Thoughts on Sexuality Requirements

One of my students told me that at UCSB they are trying to pass a gender and sexuality requirement. That means that every student, before they graduate with their B.A. of whatever, will have to take and pass a course on gender and sexuality. This belongs in the diversity G.E. requirement of the University. I am not sure how true this is, but I am not surprised.

This got me thinking about why a university would force their students to learn about gender and sexuality issues, like we learn about U.S. history, or we take a non-Western culture class before we graduate. These courses are designed to teach us about either ourselves and why we identify a certain way, or others and how they identify that way.

Those who are pushing for a gender and sexuality requirement are not pushing simply a moral issue in itself, even though my Christian upbringing might say otherwise. They are pushing for it because that's how they identify, and they want to educate others about it. This thought is not bad in itself, either. I want to educate people about my causes, too.

The real problem that I see does not have to do with the University or forcing others to listen to a point of view they may not want to hear. The problem that I see is that we use our sexuality to identify ourselves. I fall prey to this too, when I wear that dress or give myself a once over in the mirror.

That's right, folks. Those with whom we sleep, make love, or have intercourse, the most intimate of encounters, that usually (and I daresay, naturally) happens behind closed doors, is thrust into the light and is on the forefront of our actions. Just the other day, I heard a conversation between two girls about a guy who had a horrible time deciding if he was bisexual or straight. This was in public for all the world to hear.

Do I really want to know what happens behind your bedroom (or living room haha) door? No! It's almost self indulgent to me. There are other problems in the world. Like genocide. I am sure if your race were in danger of annihilation you would not be thinking about whether you liked boys or girls.

So, come one folks. Let's learn a new way to identify ourselves. What causes are we a part of? Maybe it is not simply the equality for homosexual couples in marriage law, maybe it should be the equality for all, expressed through marriage law. Maybe it's not simply informing others of existence of "trannies;" maybe it should be exploring why "trannies" exist and possibly why their hearts are so deeply wounded that they need to express themselves in that way. Heck maybe we need to take up the cause of all the hurt and wounded in this country.

So, let's not define ourselves through how we feel, but how those feelings have stirred us to action, and what we want to do about it.

Yes, the University, by imposing this G.E. requirement is looking to be "inclusive." But, until we can get past and over ourselves, we will never be "inclusive." We will only be whiny us-against-them.

1 comment:

Veronica said...

Well said. Sexuality is part of what we do it doesn't define all of who we are. I think this GE requirement is a refelction of the turmiol of the time, much like the gender studies and ethnic studies, but it all falls under the diversity. When people feel attacked they retreat or fight back. Some are choosing to fight back through education. But that's not the solution because very few Californians have the priveledge of a UC education. The the other side also felt "attacked" by people of the same sex wanting to have the same rights as them. But as you said, it has more to to with personal hurts than with true moral or social justice. Some of us are too busy thinking we're more deserving of certain rights than others. Not just in issues of marriage either.