Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Gay Blade of CalTech

There has been a lot of talk all over the Internet about the California action which, it seems, mandates the study of achievements of Gay folk in society. OK fine and good I suppose. I am just not sure that something like this is really necessary frankly. I understand and agree that at one time in was important to mandate that minorities and women be included in text books. Back in the day Booker T Washington, F. Douglas, Harriet Tubman, etc. etc. were given short shrift. Their achievements and contributions to our rich history were overlooked. I would like to think that this nation has grown past such segregation and that we can just learn about real achievement of persons from all walks of life. Of course I must be out of touch. It does seem that we continue to erect barriers that damage our cohesiveness as a nation. This is to our detriment.

Why can't we just celebrate the achievements of the human being instead of this segregation? Now a kid in California has to learn (and a teacher has to teach), that James, the eminent physicist, enjoyed inserting his penis in another man's rectum; in stark contrast to where most males like to insert theirs.  This kind of thing will, for the most part, create the reaction of sophomoric humor from students. I can absolutely guarantee that.

Why can't we just teach that James was an eminent physicist? Instead it appears his sexual preference must be heralded. This actually will serve, in my opinion, to degrade the (theoretical) man's accomplishment(s). It is almost as if we are saying that "look at what he accomplished in his life despite the fact that he was Gay." I have the same thoughts about touting race and gender as in "look at the wonderful things this person did despite the fact that he/she was a minority/female." It is degrading. It qualifies their achievement and contribution to society. It places an asterisk, if you will, on anything that they have done and it is wrong.

We, as a nation, should be beyond this.


Jayhawk said...

I'm on board with he here, Cabbie.

At one time all black people were omitted from the discussion when teaching history. To correct that, new classes were begun which consisted of teaching exclusively about the accomplishments of black people. Like you, I find that to be segregationist and unfortunate. To me a better solution would be to simply teach the class in terms of what everybody did, black and white. In doing so, mention of their skin color is worthwhile, just as it worth mentioning that Abraham Lincoln was taller than average.

Currently, I believe, gay persons are included in history, but the mention of their sexuality is concealed. To react to that by teaching an entire class consisting of "here are all the gay people" is, to me, separationist. We should simply add to the lesson that this person happened to be gay, another person happened to be black, and yet another happened to be tall.

Bartender Cabbie said...

I would like to see it where not one mention of race or sexual orientation is important. Just show students a persons' achievement and let the rest be incidental.