What the woman who accidentally sent anal porn to her students has to say

Dina Rickman@dinarickman
Monday 27 April 2015 11:00
Celebrities

Lisa McElroy is a professor of law at Drexel University in Philadelphia and an expert on America's Supreme Court.

She's also the woman who made international headlines earlier this month after accidentally sending her students a link to a PornHub clip that reportedly involved anal beads in an email promising a "great article on writing briefs".

The slip-up was presumably down to a copy and paste error but in a Washington Post op-ed about her "public shaming" McElroy says she will never divulge the steps that led to her sending out the clip.

Instead, McElroy writes about her mortification: first after she realised her mistake, then after the media found out about it and finally when she had to tell her teenage daughters about it ("announcing an imminent mastectomy would have been preferable to explaining what had happened to me").

The academic also discusses what it taught her about the public's appetite for scandal:

What’s really fascinating about this story is not that a law professor inadvertently shared a porn link with her students. What’s newsworthy is that, actually, there was nothing newsworthy about it. What happened was, in the grand scheme, pretty trivial. My students are adults. The link was quickly removed. There was nothing illegal in the video. The post occurred in the same two-month period when the movie Fifty Shades of Grey grossed almost $570 million worldwide. Yet, because it was porn and I’m a law professor, news organisations spread the story around the world.

While McElroy thought she might have lost her dignity "forever" when she first realised her mistake, she said dignity is not like virginity: you can go back. McElroy's final message?

There are worse things than humiliation. There is cancer. There is isolation. And there is the willingness — even the desire — to bring others down to lift yourself up. See you in class.

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