Oppressed by a Pronoun

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Apparently, then, Bailey actually took the trouble of contacting the Crimson and explaining that they were not to use a personal pronoun whenever writing about, um, Bailey.  The idea presumably being that, in the world according to Bailey, being described as either he or she is somehow, you know, oppressive.  Oppressed by a pronoun!  This, folks, is the kind of victim theater that is not only taken seriously nowadays at places like Harvard – it is nurtured, exalted, rewarded.  Bailey, after all, got hired by the world’s (supposedly) greatest university, in an exceedingly tough job market, presumably ahead of a lot of other people.  What little information is available about Bailey online does not overly impress.  But one thing Bailey is obviously terrific at is knowing exactly where the cutting-edge of this whole preposterous victim thing lies.

From one perspective, of course, this story is simply funny – a diverting source of mirth in difficult times.  From another perspective – in fact, from several other perspectives – it’s pathetic, disgusting, enraging.  Think about it: if you’ve sent your kid to Harvard, and he happens to be gay, and maybe he hits a bump on the road of life as a result of which he’s advised to consult the BGLTQ student life office, do you want Bailey to be the one behind the desk giving him advice about how to move forward on the road to mature, self-disciplined, responsible adulthood?  There are plenty of people in the world, gay and otherwise, who are real victims.  Countries like Iran execute people for being gay.  But at places like Harvard, gay students – who, just by virtue of being there, are by any definition highly privileged – are not encouraged to think about ways in which they might use their own privilege to help the very real victims of genuinely oppressive regimes (on the contrary, they are generally taught to be good multiculturalists who use extreme caution in judging “other cultures”).  Rather, they are encouraged to cultivate their own sense of victimhood – to be self-absorbed, to navel-gaze, to discover victimization in places where no reasonable person would see it.

Aside from being inane and outrageously arrogant, of course, the suggestion that other people must alter their use of pronouns in order to avoid offending you is pretty ignorant.  Does Harvard’s newest employee realize that it is, quite simply, impossible to de-gender many, if not most, of the major languages of the world?  In English Bailey’s title is director; in French would it be directeur or directrice?  In quiring minds want to know.

I don’t mean to single out Bailey.  This story just happens to highlight a sickness that has infected, to various degrees, virtually all American institutions of higher education.  The situation tends to be especially bad at the most historically distinguished ones, and everywhere you turn it seems only to be getting worse.  I just finished writing, as I say, a book that examines the lengths to which people in academia today are willing to go to top one another in the victimhood sweepstakes – yet somehow I never even ran across this business about rejecting gender pronouns.  The point being that every time you turn around, somebody very fortunate and privileged seems to have come up with yet another ingenious new way of claiming to be oppressed and of guilt-tripping others into taking seriously their ludicrous demands for sensitivity.  The whole shebang, of course, is absurd.  It’s grotesque.  And, more to the point, it could not be more brilliantly designed to quash the very concept of civilized, responsible adulthood – the attainment of which, once upon a time, was the ultimate goal of higher education.

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  • Chezwick

    In a recent discussion about transgenderism, my daughter – young scientist that she is – put it as succinctly as possible……

    "Dad, a person can have surgery, can take hormones, can change their name and all the rest, but regardless of how they want to be perceived, their chromosomes remain either XX or XY."

    That folks is what they call the bottom line.

  • aloyicious

    IT — plain and simple. Call this bailey creature IT (because God knows it's probably not much of a human being anymore)…

  • MikeWood

    I remember my own initiation into university life back in the 1980s and it was much as you describe it here. I was "befriended" by a well-meaning idiot who was absolutely steeped in this PC claptrap and he proceeded to train me in the social obstacle course of being PC at a time when I felt particularly vulnerable. It stands out as an extremely unpleasant memory of having my words and actions monitored for conformity to this insidious mentality. Like you say it is a sickness which only seems to be getting worse.

    • mlcblog

      My THREE different forays into college at the freshman level gave me THREE different profs telling us not to trust our parents or any former authority as we now have superior knowledge and ways, that we could just yawn when they talk and pretty much discard what they say.

  • Rifleman

    Children can be immunized from this sort of thing at an early age by logic, as Chezwick (first post) has apparently done. They'll have to learn both answers, the right one, and the wrong one the moonbat grading them wants to see on their tests.

  • mrbean

    Where ideological indoctrination is paramount, captive students are denied the very experience of free and open discussion that would provide them with the practice needed to consolidate those skills and dispositions that would in time foster a spirit of inquiry in life and would help to make them more reflective practitioners. Good teachers encourage disagreements, qualifications, problems, ambiguities, counterexamples, and alternative ideas. IIndoctrination constitutes a threat to the honest and disinterested pursuit of truth and to the flourishing of the intellectual virtues. It is disturbing also to think that students who are pressured to conform to the views of their leftist professors are unlikely to be able or willing to resist other (perhaps more sinister) ideologies they encounter once they areout of school. That is also why we have a clandestine Muslim Marxist who has never done anything in his life as our president.

  • clarespark

    The history of women should have been integrated into history, but was not. The burning issue is less what pronouns to use, but the incorporation of women's studies into the "anti-imperialist" hard Left. I wrote about that here: http://clarespark.com/2012/01/07/feminism-and-its…. Title: "Feminism and its publicists." It relates a lot of personal history in major institutions.

  • al222

    absolutely nothing is a bigger load of bulls**t than the idea that Ivy League schools give one a quality education. they give one access to elitism, all the lack of intelligence in the world notwithstanding. nothing more, nothing less

  • tagalog

    Vanidy Bailey could be called "the person formerly known as 'she.'"

    I went to a college for the first two years that is not held in high esteem by the upper crust of the intelligentsia, mostly because it is a military college in South Carolina, and thus has two strikes against it before one even looks into the curriculum/faculty. Still, I received a better college education there than at New York University, where I finished my last two years, and Hunter College, where I went and obtained the equivalent of a second baccalaureate in New York City.

    I've talked to innumerable people who went to Princeton, Harvard, Penn, Columbia, and other first-rank schools, and in nearly every case I failed to be able to distinguish the ones from NYU, Pace College, et al., from the Ivy-educated ones, except that the so-called second-stringers understood the vicissitudes of life better than their classmates from the heights of Academe.

  • Mo_

    It's a Catch-22. Send your kid to most colleges and you'll end up with this scenario. Don't send them to college, and they will automatically be disqualified from so many jobs.

    I wish I'd gone to college – not because I want to be brainwashed and be in debt for years, but just so I'd have that stupid piece of paper. I can't even get admin jobs without it!

  • tagalog

    Vanidy Bailey could be called "the person formerly known as 'she.'"

    I went to a college for the first two years that is not held in high esteem by the upper crust of the intelligentsia, mostly because it is a military college in South Carolina, and thus has two strikes against it before one even looks into the curriculum/faculty. Still, I received a better college education there than at New York University, where I finished my last two years, and Hunter College, where I went and obtained the equivalent of a second baccalaureate in New York City.

    I've talked to innumerable people who went to Princeton, Harvard, Penn, Columbia, and other first-rank schools, and in nearly every case I failed to be able to distinguish the ones from NYU, Pace College, et al., from the Ivy-educated ones, except that the so-called second-stringers understood the vicissitudes of life better than their classmates from the heights of Academe. But you can cut the paternalism and patronizing attitudes with a dull knife.

    But you know, from the Kennedy era to the Obama era, you can always tell when the Ivy Leaguers are in charge, can't you?

  • mrbean

    The fact you even listen to a mindless sewer mouthed twit like Howard Stern maked me wonder about even you. I bet modern liberals just love the Simpsons, Family Guy, and Beavis and Butthead – and the bungling jackass white man in TV sitcoms, movies and even advertizements.

    • mlcblog

      Whoa! such high standards. What ever happened to staying informed…I personally get O's email invites to the WH and the mansions of his friends. I like to know what they are doing.

    • BS77

      Howard Stern…what a pile of garbage….him and Jerry Springer and all the rest of the morons who have turned the mass media into a land fill. It goes with liberal colleges, laugh tracks, idiotic commercials and the people who see nothing wrong with it.

  • PAthena

    Why is Harvard University wasting money on 'Vanidy “Van” Bailey “as the College’s first permanent director of bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, and queer student life'? Vanidy is as mentally disturbed as those whose student life she is supposed to be directing. She sounds as if she knows nothing about biology.

  • mlcblog

    So, it's an it now? does this go with what is is?

  • PoohChooTrain

    I'd be more than happy to refer to Ms. Bailey as 'it'….

  • Maxie

    "The whole shebang, of course, is absurd" Yes, and it's also irrational — literally. It's Postmodernist indoctrination which tells the student, in effect, 'everything you know is wrong'. It's an attempt at intellectual erasure of the Ten Commandments and the Judeo-Christian morals and ethics based thereon. Now the freshmen are 'blank slates' upon which the Marxist prof's can program their deadly ideology (see "The Black Book of Communism" by Courtois et al. ninety-five million deaths under Communist regimes).
    Fortunately most kids are too smart to buy in.

  • Ghostwriter

    I was at a place called Parkland College,a community college in Champaign-Urbana,Illinois a long time ago. Most of my professors weren't like that. All but one. She was a lot like the professors that were described in the article. And,later I found out from someone else that she did something that,well…I don't really want to go into. Not every place acts like this. Hopefully,there'll be a movement to get some sanity back into higher education.

  • Steve Chavez

    I call this "The Circle of Communism." I will use a journalism/journalist for this example.

    A student takes his first journalism class and the professor gives an assignment to cover a "peace protest." (Or Leftist guest speaker or anything Leftist.) When the student gets their paper back, they get an "A+" and there is a note to meet with the Marxist professor. "I loved your paper and how you agreed with the purpose of the protest. There is an opening at the school paper and you would be perfect. Go meet with the Editor and I'll tell him you're coming. " The student calls his parents, tells his friends on Facebook, and frames his first article in the paper. Other professors are praising his work. The Peacemakers are patting him on the back. He gives up his Engineering degree and changes to Journalism. He graduates and is recommended by his Marxist Professor to a Marxist comrade Dean where he is now given a full ride to get his masters. He graduates with Honors and is recommended by his Marxist Professors and Dean to the Marxist Editor at the local newspaper. He eventually tires of doing real work so he applies for a job at a university where he is recommended by his Marxist Editor, all his Marxist Professors and Deans, to the new Marxist Dean and Marxist President and he is hired as a Marxist Professor. He gives an assignment on a "Peace Protest." "CIRCLE OF COMMUNISM" COMPLETE! THIS WORKS FOR EVERY DEGREE as the chosen ones are given the best grades, full ride scholarships, and therefore, eventually better paying jobs.

    IMAGINE what happens to those students who don't agree with the reasons for the "Peace Protest?"

  • Wordy

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that a homosexual mind in a heterosexual body, like a (say) female mind in a male body, is a sure sign that something went wrong somewhere (in either nature and/or nurture). Homosexuality is clearly a disorder. Homosexuals are clearly heterophobic. You wonder how long it will take the regressive liberals who dominate many college campuses to accept the truth. Don't hold your breath. Their liberal prejudices have firm holds of their minds.

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