Others make statements that seem to indicate that it is the whiteness and maleness of the subject of the sculpture that is the problem. One talks about “the power of the nearly nude, white, male body to disturb and discomfit,” while another complains that “Mr. Matelli comes from a place of great privilege which has apparently been used to place a sculpture of the white male body on campus. I find it weirdly invasive.” Readers can be forgiven for finding this explicit hostility towards a given race and sex to itself be a bit discomfiting.
To its credit, Wellesley has so far resisted the calls to remove Matelli’s sculpture, with the director of Wellesley’s Davis Museum responding to the petition by noting that “Art provokes dialogue, and discourse is the core of education.” She’s right, of course. It remains to be seen, though, whether Wellesley will continue to refrain from removing or otherwise hiding the artwork as the backlash grows.