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UPROF Coming Soon: Heteronormative Studies

February 19, 2013

It’s quickly approaching that time of year again. I must submit a new curriculum for next fall. I want to get Hemingway back in this panty-waisted department. I think I’ll propose a course called “Hemingway and Gender Identity”. Why not? If we can have a Women’s Studies curriculum, surely we can represent men as MALES in literature. The argument has always been that it is always assumed that men are the authors. That’s no longer true, just as it is no longer true that men dominate academia.

Perhaps the PC title should be “Male Heteronormative Studies”. The last time I tried to offer a course on Hemingway, the wackos in the department argued that homophobia and heterosexism is already woven into the canon. We don’t need any more of it, they argued.

I’m not so sure that heterosexism and heterophobia are woven into anything. Nobody is forced into reading any text from any prescribed perspective. Literature tells the reader whatever he thinks it tells him. To exclude a major force that exists within the American canon is to force it into extinction. Where goeth Hemingway?

Hemingway’s work isn’t homophobic. His narrators just didn’t like wimps. What’s wrong with that? That isn’t homophobic. It isn’t even “heteronormative”. Geez. Lots of heterosexual guys are wimps. We can thank the women’s movement for that.

I’ll get shot down, I am sure.


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