You would have thought that with I Am Charlotte Simmons, Tom Wolfe?s fictional expose of the 24/7 rutting now rampant on college campuses, the last thing post-secondary students need is a mandatory course about sex. But no–a group of students at the University of Michigan is pushing the faculty for exactly that, and if they have their way (thanks, Penn professor Erin O’Connor of Critical Mass for the hat tip), every Michigan undergrad will have to devote 3 credits out of the 120 required for graduation to fulfilling a “Gender and Sexuality” requirement.
And don’t think for a minute that this course would be a scientific overview of, say, the way in which the male great spotted woodpecker differs from the female, or how two-striped telamonia spiders do the deed. Uh-uh. The required Michigan course, as described by the campus newspaper the Michigan Daily, would consist entirely of ideological indoctrination at guess which end of the political spectrum:
“‘A Gender and Sexuality requirement will create new dialogues, challenge hegemonic discourse, break taboos and stigmas, and open up realms of communication between all students,’ states the students’ proposal, slowly being circulated among…faculty members. The plan would incorporate a wide swathe of issues, from classes on ‘Hollywood Masculinity’ to those on gender and health.”
As Erin writes:
“In other words, this is a course requirement that would force all UM students to undergo a mandatory process of political consciousness-raising.”
I can’t believe that the taxpayers of the state of Michigan want to pay for a system in which students couldn’t graduate from a public university without having to learn how to “break taboos and stigmas.” Yet, as it turns out, Michigan undergrads already have to take another required course in “Race and Ethnicity,” pushed through by the faculty about 10 years ago and which you can bet your bottom dollar isn’t about Caribbean dialects or Polish wedding customs. Talk about “hegemonic discourse”–there’s nothing but that at the U. of M.