The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

University Logo as Rorschach Inkblot

Posted on | April 27, 2013 | 41 Comments

Instapundit calls our attention to the case of a feminist student at the University of Connecticut who saw rape in the school’s revamped logo for its Huskies sports program. And to understand just what this reaction means, you really should read the “open letter” that Carolyn Luby wrote to UConn president Susan Herbst:

Dear President Susan Herbst,
I write to you today as a UConn student, but more specifically as a UConn woman and feminist. I want to first express my admiration for you as a woman who has made it in a “man’s” world, who has faced the odds and done the seemingly unthinkable; become the first woman president at UConn over the course of its 130-year history. You serve as a shining example that even the most challenging of ceilings can be broken, and you speak to the considerable strides women have made over the last 50 years in academia and the professional world. One of the most vivid memories I have of my admiration for your accomplishments was when Gloria Steinem gave you a standing ovation for your successes, along with a full auditorium of students and faculty, during her speech at the 40 year anniversary of the UConn Women’s Center this past fall.  It is on behalf of that standing ovation, my feminist foremothers, and the respect that I feel for your success personally that I write this letter of concern and intervention to you today. . . .

This is what we call bad writing. Before we can even begin to engage Carolyn Luby’s argument — such as it is — we must first overcome our revulsion at the ghastly wretchedness of Luby’s prose. And I think that the awfulness of Luby’s writing is more than coincidentally related to the awfulness of her purpose, i.e., to signify feminist solidarity by way of inviting President Herbst to sympathize with Luby’s heinously opportunistic purpose in writing.

Luby wishes to hijack the discussion of the university’s new sports logo in order to humiliate Herbst with a reiteration of criminal accusations made against various UConn athletes. For example, football running back Lyle McCombs was arrested for domestic violence after an argument with his girlfriend, and basketball center Enosch Wolfe was charged with trespassing and other charges — recently dropped — after an incident at a woman’s apartment. Excuse me for inflicting this jargon-laden Carolyn Luby paragraph on readers:

Instead of giving these problematic aspects of male athletic peer culture at UConn a second look or a giving the real face of athletics a true makeover, it appears that the focus of your administration is prioritizing the remodeling of the fictional face of the Husky Logo. Instead of communicating a zero tolerance atmosphere for this kind of behavior, increasing or vocalizing support to violence against women prevention efforts on campus in the face of such events, or increasing support to student run programs that seek to work with athletes on issues of violence as well as academic issues, it would appear that your administration is more interested in fostering consumerism and corporatization than education and community. Another example of this shift in priorities can be seen in the current administrations selection of the new logo — a selection made with no involvement from or consultation with the normal, everyday, non-Olympian student body . . .

Ah, yes —  “fostering consumerism and corporatization”: President Herbst’s administration is accused of being pro-capitalist.

Reasonable people can have intelligent debates about the influence of big-time college athletics on university life, and about the extent to which the term “student-athlete” is a cruel fiction when applied to those players of limited academic aptitude whose only ambition is making it to the NFL or NBA. We can also reasonably discuss the degree to which coaches and administrators tolerate occasional thuggish behavior by star players as the necessary cost of having successful athletic programs.

Certainly, UConn isn’t the only school dealing with “Jocks Gone Wild” issues, but “these problematic aspects of male athletic peer culture,” as Luby verbosely describes them, aren’t really what her letter is about. Her letter is about signifying, about displaying the ideological banner of radical feminism and humiliating President Herbst for her insufficient loyalty to that banner: Betraying the Sisterhood.

We see this signifying jive most clearly in the decision of Carolyn Luby to close her letter with an ostentatious literary allusion:

In the words of Audre Lorde, “this letter is in repayment.”

Yes, the radical lesbian poet — who died more than 20 years ago and whose relevance to the problems of University of Connecticut athletics is, well, problematic — must be name-checked by Luby as a symbolic appeal to unity among the intended audience within UConn’s department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies:

Carolyn Luby is a Senior at the University of Connecticut. She is double majoring in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies and Spanish and minoring in Puerto Rican and Latino Studies. She is fluent in Spanish and just returned from a semester abroad in Granada, Spain. In addition to academics Carolyn is also a peer educator for the Violence Against Women Prevention Program . . . She is an active advocate for Women’s Rights and Human Rights and works to promote community involvement and interaction with these issues on both a university level and a national and global level.

This biography of Luby appears at the “Latinas & Media” blog, which is in fact a class project for a course of the same name which is WGSS 3260 in the UConn undergraduate catalog and taught by Cal-Berkeley alumna Diana Rios. What this means is that Carolyn Luby is getting a diploma for ax-grinding — an apostle of angry entitled victimhood, catechized in the gospel of grievance — which is now accorded the status of an academic discipline on many campuses.

Isn’t this a problem that is, in its own way, more pervasive and harmful than occasional outbreaks of thuggery by college athletes?

UPDATE: Linked by Gene Hackettthanks! — and welcome, Instapundit readers! Y’know, this problem of students getting useless degrees in meaningless subjects while university administrators are mainly concerned with enhancing revenue opportunities — somebody really ought to write a book about that.

 

Comments

  • bruce

    ‘…in a “man’s” world…’

    So…she thinks the category ‘man’ is dubious? Men don’t actually exist? No need for feminism then.

  • Mike G.

    Mizz Luby, make yourself useful… go make me a sandwich and fetch me a beer.

  • bsand505

    As I was reading the bios of that blog, I noticed Charle Grab, a bus driver taking the course. I wonder if he’s down with the cause and agrees with Ms. Luby description of the husky logo.

  • jakee308

    The previous logo was . . . well to be NICE about it, looked like a puppy dog. tongue hanging out, fluffed out hair.

    A LAP DOG if you will.

    I can understand how some of the lesbians in training at UCONN might get a bit upset at a dog that was actually; masculine, prepared for what ever you happened to deal out and not worried about the outcome.

    You know; an expression of Masculine Confidence and Competence in the face of an adversary.

    The only place you usually find that anymore these days is in the military. (mostly The Marine Corps but some other units are quite full of those qualities.

    I think the University President should tell that girl (cause she’s not a woman if a PICTURE can get her upset) that
    “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a Damn!”

  • Pig

    Rorschach is right. To me that logo looks both friendly and female. Perhaps because I grew up with a very friendly female dog. (You may notice that there is a word I’m avoiding like the plague here…)

  • Cube

    Logo complaints. #firstworldproblems Next she’ll wonder why no one takes her seriously after graduation. #notcaring

  • JeffS

    Perhaps Feminazi Luby actually seems the same thing you do, under the category of “It Takes One To Know One”.

  • JeffS

    Argh! “sees”, not “seems”.

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  • http://twitter.com/ECHackett ChandlersGhost

    As a recovering academic, I just had to mock her letter. Academic Malpractice

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    The writing stands out as an exemplary example of the intellectual standards of the “Gender Studies” “discipline” – or as they say at UConn, “Wymyn’s, Gender, & Sexuality Kvetching” – in all its glory. As a Senior, Miss Luby (bless her little ol’ heart) can look forward to a robust future, filled with opportunities to become either a graduate student in Wymyn’s Studies or a bouncer at a lesbian bar.

    Naturally, athletes at the school are advised to avoid all contact with Miss Luby, who is almost certain to interpret a friendly smile or nod as attempted rape.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    You’re a braver man than I, Mike – no way I’m consuming anything Miss Luby has had in her possession out of my sight.

  • Mike G.

    She just wasn’t trained right. 😉

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  • been to connecticut

    how do we know that’s not a female husky? can’t female huskies look focused and intense? i just did a google image search for female huskies and — whattya know! — it’s a very good likeness.

  • Ramon Lopez

    I wonder who paid for that semester in Granada….
    Boy, real life is going to be a female dog.

  • bittman

    I hope she never gets a job writing government regulations. She would make the Obamacare bill look like something that was written on the back of a post card.

  • Joel Mackey

    hell she is probably a great cook, as long as you like munching on carpet.

  • ss396

    Over at Instapundit is [an observation about] a gripe of how people with “studies” degrees are not respected.

    If the degree was respectable then the holders of said degree would be respected. Q.E.D.

  • Aaron1960

    Meanwhile, there are starving Hispanic kids someplace, Luby, Get ’em all a Happy Meal! Unless that’s too corporatist.

  • Micha_Elyi

    Voters of Connecticut, time to close UConn.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    About the time you begin to believe that a cartoon dog head is looking at you “the wrong way,” start thinking about taking a sabbatical in a place that offers electroshock therapy.

  • doc

    so she’s a major in studies studies. Future employers have been warned. In the meantime, ignore this twit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dusty.thompson.169 Dusty Thompson

    Sandra Fluking…. Feminism is more of a danger to woman than any man has EVER been…. You idiot Feminazi’s are not only youre own worst enemy, youre mine too bi-atch…

  • http://www.facebook.com/dusty.thompson.169 Dusty Thompson

    Yea, NE LIbtards are gonna do that, sure, lol…. They not only vote FOR this kind of idiocy they demand it.

  • ErnieGjr

    With respect to her writing style, in some academic disciplines (I use the term loosely) a turgid, verbose style is encouraged and clear expository writing is downgraded. It’s like teaching a kid to walk funny.

  • @alaskajohn

    The old logo was a Samoyed, not a Siberian Husky. It appears that the vaporous femhags of the area are having a conniption fit, no? and yet, she fails to provide for sufficient diversity for excluded groups like deaf lesbian Eskimoes or transgendered Malaysian midgets.

  • Goldenah

    This is what happens when they closed down all the mental hospitals, the patients end up attending colleges and universities.

  • Garym

    I’ll say it for ya, looks like a bitch!

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  • Michael Gordon

    Future potential employers will ignore her also. Other than if she were your daughter, would you hire her?

  • Patrick Carroll

    Bitch!

    (It had to be said.)

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    Nobody rites gud in collidge. Unfortunately that includes many professors.

    It takes hard work to be able to write well, and few pursue it as an end, especially in college. Too many who do are people who bypass “writing” and get swallowed up by “literature.” Unfortunately, most of those folks come out thinking high-minded (and usually confused) thoughts, a la Peggy Noonan, while rabbiting out prose that reads like what one would expect from Fidel Castro’s speechwriter.

    I prefer to read things written by people who got beat up a lot by editors, and eventually developed a thick enough hide to enable their ego to withstand those “helpful nudges.”

  • Susan Harms

    The purpose of her letter is not to effect change or even to complain about the logo. It is battlefield preparation – just like Sandra Fluke. She is about to graduate with a WORTHLESS DEGREE. She needs a job. Just sending our resumes (to whom? Who hires people with degrees in gender studies?) wont cut it. She needs PUBLICITY. and the more columnists, blogger and TV commentators talk about it the happier she is. She is an activist like our Prez. No skills, no real knowledge of anything. Just an angry chip on her shoulder and a mouth.

  • teapartydoc

    When I look at the logo, I see a fish riding a bicycle.

  • Sabinal

    I wanna wear the shirt just to tick her off (and I’m one of “her kind” a liberal

  • SamWah

    She should take them to a Luby’s Cafeteria–but then she’d have to go to Texas, and that alone would mess with her head. Not that we’d notice, of course.

  • http://twitter.com/ECHackett ChandlersGhost

    This isn’t about getting a job. This is about pleasing her professors enough to get into grad school and never leave the cocoon.

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  • Critical Eye

    Perhaps a fitting mascot for UConn would be Andrea Dworkin, In addition to honoring the lunatic fringe of feminism, she exemplifies the stereotype of feminists as um, “Husky”.

  • Days of Broken Arrows

    This blog post INFURIATED me. The next time you post something like this, please issue a trigger alert. The name “Luby” reminds some of us of “lube,” which brings to mind all sorts of unwanted disturbing sexual acts. In short, the name is an example of rape culture. For you to have written out this surname is in and of itself an act of sexism. How could you be so insensitive? Do you hate your readers? Did your mommy not love you? Do you have a small penis? Are you gay?*

    I’m not sure what your problem is, but I know this much: the name Luby needs to be banned and it needs to be banned quickly before more lube is used for egregious purposes. Even in a free country some things are beyond the beyond. I will not be assaulted like this anymore! It’s time to stand up and be counted. Take back the blogs!!! Stop shaming your readers with “hate words” like Luby.

    *If I missed a feminist cliche here, forgive me; I’m still disturbed by this Hatepost.