Political Correctness

College is an Irony-Free Zone: "So you want to date a T.A." Edition


Via the great site Inside Higher Ed comes word of a campus controversy at Canada's Western University in Ontario University of Western Ontario. As part of its "Frosh Special Issue 2014," the student publication The Gazette published an article titled "So you want to date a teaching assistant?" It features such advice as:

1. Do your research. Facebook stalk and get to know your TA. Drop in on his or her tutorials, and if you're not in that class — make it happen. Switch in if necessary.
Expert tip: Be good at the subject and showcase your smarts….

3. Get involved with the course. Ask your own smart questions, answer others' dumb questions, and make yourself known in the class. Better yet, stand out as a pupil of interest. These are mature and knowledgeable teaching assistants — they are likely not looking for some ditz who will make a great one-night stand.
Disclaimer: Some of them are, so if you strike gold, stop reading and do as you please….

6. Know when to give up. At the end of the day, TAs are there to guide you through the curriculum – so there's a good chance you have to be okay with that and only that. They may not be giving you head, but at least they're giving you brain. Don't be too disappointed though – after all, there's always next term.

More, including a growing comment thread that will make you swear off Canada forever, here.

The article, reports Inside Higher Ed, has set off a "furor":

The union that represents T.A.s at Western posted a response saying that the piece had essentially been "a guide on how to sexually harass another human being." The provost wrote a letter to the editor in which she said: "Not only does the spirit of the article run contrary to Western's efforts to have a workplace and learning environment that is free from sexual harassment, it is disrespectful of the essential contribution graduate teaching assistants make to Western's academic mission."

More here.


#triggerwarning #microaggression: The article may not be that funny, but only the dumbest readers in the world could react the way the T.A. union and campus administrators are doing. Which ironically makes the story funnier. If colleges and professors (well, T.A.s) have so a low opinion of the reading skills of their students, it's no wonder they treat them like mental invalids who need to be protected from any source of irony, complexity, or thought.

Need to boost your blood pressure or heart rate? Watch Reason TV's "Trigger Warnings, Campus Speech, and the Right to Not be Offended":

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  1. I love how all the comments (on the gazette site )saying ‘Dude, lighten up!’ have been downvoted so they can only be viewed by clicking on them.

    1. The internet version of shouting down your opposition

    2. I’ve gone through and systematically voted for each one of those hidden comments (even those that I thought were inane or pointless) and suggest that others do the same. In most cases, it will take 20-30 upvotes to bring those comments into positive territory.

  2. The bubble can’t burst soon enough.

  3. So wait, you’re telling me that a bunch of broke late 20 somethings whose career prospects are really limited don’t want a bunch of hard bodied 19 year olds hitting on them with only the expectation of a relationship that lasts just 1 semester?

    1. Yeah, I was just going to say that I’m pretty sure this article was written by a T.A.

  4. They may not be giving you head, but at least they’re giving you brain.

    I want to like the original article, but giving brain is slang for oral sex too, you stupid Canadians.

    1. It is? You and I grew up in very different worlds. If anyone I knew had used the term “giving brain,” they would’ve been shunned and likely beaten.

  5. I’d hit QoP before I’d hit TA.

  6. It seems people are disturbed by the concept of deliberately or strategically flirting. Like it’s harassment if you pursue it on purpose rather than spontaneously.

    1. Probably because it means you choose someone else over them and that’s not fair or politically correct because taste is subjective.

    2. It doesn’t even have to be flirting.

      It appears that even mere attraction in its polite and quiet form of human positioning to see if a ‘spark’ is possible is a form of harassment.

      The human experience is being redefined by brain-dead ninnies.

  7. Attraction is sexual harassment? The creatures pushing this agenda are soulless prigs who should be cordoned off and ridiculed endlessly.

  8. There’s a teaching assistants’ union? The world has truly lost all shame. I give it 20 years tops before there’s a welfare recipients’ union. I mean, apart from the Democratic Party.

    1. Who am I kidding? The AARP has been around for over 50 years.

    2. I posted something similar, but the squirrels ate it. I wonder if the squirrels are unionized.

    3. You mean like the National Welfare Rights organization? Yup, it really exists and has since the 70’s.

      1. Wikipedia says it died in 1975. Even if it hadn’t gone bankrupt then, I doubt it would have survived the 1990s.

        1. You’re probably right. It got co-opted by the Democrat Party. And then the Republicans surrendered.

  9. PSAC 610 doesn’t want its members to have sex?
    What are they, the Catholic church?

  10. Ah, the comments:

    Senior doctoral candidate at another school August 27, 2014 at 12:04 am –
    What these undergraduates don’t realize is that their capering seems like the foolishness of children, and that any TA who dates a student will be shunned by their peers as a kind of intellectual pedophile. Let’s be clear: if your TA is a senior doctoral candidate, then you may well have been in grade school when they were seated where you sit now. (Eww?.)

    This may be the most pretentious thing ever written.

    1. So legal ADULTS who date or fuck should be within a set number of years of each others’ ages to NOT be considered an ‘intellectual pedophile’.

      The thought process here is so absurd and bereft of intelligence as to be staggering if I didn’t know better.

      1. It’s not the age, it’s the credentials that matter to this asshole. In other words, he crawled up his own ass as a defense mechanism because none of those 19 year old “children” were interested in him.

        1. Picture Comic Book Guy with…well, pretty much just Comic Book Guy.

        2. I understand that side of it but why the ‘Eww’ which connotes sexual-revulsion?

    2. Yeah, that’s right. No 30 year old man would ever be interested in a 22 year old woman. Especially if the 22 year old were a hard body just looking to have a fling with someone she thinks might be a little more skilled than the guys her own age. Yeah, you’d have to be a big pervert to have sex with someone more than 6 weeks younger than you.


        1. Too late! I’ve already been triggered! Where’s my inhaler?!

  11. “Not only does the spirit of the article run contrary to Western’s efforts to have a workplace and learning environment that is free from sexual harassment, it is disrespectful of the essential contribution graduate teaching assistants make to Western’s academic mission.”

    This is an example of the civil religion on display: It’s adherents believe their views are so natural, so obvious, so self-evident, that not only do they require no rational defense, but to even consider defending them would undermine their self-evident righteousness.

  12. The obvious solution is for the school to randomly pair students as sex partners for the semester.

  13. Not to defend the nannies, but, sadly, they have a point. I once gave a speech for a speech class encouraging the class to make it easier for thieves to steal and use their checks. It was intended, of course, as a satire the point of which was to teach them how to safeguard their checks. (It was the 70’s, stealing checkbooks was the most viable form of identity theft). I actually had people in this college class criticize me because they thought I was serious. Never underestimate the cluelessness of the average (or above average) person.

  14. Story taken down with typical awful apology.


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