Friday, February 20, 2009

Overheard on Gmail

Chloe Angyal, to Molly Borowitz (re: drafting the Feministing weekly newsletter*)
"Republicans in Georgia have announced a new campaign to ban 'racy' classes like queer theory which they don't consider to be 'real' higher education. But those of us who have actually taken queer theory (or anything else outside of Georgia Republicans' rigid definition of higher education, which only includes business, math and science), are equipped with the ability to think critically about their claims. Also, those of us who have taken queer theory know there's absolutely nothing 'racy' about staying up past three in the morning to finish your Irigaray reading."

I wrote that for you, Mols :)

Molly replies:
This development saddens me on so many levels -- as a more ardent gay rights supporter than I even am a feminist, it breaks my heart to be reminded that we live in a society where people want to perpetuate single-sided debates. American universities, many of which rank among the most respected institutions of higher learning in the world, have a responsibility to their students to provide access to as many ways to understand the world as possible.

For me, queer theory is exactly that; a way to "read" the world through queer eyes, with which -- unfortunately -- not all of us were born. It also marks another step in the direction of treating queer folk as second-class citizens; banning courses like queer theory re-emphasize the message that queer reading, thought, political activity, family structure, cultural construction, and personal experience are less valuable than the straight versions of all those things.

Do these adults feel justified in making such decisions on behalf of young Americans simply because some of us might grow up to be gay rights advocates and activists? Fuck you guys. We are passionate, we are intelligent, we are self-aware, and we can choose our own classes, thank you. Queer theory isn't a required course...yet.


*to subscribe, scroll down the right-hand side of Feministing.

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