By now we’ve all met Tim, the gay 22-year-old senior at the University of Hawai’i-Manoa who photographs and videotapes himself wearing Speedos in poses ranging from PG to X-rated. Thanks to a photo series of him in university classrooms wearing nothing but a Speedo, and an Xtube video showing him masturbating and ejaculating on a classroom desk, which has been seen over 220,000 times, he caught flack from the administration. So what will Tim’s future at the university be?
Despite your calls for his expulsion, it appears he’ll remain enrolled at Hawai’i-Manoa. “The complaints about the video have been resolved with the school administration and the school paper has retracted the libelous statements it made about me,” Tim writes.
Indeed, the news Ka Leo has retracted its story — in a very detailed way.
Ka Leo apologizes for and retracts as inaccurate the following statements that were published in the Thursday, March 4 Campus Beat, regarding the student whose blog was discussed in one of the reports:
“… endangering students …” There has been no such finding by the UH administration that there has been any endangerment, only an investigation into a possible violation of student conduct codes.
“… desks in many classrooms … masturbating in
buildings …” This statement involving multiple classrooms is an inaccurate conflation of the material found on the blog, where a clear distinction between photos and a single video in one classroom is made.
“Do not attempt to approach the student.” This suggested that the student represents a physical danger to other students, a claim for which the paper provided no evidence.
“… sexually deviant and psychotic behavior …” Ka Leo has no medical qualifications to make such a judgment.
The definition of paraphilia originally was included in the online edition. Again, the paper has no qualifications to make such a judgment.
The placement of the article within the “Campus Beat” section suggested that a crime was committed. Campus Security is not investigating the action in question as a crime.
The paper expresses its regrets to both the student in question and to the campus community, which may have been unnecessarily alarmed by the report.
That’s the type of retraction you get when lawyers get involved, although Tim makes no mention that he’s consulted with attorneys.
And as for the haters out there, calling Tim an exhibitionist who’s gone too far, he has his own words for you:
First, ever since my last blog post, a number of readers seem to accuse me of shirking responsibility for my actions by classifying them as a gay rights issue. Actually I’m not very concerned with gay rights. As an anarchist, I don’t believe you need to campaign for someone to give you back rights that you’ve always had, which is effectively what the gay rights movement attempts to do. So that’s out. The actual statement that I made in my last entry was this:
“If disliking A’s behavior is sufficient reason for B to condemn him, then the gay rights movement has no footing at all, since such an attitude accepts that personal prejudice is a valid ground for legal discrimination.”
Most commentors seem to have read that sentence as a declaration of activism. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. I was simply trying to highlight the underlying principle that widely held prejudices are often mistaken for genuine authority to condemn someone. Those who have lashed out at me are uncomfortable because my actions do not adhere to their notions of proper behavior within society. My violation of social norms is the question at issue. That is what I am being condemned for, and not for any inherent wrongdoing in my actions.
This leads into my second point, which is that I continue to be absolutely amazed by the outpouring of intolerance and abusiveness provoked by my departure from normative behavior. It’s very strange, very alien to me. Rather than contenting themselves with finding my actions offensive or inappropriate, many of the commentors on this blog and other articles take things a step further. Somehow they see their own disgust as a legitimate reason to criticize or penalize me. Instead of recognizing that a behavior they may not choose to participate in themselves can be a perfectly normal means of expression for another, they are unable to tolerate the existence of an alternative viewpoint. (Some go so far as to demand that I be suppressed by burning – witch trials, anyone?) But remember, tolerance is not just for big issues. Tolerance goes far beyond merely stopping the lynching of black males or the jailing of homosexuals. Tolerance is the ability to accept all opinions, all behaviors as equally valid, regardless of your personal feelings about them; to understand that your ethical or moral framework and judgements apply to you and you alone; and to realize that even holding the same opinion as a majority of others does not give you the moral authority to force your views on the dissenters. That is true tolerance, which can only be observed in actions and not expressed in words. So far I have met remarkably few people capable of practicing it.
We love ourselves some tolerance! More than tolerance, we love acceptance. But there’s a difference between enjoying showing off your body and defacing school property — which is what jerking off to completion on a classroom desk amounts to. We’re sure it’s a thrill. It’s also disrespectful. Tim asks for tolerance of his exhibitionism; the school, as the owner of the classroom buildings and the desks inside them, is also right to request its own form of tolerance. Namely, please don’t cum on its classroom materials.
All that said, Tim is sorry if he’s offended you. And he’ll now resume trying on his new Aussiebums, thank you very much.