I started collecting “Oh Bothers!” in 2009 on my TROUBLE blog. I thought that I’d feature some on this Problem section of my UNDISCIPLINED site. Here’s the description that I gave when I started creating them:
“Oh bothers!” will include anything that I find particularly reprehensible, repulsive, or just plain annoying. The term, bother, has been one that I have adopted as of late in order to stop saying f**k (which is a favorite word of mine) in front of my highly impressionable kids (who are 3 and 6). Any resemblance to Winnie the Pooh’s catch-phrase is purely coincidental. (Don’t get me wrong, I really like classic Winnie the Pooh. But, somehow, I don’t think Pooh meant “oh bother” in the same spirit that I do.) Like I said, I started uttering “oh bother” about a year ago when my kids got old enough to understand and repeat inappropriate words. It seems rather fitting to use this phrase in relation to making/staying in trouble. After all, to be bothered by something is another way of being troubled by it, right? To bother someone is to trouble them, right? To be in a state of botherment (is this a word?) is to be in a state of trouble. This category is different from my other categories. The “oh bother” examples are meant to be analyzed by you, dear reader, and not me. I want to know what you think about these examples. Perhaps the “oh bother” is a request or a command–as in, (won’t you please) bother these examples for me because I can’t or don’t want to.
My “oh bother!” posts inspired a few assignments that I developed for my classes:
Yesterday in class, it was suggested that we use my “oh bother” concept (from my trouble blog–see here) on our blog. Instead of calling it, oh bother, I thought we might title it, “Queer This!”. What do you think? I thought we could post images, news items or anything else that you feel speaks to issues related to queering theory and/or our readings and class discussion. It could also include anything that you believe especially deserves a queer analysis.
What is a feminist issue? What makes that issue important for feminists? How might analyzing this issue from a feminist perspective enable us to understand it better and to come up with compelling and productive solutions for it? Because these questions are central to the course and our reflection on feminism and why it is or isn’t relevant, I wanted to create a category in which we could explore what it means to think about something as a feminist issue.
So, this category is for posting images, news items or anything else that you feel speaks to issues related to feminism. It could also include anything that you believe especially deserves a feminist analysis. And it could include topics, issues, or events that you feel are connected to feminism or deserve a feminist response, but you are not sure how or why. Entries filed under this category should invite us to apply our growing knowledge of feminism/feminist movement/s to popular culture/current events or should inform us about ideas, topics, or images that are important for feminism. When posting an entry/example, you could pose a question to the reader or provide a brief summary on the example and/or why you posted it.
You are required to complete a series of assignments involving our course blog category: “What’s Sex Got to do with this?” This category is for posting images, news items or anything else that you feel speaks to issues related to the politics of sex and/or our readings and class discussion. It could also include anything that you believe especially deserves a feminist and/or queer analysis. Entries filed under this category should be entries that invite us to apply the critical skills we are learning to popular culture/current events or that inform us about ideas/topics/images that are important for raising critical awareness of sex/gender/sexuality politics.