Barnard, Columbia at War Over Obama, Feminazis, and Cum Dumpsters

Illustration for article titled Barnard, Columbia at War Over Obama, Feminazis, and Cum Dumpsters

It's understandable that Columbia students are upset that President Obama will deliver a commencement speech at their sister college, Barnard, especially since the Ivy League university is his alma mater. But the degree of their ire — as evidenced via hundreds of comments on Bwog, Columbia's student-run blog — has both warranted a New York Times article and enraged Barnard students who feel the real issue — the incredibly misogynistic reaction — is being brushed off by the administration.

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The Times piece referred to the hundreds of "harsh comments" as indicative of a "schoolyard brawl" over a longtime rivalry: are Barnard's classes easier, as Columbia students often douchily claim, or is the women's college underrated? In the article, Debora L. Spar, Barnard's president, said the relationship with Columbia could be complicated and tense, but she brushed off the online commentary as what "probably is 19-year-olds writing at 4:30 in the morning." Lee C. Bollinger, the president of Columbia University, said the harsher comments "reflect the views of hardly more than just a few people," and that general disappointment was "completely understandable."

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Right! As we said, it is "understandable," sure. But why didn't the Times article actually quote any of the "completely understandable" comments? Barnard sophomore Anna Bahr sent us some choice selections from two recent Bwog posts on the subject:

  • "While you guys were perfecting your deepthroating techniques and experimenting with scissoring and anal play, we were learning Calculus (usually by sophomore year of high school)."
  • "Barnard is full of academically inferior students that are able to use OUR campus, take OUR classes, and are stereotypically easy to get in bed. We feel like we worked our asses off to get here, and it's annoying as fuck that Barnard can get the milk for free, so to speak."
  • "this is why we hate you cum dumpsters."
  • "It's feminazi's like you that give us women a bad name. If your reading comprehension skills were on par with say, a seventh grader, then maybe you would have realized your inference that I was criticizing women was completely invalid – I find fault with Barnard students and Barnard students only. I have absolutely nothing but respect for Columbia women as I AM ONE."
  • "Not only are you sexist as your initial reaction was to blame men, but all your gender studies bullshit have made you completely paranoid. Try using your Daddy's hard-earned cash in a respectable way if you want to be an ACTUAL role model for Women. That's why I study Math and Chemistry rather than Home Economics. Unlike Barnyard financial leeches, I have NO intention of pursuing an Mrs. Degree. I came here to make myself successful, not try to plead at the knees of a Columbia boy to marry her. pathetic"
  • "Moral of the story is that ugly, feeble Barnard women need to shut their jizz holes and just be happy that Columbia let Barnyard pretend it was affiliated for this long."
  • "This is a really shitty way to cap off our years at Columbia. The biggest marker of our time spent here will be overshadowed by the women across the street."
  • "Why would we want to lower the implied standard of our education by saying that Barnard is part of Columbia?"

Bahr said that she's frustrated by the way the administrations at both Barnard and Columbia trivialized the Internet ranting. "It is, frankly, a little shocking that President Spar would attribute references to her students as 'cum dumpsters' and 'sandwich makers' to bored kids without acknowledging the blatantly offensive, misogynistic tone accompanying it," she wrote. We agree: It's pretty fucked up that Barnard's president would dismiss the comments as the ramblings as "19-year-olds," given that 19-year-olds are the people spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to attend the college over which she presides. If they were "adult" grad students, would the Rush-Limbaugh-worthy trolling be taken more seriously?


After Barnard Gets Obama for Speech, Tensions With Columbia Bubble Up [NYT]

Image via [Patrick Nelson]

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DISCUSSION

pettyrubble
Petty Rubble

It's funny because when I visited Columbia and Barnard in highschool, I never got the impression that it was viewed by Columbia students the same way my eventual alma mater Notre Dame views Saint Mary's students. Saint Mary's is our sister school and, until the 70s, was where "Notre Dame" women went to school. Once female students were admitted directly to Notre Dame, Saint Mary's became a bit of a joke. It's long been established that girls who can't get into Notre Dame usually apply to Saint Mary's as a back up, and academically it's not as strong as ND. It's also long been used as a way to treat women like shit while attempting to "include" them in the boy's club that is Notre Dame. Saint Mary's girls are often labeled as less intelligent, more attractive and easier than their ND counterparts, which I'm sure doesn't make them feel that good. (I must admit I've been known to invoke this stereotype since it is a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy) And Notre Dame men would often lament how unattractive ND girls were in comparison, and how difficult they are as girlfriends BECAUSE they're smarter and more ambitious. And what really was hilarious to me was that most of the girls came from the same average-looking pool of midwestern white chicks, and what got one girl in at ND and kept another girl out and relegated her to Saint Mary's was probably just as arbitrary. They say you go to ND on your way to a PhD, and you go to SMC if you want your MRS degree. So you're either a stupid slut or you're a prudish know-it-all who's too high maintenance to be a girlfriend. You can't win as a woman in places like that.

I'm rambling and there is no real point here, but it's just interesting to me because I never made that connection before. I thought Notre Dame was a bit of an anomaly but now I know that these relationships between top tier schools and their sister schools are often just used to promote hostile environments toward women. And I kind of feel bad for calling any SMC chicks stupid sluts. There's a common sentiment that women often try and compete with each other, but I think a lot of that has to do with men trying to pit us against each other with stuff like this.