Oxford University is considering a proposal to drop the two most influential of all ancient writers, Virgil and Homer, from its required Classics syllabus.
The reason seems to be that many in the Classics department of arguably the world’s most famous university believe that Homer and Virgil are stumbling blocks for female students.
Eliminating the two foundational authors will help close the “attainment gap” between male and female students.
The Oxford Student reports:
The Mods course, which is assessed by a set of ten exams at the end of Hilary, has been increasingly criticised in recent years, due to the attainment gaps found between male and female candidates, as well as between candidates who have studied Latin and/or Greek to A-Level (Course I) and those who have not (Course II).
Some members of Oxford’s Classics Department say dropping Homer and Virgil would “would result in an incomplete and less fulfilling course of Classical study.”
You don’t say. Teaching Classics without Virgil and Homer would be comparable to teaching English literature without Shakespeare. Oh, wait—that is happening, too.
Shakespeare is often eliminated from curricula because he is a dead white male. Virgil and Homer are facing possible elimination because women are deemed either uninterested in or unable to master the two writers. An impoverished education (to the extent this can be called education) is the result.
This is also condescending to women.
Finder’s Fee: Charlotte Allen