Law professor: Actually, flipping the bird really isn't obscene anymore

“Is it inappropriate? That’s another question,” he tells NPR’s Audie Cornish. But, he says, “it doesn’t mean what it used to mean.”

“In the time of Caligula … it was intended to be representative of a phallic symbol. Not today.”

Instead, Robbins argues, flipping the bird is an expression of “frustration or rage or anger or protest or disdain.”