Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Red Guards Take Over Mount Holyoke College

Just when you thought that it can’t be that bad, it gets worse. Just when you thought that the university system has not completely abandoned its mission to teach, we find a major American college indulging in the most brain dead form of political correctness. 

Here, we are not talking about its indulging some tenured professorial crank, some radical dimwit who refuses to be categorized as either male or female who thinks that his or her or its goal in life is to advance the new campus cultural revolution. We are talking about policy, the policy laid down by a one venerable and venerated educational institution, Mount Holyoke College.

Once a beacon for educating women, Mount Holyoke's administrators have found a way to make complete fools of themselves and to devalue the college's degrees. Keep this in mind, whatever you think of the nonsense coming from the Mount Holyoke administration, the attendant publicity will stigmatize the degrees its students hope to receive.

In the name of supporting trans and non-binary students, the college has handed out some new classroom guidelines. Charlotte Hays leads us through the thicket of stupidity. She begins by quoting the new instructions:

Pass around an attendance sheet, asking students to write their names, their roster names (if different), and their pronouns.

Pass out index cards or first-day surveys, asking students to write their names, their roster names (if different), and their pronouns. Some professors also ask for other relevant information, like Year, Major, Languages, Anything I Should Know (Commuter, Student Athlete, Coming to See Me About Accommodations), Why Are You Taking This Course, and so on.

Don’t assume you can tell what pronouns someone uses based on their appearance.

When you begin the semester acknowledging that pronouns and names matter, students are more likely to feel comfortable in your class, and thus be able to focus on the material you’re teaching.

To each her own pronouns. Or is it, to each his or her own pronouns. Why not simplify the problem by making everyone equal: to each it’s own pronouns.

So, a teacher must remember the preferred pronouns of each student. Each student must remember which pronouns to use with every other student. Has it crossed anyone's mind that this is wildly wasteful... undermining social organization and putting us on the path to anarchy. 

It takes a complete fool to pretend that this exercise in mind control, this offense to the English language, will help the students to focus on the material being taught. Being afraid of using the wrong-- that is, the grammatically correct pronoun-- will not help anyone to focus on the material.

So, the night riders of the thought police believe that they are creating a congenial learning environment. They have not stopped at the classroom. They have extended their policing to everyday language—the better to practice mind control, or better, mind suppression.

The college continues:

  • When discussing the student body, say ‘Mount Holyoke students’ rather than ‘Mount Holyoke women.’
  • Avoid making statements like ‘We’re all women here...’, or referring to ‘...the two genders...’
  • Invite your students to let you know if you misgender them so that you can avoid doing so in the future.
  • Use gender neutral language whenever possible, but certainly in your syllabus and other general written communication.
In what used to be a distinguished women’s college, you are no longer allowed to identify as a woman. You must use gender-neutered language. The school will reduce all of its students to Its. Surely, this will solve the problem. And what will said teachers do when they assign material, be it literature or philosophy, that fails to follow the school’s indoctrination manual? How much time will teachers spend apologizing for Shakespeare, or will the bard be banned for using incorrect pronouns? And what about Jane Austen? Surely, she did not use neutered pronouns. Will they simply erase all literary and philosophical works from the syllabus, limiting themselves to the Little Red Book of Chairman Mao. Though to be fair, their new versions will have been authored by Chairperson Mao or by Chair Mao. 

Just when you thought it can’t get worse, it did. The college administrators added a note about what is now called intersectionality. If this does not seem to be radical leftist claptrap, I don’t know what does. It would be amusing if it were not being imposed on students and faculty, without their being able to dissent. They can happily disrespect the flag, but they have no right to misuse pronouns. That is to follow the rules of English grammar. It doesn't take a triple digit IQ to see the madness here.

What is intersectionality? I am glad you asked? Mount Holyoke defines it as thus:

We are all located at the intersection of multiple identities. That is, there is no single African-American, female, cisgender, working class, or first-generation experience. Taking an intersectional approach to our classrooms means becoming aware of the multiple forms of oppression and privilege each individual faces and how they interact with one another. Two transgender students from different class or racial backgrounds are going to have different perspectives and life experiences, even though they have one identity in common. An intersectional approach attunes faculty and staff to the wide range of experiences in our student body, allowing them to better support students as they navigate their time at Mount Holyoke.

Hays points out that in the old days, having multiple identities meant having multiple personality disorder, as in The Three Faces of Eve or Sybil.

It used to be that we were all Americans. It used to be that we were all students at this or that college or university. Now, Mount Holyoke College has regressed to a reactionary past where people belong to multiple pagan cults, each with its own rules and its own customs and its own passwords. One suspects that Holyoke is not alone.

We draw the only correct conclusion. Don’t send you daughters to Mount Holyoke. Don’t contribute any money to Mount Holyoke. If your child is already a student at that accursed place, withdraw her immediately. If you are an executive recruiter, cross Mount Holyoke off your list.

As we and many others have often mentioned, this madness will not stop until the alumni and alumnae stand up and call a halt to it… with their money.

If all of America’s universities are doing the same, we are doomed.


Andrea Daley Utronebel said...

Look at the bright side.

It undermines feminism.

Sam L. said...

You can't teach a lesson if you can't keep youths' pronons (and con-nouns) and adjectives straight. Won't be enough time in the period (a word which might offend some of the students who don't have them).

Anonymous said...

Mount Holyoke? Never heard of it.

DCE said...

Perhaps we should address all of the Mount Holyoke students as "it". "It" is non-gender specific pronoun, and will either offend no one or everyone (I'm betting on the latter). And it will let us use that rather creepy line from Silence Of The Lambs - "It puts lotion on It's skin...."