Friday, June 11, 2010

So I lied.

I'll do maybe a book review tomorrow. In the meantime, however, a Frenchdoc sends me the following student anecdote, which is so gobsmackingly awesome that it makes up, I think, for the sad dearth of "the things students say!" type posts since I went on leave. And yes, my fellow workers swears this is a true story.

Frenchdoc: Can I help you?
Student: yes, I need advising regarding a couple of sociology classes.
F: I can certainly help you with that. What were you looking for exactly?
S: I need to know the difference between soc 1120 and soc 2220.
F: Soc 1120 is about (follows lengthy explanation of what soc 1120 is about) and soc 2220 is about (follows lengthy explanation of what soc 2220 is about)
S: I need to take the one that's gonna help with my job and my problem
F: What's your job and what's your problem?
S: I'm assistant manager at a software company and I discriminate against women
F: That's a not a nice thing to do. Why do you do that?
S: Because other women discriminate against me: they won't date me. So, if women won't date me and discriminate against me, I have the right to discriminate the women I work with
F: you mean, because you can't find a date, you think you're entitled to take it out on the women you work with?
S: yes, especially since I can't make them date me either and if I tried to force them, then, they'd accuse me of sexual harassment
F: and they would be right
S: then I have a question: don't I have a right to sex as much as to food, as a basic human right?
F: no
S: but it's the same
F: no it's not, food and sex are different things: no food, you die; no sex, you might get grouchy but you don't die. Certain religious orders, as with monks or nuns, take vows of chastity and it doesn't kill them. Also, you exercising your right to food does not necessarily involve the exploitation of another human being. your supposed right to sex would involve the sexual exploitation of another person. You can't hurt another person in pursuing your rights or freedom
S: ok then, but we have the right to free speech, that means we're exposed to speech that hurts us.
F: another bad analogy: you can avoid speech that is offensive to you: stop reading, turn off the TV or radio, shut down the computer. There is no comparison between hearing stuff you don't like and being used a sexual object by someone else.
S: do you think 50 years from now, we'll have a basic human right to sex?
F: no
S: but black people used to be slaves here, and now they're not, so, things can change
F: this analogy is so wrong on so many levels I don't even know where to start: you can't compare your situation to slavery. You're not being exploited by anyone, you're just not getting dates. On the contrary, you want the right to exploit someone else, which goes against the very basic notion of human rights. You might want to take an ethics class!
S: oh, ethics is my favorite subject!
F: Also, get it out of your head that you're being discriminated against, you're not. Not finding dates is not discrimination. If I don't like green beans, I don't eat them. That's not discrimination, just taste. Dating is a skill. In addition to certain physical endowments, social and interpersonal skills are necessary and can be learned. And as in education, some students are better than others. Certainly, proclaiming sexism and a right to sexual access is probably not an endearing trait on the dating scene! THe good news is that this stuff can be learned.
S: but learning takes time, what do I do in the meantime?
F: you can try dating men (smiles brightly, proud of herself here)
S: you're saying men are gay because women won't date them? Is that why some men are gay?
F: NO... (follows lengthy explanation on the state of biological and social research on homosexuality, none of which involves men being gay because of these nasty women who won't date them)
S: oh. ok. I have another question for you then
F: yes?
S: why aren't women successful?
F: one, you'd have to define success, and two, women ARE successful but (follows length cross-cultural explanation on ideological and structural sexism that limit women's achievements in education, the professions, politics, etc.)
S: is there a book you can recommend that would help me solve my problem?
F: I don't think there is such a book
S: can I come and talk to you again if I need to?
F: sure (sinking feeling)
S: thanks a lot for your time
F: you're welcome


I'm in a mood of late. And my fucking Yahoo mail won't actually send any of the emails I write--it just grinds and grinds forever, *saying* it's sending, but the messages don't turn up in my sent folder. Maybe it's just having problems writing to the folder. I dunno. Has anyone gotten any email from me in the last couple of days? Or do I have to go rewrite every damn email from my gmail account? Grr.

Am still hung up on the tax saving thing my friends are doing. Dithering. It seems so decadent, and yet at the same time, it also seems less decadent than spending an equivalent amount of money on crap we don't actually need, which probably we do every month between Target and grocery store snacks and bicycle shorts, etc. I hate making these decisions. I have a serious hangup about responsibility for finance management.

Also Babi's been sick for two days with a bad sore throat and much snuffling and wheezing, and I'm probably about to go into my bad mood, which always makes me feel depressed and exhausted for a day or two.