Monday, April 24, 2006

Blog Against Hetereonormativity

I know it's a bit late for me to be blogging against heteronormativity -- that was on Saturday -- but I had a really awful weekend, so cut me slack.

Anyway, it was this student I wanted to blog about. He'll remain nameless. And it's not his fault, anyway, is it? It's this land he lives in.

He wrote me a paper in which he included a paragraph that got cutting about gays, how disgusting it was that gay people did those gay things, yap yap yap, how he wished gay activity didn't happen and gayness would just stop.

This happens, I would say, about five or six times a year -- I get comments like this, though not often from students as intelligent as this kid.

I drew a deep breath and did what I always do: I wrote a restrained and gentle comment in the margin of his paper, to the effect that he ought not to assume, as he apparently was assuming, that everyone in his audience would agree with him that teh gay was teh evil.

After class, he came up to me and demanded to know if I was insisting that he be "politically correct" when he wrote.

I told him, just as gently (I swear I did, I swear I was restrained), that no, he did not have to be politically correct (can I mention in passing how much I hate that fucking phrase?) but that he really ought to be more, well, objective.

"Society does have a prejudice against homosexuals," he said. "That's all I was saying."

"You were saying you agreed with that prejudice," I said, "and you expected the reader to agree with it as well. That's different from pointing out a prejudice against gay people."

He looked bemused.

"Phrasing it one way is acceptable," I said. "Phrasing it the other way, in a paper on literary criticism, is really not."

He said he would think it over.

Half a dozen times a year, I swear, I get this.

1 comment:

zelda1 said...

I admire your restraint. Sometimes I think they want the argument, you know the attention from their professors, that's why they do it. Or why the really smart ones do it. The girl, the one from the lobby where I sit and study, says anti gay, anti Jewish, anti feminists, anti liberal, things all the time and I, in the beginning, had dialogue with her and then I realized she wanted the argument, wanted to be disproved and then she said so. So, that's it, so. Anyway, when she tries to bait me these days, I say, I refuse to participate in a discussion where one or more of those discussing closes their minds to new ideas and are only arguing for the sake of argument and not for the sake of enlightenment. Go eat your four packages of donuts and candies and chips and tell someone else how righteous you are and how all the rest of us are going to hell. Yes, that's what I said to her.