At Thanksgiving Maman, meaning Grandmother, made comments in French about the sillier of the grandchildren, who voted for McCain. Grandmother is a nice white lady from the bad old days. She is convinced those days would have returned had we not voted for Barack.
It was in the late eighties that I became a professor and in the nineties that I lost my way in life generally due to the nature of academia and Reeducation. These problems arrived simultaneously and it is difficult to disengage them from one another, in part due to their similarities.
The academic aspect of these things, I understand. I lost my way because I committed to a large project I could not actually support. These were the reasons I did so:
1. Men and Academia: this is your only chance, do not waste it.
2. Academia: assume others know better than you do. Write what they want and sign your name. You are paid for this.
3. Women: it cannot be that you disagree with this, it must be that you fear you cannot do it.
Given these objections I attempted to apply Boicean methods to the project. That failed since what had really happened was that I had considered everything except my own professional opinion, which was objectively acceptable: that is a lovely project, but it is not what is in my research program now.
I undetstand these things. It was in fact wise to say NO to that project, but pressures from corporate and popular culture made it too complicated to do so.
Reeducation is still harder to understand but everything I have discerned about this experience boils down to the idea that it was NOT ACCEPTABLE to be an intellectual, or to meditate, or to have authority in one’s own life. This was eerily similar – the same, in fact – as what I was being told elsewhere, including in academia, and that is how the two things are interrelated.
But it IS acceptable to be an intellectual, and to meditate, and to have authority in one’s own life. I have written an entire weblog, or codex, explaining why in great detail. Yet I must remind myself of these things every day. It IS acceptable to be an intellectual, and to meditate, and to have authority in one’s own life.
Why did I not manage to say no to that project in the first place? Because it was at the time not acceptable to be an intellectual, or to meditate, or to have authority in one’s own life. But it IS acceptable to be an intellectual, and to meditate, and to have authority in one’s own life.