Hero Heteros Fight For Straight Rights On Campus
From North American campuses, we have two stirring tales of bold thinkers who are unafraid to be conventional. First, at Smith College, the sad tale of an unnamed woman who sought to fight back against the rampant gay-friendliness of the Northampton, Massachusetts, private college’s social scene. All she wanted, she said, was a place where she could feel safe, to be free to be who she is. In a now-deleted Tumblr post, another student posted the woman’s email inviting like-minded students to
start a sorority at smith (Delta Gamma/DG), which would basically just be an exclusive group for straight girls, a little friend group.. We would have sorority mixers with Amherst men, weekly dinner dates, weekly photoshoots where we would dress up nice, baking nights.. We would also get Sorority apparel (even Lily Pulitzer has the cutest DG stuff!) and we’d have traditions, like every wednesday we wear pink haha
The student added that “personally as a straight girl at Smith, I feel marginalized and I feel like the minority,” and so she thought it would be a “really great way to socialize with people we identify more with at smith, and to meet more guys.” Poor thing. Bet she feels just like the protagonist of this My Little Pony fan fiction, a girl pony in an alternate-universe Ponyville where everyone is gay, but she realizes that she’s (gasp!) attracted to a stallion!*
The Smith student’s proposal wasn’t met with a lot of enthusiasm at her own school for some reason, but has already become an example of “liberal intolerance” at rightwing sites.
Our other tale of Boldy Going Where Everyone Has Gone Before comes from the University of Toronto, where novelist and literature teacher David Gilmour is wondering why anyone is making a fuss over comments he made during an interview in Hazlitt magazine. All he did was say that he tells students,
“If you want women writers go down the hall. What I teach is guys. Serious heterosexual guys. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chekhov, Tolstoy. Real guy-guys. Henry Miller. Philip Roth.”
But really, it’s not like he thinks women can’t write well; he just identifies with white males for some reason. In a follow-up interview with CBC News, Gilmour explained,
“I choose all material for my courses according to people whose lives I feel are vaguely close to mine, but whose work I really adore … There are a lot of other people who are equally good writers. I don’t teach them, not because they’re not equally good, but because I don’t emotionally connect with them as I do with other writers.”
And why should anyone have to read or teach things that they don’t personally connect with? Plus, he just loves Virginia Woolfe, though unfortunately her stuff is “too sophisticated” for his university students. And he’s definitely not sexist or anything, because he’s not saying that women can’t write as well as men:
“I love Alice Munro,” he explained. “I think she’s as good a writer as they come. But she writes about an arena of human experience — small-town, rural Ontario — that, frankly, doesn’t speak to me. I’m a Phillip Roth guy. I teach about people who live in the heart of the city, who have the same masculine concerns that I do. And if people don’t want to study that, they should go down the hall and study with someone who can teach it far, far better than I can.”
Gosh, what a very, very inspiring case for higher education, which is all about keeping one’s horizons precisely where they are.
*To be fair to the author of the fanfic, I honestly can’t tell whether it’s intended to be a “reverse world” look at homophobia a la White Man’s Burden, or a protest similar to the Smith student’s. The fic’s “heterophobia” tag isn’t helping, either