Segregated Buses in Israel

Until Israel puts an end to the following kinds of barbarity, it can hardly expect to be seen as a civilized country by anybody:

And that’s when I got to learn some new things about myself. Apparently even when wearing a skirt and covering my shoulders I am still too attractive to be in the same vicinity as Haredi men. While waiting for the bus, four Haredi men stood in the hot afternoon sun so that they would not need to wait in the bus shelter with us.

I also learned that I am an abomination because I refused to sit in the back of the bus and sat in the front with the men. When we sat down in the front we were instantly approached by a young man who refused to look at me and my female companion but told us very forcefully that we immediately had to move to the back of the bus. We told him calmly that what we were doing was entirely legal but he refused to hear and told us that we were shayetz, abominations.

What’s with the segregated buses, people? If Israel is trying to market itself as a country that offers the only Middle Eastern alternative to Shariah-based Muslim regimes, then it will have to start doing something about this kind of nastiness.

Religious fanatics are disgusting no matter which religion they use as an excuse for their hateful practices.

New Furniture Is Coming!

So the great news is that next week we will be moved out of our offices and new furniture will be installed. And that new furniture is a thing of beauty that is joy forever. Right now, we have these really old, ugly metal things in our offices that are no inspiration whatsoever. Also, everything is organized in such a weird way that one can barely work.

Here is how the office looks right now (with the horrible mess being due to the fact that I’m in the process of packing):

And here is my computer table that is stuck between the wall and an ugly metal chest:

So when students come in to rewrite their tests or what not, I have to sit with my back to them and they sit with their backs to me, which makes very little sense. And this little computer table is not only ugly, it is also full of scary metal protuberances that always leave me covered in bruises and scratches.

I can’t wait for the new furniture to be installed. I will, of course, post a photo the moment the office is transformed.

Majors Fair, Another Update

Since I’m so unpopular at this Majors Fair, I’ll use the favorite tool of all unpopular kids: a cell phone that you can use to text, emai and blog to pretend that you are not talking to anybody not because you are lonely but simply because you are too busy for silly things like talking to people.

The nice colleague at the table next to mine is now driving my unpopularity home by picking up his sign up sheet, pointedly counting the multitude of names on it, and looking with compassion at my nearly empty sheet with its poor 4 names on it. I probably would have done the same in his situation, so I can’t really complain. And collegiality be damned. Popularity is so much more important.

Well, as I say whenever one of my articles gets rejected, “At least, I’m pretty.”

This activity is going to turn all of us into our former, high school selves.

Majors Fair Update

The table next to mine is occupied by a very nice colleague from the Department of Mass Communications. His table is a lot more popular than mine and his sign-up sheet of students who are interested in the program is a lot more populated than mine.

I’m now sitting here, feeling envious, resentful, and unpopular. Memories of high school are flooding in.

I wish I’d been put next to the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. Those guys’ sign-up sheet is completely empty, so I’d look popular compared to them. Besides, a have a weakness for statisticians. 🙂

Majors Fair

I’m representing our department at an event called Career Exploration and Majors Fair right now. (You can see the table and the brochures and my teacher’s bag in the picture).

A student comes up.

Me: Are you interested in foreign languages?

Student: Nah. Not really. So how many languages do you speak?

I tell him.

Student: Wow! Cool! So if I take this program, will I be able to become like you?

You’ve got to like students.

Yet Another Bunch of Myths About Male Sexual Desire

And once again the Puritanic legacy of this sex-deprived and sexually repressed culture wins the day:

The desire for the approval of other men shapes straight men’s sexual desires. Think of the very reasonable claims of many men that they’re not attracted to size zero, skin-and-bones supermodels. Lots of guys claim, with apparent sincerity, that they love women with “curves.” So why are men so interested in dating skinny models?

The need to believe that sexual desire is a result of social pressures betrays a profound fear of the uncontrollable nature of sexual urges. If we repeat often enough that things we find very easy to understand, analyze and describe shape sexuality, we will end up believing it and our fear of desire will abate. This will be a momentary respite, of course, and soon yet another string of platitudes will have to be uttered to exorcise the horror Puritans experience every time they realize that sexuality cannot be easily contained, predicted, and quantified.

The last statement in the quote I provided is also very curious. I understand that the author of the piece is from California and I hear that things are different there. However, I have to ask, where does the author find all these men “so interested in dating skinny models”? I can just imagine asking any of the men I have met in the course of my life in a variety of contexts (at work, at school, on the bus, in a bar, in a store, etc.), “So are you interested in dating skinny models?” I am convinced that any one of those men would think I was mentally disturbed for asking this question.

The central claim of the post I quoted is that men lie when they claim not to care about the beauty of their partner. Of course, a person of either gender is lying through their teeth if they are saying that physical attraction is meaningless to them. A psychologically healthy individual would never have sex with a person they don’t find attractive.

Hugo Schwyzer, the author of this piece, has dedicated a lot of effort to convincing women who are not thin that our personal lives are doomed to be horrible. Now, he has a new hobby: telling women my age and older that we are equally doomed:

Enough aging men do sexualize very young women—and disparage their female peers—to send a loud and clear message to women on the high side of 35.

Just imagine what depths of loneliness await those of us who are over 35 and not thin at the same time!

Of course, I could mention that in my personal experience of being a woman (which, in any case, is more significant than Hugo Schwyzer’s experience of womanhood), I have never been as happy in my personal life and felt as attractive and desirable as I do now, at my oldest and fattest. But who cares about actual experiences of women when an opportunity presents itself to pity us for things we have no desire to be pitied for?

Seriously, if this is the only way to be a male feminist, I’d rather there weren’t any.

How to Sell Stuff to Women?

Why would commercials that are trying to appeal to women would insult women this way:

And another one from the same company:

Are there truly that many women left who would be able to identify with this kind of crap? Also, does anybody need any more proof that in advertisement, the goal of selling things very often gets defeated by the personal ideology and psychological issues of the ad-makers?

I found these ads here.