Today I shocked my students by telling them that marital rape was legal throughout America until 1975.
“Marital rape in United States law, also known as spousal rape, is non-consensual sex in which the perpetrator is the victim’s spouse. It is a form of partner rape, of domestic violence, and of sexual abuse. Today, marital rape is illegal in all 50 US states, though the details of the offence vary by state.
Nebraska was the first state to outlaw marital rape, in 1975.”
We’re covering feminist theory in my intro to lit theory class today. I’ve taught an entire course on women & lit., so prep for this week was mostly distilling down 15 weeks of material to 1 week. No biggie.
I did get to give them my ‘rage interview’ assignment, though. They read some theory, and then some fiction, and then:
Many of the 70s feminist SF/F writers (Tiptree, Russ, etc.) were writing out of a certain level of rage against societal restrictions on women’s behavior. For this assignment, you will briefly interview three women about what aspects of gender relations (today, or in their past) enrage (or at least anger / irritate) them. Please turn in about 1 page of journal response.
If possible, choose a woman from each of the following age categories (self-interviews are fine):
I am amused by an assignment I came up with for my English theory class this week — in addition to their academic reading on postmodernism, I’m having them watch an episode of reality TV, and write a journal entry on how well it does or doesn’t represent reality.
I’m also asking them to consider what in our world makes them feel more ‘real’ (whatever that means to them), and what makes them feel disconnected from reality.
I think it’ll be a fun week, and if I turn them on to Great British Baking Show, all the better. (I let them choose whatever reality TV they wanted to watch for this, but mentioned this was my favorite.)
“In Idaho, a public university abruptly cancelled dozens of diversity-related classes as lawmakers advanced a budget cutting funding, threatened further cuts, and added provisions barring Idaho universities from using state funding to support “social justice” activities, clubs, events, or organizations….
….In addition to the $409,000 cut — which one lawmaker said “borders on censorship” — the budget problematically includes language barring any state university or college from using “appropriated funds” to “support social justice ideology student activities, clubs, events and organizations on campus.” This provision, which is likely unconstitutional, is a classic example of a law that would require the institutions to withhold funds from student organizations based on their viewpoints in direct contradiction to long standing precedents set forth by the Supreme Court of the United States. (For similar efforts, see our analysis of a proposal in New York to bar funding to student organizations that permit “hate speech.”)”
Career update stuff, just in the interests of transparency; I’ve decided to wait a year for my attempt to go up for promotion to clinical full professor, mostly because while I have the Jump Space book under contract, it’s not due to be published until the fall (or early next year), and it’ll be a much stronger case if reviewers have that book in hand. (Ideally published to glowing reviews in the field, but we’ll have to wait and see on that, won’t we…?)
I’m totally okay with this decision; it has some financial impact, but I’d rather go up with a strong case and sail through, rather than be potentially fighting headwinds.
I also really appreciate my chair, who managed to talk me through the process and the advantages / disadvantages, while also making me feel appreciated and supported. Good colleagues are a great blessing.
As a side note, though, I was trying to figure out who in the field would be able to write letters for me as outside references — and it turns out the list is VERY small. Because I’m at a R1 institution, they’d be looking for full professors who are also at R1’s, ideally, and in both science fiction studies and South Asian lit., that is really not a lot of people. (Like, under two dozen in each category, I think.)
Which, I guess isn’t actually that surprising, when you think about what subjects have traditionally been more prestigious in the field, which are newer topics, or newer to gain legitimacy. But it does mean that you end up with something of a pipeline problem, if there are very few people who can potentially ‘vet’ the next generation. Interesting, and a little frustrating.
Doing another revision pass on my c.v. this morning, preparatory to a meeting with my chair — it turns out that I keep forgetting to list things I’ve done. Hm.
But mostly noting that I paused to wonder whether one should list sensitivity reader / cultural consultant work on a c.v. It’s such a new category, I’ve never seen it there, but it’s essentially service work similar to editorial work, which we do list, right? Academics, would be curious as to your thoughts.
It has been a long stretch of grading papers, and I admit I am feeling pretty exhausted and when this last paper is done, I’m going to go lie down for a while and think of nothing — but I do appreciate the title of my last student’s paper. It made me laugh. Thanks, student.
“Rosetti Argues Maybe Women Don’t Have to Burn at the Stake For Having Sex”
I used to be a get-up-at-5-to-6-a.m. girl as a default when I lived alone. With Kevin and the kids, that tends to slip later, and an hour or so later feels fine, if not quite as good. But the pandemic sometimes had me staying up ’til 2 a.m., and that was not good for me (though I know some people love it). Trying to get my mornings back; today, I’m up a little early to try to finish some grading before class.
Candles lit, humidifier pumping out moisture, little fan moving air in my office, coffee by my side, meds taken — going to put on some music to help me focus, and it’s feels a little goofy that there are so many steps to getting ready to work, but oh well, here we are. Onwards.
Let’s see what the students made of their attempts at performing theoretical analyses, shall we? This should be interesting.
I’ve set aside 15 minute slots to do little writing coaching sessions with my students mid-semester, and it’s great, I wish I’d done it last semester. With all the remoteness, it’s so nice to actually see their faces and chat one-on-one for a bit.
I miss my munchkins.