|bewarethesmirk (bewarethesmirk) wrote,|
@ 2010-05-28 20:59:00
|Current music:||around the world - atc|
This summer I am taking a Sociology course entitled Social and Economic Justice. It's an undergraduate course, and I'm finding the discussion entirely underwhelming. I'm so glad that I will be applying to grad school this fall. But more than that, the professor is beginning to irritate me, and I thus feel the need to rant.
There's nothing related to fandom under here.
On human rights issues and in helping undocumented workers, her efforts have been excellent. She'd done a lot of amazing things, but some of her comments in our last class on Thursday were inexcusable. Quite frankly, she should know better.
We've spent most of our class time talking about liberalism (the individualistic US version that values "rugged individualism" and political and civil rights and many negative rights) versus human rights that tend to embrace a communitarian ideal. We've spoken of inequalities but so far hadn't went into them specifically.
On Thursday our professor wrote "sexism" on the board and asked us our examples of sexism. No one said anything and then when she asked - surely to provoke discussion - "So we live in a post-sexist society, then?", my hand of course shot up. I made it pretty well-known that I'm a radical feminist and that I think calling a group of girls or women "you guys" is reinforcing of sexism, as well as men holding the door for women. Obviously, many people aren't going to agree with that, but it's obvious there's men's violence against women, unequal pay for women's work, a double bind when it comes to sex (and pretty much everything else). There's FGM and violence and things that most people wouldn't deny being sexist. We'd listed several of these things on the board, along with other people's suggestions, and then our professor said, "Well, some of these are probably because women are less muscular than men." And I swear, my jaw dropped open. Really? You're going to pull that out of your ass? That is not useful to the discussion and only gives the students (most whom are five years younger than me and even more impressionable) more fodder for making excuses to legitimize or stay complacent about misogyny in our society. My hand flew up and ask, quite loudly, for the professor to repeat herself. She declined to repeat herself - I think because she'd recognized she'd done herself a disservice, or at the very least, had pulled a huge faux pas. She literally said, "I won't repeat that, but," and said something else that I don't even remember right now because I was trying to breathe through a red haze of anger. Really. She is really going to try to use a tireless excuse that women are weak and thus more susceptible to violence? Women are more susceptible to violence because they are oppressed. THEIR SIZE IS NOT THE GODDAMN POINT.
And then we started discussing racism and she mentioned that racism was in many ways more complicated than sexism. I don't know if that's true or not and it's seems unfair to argue either way, because I am a white woman living in the US. My professor is also a white woman. But still, something about that statement, combined with some of her other assertions got under my skin. She also said many institutions - such as courts - should be colorblind. Well, yes, in theory they should. But justices are racist. So what do you do then to acknowledge the very real fucking inequalities in our government, communities, judicial systems, everywhere?