Brainless Head on Topless Prof

A truly impressive story swirls around one Diana Blaine, a Senior Lecturer in the Writing Program at the University of Southern California. Pardon me, that should be Dr. Diana Blaine, for she has a PhD in English from UCLA.

Dr. Diana (as she calls herself on her blog) is, if we were going for a one-word label, a feminist. If we were allowed two words, we'd stick a "strident" on the front of that. Perhaps the best place to go for an introduction to the controversy is this article at Inside Higher Ed.

A lecturer at the University of Southern California said she started a blog because her students wanted "more of me after our class time has ended," she wrote. And they got it.

Diana Blaine, who lectures on feminist theory, recently linked her blog to an online photo album that has topless photos of her near a painting of a topless woman, and at Burning Man, an annual weeklong festival in Nevada where clothing is optional.

Eek! A link to said photos is provided. Not recommended.

Dr. Diana also caught the attention of the Cardinal Martini blog, where a USC undergrad writes under the pseudonym "Andrew Winthrop Cunningham III". He was particularly set off by Dr. Diana's Daily Trojan editorial in April of last year about a rape accusation against a USC football player. (Charges against the player were later dropped.) A key paragraph from her editorial:

So if a few bad eggs don't respect women's right to decide if to have sex with them, why should I hold the whole football team accountable? Because I do. Because I hold every single male on this campus responsible. Because every single male on this campus has the responsibility for stopping rape. Every fraternity brother, every science major, every professor, every one of them. Because they all rape? Of course not. But because only men rape and only men can stop other men from raping.
OK, that's fairly typical feminist rhetoric where I come from. But it's guaranteed to dismay anyone with more traditional attitudes toward responsibility and causation. And logic.

Anyway, it's all pretty incendiary, and Dr. Diana is nothing if not self-assured. Here's the beginning of one of her recent blog posts:

Yesterday my father's doctor and I were discussing dad's imminent death from kidney failure.
One might expect this to be a touching tale of a treasured relationship approaching its end. One would be … mistaken. That sentence is Dad's last appearance in the post.
We spoke of the need for acceptance and letting go; we spoke of the need to span from bodies and pus to grace and light. We held one another and shared our experiences and cried. Then she got out a pad and prescribed me John Milton's Paradise Lost.

If you have a sleeping problem, Paradise Lost is probably a good alternative to Ambien.

Needless to say it wasn't your usual doctor visit. Then again in case you can't tell I don't exactly live your usual life.
Needless to say, in case you can't tell, Dr. Diana is not a huge comma fan.
She told me she was impressed with my depth and my humanity and my intellect. She also told me that I was beautiful. I told her that I had learned through hard spiritual work to own these gifts of mine, that humility includes both acknowledging strengths as well as weaknesses. Anything less would be to spit in the face of the magical powers that made us.
I'm impressed by the depth of Dr. Diana's narcissism, her unconventional (albeit convenient) definition of "humility", and her effortless twaddle about "magical powers."

And I'm also impressed about what you can get away with at USC.