I mentioned in an earlier post that I was having a few issues with my Brit Lit professor and his tendency to force the subject of religion in class when there's no reason, in context to the text itself. But he just keeps getting worse!!
We had a paper due last week, so he brought in an old paper to share with the class. He had us read it and then started the conversation with "There's a reason that I chose this paper. You'll notice that it's written about a female character. Now I want you all to avoid following the fad of writing this way, of falling into the trap of feminist criticism." Yup... feminism is just a wacky fad right now. Or for the last, oh, 100 years. I'm sure it'll fade any day now.
But today... oh wow.
We were discussing some of Shakespeare's sonnets. Including 20 which was written for a man and 144 which was written to discuss his pain in being torn between the man he loves and the woman he's having an affair with (never mind his poor wife and children!).
So he reads 20 aloud and then looks around the room and opens the floor for discussion with "As disturbing as it may be to even consider... could Shakespeare have been gay?" Well the woman in front of me immediately had her hand in the air and asked why in the world would it be disturbing to consider that anyone is gay? And he responded with "Well I think that most anyone would agree that it's a very odd concept to grasp about anyone." Oh yeah, the woman? Lesbian. I thought she was going to throw her book at him, she was so pissed. And I don't blame her a bit. Oh and he closed discussion by declaring "He wasn't gay. He was paid to write the sonnet for someone to convince him to get married." (BTW - There's a fairly large percentage of academic agreement that he was at least bi-sexual.)
So eventually we moved on and got to 144. In it the "dark lady" is not spoken about at all nicely. So he opens the discussion with "So, obviously we see again this expression of women being poor companions for anyone. What with mood swings and the usual female trickery, their constant lusting, and these are the Bard's words, not mine. But you know... stereotypes exist because what they say is true."
I actually went to another professor today to ask if there was another section of the class that I could transfer into and when she questioned me about why I told her freely and her response was "Sadly you're not the first student I've heard this from. Every year several students approach me about this problem." In the end she advised me to tough it out so that I don't lose the money I paid for the class and if things get really bad, talk to the department chair. So I'm trapped in this hell of intolerance.