Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Gender and Sexuality Resource Center: Politically Correct to the Max

The following comes via e-mail from the College of Arts and Sciences:
The Department of Social and Cultural Sciences Colloquia Series concludes this year with the following presentation. We hope to see you all there.

Friendship, Fiction and the Dream of Disloyalty:

White Women Telling Tales of Racial Justice Collaboration

Dr. Susannah Bartlow, Director, Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, Marquette University

From Uncle Tom’s Cabin to The Help, white women have centralized their own participation in civil rights and racial justice work and characterized their roles as benevolent, transgressive, or transformative. But the narratives and experiences of women of color (particularly African American women) belie this fantasy. What stories are white women telling themselves as they create and consume this work? Reading The Help through a critical race and queer feminist lens, this paper outlines the parameters of a project on interracial collaborations in pursuit of racial justice.

Friday, 26 April 2013, 3 PM LL 272
Gosh, of course the way to interpret any text is through a critical race and queer feminist lens. And of course, any notions that any whites have about helping blacks achieve equality must be bogus. We all know that whites are evil . . . even those who thought they were helping black people.

This, of course, is from the Director of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center that is, the Gay, Lesbian and Any Kind of Sex That Catholic Teaching Considers Illicit Resource Center.

Yes, the same Center that sponsored the FemSex seminar, until Marquette came to its senses and cancelled the sponsorship.

The mentality that pervades the Center is typified in a course the Director, Susannah Bartlow, taught at Dickenson College before she came to Marquette. Titled “Justice,
Gender,” it is described in the syllabus as follows:
Ecofeminism analyzes how the same paradigms and historical inequalities devalue and oppress both ‘women’ and ‘nature,’ leading to the oppression and denigration of both. This course is meant to open theoretical, historical, and scientific avenues into your ability to analyze and understand the ways that, in Western society, women are treated as inferior to men, ‘nature’ is treated as inferior to ‘culture’, and humans/men are understood as being separate from, and often superior to, the natural environment/women.

Through a lens which acknowledges the connections between sexism, racism, class exploitation, and environmental destruction, the class will explore and undermine many of the common conceptions which balance technology, culture, progress, innovation, and might, against the traditionally feminine circularity, connectivity, tradition, sustainability, and community innovation. As we learn to understand the misguided, anthropocentric, and engendered frameworks which have led to both personal injustice and global disasters from dangerous climate change to dangerous eye makeup, we can begin to see how solutions to environmental problems require a feminist perspective, and feminist theory and practice require an environmental perspective – in other words, how we can be warriors for the many environment(s) such as forests, waterways, communities, and our own bodies, that we care for, and do so in radically more ecological way than patriarchal norms ever have documented or allowed.
The actual content of the course is exactly what one would expect, given the description.

What topics are covered? All the ones you would expect in an uber-politically correct course. And some that seem a bit odd even to people familiar with politically correct academia:
  • Toxicology in the body / nail salons / The beauty industry
  • Ecofeminism and environmental justice / agrojustice issues [yes, agribusiness is evil]
  • Women and Meat [Don’t you dare enjoy that hamburger!]
  • Dismantling oppression: An analysis of the connection between women and animals
  • Discourses of racial difference in ecofeminism [we can’t pass up an opportunity to invoke race]
  • Native Peoples and the Environmental Crisis [we all know that Indians were huge environmentalists]
  • Uses of the Erotic [got to work in sex here]
  • Boygasms and Girlgasms [ditto]
  • Why Agricultural Biotechnology Will Not Feed the World or Save the Environment [apparently feminism will]
  • Toxic Tampons and Coming of Age
  • Reproductive Justice [of course these folks are pro-abortion]
  • Reconstructing the Hiroshima Maidens
  • Climate Change & Gender Development
  • Gender, Militarism, and the Environment [yes, every bad thing is connected to every other bad thing]
  • Rherotic [sic], Rape, and Ecowarefare [sic] in the Persian Gulf [can’t we get another two or three bogie men in that title?]
  • Sick of Man‐Made Chemicals [obviously, only the natural kind are any good]
  • Ecofeminist Organizational Tools [what we really want you to do is get out and push our political agenda]
So what we have is a course that has shoehorned into it every obsession of the obsessively politically correct. The possibility of any substantive discussion is virtually zero. Any skepticism about global warming, or inconvenient facts about unsavory practices among “native peoples” or any arguments that technological advances have radically reduced hunger in the world are simply ruled out of bounds.

The requirements for the course are as vacuous as everything else about it. One is:
Reflect on your relationship to your body. How is your body both gendered and not gendered? How do you relate to your body? Is your body gendered? What are the other dualisms which dictate your fundamental associations to your body.
We’ve heard certain exercises described as “naval gazing” but never seen that concept so explicitly mandated in a college course.

Why in the world would Marquette hire a director of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center who buys into all this? Particularly, why would they hire somebody who is pro-abortion?

The answer is simple. Marquette is radically over-bureaucratized, and university bureaucrats think like this.  Any that don’t think like this know it’s prudent to placate certain constituencies: gays and lesbians, feminists, humanities faculty, liberal media outside the university. Thus we have an institution with only a thin veneer of Catholicism. Underneath, the place is saturated with the secular ideologies that prevail in academia generally.

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