Some Thoughts on “Genius” – a Not-Very-Useful Concept
There’s been a spate of writing about “genius” lately. Here, in Tweet form, are some of my thoughts on that concept. Hope you like them, and I welcome your comments, on Twitter, Facebook, or below. – Hillary
For millennia #genius has been gendered male, and used to justify everything from boorishness to rape and murder. Women were relegated to the role of muse and we were all expected to celebrate and exalt the female suffering that enabled some guy to do his thing. — Hillary Rettig (@hillaryrettig) May 10, 2018
So in bios of #DavidFosterWallace, his ongoing abuse (including assault, death threats, and stalking) of #MaryCarr were relegated to interesting, “illuminating” anecdotes. https://t.co/x4msfpSUMk — Hillary Rettig (@hillaryrettig) May 10, 2018
So what is “genius?” What a boring-ass question – albeit one that obsessed me when I was younger. Now I know that you just do your work with as much integrity and spirit as you can, and hope for the best.— Hillary Rettig (@hillaryrettig) May 10, 2018
Or, in the words of the Best TV Show Ever: “History will attend to itself.” #babylon5 — Hillary Rettig (@hillaryrettig) May 10, 2018
#Misogyny aside, the #genius label also places a high burden of expectation on a person, and many fold under its weight. #caroldweck has written a lot about this. https://t.co/tePxntSF8g #mindset— Hillary Rettig (@hillaryrettig) May 10, 2018
Also, the guy who coined the modern usage of the word #genius was a eugenicist. https://t.co/EdIKdRqF0F— Hillary Rettig (@hillaryrettig) May 10, 2018
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