Mar. 29th, 2011

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This is the latest installment in How Is That Bromance Class Going, Anyway? for those who are interested. Last episode, we were making the transition between the philosophizing and homo-eroticism of the idea of male camaraderie into a discussion of women, feminism, and how female friendships compare/contrast with all the male-dominated ones.

So I gave them this article by Jennifer Scanlon called "If My Husband Calls I'm Not Here": The Beauty Parlor as Real and Representational Female Space. I also gave them an assignment that should have been familiar since we've done similar things throughout the semester: they had to go find some instance of fashion in the "real world" and bring it into class for a quick close-reading. These presentations/close-readings were supposed to be 2-3 minutes MAX.

It was brilliant. It went EPICALLY over the time but it was so brilliant. The boys who caused a minor ruckus--a planned, calculated, ultimately productive quasi-misogynist ruckus--a week or so ago are still grappling with how "silly" fashion is and how "silly" women are for caring about it, right, BUT. These two boys--oh, this was brilliant--they each thought of presenting their own sneakers for their item of fashion. And they were competing brands of sneaker. The boys actually acted out--without any prompting from me--how heated and contentious fashion can be for men as well, even men who had already identified fashion as "silly" and "just for girls."

ANDANDAND. This anecdote completely got away from me in my enthusiasm... )

In short: I sometimes have glorious days teaching. I sometimes have these moments when I look at a student and I think to myself, "Yeah. I'd leave a planet to you, no problem."

To prevent this entry (and me) from seeming overly optimistic, I should conclude with this lovely piece of literary criticism from the same group of students:
Taking the violence against women one step further, and much more literally, it is easy to see how Eminem and Dr. Dre approach the line of homosexuality.

Ah. Right. Life is awful sometimes, too, and students can be the worst humanity has to offer as often as they can be the best. I almost forgot.


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