Occupy the syllabus

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Irene Chen/Staff

We are calling for an occupation of syllabi in the social sciences and humanities. This call to action was instigated by our experience last semester as students in an upper-division course on classical social theory. Grades were based primarily on multiple-choice quizzes on assigned readings. The course syllabus employed a standardized canon of theory that began with Plato and Aristotle, then jumped to modern philosophers: Hobbes, Locke, Hegel, Marx, Weber and Foucault, all of whom are white men. The syllabus did not include a single woman or person of color.

We have major concerns about social theory courses in which white men are the only authors assigned. These courses pretend that a minuscule fraction of humanity — economically privileged white males from five imperial countries (England, France, Germany, Italy and the United States) — are the only people to produce valid knowledge about the world. This is absurd. The white male syllabus excludes all knowledge produced outside this standardized canon, silencing the perspectives of the other 99 percent of humanity.

The white male canon is not sufficient for theorizing the lives of marginalized people. None of the thinkers we studied in this course had a robust analysis of gender or racial oppression. They did not even engage with the enduring legacies of European colonial expansion, the enslavement of black people and the genocide of indigenous people in the Americas. Mentions of race and gender in the white male canon are at best incomplete and at worst racist and sexist. We were required to read Hegel on the “Oriental realm” and Marx on the “Asiatic mode of production,” but not a single author from Asia. We were required to read Weber on the patriarchy, but not a single feminist author. The standardized canon is obsolete: Any introduction to social theory that aims to be relevant to today’s problems must, at the very least, address gender and racial oppression.

The exclusions on the syllabus were mirrored in the classroom. Although the professor said he wanted to make the theory relevant to present issues, the class was out of touch with the majority of students’ lives. The lectures often incorporated current events, yet none of the examples engaged critically with gender or race. The professor even failed to mention the Ferguson events, even though he lectured about prisons, normalizing discourse and the carceral archipelago in Foucault’s “Discipline and Punish” the day after the grand jury decision on the murder of Michael Brown.

Furthermore, the classroom environment felt so hostile to women, people of color, queer folks and other marginalized subjects that it was difficult for us to focus on the course material. Sometimes, we were so uncomfortable that we had to leave the classroom in the middle of lecture. For example, when lecturing on Marx’s idea of the “natural division of labor between men and women,” the professor attributed some intellectual merit to this idea because men and women are biologically distinct from each other, because women give birth while men do not. One student asked, “What about trans* people?” to which the professor retorted, “There will always be exceptions.” Then, laughing, the professor teased, “We may all be transgender in the future.” Although one might be tempted to dismiss these remarks as a harmless attempt at humor, mocking trans* people and calling them “exceptions” is unacceptable.

This was not an isolated incident. In another lecture, the professor cited the highly racialized case of the Hurricane Katrina fallout as an example of people in a poor, brutish, Hobbesian “state of nature.” Moreover, he talked about Native American traditions and beliefs as examples of illogical and irrational superstition. All of these incidents are connected to a larger systemic problem with inclusion in classroom spaces at UC Berkeley. In the 2013 campus climate survey, 26 percent of respondents reported that they had personally experienced exclusionary, intimidating, offensive and/or hostile conduct. The survey also found that marginalized students, such as trans* and black students, had experienced exclusionary conduct at rates much higher than average.

We need to create classroom spaces where everyone can feel welcome. We recommend that instructors attend workshops on inclusivity in the classroom, such as those offered by the Gender Equity Resource Center. Beyond that, we must restructure the way social theory is taught. We must dismantle the tyranny of the white male syllabus. We must demand the inclusion of women, people of color and LGBTQ* authors on our curricula. We must break, systematically and explicitly, the epistemological assumptions on which this exclusionary education rests.

So, if you have taken classes in the social sciences and humanities, we challenge you: Count the readings authored by white males and those authored by the majority of humanity. Then ask yourself: Are your identities and the identities of people you love reflected on these syllabi? Whose perspectives and life experiences are excluded? Is it really worth it to accumulate debt for such an epistemically poor education?

Rodrigo Kazuo and Meg Perret are students at UC Berkeley. Perret is also an intern at the Gender Equity Resource Center.

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  • ss396

    According to our intrepid writers here, the thousands of generations across innumerable cultures; peoples of all times and ages; people of all circumstances and conditions – a whole history of mankind in its graces, at its worst, in its finest and in its most oppressive – none of this has any bearing on today’s problems, it would seem.

    According to Kazuo and Perret, the conflicts and aggressions of today – all of these are a brand new experience, never before known to humankind. Today is unique against the whole of history it would seem. None of the past can have a bearing on today’s thinking, because these past authors cannot understand the special conflicts of today.

    This article reads a lot like typical teenage whining, that no one understands them.

    • gwbnyc

      Are you referring to the work of Kudzu and Ferret?

  • Felix

    Maybe white men really are just better than everyone else — smarter, braver, more adventurous, more courageous, more successful in their attempts to defend themselves and conquer others, more successful at passing their genes down to descendants. Maybe the reason we live in a world created by them and their influence is dominant is because they actually are superior.

    • TheDarkHelmet

      You’re not allowed to type that. You’re not even allowed to think that. In fact, you’re not even allowed to let that possibility drift across the distant reaches of your conscious mind. Forbidden, do you understand?

      Now, back to rigorous open inquiry in the dogged pursuit of truth.

    • Caucasoid88

      And this, my friends, is what the Big Lie seeks to hide.

    • Neighbor

      White men whine more than anyone else though, on the internet anyway. Funny how you guys get all pearl clutchy about SJWs but you are all just as bad, ha ha.

    • Greg

      This^ x1000

  • aelfheld

    Is carrying on endlessly about non-existent repression really so much easier than, say, actual study?

  • RalphF

    You know there is a problem when students from an “elite” university sound more like characters in a Monte Python skit than anything else.

    Unless, of course, this article is satire. But I don’t think it is.

  • Lucien Wilbanks

    I didn’t know that the short bus took people to college

  • By all means, kneecap yourselves intellectually by ignoring the greats of history. Compound the error by doing it in a university that charges hyperinflated tuition, thus burdening you with a back-breaking load of student debt that no bankruptcy proceeding can discharge. Top it all off with an attitude of bratty entitlement and prickly sensitivity to constructive criticism.

    Please, charge off that cliff at full speed. I will derive great pleasure in 15 years when you suddenly realize we conservatives were right, you were wrong, and we warned you to no avail. You’ll be taking my order at Burger King, and I’ll be debt free.

    Your purpose in life is to serve as a collective warning to following generations. Full speed ahead, Millennials! My schadenfreude won’t sustain itself without you!

  • Diggsc

    It really wasn’t necessary to have the sentence “Perret is also an intern at the Gender Equity Resource Center.”
    That is pretty obvious.

  • wpm327

    Heaven help them when they take a classical literature course with an emphasis on Shakespeare. Fools and knaves…

  • texvanwinkle

    “We need to create classroom spaces where everyone can feel welcome.”

    No we don’t. The point of college isn’t to make you feel welcome. It’s to challenge you. It’s to expand on what you learned in high school and transmit the more complex, niche knowledge you’ll need for whatever specialization your particular career path requires. You’re not there to challenge them; it’s not your place. When you’ve established yourself as a professor, then you can teach whatever you desire and challenge your students. For right now, though, you’re there to be challenged by ideas different, even antithetical to your own. Argue his points. But changing the curriculum to suit your preferences is so much safety blanket. If you never want to be challenged by ideas different from your own, stay home. College isn’t there to meet your standards. It’s there to challenge and raise them.

  • A Smith

    When Papua New Guinea produces a classical social theorist, I’ll read him. Or her. Until then, you’re stuck with those mean old dead guys.

    • Reynardine

      The Papua New Guineans did produce a postmodern social theorist recently, but quickly came to their senses and ate him forthwith.

  • JohnEffKerry

    If The Onion has any job openings these two have come up with brilliant satire!

  • The authors are dolts. They claim that the authors are from five countries, i.e., England, Italy, Germany, France, and the United States. However, there are no Americans or Italians on their list. In addition, Aristotle and Plato were Greeks. And those are the factual errors in just the first paragraph.

    Odd that two dolts at a university in a city named after a slaveowner have such an issue with so-called white privilege.

    http://www.chapter19.us

  • Terry Saulsbury

    Rodrigo and Meg appear to have their panties in a wad.

  • catorenasci

    What has become of our once great University of California that such risible drivel can be published in the Daily Californian? How is it that individuals demonstrating such a lack of understanding of education and ideas were even admitted to Cal in the first place?

    Do you wonder why public support for the University of California (and other public universities) has dwindled over the past 50 years? Look no further.

    Do you wonder why so many college graduates have significant difficulty finding work and why so many employers think there is a mismatch between college graduates’ skills and their self-evaluations? Look no further.

    All of the tens, nay hundreds, of thousands who have worked to make the University of California great over the past 147 years, must be rolling in their graves to see what such have these ‘students’ wrought. Pat Brown’s legacy destroyed by Junior….

    • Yancy Derringer

      Relax, cat… Youth’s belief that they know best is as old as language. Sometimes they can’t help themselves. Why, the two writers even had to find a place in their letter for Michael Brown’s “murder.” At 59, I am only amused – the Onion indeed – as the writers themselves will probably be by students’ cries of injustice three or four decades from now. Thinking back, though, I don’t believe I was ever so upset by a know-nothing (!) professor that I had to leave the classroom. Drama queens.

    • “Once great University of California”

      You must be talking pre-1950…

      • catorenasci

        UC’s greatest years were probably the ’50s through the beginning of the FSM – and the 1960 Master Plan was designed to, and could have had the world not changed so dramatically, maintain that greatness through the end of the century. It was still a great university at least through the end of the ’70s, though things were fraying, and you had to pick your schools and departments with some care. I compare my Dad’s Cal of the 1920s to mine of the ’60s and ’70s and I think overall it was probably a much stronger university.

        • KM Rossman

          Dear Cato, you do poor service to those of us in your age cohort when you dispute Hobby Horses this way.

  • AClassicalTheorist

    You give fuel to the wrong fire.

    Marx wasn’t sufficiently attuned to marginalized people? On what planet do you come from? Weber and Foucault, arguably the two most most important social theorists of the 20th century, whose work defined the agenda of what sociologists do and have done, who are especially attuned to the realities of the bureaucracy, rationality, and social control are not sufficiently paying attention to marginalized persons? Foucault, the patron saint of gender studies, doesn’t do it for you?

    We need another left. The project of trying to fix something as horrific as an increasingly corrupt democracy, bankrupt foreign policy, vast wealth/income inequalities and building a sustainable future with our environment cannot be left to nincompoops like this.

    P.S. Plato and Aristotle came from ancient Greece, not Italy. Dear lord.

  • J.J. Sefton

    “So, if you have taken classes in the social sciences and humanities, we challenge you: Count the readings authored by white males and those authored by the majority of humanity. Then ask yourself: Are your identities and the identities of people you love reflected on these syllabi? Whose perspectives and life experiences are excluded? Is it really worth it to accumulate debt for such an epistemically poor education?”

    Dear Lord, the stupidity. It burns.

  • J.J. Sefton

    “So, if you have taken classes in the social sciences and humanities, we challenge you: Count the readings authored by white males and those authored by the majority of humanity. Then ask yourself: Are your identities and the identities of people you love reflected on these syllabi? Whose perspectives and life experiences are excluded? Is it really worth it to accumulate debt for such an epistemically poor education?”

    Dear Lord, the stupidity. It burns.

  • londondave

    Ha ha ha. Humanity is doomed. Anyone got a spaceship I can crash into the sun now.

    Because I have a load of people I’d like to beam up, starting with the tedious race obsessed goons who write this tripe.

    TRIGGER WARNING:

  • Doug

    He’s asking how Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Hegel, Marx, Weber and Foucault made their contributions “at the expense of others” as you have rather unthinkingly claimed.

    • Neighbor

      And you can’t figure it out, lol.

      • Looks as if you’re unable to substantiate your claim.

      • Lon Mead

        Well, I’m kinda fascinated by this idea as well. I have a degree in Philosophy and a Master’s in History, and I’m finding my mind slightly bent at the idea that European men of means have created knowledge far beyond their numbers, but did it at the expense of others. Are you saying that they had others do their thinking for them, and then stole the ideas? Who are these poor people who were so taken advantage of?

        Creation of knowledge done at the expense of others… wow.

        • Neighbor

          the people who allowed their lives of leisure to work on their research….the infrastructure they used built by laborers…the people whose work they followed…who were also dependent on crowds of servants and lower orders….get the picture?

          • Utterly ahistorical balderdash. Try again.

          • Neighbor

            so they achieved greatness while gathering and preparing their own food, sewing their own clothes, cleaning their own homes, building their own desks and writing instruments…that’s just for starters. people even admitted this lol.

          • Travis

            So I’m assuming that you, and all your liberal SJW classmates completely stand on your own two feet, correct? You grow and prepare your own food, sew your own clothes, build your own homes, and desks, and writing instruments? If not, then excuse me while I ignore everything you have to say. Because obviously all of your “knowledge” (and I use that term loosely) has come at the expense of others.

          • Neighbor

            I love internet arguments. The goal posts keep changing…lol what does that have to do with anything? I am poor, so yes I do a lot of those things, and rely on others who are worse off than I am.I certainly do not have the material and social support those dudes had. Anyway you are obnoxious so that’s it. Plus I don’t want to say anything that might poke holes in your obviously fragile ego.

          • Lon Mead

            But you DO have material and social support not available to others, and it might surprise you to find that you, even as a college student, are probably materially better off than several of those philosophers were when they wrote the works they are famous for.

          • mark abrams

            Based upon your poorly reasones and badly wriiten posts there seems to be absolutely no worry whatsoever that you will ever produce anything of any intellectual merit , so I can see why you might espouse a theory which deprives those can and do produce knowledge and understanding of any approbation. Tender egos can behave that way .

          • Travis

            How am I moving the goal posts? You insinuated that we should discount the intellectual contributions of white males based on the assertion that they’re guilty of the EXACT SAME THING that you yourself, along with all your SJW buddies are guilty of.

            My response was NOT “moving the goal posts”. It was calling out an imbecile for his/her blatant, glaring hypocrisy.
            But by all means. Feel free to lob some ad hominem attacks over your shoulder as you run away. That seems to be the default for liberals such as yourself whenever you’re forced to step out of your ivory tower echo chambers and confront someone who’s actually willing to challenge your idiocy.

          • Neighbor

            I said the opposite upthread, but trying to incorporate that into your cliched rant would probably break your brain so I won’t mention it.

          • Travis

            You do realize how pathetically transparent your dodge sounds to everyone reading, right? So far you haven’t replied with a single sentence of ANY substance whatsoever. Ad hominem attacks, childish insults, and obvious attempts to distract from the fact that you just inserted your foot fully into your mouth? Yes. An actual reply to anything I said? No.

          • ronchris

            And you deserve to be poor.

          • Neighbor

            Wow a nice guy and you got favs for that. Hate much?

          • youzer

            Hate? Just the stuff you post.

          • jtm2013

            If it has nothing to do with anything, as you claim, why did you bring it up when referring to the classical philosophers? The goal posts only seem to be changing when your logic is applied to you.

          • jtm2013

            If it has nothing to do with anything, as you claim, why did you bring it up when referring to the classical philosophers? The goal posts only seem to be changing when your logic is applied to you.

          • Keith Arnold

            Ah, but savor the last sentence of the article, Travis! “Is it really worth it to accumulate debt for such an epistemically poor education?” We’re dealing with student loans here — they’ll graduate with $80,000 of debt and a degree in Gender Studies, and they’ll think it unfair of society when they can’t get a job outside of the realm of the ivory tower that will pay enough to avoid defaulting on their loans and sticking us with the bill. Perhaps if they’d majored in Economics instead, they’d have learned why that was a poor investment.

          • Travis

            Seconded. Every word.

          • Neighbor

            btw what ad hominem attacks are you talking about? You’ve called me SJW (uh no) an imbecile (?!) just look at this paragraph- you accuse me of ad hominems the lob a whole bunch at me!

            ” Feel free to lob some ad hominem attacks over your shoulder as you run
            away. That seems to be the default for liberals such as yourself
            whenever you’re forced to step out of your ivory tower echo chambers and
            confront someone who’s actually willing to challenge your idiocy”

          • Travis

            When you’re right, you’re right. But in my defense, it’s kind of hard to respond to a reply which is nothing more than a string of insults and attacks with anything other than more insults and attacks. Your replies make it somewhat difficult to attempt to engage you in a rational debate. So how about I make you a deal? You actually respond to my original post with something other than name calling, and in return, I’ll reply back to you in a logical, rational manner. Deal?

          • Travis

            Oh. And you asked me “WHAT ad hominem attacks”?

            How about these?

            “Anyway you are obnoxious so that’s it.”

            “Plus I don’t want to say anything that might poke holes in your obviously fragile ego.”

            “but trying to incorporate that into your cliched rant would probably break your brain so I won’t mention it.”

            Learn to converse like an adult, and I’ll treat you like an adult.

          • TheDarkHelmet

            You need to do a little research on the concepts of ‘division of labor’ and ‘gains from trade.’ A dead white Englishman by the name of Smith wrote a pretty good book on the subject.

          • Neighbor

            Those on top could not exist, could not become cultured without the lower orders to make it all possible. Are you actually denying this?? LOL.

          • mark abrams

            What is with this lower orders crap, are you living in a hereditary aristocracy somewhere ? Or more likely perhaps you are one of our modern day marxists unable to notice that marxism has failed everywhere it has been attempted and sufficient hypocritical to live in capitalist comfort rather than emigrating to cuba, north korea, venezuela or some other “classless” paradise.

          • cheeflo

            Seems like Neighbor is ambivalent about the notion of hierarchy. The 99% is either the foundation of progress or the lumpenproletariat, hence his characterization of them as “lower orders.”

          • Those who can do, those who can’t work for them. So what?

          • Neighbor

            So the 1% could have done it, with or without the 99%? Is that what you are saying? The “lower orders” are, and were throughout history, a burden?

          • Leaving aside the cheesy occupy terms, all of society needs each other, but yes, the more ‘elite’ could get by easier without the ‘lower orders’ compared to vice versa.

          • Alastor

            Ironic, isn’t it, telling someone that “You need to do a little research” ?

            Smith was no Englishman … “While his exact date of birth isn’t known, Adam Smith’s baptism was recorded on June 5, 1723, in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. He attended the Burgh School, where he studied Latin, mathematics, history and writing. Smith entered the University of Glasgow when he was 14 and in 1740 went to Oxford.” …

          • nonesuch

            The social sciences are for losers. Articles like this prove it.

          • Alastor

            From the relevance and cogency of your reply to my comment, you are in which year of your Social Sciences degree at Berzerkley yourself ? Was it Meg or Rodrigo who dumped you ?

          • doubting_rich

            Just because they lived in an integrated society with an economy showing specialisation does not mean they lived at the expense of others! Indeed quite the reverse, given that I assume they paid for the food, clothes and cleaning of their homes they lived to benefit those workers in giving them paid employment!

          • Neighbor

            Right. Because rich, powerful people always set the world up in ways that benefit others more than themselves hhaha.

          • Ever heard of a concept called “division of labor,” Einstein? No, of course you haven’t. You’ve decided not to learn the basics of macroeconomics & microeconomics, because you’d rather get a master’s degree in Bisexual Guatemalan Womyn Poets’ Oppression Studies.

            In case we ever meet in the next few years, I’m going to help you out ahead of time by answering your future question: “Yes, I’ll have fries with that.”

          • ShaneB

            That’s a curious statement. It reveals you know nothing about these men and so are hardly in a position to dismiss them and their intellectual discoveries. You’d probably agree with much of what they say. Don’t you feel a pang of irony when you insist we judge people by skin color and ethnicity?

          • Neighbor

            Why is everyone on the internet suddenly completely moronic? has some threshold been reached?? Bizarre.

          • Lon Mead

            So, in other words, people who could afford to do so , who lived in a situation where they could do so, building on the work of others, somehow invalidates the work that they did because they did not exist in a vacuum? How was all of this “at the expense of others”? You for example… You live in a building you didn’t build, eating food you didn’t raise, using services (plumbing, electricity) that you probably couldn’t explain how they worked if you had to, learning things from people who have “allowed their lives of leisure to work on their research”, building on that knowledge taught to you by others… does this invalidate what you’re doing there at school? Because by what I’m getting out of your reasoning, your degree will be worthless, and you seem to be wasting your time.

            EVERYBODY builds on the achievements of others. EVERYBODY depends on infrastructure. The difference is what an individual does with it. Bill Gates depended on the work of others… do you think Microsoft just happened? And that he does not deserve the rewards his work brought him? Steve Jobs at Apple? Henry Ford didn’t invent the assembly line; does that make what he did of no account?

            There is something remarkable in a person who can take the exact same resources that others have, and do something different to make themselves a success. And you belittle and denigrate your own potential when you belittle and denigrate them.

          • Neighbor

            I stopped reading at “invalidates all the work that they did”. I already said we should listen to them and the class should not be changed.

            As of today I will no longer respond to people on line who twist my words and create new arguments that they expect me to waste my precious time responding to.

            If you want to, try again, otherwise go troll someone else.

          • Lon Mead

            That’s a shame that you stopped reading. I’ve never been able to accept as serious someone who wouldn’t consider the words of others, and the reaction that your words inspire in others.

            I never said you didn’t listen to them. Nor do I think I twisted your words. When I read “they did it at the expense of others”, what conclusion should I draw? That they lived in a world with other people? How is this news? And how should it change the way that I read and interpret the their works?

          • gwbnyc

            promise?

          • jtm2013

            Apparently Neighbor lied :/

          • jtm2013

            Apparently Neighbor lied :/

          • SClanding

            He embarrassed you by showing that your entire point was idiocy and was that of a kindergarten drooler.

            Stomp off the playground and run to mommy about how all the smart kids made you feel bad about yourself.

          • Neighbor

            omg what boring people give it up already dudes you are making yourselves look like babies.

          • cheeflo

            I would also add that sometimes when building on the knowledge of others, one discovers that knowledge to be wrong. Look at the Wright Brothers. They had to throw away Lilienthal’s previous work, which was generally accepted but incorrect, and calculate their own lift coefficients.

            So, Neighbor, does that mean that the Wright Brothers succeeded at the expense of Lilienthal?

          • mark abrams

            so no one produces anything in your bizarre universe. its a good philosophy … for a thief .

          • Alastor

            And another polemicist for the politics of envy proudly parades his true colours …

            And here I thought that neighbours weren’t supposed to have such disdain for the “lower orders” … that just downright unneighbourly of you, Neighbor !

          • JVW

            Sort of like graduate students and professors in the social sciences who spend their lives recycling ridiculous bromides and half-baked Marxist/Foucauldian ideas while others do the real work that supports society? Does the irony of your claim escape you?

          • Neighbor

            No. I am talking about growing, procuring, buying and preparing the meals, caring for the children and elderly, sweeping the streets, and doing all the endless other jobs that keep a civilized society humming along. All so a few can live lives of the mind…maybe it’s worth it but at least admit it;)

          • SCSIwuzzy

            That some may be able to “live lives of the mind” is a benefit/side effect, not the point of modern society.

          • cheeflo

            Actually, I think people who engage in those tasks do it for their own reasons and benefit, not so someone else can live lives of the mind. On the other hand, history is filled with people whose spouses, loved ones, and employees do those things so they can live their lives of the mind.

            Lives of the mind keep society humming along, too.

          • doubting_rich

            So are you saying you exploit those labourers, because you rely on many political ideas developed by these indolent philosophers for your prosperity and your basic freedoms? Without Locke and Hobbes you would not be a free man, nor have a computer on which to make ridiculous statements to the world.

            Of course Marx deeply harmed your prosperity and freedom and he did live at the expense of others, taking money from the factory-owning Engels to supplement his generous private income, defaulting on loans and virtually enslaving his family’s maid, whom he impregnated but denied the child to his death. Somehow I suspect it was not Marx you were writing about.

          • SClanding

            Do not confuse snowflake….Marx gets a pass…he was a number one “progressive’ and everyone knows that progressivecommunistsMarxistssocialists do not have to follow these morons’ demands.

          • waterfowl

            Marx gets no pass; he’s a DWEM just like all the rest.

          • Neighbor

            So the rich could just live happily on their own if the rest of us disappeared. In fact, they would be better off without all those lazy can’t-dos to support. Hahaha keep ’em coming guys.

          • cheeflo

            Now you’re resorting to free-floating abstractions that have no foundation in reality. The rest of us aren’t going to disappear. Our lives are not contingent on how the rich live, and their lives are not contingent on how the rest of us live.

            And I don’t think anyone even suggested that.

    • Well, Marx was always mooching off of his family, so I guess there’s that.

  • gvanderleun

    Just because you are both perverted is no reason to try and spread your disease.

  • TheLincolnian

    This article suggests that Plato and Aristotle were Italian.

    As a Greek-American, I am deeply offended. Italian imperialists conquered and colonized my ancestral homeland for centuries. I was so triggered I found it difficult to focus on the rest of the article.

    — The class read “Plato and Aristotle, … Hobbes, Locke, Hegel, Marx, Weber and Foucault,” i.e., “economically privileged white males from five imperial countries (England, France, Germany, Italy and the United States).” (Not sure who the American is …)

    • ASCB

      Excellent post! I’m Italian and on behalf of the Roman Empire I apologize. But I, too, am offended: Greece colonized Sicily at some point. I don’t recall when or for how long but I do know that I’m terribly outraged.
      Another good point you made: who’s the American? I guess they’re confusing the Englishman Locke with an American Founding Father. I guess Google isn’t available in California.
      Finally, they don’t like Foucault? Really? His whole argument was that logic and reason were fantasies made up by rich white men to keep them rich. You’d think they’d recognize their ideas’ progenitor. Also, I think Foucault may have been gay; if so, this editorial clearly is homophobic.

      • Alastor

        In that Foucault is arguably best-known as a swinger, I’m astonished that he is not on the Approved List !

        • Reynardine

          Foucault’s works are at least a half century old by this time, making them sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, and speciest.

          We’re post-post-modern now.

          • I think your letters are missing their post.

          • Absolom Humblebug

            Poor Foucault. He so wanted to be one of the cool kids forever. He’s like a 45 year old guy in a toupee and turtleneck trying to hang with the undergrads as the “cool professor”.

        • Ryan Anthony

          Different Foucault, but kudos for a pendulum joke which has nothing to do with Poe. Is there an Eco in here?

          • charlesaustin

            Perhaps we should check the Manutius Press catalog.

      • Joanne Jacobs

        Plato was gay — and not just by Athenian standards.

    • acfons

      The American is Hobbes–you know, Calvin’s friend.

      • Jimpithecus

        ROTFL

    • Geography is a tool of the heteronormative white supremacist patriarchy, Comrade!

    • Kim Du Toit

      Marx was the American in the list. He and his brothers, Chico, Harpo and Zeppo were instrumental in delivering their philosophy into American society.

      The authors of this article would no doubt quibble about the teaching of Classical History because the Roman and Greek civilizations didn’t acknowledge their debt to the Amazonian influence. In addition….no, I’m sorry, I cannot write crap such as this, even satirically.

      If ever someone proposes raising the voting age to 30, this article would provide ample justification.

  • TheLincolnian

    This article suggests that Plato and Aristotle were Italian.

    As a Greek-American, I am deeply offended. Italian imperialists conquered and colonized my ancestral homeland for centuries. I was so triggered I found it difficult to focus on the rest of the article.

    — The class read “Plato and Aristotle, … Hobbes, Locke, Hegel, Marx, Weber and Foucault,” i.e., “economically privileged white males from five imperial countries (England, France, Germany, Italy and the United States).” (Not sure who the American is …)

  • Caleb50

    “The standardized canon is obsolete: Any introduction to social theory that aims to be relevant to today’s problems must, at the very least, address gender and racial oppression.”

    I’m sorry, but this is just lazy thinking. The canon can’t, by definition, be obsolete, because it provides the bedrock onto which much else was built, including modern social theory. Are the modern social theorists you want included influenced in any way by the classical theorists? Or do they think in a historical vacuum? How can you possibly understand modern social theory without first probing the roots? To claim that the canon is obsolete is like claiming WWI and WWII are irrelevant to understanding global politics in the early 21st century. And finally, do you think that you are actually “teachable” or have you already decided what is truth and are now…as university students…just out to find safe spaces where your particular view of reality is affirmed?

    • heyheythere

      Your last sentence. Ding ding ding! You got it.

    • TheAmishDude

      If the canon is obsolete, we don’t need the humanities.

      The whole point of the humanities is defeated if there is no canon.

      • doubting_rich

        Turn the canon upon the department, add an “n”, light the pan and prepare to reload.

    • Self-Abusin’ Pete

      Yep. College students show up on day one knowing everything they need to know, and expect to have their beliefs solidified for the next four years.

      • Young American

        Its a buyers market… 18 year olds have been like this forever, but, universities didn’t always need all of them like they do now…

        • Actually, they haven’t always been *quite* like this. This is a level of preciousness and narcissism that goes way beyond ordinary adolescence.

      • Gregale

        Now that I am in my forties, I wish I knew as much as I thought I knew when I was in my twenties.

    • Al_21

      Last sentence….bingo!

  • Alexa

    This is awesome, the only thing I’d like to say is, why stop at social sciences and humanities? White cis men shouldn’t have control over other curricula either! I’m an engineering student, and too many engineers pretend that structures of oppression have nothing to do with the “hard sciences.” This is bullshit. We have to push instructors in all disciplines to open their curricula.

    • Klawnet

      Math, like Honey Badger, doesn’t give a damn about you feeling oppressed by reality. May you never actually have to build anything someone’s life depends on, Princess.

    • mark abrams

      In your so-called engineering studies do you study the mechanics of these structures of oppression ? is any math involved ?

    • mark abrams

      besides cis-gender what about cis-species and trans-species ? Why arent there courses on designing for trans reptiles ? Surely climbing stairs cant be pleasant for those who have snakes brains in human bodies.

    • Alexandra1973

      Has it ever occurred to you…that maybe, just maybe, men tend to be better at engineering and math, and we women are better at languages and arts?

      Am I invading your comfort zone? What–there ARE differences between the genders that go beyond equipment!?

      And what’s with all this “cis” nonsense anyway?

    • JohnSkookum

      too many engineers pretend that structures of oppression have nothing to do with the “hard sciences.”

      Well, enlighten us then, snowflake. What would you add to the engineering curriculum to make it more inclusive? Mud hut and teepee construction? Maybe we could force the engineering schools to give up the oppressive digits 3-9 to honor the New Guinea cannibals whose counting system goes “One, two, many.”

    • ExiledOnMainStreet

      True, engineers should not follow white cis structures of oppression. I’m all in favor of building machines out of fairy dust, unicorn poo, cobwebs and skittles.

    • ExiledOnMainStreet

      True, engineers should not follow white cis structures of oppression. I’m all in favor of building machines out of fairy dust, unicorn poo, cobwebs and skittles.

  • Alex S.

    Academics like to think it’s a meritocracy. But it’s always had a significant component of power-jockeying, backstabbing, and ass-kissing as well. This article is a pure power-jockey move.

    • Lon Mead

      Or to paraphrase William Buckley: “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are
      shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”

  • Alex S.

    20 years ago, people like the authors of this article were satirized in the movie “PCU.” If only the writers of that movie had known that what they portrayed then as over-the-top “offensensitivity” (as Berke Breathed once put it in a Bloom County comic strip) would be mild by today’s standards.

    Ms. Perret’s affiliation with the GERC suggests that this kerfuffle is yet another instance of the Diversity Mau-Mau Racket. How the racket works: Activists raise a big fuss over some contrived offense — perhaps they go so far as to stage the offense themselves, as in hoax incidents that have happened on other campuses — and then use the offense as a pretext for making demands on the school administration. These demands inevitably include that the campus hire yet more diversity officers (with graduate degrees in the same “Studies” majors the activists are pursuing, of course); or initiate some new mandatory sensitivity training program (to be overseen by the “marginalized-oppression-victims-resource-center” organization with which the activists are affiliated, of course). In other words, the Diversity Mau-Mau Racket is a way for otherwise-unemployable “Studies” majors to create jobs for themselves and their co-ideologists.

    • Diggsc

      I think “Idiocracy” was a pretty good portrayal of people like these authors as well.

    • JohnSkookum

      Any major with “Science” in its title is not science, and any major with “Studies” in its title is not worth studying.

      • charlesaustin

        Uh, Computer Science?

        • Rick_in_BC

          Actually, what they call Computer Science should more realistically be termed Computer Technology.

          • Absolom Humblebug

            Yes and no. The coursework prescribed by the traditional comp sci major is actually very theory-oriented. One of the many criticisms of comp sci curricula is that graduates are no more prepared for the technological applications of computer science than they were before they went to college, although they have tremendous mathematical and theoretical foundations.

    • RocketmanBob

      My thoughts as well, generally, save for the additional suggestion that Ms Perret is doing the diversity-mau-mau performance art charade in an attempt to drum up business for her employer…Or soon to be employer.
      My regards

    • gwbnyc

      that’s Diversity Mao-Mao Racket.

      8^P

    • Meow Blitz

      All modern leftism is rent – seeking. It revolves around social parasites extracting resources from the productive (ironic, no?).

  • Why don’t you future burger flippers (if you’re lucky, with your worthless degrees) tell us just what classical tranny figures you wish to study?

  • Steve Weinstein

    The percentage of humanity outside of England, France, Germany, Italy and the United States is a lot less than 99%. BTW neither Plato nor Aristotle hailed from any of those countries.

    • Guest

      None of the philosophers listed are from Italy. Did the writers of this confuse Ancient Greece for Ancient Rome?

    • And yet we live in a western society based on western ideals and formed by western strength. If you dont like that, perhaps you should go somewhere where the society is not interested in virtues such as freedom, equality before the law and liberty. Somewhere like North Korea, Russia or China

    • And none was from the United States.

  • Steve Weinstein

    To say that Katrina reduced people left in New Orleans to a Hobbesian state of nature isn’t saying they’re lower forms of being. It’s an talking-points example of what happens when people are left to their own devices.

  • garyfouse

    Silly.

  • Geo

    Do UC Berkeley professors in some way prevent students from picking up a book written by a female or person of color and reading it? Are all UC Berkeley students incapable of seeking knowledge on their own without having the faculty spoon-feed it to them? I couldn’t help but notice that no female, LGBT, or non-Caucasian sources are offered as an alternative to the white men to which the authors object. While I’m sure your little public rant was briefly satisfying, I thing your time could have been better spent in the library seeking out and reading these alternative sources. Then, perhaps, you could have published something of actual value to your fellow students, such as a suggested reading list to supplement the material presented in class. Nice try, but your righteous indignation is undone by your intellectual laziness.

    • Jimpithecus

      Oh, I love good sarcasm.

  • 1776

    Why did my comment get deleted? Are you offended by ideas you don’t agree with??

  • 1776

    Why did my comment get deleted? Are you offended by ideas you don’t agree with??

    • because people try and report comments they dont agree with. They argue that they support free speech and diversity then try to squash any dissent. My comments in this article got reported as abusive earlier too.

  • BarryBarry

    It’s like walking down the sidewalk and seeing a giant pile. What can you say? All you can do is avoid it.

    These two Paste Eaters should be avoided by everyone on campus.

  • BarryBarry

    It’s like walking down the sidewalk and seeing a giant pile. What can you say? All you can do is avoid it.

    These two Paste Eaters should be avoided by everyone on campus.

  • Hajjster

    Expel both of them. They’re SJWs, they’ll find someone to sue eventually.

  • mogden

    The shocking part of this article is not the ignorance of your demands. It is that Berkeley still has a dusty crevice somewhere that still teaches the work of “dead white men.”

    • Give Berserkely time. They’ll purge all truth & logic & history from their curricula soon enough.

  • Why don’t you future burger flippers (if you’re lucky, with your worthless degrees) tell us just what classical tranny figures you wish to study?

  • DTR

    Is this a satirical article?

    • No, this is Obama’s America in all it’s glory.

      • Faceless Commenter

        Yes, where a college student (or do I assume?) doesn’t know the difference between its and it’s.

        • Okie dokie. When you’re done making such a salient point, can you finish getting my coffee? Unless you can suggest a better use for a worthless Gender and Women’s Studies degree, from Berkeley, than part time work at a coffee shop or McDonald’s.

          Women’s and Gender Studies. Because Barbie told us that math was hard for women.

        • Maurice Miner

          Faceless, this is simply the most incredible own goal I have ever witnessed.

          Congratulations, you utter imbecile! The Internet is forever, you know.

        • cheeflo

          What are you talking about? His post is correct. The possessive form of the pronoun does not have an apostrophe.

          • Somehow this statement must be racist. /

          • Dale H

            Agreed, the contraction of it and is has an apostrophe i.e. “It’s” as in, it is. The possessive of “it” has no apostrophe.

          • CowboyUp

            In my school days an apostrophe before an s indicated a contraction, and one after an s indicated a possessive.

          • cheeflo

            Plural possessive, or singular depending on the noun. But that doesn’t apply to “its,” or to “theirs” for that matter.

          • Dale H

            No malice in this note. I have read a number of your posts on various subjects and I think we have a common worldview, and more than that I respect the passion that you present it with.

            However, in this case you are wrong. The US secondary education system has lowered the bar so low to ensure that Ebonics speakers, or barely literate Spanish speakers can make the grade.

            How? through silly rules that might save you 51% of the time.

            If Sally has a lunchbox…It is Sally’s lunchbox.
            If Iris has a lunchbox…It is Iris’ lunchbox.

            No contractions were injured in the production of this post.

    • no, this is the berkeley social justice warrior at work

    • De Doc

      At first I thought it was an article from “The Onion” until I saw the UC Berkeley association.

      • Reynardine

        UC Berkley is the Bay Area branch of the Onion.

        • No it isn’t. The Onion is written by smart people who see humor in the world.

          This kind of thing is written by 19 year olds who know nothing of value, have never really contributed to society, and only see injustice and wrong…

  • AnnoyedDude

    So many other people have said this but I feel the need to chime in too. This article is fundamentally wrong, and frankly, dangerous.

    You were taking a course on CLASSICAL SOCIAL THEORY. A course covering a time when society was fundamentally racist and sexist. Is that a positive thing? Of course not. But attempting to rewrite history to ‘add different views’ is, at best, changing the class from one on Classical Social Theory to one on your Modernized Social Theory and, at worst, actively rewriting history to suit your needs.

    In theory, there’s no difference between trying to hide the sexism/racism of the past and trying to hide horrible atrocities like the holocaust from history books. Of course, most would agree (me included) that the former is fundamentally much less evil than the latter, but the fact remains that in both cases you have people who cannot admit that a less-“civilized” past had important historical and cultural impacts that are worth studying; regardless of your moral opinion. That opinion is HORRIBLY dangerous because the your opinion on what ought to be rewritten is a massive grey area (I don’t need to expand on this, read 1984).

    • Neighbor

      And I cringe thinking about the professor having to field their questions all semester. Like having a creationist disrupting an evolution class constantly with “challenging” questions.

    • gthomson13

      Your suggestion to read “1984” is sexist and racist – after all, it is written by a European white male :-/

      Such a sad commentary on the state of the modern American university where a liberal education increasingly equates to a fascist indoctrination into a leftist ideology.

      • AnnoyedDude

        The fact that 1984 is sexiest and racist (it is) doesn’t affect or alter the importance of its message.

        To think it does is the massive misstep which people like the OP make.

        • gthomson13

          Definitely being sarcastic.

        • Magister Luddite

          You think racism is sexi“e”st? Interesting thought…

    • Terenc Blakely

      “You were taking a course on CLASSICAL SOCIAL THEORY. A course covering a time when society was fundamentally racist and sexist.”
      I hate to break it to you but SJWs/progs are just as racist and sexist as those old farts. They’ve just rearranged the deck chair.

      • Do you have any support for this? Naturally this is counterintuitive.

        ” SJWs/progs are just as racist and sexist as those old farts. They’ve just rearranged the deck chair.”

  • Pubbless

    Take an American Cultures class or major in ethnic studies or gender studies.

    • Its white guilt on display for 15 weeks. whee!

    • PFPorlock

      Philosophy is analagous to physics; ‘social justice’ is more like engineering with Pi defined as 3.

  • svendlarose

    The fact remains that European men of means have created knowledge far beyond their numbers. (paraphrasing Charles Murray here, poorly)

    • Neighbor

      But make no mistake they did it at the expense of others, not evidence that they are special. I think their work is important to study. We can’t take it personally that’s all. Times are changing;)

      • Bastiat_Fan

        Oh really? How “at the expense of others?” You know, when you get out in the REAL world—if you’re even employable with your utter inability to reason and think—no one will care what a special snowflake you are…or whether you’re offended. Spoiled little fascists.

        • B.J.D

          Surely you are aware of the rooms full of dark skinned slaves Newton kept so he could drain their vital juices to enhance his intellectual prowess?

      • Fair Dinkum

        Really? Explain how Newton exploited some poor African or Asian when he created both calculus and his brilliant system of physics. I’d like to know who was being exploited when Tycho de Brahe, Johannes Kepler, Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei were inventing modern astronomy.

        • Neighbor

          Keep trying you’ll figure it out.

          • doubting_rich

            No he won’t, because it is not true. Only a fool would “figure out” something that is not.

            Marx was wrong. He was wrong, and very obviously so, about almost everything he wrote, in this case that paid work for an employer is exploitation. That is the only possible basis on which to base your assertion that these people lived at the expense of others, and it is utter crap.

          • Neighbor

            You can’t see what is right in front of your face. it has nothing to do with Marx. LOL>

          • John Cross

            Not that it does much good to try to educate you, given your responses to others, but how is the act of using the labor of others not exploitation? If I have a slave, am I exploiting him or her? Only if I am using that slave to do work from which I profit. On the other hand, by the nature of the wage relationship, well acknowledged by every economist, is that you will not pay someone else to work for you UNLESS you anticipate a profit. Ergo, every wage relationship is an exploitative one. Also, please consider that the word “exploit” merely means to “use”. So how is wage labor not exploitation? In any case, Marx’s central point was not about the fact of exploitation but the issue of alienation: in other words, in the wage relationship we see the other merely as a resource to be exploited–a means rather than an ends. In this sense Marx is simply espousing common Christian values. So which do you disagree with? Christian values or every economist who has ever walked the earth? Now you might disagree with where Marx went with this information, but this core is basic 3rd grade stuff.

        • Neighbor

          First I never used the word exploited. it is like people have no ability to read. You just spew the same crap over and over. No matter what anybody says. Don’t you ever get tired of it?

          • cheeflo

            2 ex·ploit verb ik-ˈsplȯit, ˈek-ˌ

            : to get value or use from (something)

            : to use (someone or something) in a way that helps you unfairly

            Everyone here can read. Most of them understand what they’re reading, and what you’ve written, too.

          • Fair Dinkum

            You did, however, say it was done at the expense of others. Don’t play silly word games with me, brat.

      • Self-Abusin’ Pete

        How does one engage in philosophical speculation “at the expense of others”? Whom did Foucault have to oppress so that he could write Discipline & Punish?

        • Neighbor

          I have given up trying to explain the most simple idea to you guys. Yes he lived in a bubble, no dependency on anyone else. he was just so superior he didn’t need food or drink even. And he wrote in the nude on a rock with a piece of charcoal I hear. Since he had no education it all just spewed forth in his invented language.

          • tannasmarchat

            Perhaps that is the problem, you haven’t explained anything. You make this claim and act like it should be as obvious as the sun. I’m sorry to tell you this, but this “simple idea” not clear at all.

            You have said that they lived at the expense of others, yet you provide no evidence to support your claim.

            No one is disputing that they had clothing that was made by someone else, ate food that was grown by someone else, lived in a house that was most likely built by someone else. What we are trying to figure out is how, if they lived in a manner not to different from how you live today, that could be described as “at the expense of others”. Are you saying that unless you toil for 10 – 14 hours a day at a manual job, you live at the expense of others? Are you saying they stole what they consumed?

            If you want to be take even half seriously, you should take a couple of minutes and line out your arguments. Please explain how they lived “at the expense of others”, how it was different for those they allegedly oppressed (or how you think they should have lived), and how it is/was any different than how the modern American lives today.

            FYI, comments like “given up trying to explain the most simple idea” and “And you can’t figure it out, lol.” indicate that you can not or will not defend your statement; perhaps because you never thought it through. Or perhaps you are more interested in yelling at people and insulting them than you are in holding a intelligent conversation. ((It also makes you sound like a spoiled 5 year old, stamping your foot and whining when you don’t get your way. Please Note: I said it makes you sound like, not that you are. I don’t want to risk a misunderstanding here.))

          • Neighbor

            Okay, so you are suggesting that in each culture there was equal
            opportunity for all people, and these guys all rose to the top? I can’t
            even follow these arguments, they are beyond absurd.

            As for different from America today what does that have to do with anything? I wish people could stay on topic. I’m taking a break, people are all over the place and freaking out too much around here.

          • tannasmarchat

            “you are suggesting that in each culture there was equal opportunity for all
            people” I made no such suggestions. You
            made a somewhat vague accusation (“at the expense of others”) and
            have failed to provide any indication of what you mean or provide any sources
            to support your argument.

            What I suggested was for you to take the time to explain
            to us poor, individual minded folk, what you mean.

            “equal opportunity for all people” has never existed. Even in strong communist states there is
            inequity. Some will always have more
            than others. The best in the field will,
            and should, rise to the top. Or the most corrupt will do whatever they have to
            to obtain their goal. So, no I don’t believe
            they were equal to everyone else in their community.

            The kind of equality you seem to be speaking of is a
            false dream. The only way to achieve it is
            to tear down the strong, limit their productivity to what their weakest
            neighbor can accomplish. ((Although, I
            am only guessing, since you refuse to actually explain.))

            “As for different from America today what does that have
            to do with anything?” The reason we all
            keep saying this is because there is a class of society in America today that
            is in fact living at the expense of others. They produce nothing, pay little to no taxes,
            yet their basic needs are provided for at the expense of others – the American
            tax payers. If you are damning these Philosophers
            for creating / leaving knowledge “at the expense of others” do you also damn
            welfare recipients (especially the 3rd generation recipients)?

            But you do not seem inclined to debate in a logical
            manner, so I guess those of us who believe in individuality, the right of the
            people and not the collective, will just have to get by without your enlightened
            input.

          • Neighbor

            “The only way to achieve it is
            to tear down the strong,”

            This is true. We can’t really achieve equality of opportunity. But that is unfortunate for the lesser-born talented people, and does hold them back.

          • Neighbor

            I didn’t damn anyone! I merely suggested their whiteness and maleness may not have been the whole reason for their success, that being o top had a hand in te process. Please try to read and listen in the future you may have more fruitful conversations.

          • tannasmarchat

            “I suggested their whiteness and maleness may not have been the whole reason for their success…”

            You did more than that. You declared that these men achieved their success *at the expense of others*. That phrase says that they are took something that did not belong to them. In fact, you are saying that they were bad, wrong-headed, unworthy of the notoriety they had because others could not achieve the same level of success. In other words, you are, in fact, damning them. ((Could it be that you are ignorant of the overtones of class-warfare in that statement? Or were you simply unaware of how others might perceive your statement? ))

            -From Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.-
            To Damn:
            1. to declare to be bad, unfit invalid, or illegal
            2. to condemn as a failure
            3. to bring condemnation upon

            Damning means a whole lot more than you seem to think it does.

            On another subject – You may wish to take a class on debate someday. You apparently do not know, or understand some of the rules.

            You make a declarative statement. The other side challenges. You expand on your statement, elaborate on the content, and explain why you believe this – cite sources, the more the better. The other side offers a rebuttal. Typically this continues for several cycles. At worst, both sides exchange ideas but no one is swayed. At best, your logic wins someone to your side.

            You have consistently failed to expand or elaborate on your declarative statement. You have provided no sources. In fact, all you have done is make a statement, a vague accusation that implies that these people are wrong for being white, male and upper class. I was trying to get you to expand upon your position, provide a source, explain why you held this position. –shrug-

            As far as society ever being truly equal – sorry but the law of nature says the strongest, the smartest, and/or the fittest are the survivors. Those are the ones that naturally rise to become the leaders. Those at the top of the hierarchy can, and usually do, provide more for their offspring, giving those offspring an advantage over those lower in the hierarchy. All you need to do is look at an ape band, wolf pack or a herd of mustang to see it in action.

            In the end, Man is no different; we look to those that rise above the masses to lead. We humans are just animals that have learned to use tools. And, we are the most savage of all of the animals. ((Now, see what I did? By saying that humans were savage, i.e. bad, I damned all of humanity. Words and phrases have more than just surface meanings; they also have overtones, undertones and implications. When you said “at the expense of others”, you implied they did not earn something honestly and/or that they harmed someone in the process, you were damning those philosophers.))

            Anyway, you think these men achieved their fame at the expense of others. I think they provided us with words of wisdom and insight, irrespective of their social status. They lived in a different time and place with different morals, we would be wrong to judge them by today’s standards. We will have to agree to disagree.

          • Neighbor

            All the judging here is being done by you. Human civilization and the class system is what it is. But many of the same thinkers you admire have pointed this out, that their endeavors depended on it, even the most liberal rationalized it. Scholarly pursuits required connections, leisure time, expensive educations available to a tiny minority and cheap servants.

          • tannasmarchat

            I attempted to discuss the issue rationally but you keep falling back on the classic Liberal tactic of attacking your opponent rather than address the issues. Too bad since you made at least one somewhat intelligent comment in your initial post. I guess you were just parroting another line you memorized.

            I said we would have to agree to disagree and you just could not resist another assault. I have grown tired of trying to be polite. You have made judgment after judgment about the philosophers and other posters, spewed hatred, and bigotry, but you accuse me of passing judgment? Who said I “admire” anyone? You read something that wasn’t there and tried to twist my words. Something I believe you accused someone else of doing. Thus, you prove yourself to be a hypocrite as well as a bigot – another hallmark of the Liberal mind.

          • tannasmarchat

            I attempted to discuss the issue rationally but you keep falling back on the classic Liberal tactic of attacking your opponent rather than address the issues. Too bad since you made at least one somewhat intelligent comment in your initial post. I guess you were just parroting another line you memorized.

            I said we would have to agree to disagree and you just could not resist another assault. I have grown tired of trying to be polite. You have made judgment after judgment about the philosophers and other posters, spewed hatred, and bigotry, but you accuse me of passing judgment? Who said I “admire” anyone? You read something that wasn’t there and tried to twist my words. Something I believe you accused someone else of doing. Thus, you prove yourself to be a hypocrite as well as a bigot – another hallmark of the Liberal mind.

        • John Cross

          Who did Foucault oppress? LOL. His readers for a start.

      • Orson OLSON

        Talk about racist false consciousness!

      • Chris Ruth

        Wow, the reading comprehension of the people responding to “Neighbor” here is extremely poor.

  • svendlarose

    The fact remains that European men of means have created knowledge far beyond their numbers. (paraphrasing Charles Murray here, poorly)

  • Dan

    Foucault was on a classical theory syllabus? Huh… And he was gay, so that’s something. Modern social theory is filled with people from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia, so that’s good.

    Thoughts on classical theorists… in the US context, W.E.B. Du Bois should be taught. Fredrick Douglas too.

  • Must everyone bend over backwards to accommodate your demands?

    • Nunya Beeswax

      I’m sure at least one of them would be happy if everyone bent over forwards instead.

  • Chris

    Wouldn’t a better question or critique be why doesn’t Berkeley offer an alternative social theory course rather than why a course on classical social theorists doesn’t include work outside of the “classical” canon? This critique is akin to saying: It’s unexceptable that this class on German History doesn’t discuss Confucius. The better critique is why don’t we have more classes on Classical Chinese history.

    • No, that’d make too much sense and wouldn’t fit into the victim narrative well enough.

    • you mean gender and womens study? these kinds of departments already exist but people like Mr. Kazuo and Ms. Perret would like to force the rest of us to study their agenda as well.

    • catorenasci

      I’d be shocked if there weren’t such classes tucked away in the deeper recesses of the various “studies” departments, wishing for students. This is a ploy to create requirements to fill the rice bowls of those who teach these courses.

    • Faceless Commenter

      “Unacceptable.” Are you getting away with mistakes like that at Berkeley, or are you one of the outsiders chiming in here?

      • Chris

        OOOOOH. You grabbed hold of a typo on a forum. Aren’t you a clever boy! “Unacceptable.” <– That is not a sentence. OOOH now I get to feel clever!

        • Tom Conner

          I saw that error, too, and it grated for me also. You don’t proof your posts? This may just be a forum, but the value of your posts is judged by more than just what you say. But then, what do I know? I’m just a U-Texas graduate.

          • Chris

            “and it grated for me also.” Grate, when used as a transitive verb meaning “to irritate,” uses the prepositions “on” or “upon,” never “for.” “It grated on me also,” would be correct. Your selection of the wrong preposition grated on me. #MuphrysLaw

      • Your Women’s and Gender Studies professor will certainly give the “special” students an extra gold star, when catching typos in the internets.

        Again, good luck on your future career in low level food service.

      • CowboyUp

        “Outsiders,” is xenophobic. Report for sensitivity training immediately.

    • Perhaps the question is: Do they have a class in contemporary social theory and whats the race / gender / sexual preference score on those authors? Because seeking diversity in a classical course is ridiculous.

    • moburke

      they don’t want an alternative they want to overturn the classical. they wouldn’t be able to cope with the triggering assumption that their ideas aren’t as valid as the classical

      • AnnieOfArc

        I mean, do they want to teach a history of the Aztec Empire? Human sacrifice on a massive scale, empire-building? While I share an ancestry with a quiet people in the far corner of Europe, and while I’m an anti-imperialist, I’m not upset that our history isn’t taught in university. It’s a matter for specialists. I’d hate to see them totally erased, but at the end of the day Homer and Aristotle and Aquinas affect the world we live in far more than some quiet peasants. The modern university has a specifically European, Christian history. Why not just disband them then, since their very existence is a tribute to cis-white-imperialism? Let’s just all sit around the commune and pretend life was so awesome for the hunter-gatherers OH WAIT LOOK AT THIS NEW APP…

      • CowboyUp

        If they were around 40 years ago they’d be chanting, “Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho! Western Civ has got to go!”

  • UCB student

    A very true and needed critique. Thank you for this.

  • 1776

    You took a class on classical social theory and expected something other then…classical theorists. Wow you SJWs are not that smart.

    • http://i.qkme.me/3qjpc6.jpg

      What do these people expect?

      Also, how are tanspeople not “exceptions”. They are. That’s the definition of the word. I guess the professor could make up a word to replace “exceptions” with some newspeak but the point would still be the same. If there was some biological difference between men and women that made them better at certain things (not saying that there is) transpeople would clearly be an exception to this general theory.

      • Oil Can Harry

        This brilliant article should NOT appear online since computers and the Internet were created by white males and are therefore evil.

      • Oil Can Harry

        This brilliant article should NOT appear online since computers and the Internet were created by white males and are therefore evil.

        • jburack

          It should not appear online because sane people sometimes go on the Internet and read nonsense like this. If you want to be taken seriously, and you are truly out to lunch, meet in a coffee house and gripe to one another. Otherwise, you are only asking for trouble. What I love most in this is that even Marx and Foucault are not good enough for these fine young cannibals. Robespierre, answer your phone.

          • jim

            Wasn’t Robespierre a privileged white male who died (badly) over 200 years ago?

            (Actually, you shouldn’t give these people any ideas. I suspect they’d love to erect a National Razor in this country and make lists of who to send to it.)

          • Stefan Hansson

            They are already making the list. ;)

      • Pablo

        Don’t look now but they’re also deviant.

    • Me

      You went there before me. The lack of literacy in not reading the course syllabus is…amazing.

      This whole thing makes me ashamed to be a UC system grad.

      • “…ashamed to be a UC system grad.”

        Smartest thing I have ever heard a UC grad say… :-)

    • Derya Özdemir

      Foucault is not a classical social theorist, and you are not that smart, either.

      • Raoul Duke

        Um… he didn’t say that Focault was a “classical theorist”.

  • Neighbor

    I’m sorry to have to say this, but as a woman, and as a radical feminist, the reality is that we can’t re-write history, and it is the patriarchal systems that enabled these guys to excel and define so much of Western intellectual advances, as ironic as it may seem! As feminists, we need to listen to these thinkers, even if they were all (annoyingly) white males. They had the most freedom to think, after all. We will get there, but in the meantime what is the harm in hearing them out and learning from them?

    • DNAC101

      Now I do not agree with feminist theory of patriarchy, because the facts show that the way people in Gender & Women Studies can find gender oppression in a can of paint, ain’t the way they see it. Those are the facts on the ground. Yet, we agree to the extent that the class is worthwhile. I am not white.

      Western Feminists have done themselves a disservice by trying to find oppression under a rock and taking to social media and blogs to deliver often false and misinformation as proof of that idealized oppression.

      • Jimpithecus

        Lena Dunham, anyone?

      • Neighbor

        Look at the front page of a newspaper lately? I think men are in charge yep they are. And Roe v Wade is under attack. Fetuses are being elevated above women by misogynists and crazy religious prudes who seek to punish women. The patriarchy is real, my friend.

    • #JusticeForAnthony

      Let me guess. You’re one of those radical “feminists” who is upset by a non-existent gender pay gap in the United States. But most likely have no opinion on real issues affecting women like Islamic Honor Killings of female rape victims in the Middle East. Don’t worry though. Wouldn’t want you to be insensitive and hurt the feelings of those brown Islamic men.

      • Neighbor

        I have no clue what you are rambling about here. Mainly by radical I am referring to the war on women by the Republican party. Where is the outrage?

        • Neighbor

          I live in the US – the issues you bring up are of great concern to women in other cultures, and I support their struggle.

          • #JusticeForAnthony

            Really? You still live in the United States? Because I could throw up a Kickstarter account right now and have the money to deport you to whatever God-forsaken Third World landfill that you want to die in. Just let me know as it will be my pleasure.

          • Neighbor

            hahaha what a jerk. freakazoid.

          • mark abrams

            your best reasoned post yet. congratulations. do let us know when you graduate kindergarten.

        • #JusticeForAnthony

          “War on women by the Republican Party”? Would that so-called “war” include the 50,000,000 murdered unborn children you delusional “progressives” declare a brilliant achievement for women on the anniversary of Roe VS Wade? I’m sure you’re also getting around to the War on Men which includes bothersome numbers and statistics. Like the disproportionatly long prison sentences that men serve for the same crime that a woman commits. In addition to being robbed by our greedy do-nothing ex-wives in court. And why don’t you try teeing off at the same place that we do at the golf course. Oh wait, feminism has absolutely nothing to do with equality. Silly me.

          • Neighbor

            go away.

          • Yes, we can have any inconvenient truths here.

          • Steve Johnson

            Yes! Go away! stop opressing us with your facts and bringing up situations where the system is unequivocally misadrist! We have a right to unabated false narrative!!!

          • Neighbor

            His rambling about fetuses was hysterical and had nothing to do with facts. Are you a fetus worshiper also?

        • The only war on women is a war on conservative women.

          • Neighbor

            Conservative women are hypocrites who frequently seek abortions for themselves and their daughters but they want to punish other women. They are part of the problem. Both men and women participate in and benefit from patriarchy, and both are hurt by it. Men benefit more on balance though, and women are hurt more. Those conservative Republican women are no friend to women as a class.

          • You’re a bit of a fool. Lay off the Zinn.

        • Steve Johnson

          Ah yes, the fuzzy logic of defining the agenda of feminist extremism as being one that represents the consensus of “all women”.

        • JohnEffKerry

          Neighbor, I was interested in your first post, but the “Republican war on women” is boilerplate nonsense. I thought you might have an intelligent thought, but obviously not. You are just another useful idiot, parroting Liberal propaganda.

        • Mgindi26

          Republican war on women? Are you completely unable to have your own clear reasoning?
          The war on women is a left wing canard on the right and has no merit in any thinking persons mind.
          Perhaps you should research all of the misogyny that comes from the left aimed at conservative women. The depths of the attacks on women like Margaret Thatcher, Michele Malkin, Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin, Laura Ingraham, Michelle Bachman, Condoleezza Rice, S.E. Cups, the list goes on.
          How about the pay gap between men and women in the Obama administration?
          Saying that a woman should be able to afford her own birth control is not an attack on women. If anything it’s saying that women are capable independent beings. However saying that women are incapable of providing for their own birth control is truly misogynist. It belittles women and says that they are too weak to provide for themselves.
          What about abortion?
          Well it’s interesting how an effort to save male and female children could be sexist? The pro life movement isn’t about hurting women it’s about saving babies and it’s about considering a fetus as a sacred being deserving protection regardless of it’s gender.
          Oh and the largely conservative opinion that the best way for a woman to avoid an unwanted pregnancy is to not engage in sexual intercourse is also not misogynist. It’s saying that women can exhibit that quality that most separates us from the animals, namely self control. To say that women are incapable of that as the left asserts is true sexism. By the way the right also believe that the father of a child bears responsibility towards the welfare of that child and if a man isn’t prepared to live with the possibility of a pregnancy he should also not engage in unprotected intercourse.
          The right isn’t anti women. The left however is not only anti women it is condescending to women and assumes they don’t have the ability to be as responsible or capable as men.
          Think about this, if it’s okay for a woman to abort a pregnancy because she doesn’t want to deal with the reality of a child. Then it should also be okay for a man to end his connection and responsibility to a pregnancy even if the woman decides to give birth to the child. Just to be clear. That’s not the conservative opinion. The conservative opinion is that both the father and the mother must live up to their responsibilities.
          I could go on regarding your alleged feminism. It’s not truly about empowering women to people like yourself. It’s about empowering a leftist ideology

        • cheeflo

          That you have no clue is obvious. If you can characterize the Republican Party as waging a war on women, and fail to recognize and acknowledge an actual and ongoing war on women, then I can only conclude that reality means nothing to you.

    • cheeflo

      Everyone has the freedom to think, whether they perceive it or not. It’s what they think of that matters. Some ideas are just better than others, but unfortunately there are so many bad ideas that have currency in the world today.

      Is there is something valuable to learn from radical feminism? Eager to embrace it as a twenty-something, and probably before you were born, the only thing I learned is that it is a bill of goods — worthless, dishonest, and misleading.

    • Refusing to learn from schmucks is functionally equivalent to refusing to learn at all.

  • Nunya Beeswax

    The plural of “syllabus” is “syllabuses”. “Syllabi” is a solecism.

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