When The Mind Can’t Get Any Bogglier

UPDATE 2/8/2010 – Greetings, visitors from “Also Spake Zustra!”  I have a special message for you at the bottom of this post:

Original post follows:

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I don’t read the blog “Feministing” for reasoned, rational commentary (via KAR).

Indeed, I rarely read it at all.

As the Twin Cities’ best feminist, it’s depressing, really, to see the perversions that pass for “Feminism” among some of these people.

But you learn to accept that as a given after a while.

What’s funny, though, is catching the occasional dispatch from Cloud Nine.

Academic humanities departments,nationwide, are solidly left-of-center, politically and socially. While my English major advisor indeed, started me on the road to conservatism, we were both outliers. It’s entirely possible to go through a career in humanities, I suspect, and ever have to confront conservatism as anything but a set of stereotypes that you mock with your colleagues.

So this bit here, from a Teaching Assistant at an unnamed graduate program, is interesting; it’s a cry from the heart of a woman having to face…people who approach the world differently than her.

And it’s heart-rending indeed:

I’m a graduate student, teaching a freshman-level writing class. I’ve been a feminist pretty much from the moment my mom popped me out. Anyway, I always lived in a bubble–thinking that the way I thought was simple common sense. Women are equal. Birth control is good. Yada yada yada. I realized as a I grew up, however, that the liberal home life I knew was not the reality for the rest of my peers.

Of course, for many people that can be a growth experience.

Question for the class: How did/does our author perceive this?

And then, last fall, I began teaching composition to university freshmen. My students are, by and large, white, affluent, politically and religiously conservative. To many of them, feminism is a bad word and young, female teachers are pushovers and useless.

To be fair to the students, if this post is any indication, it may not be a group assessment.

Maybe it’s the age gap, as I am 26 to their 18. Maybe it’s the cultural gap, as I am in the deep-South, but spent most of my formative years in more urban, liberal regions of the globe. There are a lot of maybes here.

Yes, indeed. Let’s keep going:

  • Maybe you are a cultural bigot.
  • Maybe your preening sense of entitlement has left you believing that it’s your way or the highway.

It’s a start.

I loved this bit:

I was making my rounds amongst my students, assisting them at their computers, answering questions, etc. I was sharing an anecdote with a student about my own writing/process, and she (SHE!) asked me what my focus was. I told her–technology and feminist scholarship–and then… the eyes. I heard a short intake of breath. Her eyes grew wide. “Oh my god! Are you a feminist!?” She said the word feminist just the way I say “rapist.”

I nodded. “Yes, I am. Equal rights are a great thing.” She laughed awkwardly, and I moved on.

Who told this young woman that feminism is a bad thing? Seriously–who? She’s a bright woman. She was a fantastic student. But just the same–to her, what I am, is a monster. I don’t feel particularly monstrous.

And she’s not. What she is is a caricature – so much so that a small part of me still thinks “she” is a parody. Feminism – gender identity feminism, to be exact, and as distinct from equity feminism, which is what I believe in – has become a caricature, a caricature that real, “bright women” and “fantastic students”, the people who will go on to productive lives in business, government, society and/or family as they choose, mock without mercy.

It’s a bottomless wellspring of material for some of us. So I’m gladdened to see…

And next Monday, a whole new round begins–and this year, I’m doing more socially-conscious assignments than last year. Could be interesting. But I realize now, that if I don’t ask them pointed questions about how they view the world (be it television, themselves, etc), no one else will, either.

…that not only is the caricature continuing, but it’s growing:

They’ve already made it 18 years without challenging the status quo. Imagine that.

By not becoming Mao-frenching, entitlement-mongering semiotics-of-identity zombies under the influence of the author and the vast majority of her colleagues, they are pantsing the status quo.

Kudos to them.

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SPECIAL ADDENDUM FOR “ZUSTRA” READERS: Yeah, my whole “Twin Cities’ Best Feminist” bit really got under some peoples’ skins.  Can they not see how absurdly they were being played?  “Best” Feminist?  Really?

And yet it’s kept the same pack of mental midgets (of both purported genders) howling with rage for years, now.  As if on cue.

I’m trying to find a concept as smug, tautological and dim-witted as “mansplainer” to apply to these – words fail – simpering infants who can’t accept the idea that there’s a rational B-side to their ideas.  But I can’t think of anything that dumb.

Anyway, thanks for stopping!

28 thoughts on “When The Mind Can’t Get Any Bogglier

  1. Liberals sure do love their drama.
    I heard a short intake of breath. Her eyes grew wide. “Oh my god! Are you a feminist!?” She said the word feminist just the way I say “rapist.”
    Perhaps that why Hollwood is so overwhelmingly liberal.

  2. You may be the Twin Cities’ best feminist, Mitch. But you still have yet to receive an honorary womb like Jeffy the Wingnut slayer.

    Seems kind of unfair though…it’s not like Feckeless needed a title to convince anyone or anything.

  3. Yeah, John Voight sure is a liberal, and Tom Seleck, and Chuck Heston, and Chuck Norris, and Brittney Spears, and Arnold Schwarzeneger too.

    Mitch, to be ‘the Twin Cities best feminist’ actions count – not just self-promoting, chest-beating rhetoric. Could you please tell me the number of ERA marches you’ve participated in, or perhaps the number of times you’ve boycotted a company which showed outright prejudice in hiring or promoting practices (of which there WERE several cases in the 70′s and 80′s). In fact, if memory serves, there were cases recently about abusive expectations of women – including Nike’s use of near slave labor in Guam.

    Please, illuminate us all on your actions? I mean, I’m sure you boycotted Nike, right? And the last march you participated in was? Perhaps you can identify the woman’s shelter, generically of course, to which you volunteered or gave money out of your pocket directly?

    No?

    Perhaps you shouldn’t try to make a joke out of that which isn’t funny, and worse, is profoundly contemptuous of those who work hard on important tasks. Spousal abuse is no joke, and providing safe-haven is one of the tenets of the feminist movement. Whatever your personal motives and history may be (as I’m sure you’ll lecture me on), the fact is that FAR greater violence is done to women by men, than the reverse. While I’m quite sure that wasn’t the thrust of your complaint, in your ignorance, you failed to grasp the sweeping insult you threw out – to your discredit.

    Instead of course, in your typical attempt to belittle what is at it’s core a laudable goal so as to excuse doing exactly what you do on this subject, namely nothing at all, you attempt to confer upon yourself the ‘great feminist’ title. (and yeah Mitch, I get you are simply mocking everyone who actually DOES take doing something – I get it’s ‘a joke’ to you, which is yet further indication of your extremist insensitivity) – It’s clear that you are simply trying to marginalize any valid discussion by broadstroking it as irrelevant any time some off-topic or not completely on-point subject is discussed. It’s your modus opperandi, you and the neo-kooks – Paul O’Niell was simply a disgruntled employee therefore we can ignore everything he said, and in this case you feel compelled to try to claim that people who have bought your line of crappola (like the woman in this story) are merely charicatures, we shouldn’t be concerned at their palpable ignorance, their hostile intractibility. Instead of recognizing that feminism HAS largely been successful, and applaud it – and recognize the few areas left that it has to go – you focus on the rabid few who, like you, take things to extremes. And then you do worse, you pretend that your extremism hasn’t infected people with less time to read than you, with invective – suggesting people like the woman in this story is fiction.

    But in fact, just like your thinly veiled contempt and mockery, people with contempt for feminism exist – you, and guys like Limbaugh – who uses the ever sensitive term ‘feminazi’ – show your true colors nearly every day. You’re not mysogynists, no, much worse, you’re fiction writers, you are the political knife-fighters happy to use any counter-discrimination resentment to develop hatred for a movement which stands in opposition to yours, and stands there by simply advocating for fair wages, protection against abuse, and (gasp!) a woman’s right to choose her own destiny/time to have children vs. not – and I’m not talking abortion – I’m talking about simple birth control – which the extreme right (you know – that thing you keep trying to drag America toward every day) the extreme right desires to limit, and certainly opposes education on and making available (through public funds). You are no feminist as long as you work to support the prevention of access to birth control and birth control education. If you desire to become a feminist, stand apart from that – in fact, go to a Repub convention and advocate against that – you know, act.

  4. *sigh*

    The Peev doth admonish Mitch to “Act.”
    Which is ironic, funny, in fact.
    Since the most Peev has done
    Is comment by the ton.
    Since his own blog can’t make an impact.

  5. LearnedFoot sums up the Peev,
    Yet none of us dare to believe.
    Shut up? The Peev? NEVER!
    He’ll be here forever.
    Wishing him gone is just plain naive.

  6. Penigma just discovered his penis.
    He’s been working it like a machinist.
    Masturbation, you say?
    Hell, he does it all day.
    And his wang is at its most cleanest.

  7. Peev long ago gave up on brevity,
    And he lacks the concept of levity.
    Peev’s found self-love
    Fits him like a glove.
    As does insane comment longevity

  8. Don Precious(peev) throws his leg over Rocinante and rides out to protect the honour of his Dulcinea who was maligned by the dastardly Mitch

    well in his universe – where richard nixon was president in 1975 and where the Cold War was begun by Calvin Coolidge

    in our universe he pressed his broom into service as Rocinante and “galloped” around the room shouting dire imprecations at the computer monitor.

  9. Yeah, John Voight sure is a liberal, and Tom Seleck, and Chuck Heston, and Chuck Norris, and Brittney Spears, and Arnold Schwarzeneger too.
    So one tenth of one percent equals a majority? Interesting math.

  10. Peev posts 690 words,
    Each one an intellectual turd.
    He’s a commenting sphincter,
    With less floaters than sinkers,
    And his logic is, frankly, absurd.

  11. Don Precious(peev) throws his leg over Rocinante

    From one Cervantes buff to another – hah!

  12. Oh, and Peev?

    Rather than answer your little screed, I’ll just point out that every single word you wrote is wrong. Every one. Your post had not a single correct datum (beyond trivia like my name and such). Your assumptions, your context, your background knowledge – every single matter of fact and rhetoric in your comment – was wrong.

    Trying to engage what you wrote is like trying to find an edge on an undrilled bowling ball. There’s just no way.

  13. You can’t be a feminist unless you march with a bunch of ugly women.

    how else could ugly women hope to have their own parade?

  14. I think peeve is just bothered about Feckeless’ honorary womb….he thinks it’s something he can put in his pocket and take to his shift at Burger King for break time.

  15. is an honorary womb something you can pin on your lapel for social gatherings and important political functions?

  16. “is an honorary womb something you can pin on your lapel for social gatherings and important political functions? ”

    As I understand it, Feckeless Jeff glues his to his forehead; but I guess Peeve could pin it on his lapel, or he could give it to his wife for storage with his testicles.

  17. “Peev has testicles?!?!?!”

    as in Smooth as a Ken doll?

    Not likely – there’s bound to be some ugly scar tissue with DIY retrofits.

  18. Yoss has limercks down to an art
    His word-fu I cannot hope to compart
    He wields the text sword
    like Odin vs. Thor (d)
    Hey! Where’s Peev’s next brainfart?

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