Saturday, January 04, 2014

Tar and Feather with the Same Black Kettle

Whatever mixaphors you want to come up with, it seems worth describing this article as, at the very least, problematic:

Male Humanities Professors Are Only In It For The Adulation

I should admit, I appreciate hearing some of the stories about professors', administrators', or colleagues' misdeeds.  Because, quite frankly, of all the Forewarned-Forearmed scenarios I've contemplated, having a colleague "accidentally" play porn at me just hadn't made the list.

And now I know.

Now I have an exit strategy for just that scenario.

But the rest of the article didn't seem terribly helpful to me.  Aside from the ludicrously attention-seeking over-reach in the article's title (which I'm willing to set aside only for the sake of all my journalist friends who insist that the writer never chooses the title), the conclusions don't seem warranted from the evidence, and the whole thing seems an exercise in scorn.

Overrepresenting the number of assholes in academia really doesn't do anyone any good.

Generalizing the behavior of idiots to all members of a group to which some idiots belong doesn't do anyone any good.

Suspecting the motives of people who have chosen a rather modest career path--one oriented towards helping others--doesn't do anyone any good.

I got into teaching in general, and teaching theology in particular, to do people some good.

I'm willing to believe that men, in general, are biologically programmed to put themselves a bit more on display when potential mates walk in the room.  I'm willing to believe that happily married (or securely celibate) men, in general, are not entirely free of this biological imperative and may quite unconsciously "display" a little more when a pretty girl shows an interest.

But "getting attention from pretty co-eds" really doesn't make the list of reasons to choose academia.  You could be a bartender to do that, and you'd probably make more money.

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