Sunday, 29 January 2012

Sexism at Imperial College

Not here, surely? Sexism is everywhere: in the media, in politics, in the arts, but at universities? The centres of liberal thought and tolerance? Where everyone is open-minded and friendly and – above all – extremely egalitarian? If there were ever a place where sexism shouldn’t exist, it is here. And yet it persists like an ugly, cunning mouse peskily dodging the hungry cat of equality.

In lectures, (in most of them, in fact) I listen to the irritating chorus of male voices in the rows behind me discussing the sexual attractiveness of the women in the audience. Life for these boys (they can hardly be called men) is black and white: the girls are divided neatly into fuckable and unfuckable, hot and ugly, those who are “fit” and those who are “wastegash”. And all of this within earshot of the very same women they are “classifying”.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Protesting about tuition fees is a waste of good placards

Apparently 2012 is going to be a bumper year for protests, and I am quite looking forward to them. As the late logophile Christopher Hitchens once wrote, “seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will provide plenty of time for silence”. But what would the brilliant man have made of the recent tuition fees increase? Having earned a third class degree in PPE from Oxford, and having achieved in his short life much more of merit than Mr David Cameron – who got a first class degree in precisely the same course – he would probably advise against going to university at all. He'd say that it's vastly overrated, except for the free love and alcohol.

In saying this, Hitchens would be – as he often was – wrong but for all the right reasons. When he graduated, he became social science editor on the Times Higher Education Supplement, something unthinkable today, even with a first-class degree. Currently, a good degree is essential for all but the most menial of jobs, and even then, work experience and networking are always necessary for starting in better-paid careers.

Occupy the New Year, but grow up a bit first

Revolution! With it's impassioned rhetoric and gritty anger the Occupy movement is intent on overhauling democracy as we know it. Bitter, disaffected people around the world are answering Occupy's call, and Governments are beginning to pay attention to the voice of the disillusioned masses!

Reading preachy propagandistic non-journalism like the above paragraph makes me crush my glass of whisky in disgust and want to go on hunger strike until Critical Thinking lessons are given to all children of all ages until they're so skeptical they end up believing nothing at all.