Ok so. I have this class.
It's called 'Globalization'.
The broad concern of this course is to examine the nature of globalization and to analyze its implications for economic, social, and political, and cultural processes. The word globalization has permeated everyday discourse, and it is used casually to explain diverse phenomena as well as to justify a host of government actions and policies.
The above is from my syllabus.I just put it in here in case you thought a class called 'Globalization' was not a serious class.
My professor is a total nutball. He's this sort of medium-to-old guy who hollers a lot. He gets carried away sometimes and starts speaking quickly and hopping from topic to topic. I sometimes lose him, actually, because (as I've mentioned before) I'm not good with accents. I respected the ever loving hell out of the man.
At the end of a class in which we had a spirited and intelligent discussion about healthcare, which I participated in spiritedly and intelligently, he said the following.
"I've noticed that women will empty their bank accounts for their sick dogs . They'll go broke for something that will only live another few years!" If you're not hearing disdain in your head when you read that, insert some and go back and read it again, because it was positively dripping.
He then proceeded to take a survey. A gender specific survey. As in, he first asked the seven women in the room how much money they'd spend on their sick dog, if they had one. We mostly ignored him, because class was over and we were packing up, so he asked it again. Then added costs - as in "$500?" "$1000?" "$5000?". A few girls answered, at some point, and then he asked the men.
Some guy who thinks he's funny said, "As much as is in my wallet, as long as it's not more than $25".
No, really, can't you hear me chuckling? Letting loving companions die so you can keep $26 is funny!
Here's what he did, with that one statement. He put every single woman he's ever taught into a 'women love animals and aren't good with money' bucket. That one statement, that he then pushed with his little 'survey', rolled us into a single package. A single package that perpetuates many of the things that people believe to be true about women. Especially people (ahem, men) who attend colleges that have an engineering focus.
The thing that bugs the ever loving shit out of me is that he is in a position of respect and authority. He is careful to qualify it when he says things about minorities in America - he gives the context and the background for his statement, and then he allows us to challenge him. He has spoken with a fair amount of respect before about the affect of equality for women has on both intra- and international economics.
And yet, with that one statement, he turned our previously integrated class into an us and them. He's never asked who was a Republican and who was a Democrat (although the four minute lecture I gave today when someone mentioned that he didn't understand why Planned Parenthood was getting federal funding probably tipped everyone off with regards to my party alliance). He's never singled out the several international students that we have. Fuck, he's never asked the petroleum engineers to stand up and identify themselves, even when we're discussing petroleum engineering related topics.
And yet us ladies and our affinity for doggies and our inability to weigh the pros and cons of the love and affection of an animal versus thousands of dollars in our bank account, that was fair game.
He made it seem ok.
It's not ok.
I do love my dogs. I would probably spend an amount of money on them that someone who does not have dogs would find ridiculous. That may in fact have something to do with biology and estrogen and whatever. If that's the case, I'm not exactly sure why I find Crockett talking to Maida when he thinks I can't hear him, but fine. Estrogen makes me want to take care of little furry things. Maybe.
In what possible way does that make it ok to put every person with a uterus into a 'silly girls and their puppies' bucket?