No Taming This Shrew


chicks and dicks

Rather than editing my (very over deadline) chapter, I've been brooding over Buffalo's post about women and men. His gist was that he felt the need (and was tired of feeling said need) to defend his male-ness.

The post flashed me right back to my women's studies classes in college. I was always so ticked off that there were no guys in our classes. (Not least because I was the only straight gal in there - no fair! girl crushes can only take you so far, people!) The reason for this, apart from typical college lust, was that we were learning stuff that would be rather useful to talk about WITH MEN. Heck, if I'm getting liberated I'm dragging the dudes with me.

This also brought up a fascinating conversation I had with an undergrad gal at my university last week. We were wondering about how diverse our campus was, and she started bitching about the Diversity "requirements" on core courses. (What this means is that in order to graduate you have to take a few classes that are listed as "D" for diversity.) She said, "how is reading Latin American authors going to make people not racist?" I thought that maybe classroom discussion would clear the air a little, but she shook her head no.

"People are so afraid of offending each other," she said. "It's this political correctness crap." Now, you could have knocked me over in my chair when I heard this. This gal's a dance major, headed straight to NYC for a modern dance career after graduation. And she finds the discourse at a major state university stifling and overly cautious?! Holy mackerel.

But damn we need those classes. I was truly transformed by my women's studies classes (what my handsome yet doofus boyfriend at the time called "your minor in lesbianism," ever hopeful I'm sure). I love that the dudes and the ladies are required to slog through some suffering and face up to the voices and histories of every damn group on the planet. (Maori poetry? Check. Tibetan circumcision seminar? Gotcha.)

BUT...there's apparently no discussion, for fear of upsetting someone? What is the POINT? You can talk the talk all you want, but until you walk the walk and I mean walk some kids through anti-Semitism in Merchant of Venice or deal with race in the Bluest Eye, etc... you've got nothing. It's just words someone else said.

Why poor Buffalo set off this tirade is this (this is in no way some sort of snark off at him - he's just the innocent catalyst!) -- we all are so defensive all the time. Words are not the enemy. Silence is. Debate is a better education than almost anything, I'm starting to think.