Writing about how gender infiltrates campus life requires nuance, empathy and a willingness to reconsider your most core beliefs.
Thank heavens I am no longer a writer. I would have seriously screwed up a story on this topic.
Accept a new point of view on a challenging topic? I’d wilt. Although all my beliefs are poorly formed, I’ll defend them vociferously. Empathy? Maybe not. After all, if I truly cared about other people’s well-being, I could immeasurably improve their lives by terminating this column immediately.
“What about nuance?” my readers pant. “Surely, the Editor values sensible pieces that refuse to accept easy conclusions.”
Or nah. My idea of sophistication is a 200-word listicle slamming a cause célèbre du jour. (Not to mention that the fact that I felt compelled to include two French expressions in one swoop should speak volumes about my writing ability.)
It’s a wonder, then, that campus hasn’t been roiled recently. During the festivities for V-February — an entire month devoted to programming that elicits unusually thoughtful discussions about gender across campus — my viewpoints were loudly expressed.
For you see, kindly reader, I’ve grown into my role as Editor-cum-agent-of-chaos-on-campus (my official byline on the masthead), and I’ve come to relish the venom spat in my direction after the weekly publication of this very column. But as readers settle into a jejune Editor’s Note, their anger has chilled. Time heals all wounds, I suppose — even those incurred when an egomaniac hijacks Page 2 of The Mirror to front his idiotic musings.
Gone — gone! — are the days when I couldn’t even enter One Wheelock without a coffee mug hurled in outrage at my ungroomed visage over my latest column.
Thus your Editor rests not. I was determined to make a splash this week by pronouncing my unfounded views on gender into every nook and cranny on campus.
It was a tragedy. Despite my best efforts, I was not met with anger or dismay. Whenever I uttered an unfounded opinion, my debating partner politely thanked me for raising the point and refuted it considerately.
This Mirror is filled with that sentiment. If you’re like me, and you can’t stand to have your shapeless thoughts met with sophisticated and thoughtful writing, you should steer clear of these pages.