I’m not sure if kids shoot spitballs anymore, but there are brand new ways for teachers to have had the last straw.
At Brooklyn College (BC), one of ’em is pelting a peer with a pernicious pronoun.
So call a “he” a “they” or a “they” a “she” or, perchance, a “(f)aer” an “em”…and you’re outta there with your bad self/perself/verself/xemself.
To be clear: I believe life is short, and one should absolutely present oneself precisely as one most wishes.
A professor at BC goes beyond that — he’s going to make sure everyone conforms to each other’s personal vision.
And he/she/ve/zie/(f)ae who disagrees will get the boot.
As per a syllabus obtained by Campus Reform, here’s how B. Lee Aultman describes himself:
“Pronouns, Gender Identity, and Racial Insensitivity: My name is B. Call me B. I am nonbinary, transfeminine. For my information concerning the use of these terms please consult http://transstudent.org. I use gender-neutral pronouns (they/them). “
B.’s deeply devoted:
“I adhere to a strict policy of respect for the gender, sexual, and racial identities of my students. “
And he’s not afraid to make a move against those who wield unwanton words:
“Intentional misgendering, as with any attempt to slur another student’s personal integrity on the basis of race, ethnicity, or religion, will result in immediate dismissal from class for that session. Continued abuses will result in disciplinary action with the appropriate administrators.”
In case you were wondering, the class at issue is “Fundamentals of Sexuality and Gender Studies (AKA Fundamental Concepts in LGBTQ Studies).”
But there’s a potential, fundamental flaw: The edict threatening ejection may be out of step with the school’s regulations.
Campus Reform reports:
This disciplinary policy appeared to contradict Brooklyn College’s procedure for class disruptions.
According to that policy, if a professor has a “disruptive, but non-threatening student” who “refuses to desist and continues to interrupt” class or if a professor has a “hostile” student, he or she can immediately dismiss the student from the class session.
“Disturbing communication,” CR notes, “only merits reaching out to the student and the department chair.”
Therefore, Campus Reform reached out to school Media Relations Manager Rich Pietras, who indicated he was “not aware of [the] classroom guideline.”
As it turns out, Brooklyn “believes that all classroom guidelines should be crafted to support learning.” Thus, the teacher was asked “to not dismiss students from the session, but rather to consider a range of effective pedagogies instead and to use the college policy with regard to gender discrimination.”
CR was made aware of the syllabus by another instructor at the school, who’s not thrilled about the direction things are going:
“This is a particularly aggressive abuse of what is clearly a trend towards enforcing speech codes on students and faculty. … [F]ailing to refer to someone by their preferred pronoun should not result in the immediate dismissal from class.”
One student dropped out of class after reading the pronoun policy. They don’t believe B. is being reasonable with expectations:
“It is unreasonable to expect everyone to be accepting of the new standards of proper or acceptable behavior that the twenty-first century has made way for with its fast-changing dynamic. [The professor] has asked his students to address him by the letter ‘B’ in addition to using the pronouns ‘they/them’ when making mention of him. It is one thing to ask to be referred to as a member of the opposite sex, but another thing to ask to be referred to in the third person.”
As relayed by CR, the student suspects B. is hijacking policy for personal affirmation:
The student [said] that the syllabus uses “academic discipline as a means of ensuring his own comfort.”
Here’s a short bio for B., from a webpage which appears to be his own:
B LEE AULTMAN, PH.D.
Educator, Researcher, Trans
My name is B Lee Aultman. I am a political theorist living in Brooklyn. I earned my Ph.D. (2018) in Political Science from The Graduate Center, CUNY, where I pursued a major concentration in American politics and a minor concentration in political theory. My dissertation, Feeling as Knowing, was a multidisciplinary study of the ways in which ordinary affect and self-knowledge assemble and found the narrative accounts of gender non-normativity. I am currently working on a book project entitled A Politics of the Trans Ordinary (Albany, NY: SUNY Press) where I examine life-making practices and the political entanglements of everyday life for trans communities. My areas of interest emphasize trans studies, Black feminist studies, affect theory, phenomenology, and Marxism. My work has appeared in TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, Wagadu: A Journal of Transnational Women’s and Gender Studies, Writing from Below, and LGBTQ Politics: A Critical Reader.
Enjoy his writings — such as “Injurious Acts: Notes on Happiness from the Trans Ordinary” — here.
Putting aside the issue of gender identity and speaking broadly with regard to speech and dialogue, not long ago, people were generally allowed to disagree. And many did — that was part of the beauty of the country.
Personally, I’d say it’s better to have discussion than ejection. But I’m just spitballin’ here.
Back to the class: if you’ve been looking for something educational to digest, maybe check out an essay from the recommended reading list that entertains an old-time question: “Is the Rectum a Grave?”
No better time than now to finally find out.
See more pieces from me:
Find all my RedState work here.
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