The meek will not inherit the earth

By Ruth Davenport

I’ve got a new crusade.

It started with a consideration of why people don’t want to say they’re feminists. I’m staggered by the number of people you talk to who’ll stutter and fumble and shuffle their feet as they explain that, yes, they believe in (insert textbook definition of feminist beliefs here) but nooooo, they’re not a feminist.

At first I got all in a huff and stamped my feet on the ground and got very annoyed with these people, but when you think about it, people don’t want to "be" the bad things. Do you want to "be" a racist? An anti-semite? A homophobe? An elitist? No. So why would you want to "be" a feminist? You want to not be a racist, anti-semite, whatever, feminist.

Eureka! I said to myself and set about redefining feminism so that it was a bad thing and something that our intellectually bereft could not be.

Then, upon careful reflection, I realized that this discovery of mine extended far beyond the realm of why people don’t want to be feminists: the not wanting to "be" anything addresses the fundamental concern of disinterest and apathy on this campus.

Crazy? Just hear me out.

Do students want to "be" in a club, aware, concerned, intellectually enlightened? Do they want to "be" on committees? Involved with protests? Involved with anything? Do they want to "be" empowered? Proactive? Do they want to "be" contributing members of a society? Do they want to "be" well-rounded and prepared for the "real" world?

No! The gross majority (and please note I say "gross majority," not "all") of students at U of C will flip their hair at these questions and answer that they don’t want to "be" a loser, a keener, a freak, a jock, a right-wing sphincter-hobbit (OK, so that may not be true) or whatever. This campus is in a perpetual state of denial, with constituents that don’t want to "be" bothered.

So if they don’t want to "be" anything, what do they want? A fine question. Here’s the answer: they want to "have" stuff. They want to "have" a job, a degree, a great body, a better government. They want to "have" more money, lower tuition, better events, more clothes, a better cell phone, a pony (there I go again…).

Here’s the rub, you apathetic wankers: you get what you deserve.

I know, it sounds like a shocking notion for most of U of C’s live-at-home-commuter-whiners to contemplate, but you "have" exactly nothing until you "be"-come something. Say it with me now:

"I am a concerned student!" See how easy that was?

A singularly illustrious and enlightened member of the SU was kind enough to call me a shit-disturber last week. I was extremely flattered because on a campus where apathy society meetings are cancelled on a regular basis due to a lack of interest, recognition for "be"-ing anything at all is a compliment of the highest accord. I am very pleased to "be" someone who proactively seeks change and the means to enact it. I’ve spent four years "being" more than a university student so I’ll "have" more than a university degree, and I don’t regret a single thing. Trust me. After four years of being a shit-disturber, I "have" a sweet smell of roses.

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