On Ask a Humanities Grad Student

@I'm Not Rufus The posts above have successfully rebutted I'm Not Rufus, so I will address only one point that no one else has.

It is not true that the only options are either 1) to accept things the way they are or 2) find "other careers" if "the wages [are] unacceptable."

There is a third option, and that is to attempt to reform institutions from within by calling attention to unfair and destructive practices.

And to I'm Not Rufus, if people in previous generations had adopted your "live with it or get the hell out" approach, this world would be a lot less livable place for you (and everyone else).

Posted on April 22, 2012 at 12:35 am 1

On Age Differences, Irrational Jealousy, and the Haircut

Why do people write such long questions? Could you edit them next time?

I enjoy this column but I don't like wading through the letter writers' rambling, self-involved prose for thirty minutes just to get to the point.

Posted on December 16, 2011 at 2:22 pm 2

On How College Girls Talk

@Third Wave Housewife The next study should consider why college girls end declarative sentences with question marks.

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 2:19 pm 3

On Loose Chimpanzee or Loyal Red Fox?

@chirdia I have read McKinnon's book and it is a classic. I was going to recommend it until I saw your post. I wish it were more widely read. It is a brilliant counterpoint to this pop psych stuff.

Posted on November 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm 1

On Loose Chimpanzee or Loyal Red Fox?

Why should evolutionary history provide us with a guide to how we should behave today? For millennia men were also "inclined" toward rape as the usual way of finding a sexual partner.

Certainly polygamy is better for many people, but I don't want to understand why Dan Savage and so many others want to justify it as "natural." Can't we just do something because it is healthy or better for us? Isn't that a good enough reason?

Posted on November 21, 2011 at 1:21 pm 3

On Kate Bolick on Refusing to Settle (Part One)

I applaud Kate Bolick for broaching the idea of non-traditional relations and support systems. These are crucial stories that we don't see covered in the US that often. I thought this was a fantastic interview.

But Edith, you asked about how men might read the piece. As a man, I was put off by Bolick's reductive division of men into perpetual adolescents or arrogant playboys. This strikes me as the kind of categorical thinking that writers in men's magazines so often apply to women. It was jarring to find such simplistic reduction in a piece that was otherwise so timely.

If we want to understand why people are moving toward these kinds of new living arrangements, we can't just see one gender as reacting to some deficit in the other. Gendered identities develop in tandem and in response to outside pressures. It's true that twenty-somethings in Western societies are encouraged to prolong adolescence. It is also true that the job market demands increasing mobility. This puts strain on traditional relationships, and it's time to start recognizing, both socially and legally, the new forms of interdependency people are inventing. But we have to look at the whole picture--and not just blame it on the bros and the douchebags.

Posted on October 11, 2011 at 12:15 pm 4

On Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe, the Trailer

As we're already seeing here, some people will criticize this performance out of personal jealousy over Williams's brilliance and her recent rise into the pantheon of top performers.

Personally, I'm glad my generation can boast someone as brilliant as her. She's fearless.

Posted on October 6, 2011 at 1:19 pm 0

On Marriage, the Word "Queer," and "Is My Boyfriend Gay?"

@roughe LW#2 makes a great point, and it's a shame that Queer Chick and so many of you decided to respond by ranting at her.

When the state recognizes particular romantic relationships as deserving of special benefits, it engages in discrimination, plain and simple. Extending these benefits to a handful of queer couples does nothing to change the inherently discriminatory nature of marriage.

What about people who want to be in a relationship but do not want the government to arbitrate their finances should they decide to break up? What about people in relationships that involve more than one person? What about people who simply don't believe that the state should be in the business of endorsing particular people's romantic feelings and living arrangement as worthy of special civil benefits?

LW#2 is right. Our culture has privileged hetero love for centuries. However, the solution is not to extend these special, discriminatory privileges to those queer couples that seek state endorsement in the form of marriage. The solution is to stop attaching special benefits to marriage, period.

Posted on September 24, 2011 at 12:26 pm 1

On So You've Decided to Drink More Water

One of the best pieces on here...

Posted on September 5, 2011 at 11:06 pm 0

On OKCupid Accidents, the Kid Talk, and Cheating With a Smile

@girl wearing glasses What do you mean "is this a thing"? Did you really think that this guy is the first person who has ever cheated on his spouse?

Of course it's a "thing." What rock do you live under?

Posted on August 24, 2011 at 12:11 am 3