STUDENTS TOLD TO DISAVOW ‘AMERICAN-NESS, MALENESS, WHITENESS, HETEROSEXUALITY’
by RYAN LOVELACE
NOVEMBER 27, 2012
A political science professor at Butler University asks students to disregard their “American-ness, maleness, whiteness, heterosexuality, middle-class status” when writing and speaking in the classroom – a practice the school’s arts and sciences dean defended as a way to negate students’ inherent prejudices.
The syllabus of the course at Butler, a small Midwestern liberal arts institution in Indianapolis, spells out that students should use “inclusive language” because it’s “a fundamental issue of social justice.”
“Language that is truly inclusive affirms sexuality, racial and ethnic backgrounds, stages of maturity, and degrees of limiting conditions,” the syllabus states, referencing a definition created by the United Church of Christ.
The syllabus of the class, called Political Science 201: Research and Analysis, goes on to ask students “to write and speak in a way that does not assume American-ness, maleness, whiteness, heterosexuality, middle-class status, etc. to be the norm.” It is taught by a black, female professor.
In an interview with The College Fix, Jay Howard, dean of Butler’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, denied this practice essentially presumes every student who walks through the door is a racist or misogynist.