Award winning novelist and teacher David Gilmour dared to speak the unspeakable. He prefers male novelists and so teaches their books. Needless to say, this prompted a bit of a feminist firestorm in response. Perhaps the feminist outrage was best articulated by Professor Jessica Langston in her letter to the National Post:
“Like many, I am offended by David Gilmour’s comments — I am, after all, a female professor who teaches Canadian and First Nations literature…
“… Mr. Gilmour is denying himself and his students the privilege and responsibility of his profession to be intellectually and emotionally challenged. How would we ever learn anything if we only read and discussed books about our own experiences? [my bold]
“If Mr. Gilmour is teaching any course besides one titled, “Middle-Aged, White Male Writers,” he’s not providing his students with an accurate socio-cultural picture. He should remember that white, heterosexual males have long been the normative standard; it is important to offer students dissenting or marginal voices.”
It is rather clear that the feminist academic position is that they should be “intellectually challenged.” Judging by Professor Langston’s letter, feminists have been most successful in this regard. And I must agree with her that hers is a decidedly marginal voice.
As for heterosexual and normative (sometimes expressed as “heteronormative”) this really means that male+not gay+white=bad. However, feminists need a Ph.D. before they really understand this complex concept.
The key point to take away from all of this is simple. The next time you read the words of a feminist, understand what you are really reading. The product of someone who is intellectually challenged.