A mother is taking UC San Diego to task because her daughter, who’s enrolled in a visual arts course, has been told that she must stand in front of her class naked for the final or fail the semester. The instructor of the course, who’s been doing it for 11 years, has already been referred to as “Chester the Molester” by one helpful party.
I’m not going to pretend to know anything about art, but UCSD’s ‘Performing the Self” course is an upper-division class that seems to be the nightmare of anyone who’s not an art student. Bringing the horrifying dream of showing up to class naked accidentally to life, students are asked to stand naked with the professor in a dark room lit only by candles. Those who are not comfortable with this have two choices: Do something emotionally naked or not take the class. And, according to the New York Daily News, almost everyone chooses to stand naked. Probably because they’re college kids and this is one of those “life-changing experiences” people keep talking about all the time.
One mother, however, is worried that her daughter will be scarred by the experience. While her unnamed child hasn’t made a statement—so no one knows how she really feels—the mother broke down in an interview, calling arts professor Ricardo Dominguez “perverse” and accusing him of getting something out of all his students being naked. That something sounds like art? I don’t know, I had to do a lot of strange things in college, including writing a frank summary of my sexual history (boring) for one class and watching pornography in a group setting (boring) in another, so it feels like something like this is kind of par for the course and likely very clearly explained in the beginning of class.
Not so, says the anonymous mother who, despite indications otherwise by both the instructor and former students, says that no one was ever informed of this final project or the nudity involved until last Thursday. Not to be on the side of demanding to see her daughter naked, but perhaps the woman in question just lost the syllabus?
You can listen to an interview with the upset mother below:
NYDN reports that people on Facebook (not in the course) were upset, but several commenters have reasonably pointed out that it’s incorrect to immediately equate anything to do with nudity to something sexual, which is what appears to be happening here. In addition, since this is an upper division performance elective (and is not required to graduate) all students in the course are adults (which raises the question of why the mom is calling the school) and are learning about performance art which sometimes includes nudity.
Dominguez says he’s never had a complaint before.
Image via YouTube
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