A student over at the University of Hawaii-Manoa has made a splash in the national media over the week following a warning from the campus about the student’s “performance art.”
Since at least January, Tim, a gay 22-year-old senior at the University of Hawai’i-Manoa, has been recording himself masturbating, and uploading the videos to Xtube. He goes by the username “SpeedoStudent1,” which represents his fetish for all things Speedos, Lycra, and jocks; he got his first Speedo at age 19 and has been hooked ever since.
Tim has caused a ruckus on campus by filming some of his endeavors in school buildings, prompting the school to issue a warning in the student newspaper:
A UH student has been endangering students by leaving his body fluids on desks in many classrooms. His blog, Hawai’i Speedo Student, shows pictures and videos of himself masturbating in buildings such as Kuykendall, Moore, Webster, Physical Science, Watanabe and possibly more. He is currently being investigated for violating student conduct codes. Please take appropriate precautions like disinfecting desks and washing hands frequently. He is self-described as 5 foot 7 inches with frizzy blond hair, blue eyes and a slim build. Do not attempt to approach the student. If you notice him or anyone else exhibiting sexually deviant and psychotic behavior, call Campus Security at (808) 956-6911.
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.