February 04, 2013

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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