The times they are a-changin

Oh baby boomer progressives*. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you’re in serious danger of turning into your parents. Complaining about the sexual and gender liberalism of the youth of today. Why can’t they just uphold the gender norms you grew up with, eh? Get a proper haircut and stop challenging society’s beliefs about the proper roles for men and women.

And what’s with all this namby-pamby politically correct hippy nonsense they’re teaching them in the polytechnics these days? All this right on stuff about liberation movements and challenging prejudice, and trying to be supportive towards people with mental health vulnerabilities. Whatever happened to the good old British stiff upper lip? Pack ’em all off to ‘Nam, that’s what I say. Toughen ’em up a bit. Weren’t things better in the days when you could insult ethnic minorities, and women, and gay people, and trans people, and Jewish people, and Muslims without anyone taking offence (or at least, not anyone who really counted?) It’s political correctness gone mad!

After all, topics such as “Are all homosexuals paedophiles?” and “Aren’t trans people just deluded perverts?” and “Shouldn’t women be in the kitchen having babies?” and “Are people from some ethnic groups naturally inferior?” are perfectly legitimate questions of academic debate (even when there’s no evidence). Only those who hate free speech would refuse to participate in such a debate, or challenge the appropriateness of such a debate taking place where they live and work, or criticise you for suggesting that these are valid debates.

Think of prominent and dedicated social campaigners (like Mary Whitehouse) getting heckled when speaking at higher education institutes by disrespectful students (like Julie Bindel)** That’s just not fair, is it? Honestly, you’d think university students would understand that it’s their role to sit there and silently absorb what their seniors tell them is correct about gender and sexuality.

Dylan covered this in ‘The times they are a-changin’. The difference is, you’re the writers and the critics now, the mothers and the fathers. So, try not to criticise what you can’t understand, and don’t speak too soon while the wheel’s still in spin, cos the order is rapidly changing.

And for God’s sake, someone remind me in twenty or thirty years time that you can’t take social change movements out of a box, let them run a bit and then put them back when you’ve had enough.

 

 

*Not all baby boomer progressives.

**Described in Bindel, J. (2014) Straight Expectations

Blogging

I got an alert via wordpress to say that janitorqueer has included this blog on a list of blogs they like (thanks very much!), and suggested I do my own list of blogs I like, along with some fun facts.

The honest truth is I’m still pretty new to blogging. (I hadn’t really heard of Tumblr till I started returned to uni as a mature postgraduate last autumn and found all the eighteen and nineteen year olds were talking about it. I assume this is a sign of encroaching middle-age, and I will soon be complaining about the price of stamps and how modern music is too noisy, though thanks to recruitment freezes, the British policemen really aren’t looking any younger) I tend to happen across odd posts I like by chance, but haven’t yet got fully into the habit of bookmarking them so I can find them again later, so it’s a bit difficult for me to compile a list of blogs I like. But I’ll definitely use the opportunity to have a look through some of the lists and hopefully find some new and interesting reads.

Fun facts:

My favourite author, Robin Hobb has a book coming out in just over a week. I think she’s one of the best fantasy authors in terms of writing quality and style, and she raises some itneresting issues about gender, sexuality and identity. (Another favourite writer is Mary Gentle: her work is a very dense read so I have to set aside about a month to read a book of hers but it’s good, and she does a lot on gender diversity).

At the moment, sitting in my living room, I can see far, far more Dr Who memorabilia than should exist outside a sci fi shop, including but by no means limited to every DVD of every episode that still exists, audio recordings of every episode that doesn’t exist, books, plastic figurines and two truly ugly porcelain mugs of William Hartnell and Paul McGann’s heads. All this is not mine, it is my boyfriend’s. He’s currently not in the room, he’s listing his favourite Dr Who companions in order on a gay Dr Who fansite. I’m vaguely bemused by the whole business.

 

My cat squeaks when he snores (all right, I’ve run out of facts and the cat is asleep next to me).