Is anyone else sick of the jerk genius?
You know the one. He’s unprofessional, lazy, selfish and rude, and even makes frequent sexist and racist remarks against the people around him, but that’s OK, because he’s a genius. He’s the best doctor/detective/scientist around, so everyone will put up with his jerkitude. Respect for others is the foolish pastime of the less intelligent.
We’re clearly meant to admire these (exclusively male) characters, or at least be amused by their social ineptitude. Their dismissive attitude to others, and especially their sexist jokes to others, are aspirations. They’re geniuses, observant and intelligent. They are just telling it like it is!
Which is one of the reasons I really love Sherlock Holmes in new CBS drama, Elementary. Yes, he’s a genius, and yes, he’s kind of a jerk at times. But he isn’t allowed to get away with it. His rudeness, his laziness… these are clearly character flaws, and his (female!) partner isn’t afraid to call him on his nonsense. And in return, he says things he shouldn’t, but he also respects her, he listens to her, and he even apologizes for things that he does. He isn’t a genius running rampant in the city, above the concerns of all the other silly humans. He’s an intelligent, observant, but flawed human, and he has to follow the same laws of decency as the rest of us.”
The myth of the jerk genius is one of the reasons, if not the main reason, why quite a few academics are nasty people. Some are nasty to everyone indiscriminately; others are nasty to those with less power. The worst part is that even good academics, even academics who have been harmed by this dynamic, subscribe to the jerk-genius myth. In one of the most discouraging conversations I’ve had since starting grad school, a female friend argued that “some people earn the right to be assholes.”
If I had to isolate my most fundamental belief, I’d say that no one ever earns the right to be an asshole (never mind that most forms of power and intelligence are inherited, not earned). And the more power and intelligence you have, the greater your responsibility not to abuse those qualities. The jerk genius is an entertaining fictional type, but I wish he’d stay in the realm of myth, where he belongs.
it’s all fun and games when people make posts about how every teacher in the world is cruel and unfair and that all they could do is be nicer and let more people go to the bathroom or sleep in class or whatever but did you know
- the teacher is responsible for every kid in their class and everything they do
- when a kid skips class it’s on the teacher
- more often than not the teachers are asked to only let a limited amount of people go to the bathroom, and also they don’t want anyone to miss work because they have a limited amount of days in the year to teach you stuff for your exams/tests/SATs
- the teacher don’t maliciously wish you discomfort. they work for the school and every school has its own guidelines. it’s unfair to pin your teachers for everything you hate about school when they go there everyday because they have to, just like you.
- teachers understand why you sleep in class. they went to high school too. but they are literally not allowed, at least in all the schools i know, to allow you to sleep. it’s just a rule. it’s not allowed. they can get in trouble. they don’t want to make you have to be tired all day but they have no choice - some schools fire teachers for this
- making jokes like “but did you grade our homework so what you have other classes so do we” is not funny and is immature and pretty ridiculous. teachers have to read, correct, calculate, grade, log, and file, the work of every student in all of their classes, and all you have to do is do your homework from each class. it’s different. not to mention just like you, teachers have lives, hobbies, and they can get just as tired.
- if someone gets up and hits another kid for saying something mean they have to send you to the principle’s office. in some schools saying offensive things also gets you trouble, but more often than not schools have rules on physical violence, and teachers have to follow those like anyone else. some teachers, maybe, who aren’t as worried about losing their job, might let it slide. but in most cases this is exactly what gets people fired.
- i could go on and on tbqh
- remember that some teachers don’t like their work, but a lot of teachers love going to school and teaching and inspiring kids in any way they can, whether it be in math, english, science, drama, anything. so when you cheat on yours tests or homework, don’t read a book assigned for class, or talk to others when they’re teaching, they can get offended. they’re doing something they love - they’re investing their lives into helping you. you may not like school, but at least appreciate the teachers.
- that being said, if your teacher swears a lot or bullies kids or is down right incredibly rude, it’s not okay, like it wouldn’t be with any other person. and if it’s making you uncomfortable, you should report it.
people who put the video link in a little “x” under their gifs are my favourite kind of people
people who put the “x” under their gifs and you think it the link to the video but is really a link to their blog are my least favorite kind of people
a short poem:
that you take
that we teach
What we see through social media is a generation of ignorant social activists. Young men and women all too willing to care about and defend something they don’t truly understand and refuse to educate themselves further on because they assume the limited information they receive has been vetted by someone more knowledgeable than themselves. This happens on both sides of the fence, with both conservatives and liberals.
I’ve seen arguably intelligent young men and women stand up at banquets and rallies, demanding answers about things like healthcare, DOMA, federal military actions. Asking questions about things they’ve seen on Facebook, on twitter, things that they’ve taken little to no time to research for themselves, and they look like fools. No matter their age, they paint themselves with a red mark that announces ‘I’m not mature enough to be here, to discuss these issues’.
But even so, it isn’t truly about age. It’s about social awareness. You are not discounted until you make a mistake. Say the wrong thing or quote the wrong statistic. Until then, your legitimacy remains intact.
Tumblr is like this.
I’ve seen people furious over gay rights legislation that doesn’t actually exist. Wars that haven’t happened. Most recently text posts with tens of thousands of notes alleging that China and Russia are going to go to war with the US over Syria.
Blogs relaying damaging misinformation written by individuals who can’t seem to be bothered to read a newspaper or use google properly. This is a crippling trend, and no one sees it.
These people get untold attention and affirmation until one person with a large enough follower count points out the flaw in their argument. Corrects the mistake, and shifts the tide. But this doesn’t fix the thousands of people who liked and reblogged the original post. The damage is done.
If there is one thing I’ve learned from working on political campaigns, very little is more damaging than an activist who argues only one side of the story without recognizing the existence of the other; because your opinion, no matter how solid and seemingly factually based, is invalid the second your audience realizes they know more than you.
And the result of all of this is a generation of young activists who don’t understand why they aren’t being taken seriously.”