Was Charlotte Bronte's first biographer, a longtime friend, too willfully miscomprehending or envious to tell the truth? Has our author been too long mischaracterized as a meek miss? I love Charlotte's journal entry about teaching at the Roe Head School, and recalled it when I used the descriptor "fat-headed oafs" in my last post.
"I had been toiling for nearly an hour. I sat sinking from irritation and weariness into a kind of lethargy. The thought came over me: am I to spend all the best part of my life in this wretched bondage, forcibly suppressing my rage at the idleness, the apathy and the hyperbolic and most asinine stupidity of these fat headed oafs and on compulsion assuming an air of kindness, patience and assiduity? Must I from day to day sit chained to this chair prisoned within these four bare walls, while the glorious summer suns are burning in heaven and the year is revolving in its richest glow and declaring at the close of every summer day the time I am losing will never come again? Just then a dolt came up with a lesson. I thought I should have vomited."
Read the entire, worthwhile article by Tanya Gold in The Guardian here:
In other news, another conservative speaker has gotten a pie in the face while speaking at a university. Harmless enough, perhaps but what if you're chronically allergic to milk products and even skin contact makes you break out in hives and anaphylactic shock? That prospect seems unlikely, but the action, if not dangerous, is designed to be disrespectful and uncivil. It hardly elevates discourse. In fact, its aim is to stop someone from speaking words in a combination that is so offensive to some tiny mind's sensibilities that he must take physical action against it. This offended person may even be a "pacifist" who would condemn another person for violence predicated only on a phrase that starts, "Your mama..."
One only has to imagine if the speaker weren't as adroit as Bill Kristol or now David Horowitz, perhaps someone with a litigious, victim mentality or someone who has actually been physically threatened for speaking his beliefs, this kind of behavior wouldn't be tolerated or so lightly punished. Stifling someone else's speech not only betrays the weakness of your own position but the weakness of your character.
A professor at the heartland campus in this last incident agrees. His blog entry at Bright Mystery is here: