Sleeping with his students | The press

Of course, at university there are love stories between a teacher and a student that last more than a semester. In any case, it happens very often in novels, with some authors it’s even a cliché, and who knows if that hasn’t contributed to the romantic image of such a relationship. A writer like Marie-Sissi Labrèche helped reverse them with her novel The break 2002, which convinced me never to sleep with a teacher.

Posted at 7:15am

When I was studying literature at UQAM, I avoided it because my favorite teacher, who I went out drinking with after class, was gay. Together we did exactly that, talked about literature (and Marguerite Duras) for hours. He was a mentor to me in the best sense of the word. If he had been straight he’s not sure I would have resisted his advances, he was such an influence on me and I wanted to please him so badly, in this short time of my existence, so fundamentally.

But by the 1990s, the cliché was firmly entrenched in real life. He was accepted. In 2022 it seems worn out. By this time we finally knew the names of the professors who saw the university as a seraglio of fresh flesh, renewable every year, in a faculty where female students (but not professors) were in the majority. One of my ex-girlfriends, who was studying biology, almost considered changing programs to find a blonde, such was the number of pretty, intelligent girls. I sometimes wonder if this breeding ground hasn’t determined more than professions for professors of literature out of a love of literature.

When I read the allegations against Professor Samuel Archibald on Wednesday, I was disappointed but not surprised. His name had been circulating on a denunciation list for some time, without any details being disclosed.

I really liked his collection. Arvida, released in 2011, which made his media impact, I also liked the way he blended pop culture and literature, and we had a shared obsession with horror films – I often spoke to him about the subject. But if he crossed the line with his female students, I have no sympathy. Not after #metoo and the developing reflection on power relations at the university. A professor cannot fail to see what he is getting himself into today when he seduces or harasses a student whose dissertation or thesis he is supervising. Manthat’s your problem.

Seduction is part of the teaching. We very often start with years of study because we have a passion for something and are eager to learn in order to obtain knowledge. Professor and writer Yvon Rivard published an essay on the subject at Boréal in 2012, love, teach, where he recalls that teaching is “a task of sharing and awakening desires”. I think so too. “The more the teacher awakens this desire, the more he exposes himself to imprisonment and takes himself for God,” he writes.

When we love a teacher who offers us this knowledge, as well as a glimpse of our awakening, often full of complexes and hope, we can love him very much and I would say that in this relationship of seduction when students are at risk when When a predator predominates, teachers also face one danger: temptation.

Because all students want to seduce their teachers and it’s not sexual in nature. We secretly dream that he can see intelligence, talent, even genius in us. Giving him undue power over the vision we have of ourselves, while the whole class hangs on his every word, he decides the final grade of the work and sometimes even a scholarship or a job.

We often hear this argument that female students at university are grown and vaccinated. True, but they are still young and in a very imbalanced power relationship. When a professor targets one of them, she often has the illusion that she is “chosen” from all the others, that an intellectual thunderclap has taken place. But it’s rarely the intellect that these teachers are interested in, and that’s what they destroy in their students when they sleep with them. After all, what is their appreciation of the hard and sincere work on their dissertation or thesis worth, not only in the eyes of others, but in their own eyes? How long can a college student drag this doubt into her career and into her life because she believed she was loved by the very person whose calling and responsibility is to see her through and not into his bed?

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