News from Columbia University that teaching Ovid may be off the curriculum because the Metamorphoses
contains triggering and offensive material that marginalises student identities.'Because it's important that undergraduates do not feel uncomfortable or marginalised.
i think I have been marginalised all my life. Perhaps that's my tragedy. Still, it's to be expected if one's a conservative
A translation of Homer published in America came with an introduction warning students that much of the contents would today be considered unacceptable. So did the translation I recently read of the memoirs of an Arab slave trader in Africa who expressed racist ideas. The translator had thought of expurgating it but decided not to. Thank goodness I read the great books before feminism and PC took over.
I read the Metamorphoses in Latin at 18 immediately after leaving school. It is full of rapes and is deeply sexist and patriarchal. Now the classics are taught - in English - from a feminist standpoint. Thank God I read old books deeply and widely as an adolescent without being taught them or taught to put them into the context of modern modish ideas. I presumed that old writers were civilised, which is why they were classics.
Of course 'patriarchy' can be, often has been, oppressive. Oppression you have always in all societies, including our own, but the differences between men and women are natural, God given, if you believe in that hypothesis, part of the natural order of things, not social constructs. People for centuries read the classics to distance themselves from the ideas of the age. What academics in the humanities are teaching students, most of who inevitably are not particularly intelligent, is anti-conservatism. Often they do so because ideas like feminism are simply useful ones to play with. We should find new ones for them to play with.
When I as up at university I wanted to find a conservative critique of history and literature and wish I had applied myself. Later on I discovered that religious writers and theologians were full of unexamined liberal premises. Often it seems that defeating these people in argument is so easy that it is almost cruel, but I have never found time to write the books to do so. It is becoming very urgent.
I refuse to give up but I can't help wondering if this is a dying civilisation. Largely because of feminism Europeans are dying out. I wonder if we are at the Marcus Aurelius point, the point where Gibbon begins The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.