I couldn’t resist adding my two cents to colleague Alison’s post on the topless photos of herself that Dr. Diana York Blaine, a women’s studies professor at the University of Southern California, posted on her website.(See “And You Thought Women’s Studies Wasn’t a Legit Major,” today, below.) How could I resist–here are the pics themselves! Just in case you were curious, you’ll find out at last what a half-naked women’s studies professor looks like.

And here, according to Human Events Online, is how rabbity USC reacted when a reporter for a local NBC affiliate called to wonder whether York Blaine’s bout of exhibitionism might tarnish the professoriate:

“The university then sent KNBC a copy of the university policy that basically said a professor can do (or in this case ‘show’) anything he/she wants on a personal website because it’s a matter of ‘free speech and academic freedom’ and ‘that must be protected in a university environment.’

And here’s York Blaine herself on her blogsite Dr. Diana:

“One of my closest mentors reminds me often to be ‘in the world but not of it.’ This beautiful advice certainly comes in handy when you see naked pictures of yourself on the 5 o’clock news! And when people email to tell you that you’re ‘fugly’ and ‘fat’ have ‘national geographic breasts.’

You said it, Dr. Di, not I.

She continues:

“Yes, these are challenges. But do they matter to me? No. What does? To work and pray for peace and justice and to live in harmony with all creation….

“Kind of makes the nudie pics seem inconsequential and silly, doesn’t it? That’s because they are, though I will say that with the caveat that how we treat women–how men treat us, how we treat ourselves–matters for the future of life on this planet, and in the sense that these pictures reveal our innermost fears of nature and of change, and unleash in many people a desire to control these things, they do point to critical work we need to do as a people to let go of a philosophy of hate and war and embrace a program of acceptance and peace.”

Seems that Blaine York is going for a second doctorate–in airhead studies.