Friday, February 12, 2010

Feminism at Purdue

My day started off a little rough. I missed the bus even though I was about 10 feet from the bus stop (Thank you, Mr. Driver), the walk to campus was freezing, and I was lugging our Darwin Day merchandise and poster along. I was hungry and tired. I plopped down on the bench, ready to zone out for an hour until my class, when my friend Mike thrust a newspaper into my hands.


It was the Purdue Review.

For those of you who aren't Purdue students, let me explain. We have a sane, balanced, and fairly well done student newspaper called the Exponent. If the Exponent is Purdue's journalistic Superman, the Purdue Review is Bizarro. It's a extraordinarily conservative student newspaper that seems to take all of its ideology from Glenn Beck, Fox News, and teabaggers. Yeah, we're talking about some good stuff, here.

It's only printed a couple of times a semester (thankfully). To make it worse, one of my ex-boyfriends is on their staff, but that's a totally different story. If I'm in for a good rage, I'll grab a copy - but most of the time I ignore it to keep my own sanity. But now it was being thrust into my hands, and I couldn't ignore the title: POL 222: Women, Politics & Public Policy.

The Purdue Review was going to tackle feminism? You know I'm too much of a masochist to ignore that.

It's such a pile of crap that it's not worth picking apart: just go read it or Mike's critique, since he actually took that class. It's just some conservative student whining about how political science classes are so liberal and us liberals push feminism on everyone. He tries to make these arguments okay by asserting he's totally against husbands abusing their wives. What a stand up guy. I mean, how can you not like a guy who thinks this?
It need not be said that the points raised in the class are incongruent with traditional conservativism. The role of the mother has always been to take care of her family and maintain the household. Even in nature, the young need to be with the mother for a certain amount of time before they can go about on their own.
Dear Tyler Martin, if someone ever invents a time machine, I will pay out of my pocket for you and all of your conservative friends to zoom back to 1900, so you won't have to worry about us wandering out of the kitchen or depriving you of our baby making machinery.

Anyway, after reading that annoyance, I had to go get some more change for the Darwin Day sale. As I was passing through the Stewart Center heading towards the bank, there were a bunch of tables set up for Valentine's Day: Roses for sale, singing telegrams, creative writing majors selling love poetry (loved that idea). I was kind of oblivious, but someone stuffed a piece of paper in my hand.

"Happy Valentine's Day!"

"You too," I mumbled, continuing to walk by. I peered down at the paper in my hand and stopped dead in my tracks.FEMINISTS?!?!

I literally walked backwards a couple steps to the table.

"There's a feminist group at Purdue?! When did this happen?!" I asked the young lady who had handed me the valentine.

"Recently. Hey, you're Jen, right? From the Non-Theists? I know you, but you don't know me, because I don't really come to actual meetings. Sorry if that's kind of weird." Oddly enough, this happens so frequently that it's no longer weird to me.But I seriously can't explain how excited I was. During my freshman year I was a member of Purdue's chapter of the National Organization for Women. We did lots of awesome events, my favorite being Sex on the Mall, a giant sex ed fair on Memorial Mall. The group fell apart when the president graduated, and I've been severely lacking in my feminism ever since.

Am I going to have time to go to meeting for a new club in the final months before I graduate? Maybe, but probably not. But the mere presence of this club means so much to me, especially after reading some anti-feminist bullshit. It was serendipitous. To see seven awesome looking ladies happily passing out sex ed information and condoms as valentines totally made my day. Oh, and apparently they liked my feminist glee so much that they gave me another valentine. Woo, double the fun.

So keep up the awesome work, Feminist Action Coalition for Today! Purdue needs your voice on campus. (Though hurry up and get a website so I easily send oodles of people your way!)


  1. Goddamn liberals with their goddamn feminism. Get back to nature and make me a sandwich! It's nature! Duh!

  2. Woah. That guy is, like, fucking Gandhi. Doesn't believe in beating women, huh? Hot-damn!

    And, which school is he going to, with all of that liberal mamby-pamby goodness? I need to recruit me some of that over here.

  3. Doesn’t believe in beating women? Okay, so he’s just not “violent misogynistic douche”, then; merely “passive misogynistic douche”.

    And as for you, you uppity woMAN, shuddup with yer whinin’ an’ go an’ make me a sammich!

    (Note that this comment’s sarcasm would grow by 1,000% if only Blogger comments allowed images. Pfft.)

  4. " The role of the mother has always been to take care of her family and maintain the household."
    -- In the upper classes, sure. This has never, ever, been true of the masses, where the woman earned the bread, together with, as well as or instead of her man. But our history is slanted towards the elite. Claustration -- or merely non-employment -- being always an upper-class practice, we might see this kind of conservatism as magical thinking designed to secure upward social mobility. You know, if you ape the manners of the rich, you will become rich. Doesn't work, of course. :-)

    Incidentally, the way veiling of Muslim women spread from the Prophet's wives to almost everyone else was the same mechanism; the veil was a huge class marker, Princess swag, so everyone wanted it.

    Female infanticide is only an evolutionarily sound strategy for the upper classes, if Chinese or Indian peasants do it, then they're engaged in magical thinking about class mobility in the same way as the ordinary people bamboozled by Reagan.

  5. Geez, these guys think Purdue is too liberal? They'd probably have an aneurism if they came down here to Bloomington. (Note to teabaggers: Do not come to Bloomington. We're quite happy without you.)

  6. Wow. I'm used to the Purdue Review being crappy, but usually it has some kind of content. That entire article was nothing more than "I had to take a poopy head liberal class about feminism."

    It couldn't even talk about, y'know, feminism or what the conservative arguments against it are.

    Speaking of which, what exactly is modern day feminism, anyway? All I really know about feminism is support for gender equality, which I agree with. What more is there to it?

  7. When you are done dropping off sexist pigs in the 20th century can I borrow your time machine?

    I want to drop off a bunch of creationists 7000 years ago so they can watch my "Suck it, the planet's already here" dance.

  8. >Even in nature, the young need to be with the mother for a certain amount of time before they can go about on their own.

    "Except with those damn liberal Penguins, what with their dancing and saying we should accept others for who they are. Not to mention those degenerate Seahorses. No, for our role model we must look to the Arachnids"

  9. Please don't send conservatives back in time. They'll take what little knowledge they have of history and screw everything up. Take them back to pre-history or, as JT suggested, back 7000 years ago. In their minds the earth didn't exist, therefore they cannot exist. It would be too massive a paradox and their puny minds will explode.

  10. I love how conservative Christians are always referring to nature as if we're nothing but animals.

    Big props to whoever sponsored the condoms.