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June 15, 2005

Smooth operators

Two stories from current or former parts of the British empire reinforce the point that men do stupid things. In particular, men think they're smooth operators but do stupid things to try to get women to undress for them. And not just stupid but sometimes downright criminal.

The first article (via Drudge) describes an incident in Scotland. Saeed Akbar, a manager at an interpreting and translation company, used this technique on a woman he was interviewing for a job at his company:

Akbar, 35, left the interview room and came back in to speak to his female victim naked and clutching a clipboard.

When the job candidate refused to strip as well, he put his clothes on and attempted to continue the interview as normal, the court was told.
"Uh, moving right along . . .," he must have said. And he had an excellent, and most plausible, explanation: "I wanted a bit of excitement that afternoon, that's purely all it was." But he also came up with an even better explanation:
The woman answered the advert and was invited to attend an interview at the firm's Glasgow office the following day.

When she arrived, Akbar - who was held in "high esteem" by his company - asked if she would mind if they took their clothes off.

The £25,000 per-year executive tried to restart the interview after putting his clothes back on, but his victim fled and reported the matter to police.

He initially told police his strip was a consensual "role play" as part of his "tough interviewing technique".
Wow, that's like a scene from a cheap novel. ("I'll be the police inspector and you'll be the mob moll, and I try to . . . .")

Our next smooth operator operates in India. In this story, via, the professor in a medical college used this strategy to try to get the female students to disrobe:
Female students at the King George's Medical University in Lucknow are finding it difficult to stay abreast of their lessons after an Assistant Professor created a scandal by asking them to drop their aprons.

While Chief Medical Superintendent Dr Ram Kant insists all the professor wanted to do was teach, the girls are furious that they were asked to become models for demonstrating 'percussion'.
"Percussion," by the way, is the medical equivalent of drum playing.
According to [the professor investigating the incident], percussion is a medical practice in which the infected part of the patient's body is hit with fingers while pressing it with the other hand to diagnose puss formation. Rama Kant believes the confusion happened because the girls were not from a medical background and therefore misinterpreted their teacher's actions. He also blames jealous members of the staff for needlessly blowing the incident out of proportion.
So it sounds like the investigator is also a smooth operator. Amazingly, or perhaps not, given the circumstances, some complied with the request.
Students of M.Sc. nutrition class of a famous girls' college doing their internship in the medical university were allegedly asked by the Assistant Professor to remove their aprons during a lecture demonstration. Although some of the girls complied, others refused as they found the request highly objectionable. They walked out of the room in anger and later reported the matter to university authorities. In their complaint the girls accused the professor of trying to make sexual advances using the demonstration as an excuse.
I'm not the only one to whom the girls' explanation sounds obvious. Other faculty thought the investigator's story was no more plausible than the perp's:
However few are willing to buy this argument. Not only has it failed to satisfy the girls, even some staff members of the University are questioning the teaching methodology. They say there was no need to teach percussion technique to students of M.Sc Nutrition course since all they have to know is how to prescribe a suitable diet for patients suffering from various ailments.

They also point out a technical snag in the explanation offered by Professor Rama Kant. According to them empyma puss is deposited in the pleural cavity falling between chest and lung valves. Percussion in this case would involve hitting the chest and the patient's back, not their breasts.
So the apron is beginning to fall from the cover-up.