Saturday, March 29, 2014

PS on “A Bowdoin Don’t Miss”


Following the morning post on this subject, Side and the Mrs. headed to B&B for our traditional Saturday morning breakfast out.  Omelets were the order of the day, with your humble correspondent going with his favorite: spinach, tomato, and cheese.  Dry toasted ‘lish ‘fin with peanut butter.  Um-um, good!

We thought about the upcoming Bowdoin lecture titled “Facebook is Anti-Drag.”  As we did, we were struck by how seemingly every social advance, like the much worshipped Facebook, creates a whole new field of victimology, and the requisite oppression pimps.  A new direction of study will soon be formalized and turned into a specialized academic field, with experts sought far and wide to bolster the reputations of avant garde liberal arts colleges like Bowdoin.

How much longer can ‘Drag’ be hidden under the sacramental rubric “Gender and Women’s Studies?’'  Enough we say!  It’s time students organize for change, and demand a Drag Studies Department, complete with wardrobe, hair style, and make-up sub specialties.


Drag Studies could even be a cross-specialty with the foreign language and drama departments.

As an aside, remember when ‘coming out’ referred to a social right of passage for young ladies?

Enough you say.  Fine; be anti-Side, but you do so at the risk of being accused of trying to oppress us in our self-expression.

As you sit there fuming and stewing, or whatever it is you do when we’ve plucked your magic twanger, think about another subject.

We’re just a country boy, a male-chauvinist blogger, but if memory serves, the feminist movement was based, at least in part, on ‘womyn’ objecting to being objectified.  Are we right on this, or right on this?  (We almost forgot the companion term – woman’s liberation – which seems to have become ‘so yesterday.’)

Funny how movements move along and change shape and focus, hooking-up with other movements, etc.  We read the Bowdoin Orient whenever we can get our hands on a juicy edition, and we’ve got to say that over the years we’ve been doing so, the impression we get is that lots of Bowdoin coeds are more than happy to see themselves as objects. 

Coeds might even see V-day and the Vagina Monologues through that lens, though we expect if you’ve had your brain washed, dried, and folded by appropriate faculty attitude-shapers, you may just be immune to the greater irony of the campus culture you find yourselves in.   And you may not be able to see reality, even if it’s right there in the mirror looking at you.


To make our case, we refer you to a recent Orient opinion column titled “Turning away from the mirror: expanding college feminism.”  You can find it here, and the drawing above goes with it.

It begins with this passage to explain the graphic:

Last Sunday I took part in the nude “Celebrating Women, Celebrating Bodies” photo shoot sponsored by the Women’s Resource Center. I showed up with nine of my friends. The building is tiny and we were packed in with members of the women’s lacrosse team, who were posing with their sticks and toting them around on their shoulders. I had to duck a few times. We were asked to fill out a survey: what were our initial thoughts and feeling? My thoughts and feelings… I was thinking about the macaroni & cheese I just ate in Moulton Dining Hall. I was thinking about the chaos and the people running around. I wondered if I remembered to shave my armpits and then wondered if in this space having unshaved armpits would actually be the more popular choice.

The ten of us went into a side room, stripped down to our underwear, stood side-by-side, laughed nervously, sweated under the bright lights, and click click click. We put our bras back on and then the rest of our clothes.

So much for objectification as something to be avoided, we thought.  Surprisingly, the author moves on to this line of conversation:

The feminist conversation at Bowdoin is hyper-focused on body image and emotional and sexual empowerment. We’re told by the Women’s Resource Center to “explore how we experience being women,” and I don’t mean to trivialize these issues.

You could rightly ask how that first sentence steers a young female (womyn?) away from objectification, and the Esquire/Playboy/Penthouse model.  We sure did.

But we give the author credit.  She seems to be taking a stand for a different view of things, and she might just have broken through the hype and the stereotyping and the prevailing dogma of Gender studies and other excursions on the imaginary axis of human thought.

Give it a read and see what you think.  Let us know if you “object.”  Be sure to read the comments below the column.  They may open your eyes.


But please, Daddy, before I do, make sure you pay my credit card bill and send the check to Bowdoin.

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