I’m a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me

From Vox:  http://www.vox.com/2015/6/3/8706323/college-professor-afraid

by Edward Schlosser
June 3, 2015

I’m a professor at a midsize state school. I have been teaching college classes for nine years now. I have won (minor) teaching awards, studied pedagogy extensively, and almost always score highly on my student evaluations. I am not a world-class teacher by any means, but I am conscientious; I attempt to put teaching ahead of research, and I take a healthy emotional stake in the well-being and growth of my students.

Things have changed since I started teaching. The vibe is different. I wish there were a less blunt way to put this, but my students sometimes scare me — particularly the liberal ones.

Not, like, in a person-by-person sense, but students in general. The student-teacher dynamic has been reenvisioned along a line that’s simultaneously consumerist and hyper-protective, giving each and every student the ability to claim Grievous Harm in nearly any circumstance, after any affront, and a teacher’s formal ability to respond to these claims is limited at best.

What it was like before

In early 2009, I was an adjunct, teaching a freshman-level writing course at a community college. Discussing infographics and data visualization, we watched a flash animation describing how Wall Street’s recklessness had destroyed the economy.

The video stopped, and I asked whether the students thought it was effective. An older student raised his hand.

“What about Fannie and Freddie?” he asked. “Government kept giving homes to black people, to help out black people, white people didn’t get anything, and then they couldn’t pay for them. What about that?”

I gave a quick response about how most experts would disagree with that assumption, that it was actually an oversimplification, and pretty dishonest, and isn’t it good that someone made the video we just watched to try to clear things up? And, hey, let’s talk about whether that was effective, okay? If you don’t think it was, how could it have been?

The rest of the discussion went on as usual.

The next week, I got called into my director’s office. I was shown an email, sender name redacted, alleging that I “possessed communistical [sic] sympathies and refused to tell more than one side of the story.” The story in question wasn’t described, but I suspect it had do to with whether or not the economic collapse was caused by poor black people.

My director rolled her eyes. She knew the complaint was silly bullshit. I wrote up a short description of the past week’s class work, noting that we had looked at several examples of effective writing in various media and that I always made a good faith effort to include conservative narratives along with the liberal ones.

Along with a carbon-copy form, my description was placed into a file that may or may not have existed. Then … nothing. It disappeared forever; no one cared about it beyond their contractual duties to document student concerns. I never heard another word of it again.

That was the first, and so far only, formal complaint a student has ever filed against me.

Continue reading at:  http://www.vox.com/2015/6/3/8706323/college-professor-afraid

What Makes a Woman?

I’m going to say that I am more in support of the woman who wrote this piece than I am with the Transgender Borg who are attacking her.

Anatomy is part of what makes women women.  For all the blither, blather and babble about gender those TS/TG folks who are assumed to be female aka pass are assumed by society to possess female anatomy.  It is that assumption people operate upon not some academic gender studies babble about identity.

I’m a second wave feminist, one who made her peace with Lesbian Feminism some forty years ago. Today TG folks dismiss the “Real Life Test” as antiquated but it was a crash course in socialization as a woman.  If you spend most of your life with other trans-women you get socialized as trans, hence the Trans-speak and the inability to deal with even the mildest of feminist criticism.

I am the same age as Elinor Burkett, quite probably shared many of the same social influences of Second Wave Feminism with her.

Living real life as a woman makes one a real woman. It requires one to have or be presumed to have certain anatomy.  It takes the amassing of a history of living real life as a woman, including dealing with people assuming you have been that way since birth.

For what it is worth I do not believe in male brain/female brain.  I believe how our bodies handle hormones may in some cases play a role.  I don’t know what causes core sex identity and it doesn’t relly matter.  Rights are based on being human.  Nothing else.

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/opinion/sunday/what-makes-a-woman.html