February 04, 2013
We’ve all been repeatedly told that gender is only a “social construct.”
We are also asked to believe that this particular social construct just so happened—what are the chances?—to have been artificially constructed almost precisely the same way across the globe in every culture throughout history. All those penises and vaginas—you know, not only the ones on male and female humans, but also on barnyard animals as well as the filthy and lascivious insects that prey upon their furry hides—are merely visual phantasms conjured from the fraudulent meanings that privileged patriarchal capitalistic corporate-sponsored heteronormative societies foist upon oppressed peoples.
Or something. There seems to be no end to the inane, reality-defying mantras of modern progressive education, mantras that seek to build and sustain—through force if necessary—a world that makes absolutely no sense.
It can’t possibly be that those pesky and elusive “social constructs” are often derived from biological realities, and this artificial thing called “gender” has some basis in those palpable things called “genitals.”
While we’re at it, I should remind you that race isn’t real, although racism is.
And rape is all about power and has nothing to do with sex, despite, again, the persistence of all those penises and vaginas.
Right. And I have some upside-down urinals I’d like to sell you.
By the way—I like urinals. I’ve always liked them. It may be going a little too far to say I “enjoy” them, but, yes, I like them. I like going into a public restroom and knowing they have contraptions that allow me to void my bladder without sitting on a sticky ocean of germs and waste material. I savor the fact that if I’ve had one too many coffees, I can dash into a public Men’s Room and drain the main vein without having to sit. I realize that women can’t do this, but that’s what nature intended. I’m OK with all that.
And yet there are those—mostly young, mostly naïve, mostly gay, mostly devoid of rudimentary reasoning skills—who deign to come and take away my urinals in their mad quest to make everything “gender-neutral” so the ridiculously tiny minority of genuine biological hermaphrodites can live their lives not feeling quite so uncomfortable as they otherwise would in situations requiring them to either urinate or defecate in public places.
Most disturbingly, the people who push this nonsense are clustered most stubbornly in our places of higher education.
I graduated from college in the mid-80s, and even then nearly all my teachers, especially in journalism, were self-admitted communists or at least “sympathizers.” In the intervening years, I’d had a vague sense that American education had drifted ever more slowly and stubbornly toward the rancid and insatiable pieties of cultural Marxism.
This became all too real for me about a year and a half ago when my son, only three years old and attending some kind of pre-pre-preschool, received a homework assignment where he had to honor his favorite figure in black history. (We made him do DJ Kool Herc just to confuse the teachers.)
But mind you, they were requiring that he honor black idols before they started teaching him to read and write. There’s something very, very wrong there. You might even say they have it all ass-backwards.
Through careful examination of leaked documents and rigorous interviews with confidential informants, I have recently fallen under the impression that the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is a place where parents blow about $40K a year so their kids can go dumpster-diving for rotted vegetables, play bongos late at night, and distribute free bagels to the homeless, with whom they often have unprotected sex.
From all appearances, it’s a place where the liberal-arts curriculum consists of teaching art students to be liberals, where the scourge of critical theory has entirely displaced critical thinking. It’s also a place where young and freewheeling spirits tell one another to check their privilege and to always use appropriate pronouns that sensitively reflect one another’s self-designated gender identity. You wouldn’t want to “misgender” someone, after all.
It’s a soft, warm, emotionally nurturing place where you can take both English and Art classes on Marx, although I’m not sure how he’s relevant to either discipline. You can also take classes called “Class Warfare,” “The Cuban Revolution,” and “Climate Change: Locally/Globally.” If you’re feeling especially edgy, there are also classes called “Getting Weird & Hilarious” and “Art of Crossing the Street.”
But if you want to go just bonkers with the postmodern deconstructive gender-bending Queer Theory anti-educational full-blown indoctrination stuff, Tuesdays this semester at SAIC prove that the long prance through the institutions is complete.
That’s where you can spend your entire afternoon and early evening grinding through a pair of three-hour courses called “Sci-Fi Queered” and “Gendered and Sexed-up Spaces.”
From the syllabus to “Sci-Fi Queered”:
This course takes as its archive a wave of feminist and queer science fiction written in the late twentieth century. The selected texts each have their own way of embedding gender construction in new and/or futuristic technologies, and we will be scrutinizing the imbrication of utopian possibilities for queered gender with the products of corporate control and asking where threads of dystopia and utopia may actually align. Coinciding with a wave of feminism in America, our texts have each taken as their building blocks for new possibilities of gender the very stereotypes, caricatures, and dehumanizing structures of subjectivity forced on them by dominant cultures.
Wow. And they can cover all that in a single semester? Required reading for the course includes The Female Man, Technologies of the Gendered Body, and He, She, and It.
By the way—that course is taught by a woman, so I guess you know what that means.
From the syllabus to “Gendered and Sexed-up Spaces”:
Situated at the intersection of queer and architectural theories, this course examines the pivotal role architecture and design play in the construction and performance of gender and sexuality. From public restrooms to gay bathhouses, gym locker rooms to sacred spaces, brothels to the suburban tract house, the built environment is a collection of conscious efforts to regulate, segregate, and create order among the sexes, genders, and sexualities based on heteronormative assumptions concerning body and mind.
Whew! You got all that? The required-reading list includes these doozies: “Finding a Place to Go: The Transgender Bathroom Dilemma,” “Restriction and Reclamation: Lesbian Bars and Beaches of the 1950s,” “Whoring in Utopia,” “The History of Gay Bathhouses,” and “Spontaneous pleasures: Sex between women in public places.”
By the way—that course is taught by a man, so I guess you know what that means.
Well, in the event that we’re some day faced with a dilemma where queer space aliens who are visiting our planet need to find a public restroom where they don’t feel their precious sexuality and gender identity are being unfairly ignored or maligned, I suppose that some of this information could be useful in a real-world setting.
Otherwise, I’m not seeing any educational value here.
And they wonder why the US education system is a mess. Please spear this monster in the heart. It’s gone too far. Teach the kids how to read, write, and use the Internet. After that, let their curiosity lead the way. Teach them how to use the tools, and if they’re halfway smart, they can figure out the rest. But don’t teach them what to think. It’s tacky.
This school’s list of courses sounds so fundamentally hostile to heterosexual males, I wouldn’t be surprised if you had to spit on a severed penis that they keep in a velvet box before they hand you your diploma.
I’m warning you—you can have my urinal when you pry it from my cold, dead…OK, let’s leave it at that.
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