Outdated Youngsters

It’s really bizarre how attached 25-year-old grad students are to uncritical worship of theories by Deleuze and Anzaldua written in the 1980s. It’s even more bizarre that they seem utterly unaware of fascinating and much more current stuff.

Also, the whole idea of the internet as “a space of freedom” is a bit outdated. In 1994, ok, but in 2020?

You Can’t Make It Up

When women abandon their cultural customs (like shaking hands or kissing on the cheek) because of marrying Muslim men, that’s a feminist act which challenges the patriarchy.

That’s what I just heard.

I want to get violently drunk. Which is something I haven’t done for over a decade.

To Clarify

And just to clarify, the Anglo professor who announced that Mistral isn’t a woman is a professor of English who works at an English literature department at a fancy schmancy school. A very brilliant person who’s part of the movement to make Hispanic Studies part of English lit not only formally but ideologically. The panel was on Hispanic lit, which is why I went. But out of the 5 speakers, only two work at Spanish departments. Only one was actually Hispanic, and she was also the only one timidly to object to the idea that Mistral was a dude.

Not a Woman

Gabriela Mistral, the only woman in the Hispanic world to receive the Nobel Prize in literature, sometimes, in private correspondence, used masculine adjectives to refer to herself. Just like many female writers who wrote under male names in pre-feminist times.

That her poetry is deeply female and feminist is clear from even the most superficial reading. Mistral was a lesbian, which, in my opinion, doesn’t make her any less of a woman. Which is something I constantly point out to students who refer to Mistral as Gabriel (and to Emilia Pardo Baz├ín as Emilio and he).

But do you know what I discovered at the MLA? From an Anglo professor, obviously. That Mistral wasn’t a woman. Because of that couple of male adjectives in private amorous correspondence.

So now there’s no female winner of the Nobel Literature Prize from the Hispanic world. What a win for feminism. And what a win for gay people.

Programs to Be Eliminated

Somebody posted this on FB from their college’s beginning of semester meeting:

Not to deny the responsibility of the people in the Spanish program who, I’m sure, did everything they could to make themselves as irrelevant as possible to students, but it’s interesting how there is never any conflict between the wokesterism of administrations and a substitution of Spanish with criminology.

As to how we make ourselves irrelevant, I was yesterday at the award ceremony honoring the best research of the year in an association of feminist scholars of French. French is obviously a dying discipline in the US. Do you want to know what people in this dying field consider their most important research? An article on the use of “inclusive pronouns” and the urgent need to export them to France. Strangely, nobody spoke of the need to import gender inclusivity to Marocco or suggested that France is not the most sexist country in the French-speaking world. Can you imagine attracting students to a program whose crowning achievement is the invention of the French version of inclusive pronouns like “zie”?

We are totally to blame and we should be honest about that. We teach language using overpriced, stupid textbooks that students hate. We make the most fascinating cultures in the world sound deathly boring. We champion the very slogans that will kill our programs. And we cheer wildly for everything global and transnational, refusing to see that the existence of academic programs in national languages was a result of the creation of nation-states in the 19th century. Once that becomes irrelevant, we become irrelevant.

This is going into my book on transnationalism but worded in academese, obviously.