One of the things I am doing during the shut-down is tutoring virtually. I tutor writing, as you might expect.
Today I was sent a paper to look over for a student in the Abnormal Psych. class. The student is a woman, and she wrote a paper arguing that Miley Cyrus is mentally ill.
NOTES ON MY FITNESS FOR EDITING THIS ASSIGNMENT:
#1. I know nothing about Miley Cyrus.
#2. I took this class at the college myself, and everyone has to write a dumb paper arguing that a famous person is mentally ill. My paper argued that Donald Trump is mentally ill.
My paper was, of course, brilliant.
LOL. No, I have no idea if it was brilliant or not. The point of the paper is to show an understanding, at the kindergarten level, of the ideas of abnormal behavior.
#3. Not the best paper for me to help with because I personally think very few behaviors are abnormal. AND I’m mostly supposed to check their APA formatting… real boring shit.
But here is what the student said makes Cyrus “abnormal”:
#1. She used to wear pink; now she wears black.
#2. She now dresses sexy.
#3. She uses black eye-liner.
#4. She gave up country music and Disney.
#5. She used to dress like her dad wanted her too; now she dresses like she wants to.
Okay, at this point my eyes are popping out of my head.
Fellow feminists, grand dames Gloria, Jane, the grandmas of the mothers of these girls, and the mothers of the girls, WTF?
How does this happen?
How do we allow ourselves to be erased from our own choices in this way? This young woman never assumes that Cyrus wanted to change, needed to change, is allowed to change, no. She is not dressing like her daddy wants. She gave up pink, for goodness sake! The horror! The horror!
How do we allow ourselves to judge each other like this?
I get how we all feel like we own our favorite celebrities, and we don’t want them to change, but how do we come to a place where young college women think not wearing pink is abnormal?
And I get that country music, like folk music, is about the day-to-day living of people in rural areas. HOWEVER, it should scare us all that their day-to-day living is misogynistic, and Christian-centric (also misogynistic. sorry Christians, but it is true), finding-a-guy-with-a-truck-to-love-me-centric, and patriotic to the point where even questioning whether America is doing the right thing is seen as treasonous, amoral, and insane.
Good to have that off my chest.
I am ill-suited to my job. This is very true. Because while I am a fantastic editor (I can spot the tiniest of plot holes), I cannot stop myself from telling a student that not liking pink is not a sign of mental illness. Fuck pink.