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March 2017

Don’t Oppress My People With Your Big Hooped Earrings

Attention, all you white women

If you didn’t create the culture as a coping mechanism for marginalisation, take off those hoops[;] if your feminism isn’t intersectional, take off those hoops[;] if you try to wear mi cultura when the creators can no longer afford it, take off those hoops[;] if you are incapable of using a search engine and expect other people to educate you, take off those hoops[;] if you can’t pronounce my name or spell it, take off those hoops.

So rants Ms Alegria Martinez, a member of the Latinx Student Union at Pitzer College, Claremont, California, in a campus-wide email. When not struggling with oppressive punctuation, Ms Martinez spends her time fretting about the fact that she and her peers are “not taken seriously” as the radical titans they so obviously are. According to fellow umbrage-taker Jacquelyn Aguilera, who also emailed the entire campus, “winged eyeliner, lined lips, and big hoop earrings” are “an everyday act of resistance” by the brown and virtuous, “especially here at the Claremont Colleges.”

Where students are forking out $60,000 a year in the hope of being terribly downtrodden. Possibly by the pool

Update, via the comments:

Continue reading "Don’t Oppress My People With Your Big Hooped Earrings" »

Jobseeker’s Amulet

Dave Huber reports from the other side of the looking glass, where wide-eyed students are told,

A degree in Women’s and Gender Studies prepares you for almost anything.

“I do have skills,” says one graduate, rather defensively, “I do have a college degree that is meaningful.” I do, I do, I do.

Readers are invited to listen attentively for the imminent economic boom triggered by the ongoing oversupply of gender studies graduates. 

Turf War

Lifted from the comments, more progressive intellectualism at Middlebury College, where female staff get assaulted by students wearing masks, and elderly scholars get chased off campus

College public safety officers managed to get Professor Allison Stanger and Charles Murray into the administrator’s car. “The protestors then violently set upon the car, rocking it, pounding on it, jumping on and trying to prevent it from leaving campus,” said Bill Burger, the college’s vice president for communications and marketing. “At one point a large traffic sign was thrown in front of the car. Public Safety officers were able, finally, to clear the way to allow the vehicle to leave campus,” said Burger. “During this confrontation, one of the demonstrators pulled Professor Stanger’s hair and twisted her neck,” Burger continued. “She was attended to at Porter Hospital later and is wearing a neck brace.”

Note that the rather animated protestors don’t seem too familiar with Dr Murray’s research and commentary, and as one of Middlebury’s sociology professors noted, “few, if any” of the protestors had ever read Murray’s books. Evidently, he’s nonetheless someone to be ‘othered’ and to whom the students can attach the usual out-group labels – denouncing him as “sexist,” “racist,” “anti-gay” and a “white nationalist.” (As even the briefest use of Google would reveal, Murray married a Thai woman while in the Peace Corps, has mixed-race children, has tutored inner-city black children for free, and was an early advocate of gay marriage - hardly the most obvious markers of a supposedly anti-gay white nationalist.)

Regular readers will no doubt register the irony that, if you wanted to witness some overt racial zealotry, you’d be much more likely to find it among supposedly ‘progressive’ students – say, the ones assaulting their peers or obstructing their path and making them walk through mud for the sin of being white, or grabbing women’s hair and yanking really hard.

I see no reason to suppose that the mob delinquency illustrated above, examples of which seem to be escalating in frequency and vehemence, will spontaneously improve or cease to be fashionable without some quite significant external pressure. Those directly responsible, and their faculty cheerleaders, show no sign of becoming ashamed any time soon. If their behaviour and assumptions are to change, I suspect it will have to cost them, dearly. And whether there are arrests and/or expulsions following this latest thuggish farce will tell us quite a bit about academia’s ongoing decay.


And here’s an extract from Dr Murray’s own account of what happened at Middlebury: 

We walked out the door and into the middle of a mob. I have read that they numbered about twenty. It seemed like a lot more than that to me, maybe fifty or so, but I was not in a position to get a good count. I registered that several of them were wearing ski masks. That was disquieting.

Continue reading "Turf War" »

Shakedown Redux

Meanwhile, at Scripps College - a liberal arts college for young ladies, in Claremont, California, and where annual tuition is close to $50,000 - you must also pay to be scolded as racist and oppressive, by dint of having questions and simply being white:

Campus resident assistants at the school are hanging up two sets of posters titled “Emotional Labour 101”: one for whites, and another for minorities, whom the posters dub as “victims of emotional labour.” Both posters define “emotional labour” as having to exert energy “for the purpose of addressing people’s feelings, educating, making people comfortable, or living up to ‘social expectations.’”

You see, inculcating pretentious guilt, and then exploiting it, is terribly exhausting. And having to deal with “microaggressions,” like being disagreed with, or being asked questions you can’t answer in a sufficiently self-flattering manner, is way too much like hard work. And so, students with That Magic Brown Skin™ are encouraged to demand compensation from their paler peers for the “mental toll” of having to explain why everyone else is racist and should shut the hell up:

“Charge for your services,” the poster suggests. “If you’ve decided you’re going to do it, at least get paid.”

Those deemed sufficiently brown - and therefore by default morally superior and emotionally fragile - are cautioned to “avoid overexertion” when “educating” their paler, less enlightened classmates. “The burden does not rest on your shoulders,” declares the poster. “You don’t owe anyone anything at the expense of your mental health.” The instructional posters are, however, rather less indulgent of students of pallor, who are warned to consider how “people of colour” – who, despite such pampering are apparently “a marginalised group” - are being fatigued by any questioning of their claims. “Be mindful of your place and position,” reads the Guide For White Students, before suggesting that the melanin-deficient should offer financial compensation, “take ownership for the harm you caused” and “think about social justice issues.” 

Sadly, there’s no mention of any financial compensation for white students who are continually being told, by so-called educators, that they’re inherently oppressive and therefore bad people who should feel ashamed. It seems that this ‘microaggression’ business only works one way.  

Previously. Related

Friday Ephemera

Bloody typical. // That’s a big one. // One sweaty fingertip. // That one-hour-ten-minute Phil Collins drum fill you’ve always wanted. // Ten hours of Arctic ambience. // This used to be a cement factory. // A Canadian imam shares his piety. // Causality is a game. // US presidents and their legacies of debt. // On the origins of cutlery. // Could a single marine unit destroy the Roman Empire? // Cars that never made it. // Multitasking. // So just how strong is Captain America? // Thomas Sowell on Marxism and its defects. // And on achievement and its particulars as mere “privilege.” // A pinhole camera made from drinking straws. // A mugshot of the inventor of the mugshot. // Thing is, Ridley, I think we’ve seen it all before. // All bark. // And finally, “Nobody was injured.

The Patriarchy Sits On Her Chest

I’ve been in and out of higher education for over seven years now.

Well, there’s your problem.

I feel more comfortable there than I do in the workforce,

And there it is again.

but there are still many issues with academia that make me uncomfortable.

But of course. The author of this piece, Everyday Feminism’s Celia Edell, a “feminist philosopher interested in social justice,” wants to reveal to us the pressures of unrelenting sexism in higher education: 

I know I’m making my way into a field that is, as a whole, less than welcoming to gender minorities like women.

Women are apparently a gender minority. I’ll give you a second to chew on that one. We’ll just skip over the preferential hiring of women across much of academia, including in departments of philosophy, and the fact that women earn a majority of both Bachelors and Masters degrees. 

My experience with sexism in academia has been that I am more often questioned about my knowledge and ability by male peers and, now that I am TAing [i.e., a teaching assistant], by my male students too.

If true, this may not be entirely unrelated to the fact that Ms Edell’s article contains so many statements of the bizarre - such as women constituting a “gender minority” in an environment where female students typically outnumber male students by quite some margin - along with numerous falsehoods, including the assertion that women “make 78 cents for every dollar a man makes.” A claim that has been debunked repeatedly and at length

I still feel silenced in a class of men. I feel like the boys I teach don’t take me as seriously as they would a male TA.

As ladies on the right report such difficulties much less often, perhaps the issue is not that Ms Edell is a woman being assailed by The Patriarchy and its all-pervasive sexism, even in one of the most scrupulously PC environments on Earth. Maybe it’s just the kind of woman she is. One who, in the very same article, tells us that she suffers from “imposter syndrome” and struggles to sound confident and knowledgeable when voicing her thoughts in public. And at risk of sounding shallow, I doubt that her retro-ironic Far Side glasses and randomly changing hair colour convey much in the way of gravitas. And referring to “white men” as inherently privileged or in some way problematic – no fewer than three times – probably isn’t helping on that front either.

Ms Edell’s ruminations have entertained us before