Inside Higher Ed
July 28th, 2015
I have a picture saved in a folder on my laptop. It is a picture of
me, and it was provided to me somewhat reluctantly. It’s a photograph of
my face, taken from my faculty profile page at the religious college
where I used to work, placed onto the body of a scantily clad lingerie
model. This Photoshopped image was part of an annual tradition, one that
used such manufactured images of many of the faculty and staff members
at the institution as part of a presentation designed to “skewer”
faculty and staff for humorous effect. Sometimes it was a suggestion
that a religion professor who was also a Baptist minister actually
wanted to be the pope. Sometimes it was a joke that one of our very tall
business professors was secretly an Olympic beach volleyball player.
The year that I was on the docket, I was a Vegas showgirl, and thus my
head was superimposed upon the body of a midriff-baring, garter
stockings-clad lingerie model in a semitransparent bra.
This performance was done during a convocation for students, but it
was popular among faculty members and administrators, who made a
tradition of attending the annual “roast.” Aside from the general fact
that mocking faculty members in front of a group of students already
skeptical of us is pedagogically questionable, the sexually suggestive
Photoshopped picture of me -- and similar photos of some of my female
colleagues -- was a clear case of sexual harassment.