Comments on: Small college $h!tstorms in the internet age http://www.historiann.com/2010/03/25/small-college-htstorms-in-the-internet-age/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sun, 21 Sep 2014 12:24:08 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Current Wellesley Student http://www.historiann.com/2010/03/25/small-college-htstorms-in-the-internet-age/comment-page-1/#comment-604391 Fri, 23 Apr 2010 21:24:43 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=10108#comment-604391 Thanks for blogging about issues that affect women, I think there is a serious lack of that. But I have to disagree with what you’ve written.

I find it troubling that someone who was invited to teach at a women’s college, particularly at Wellesley, and who accepted that invitation, would feel so bothered by energetic student discussion and activism surrounding issues of gender discrimination. Not only are the faculty very distanced from these issues, and so should not feel troubled by them, but they should be happy to see that their students are standing up to misogyny and gender-spectrum ignorance.

As for your assertion that “On these campuses… everyone identifies as a feminist and women’s issues are at the center rather than the margins of student life….” Many women at Wellesley DON’T identify as feminists and in fact hate the term and would rather not be associated with it. Some have even expressed that their decision to attend the school was made IN SPITE of the fact that it is single-gender. This is, I think, is a serious misunderstanding of what feminism means, but that sentiment is common here. And from what I know from people that I’ve spoken to at Barnard, Holyoke, AND Wellesley, many girls don’t give a second thought to issues of gender and queerness, or are actually annoyed by the heightened queer awareness that comes with attending a women’s college.

]]>
By: Moria http://www.historiann.com/2010/03/25/small-college-htstorms-in-the-internet-age/comment-page-1/#comment-581355 Fri, 26 Mar 2010 15:21:49 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=10108#comment-581355 Oh, yes. Oh, yes. But the thing about those little campus $h!tstorms, as you call them, is that they did teach me how to pick political battles, how to tell a real enemy from a strawperson, when it was worth jumping into the fray and when to keep my head down and avoid the stormers. They taught me how to be kind and corrective at the same time – bashing someone’s head in for not being aware of complex gender politics is, they taught me, much less effective than a quick, quiet conversation. Not that I learned this easily or quickly (many occasions of foot-in-mouth, more that I’m probably not aware of), but I’m glad I did, eventually, learn it. And I don’t think I could have, on a bigger or more conservative campus, where it would have been 24-hour head bashing (only, in that instance, it would have been my head, and against a brick wall).

]]>
By: Barnardian http://www.historiann.com/2010/03/25/small-college-htstorms-in-the-internet-age/comment-page-1/#comment-581114 Fri, 26 Mar 2010 03:27:28 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=10108#comment-581114 Why did you boot Barnard out of the seven sisters? It may be part of Columbia University, but it is still all-women, with a separate campus, and most classes attended solely by Barnard students (at least when I attended, in the mid-90s).

]]>
By: Comrade PhysioProf http://www.historiann.com/2010/03/25/small-college-htstorms-in-the-internet-age/comment-page-1/#comment-581047 Fri, 26 Mar 2010 00:57:54 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=10108#comment-581047 For the record, freshman Comrade PhysioProf was much more handsome, sensitive, intelligent, and witty than all those dorkwads.

]]>
By: Matt L http://www.historiann.com/2010/03/25/small-college-htstorms-in-the-internet-age/comment-page-1/#comment-580898 Thu, 25 Mar 2010 21:42:15 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=10108#comment-580898 Barry, yes exactly. The Redwood Review crowd at UCSC wasn’t exactly doing any heavy lifting by justifying the then ascendant Reagan-Thatcher thought. (I wonder how many of them are working at the National Review now.) Still, they seemed to enjoy themselves. Unlike the left who were really not a lot of fun to be around.

At least the Yippies, as Indyanna points out, tried to square that circle. Even if it ended badly, they probably had some fun along with contributing to social justice…

]]>
By: Indyanna http://www.historiann.com/2010/03/25/small-college-htstorms-in-the-internet-age/comment-page-1/#comment-580835 Thu, 25 Mar 2010 18:33:39 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=10108#comment-580835 Back in the day, as it were, the Yippies briefly figured out how you could have fun and be dead serious at more or less the same time without being actually dead, but it all pretty much unraveled quickly. The (bio)physics of it didn’t work out too well. There must be a top-ten list of answers out there, though, to the zen question “why bother putting on clothes,” isn’t there?

]]>
By: Barry http://www.historiann.com/2010/03/25/small-college-htstorms-in-the-internet-age/comment-page-1/#comment-580819 Thu, 25 Mar 2010 17:45:37 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=10108#comment-580819 Matt L, in addition, the right-wingers knew that they had a much easier path laid out for them. They were speaking on behalf of power and wealth, which always has the money to pay (and pay well) for advocates.

]]>
By: Matt L http://www.historiann.com/2010/03/25/small-college-htstorms-in-the-internet-age/comment-page-1/#comment-580781 Thu, 25 Mar 2010 16:25:54 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=10108#comment-580781 Thats great a great post. I’m a Banana Slug. I remember March as being a particularly interesting time on Campus. The cherry blossoms flowered on the Stevenson quad and somebody was usually occupying the foyer of McHenry Library and the President’s Office.

And, since the College Dems represented the right side of the political spectrum, the rhetorical flourishes of the left made for spectacular fireworks. Drinking on a Friday night usually started off with talking about the ‘solidarity of a multiplicity of struggles’ and devolved into the parsing and denunciation of relative privilege. Good times.

I don’t think anyone ever saw campus politics as fun. It was all deadly earnest. The only group that enjoyed themselves were the four members of the college republicans. And why wouldn’t they have fun? The Ohlin foundation paid for their newspaper and their beer, so it was easy for them to be a band of happy warriors.

]]>
By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2010/03/25/small-college-htstorms-in-the-internet-age/comment-page-1/#comment-580769 Thu, 25 Mar 2010 15:55:25 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=10108#comment-580769 PoliSci prof–your experiences sound very familiar, with the additional twist of the religious affiliation w/r/t women’s issues.

I didn’t mean to suggest that these $h!tstorms weren’t also frequently about important issues, as you suggest. (Although as Janice says, it’s a volatile time in life, so the accusations and rhetoric were overheated sometimes.) I just was remembering that these incidents were exhausting and all-consuming for the students–and I can only imagine how much more upsetting they are when the whole world can watch and add their viewpoints/insults to the mix.

The Vagina Monologues is a perennial issue at Catholic colleges and unis. (To its credit, the VM were staged on one of the Catholic campuses without much incident after I left.)

(I’m sorry your students seem mostly brain-dead!)

]]>
By: PoliSci Prof http://www.historiann.com/2010/03/25/small-college-htstorms-in-the-internet-age/comment-page-1/#comment-580751 Thu, 25 Mar 2010 15:44:10 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=10108#comment-580751 I used to teach at a Catholic SLAC for women in the midwest.

Yes, we did have periodic blowups related to issues of gender, race, and class. Some of these “$hi!storms” were over issues of interest to the 18-22 year old set. Most however, were over real issues of empowerment or censorship (like the time the Student Life folks banned a performance of “Vagina Monologues” or the administration’s refusal to allow Hilary Clinton to campaign on campus).

We also had ongoing discussions (in a number of formal and informal venues) about what it meant to be a Catholic women’s colelge.

As time-consuming (and repetitive) as these outbursts can seem, they are really all about young women who are thinking the world around them and testing their own voices. I miss that now that I am on a public campus with mostly brain dead undergraduates.

]]>