Koko the ape obits are overlooking her nipple fetish & other important things


EXCERPT: The obituaries of Koko the gorilla, who died Tuesday at the age of 46, tell all the same kind of wistful, aspirational stories. They explain how Koko’s trainers, Francine “Penny” Patterson and her colleagues, taught her to “speak” American Sign Language from the tender age of 1. There are mentions of how Koko graced the cover of National Geographic and became the star of a documentary. There are stories of numerous encounters with the rich and famous, from an extremely friendly exchange with William Shatner to a celebrated meeting with the eponymous star of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. But there’s one creepy and uncomfortable story the obits aren’t telling—which is a shame, because of all the stories about Koko and the research she was involved in, it’s the most revealing.

That story: the sexual harassment suit.

As celebrities are sometimes wont to do, Koko had developed a few antisocial tendencies. By the time she was in her 20s, for example, Koko had begun to show signs of nipple fetish. In 2005, Kendra Keller and Nancy Alperin, who had been employed by the Gorilla Foundation the previous year, took Patterson to court because, they alleged, “Patterson instructed Keller and Alperin to engage in the sexual act of removing their clothing to expose their breasts to Koko, in particular, their nipples.” The lawsuit alleged that in response to signing from Koko, Patterson pressured Keller and Alperin to flash the ape. “Oh, yes, Koko, Nancy has nipples. Nancy can show you her nipples,” Patterson reportedly said on one occasion. And on another: “Koko, you see my nipples all the time. You are probably bored with my nipples. You need to see new nipples. I will turn my back so Kendra can show you her nipples.”

The suit was settled out of court a few months later, sparing the court system the indignity of figuring out how to administer an oath to a gorilla. But the story is nevertheless crucial to understanding the arc of the scientific field of animal linguistics and Koko’s place within it....

MORE: https://slate.com/technology/2018/06/kok...hings.html

That sounds much more like Francine Patterson's fetish than the ape's. A mentally unhinged person, likely of the type that "likes" animals more than people, projecting on an ape.
It was settled because the Gorilla Foundation knew damn well it wasn't a problem with the ape.
This is one (another) example of an occasion when the wisdom of grandmother has failed to be handed down to mother and child. When someone says "My gorilla would like to see your nipples." you don't actually have to show them your nipples. I'm pretty sure my grandmother would have known that.

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