient of flirtatious behaviour on the part of a female student.  Should such an event have occurred, where I was called upon to exercise my academic judgement in favour of an attractive female to her advantage, against my natural and better judgement, I would have had her rusticated.

To have my attention drawn to a salacious piece in a law blogger’s website, a website called Law Actually, by my asinine brother who wastes his days on Twitter, writing incomprehensible nonsense on here and getting drunk with lawyers in the capital City is bad enough;  but to find that the Vice Chancellor of Buckingham University, an otherwise most sensible man by the name of Terence Kealey,vice-chancellor of that most esteemed establishment, and the author of Sex, Science and Profits (2008) has been giving intemperate advice,  has made me most dyspeptic.

I quote from the passage written by ‘The Michael”, as I believe this blogger refers to himself, from his electronic Tractatus, Law Actually.

In an article for the Times Higher Education magazine on lust, part of a feature on the seven deadly sins of universities, Kealey wrote: “Normal girls – more interested in abs than in labs, more interested in pecs than specs, more interested in triceps than tripos – will abjure their lecturers for the company of their peers, but nonetheless, most male lecturers know that, most years, there will be a girl in class who flashes her admiration and who asks for advice on her essays.

What to do?  “Enjoy her! She’s a perk.”

Flashing a few literary allusions, he continued: “She doesn’t yet know that you are only Casaubon to her Dorothea, Howard Kirk to her Felicity Phee, and she will flaunt you her curves. Which you should admire daily to spice up your sex, nightly, with the wife.”

De-constructing the piece, I can find no hint of hidden allusion, nor even the illusion of great writing – all I see is delusion; the delusion common to many men – my asinine brother is so afflicted – that they are still young.


As you have gathered, my academically dessicated brother and I do not get on…. it was ever thus.  He is, however, to me…. an amuse bouche, and I do like to poke the odd academic occasionally, if you forgive the expression (in the circumstances) –  so I like to draw him in when opportunity allows. I suspect that Kealey was having a laugh – but even I would not have ventured into that territory.  It is quite possible that my fellow blogger Geeklawyer would have been happy to do so – but I must not encourage him any further in his ‘depravity’ – Geeklawyer’s that is, not the VC’s!


To be serious – the whole article in The Times Higher Education about the Seven Deadly Sins was, in fact, rather good and worth a read… and I am quite sure Terence Kealy intended no moral outrage or slight on women… it did, however, come across as being a bit ‘creepy’! and… it is his problem, not mine!

Good effort, Michael  of Law Actually for picking this story up.

8 thoughts on “The folly of men of advancing years…

  1. He is hardly advocating the rebirth of History Man, and I cannot help but feel Dr Keeley is way smarter than he is being given credit for. Straight, middle aged men will tend to relate to Keeley’s non PC revelation, albeit that they might be reluctant to admit as much in mixed company. And who, in reality, is the target audience for a uni vice chancellor in the modern age ? Not the students, but those who will be paying for them. And, I venture that most of those prospective payers will be straight, middle aged men.

  2. Like I told Michael:

    “I get your point, all of the points made. They are all very relevant in an increasingly ‘civilized’ & ‘equal’ society. But, come on! A guy says what virtually everyone is thinking and he is berated?

    The hullabaloo seems to be more about keeping up appearances, a bit of a smoke screen (which requires a degree of mental dishonesty). Certain of my ‘white’ friends always make a bigger deal out of racial commentary than my ‘black’ friends. Why? Maybe, its to cover their own guilt.

    No matter. Checking out ‘hot chicks’ and enjoying dead end flirtations is not an abomination, I don’t care how refined and intelligent you are.”

  3. Legally Unbound

    I have, of course, brought in the device of my ‘brother’ to parody this

    (a) The VC is known to be a clever man

    (b) His remarks were in the context of a tongue in cheek piece

    (c) The difficulty is – while university lecturers are not in loco parentis (The students are usually all over 18) they are in a relationship of tutor-student. People have flings, fall in love and even marry within the context of these tutor-student relationships. Unfortunately it can be a bloody disaster as well – with accusations of favouritism, accusations of unfair marking, let alone the possibility of an abuse of authority

    There are thousands of women in the world – so why the need to compromise oneself and the student by taking friendly enjoyment (acceptable provided treatment is the same for all students and not just the good looking ones, male or female) to more dangerous and ‘difficult’ levels?

    I’d rather check out a hot chick at someone else’s university, office, etc etc…. and take my chances like everyone else… it is a numbers game after all and.. sometimes it is just plain rude not to ask?

    There is a very fine rule…. SPR…. do not Shag the staff, Poke the Client or Roger the receptionist….. it just works….. by all means enjoy life at someone else’s office. I have seen office relationships…. a bloody disaster…. issues, issues issues…

    Anyway… I am too old to moralise….. but I really don’t think the VC was intending to be offensive….

  4. Barboy

    Hi – I take your point. I don’t have children – but I have a feeling I might raise my eyebrows if a guy my age was advocating that university lecturers should enjoy my daughter as a perk…. just a thought?

    I have no problem with age disparity – some of my favourite relationships have involved an age gap. I do steer well clear of tutor-student relationships…. would not even think about it… and didn’t for 25 years.

    As I said above – no problem at someone else’s office etc – because imbalance and women can choose to accept or reject as in real life.

    Christ… if I carry on like this… I’ll turn into an Agony Aunt…. “Dear Charon….. ”

    And that ain’t my thing at all….


  5. Back before they invented cheese I spent some time lecturing. One year a lady student took a bit of a liking to my portly frame and already receding hairline. She penned me a most frank missive.

    Much to my regret, I destroyed the document though it contained a line forever etched in my foggy mind:
    “At times when we are in the same room together a pulsating orgasm passes me by.”

    I hate to think what my lecture on anticipatory breach did to her.

  6. Fat Bigot… Brilliant… and I remember our time together in teaching with pleasure… we did have ‘some’ fun

    Good to see you commenting… Start another blog…. or guest on here whenever you want to (I never edit – this may be obvious)..

    That… made me laugh…

  7. i’m sorry to come over all moralistic but i don’t give a toss whether he intended to offend or whether he was being tongue in cheek (whose cheek? i wonder). what he said was all too true and in many other areas than higher education. and it ain’t good enough. it is one of the most depressing comments on our society that we as men are routinely encouraged to view women – and especially younger women – as bits of meat for our enjoyment. the commodification of women does none of us any favours.
    and on a totally unrelated note, why on earth are conviction rates for rape so abysmally low??? odd, that.

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