The Sociology of Gender

Posted: Nov 08, 2004 12:00 AM

Dear Allen:

Thanks for your letter outlining the problems you are having with your ?Sociology of Gender? professor. Your contention that the professor and course are both ?stupid and should be banned from campus? seemed a little too harsh at first. But then I read the quiz given to your class, which is reproduced below:

1. What do you think caused your heterosexuality?
2. When and how did you decide that you were a heterosexual?
3. Is it possible that your heterosexuality is just a phase that you may grow out of?
4. Is it possible your heterosexuality stems from a neurotic fear of others of the same sex?
5. If you've never slept with a person of the same sex, is it possible that all you need is a good gay or lesbian lover?
6. To whom have you disclosed your heterosexual tendencies? How did they react?
7. Why do you heterosexuals feel compelled to seduce others into your lifestyle?
8. Why do you insist on flaunting your heterosexuality? Why can't you just be what you are and keep quiet about it?
9. Would you want your children to be heterosexual knowing the problems that they'd face?
10. A disproportionate majority of child molesters are heterosexual. Do you consider it safe to expose your children to heterosexual teachers?
11. With all the societal support marriage receives, the divorce rate is spiraling. Why are there so few stable relationships among heterosexuals?
12. Why do heterosexuals place so much emphasis on sex?
13. Considering the menace of overpopulation, how could the human race survive if everyone were heterosexual like you?
14. Could you trust a heterosexual therapist to be objective? Don't you fear (s)he might be inclined to influence you in the direction of her/his own leanings?
15. How can you become a whole person if you limit yourself to compulsive, exclusive heterosexuality, and fail to develop your natural, healthy homosexual potential?
16. There seem to be very few happy heterosexuals. Techniques have been developed that might enable you to change if you really want to. Have you considered trying aversion therapy?

In your letter, you asked for advice on how to answer your ?lunatic? professor. It may disappoint you, but I am going to advise you to ignore this woman. There is simply no chance that you will get into an intelligent argument with this professor. Clearly, she is not committed to quality intellectual discourse. She is just another tenured professor with the emotional development of a sixth grader, hoping that she can get under your skin and cause a ?homophobic? reaction. Don?t fall for her childish antics.

Unlike most of the cases that are brought to me from other universities, I actually know your professor personally. By the way, your assessment of her is fully accurate. If it makes you feel better, this is a professor who once suggested that we should initiate ?all women? armies in order to put an end to war ?once and for all.? She also takes offense at breast implants for women while fully supporting the rights of trans-gendered persons to have sex changes. I guess that, as a ?sexuality? expert, she knows what?s breast for everyone.

Granted, you did not know that your professor was an idiot before you took the class, but that is what you get for taking more sociology classes than you were required to take in the university basic studies program. Before you sign up for another sociology elective, remember that sociologists have failed to solve any of the major social problems that they have studied over the last century. In fact, as a general rule, the more that they study a problem, the worse it gets.

That may also be one reason why many sociologists are jumping on the bandwagon of moral relativism. As the problems they study get worse, there is a growing incentive to reclassify them as ?non-problems.? That partially explains why homosexuality is no longer considered to be a behavioral disorder.

In addition to making a bad decision in signing up for ?The Sociology of Gender,? you could have made a much better choice of universities. I am sure you now know that your school recently sponsored a ?Queer Film Festival.?

One of the festival?s films was about the ?sexually charged worlds of male impersonators, actors and affluent women looking for female companionship.? Another was ?a brilliant, in-your-face film made especially memorable for improvisational moments that expose audience assumptions about being gay and disabled.? That film starred a gay man with cerebral palsy. Finally, one of the films told the story of ?how a volleyball team composed mostly of transvestite gays and one trans-sexual competed in the 1996 national championships? bringing ?the issue of male effeminacy into a new light.?

Allen, I know that you are planning to attend graduate school in the future. Before you apply for graduate school, do a complete search of the webpage of each university you are considering. If they sponsor things like ?Queer Film Festivals? move on to your next choice. And after you graduate from your current institution, make sure that you send them a donation for $.02. Then really put in your ?two cents worth? by placing a note in the envelope saying ?donation to the ?Queer Film Festival.?? And, finally, ask them to mail you a receipt for your donation. That means that they will incur a loss of $.35 for every $.02 donation you make.

Someday, our universities will learn that the public does not want to fund ?sexuality? and ?gender? studies and ?queer film festivals.? Until then, it promises to be a long semester. Hang in there.