Thursday, May 22, 2014

academe and Douglas Adams

Douglas Adams, in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, joked that, after disproving God's existence, humanity went "for an encore":

[Man argues that God doesn't exist, whereupon...]
'Oh dear,' says God, 'I hadn't thought of that,' and promptly disappears in a puff of logic.
'Oh, that was easy,' says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.

This is where academic thought, especially in the humanities, has been headed for some time. Witness the following piece of garbage:

Gender is a social construct and therefore a performance while anatomical sex is an indicator which designates a person either as a man or woman. Gender is created through the repetition of acts which are socially accepted as “feminine” or “masculine” and applicable to female-coded or male-coded bodies respectively. Judith Butler’s theory of gender performativity questions the idea of the gendered body against its performance, pointing out that “hegemonic heterosexuality is itself a constant and repetitive effort to imitate its own idealizations.” She argues that the concept of gender is in itself “drag” due to its repeated imitation of socially acceptable conventions of femininity and masculinity.

I have no quarrel with the idea that gender is socially constructed whereas sex is an objective biological fact. Camille Paglia would back me up on that: there is sex and there is gender. Paglia would go further, though, and note that you can't separate sex from gender the way so many modern feminists try to do. In any case, Paglia and I would both affirm the sex/gender dichotomy. Not a problem. But according to the above paragraph, Judith Butler would contend that:

1. Being in drag is drag.
2. Not being in drag is also drag.

That covers just about everything. And we've pretty much argued—if not exactly proved—that black is white.

As I said: garbage. So for your own safety, boys and girls, look both ways at the zebra crossing. You might get trampled by a gay Korean man.



  1. [Reposted comment]

    King Baeksu said...
    Look, it's not always a question of "either/or." Sometimes it's "both/and":

  2. I'm glad that Jesus Christ came back and won the Eurovision contest with a song about rising again.

    Before I followed your link, I had wondered whether you'd been reading this.



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