Building on a foundation laid by the Massachusetts “gay marriage” decision, and perhaps the Larry Summers smackdown, some students at Harvard are working with an official university body to do something about the problem of heteronormativity—the tendency some people still have of speaking as if male-female relations set some sort of sexual standard. The issue came to a head when a female singer came to campus to receive an award and made some inspirational feminist comments about relationships in the course of her talk:
â€œWomen, you can have it all—a loving man, devoted husband, loving children, a fabulous career … They say you gotta choose. Nah, nah, nah. We are a new generation of women. We got to set a new standard of rules around here. You can do whatever it is you want. All you have to do is want it.â€
â€œTo my men, open your mind, open your eyes to new ideas. Be open.â€
Students who took offense because the comments were so specific to opposite-sex arrangements issued a press release calling for an official apology and remedial action. They’ll be consulting with the appropriate authorities, who it appears had a hand in drafting the press release, so it seems likely that steps will be taken.
In Ontario they seem to be a few steps ahead of us on these things, so there’s been some official progress on the point. Words like “wife”, “husband”, “widow” and “widower” are to be struck from their law on the grounds that they offend the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It appears that such words now stand for a love—married love—that dare not speak its name because its name has been compulsorily redefined to mean something else. Things won’t stop there, of course. The reason for PC is that an attempt to restructure reality can’t possibly come to an end. Infinite vigilance is needed, and the need only grows as time goes by and the ramifications of the stubborn inherited “bigotries” that constitute actual human life become more apparent. Wait until the professionals take on education. Family, marriage and domesticity have taken somewhat of a beating in modern textbooks. They’re likely to make a comeback, now that a new form has been found that aligns them with the forces of what is called progress.
Emerson put it best: “Every reform is only a mask under cover of which a more terrible reform, which dares not yet name itself, advances.” The difference between today and his time is that the reforms advance more quickly, and there is less need to hide their meaning, because their advocates are more generally in control of things.