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Fuck Politeness

This is a revolution, not a public relations movement

In exactly forty five minutes I will sit a one hour exam for which I feel ill prepared. This is Labour Law and I’ve spent the last two days listening to a 62 year old man* mock everyone, but none so much as ‘4o year old women’ (!!) who dare to sit in International Law classes as though they have a place in the World Of Greatness. Haven’t they worked out, haven’t they realised, don’t they KNOW that you can’t have everything??? Don’t they GET IT!? Yes, you curmudgeonly bastard, they probably have, because life tends to teach women that a lot earlier than 40. Perhaps they’re not in class because they see themselves as the next High Commissioner for Refugees for the United Nations, but because they have a job in mind that requires it, or because they feel they can make a difference with it, or perhaps because they fucking WANT IT AND WHAT’S IT TO YOU?

He’s really quite funny at times in his scathing piss-takes of say the Liberal Party and High Court judges, the wealthy, the propertied, and anyone who appears to be…not him…but after a while it all just feels a little mean you know? I’m all for a bit of polemicist ranting, but honestly this man’s views of the world and what counts as success and what is meaningful are bleak and belittling at times and I’m not so cool with that.

I’m also not cool with the way he talks to women as opposed to men. I was the first woman to be asked to answer something about a case. I gave him the legal test and the reasons the case was distinguished from the test. He interrupted to tell everyone not to ‘go off on tangents like that’ and then (because he prefers the sound of his own voice) to recite – HEY! – the legal test and the reasons the case was distinguished from the test. Just like I had done. With maybe two words less. Damn those accused women-sy tangents my womanly brain will rattle down like a housewife let loose with some pin money at a shoe sale!

He doesn’t interrupt the menfolk, no. He did say ‘Good girl’ to one fifty year old woman. Woof. It appears that this was cold comfort to her as she made a remark while he was out of the room that she knew as a 50 year old woman she had ‘no right to be here in his view’. He has also told the two younger women in the class that they’re very beautiful and have ‘lovely souls’. Oh yack! You’re the teacher…teach!

Yesterday I was practising my ‘I don’t hear your sexism’ mantra so I wouldn’t get all cranky. Today I’m dead tired and I haven’t covered this section of the course (hey, he said we didn’t have to yet) so I’ve been trying very hard to focus…so giving up on that ill-fated effort, I started noodling around the net, and I’d like to thank him for loving the sound of his own voice enough to lull me into a boredom induced haze because otherwise I would not have had time to read through some more posts at Tiger Beatdown.

Happily I didn’t get to the conversation between Sady and Amanda on ‘vejazzling’ til the lunch break was starting because I just lost it. I laughed so hard I choked on the carrot I was eating and had to perform a kind of makeshift heimlich manoeuvre on myself by banging my back into the wall a number of times. Yes, happily all the other students had rushed off to buy semi-cold vege burgers and three day old pork buns by then so I was quite alone. And I’m quite well, a sore-ish back notwithstanding.

So I haven’t studied, or finished my carrot, or done my pre-exam wee, or gone for a coffee. I’m simply WAITING. It will start soon and that means it will finish soon. I refuse to freak out on account of it’s worth 15% and I’m good at talking out my arse and he laps that shit up [on a re-read that was a FAR more disgusting image than I meant to leave you all with…let’s rephrase as I can talk a good talk and he enjoys that] and plus he’ll have a student number, not a name, so may assume I have a dick in which case I should get a reasonable mark.

But the point of this was that Sady and Amanda are extremely funny women, and I refer you both to the whole post in question and to the choking-on-carrot-with-laughter-parts:

SADY: RIGHT? Like, I mean: I hate to be a jerk here, but if you need my vagina to dress up for this party, my suspicion is that it is not going to be much of a party. [FP decides to call her ‘first born daughter’ Sady, not that she’s having more children, but if she were, she would!] Not to be all second-wave, but the continuing impulse to make ladyparts look less like themselves and more like gifts you would get from your dingier variety of novelty shop, next to the lava lamps, bespeaks some ill to me. [FP laughs loudly, startles last student to leave]

AMANDA: The good news is that for the most part I think everyone believes this to be a ludicrous practice. Then again, I have not rolled with Jennifer Love Hewitt’s posse, so I may not be aware of the full scope of opinions on how much a woman’s vagina ought to look like the back of a 7th grade girl’s cell phone. [laughs louder thus ensuring full and continued solitary use of the room over lunch break]

*   *   *   *  *  *   *   *   *

SADY: Right. It’s this very basic deal, as expressed by the fact that the Washington Monument is not an ovoid hollow in the ground, whereby penises are super and vaginas, although necessary, are basically H.R. Giger shit that would freak any reasonable person out. [begins choke-on-carrot laugh] So you have to make them… like, really, REALLY infantilized, like to the extent of making them pink and sparkly and Lisa Frank binder-looking, to signify that they are female in the “harmless” sense rather than the “oh my God aaaaiiiiieeeeeeee” sense.

Well it amused me greatly (quite clearly). I’m a total sucker for women ‘telling it like it is’ about sex, gender and genitalia in fiesty funny ways.

Right. Off to sit an exam and hopefully (!) be told I’m a ‘Good Girl’.

* There’s no issue with him being 62. Simply that HE has a huge obsession with age and FORTY YEAR OLD WOMEN IN LAW SCHOOL OMG! When HE was in his forties when he started up with Labour Law…

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