Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
I’ve been meaning to write for weeks about Donald Trump’s nickname for Elizabeth Warren. As a historian who has written a few books that include some Algonquian (Eastern woodlands Indian) history, and a lot of women’s history, it’s been on my mind.
But first, a little background: last month, Trump started calling her Pocahontas, intending to smear her for once checking a box on an employment form claiming Native American ancestry: Continue reading
Ugh. Disgusting! As if we need more proof that we need professional standards that prohibit sexual relationships between faculty and students at all levels. (As in most of life, the solution is just don’t be an a$$hole, isn’t it? We can avoid so very much trouble in life if we put up this little sampler in our offices, kitchens, and living rooms and obey.)
I’ve made the point here before about how these relationships poison other faculty-student relationships as well as the learning climate in general. But here’s something else that’s ruined when faculty-student sexual relationships are tolerated, something I have direct and sad experience with myself: the notion that faculty interest in young women’s brains and careers isn’t tainted by sexual motives.
When I read Fernanda Lopez Aguilar’s experiences as an undergraduate student of Thomas Pogge’s at Yale University, I was reminded of something that happened to me as I was finishing college. What happened to me was much less dramatic, but it was I think very related to the feelings of confusion and humiliation she recounts in the linked Buzzfeed article.
Sadly, although women are now the majority of college students (and have been for two decades at least), young women frequently have their intellectual ambitions questioned and have to wonder about the interest that senior faculty–especially senior male faculty–have in encouraging them. Lopez Aguilar thought Pogge was interested in supporting her intellectual work, when it turns out his interest was mostly just sexual and prurient: Continue reading
From a Candidate of Very Little Brains
Bernie Sanders is officially cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. After a number of his supporters in Nevada behaved very aggressively at the Democratic convention in that state over the weekend, throwing chairs, screaming at party leaders, and leaving vile and harassing voice mails for party officials, he says this today:
The Democratic Party has a choice. It can open its doors and welcome into the party people who are prepared to fight for real economic and social change – people who are willing to take on Wall Street, corporate greed and a fossil fuel industry which is destroying this planet. Or the party can choose to maintain its status quo structure, remain dependent on big-money campaign contributions and be a party with limited participation and limited energy.
First woman U.S. Secretary of State, or “War Criminal?”
Scripps College (the women’s campus of the Claremont Colleges) has invited Madeleine Albright to be their commencement speaker, and some students and faculty don’t like it. These students and faculty accuse Albright of being a “war criminal.” I think that’s a ridiculously overblown charge. My guess is that she’s a proxy receptacle for leftist resentment of Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy, but the accusation that anyone who complains about a choice of commencement speaker is somehow against free speech or are not “letting her speak” is equally hysterical. So let’s rehearse:
- Students who write op-eds for campus newspapers (or any newspapers) aren’t “silencing” anyone. They’re exercising their right to free speech.
- Faculty who sign letters of protest and/or promise to boycott graduation because they dislike the speaker are not “silencing” anyone. They’re exercising their liberty of speech and association.
Repeat until no longer outraged! Continue reading
Dude gets my vote for Second Worst. Can you guess who’s Worst Ever?
Enjoy this fascinating review of “The Worst Presidents in American History,” a panel recorded for C-SPAN 3: American History TV at the recent Organization of American Historians annual conference in Providence, Rhode Island. It features panelists David Greenberg (whose “The Last Great Republican Rupture” about the Republican primary of 1976 I highly recommend from last weekend’s Wall Street Journal), the always-awesome Annette Gordon-Reed, and Slate’s Jacob Weisberg, all of whom are presidential biographers and have loads of thoughtful ways of thinking about successful versus unsuccessful presidencies. And our pal Claire Potter, AKA Tenured Radical, is the panel Chair! Continue reading
UPDATED BELOW, Sunday afternoon.
Who do college and university faculty work for? Do we work for our students? Do we work for the administrators at our institutions? If we work at public universities, do we work for the taxpayers of our states? Do we work for our colleagues? Who has a right to demand work from us?
The reason I’m asking is that last week ended for me in a faculty meeting yesterday afternoon that was billed as “important” by our department chair, because we were going to learn all about some new software that would “make it easy” to generate our CVs and our annual reports. (I bet some of you know where this is going.) Continue reading
Y’all come back now when the airport reopens!
Why, Denver Post, why do you bother with these “news” stories?
Hungry bears emerging from hibernation.
It is snowing in Colorado.
More later today, because apparently drizzle and snow have shut down Denver International Airport and much of this entire state, so what else can I do but stay at home, put a pot of soup on, and get my blog on? Continue reading
Hillary Clinton, running against a white man for the Democratic nomination, loses the support of white men. But in the end, does it really matter? When her opponent was a black man, she won white men by a country mile. This says more about white men’s prejudices than it does about Hillary Clinton.
In any case, I’ve been frustrated by the tendency of the political media to treat white men as though they’re the real voters, the real Americans, and the rest of us as though our votes don’t really count the same. It’s seen as “inevitable,” somehow, that Clinton wins non-whites and women of all ethnicities, whereas it’s a real achievement for Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump–two white men–to win a majority of white men’s votes.
Why does the white man insist on voting with his peen? That’s unsanitary, as well as disgusting identity politics. Continue reading
Just be completely unscrupulous! (What else should we expect from the bull$hit artist-auteur of Trump University?)
The article is mostly just sad, but this part is hilarious: Continue reading
Considering that we know that the more competent a woman is perceived, the less liked she is, should we really be surprised that a lot of Americans think Hillary Clinton is “dishonest?” I’m not. It’s better for a woman running for president to be seen as competent and unlikable rather than incompetent and likable.
Who’s voting to make Hillary Clinton his or her daughter, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, the Virgin Mary, Pope of Rome, or Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox church? I think she’s running for president. I’m not sure people’s suspicions about her honesty will make a difference. Do we want someone to be honest in her dealings with Vladimir Putin, Bashar al-Assad, or Mitch McConnell? Or do we want her to execute multiple mindfracks while playing twelve-dimensional chess in order to pursue the best interests of the United States?
(Have these people never watched House of Cards, in either of its 1980s or 2010s versions, or even the goody-goo-goo West Wing, sacre bleu?) Continue reading