Comme c’est dur, cher

I am starting to get punchy on this topic of difficulty and I declare that plenty of things are actually better hard – the table at which I write, for example. I think people who cannot handle difficulty should just hang it up.

The hardest thing for me about academic jobs is listening to the railings of people who are giving me advice for my own good, advice based upon their projections into me of who and what they believe me to be.

♦ Because I am a girl, I must want to spend all my time on lower division teaching and student support activities, like foreign language clubs.

♦ Because I am a girl, I probably cannot understand that those are not the most important activities.

♦ Because I am a girl, to do these things and enjoy them is my duty. To be criticized for that is my second duty, and to be beaten up for not doing them or for not appearing to enjoy them enough is my third duty.

♦ Because I am competent and look well, I must be lazy.

♦ Because I do research and have views, I am mean – I should, in fact, correspond to the “girl” stereotypes above, so you could criticize me again for that.

♦ Because I am blond, I cannot be intelligent.

♦ Since I am both blond and intelligent, I am incomprehensible as a being; my intelligence is a form of violence since by merely existing it does violence to your image of me and to your hopes regarding what you can get me to do – and to like doing, or say I like doing, or want to do.

So rail all you want: I am still research oriented, bitchez, and I am still efficient, bitchez, even if you would rather I were all fluff.

I might be better looking than you, too, and stronger than you; I might have better taste than you and a better design sense. And I will bury you, and I will dance on your graves, and I will cover them in cast iron; and I will sit in a Finnish bath until every word I ever heard from you is steamed out of me.

Axé.


9 thoughts on “Comme c’est dur, cher

  1. I have been following your blog for just a few weeks. I find it tremendously refreshing and energizing. I find myself reframing my work life as a triumph of competence and creativity. I have less time for complaining, whether it is I or someone else who is doing the complaining. Thanks!

  2. Welcome! I’ve got a new wicked thought: do men sit around and talk about how impossible it is … or is that just something girls say to (allegedly) help them look pretty and also get admiration and help, when really they aren’t having a hard time at all … ?

  3. “So rail all you want: I am still research oriented, bitchez, and I am still efficient, bitchez, even if you would rather I were all fluff.”

    -I was saying this in my mind as I was walking away from a very boring and whiny conversation about how our lives are miserable. 🙂

    “do men sit around and talk about how impossible it is”

    -Oh, yes. All the time.

  4. OK, that’s interesting, and I guess true. I still really wonder whether the whole thing isn’t a bluff to discourage others, though.

      1. Z,

        Join the Lemma Club!. I did that some years ago, not many though, after the most stunning experience of having an unexpected mentor/ professor who showed me that almost everything is possible if one has the courage, perseverance and ingenuity in believing in what ones does. But he made clear, since the very first moment, that it was not going to be without sacrifice or/and faith in the human potential.

        C’est dur..oui, mais il vaut la peine!.

  5. Try looking at tomorrow not yesterday
    And all the things you left behind
    All those tender words you did not say
    The gentle touch you couldn’t find

    In these days of nameless faces
    There is no one truth but only pieces
    My life is all i have to give

    Dare to live until the very last
    Dare to live forget about the past
    Dare to live giving something of yourself to others
    Even when it seems there’s nothing more left to give

    Ma se tu vedessi l’uomo
    Davanti al tuo portone
    Che dorme avvolto in un cartone,
    Se tu ascoltassi il mondo una mattina
    Senza il rumore della pioggia,
    Tu che puoi creare con la tua voce,
    Tu, pensi i pensieri della gente,
    Poi, di Dio c’e solo Dio.

    Vivere, nessuno mai ce l’ha insegnato,
    Vivere, non si puó vivere senza passato,
    Vivere ? bello anche se non l’hai chiesto mai,
    Una canzone ci sará qualcuno che la canterá

    Dare to live searching for the ones you love
    (Perch?, perch?, perch?, perch? non vivi questa sera?)
    Dare to live no one but we all
    (Perch?, perch?, perch?, perch? non vivi ora?)
    Dare to live until the very last
    (Perch?, perch?, perch? la vita non ? vita)
    Your life is all you have to give (Perch?)
    non l’hai vissuta
    Vivere!

    Dare to live until the very last
    (Perch?, perch?, perch? Ia vita non ? vita)
    Your life is all you have to give (Perch?)
    non l’hai vissuta mai

    I will say no (I will say yes)
    Say dare to live
    Dare to live

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