If it were possible, the founders of Harvard would surely be spinning in their graves today. A group of students at this fine institution of higher learning, which was founded nearly 400 years ago to train preachers of the gospel, are in a tizzy over comments made Saturday by Jada Pinkett Smith, the actress wife of Will Smith.
Smith, who was being honored as the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations’ “Artist of the Year”, made some remarks about her life in particular and relationships between men and women in general–and this was enough to set off the PC alarms:
Students said that some of Pinkett Smith’s remarks concerning appropriate gender roles were specific to heterosexual relationships.
In a press release circulated yesterday by the BGLTSA (Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, and Supporters Alliance)-and developed in coordination with the Foundation-the BGLTSA called for an apology from the Foundation and encouraged future discussion of the issue.
BGLTSA Co-Chair Jordan B. Woods ’06 said that, while many BGLTSA members thought Pinkett Smith’s speech was “motivational,” some were insulted because they thought she narrowly defined the roles of men and women in relationships.
“Some of the content was extremely heteronormative, and made BGLTSA members feel uncomfortable,” he said. Calling the comments heteronormative, according to Woods, means they implied that standard sexual relationships are only between males and females.
“Our position is that the comments weren’t homophobic, but the content was specific to male-female relationships,” Woods said.
Free speech? Hello?
What’s astounding is that it isn’t enough to avoid openly homophobic speech anymore, we must avoid even implying that heterosexual relationships are normal to be “thoughtful”.
Excuse me, but have those kids lost their little minds?
This is a stunning example of mind-numbing idiocy. Can we get a volunteer to explain the facts of life to Harvard’s BGLTSA? They obviously don’t know they wouldn’t be here to suck up valuable oxygen if their parents hadn’t engaged in blatantly heteronormative behavior at least once. Horrors!
Harvard will survive, but between this ridiculous episode and the Larry Summers debacle, the institution is on the verge of becoming a running joke. “MBA from Harvard, eh? Very impressive, but do you know the difference between boys and girls?”
Look, “heteronormative” behavior has been the standard for most of the world’s societies for most of history. It’s also the standard declared by the one man in history who claimed to be God and then proved it by coming back from the dead. Choose as you see fit, but that’s good enough for me.