Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

A Feminist Critique Of Indiana Law School's Dean Photo

Following up on yesterday's light-hearted post on Indiana University Law School's photo of their Dean, Austin Parrish, in an Austin Powers pose:


On Feminist Law Professors, Tax Prof Bridget Crawford (Pace) asks @IUMaurerLaw, Is This Dean Photo with “Sexy” and “Shag” Really a Good Idea?:

At first I thought, “Oh, looks like Dean Parrish is a guy who knows that marketing can be fun. Well done.”  But then I looked at the words in the background, including “Sexy” and “Cheeky Shag.”  In the #MeToo and #TimesUp era, does IU Maurer really want to promote its dean (and school) with words like “Sexy” and “Cheeky Shag”?

Maybe I’m just a humorless feminist, but I’m going to call this one a marketing mistake. The best move for  IU Maurer would be to take the post down, or change the background words.

Words matter. Please, marketing team, get as much feedback as you can before posting. Someone at IU Maurer certainly should have caught this.  No shade on the school … I admire IU Maurer and its faculty very much. But the school (and all of us) can do better.

Indiana has indeed taken down the photo.

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Professor, you are 100% correct, you are a humorless feminist.

Posted by: Tuphat | Jul 4, 2018 1:47:50 PM

Yes you are a humorless feminist.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 4, 2018 2:19:58 PM


Posted by: Tom N. | Jul 4, 2018 2:24:40 PM

If this very obvious parody is offensive, or even potentially so it's because for too long obnoxious people have abused their power at the expense of the less powerful, and with impunity. It's sad that we can't just enjoy a light hearted moment but Professor Crawford has a legitimate point.

Posted by: Darryll Jones | Jul 4, 2018 3:34:39 PM

"Maybe I’m just a humorless feminist." Yes.

Posted by: anon | Jul 4, 2018 11:15:10 PM

Q: How many feminists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: That's not funny!

Posted by: r11449 | Jul 5, 2018 8:09:44 AM

You'd think that anyone who pushes the "pound me too" (#metoo) hashtag would have a sense of humor, or at least irony.

Posted by: ruralcounsel | Jul 6, 2018 4:35:44 AM

This is just ridiculous. The photo is an obvious and innocuous parody, and it is not even remotely comparable to the disgraceful behavior that the MeToo and TimesUp movements have rightfully exposed. In short, lighten up. Have a least a little sense of humor.

Posted by: Adam Lamparello | Jul 6, 2018 5:28:32 PM


Posted by: Barry Jacobs | Jul 9, 2018 4:56:43 AM

Light-hearted? No. Parody? No. Forget those ill-tempered feminists. If I were that dean, I'd consider that grossly insulting. There are people I'd never want to be portrayed as being like including Bill Clinton, Harvey Weinstein and this tacky and tasteless Austin Powers.

Posted by: Michael W. Perry | Jul 9, 2018 5:09:41 AM

"At first I thought, 'oh, that's amusing'. But being the humorless feminist I am, I couldn't let it go at that, and dug deeper until I found something by which I could pretend to be offended."

Posted by: malclave | Jul 9, 2018 5:27:28 AM

The real problem is, that's a man, baby!

Posted by: Thirdtwin | Jul 9, 2018 5:33:01 AM

Part of the problem is humorless scolds conflating harmless parody with real problems like work related sexual assault. That is normally done to protect criminal acts by favored feminist figures.

Posted by: Don't M | Jul 9, 2018 5:59:27 AM

The feminists are the successors to the Puritans, but more humorless.

Posted by: Let them eat cake | Jul 9, 2018 6:52:00 AM

“Maybe I’m just a humorless feminist.”


Posted by: RobinGoodfellow | Jul 9, 2018 7:31:35 AM

Humorless scold. Imagine such with the power of government. Or just look at the NY ‘Civil Rights’ Commission, which can fine people up to a quarter million dollars for refusing to use someone’s preferred pronoun, like ze or hir.

Posted by: Penrod | Jul 9, 2018 12:49:11 PM

....humorless scolds (are) conflating harmless parody with real problems... --Don't M | Jul 9, 2018 5:59:27 AM

Evidently the humorless scolds lack "real problems". Give them more work, deans!

Posted by: Micha Elyi | Jul 9, 2018 1:01:43 PM

It is with deep regret that I must inform you that I cannot attend your party this weekend because it will not be fun at all.

Posted by: Duncan MacKochinar | Jul 9, 2018 1:01:48 PM

"Humorless feminist." Isn't that redundant?

Posted by: Dave H | Jul 9, 2018 1:20:10 PM