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zazen's Journal
zazen's Journal
October 23, 2013

"maybe it really is a non-toxic environment" and "I'm suspicious"

aren't strong assertions, are they? So I'm not sure how I could be "simply wrong."

IHE's aren't discrete entities. There are influences across higher ed in which members of all IHE's participate (or that they contest or resist) that reflect neoliberal values. No institution is free from it.

I study this as part of my work (and I've worked in higher ed for 25 years) and I don't defer to the "Princeton Review"'s methodology and raison d'etre for expertise on anything.

Also, volunteer programs (read Marc Bousquet on academic exploitation) can be used to exploit student labor. I've certainly seen the new movement in student "service learning" twisted in this way at many an institution.

Having said that, if the programs there are consciously resisting 30 years of academic capitalism, that's awesome, especially if they build in the transition-town (sustainability, resilience, whatever we call it) approach of an Oberlin. Every time I hear one more thing about Vermont (and I've met Bernie Sanders at the WH--he's delightful and an inspiration) I seriously consider moving there. But I feel it's more important that we fight the good fight here in North Carolina and look to Vermont as inspiration.

To recap, an entire institution cannot be somehow exempt from academic neoliberalism. Do the kids not use federal student loans? Do the faculty not pursue external federal grants? Could they collectively vote to reinstate tenure as a body if they wanted to? The larger trends in higher ed do not spare individual IHEs. It's like saying your entire town is exempt from capitalism. Can you resist it? HELL YES.

October 17, 2013

only silver lining--this is what pornography already is

and maybe, maybe, more people will begin to understand that most "pornography" is a photograph of a legally unconsenting (through being underage, drugged, or coerced) person being sexually violated that is then spread in perpetuity without their consent or even compensation.

I'm heartened that there's an uproar about rape photos and revenge porn, but that's because people believe (except for the original perpetrators, clearly) that those violated in them are human beings. Because mainstream society is conditioned to not think of prostitutes and pornography "actresses" (usually, sex trafficking victims) as humans but as things (and "whores" who deserve and secretly want it) then photographs of them don't even register on the moral meter. They're just so much human trash.

I'd venture to say that 50% of pornography online is photographic sex crime evidence. I'm sorry we're seeing more of it being made of the "good" females, but maybe that'll wake people up to the humanity of the "bad" ones to whom this has been happening for decades.

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Member since: Tue Jul 13, 2004, 07:39 PM
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