I just got the evaluation of my midpoint tenure dossier. I have this nasty quality where I see a single tiny comment I dislike and fixate on it to the exclusion of tons of positive information. I will now be obsessing about the hurtful comment for at least a few months.

The comment that I’m talking about is, “According to student evaluations, Dr. Clarissa’s courses are somewhat easy.” This bugs me, people. If students perceive my classes as easy, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I cover too little material or give out easy readings. Maybe I just explain well and make it easier to succeed in the course because I’m a good teacher. Has anybody considered that possibility even? Huh? HUH??

Easy, my ass. I’m the only idiot I know who assigns daily written homework in all her classes. And when I shared with people the list of texts I was going to teach in my Golden Age course, nobody even believed that it was possible to get students to read so many difficult XVI-XVIIth century texts in Spanish. And I make every student participate in discussions on a daily basis. And I have terrorized them to the point where they are afraid to say anything in English even in first-year Spanish.

I told you I was planning to obsess.

Radical Nuns

I swear I don’t have anything against Catholics but these funny quotes seem to make their way into my mailbox:

The Vatican has appointed an American bishop to rein in the largest and most influential group of Catholic nuns in the United States, saying that an investigation found that the group had “serious doctrinal problems.”The Vatican’s assessment, issued on Wednesday, said that members of the group, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, had challenged church teaching on homosexuality and the male-only priesthood, and promoted “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.”

When I imagined radical feminist nuns, I almost fell out of my chair because I laughed so hard. Does anybody have any ideas about the ways in which these brave nuns are practicing their radical feminism?

Hairy Armpits of the French Women

Students sometimes slaughter me with the hilarious things they say.

We’ve been doing our oral exam, and one student discovered that her exam partner is French.

“Why did you come to the US?” she asked him.

“The education here is much better,” the French student explains. “And I identify more with the suspicious attitudes of Americans towards the government. . . ”

“No!” the other student interrupts. “I know the real reason why you are here! It’s because all French women have horrible hairy armpits! Because they never shave. No wonder you don’t want to be in France.”

“Erm. . . That’s not true,” the French student explained looking perplexed.

“In my country, we have the same stereotype about the American women,” I shared.

Then I moved swiftly to another group to prevent the discussion from moving towards my armpits.

Obsessing Over Cleaning

Here is an interesting quote from a blog I follow:

Many (but not all) women I talk to can’t even comprehend this idea.  They look at me like I’m nuts.  Eyes narrow.  Conversation gets really awkward.  Cleanliness really is next to Godliness and is something we should all be striving for and God hates those who don’t clean up after themselves.  Usually it’s women who are SAHM or who are WOHM but always stressed out and complaining about not having any time and having husbands who don’t help out enough that are most unable to comprehend the idea.   Really, just let things go.  It may even help your relationship!

(For some reason, I’ve never met a man, other than the rare case who has been formally diagnosed with OCD, who seems to have this hang-up.   A pathology in men is the social norm for women.)

People who clean obsessively, who freak out when they consider that there is a dirty cup in the sink, who clean and clean and clean until they are “always stressed out and complaining about not having any time”, are people who suffer from a severe sexual deprivation. I know that people love misunderstanding posts that mention the word “sex.” So in order to stem the tide of the indignant comments telling me that there is nothing wrong with refusing to live in a pig-sty, I will repeat: we are talking about obsessive cleaning, the kind of cleaning that has become an end in itself, and not something people do because they enjoy an orderly environment and then forget about it. I know a woman who would yell hysterically at her guests whenever they leaned against a wall because, according to her, their greasy hair left stains on the wall. This is the kind of obsessiveness I’m talking about.

This basic sexual dissatisfaction is stronger in women than in men in our puritanical society. So they clean because dirty thoughts about dirty sex become too intolerable. This is why it’s useless to tell such women to get over it and relax about cleaning. They clean because it fulfills an important purpose that is in no way related to cleaning per se.

The reason why the basic female sexual dissatisfaction is stronger is that women gain a much greater social capital by being “in a relationship”. As a result, a partner who possesses good personal qualities and is “relationship material” is often chosen even though the sexual chemistry with him is nil. I have met a couple of men who chose women they actively didn’t desire but the number of women who chose such men has been many times greater.

“He is the man of my dreams,” a friend once shared. “I can’t express how much I love him. The only problem is that he keeps wanting to have sex and I find it hard not to vomit when I have sex with him.”

This friend had a collection of differently colored sponges for every single surface in her tiny apartment. She washed her windows twice a month and her bathroom every day.

“Most People”

I thought that the use of the “most people believe” trick has been ridiculed so much and so often that nobody would dare use it any more. That isn’t true, however. A bizarre creature called Marty Nemko has published a very stupid piece in the Atlantic Monthly that contains the following pearl of wisdom:

Most people will also agree that, on average, women are more eager to have children and to be deeply involving in their upbringing.

Nemko apparently has no idea how idiotic he sounds. It’s sad that these “most people” Nemko claims to be familiar with haven’t cared to inform him that using one’s own unhealthy fantasies about “most people” as an argument makes him a laughing stock. I also wonder what it means “to be deeply involving in upbringing” and how the “average” Nemko blabbers about has been calculated.

This unintelligent person and a lousy writer has apparently made himself famous by bashing higher education. He has been harping on how “higher education is overrated” for decades.  It’s funny how the grievously illiterate are always the ones to deny the value of education.

Liberals Who Hate Women

There is a significant progress in the position of women, but also, a very long way to go still:

“In 2010, among families with children,” the study notes, “nearly half (44.8 percent) were headed by two working parents and another one in four (26.1 percent) were headed by a single parent. As a result, fewer than one in three (28.7 percent) children now have a stay-at-home parent, compared to more than half (52.6 percent) in 1975, only a generation ago.”

If you go to the post I linked to, you will see how its pseudo-Liberal author is bemoaning this great development as “white slavery.” Because when women are financially independent and have social and professional realization, that’s slavery. When, however, they don’t have a life outside of servicing their family, that isn’t slavery but something to celebrate.

Closer to the end of the article, there is a grudging admission that there might be some women who work because they actually want to. Yet, according to the pseudo-Liberal blogger, it’s still somehow very tragic that many men can’t keep a housewife of their own.

With Liberals like these, who needs Conservatives?