Answering Search Queries

Time has come to answer a fresh round of questions that bring people to this blog.

why do eastern european women do porn – For the same reasons as men and women from any other part of the world. Neither the gender nor the geographical area of one’s birth can possibly have anything to do with a decision to do porn.

dumped after disclosing aspbergers – I’m sorry to hear that. However, what you need to know is that s/he was just not that into you and was looking for an excuse to dump you. If this person really wanted you, you could have disclosed having a tail and horns, and s/he would have found it super cute.

is twilight a bildungsroman – Rather than a novel of female development, it’s more of a novel of a stunted female growth. The last 30 years have brought a scary number of novels where women who live in societies that place no restrictions on their personal development willfully stunt their own growth and infantilize themselves. In the much more repressive XIXth century nothing like this existed.

does kindle fire read cyrillic – In .doc and .pdf files, absolutely.

ways too avoid alcohol at parties – Drink water.

reasons to fuck older men – The only reason to fuck any men or women irrespective of their age is desiring them sexually. And if you don’t understand that, you need to visit a sexopathologist urgently.

contemporary spanish literature what to read? – Just a brief list of names: Juan Marse, Almudena Grandes, Manuel Vilas, Antonio Munoz Molina, Care Santos, Enrique Vila-Matas, Julia Navarro, Juan Jose Millas.

celebrating gender differences in classroom – Get a brain, buddy. What is there to “celebrate” about physiology? Are you getting ready to waste class time on celebrating the differences in the lengths of your students’ noses? Is that what you are getting paid for?

liberal arts majors are jealous of engineers – What are you, three? People aren’t sentenced by the court to have a certain major in college. They choose their own majors. And it’s very very easy to declare a new major whenever you get disappointed with yours. Got it, you weird person?

i didn’t become a teacher to deal with horrible parents – I know where you are coming from, buddy, and I commiserate. I have no useful advice to offer other than getting yourself a nice massage or having a relaxing bath.

how is bdsm transgressive? – It isn’t.

is rape a defense against child support? – What a completely meaningless query. Rape of whom and by whom? Unless the child in question raped you, how can rape have anything to do with that child’s support money?

grown children and co sleeping – Horrible abuse. I know of a few cases when that happened. Such people do not have any semblance of a personal life and are complete hysterics and weirdos. (I’m talking about both “co-sleeping” parents and children here).

should students become entrepreneurs – What a strange search query. If that’s what they want to, yes.

are men scarce? – There are about 3,5 billion men in the world, so I’d say no. In some countries, the population of men vastly exceeds that of women because of femicide and gender-selective abortion. In those parts of the world, women are getting scarce. There are some tiny countries that experience male scarcity but, in terms of the entire planet, they are very insignificant.

eastern europe women porn why – Gosh, buddy, you are obsessed. Because they want to, got it?

best dry skin facial cream – Here I can really be of help. Olay Regenerist is all that its ads promise and more. I also have started using Korres Wild Rose recently, and it moisturizes really well.

why are women so complicated – Because we are human. Or haven’t you heard?

awesome alcohol for new years party – I’ve got to say, my friend, if you are choosing alcohol for New Year’s in March, you might have a problem.

russian salad mayonnaise – Yes. All Russian salads have huge amounts of mayonnaise.

husband immature video games – Hey, lay off the husband, shall you? He has a very mature way of conducting his own psychological hygiene through practicing this good and harmless hobby. And it looks like you are in need of some psychological hygiene of your own because “my husband is immature” is not a psychologically healthy thing to say.

how to forget about what people think – By remembering how rare it is for people to think of others.

did fluke say she was having a lot of sex – Of course, not. But why, on God’s green Earth, does it possibly matter?

is eve ensler a lesbian? – You do realize that the moment such a question occurred to you, you have become an official weirdo, right?

feminists are autistic – Some are, some aren’t. There are just as many autistics among feminists as there are among anti-feminists. One starts to lose faith in humanity when seeing completely stupid queries like this one.

how are our brains hard wired to do some of the things they do – Brains are not “hard wired.” Anybody who uses this expression is a total idiot. Hint: Dr. Phil repeats it like a parrot.

can a rapist be forced to pay child support to victim that conceives from rape – Another genius. Child support is paid to children. Hence the name, “child support.” Being a victim of even the most horrible crime does not transform you into a child and make you eligible for child support. How come there are so many intellectually impotent people?

how much sex is sandra fluke having – I want to hope that a team of experienced psychiatrists can help the idiot who entered this query into the search box.

clarissa rules – Yes, I do!

Romney and Others on Russia

I wish profoundly ignorant people did not write about foreign relations. The following statement almost made me fall off my chair:

Broadly speaking, U.S. policy in Europe aims for a Europe that is “united, whole, and free.” On the whole, Russia cannot do much about that and doesn’t try, and it isn’t interested in rolling back the eastward expansion of the European Union.

Erm, what? Do the words “Ukraine” and “the Orange Revolution” mean anything to this blethering fool? When the Russian Secret Services aggressively interfered in the Ukrainian elections and poisoned the pro-European candidate, that didn’t count? The people of my country protested in the streets for months to defend their right to elect their own president and not have a pro-Russian, anti-European puppet appointed by Moscow.

It is especially annoying to see how this uneducated author easily dismisses the reality of foreign nations to prove some silly and insignificant point:

Russian ambitions, such as they are, include keeping NATO from additional eastward expansion, maintaining its influence in former Soviet space (which is related to blocking new NATO expansion), and using its energy resources to wield clout in Europe. Their ambitions are “directly counter our own” to the extent that the U.S. insists on expanding an obsolete Cold War-era military alliance and building ballistic missile defense systems in Europe.

“Maintaining its influence in former Soviet space” in reality means invading, interfering, destroying any possibility of a democracy. And having something to say about this egregious conduct is “obsolete.”

I believe that Romney blundered when he declared that “Russia is our #1 geopolitical foe.” The blunder, however, consisted in when and how this statement was made, not in the message it contained. This position is, at any rate, more realistic and bodes greater hope for the FSU countries than Obama’s coy “wink, wink, giggle, giggle, just wait until I get elected and then we’ll be best buddies.”

Just remember for a moment that there are over a dozen nations that are located close to Russia and that have a very long history of being violated, invaded, tortured and persecuted because of the imperial ambitions of the Russians. The people of those nations are looking avidly for any sign whatsoever that if they get invaded by their huge neighbor, somebody will object. In 2008, when the international community said absolutely nothing as the Russian troops razed Georgia, these people got their answer.

Romney’s position gives all these people hope, while Obama’s stance is a little terrifying to them. Romney is not going to  win these elections, and I really don’t want him to. It would be great, however, if this country’s foreign policy stopped being oriented towards the immediate needs of the election cycle and started to develop at least a little bit of a long-term perspective.

The Freedom To Be Left Alone

I support the healthcare reform in this country. But I almost changed my mind after reading this very unintelligent defense of Obamacare:

This morning in America’s highest court, freedom seems to be less about the absence of constraint than about the absence of shared responsibility, community, or real concern for those who don’t want anything so much as healthy children, or to be cared for when they are old. Until today, I couldn’t really understand why this case was framed as a discussion of “liberty.” This case isn’t so much about freedom from government-mandated broccoli or gyms. It’s about freedom from our obligations to one another, freedom from the modern world in which we live. It’s about the freedom to ignore the injured, walk away from those in peril, to never pick up the phone or eat food that’s been inspected. It’s about the freedom to be left alone. And now we know the court is worried about freedom: the freedom to live like it’s 1804.

I actually want all of these freedoms that are listed here. I don’t care whether food “has been inspected” because I have no idea what that even means, but the freedom not to pick up the phone is mine, and you can’t take it away. And the freedom to be left alone is completely fundamental to my happiness.

I also do not recognize any obligations to anybody other than the ones stipulated by my work contract and my lease agreement. Everything else I do for people is an act of free will and not an obligation of any sort. I take care of my husband when he gets sick or has problems. I support my relatives and friends and always offer them any help I can. But I do not do that out of a sense of obligation. I do it because that’s what I feel like doing at every given moment. If anybody tries to suggest to me that I have to care, help or assist, they will discover very soon exactly where they can shove their expectations.

I obey the laws of the land as part of my social contract with society. That, however, is also an act of free will on my part since I chose to live in this country and have not been forced to do so by anybody.

What the author of this quote fails to realize is that freedom from community and shared responsibility is one of the defining (and, in my opinion, one of the best) characteristics of a modern society. In the pre-modern, deeply patriarchal world, a human being belonged, first and foremost, to his or her family, clan, and community. Those of us who have grown within such a communal model know how incredibly stifling, disempowering and miserable it is. And in the Western world, the reality of 1804 is much closer to that model than the reality of 2012. There is absolutely nothing modern about promoting a return to a system where the rights of an individual are overrun every time in favor of the needs of the community.

I want to remind everybody that women do not tend to fare extremely well in societies where community reigns supreme. Reproductive rights, for instance, can only be defended successfully on the basis of the respect for individual rights, individual bodily integrity, and right to privacy.

I want this country to have a better system of healthcare. But I’m not giving up my right to be left alone with my phone off the hook for the sake of that.

There Is Nothing Like Experience

I used to be young and naive. I took every job announcement completely in earnest. Today, however, I’m old and cynical. Whenever I see a job announcement like the following:

Applicants should submit: (1) Letter of application; (2) CV; (3) Names and addresses of three referees; (4) Syllabi of courses the applicant has designed and taught; (5) Proposed syllabus or curriculum plan for a freshman-level writing sequence that addresses the Warren College Writing Program’s goals (see web site) as well as the needs of a diverse group of students, instructors, and staff; (6) Article length writing sample (7) Summary of past or potential contributions to diversity in a personal statement.

I immediately realize that this place has an internal candidate and applying there is a waste of time. These elaborate ads that ask the candidates to provide the Moon, the Sun and the neighboring galaxy are aimed at giving the search committee an excuse to reject everybody who applies and just hire the internal candidate. At the end of the search, they’ll just pass the curriculum plan you have worked so hard on creating to the internal candidate as a hiring bonus.

Sadly, I only acquired this experience after being a candidate in such fake searches. I remember a campus visit where a compassionate recent hire kept trying to give me hints that my efforts to impress the search committee were completely useless. Of course, I had no idea what he was trying to communicate to me and felt devastated when I discovered that nobody had even been considering hiring anybody else but the internal candidate at that college.

Daily Dose of Annoyance

There is this series running on a blog in my feed where “feminists” explain their brand of feminism in the form of an interview. The series is a constant source of hilarity mixed with annoyance for me. See, for example, the most recent interview:

In addition, becoming a mother certainly enhanced, if not changed, my definition of feminism. Practicing attachment parenting, becoming a nurturer and essentially a stay-at-home mom, certainly shoved me into a more feminine way of existing that I had perhaps not been able to fully embody. After all, feminism is not about women being treated like men, but about both men and women being valued equally and choosing their own role. For me, this role of mother forced me to face the ways that I placed more value on the parts of myself that were more masculine. Appreciating equally my feminine nature has been a challenge, yes, but a useful exercise.

Got it? There is something called “a feminine nature” which consists of becoming a housewife and a “nurturer.” There is also a lot of blabber about “true nature” and “essence.” This is such an open and unapologetic brand of essentialism that I’ve got to wonder whether this “feminist” has read a single book on the movement she claims to belong to.

Also observe the suggestion that it is not possible “to fully embody a more feminine way of existing” without being a housewife. And, of course, a mother. Because as we, feminists, have been trying to demonstrate for centuries, women who are not mothers are not real women. Oh wait, that wasn’t feminists who promoted that idea.

I especially love the part where the interviewee states that feminism is not about women being treated like men. It’s super cool to have all of the rights, yet none of the responsibilities of men. “I want to be treated with respect as a valid human being, yet I will sit here being all truly and essentially feminine and refusing to bear any financial responsibility for myself and my own child, while you go out and try to make a living. Because I’m a woman, and my duty in life is to get married and make babies. Of course, men get married, make babies and then also have to slay themselves working like dogs to keep their wives and babies. But, hey, each gender should have its own sphere in life ’cause, you know, faaaaayminism!” That’s a pretty nifty gig. And then people ask why feminism is losing relevance for many people. What a surprise, given the basic hypocrisy of such “feminists” as this one.

Isn’t that fantastic, folks? One can now happily accept all of the stereotypes about the “true essence of womanhood” as motherly, nurturing, completely dedicated to the family and having no professional and social life of one’s own, finding one’s entire value in life through the role of a wife and a mother and sell this as some kind of an especially “spiritual” feminism.

As I read this idiotic interview, I was constantly reminded of the image of womanhood promoted by the propaganda machine of the Catholic Fascist dictatorship of Franco in Spain. The dictatorship was passionately dedicated to destroying all of the feminist advances of the Second Republic. It never stated that women were inferior to men, of course. The anti-feminist beliefs promoted by the dictatorship revolved around the idea that women were particularly spiritual and sensitive beings who didn’t need to debase themselves with things like a professional and social realization. The true nature of femininity, the dictatorship said, was all about nurturing, mothering, and practicing the special and precious femininity of housewives.

If this interviewee spent a little less time blabbering about spiritual nurturing and true femininity, maybe she’d get a chance to educate herself and find out that her “feminism” is in no way different from the ideology of one of the most anti-women regimes of the XXth century.

Sleeping With the Enemy

I started telling N about a course on Mark Twain I took as an undergrad at McGill.

“I don’t know why anybody would take such a course,” he said sleepily. “One could just get the books out of the library and read them.”

I almost fell off the bed when I heard that.

“Well,” I responded, brimming over with righteous indignation, “I have no idea why anybody would pay a huge salary to a statistician when one can just as easily count things on a calculator.”

“You can’t do what I do just by using a calculator,” he explained.

“And you can’t substitute what I do in class by taking books out of a library!”

Can you believe that, folks? I have failed at educating my own husband about the importance of literary criticism. I feel like a series of lectures at the home front is in order.

Non-Degree Seeking

A student told me a story today that left me speechless. She applied to two grad schools and they both accepted her as a “non-degree seeking student” for an MA program. The student had no idea what this meant and came to seek my advice as to whether she should accept.

We all know how mild-mannered and soft-spoken I am, so I told her immediately that this is nothing but a shameless scam aimed at wheedling money out of her while offering absolutely nothing in return. (I didn’t make references to “evil freakazoids”, but I was on the verge of doing that.)

This is a student from a very modest background who is putting herself through school with a lot of hard work and personal sacrifice. She is not the kind of a person who can afford to take grad courses just for the fun of it with no hope of a degree at the end of the road.

Can you imagine the gall of some grad schools? They have invented this “non-degree seeking student” scam that allows them to take money from students while not even promising them a degree in return.

Oh My God!

I’m drowning in a sea of ideological discomfort, people.

Our university purchased a batch of old and stale chalk that keeps breaking whenever you try to write. I use the chalkboard a lot in my language courses, and it annoys me that the chalk keeps breaking and interrupting the flow of my class.

And what normally happens when people are frustrated? Right you are, they interject. Since this is a Spanish class, I interject in Spanish. And today my students decided to censor me.

“What did you just say when the chalk broke?” they asked.

“I said ‘Ay, Dios mio!'”

“What does that mean?”

“It means ‘Oh my God’.”

In response, I heard a small lecture about taking God’s name in vain.

It takes a real lot for students to make me angry. They can come in late, fail to show up for the exam, forget to hand in the homework, text in class, but I remain calm and cheerful. But when people try to sanitize my speech, I get livid. It isn’t even like I used any sort of X-rated vocabulary. And if I had done that, nobody has the right to censor me either.

Why do people have to be so stuck up and censorious?

Oh, I Love Posts on “Sexual Objectification”

Of course, everybody has the right to attach any sort of interpretation to their own life. Sometimes, however, it gives me pause to consider how easily people adopt weird and meaningless verbal constructions and hide behind them. Here is a recent example:

Horrible father, tragic situation, an appalling story. There can be no argument about this.

Still, what on earth does sexual objectification have to do with this? The father is a jerk precisely because he condemns his daughter’s very first attempt to present herself as a sexual being. His is an idiot because he attempted to prevent her from practicing her right to be sexual in society.

It’s like some people have memorized the idiotic mantra “sexual objectification = bad” and roll it out just because they can.

In case there are readers who haven’t seen it, here is my old post on why this whole “Oh my God, I’m sexually objectified, let’s all go crawl in a corner and die” routine is stupid.

Promoted by Rational Wiki

I so rarely get promoted by anybody that it makes me very happy that somebody decided to place a link to me at a place called “Rational Wiki.” You can take a look here and vote me up if you feel like it. I’m #3 from the top. It’s nice to be promoted by rational people. But I’d take promotion by some irrational folks, too.