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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Engineers are terrible at politics

Dear blog, I will write about last night's dream featuring the sea, an island belonging to a rich old man who built lots of buildings and statues and art pieces on it, some of them abandoned, and R1's dad and sister (middle child), only to get it out of the way.

I had a dream where I was on an island. A big one. We got around by train. I remember abandoned buildings along the way, "creation centres," I think the old man called them. He had a few of them because some had apparently not worked out so well. Then some places just had statues. One of the statues was of virgin Mary holding baby Jesus, and it was made of a black porous rock and it was underwater, only just below the surface. I remember swimming to it. The water was fresh, though, and quite cool. A bit surprising, I thought. I remember thinking I'd like to visit with SmTn and show him around. It's odd, then, that later on I saw ON in a mangrove thick, trying to fish before the tide got high, figuring out how to cast the line in between the branches. I think I just projected SmTn on ON. 

In another dream, also all about water but this time salty sea water, I was with R1's dad and sister. There was this structure of "shelves" hanging on to a wall and that's where we stood. They had their things just hanging there and they left them there and came back to them when they were on vacation, apparently. I kept fucking up and getting things wet while trying to put up a new shelf or getting on top of it or just organising things and I felt embarrassed. R1's dad helped me out, though, and they were all cool with my mistakes, making no big issue of it.

Wait, there's a third dream where I remember little more than uncle C and aunt B waiting in line for a very long time to get some food in a far-too-small-to-be-a-restaurant's kitchen. I was bringing something to them and was tempted to help out cooking whatever they were waiting for. 

Now on to the reason I'm here: to rant. I want to rant, blog. I'm angry. I was just in a class taught by a woman. A smart professor, at that. Quite accomplished in an I'm-not-sure-what-she's-doing-in-this-university way. She thought she'd teach a class about beauty and ideals for men and women and how biotechnology gets involved in the big hot mess. The class began with us teaming into gendered groups where we described the perfect man and woman. A few suggestions angered me: "No Y chromosome," "Shakira's hips," "mentally stable" and "not much taller than me" were featured among a woman's ideal features. The second most important feature for the ideal man, according to men, right after "smart," was "rich." There was just so much wrong in the way this reflected the beliefs of people around the room who had only a few minutes ago been very reasonable and scientific about their opinions on stem cell research. How come no one wanted women to be funny? How come no one questioned the "need" for the ideal person to be good-looking? Why didn't anyone address how bloody demanding we were? 

The professor did a relatively good job explaining what she could about beauty ideals in a short amount of time but I do declare the topic warranted a much greater discussion and should have probably been brought up by someone in the "Women's studies" area of the university (I have an issue with the name, that's why it's in quotation marks). 

I tried to talk to the professor about this because I didn't know just how angry to get in a class about biomedical technologies when such political topics came about and when our (rather brief) talk was over she said two things: 

1) It was nice having this talk with you.

2) Why do you care? You're pretty anyway.

And it. just. made me. furious. 

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