10 dic. 2003

In Profession of 2003 (published by the MLA), an article by a woman (Donna Pasternak) who accuses herself of being "intolerant" for failing "to help a student remain in American Literature 1860 to the present..." Apparently the problem was that the student wanted to drop the class because there were some gay students in it. (It was against his religion to "condone" that "lifestyle."). I don't understand this use of the word "intolerant," that would make it a misdemeanour to be intolerant of racism and homophobia. Her half-hearted and too-respectful answer to this student failed by not being strong enough.

Perhaps I'm not being fair. The article is certainly thoughtful and thought-provoking, and I'm glad I read it. I'm sure my response to such a student would have been counter-productive: "Well, the course itself includes numerous gay writers like Walt Whitman, Tennessee Williams, and Allen Ginsberg, so even if you take it another semester without any openly gay students you will still have to confront your ignorant attitudes." I just wince when I see this well-meaning but mealy-mouthed use of the concept of tolerance.

No hay comentarios: