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I'm turning into an old fogey - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
I'm turning into an old fogey
I accidentally stumbled on info about my old undergraduate school. Twice in the years since I've graduated, they've had problems that amount to attempts to re-institute the speech codes of my sophomore year by embedding them in "harassment rules" and so on. When they did this under the actual rubric of speech codes, my generation of students responded by mocking them and chalking up the campus into "speech zones" ("free speech zone" and "unfree speech zone," and around the administration building, the "Twilight Zone," if I recall). The whole thing started with someone being punished for selling a T-shirt that there was no rule against selling ("Ten Reasons Beer is Better Than Women," which was admittedly in poor taste, but come on... the offended woman couldn't have responded in the same spirit by listing the ten reasons cucumbers... ? Well, still in bad taste, but please, it's undergraduate potty humor). It deserved mocking, so we rose up and mocked, as is the sovereign duty of all just-post-adolescents.

But the report on the latter two instances mentioned that except for a handful of grumbles, students didn't have much to say. And I thought, "What's wrong with the younger generation? They haven't been taught to mock the administration properly!"

I love being a Gen-Xer.

(Of course, the complainer about the T-shirt and someone else who started a three-month brouhaha over the chapel window the next year were also Gen-Xers, but I choose to ignore that. ;))
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Comments
ashtur From: ashtur Date: December 24th, 2005 06:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
One is curious about the chapel hubub.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 24th, 2005 07:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
It portrayed St. John (?--I think) holding the sword with which he had been beheaded. It was a symbol of his martyrdom. Someone said that she wanted to put a rock through it because its very existence reminded her of centuries of Christian rule under the power of the sword. Understandably, this letter caused quite a negative reaction (also quite a lot of mocking), and ended up being a one of those stupid arguments that goes on and on and gets personal for no reason at all. (Inexplicably, one participant said that romantic relationships between Christians and non-Christians were inherently rape because the power structure would not allow the non-Christian to say no... or something; this was the winter of '89 and I don't have the two or three newspaper pages worth of letters to the editor--often, per day--anymore, though I kept them out of sheer astonishment for a while. A friend of mine who came from a mixed marriage snarked that, to the best of his knowledge, his mother hadn't raped his father.)
ashtur From: ashtur Date: December 24th, 2005 07:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, heh, figured it might be in that ballpark, though more hubub than I expected. Silliness.

More likely St. Paul than John though... tradition is that John died a natural death.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 24th, 2005 07:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ha, save me time, why don't you? :p After I posted, I went looking and yup--St. Paul. Apparently, there's a St. John window across from it, though I don't remember what it portrayed.

The school leans heavily on writing and communications skills in building the student body, which gave us a highly literate student body... and also a highly talkative one. I'm surprised I don't run into more of us online in extended internet arguments, to be honest.
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: December 25th, 2005 05:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Probably St. John the Baptist, as he was beheaded.
buongiornodaisy From: buongiornodaisy Date: December 24th, 2005 08:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Inexplicably, one participant said that romantic relationships between Christians and non-Christians were inherently rape because the power structure would not allow the non-Christian to say no...

Huhwhat? Man, I wish Fandom Wank existed back then, I'm sure they would have torn a new one into that argument.

Except I think the argument tears a new one into itself. -.-
From: leeflower Date: December 24th, 2005 07:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, how *does* something like that go unmocked?

I mean, I understand the need to provide a safe academic environment by instituting rules against racial, religious, ethnic, sexual, and gender slurrs in the classroom, but a freaking chapel window and a dumb tee-shirt?

...That sounds like something a member of Earlham's 'Womyn's Center' would bitch about. But even then, the rest of us make fun of them (the number of 'shut up and learn to spell' jokes... absolutely boundless).
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 24th, 2005 07:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, it was the second case (in the post-Fern years) that really boggles my mind over lack of mockage. One of the campus papers had mocked a student political leader... who responded by charging them with sexual harassment because they drew a cartoon of her in a tight tank top, and snarked over something similar. Now, I'm sure there was some mockage, but apparently little enough of it that the outside organization brought in to defend found it notable that it wasn't there. And that magazine bringing in outside help? It's just sad and uninspired.
From: leeflower Date: December 24th, 2005 09:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
...over a tight tank top?

Ok, see I could understand getting pissy about a cartoon of her naked. or even in a skimpy bathing suit.

But a tank top? That's just... wow. It's a good thing people have such important things to get worked up about... if they didn't, they'd have to start paying attention to trivial stuff. You know, like their classes, or the economy, or the real world...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 24th, 2005 09:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Can you imagine in the real world if someone sued every time someone put up a dollmaker icon with a tight tank top? Or ever time someone made an off-color crack about Bush and Dick's doings at the White House?
From: leeflower Date: December 25th, 2005 08:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
yeah. See, this is kinda why the rest of the world mocks our lawsuit culture.

Waay too many people need to just chill the *&^% out.
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