“Women, you can have it all–a loving man, devoted husband, loving children, a fabulous career….They say you gotta choose. Nah, nah, nah. We are a new generation of women. We got to set a new standard of rules around here. You can do whatever it is you want. All you have to do is want it.”
That was Jada Pinkett-Smith at Harvard this past Saturday (reported by the Harvard Crimson) guest-hosting the annual Cultural Rhythms show, a multi-culti event that features dance, singing, and other entertainment by a spectrum of student ethnic groups. Pinkett-Smith?s speech was par for her course: She herself is a successful musician, actress, mom, and glam-wife of comedian Will Smith. Pretty inoffensive stuff, right?
Not if you?re at Harvard. And not if you’re a member of Harvard’s Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, and Supporters Alliance, which immediately issued a press release complaining that Pinkett-Smith’s remarks were “heteronormative” (thanks to The Anchoress for the chapeau-tip).
Here’s how the Crimson reported it yesterday:
“BGLTSA Co-Chair Jordan B. Woods ’06 said that, while many BGLTSA members thought Pinkett Smith’s speech was ‘motivational,’ some were insulted because they thought she narrowly defined the roles of men and women in relationships.
“‘Some of the content was extremely heteronormative, and made BGLTSA members feel uncomfortable,’ he said.
“Calling the comments heteronormative, according to Woods, means they implied that standard sexual relationships are only between males and females.”
Then–get this–the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, which had sponsored the Cultural Rhythms show, apologized for Pinkett-Smith’s remarks! Well it didn’t quite yet apologize, but it said that it will soon, as it hastened to distance itself from what Pinkett-Smith had said. Here’s the Crimson’s report:
“According to the Foundation’s Student Advisory Committee (SAC) Co-Chair Yannis M. Paulus ’05, the two groups have already planned concrete ways to address the concerns that Pinkett Smith’s speech rose….
“In order to discuss these concerns and ensure that such a misunderstanding doesn’t occur again, Paulus said the BGLTSA and the Foundation are planning a joint breakfast later this week as well as a general discussion forum for all of the SAC member groups.
“Paulus added that the Foundation will issue a letter later this week apologizing for any offense the show might have caused and encouraging concerned students to attend the planned discussions.”
And this being Harvard, whose president, Larry Summers, hasn’t yet stopped groveling for making some female professors feel nauseous over his remark that men’s and women’s brains might be different, it’s likely not to be the first apology. Harvard just can’t stop making an ass of itself as it scrambles toward total political correctness but, like Aristotle racing the tortoise in Zeno’s Paradox, never quite gets there.
Harvard means always having to say you’re sorry.