Category Archives: blame the women

January 18, 2013, 10:23 am

The 900th Post: Sex, Lies and a Sarcophagus

Why celebrate 900 posts? Because by my estimation, at 3 posts a week, it’s going to take me the rest of the year to get to 1000. Between now and then I could win the lottery, be rolled over by a bus, or asked to run the Department of Education because President Obama so admires this blog.

I need gratification now! So let’s celebrate 900 posts with some news about campus sex.

No Sex, Please, We’re Irish. One of the more puzzling stories in the news this week features a star football player, Manti Te’o, from Notre Dame, who had a long-distance romance with a woman he never met. The woman claimed to have been diagnosed with leukemia and then “died.” It turns out she was an imposter, and the case is being investigated as if all of us — and not simply Te’o — are owed an explanation.

I am far…

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November 9, 2012, 12:28 am

In Bizarro World, Mitt Romney Is Now President

President Romney’s transition website went live by mistake, allowing some person who wants stuff to take a screen shot.

Well, I am most certainly glad that we, the people, did not favor Mitt Romney on Tuesday. It’s not only for the reasons you might assume: that I am a taker, not a maker; that I want stuff; that I care nothing for innocent life; or that I am a member of that feared breed, a Tenured Radical.

Noooooooooes!!!!! All these things are true, but I have better reasons. I am glad that Mitt Romney was not elected because apparently he, the GOP apparatus, and the conservative punditocracy were not just lying about everything, they actually were inhabiting an alternate reality during the whole campaign. Frankly, I had never considered this. I find it a lot more disturbing than the idea that they were…

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August 22, 2012, 1:52 pm

When An Evangelical Christian Candidate Sneezes, The GOP Catches A Cold

It’s not allergies — my fallopian tubes are spasming to prevent conception!

This is my hope, at least, following Representative Todd Akin’s (R-MO) recent explanation that women who have been “legitimately” raped don’t get pregnant, and hence have no need for abortions. These words prompted a call by GOP conservative kingmakers for Akin to voluntarily withdraw from a key race against Senator Claire McCaskill, which he has (rightly) refused to do.

What Akin actually said, according to a Sunday news interview transcribed by the WaPo, was this:

“From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin said. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something, I think there should be some…

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August 21, 2011, 3:46 pm

For Colored Only? Understanding “The Help” Through The Lens Of White Womanhood

Full disclosure: I was raised almost entirely by my white biological mother without the assistance of paid domestic labor.  This is neither a good thing or a bad thing.  It  just is.

I decided to begin this post with a title that would make my white readers uncomfortable in a way that “The Help” (Tate Taylor, 2011), and the Kathleen Stockett novel it is based on, will not.  Although I have overheard the word colored used intimately and fondly, I am outside a community that privileges me to actually speak it except when I am giving a lecture about segregation.

Which I am about to commence.

For a white person to describe African-American people as “colored” is too closely associated with the forms of thinly-veiled race hatred masquerading as civilization that characterized middle class white racism in the 1960s. White courtesies — like substituting “colored” for the curse…

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August 3, 2010, 2:01 pm

The Seductions Of Sedan Delivery; Or, Writing Your Own Academic Job Description


It’s difficult to think about it while we still have three to four precious weeks of summer left. But on behalf of all the people who will begin full time teaching in the fall, I ask you to conjure — for a second — a week in mid-semester. Feel the pain as you stay up half the night to grade your papers! Experience the fear as you go into class half prepared! Recall being fatally short of sleep as you sit, dazed, through yet another search committee meeting, having driven yourself unsparingly through 100 applicant files the day before! Conjure the self-righteousness and hypocrisy, as you lecture yet another student that s/he could get hir work in on time if only s/he would get organized!

Yeah, baby. The problem is, there is almost no one I know in academia who has a job description that would give them a reasonable sense of where a professor’s job begins and ends. Couple this …

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June 8, 2010, 12:46 pm

Gonna Walk Before They Make Me Run: On Helen Thomas And Retirement

Because of my grown niece, a second wave feminist in a third wave body, I took an interest in Helen Thomas a few years back. Third Wave Niece, a Smith grad, is very into biographies of interesting women who have battled their way through to careers that are characterized by their maleness — journalism, politics, and whatnot. So I purchased a copy of Thomas’s Front Row At The White House: My Life And Times (Scribners, 2000) and read it. A lively account of her career with UPI, it’s a great history of journalism from one woman’s point of view. But it’s also graphic example of all the ways women were locked out of professional life in structural ways until federal legislation, and lawsuits filed under that legislation, literally permitted them in the room. As Thomas (a not particularly ideological feminist) broke down those barriers in political reporting, women streamed in behind he…

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June 11, 2009, 12:09 pm

Let’s Run Away From The Girls! And Other Strategies To Make History Relevant To A Twenty-First Century Liberal Arts Education

Did Linda Kerber, Emily Rosenberg, Penny Von Eschen, Elizabeth Borgwardt, Nancy Cott, Joan Hoff, Marilyn Young, Ellen DuBois, Mary Dudziak and Mary Frances Berry die when I wasn’t looking?*

I was a little concerned about this when I picked up my New York Times this morning and saw that none of them were quoted in Patricia Cohen’s article, Great Caesars Ghost! Are Traditional History Courses Vanishing? I guess they just weren’t answering their phones yesterday when they weren’t called.

Tradition, as you guessed even before reading the article, would be represented by diplomatic, military, economic, constitutional and intellectual history. These fields a, the article asserts, are being crowded out of university history curricula by (you’ve guessed already, haven’t you?): the history of gender, and that other feminized field, cultural history. “Job openings on the nation’s college…

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April 21, 2009, 2:57 pm

How Many Administrators Does It Take To File A Department Of Education Report?

Two. One to file the report, one to respond the barrage of stupid newspaper articles written about the report after the data is crunched by a non-profit conservative think tank.

This half-assed joke is a response to an article by Tamar Lewin in today’s New York Times that ran under the headline “Staff Jobs On Campus Outpace Enrollment.” The data, taken from Department of Education reports filed by 2,782 colleges and analyzed by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, shows that public and private colleges have about the same ratio of staff to student (8 and 9 per 100, respectively) and have bloated at about the same rate since 1987. Lewin writes,

In the 20-year period, the report found, the greatest number of jobs added, more than 630,000, were instructors — but three-quarters of those were part-time. Converted to full-time equivalents, those resulted in a total of 939,…

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