The Other McCain

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

The Feminist-Industrial Complex: Guilt and Queer Theory in Wisconsin

Posted on | December 20, 2015 | 31 Comments

“The excitement around [Jessica] Valenti’s visit ignited activism among Women’s Studies Program faculty and students. . . . The students enrolled in WMNS 250: Feminist Methodologies felt inspired to join the national and international viral movement called ‘I Need Feminism Because’ . . . University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire feminists felt that Valenti’s visit was a good time to get their fellow students talking with their own signs and a video. . . . The weather was chilly, but Women’s Studies Program majors and minors dressed warm and stood on the newly opened campus sidewalks leading to Davies Center with their signs.”
Women’s Studies department newsletter, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 2014

More than 10,000 students attend the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UWEC) of whom 85 were enrolled in the Women’s Studies/LGBTQ Studies program in 2014. “The good news is that with thirty-one minors, sixteen majors, thirty Women’s Studies certificate students, and eight Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) Studies certificate holders, our program is flourishing,” Professor Asha Sen wrote in the department’s newsletter. “The challenge, though, is to sustain and grow us in a time of budgetary crisis.” Exactly why this department has any budget at all is something of a mystery.

Fewer than 1% UWEC students are pursuing degrees or certificates in this program, and the offerings are replicated in many similar programs on other campuses in the University of Wisconsin system. Among these choices, one could pursue this subject in the Women’s and Gender Studies program at UW-Green Bay, or the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program at UW-La Crosse, or the Gender and Women’s Studies program at UW-Madison. Is it really necessary — “in a time of budgetary crisis,” as Professor Sen says — that Wisconsin taxpayers support so many similar programs at campuses all over the state?

Of course, efficient use of taxpayer dollars has no part in the agenda of Women’s Studies, which is basically a full-employment program for women with Ph.D.s. Perhaps someone in the Republican-controlled Wisconsin legislature could undertake an investigation of exactly how much is being spent to support these programs in the state’s university system, how many professors are employed in these programs and what they are teaching. If any Republican in Wisconsin cares to examine this 2014 newsletter from the UWEC Women’s Studies program, I’m sure there would be some questions that come to mind.

For example, “What’s the point?” A recent UWEC Women’s Studies graduate, Gretchen Bachmeier, wrote to praise the program:

The women’s studies courses I took were truly transformative. Being raised in Eau Claire, I came into college with a limited perspective. I quickly learned my white, middle-class, Catholic, heterosexual background left much room to examine and challenge the privileges in my life. For me, as for most people, challenging my privilege hasn’t been the smoothest of roads. It’s been a road filled with much guilt. I’ve learned to redirect that guilt and to learn privilege does not prohibit me from being a good-enough or a true-enough feminist.
I’ve been blessed to have many opportunities as a women’s studies undergraduate. The summer after my freshman year, I attended the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders. . . . The last three semesters of my academic career, I had the incredible opportunity to intern in the Women’s and LGBTQ Resource Center.

And what has she done with this “transformative” feminist education?

In June, I will be starting a job with Target in the Minneapolis area.

Working for a discount retail store isn’t necessarily a bad job, but why did she need a Women’s Studies degree to do it? Was the whole point to teach Ms. Bachmeier to feel guilty about her “white, middle-class, Catholic, heterosexual background”? Can’t privileged white kids learn to hate their middle-class backgrounds without spending four years (at $8,744 annual tuition) to get a diploma in Guilt Studies?

Guilt isn’t the only thing taught at UWEC, however. The Women’s Studies newsletter reports the 2013 program award winners, including the Helen X. Sampson Graduate Research Paper or Project Award, which went to Christopher Jorgenson for his thesis, “Like a Girl: A Gay Man’s Theoretical Exploration of Identity.” Whatever the value of this “theoretical exploration” to Mr. Jorgenson personally, we must ask, “What benefit did the taxpayers of Wisconsin derive from it?”

Wisconsin taxpayers might also be interested in the course syllabus for “Queer Theory and Sexual Politics” (WMNS 406) as it was taught during the spring 2014 semester at UWEC. Among the four assigned texts for this course were The Routledge Queer Studies Reader, edited by Donald Hall and Annamarie Jagose (2013) and Unlimited Intimacy: Reflections on the Subculture of Barebacking by Tim Dean (2009). Far be it from me to say that the “subculture of barebacking” (i.e., unprotected anal intercourse) is not an interesting topic, but the question is why this must be studied as part of a course at a state university. Let us quote the course syllabus as to the aims of WMNS 406:

Queer theory is an interdisciplinary set of approaches that resists categorization. In A Critical Introduction to Queer Theory, Nikki Sullivan highlights the frustration that many students and scholars new to queer theory feel: She writes that queer theory “is a discipline that refuses to be disciplined, a discipline with a difference, with a twist if you like. In saying this, however, I don’t mean to endow Queer Theory with some sort of ‘Tinkerbell e!ect’; to claim that no matter how hard you try you’ll never manage to catch it because it is ethereal, quixotic, unknowable” (v). Queer theory can be so difficult to “catch” because of its interdisciplinary approaches and because it questions and critiques binaries, hierarchies, and assumptions that are commonly held, including those about the regulation of sexuality, gender and sexual identity, knowledge production, citizenship, rights claims, family, and ethics. In this seminar, we will attempt to “catch” queer theory by reading and responding to a variety of queer theorists.
Queer theory finds its genealogical roots in poststructuralist theory, feminist theory, and the grounded theory of queer activism of the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. We will begin by reading and responding to poststructuralist theory (Michel Foucault) and feminist work that began to address the categories of sex and sexuality in the 1980s and 1990s (Gayle Rubin, Judith Butler). From there, we will explore various approaches to queer theory: historical and temporal scholarship, psychoanalytic work, explorations of new relationalities, negative thinking and utopian thinking, critiques of the sexualization of citizenship, the mediatedness of intimacy and sex, critiques of heternormativity and homonationalism, relationships between theoretical work and explicit activism and social life, critiques of metro-normativity, anthropological approaches, critiques of liberalism and neoliberalism, and critical race and disability-based critiques of queer theory.

So with its “interdisciplinary approaches,” Queer Theory “questions and critiques binaries, hierarchies, and assumptions,” but for what purpose? How does this benefit the Wisconsin taxpayer, who seems to be on the receiving end, so to speak, of this “unlimited intimacy”? The total budget of the University of Wisconsin system is more than $6 billion — I repeat, SIX BILLION DOLLARS — and it was big news in July when Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill that reduced the taxpayers’ share of that budget by $250 million, which would amount to about a 4% cut. However, it seems this reduction did not cause anyone to question the necessity of Women’s Studies. In fact, UWEC posted a help-wanted advertisement for a “tenure-track faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor . . . with an appointment in either the Department of Sociology or the Women’s Studies Program. . . . The successful candidate will contribute to both Sociology and Women’s Studies/LGBTQ Studies.”

The ad didn’t say whether the “successful candidate” will teach barebacking. Certainly the state’s university faculty have been known to pursue “interdisciplinary approaches” in the field of sexuality:

A UW-Madison African Studies professor was charged [in July 2012] with lewd and lascivious behavior for allegedly exposing himself last month to a student near campus, who, it turned out, had taken one of his classes.
Kennedy A. Waliaula, 47, of Madison, an assistant professor of African languages and literature, was charged with the misdemeanor for allegedly exposing his genitals to the woman as he walked past her on North Charter Street mid-afternoon on July 10, according to a criminal complaint filed in Dane County Circuit Court.
When police located Waliaula about two hours after the student reported the incident, he first said he discovered after seeing the student’s shocked expression that his zipper was down. But he later admitted that he opened his pants himself so that he could expose himself to women and that he had exposed himself to about five women, the complaint states.
Waliaula admitted to police that he has a problem exposing himself in public, according to the complaint.
Waliaula was placed on paid leave after his arrest, UW-Madison spokesman Dennis Chaptman said.

More recently:

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse has canceled the summer school contract of a professor charged with sexually assaulting a minor . . .
Paul Miller, 47, of La Crosse and has agreed to remain off campus until the case is resolved.
Miller was charged [in July 2015] with second-degree sexual assault of a child younger than 16. The incident occurred June 13, when several children were staying overnight at Miller’s residence in preparation for a birthday party the next day, the complaint states.
According to a La Crosse Police Department report, a 14-year-old girl told investigators that Miller slept in the same bed as her, as well as kissed, fondled and performed oral sex on her.

Neither of these men were Women’s Studies professors, who are paid to expose students to indecent ideas and assault their minds.


Off To The Side

Posted on | December 20, 2015 | 8 Comments

— by Wombat-socho

For someone who’s allegedly been spending a lot of his time studying up on stuff for the upcoming tax season, I sure have been doing a lot of non-tax reading…probably because after watching a couple hours of training videos, my brain turns to mud. Anyway, the main topic of this week’s post is going to be some books by C.J. Cherryh, who does aliens and alienation like few other SF authors. She’s mainly known for Downbelow Station, her Hugo-winning novel about the three-way clash between Earth, the almost-renegade Earth Company Fleet, and the rebel stars of Union. This novel is the launching point for her vast Alliance/Union universe, which includes most of Cherryh’s work aside from her fantasy novels and the Foreigner series. The first of these books that I’ve been reading is Forty Thousand in Gehenna, which recounts the tale of a Union colony deliberately abandoned at the tail end of the Company War and its rediscovery by the Alliance. This is a depressing book for the most part; the Union colonists have no clue that they’re being deliberately set adrift, their azi workers are completely unequipped psychologically to survive the breakdown of the colony, and matters only get worse when the native, reptilian (and possibly intelligent) calibans become involved. A very disturbing novel; one is never sure whether the humans on Gehenna have become used to the calibans or whether the calibans are using humans for their own inscrutable ends. Unfortunately out of print except as part of the Alliance Space omnibus, which also includes the short novel Merchanter’s Luck

Also from C.J. Cherryh are the Chanur novels, available in three volumes: The Chanur Saga, which contains The Pride of Chanur, Chanur’s Venture, and The Kif Strike Back, and the remaining books, Chanur’s Homecoming and Chanur’s Legacy which are available separately on Kindle and also as a two-book paperback collection which I can’t seem to find on Amazon. Anyhow, the Chanur novels are especially interesting because they’re told from the alien perspective of Pyanfar Chanur, captain of the hani merchant starship Pride of Chanur, which one day acquires a strange new crewman: a human by the name of Tully, whose very presence on her decks promises to destabilize the entire Compact between hani, mahendosat, stsho, kif, and the methane-breathing tc’a, chi and Knnn, who are difficult to understand at best and impossible at worst. Pyanfar finds herself unwillingly thrust into a position of political prominence among the hani – a Personage, as the mahedosat say – as she desperately copes with the political maneuverings of the mahendosat, the lethal infighting of the kif, the highly unstable and unreliable stsho, and the looming threat of a human incursion. Tully himself is a frustrating character – since the stories are all told from a hani perspective, most of the time you can’t tell what he’s trying to say any better than Pyanfar or Hilfy (Pyanfar’s niece) can. Tremendously tense novels, whose relationship to the rest of the Alliance/Union books remains unclear until close to the end of the original tetralogy.

I also picked up the second novel in Vaughn Heppner’s Lost Starship series, The Lost Command, wherein Captain Maddox has to get his crew back together to rescue the missing Professor Ludendorff, repair the alien, millenia-old starship Victory, and help a beleaguered Star Watch fleet pull out a badly needed victory against the New Men. This is a step up from routine enjoyable brain candy, and I’m looking forward a lot to the next two books.

I cannot, for the life of me, understand why Baen or somebody else hasn’t brought all of the late Joel Rosenberg’s books back into print. Perhaps best known for his two combat SF novels about the Metzada Mercenary Corps, Hero and Not for Glory, Rosenberg also did a couple of other novels in the setting of the Thousand Worlds, Emile and the Dutchman and Ties of Blood and Silver. These are listed as books 2 and 1 of the Metzada series, but they really aren’t; there is a character in Emile and the Dutchman who is a Metzadan, and in Ties of Blood and Silver one of the characters talks about hiring a Metzadan as a swordsmanship teacher, but neither of these books is at all like the other two, and if you go into it thinking these are going to be about Metzada and the MMC, you’re going to be disappointed. (SPOILER – despite Ties of Blood and Silver, being set on Oroga, you don’t find out if Shimon Bar-El took the payoff or not, either.) That having been said, Emile and the Dutchman is a pretty good string of first contact stories strung together with some connective verbiage (letters from the protagonist, mostly) and Ties of Blood and Silver is…different. The cynical protagonist, who makes his living as a thief in the seedier parts of Oroga’s slums, finds himself with an affinity to the alien schtann, and most of the novel revolves around his gradual realization that belonging to the schrift of the precious metal workers is in fact his destiny. It’s a good read.

This is probably a good place to mention that my new book, What Did You Do In The Cold War, Dad? is available on Amazon for the Kindle. Reviews are very welcome!

What Went Through The Moderator’s Mind At The #DemDebate

Posted on | December 20, 2015 | 14 Comments

by Smitty

The Revolutionary Losers League

Posted on | December 20, 2015 | 17 Comments

Strange news from Tokyo:

Anti-Christmas protesters calling themselves “Losers with Women” marched through Tokyo’s streets Saturday, bashing the upcoming holiday as a capitalist ploy that also discriminates against singletons.
The group of about 20 — part of the Communist-inspired group that routinely protests Western holidays — marched under angry banners that read “Smash Christmas!” in Tokyo’s Shibuya district, where couples and families strolled for holiday shopping.
The scrooges — mostly single men — said they were against capitalism and were opposed to the commercialisation of Christmas.
“In this world, money is extracted from people in love, and happy people support capitalism,” said the head of the organisation, formally called Kakumeiteki Hi-mote Domei, or the Revolutionary Losers’ League.
“Christmas is the most symbolic event for this,” he added.
The man . . . said the rally was also in support of unloved men.
“Unpopular men, who don’t have a girlfriend or are not married, are overly discriminated. We want to break this barrier,” he told AFP amid the shouting protesters.

In America, guys like this call themselves “Democrats.”

(Via Memeorandum.)


You’re Too ‘Empowered,’ Darling

Posted on | December 19, 2015 | 55 Comments

Amanda Leigh is a funny writer, who writes about dating, and is capable of clever sentences like, “If you can’t tell whether he’s gay or straight, he’s gay,” and “Finding a tall employed man with values in Los Angeles is like finding a unicorn.” But her dating life is actually a failure, as is the case of most people who write about dating. What is the object of the game? To find The One. So as long as you’re still dating, you’re a loser.

The only dating advice young people should ever listen to is advice from happily married people. Their advice will likely be “old-fashioned.” Why? Because old-fashioned works. Old-fashioned is good. Amanda Leigh is not old-fashioned:

I can read a man like a book. But I haven’t always been that way. I had to get seriously played to learn the game. . . . In other words, I’ve been hurt, surprised, upset, shocked, duped, and manipulated enough to consider myself a seasoned dater.

This is the modern “empowered” feminist attitude: All of her previous romantic relationships were failures, so listen to Amanda Leigh, because she knows what’s she’s talking about!

Ladies: Do not follow the herd. Do not let yourself be “played.” Do not imagine that you are going to become the first woman ever to survive the hook-up culture without damage. Talk of promiscuity as “empowerment” is nonsense. Speaking of nonsense and failure, Amanda Leigh tried dating via Tinder:

I’ve gone out on over 10 dates and communicated with at least 50 guys since joining. . . .  An accountant told me he was afraid to ask me out again because he felt intimidated by me. Someone needs to grow a set. I had a great date and make out sesh with a hot photographer. He said he wanted to see me again and then disappeared.

You see the problem. Amanda Leigh is a type. The caution accountant, a shrewd just of risk, found her intimidating. The “hot” guy got a make-out session on the first date, but she can’t understand why he “disappeared” after that.

Amanda: You were being tested. Lots of girls want to make out with the “hot” guy. He might have been impressed if you had resisted the opportunity. Be old-fashioned, and especially strive to resist the guys you find irresistible.

But some of your advice, frankly, is just plain crap:

If he refuses to get a pedicure because it’s not manly, he will not go with you to see a therapist to work on your relationship issues. He has too much pride.

WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS? A guy has to get a pedicure in order to prove he’s willing to “see a therapist to work on your relationship issues”? This is a flashing red-light warning, guys. She’s thinking so far ahead, she’s got your first therapy session planned, because you have “too much pride.” The accountant’s caution was so wise, in retrospect.

Therapy causes divorce. There, I’ve said. The belief that your “relationship issues” require intervention by “experts” is a surrender flag, a confession of incompetence. As a matter of fact, I would advise against dating anyone who uses a phrase like “relationship issues.” That kind of therapeutic jargon indicates either she’s got “issues” of her own — which probably explains why she doesn’t already have a boyfriend –or else she’s the type who sits around reading self-help psychology books about “relationships.” She’s a compulsive over-thinker, in other words.

Confident people aren’t always second-guessing their decisions. They don’t sit around critiquing their partners or relationships. Confident people are decisive. They take action, and accept responsibility for the consequences.

So much feminist talk about “empowerment” is a counterfeit substitute for real confidence. “Empowerment” is whistling past the graveyard, pretending you know what you’re doing, no matter how badly you’re doing it. By contrast, real confidence is based on success. You are confident because you are competent, and you don’t need a therapist to tell you how to cope with your problems.

Why do we get such horror stories from the dating scene? Because all the good people are already in relationships, that’s why. The good people found each other and are living happy lives together, which leaves the dating scene full of bad people. It may be tempting for an attractive young person to develop a perfectionist attitude, to keep chasing around in search of romantic adventure, but it’s like a game of musical chairs. The world seems full of exciting possibilities when you’re 18 or 21, but if you stay in the game too long, you begin to get the sense that you’re picking through a pile of castoffs and discards — dating people who weren’t good enough for somebody else. They’ve been dumped and rejected, and are carrying around the emotional damage they suffered as a result of those broken promises and broken hearts.

If you find somebody good, close the deal. Get married and stay married, and make a point of being happy about it. Do not for a moment envy those single friends of yours or think about whether the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Be old-fashioned and enjoy grazing in your own pasture. Consider the story Amanda Leigh tells about how she thought she’d found the perfect guy, only to get dumped once again:

Men consistently say they don’t want to hurt a woman’s feelings but they do it in ways that seem so ridiculous, uncaring, and avoidable. Many men project that having a relationship is a bad thing — that all women are a hassle or take up too much time because they have been in relationships with unhealthy women in the past. It’s not fair to those of us who are healthy, self-sufficient, independent, creative, and understanding. I’m not your ex-girlfriend or your ex-wife. My intention in partnership is to both thrive and be more successful together than we are apart. Not to weigh anyone down. Myself included.
How does someone go from full speed ahead to a screeching halt like that? If he had told me in the beginning that he isn’t looking for a relationship I would not have gone out with him.

Amanda: You are too “empowered,” darling. If you want to domesticate a male, be domestic. Cultivate your inner June Cleaver. Strive to convey that you are not part of the dating herd. You are old-fashioned — the marrying type — and you are not looking for a mere “relationship,” but a ring and a wedding, a picket-fence suburban home and three kids to drive to soccer practice. If you are confident in your own value, why sell yourself short?

Be old-fashioned. Old-fashioned works. Old-fashioned is good.


FMJRA 2.0: Achtung Baby

Posted on | December 19, 2015 | 2 Comments

— compiled by Wombat-socho

Rule 5 Sunday: Farewell To The Slave Princess
Regular Right Guy
Animal Magnetism
Ninety Miles from Tyranny
A View from the Beach
Batshit Crazy News
Proof Positive

FMJRA 2.0: Flowtation
Regular Right Guy
The Pirate’s Cove
A View from the Beach
Batshit Crazy News

The ‘Diversity’ Hustle
Batshit Crazy News

Further Thoughts on ‘Diversity’ and the Ritual Suicide of American Culture
Batshit Crazy News

In The Mailbox, 12.14.15
A View from the Beach
Proof Positive

In The Mailbox, 12.15.15
A View from the Beach
Proof Positive

Fear and Loathing: An Oberlin Feminist on Men, Republicans and Heterosexuality
Regular Right Guy

In The Mailbox: 12.16.15
Regular Right Guy
Batshit Crazy News
Proof Positive

In The Mailbox: 12.17.15
A View from the Beach
Batshit Crazy News
Proof Positive

Quota-Mongers, Gender Nihilism and the Insane Logic of Radical Feminist Theory
Regular Right Guy
Batshit Crazy News

In The Mailbox: 12.18.15
Batshit Crazy News
Proof Positive

Friday Fiction: 100 Word Challenge
Batshit Crazy News

Top linkers this week:

  1.  Batshit Crazy News (9)
  2.  (tied) A View from the Beach, Proof Positive, and Regular Right Guy (5)

Thanks to everyone for their linkagery! Keep an eye out Monday morning for Return of the Son of the Bride ofLive At FiveConquers The Martians!

Achtung Baby (Deluxe Edition)

I Hope Lorne Michaels Feels A Twist Of Anguish Over The @TedCruz SNL Ad

Posted on | December 19, 2015 | 3 Comments

by Smitty

I hope that enough conservatives tune in to watch this on SNL tonight that Lorne the Liberal Tool has an inkling of just how much viewership he’s leaving on the table in the name of being an Obama/Clinton sycophant.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are co-hosting. Could be funny. Musical guest is Bruce Springsteen. I think I remember a time when Bruce kinda rocked.

via Instapundit

Bernie Sanders Sues Democrat Party

Posted on | December 19, 2015 | 15 Comments


Allegations of favoritism:

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) campaign sued the Democratic National Committee in federal court Friday evening following the suspension of his campaign from the DNC’s voter database after a security breach.
The suit claims that the campaign is losing $600,000 in donations each day that it does not have access to the data, and adds that the “damage to the campaign’s political viability as a result of being unable to communicate with constituents and voters, is far more severe, and incapable of measurement.”
The DNC barred Sanders from accessing the party’s voter file, which includes much of his campaign’s voter data, after a campaign staffer improperly accessed private data belonging to front-runner Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The vendor hired by the party to maintain the data accidentally created the security vulnerability during an update, the DNC says.
The Sanders campaign fired a supervisory staffer involved in the incident and has gone on the warpath Friday claiming that the DNC overreacted and is trying to aid Clinton’s campaign.

The question occurs: Why are rival Democrat campaigns both sharing the same database? But the finger-point goes both ways:

Brian Fallon, a Clinton campaign spokesman, called into CNN tonight, very angry about the reported 24 separate intrusions by the Sanders campaign. He said this was a clear “act of theft, stealing data from the Clinton campaign,” and Sanders isn’t living up to that “different kind of campaign” he promised.
“They were very productive,” Fallon told Wolf Blitzer. “They were like kids in a candy store, Wolf. They had about 40 minutes where they ran wild.”

The Democrat Party is a gang of thieves, organized to screw over taxpayers, but always willing to screw over each other, too. Somebody should write a book . . . Oh, wait . . .


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