Our Ding-a-Ling


There’s a big debate at Princeton University about whether or not to take down the statue of John Witherspoon, the Revolutionary-era intellectual (and slaveowner), and namesake of actress Reese Witherspoon. Here’s a less controversial suggestion.

Why not start by taking down this gigantic cast-iron schlong in front of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences? Apart from being ugly AF, it seems hard to reconcile with any semi-plausible conception of gender inclusiveness in the male-dominated precincts of “hard” science. And I’m not suggesting that we put up (erect?) a steel vagina next to it in the name of reciprocity. I’m suggesting a kind of ethico-aesthetic detumescence: just take it down. Melt it down. Turn it into ammunition for the Ukraine war, for all I care. Just get rid of it.

Whenever people go on about the “wokeness” of higher education, I think of this big dick staring me down at the corner of Olden and William Streets. How woke is it to have someone swing a giant dick at you in public space? If only I could sleep-walk my way past it. An impossible dream, evidently.

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