Homophobic Presentors are Hard to Listen to…

The politics of location of Bloomington, Indiana… Obviously Bloomington is very accepting to the plethora of lifestyles here. Bloomington, as a whole that is. Something that I am highly entertained by, and also easily offended by, is the ignorance I witness in other classes. Even on a campus as liberal as Indiana University, you still come across individuals that do not censor their language as to not offend anyone in the very diversified classroom setting.

I want to present an issue that came up in another class I am currently in. My other class is the study of Elizabethan poetry. As most of us probably know by now, Shakespeare wrote many works that involved homoeroticism. There was this recurring image of a beloved boy in many of his sonnets. So, a fellow classmate starts presenting Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129, and rather than informing the class of background information, he just starts critiquing homosexual lifestyles and tendencies. This did not make sense with his partner’s argument, seeing as “homosexual” lifestyles were not even considered gay in Shakespeare’s time. It sent his presentation straight to boot, which consequently lost all my respect in his authority of knowledge on the subject. What I find even more mind-boggling is that when he made a nasty comment about how it is a seemingly simple task to pick up a one-night stand by stopping by “Uncle E.’s,” most of the uninformed students in the class started laughing! For those of you who are not familiar with “Uncle E.’s,” it is a gay bar on the West side of town. Basically, what I would like to say is that Gender Studies classes are on of the best ways to inform people across universities that do not know a whole lot about gender variant lifestyles. I find it especially important to teach people how to speak professionally without crossing the boundaries of the many zones of gender variance. When someone speaks about the topic unintelligibly, it comes across offensive because it is such a touchy subject for a lot of people. Here is the poem, in case anyone would like to indulge in a good read.

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and till action, lust
Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,
Enjoy’d no sooner but despised straight,
Past reason hunted, and no sooner had
Past reason hated, as a swallow’d bait
On purpose laid to make the taker mad;
Mad in pursuit and in possession so;
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;
Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.
All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.

I just find it repulsive to sit and listen to someone who speaks about a craft as intricate as Shakespeare’s and dog on it, and depreciate its value because he wrote about a lovely young man!


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