Protected: Tenure and Fear

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Zie and Hir

Can somebody explain to me the point of using “zie” and “hir” when telling stories from one’s life? For instance, when you write something like this:

I went outside and saw a neighbor. Zie was walking hir dog. Zie always walks the dog early in the morning. Hir dog is huge and scary but zie keeps taking hir dog everywhere.

The text becomes very hard to read, especially when we are talking about a page-long story. But if people are doing this, there must be a point. I (somewhat, to a point, although not even then) understand the use of these zies when attempting to avoid the repetitive “he or she.” But in a story like this, why not just pick a pronoun randomly and stick to it? 

I just reread a story 4 times and still have no idea what happened. All I know is that the “zies” make me want to sneeze.


Where did the myth that Jews are invariably rich and good at making money come from?

Capital needs freedom to move around. It doesn’t thrive when there are constraints on its movement. In the Middle Ages, the Jewish community was a diasporic one. Most Jewish families had relatives or friends in other countries, regions, or even continents. As a result, it was easier for Jews to transfer money and help capital move around.

Today, anybody can move money easily, yet the myth remains in existence

Sexism in Hollywood?

At least once a week, I read yet another article bemoaning the dearth of movies about female characters and attributing this phenomenon to sexism. I find such articles puzzling because:

1. People who make a couple’s entertainment choices are overwhelmingly women. Couples where this is not the case tend not to watch Hollywood movies.

2. Women are overwhelmingly heterosexual.

I don’t know why everybody finds it so shocking that heterosexual women prefer to spend 3 hours staring at cute guys. This is Hollywood, so there can never be any acting to speak of. The plots will be weak, the characters will be plastic and cartoonish. Is it any surprise that the viewers choose at least to stare at what peaks their sensuality?

I’m a raging feminist but I’d never seek out a movie with a female protagonist. Why would I? To watch a plastic cyborg with zero relevance to my life for 3 hours? That would be a weird way to spend time. And this is precisely the reason why novels have been so dedicated to female characters since the XVIIITH century: they have an overwhelmingly female audience. People want to stare at what they find attractive and hear about themselves.