You can’t make this stuff up…

  • Shakespeare finds himself on the progressive chopping block, as 8th grade English teacher and former Teach for America hire Christina Torres writes, “As I’ve grown as an educator, I’ve begun to question the merit and relevance of the canon, the historically white-and-male authored list of ‘classic literature’ works that include Shakespeare in my classroom…. We must give up Shakespeare worship… Simply because Shakespeare is prevalent does not mean his writing is sacred. Believing and teaching our students that all his works are fundamentally ‘good’ is a disservice to our kids.”For support and justification, Torres reminds us of the Yale University students who, in 2016, “petitioned the school to ‘decolonize’ its reading lists, including by removing its Shakespeare requirement. Teachers are realizing that a lot of the curriculum in our classrooms privileges white, male, European voices, and are beginning to question Shakespeare’s relevance for students.”
  • Halloween axing continues to gain traction in America and going well beyond concerns about food allergies or the distracting nature of the holiday. Now it’s “a commitment to equity and an effort to be more inclusive.”As an Evanston/Skokie School District 65 message to parents put it, “While we recognize that Halloween is a fun tradition for many, it is not a holiday that is celebrated by everyone for various reasons, and we want to honor this. We are also aware of the range of inequities that are embedded in Halloween celebrations that take place as part of the school day and the unintended negative impact that it can have on students, families, and staff. As a result, we support our schools that are moving away from Halloween celebrations that include costumes and similar traditions.”
  • When Harry Met Sally, according to The Atlantic’s Megan Garber, is “sexist, quiet cruelty.” In her view the following conversation between the two about Casablanca has set back the cause of feminism for years:Harry: “There are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance.”
    Sally: “And Ingrid Bergman is low maintenance?”
    Harry: “An L-M definitely.”
    Sally:  “Which one am I?”
    Harry: “You’re the worst kind. You’re high maintenance, but you think you’re low-maintenance.”

    According to Garber, this serves as an “indictment of women who want,” making us/them “insecure.”

  • Women pooping at work actually headlined a recent New York Times article, In it, Jessica Bennett and Amanda McCall wrote, “Remember the children’s book Everyone Poops? It was meant to teach kids that defecating is a natural, healthy part of digestion, and it does so by illustrating a wide variety of creatures –dogs, cats, snakes, whales, hippos, little boys—happily defecating. But you know who you won’t see defecating in that book, happily or unhappily? Women.”They continue by saying, “It’s not a stretch to think that you might have an empowered female and executive leading a meeting and then sneaking off to another floor to relieve herself…”

    The duo’s conclusion: “Poop shame is real—and it disproportionately affects women who suffer from high rates of irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. In other words, the patriarchy has seeped into women’s intestinal tracts. Let’s call it pootriarchy…”

God, how I miss the Don Rickles days when we laughed at ourselves, keeping humor close at hand and unabashedly acknowledging, even celebrating, our collective differences and shortcomings…

With thanks, Carol