April 1, 2009

Controversy Over New Mini-Course

We've received a few emails today about the new Language of Ladies mini-course that has been ruffling a few feathers.

According to the course description, Language of Ladies "aims to take a critical look at dating across lingual/cultural barriers. Experts in each local will be brought in to the class for instructional purposes. Coming out of this class students should feel informed enough about different mating rituals to approach women of different national backgrounds."

Some students and faculty are uncomfortable, however, and are calling the class chauvinist and even racist. One concerned reader pointed out pictures on the course's Facebook group page that feature scantily dressed women saying things like "I make a great stocking stuffer" and "Like the United Nations...I am here to serve mankind."

The first lecture - which the Asian Students Alliance protested - was labeled on a Facebook event as "Orienting yourself for women of the orient." (This was not the actual name of the lecture.) Edit: The Asian Students Alliance was invited to sit in on the class in order to "verify its content."

Thoughts?

Update: Cancelled! See the above post.

8 comments:

Not so uptight female said...

Madsvassar needs to get its facts straight. The photos posted on the facebook group were posted by an international female as a friendly joke. As a female who attended the class I know that the creator is neither chauvinist or racist, and that this was a class about culture not race.
People need to leave the guy alone. The class was canceled by campus activities, those who were against the class got what they wanted.
Is this how everything that is controversial and different will be treated at vassar?

xtalhk said...

The root of the problem is the ignorance of those who felt it was appropriate to present and speak about women as sexual objects to be conquered, and foreign women in particular as exaggeratedly exotic, but all homogeneous within their "cultural" contexts. Being an international female does not make it ok for you to support that; by going along with this male chauvinistic, essentialist, racist way of thinking, you're just enforcing the subordinate status that something like this relegates to you. This is "controversial and different" because it makes it very clear that a number of people on this campus are not sufficiently informed about the history of colonialism and female oppression. This is not about being uptight. It's simply a discussion that needs to take place.

Crystal

jessica said...

"As a female who attended the class I know that the creator is neither chauvinist or racist, and that this was a class about culture not race."

hahhaah

it was about culture not race!

april fool's!!

Michael said...

"This is not about being uptight."

no, it is.

xtalhk said...

If you think it is, you're clearly not trying at all to empathize with those who are personally offended by this, or even begin to understand why they are. This campus, and this world, belong to more people than just those who share your views.

xtalhk said...

ok, was being redundant in the first sentence, but my point still stands

Mall Music said...

I am confused as to why no one has clarified whether the courses content was meant as a joke. whether or not you are offended, my question is how serious a title like "Orienting yourself to ladies of the orient" could possibly be.

PartyFowl said...

Honestly, uppity, supposedly "liberal" people can't tolerate anything politically incorrect. I went to the class, as did many of my friends,we were laughing the whole time. The thing was so facetious and meant in a humorous way in the same vein of Dave Chapelle, Sarah Silverman and other outrageous comedians that you people feel are too "offensive" to laugh at, but it was funny. But you probably didn't go, so you have no right to criticize something you only perceived through a self-awarely politically incorrect title. Stop trying too hard to take offense and appear progressive and just have more fun, honestly. People who complained about the course and never went just ruined a lot of Thursday evening fun for a lot of people.