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February 27

Inappropriate Relationships I: Hot For Teacher

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:54 am

To Sir with lust on September 21, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

Congratulations on your site. I have a small academic problem for you. I am a graduate student who is perpetually falling for academics/professors — of both genders. I am quite comfortable with the gender part of it, but the academic part causes potential ethical problems, and in my experience, the need to constantly attempt to bridge unwieldy generational boundaries. I am 24, and the objects of my admiration tend to be at least around 35 or over with Captivating Intellects/Teaching Styles. Oh yes, and most already have partners…I am not attracted to people my own age at all, as we generally do not have the same mindset or priorities. Am I Mad? Just Unusual? Destined to spend the rest of my days a lonely young spinster prowling the corridors of the academy? This situation has already caused some emotional strains for me.

Thanking you in anticipation of a reply with footnotes,
— Girl Gradstudent

Dear GG,

You are neither as Mad nor as Unusual as you might like to (1) think. For one thing, you seem to have good taste. Captivating intellect? Charisma? Good call! You’re off to a better start than the folks who write, “Dear Breakup Girl, The objects of my admiration are all dull as a box of rocks.” For another, you are, um, hardly the first young woman to fall for — or at least be attracted to — sharp, charismatic, Older men (women) who are ultimately unattainable (2). That’s why I think my response to you will apply to everyone out there who has considered — or entered into — an “Inappropriate Relationship.”(3)



March 1

This week at Happen: Hot for teacher

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:58 am

MSN.com, Match.com, HappenMagazine.com: they’re in a healthy and satisfying 3-way relationship. Meaning that you can find MSN/Match.com’s “Ask Lynn” columns –penned by BG’s alter ego — over at Happen now as well.

This week Lynn lectures a Former Student in Florida who is hoping she’s in the clear to act on her faculty crush:

I would say we’re platonic friends now and are no longer part of a student/teacher dynamic. He was only my teacher once and that was two years ago. He is eloquent, athletic, sophisticated, intelligent and pretty much everything I want in a man.

Is it okay to meet him after class, or does this situation require further study? Get schooled by Lynn’s response at Happen; Extra credit for those who comment below.


September 18

Hot for yoga teacher

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:59 am

It’s a stretch on March 2, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I have a crush on my yoga teacher — how can I get his attention? I don’t ask guys out as a rule, so that’s out. I’ve been smiling at him and saying hello. Oddly, this technique has always worked. He has given me a funny face twice. What could that possibly mean? Thanks Breakup Girl, you give me strength!

— Jeni

Dear Jeni,

Is it Breakup Girl that gives you strength, or the fact that you’ve been going to Yoga nine times a week? Anyway, as weird as this is going to sound, the way to get his attention just might be to start taking someone else’s class that meets at the same time. I am not recommending that you play some sort of hard-to-get game. It’s just that your teacher’s “funny” expression is probably an ancient Sanskrit facial posture meaning “I’d love to take you out for some soy milk, but I don’t date my students.”

Breakup Girl


August 27

Girls: School sexual assault=fact of life?

Filed under: News,Psychology — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:32 am

From CityTV.com in Toronto, via Bitch Ph.D.:

…It appears a growing number of young girls are not only being sexually assaulted [in school], but have come to think of it as a normal part of their educational experience.

Recent studies from both the Board’s Safety Panel and the Canadian Centre for Addiction and Mental Health show some shocking stats at one school: 33 per cent say they’ve been sexually harassed in the past two years; another 29 admit to having been touched or grabbed inappropriately and seven per cent have actually been victims of a major sexual assault.

“You just hear jokes [being yelled out] all the time that have to do with girls doing sexual things,” said Madison Fitzgerald, a Toronto high school student.

“There’s a lot of groping and touching in our school.,” said another.

But Connelly believes it’s a problem that’s endemic to halls of learning across the country. “One of the concerns is the alarming rate of gender-based violence, and 21 per cent of the students that were surveyed said that they knew at least one student who was sexually assaulted at school. Now there’s sexual harassment, which is talking inappropriately and there’s sexual harassment which is being touched inappropriately. So the 21 per cent are talking about sexual assault.

“Twenty-nine per cent of Grade 9 girls … felt unsafe at school partly due to sexual comments and unwanted looks or touches; 27 per cent of the girls in Grade 11 admitted to being pressured into doing something sexual that they did not want to do; 14 per cent of the females reported being harassed over the Internet.”

She worries that’s becoming the ‘new normal’ and an accepted mode of behaviour that’s just part of going to class everyday. “They take it for granted that this is the way they should be treated,” she concludes.

Some experts believe the situation is exacerbated because most kids don’t understand exactly what “sexual assault” actually entails.

But at least the grownups are finally starting to call it that. Though they may need to move a little more quickly to educate everyone about what’s appropriate and what’s just … no. Then — holy grail — you need to get the popular kids to call out the others when it happens.

Me, I remember a bit of vaguely line-crossing stuff that happened when I was in school, shortly after the Peloponnesian War. Whether or not I told, which I probably did not, I remember that in general the adults’ response would be “Eh, he’s just doing it because he likes you.” And I remember that weird mix of feelings that I didn’t know what to do with, that uncomfortably prickly mishmash of “Eee, really?! and “Eeuw.” Not helpful.

Q: What kind of sexual harassment is — or was — considered “normal” at your school? What, if anything, was done about it?


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