Well, to be honest I’d say that the PROFESSORS (even the ones that consider themselves feminists) like me, but apparently some loudmouthed students think that I cannot express certain opinions or dissent to THEIR opinions simply because of my gender (of course, both students male and female seem to be… well… way too stupid for college, but that’s a story for another day).
In my modern drama class we were discussing “The Little Foxes,” when one of these students (not even an especially stupid one, mind you) came up with this very “interesting” comment:
Classmate: “Well, men here can’t understand why Regina is a sympathetic character, because men aren’t sensitive.”
Excuse me? Men aren’t sensitive? Doesn’t that strike you as an overly generalist and overtly sexist comment? So naturally, I objected.
Me: “Excuse me? For one thing, I’m a very sensitive person, but let’s not stray from the topic too far, now. Second of all, I have trouble sympathising with someone who essentially lets her husband die simply because of money.”
Classmate: “Well, he deserved it, because he slept around. If my man slept around, and I lived in a time where leaving my husband would be taboo, I’d kill him.”
Me: “Yes, he shouldn’t have slept around, but that is no justification for murder. Secondly, it’s stated in the play that he slept around because she faked an illness so that she wouldn’t have to sleep with him.”
Classmate: “You’re just a pig. You’re saying you’d sleep with some whore because you didn’t get any. That’s wrong.”
Several women in the au… classroom start clapping. Apparently we’re in Oprah or the Maury show, now.
Me: “No, I wouldn’t, but I’m not Horace, now am I? I wouldn’t marry somebody who didn’t love me in the first place.”
Classmate: “Oh, so sex is love? This man is a pig.”
And so I sighed in exasperation, giving up. I couldn’t argue with her, even if my arguments were good enough.
If that were it, I wouldn’t be posting a thread about it… but something just happened not long ago in the same class. Now, this time it was a particularly stupid student. You know who I’m talking about whether you’re in college or not, it’s that idiot in the front row who absolutely won’t SHUT UP even though they don’t know what they’re talking about 99.9% of the time (of course, I’m very vocal in class, but I’m the annoying person that actually knows what they are talking about and admits when they’re wrong). 99.9% of the time, they also have an absolutely irritating voice, and this one is the second worst I’ve ever heard (this time we’re discussing “Ghosts”).
Stupid: Like, Oswald isn’t saying that the artists hate marriage and stuff, because he does say that they’re too poor to marry and is like, love should be more important before you get married and stuff, you know?
Me: Actually, no. This is set in the late 1800s, and Oswald was in France when he was active as an artist. From Oswald’s description of the families he encountered, he was speaking of the Bohemians, who were poor by choice (many of them came from wealthy families). If they really wanted to get married, they’d probably ask their mother or father in whatever country they were originally from, and they would settle down. Instead, they have a free love society in which they value love, beauty, and truth and oppose tradition. He was stating that they were too poor to marry to appease Pastor Manders, whom was shocked with the very idea of children out of wedlock for ANY reason. Chances are, in this very anti-traditionalist play, Oswald (who is the voice of Ibsen in many ways) isn’t going to cheapen the message by making Oswald a proponent of a traditional institution such as marriage.
Stupid: But he SAYS that they’re too poor to marry, so he MUST like marriage!
Me: And I say that you’re projecting your opinion on the play. I’m not saying the Bohemians were right, but I’m saying that is what is going on in the context of the play.
Stupid (starting to get really red): It’s my opinion! You have a right to your opinion, and you have a right to yours!
Me: Yes, it’s an opinion, but opinions can be wrong when they are uninformed. If you’ve researched the topic, I’m sure that you’d agree with me.
Stupid: You’re just so sexist that you wouldn’t LISTEN to an opinion made by a woman.
Me: I’ve listened to and agreed with the opinions of several women in this room, including our professor. Maybe I’ll speak with you when you don’t resort to ad hominem attacks, and read a little bit closer.
I’m going to college for knowledge, and so many people just surround themselves in a barrier of ignorance. Whether it be the caricature of the mysandrist, the mysogynist, the LIBERAL (with capital letters), or the CONSERVATIVE, they all have very, very loud voices, and absolutely nothing to offer. I try not to let my idealogies (which lean towards liberal) blind me to other ideas, isn’t that a part of learning?