An Important message from the communications department

April 16, 2010

As some of you have heard me frequently complain, I feel quite unsettled in my major. Communications classes have, thus far, been almost totally devoid of interesting, new, or useful information (with the exception of 132). When I read the books, I of course learn things, but it hasn’t been anything too revolutionary or anything practical enough for me to take out into the “real world.” And I’m quite disappointed.

In addition, the people in my classes primarily come from a much different, less challenging place than I do. Which I mostly wouldn’t care about. Except that they tend to say things that I can’t help but get angry at, like that the domestic sphere is almost equally divided between men and women. Or that there’s more pressure on men to be sexually thrilling than there is on women. Or that Goucher students are just like students you’d find anywhere else, so our immediate personal experiences clearly reflect the rest of American culture. And they’re wrong. And I know they’re wrong. But I can’t seem to get anyone to agree with me. So I thought that maybe I was wrong. But I can’t honestly buy that.

So what do I do?

Well, after going to my psychoanalysis class yesterday, I think the answer is pretty clear.

We read Luce Irigaray’s ‘The Poverty of Psychoanalysis’ and discussed it, and this line, which I marked my first time reading the text, was expounded upon by Rochelle.

Most of you will therefore be unable to interpret it. And you will be prevented from listening by at least two systems of screens, of censorship or of repression.

Irigaray was addressing a group from the Lacanian school of psychoanalysis, which she had at one point been a part of. She was addressing them after her friend had committed suicide after being so disheartened and annihilated by the theory that she just couldn’t really go on. And Irigaray is mad. And she is emotional. And her theory is a part of her. And it’s beautiful.

Rochelle talked about how much Irigaray attacked the Lacanian school and its students and, well, Lacan himself. And how nobody would listen to her. She knew nobody would listen to her or even understand her. But she kept talking and attacking and refused to be quiet.

And when Rochelle was saying this, I felt so connected. And I felt so much better. And I feel more determined to not give up on speaking in my communications classes, even if everyone rolls their eyes when I do it. Even if I’m the “token feminist.” Even if no one understands me. Because I know I have something to say and because that something feels so important. Not that I’m going to be too Antiochian about it (okay, I’ll be a bit Antiochian) and just make noise about everything for the sake of making noise. But I fully intend to raise concerns and issues with the standard nonsense that is frequently espoused in these classes.

I’m no Irigaray, by any means, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to shut up just because my opinion is unpopular.

It was a very inspirational class.


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