Could Valedictorians Go the Way of the Dinosaur?

There’s an increasing trend throughout American high schools: doing away with valedictorians and even class ranks.

Associated Press:

The ranking of students from No. 1 on down, based on grade-point averages, has been fading steadily for about the past decade. In its place are honors that recognize everyone who scores at a certain threshold — using Latin honors, for example. This year, one school in Tennessee had 48 valedictorians.

About half of schools no longer report class rank, according to the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Administrators worry about the college prospects of students separated by large differences in class rank despite small differences in their GPAs, and view rankings as obsolete in an era of high expectations for every student, association spokesman Bob Farrace said. There are also concerns about intense, potentially unhealthy competition and students letting worries about rank drive their course selections.

Among those weighing a change is Lancaster High School in suburban Buffalo, where students are leading an exploration of replacing valedictorian-salutatorian recognitions with the college-style Latin honors of summa cum laude, magna cum laude and cum laude.

I also found an article that attempts to explain why high school valedictorians rarely become uber-successful and why the average millionaire’s high school GPA was 2.9. Read it here.

The Newest Sexist Words?

“Genius,” “flair,” and “brilliance.”

I wish I were joking.

Breitbart:

Instructors at Cambridge University are told to avoid using words such as “genius,” “flair,” and “brilliance” because of the alleged association those terms have with men.

History lecturer Lucy Delap of Cambridge University claims that instructors are told to avoid using such words because they “carry assumptions of gender inequality.” She went on to suggest that the reason why men earn more first-class degrees at Oxford and Cambridge is because women struggle with the “male-dominated environment.”

However, this isn’t the case in the United States. There are over three million more women than men enrolled in degree-granting programs in the United States as of 2017. Current projections suggest that this gap will only increase in favor of women over the next decade.

“Some of those words, in particular, genius, have a very long intellectual history where it has long been associated with qualities culturally assumed to be male”, Delap said. “Some women are fine with that, but others might find it hard to see themselves in those categories”.

Delap added that the push towards a more gender-inclusive academic environment extends beyond language-policing. The Cambridge history department is rewriting the curriculum to create a “wider set of paper choices” and to ensure that all language that can be considered specific to a gender, class, or ethnicity will be erased.

Men Banned from Sitting Comfortably on Madrid Public Transportation

Seriously.

The Telegraph:

Madrid has moved to ban ‘manspreading’ on its public transport system after feminists convinced the city’s left-wing council that men invading the space of others with their splayed legs was a problem that needed to be tackled.

I refuse to non-ironically use the word “manspreading.” It’s a classic example of 21st century SJW lingo, much like “gender fluid,” “pansexual,” “triggered,” “microaggression,” and “safe space.”

Madrid’s EMT transport corporation has unveiled a new set of stickers to be placed on all city buses including one of a male figure with his knees spread wide apart, accompanied by the slogan “Respect others’ space”.

This is not about space issues. Most men don’t take up an unreasonable amount of space when spreading their legs. It’s another effort to control men, as Dr. Helen Smith pointed out.

The change comes about after a group called Mujeres en Lucha (Women at War) launched a social network campaign against ‘manspreading’ and presented a petition signed by 10,000 people to Madrid city hall.

“It’s a question of culture. We women have always been told to occupy the least amount of space possible, and men haven’t,” said a leader of the anti-manspreading campaign, Alejandra de la Fuente.

I don’t remember ever being “told” to occupy the most amount of space possible. Men just do it. Likewise I doubt that women were ever “told” to occupy the least amount of space possible. They just do it.

But some men took to social networks to denounce what they feel is sexist persecution of the male gender.

“The MAN part of the word is out of order. I have seen women with handbags on other seats, lying back and spreading their legs like men…” Jesús Herraiz from Madrid said on Twitter.

True that.

“We believe that putting a name to and making visible these kinds of daily sexist behaviour that go unnoticed is the way ahead to become more aware, seeing what we used not to see and leaving inequality and machismo behind,” said Clara Serra of Podemos in presenting the motion.

Confirms that this is not about space issues. Liberal crusaders like Clara Serra know it’s a way to repress the “machismo”—i.e., masculinity— of men in the name of “equality.” They’re openly admitting as such.

For the record, most men don’t spread their legs in order to “exude masculinity” or “show women he’s the alpha in the room.” We do it because sitting with our legs close together is uncomfortable for our “boys,” if you know what I mean.

SJWs will seize any opportunity they can to stamp out what they think stands in the way of “progress” and “equality.” Even petty stuff like this.

Chelsea Handler’s Recent Remarks

On her Netflix show a few days ago, Chelsea Handler implored Ivanka Trump to try to change her “fucking asshole” father’s mind on abortion. Yeah, because insulting her own father will definitely get her to do that.

More recently, in an interview with Hollywood Reporter, Handler associated Trump’s stance on guns with “not giving a shit about anybody”:

The answer seems clear in the United States: restrictions on who is able to purchase firearms and, like the Brady Center advocates, expansion of background checks. However, it’s not so simple, as the country has a president now who received more money for his campaign from the NRA than from any other group. What does that mean for the cause?

We’re in a really tricky time right now, you know? A lot of people are feeling very listless and helpless, but at the same time, I say to myself every single time, “Just get up and get out.” No matter how defeated you feel, no matter how depressing the news is, show up. Show up when you can. I have no question about what’s right and what’s wrong, so it’s good to constantly remind yourself and constantly show up, especially when you don’t feel like showing up, especially when you feel defeated. Get out there and support the causes that you can. People need to be louder than ever with this president and his relationship to the gun lobby. He doesn’t give a s— about people. He doesn’t care about anybody.

Handler also said the following:

If you want to go shoot, you know, whatever, in the woods, that’s fine, but it’s a hobby. If your hobby is [affecting] innocent people being killed all the time, children included, don’t you think you should reconsider the lack of restrictions placed on your hobby?

Does any woman exemplify the feminist archetype better than Chelsea Handler? Two abortions at age 16, unmarried and childless at age 42, nauseatingly liberal, out of touch, and just a vulgar person in general. Does anyone think she’s insightful or even funny? If so, I have never met them.

Americans Don’t Know Where North Korea Is

This article from the New York Times illustrates that Americans who were able to find North Korea on a map tend to favor diplomacy over military aggression. They also overwhelmingly favor doing something over doing nothing.

The rest of the data is just as, if not more, interesting. One thing that struck me: people ages 45-54 are by far the worst age group at identifying North Korea. My mother falls into that age range, and she said she doesn’t remember ever learning geography in school. On the other hand, I do remember learning geography and having to identify foreign countries on map quizzes. And sure enough, millennials are significantly better than their parents at pointing out North Korea. Pretty anecdotal evidence, but I’m sure we’re better at teaching geography than we used to be.

Yet nevertheless, the stereotype that Americans flat out suck at geography still rings true. Only 36 percent of adults could correctly locate North Korea on a map. Here’s each guess:

I mean, come on. I expected fewer people to select major countries such as China, Japan, India, and even Australia (!!!). Sad.

Why make such a big deal about the geographical illiteracy of Americans, you may ask? A University of Oregon professor explains:

This spatial illiteracy, geographers say, can leave citizens without a framework to think about foreign policy questions more substantively. “The paucity of geographical knowledge means there is no check on misleading public representations about international matters,” said Alec Murphy, a professor of geography at the University of Oregon.

Simply put: Since Americans are geographically illiterate, they’re more likely to let politicians and the mainstream media tell them what to think about foreign policy. If you remember the 2014 Ukrainian turmoil, the media was hostile towards the pro-Russian protesters as well as Russia itself for annexing Crimea. Unsurprisingly, those who couldn’t identify Ukraine on a map were more likely to support military intervention. Those most likely to support intervention were furthest off in their guesses.

In a conversation with my father on this topic, he mentioned that American geographic illiteracy is a symptom of a larger problem: the average American’s lack of curiosity about the world in general. This is a great point. Think about it: if you knew anything about the cultural and sociopolitical climate of Iraq, you would’ve been more likely to envision a post-Saddam Iraq not as a “rosy scenario,” but as the spark for chaotic, violent sectarianism.

Now I wish someone would conduct a study to find a correlation between one’s ability to locate Syria on a map and his likelihood of supporting the forceful removal of Bashar al-Assad from power. That’d provide some intriguing data, and based on what we’ve seen here, I think I know the answer.

The million dollar question, though: How do we solve the geographic illiteracy of Americans? Is it even solvable?

I don’t pretend to know the answer, so let’s allow this scholar to take a stab: