Boys with Tits

Title IX wants girls to be boys. Doubt me? Name a single originally female sport that high school, college, and university women play. No, not gymnastics, that was originally a guy thing. But it doesn't really matter. According to Wikipedia (my go-to source for what the Woman in the Street knows), at the collegiate level the five top women's varsity sports as of 2008 were 1) basketball, 2) volleyball, 3) soccer, 4) cross country, and 5) softball, while, as the article notes approvingly, "since 1972, women have also competed in the traditional male sports of wrestling, weightlifting, rugby, and boxing."

Why on earth should women want to play rugby? Well, why do men? I was thinking about this question last night on my way to fencing practice. My audiobook for the drive these past several weeks has been Robert Tombs's The English and Their History, and last night he was talking about Victorian manliness. Specifically, about the way in which "the Victorian age mo…

The Fear of the LORD

Alan Levinovitz wants you to know that C.S. Lewis espoused poisonous ideas that should not be tolerated. In Levinovitz's words:
The longtime best-selling book of Christian apologetics--C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity--calls for religious nationalism ("all economists and statesmen should be Christians") and argues that God wants men to be the head of the household. These are popular ideals, but they are poisonous and deserve fierce resistance, not complacent tolerance. My colleagues at the University of Chicago would seem, on the whole, to agree. One writes to me, in response to my Sightings article:
As an adherent to the principle of free speech, I also adhere to the notion of a firewall between religious belief--as opposed to analysis of belief--and secular teaching. By my lights, secular, enlightenment reasoning is a very good thing. With the corollary, it would seem, that religious belief is, well, less than a good thing. Certainly, that it has no place in the cla…

Mirror, Mirror

Of the responses to my blogging for Milo that I have gotten from colleagues over the past few weeks, this exchange is perhaps the most interesting. It comes from a Facebook conversation screen-captured for me by a friend in academia. The three speakers are women. To judge from the photos that I have been able to find, they are all younger than I. I believe they are all in my own discipline of medieval studies. Certainly, they identify as feminists. And they have clearly seen photos of me, whence their conversation.

I shared this conversation with Milo. His response? "This is what winning looks like." Which is to say: They're jealous. I have the handsomest boyfriend on campus, and the other girls can't stand it. Well, maybe not on my campus, since he has not yet brought his tour to the University of Chicago. But on college campuses across the country and, if the Glasgow students vote the right way tomorrow, even back in the U.K.
Except, of course, many of my fellow ac…

Seven with One Blow

I can hear my father: "Now, Rachel, don't be nasty."

Four weeks, a day, and a lifetime ago, Sightingspublished my article "Why Milo Scares Students, and Faculty Even More." Two weeks and a day before that, Milo had planned to give the last of his talks on his Dangerous Faggot Tour, but had had to be evacuated by his security team when the protests on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, became too violent for the campus police to contain. By the beginning of February, I, of course, had been writing on this blog in support of Milo,his method, his message, and his fans for over four months, ever since the College deans at the University of Chicago sent out their now infamous "no safe spaces" letter to our incoming freshmen. As I know now, my blog had already been exciting comment on my own campus, so when the barricades hit the windows at Berkeley, the Editor of Sightings contacted me and asked me to write something about Milo.

More par…

“Trust in Me"

I have a hard time with trust.

It was November 1975. I was ten. Our parents called us into their bedroom. Mom was sitting on the bed, looking sad. Dad was standing beside her. And one or the other of them, I can't remember which, said the words that broke my heart: "Your mother and I...your father says he...we aren't going to be living together anymore."
I never saw it coming. Okay, I was ten. Maybe when you're ten you don't notice as much as you do when you are eleven. When I was ten, I believed my parents were happy. 
Okay, so Dad worked long hours at the hospital, and we didn't see him much. And he had been away for long periods of time, first, back when I was six, when he was serving as a surgeon for the Air Force stationed in Thailand. (This was the Vietnam war; he became an outstanding trauma surgeon that year.) 
Dad was away again the six months before he and Mom called us into their bedroom. He had been down in Gainesville, Florida, doing a second…

Twisting the Devil's Tail

"Barely literate." "Lesbianic man-hating harpies." "Professor Stuff-Your-Face-With-Froot-Loops." "Hamplanets." "Kid fuckers." "Beta orbiting cucks" (said of male feminists). "Black dude" (said of a woman). "Man in a dress" (said of a transwoman before surgery). "Spineless cunts" (said of older conservatives). "Illiterate fucks" (said of his own staff). "Race-mixing kike faggot" (said of himself).

My colleagues at the University of Chicago want you to know that these words are dangerous, particularly when spoken by my Vile Boyfriend, Mr. Milo Yiannopoulos. So dangerous, in fact, that simply writing about how I think his Dangerous Faggot tour of American college campuses has exposed significant tensions in our university culture is--they would insist--cause for serious concern, whether I mention the jokes that he makes or not.

Particularly, it would seem, when I do not.