Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Special Snowflakes Are Having the Time of Their Lives

Yesterday I was pointed to a couple of links at Salon about an adjunct college teacher, Rani Neutill, that finally couldn't take it any more. So she quit her adjunct-faculty job and went to work as a waitress.

That in itself is an interesting story. But the tale she told about the special snowflakes in her classes that needed trigger warnings every other minute gave me an epiphany. They didn't just need trigger warnings before reading some excerpt or watching some movie clip. No, the special snowflakes in the class needed an email the night before!

Neutill gave her class a reading about Blaxploitation movies, and then ran a clip from a movie to illustrate the reading (after giving a trigger warning). During the clip, two students left the class in tears.
Later that day, I had a white female student come to my office hours crying. Between picking up tissues and blowing her nose she said, “I’m doing a minor in African American Studies. How could your first images of black people be that horrible?”
OK, so let's do a clip from a movie that shows a "positive image of black sexuality and sex." How about a gay sex scene from The Wire? Will we discuss that other movie, asks the same student? Yes. More tears. So Neutill decides to give a trigger warning before every clip. "Every. Single. One." Then a student came an asked her to send emails before class warning about the triggering scenes so that "so that I wouldn’t 'out' survivors if they had to walk out of class when hearing what I was about to show."

It was about then that I had the epiphany. These poor helpless special snowflakes and not poor and helpless at all. They are having the time of their lives. They are getting rewarded for being helpless little emotional wrecks. They are wielding power by getting the teacher to accommodate their ever-so-special needs.

And that got me to thinking about those Victorian women and their fainting couches, of whom we've heard tell. Just exactly how helpless and oppressed were those delicate flowers that were worshiped on their pedestals by men in between their necessary retreats to their couches? Maybe they weren't so helpless after all. Maybe the opposite was true; maybe these women had their men eating out of their hands, and they loved it.

Rani Neutill was annoyed by the fact that "all of the students who were upset were the feminists, the activists," and what's more they were "treating a woman of color professor like she wasn’t an authority" while accepting an old white guy in the department as though he was an authority.

Hey, Rani! Don't take it personally. It's not about you, it's about them. The students didn't play the helpless victim game with the white guy because it wouldn't have occurred to him to play along. But you are sensitive and caring, so they take advantage of you.

Women are not like men. Men try to ignore affect, because it interferes with the fight. But women are different. The whole point of the community of women is to share, even to hype, emotional experience. So you wouldn't want to just sit through a bunch of Blaxploitation and gay themed movies without getting all worked up, and getting out the Kleenex and having a good cry on the shoulder of your BFF.

The point is that the feminists, after the initial fight for equal rights, are now reverting to their feminine type. They don't want to be men; they want to be women, and that means that they are bringing feminine cultural memes into the public square. Yes, women have the vote and are now often elected politicians. But you still can't treat a woman politician as though she were a man. That would be sexist. Yes, women have the right to have pick-up sex just like men. Only they still want to control every step of the sexual process, just like they did under the patriarchy when men had to woo them, on and on for months, before they got their grubby hands inside their beloved's bloomers.

Well, in Part II of her Salon series Rani Neutill chucks it all in and goes back to work as a waitress, at age 38. And she finds the work atmosphere a lot more cooperative and healthy than the twisted world of academia.
Now, I’ve been working there for almost six months. I have started to get to know the people I work with. All of my co-workers are smart. Many are in school, one was in the Army, a few are moms. They are funnier than a lot of academics, but that seems unfair to them because most academics aren’t that funny.

The biggest difference is that it feels like a family.
Yeah. An ordinary American workplace feels like a family, unlike academia. I wonder why that is. Still, at least the special snowflakes are enjoying themselves, even if the adjunct faculty isn't.

Read the whole thing, Part I and Part II. You won't regret it.

No comments:

Post a Comment