Tom Finneran: The Whiny Women of Wellesley
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Wellesley College is a very elite and high-priced school. Tuition is north of $50,000.00 a year and the school enjoys a high academic reputation. After last week however, put me down as an amused skeptic of the students, their assumed brilliance, their polished sophistication, their vaunted worldliness, and their knee-jerk resort to victim status.
The center of the controversy
The “art” in question is a plaster sculpture entitled “Sleepwalker”. It depicts a middle-age white guy dressed only in his BVDs. His eyes are closed, his arms extended, and he appears to be sleepwalking in a trance-like state. As “art” goes these days it is nowhere near as nauseating as lots of junk that receive the subsidies of taxpayers and the plaudits of art critics. In fact, it’s hard to see anything remotely thoughtful or revolting about the statue. I thought of a guy who wakes up in the middle of the night in his skivvies, heading down the hallway to the bathroom. He’s groggy. He’s certainly not threatening. No self-respecting woman could possibly feel threatened by such a goofy guy.
Yet the women of Wellesley College, by the hundreds, apparently feel threatened by the statue’s presence. I kid you not. Here is further proof, should you need it, that “smart” people aren’t always so smart.
The knee-jerk reaction
Perhaps their lives and their campus have been a little too sheltered. The guy could probably be their father, beleaguered, bedraggled, and wondering what he’s spending $50,000.00 a year for. The poor shnook. He has yet to realize that he must suffer yearly impoverishment so his daughter can learn to manufacture outrage on demand.
The offended students started a petition which stated that the statue was “a source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts of sexual assault”. Huh??? I dare you to take a look at the statue and ask yourself if this is a “source of fear and apprehension”.
The college administrators, predictably, failed to laugh at the petition and failed to tell the petitioners to go to class and get a life. Rather, the charade of the academic community had to be fully played out. Thus the administrators, instead of tossing the petition into the nearest wastebasket, engaged in a “dialogue” where they pretend that the students have raised valid points of concern and they in turn present their sophisticated and nuanced reply. Let’s call it nonsense meets nonsense.
Hence they offer a statement saying that “the very best art has the power to stimulate deeply personal emotion and provoke unexpected ideas…………….leading to impassioned debate about art, gender, sexuality, and individual experience”. Huh? I don’t get it. I must be getting dumber by the minute. This is silliness squared.
The politically-correct culture warriors
By the way, to the highly weird or peculiar person who is actually “offended” or “apprehensive” upon seeing the statue, I have a suggestion. Have the dogs on campus start peeing on it. Better yet, throw some bread crumbs on the poor guy and have the neighborhood birds use him as a fast-food pit stop.
I can only imagine the mental torture of these ultra-sensitive students if the artist had depicted a slightly altered image. After all, this guy in the sculpture is the poorest most despised individual in modern America, a middle-aged goofy white guy, so easy to mock, so easy to scorn, and utterly contemptible in the eyes of the women of Wellesley. But what would be their reaction if the artist had depicted a person of a different race, or a man wearing a Palestinian head scarf in addition to his skivvies? How would these politically-correct culture warriors reconcile their Pavlovian impulses? Better yet, we might ask for their response to “Piss Christ”, an utterly revolting insult to the most important symbol of the world-wide Christian community. “Piss Christ” of course was subsidized by the taxpayers of the United States, to the eternal disgrace and shame of the “arts community”. And of course it earned rave reviews for its “daring” and “provocative” nature. Each of these disgraceful acts would likely have earned the full applause of the petitioners of Wellesley, whose outrage and approvals are as predictable as the ever-sophisticated ever-arrogant New York Times. Having suspended their ability to think critically, the students dare not question the arbiters of art and culture. As for me, I say let the statue guy go to the bathroom and go to back to sleep. He has to go to work tomorrow to earn next year’s tuition.
Related Slideshow: New England States with the Highest Student Debt
A new report released by the Institute for College Access & Success' Project on Student Debt found that the average debt load for the class of 2012 was $29,400 -- up more than 10% from the previous year. Check out the slides below to see where New England ranks in terms of average student debt.
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