Wednesday round-up: How-to edition

Howdy, friends.  I’ve got lots of readin’ and writin’ for my day job to get done today, but fortunately there are other paths to enlightenment on the world-wide non peer-reviewed internets:

  • First, Notorious Ph.D., Girl Scholar has some helpful ideas for young scholars who are contemplating their first conference paper or other research presentation.  The consensus in the comments appears to be:  1) respect your audience by respecting the time limits and 2) practice, practice, practiceIf you read your paper (as most of us in the humanities do), don’t read in a monotone–be aware of the performative aspects of conference presentations.  Try not to bore your audience to death or to bombard them with too many arguments.
  • Next, Tenured Radical has some thoughts on the recent Title IX discrimination claim filed by Yale students with respect to that university’s failure to “take action on harassment and sex crimes, including rape.”  She writes, “Here’s a hint, ladies:  if you’ve asked for action at your school and they don’t hire anyone, if your school offers ‘consent training’ rather than anti-rape workshops, they don’t open a women’s center, faculty are not receiving mandatory sexual harassment training, and the bulk of the website on rape is still devoted to all the things you, as a woman, can do to ‘avoid’ being raped — your school might benefit from a Title IX investigation too.” 
  • I still say that my modest proposal for preventing rape and sexual assault is the best“Instead of presuming that all women college students are potential victims and asking them to always walk around and study in pairs or groups, let’s just presume that male college students are potential aggressors, and make them always walk and study in groups (either with other men or women) when on campus?  Campus police would have the authority to arrest male students who were unescorted, and the women students could use their own campus with much greater confidence in their own safety.”  After all, the safety of the majority of students is much more important than the convenience of the individual.  Let’s let the d00ds–male faculty, staff, and students alike–wait around for the “safe ride” van for a change.
  • GayProf offers a fascinating how-to movie review of The Detective (1968), starring Frank Sinatra as a New York City detective investigating the murder of a homosexualist:  “We start to get clues about what might have transpired as Leland [Sinatra’s character] tours the deceased’s apartment: Nude, greco-roman male statutes in every corner? Check. Unknown drugs in the medicine cabinet? Check. Semen stained sheets? Check. A pile of barbells and a half-gallon jug of mineral oil? Check and check! Even Scooby-Doo could have pieced together that this man was as queer as Fred’s ascot. The Detective is that subtle.”  The “gay lifestyle” in this movie is one in which every gay man is either a victim or the perpetrator of horrendous violence.
  • Janine Garofalo offers a strange review of Tina Fey’s new book, Bossypants which I’m going to buy immediately.  Back to the review:  I can’t decide if Garofalo is genuinely that down on herself, or if she’s sucking up to Fey, Amy Pohler, and Amy Sedaris.  (Or both?)  In any case, she recommends the book because she says that Fey is “part of a generation of women who have changed the face of comedy at Second City, SNL, sitcoms, and film, in front of and behind the camera.”  (Wait a minute–was’t that what people were saying 40 years ago about Goldie Hawn and Lily Tomlin, and 30 years ago about Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, and Laraine Newman?)  One Ringy-Dingy, Two Ringy-Dingies–who’s that calling, Ernestine?  Patriarchal Equilibrium on line one!
  • Finally, how to be a funny comedian by Jen Kirkman.  (Some of you may recall Jen’s brilliant performance in Drunk History, vol. 3:  Oney Judge from a few years ago.  She stopped by to comment here on that post, too, and reported the nasty comments that she gets on that work compared to the praise the “drunk” men get.  In any case, I think she’s pretty damn funny.  If you don’t have ten full minutes, scroll ahead to her comments on being patronized when she informs people that she doesn’t want to have children at 3:40:

0 thoughts on “Wednesday round-up: How-to edition

  1. Definitely good points from Notorious all around. Definitely don’t bombard them with too many arguments, and double-definitely don’t say about your own paper, “wow, this is really messed up…” These reminders work at all experience levels too, I think.


  2. Presentations must alway appeal directly and without extra effort to the listeners. They cannot be detailed because details are too boring to follow and difficult for those that are outside. They must have some innovation otherwise why listen. As was said before by many: “if I listen for 5 minutes and cannot understand, it’s a bad presentation, if after 10 minutes I know the end, what the point in staying. But if something intrigues me, I like it.

    I don’t care what you do with your husband and I don’t what my neighbor Joe does with his husband either. Rape is violence and violence is what our government does, not individuals. In the end, just treat violence equally no matter who inflicts it on whom.


  3. Um, making teh mens walk in groups? Would only encourage gang-rape. Mens making lemonade, y’know….

    but “consent training”? CONSENT TRAINING? What’s next, hoochie-coochie dancing? Pipe and slipper fetching? It puts the usual advice “anything you do to survive is OK” in a whole new, patriarchy-unthreatening light.


  4. Actual quote from a paper at a conference I attended last week: “How am I doing on time? Ah, good. Because what it says here is ‘improvise.'”

    I sort of admired the honesty (and humor), but not so much that I wasn’t annoyed that the paper went on for twice as long as it should have.


  5. Your plan for preventing sexual assaults would have been worthless regarding the latest one here at University of Ghana. It was by a group of male students in a dormitory. They may well have even been studying when they came across the woman they accused of stealing and stripped her naked and molested her. So cgeye appears to be correct in that your solution would not end rape, but rather change individual rapes into gang rapes.


  6. In my original plan, I think a woman or women was/were required to escort the men around.

    But, in any case: my point is that men should for a change have to take precautions and have their mobility and access to campus spaces limited, since they are now a minority of U.S. university students.


  7. I can dig it — I just assume that the women escorting men about should be armed peace officers with the right to criticize the men on their clothing, deportment, and public character. If men rape and condone rapists, then their policing should be *real policing*.


  8. I just looked over the review of Tina Fey’s book and am also dismayed by Garofalo’s self-depreication (particularly in the second paragraph). I wonder about the fact that even women who are credited for having given a voice to a sort of “feminist rage” (problematic terms I know) ultimately still internalize messages of inadequacy, life in comparison rather than its own right, etc. And I am reminded of a conversation a colleague repeated to me about dinner with her feminist moms in which she proudly told them the college had hired a new feminist professor and one her moms responded “is she single? you know girls like that never date well unless she is a lesbian.” Sad how the world seems to stay the same even in “progressive” circles.


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