As women, we are taught to be tiny. To have small bodies, to never be imposing. The ideal of our gender are thin and childlike, hairless and dainty. We are defined by our bodies; defined by our control over them. We are taught to obsess over our physicality and to be repulsed by our desires and intelligences.
We are taught to walk scared late at night. We cradle our keys between our perfectly manicured fingers, walking gracefully like a baby antelope in a herd of lions. That our virginity defines our character. That I am a frigid bitch if I do not fuck him, and a dirty slut if I do.
There are some very warm-hearted and lovely people I know that have quit graduate school because it felt more like The Hunger Games than a collaborative learning environment. We need to stop applying a “survival of the fittest” mentality to academic success, wherein intelligence is linked to ability to endure rigor. I think it’s a huge loss of the academy that people I know to be brilliant and life changing have quit due to a lack of support.
The next time I feel the urge to criticize I will ask myself two questions: given the same circumstances and no hindsight would I have done better, and who asked me for my opinion in the first place?
People don’t like love, they like that flittery flirty feeling. They don’t love love - love is sacrificial, love is ferocious, it’s not emotive. Our culture doesn’t love love, it loves the idea of love. It wants the emotion without paying anything for it. It’s ridiculous.
Language is an organization of chaos. A person has to be able to face the chaos, in order to teach language. This is what is difficult to do. I don’t believe people have this kind of insecurity when they are teaching certain other subjects - let us say geography or meteorology or mathematics. But when you get into something that is as close to man as language is, as deep within man’s interior, where the great philosophical and religious questions resonate, you are dealing with vital matters. In the last analysis, the question of what language is, is a kind of total question. It seems to touch everything else in you. Man’s idea of his own human existence, of what the scared is, of what love and hate and human values are, of what God is, there are all tied up with language. God’s word is of high significance in most religions. In the Hebrew tradition, God’s word is divine power. Christians believe that God word is actually a person, the Second Person of the Trinity, one God with the Father and the Holy Spirit. The Word became flesh in Jesus Christ. “In the beginning was the word.” Dealing with words, man everywhere has found himself deeply involved in questions of time and eternity and of his own identity. A little language is a dangerous thing.