What is education in Canada coming to?
Teachers in Victoria are at risk of losing their contracts – and their seniority – if they happen to be pregnant. Whether or not this is actually legal, it’s a proposal the Greater Victoria School District is considering “to avoid classroom disruption.” Uh, how about avoiding glaring injustice and sexist employment discrimination?
Meanwhile, University of Toronto literature professor David Gilmour has been publically spewing his sexist, homophobic, racist teaching philosophy. Gilmour admits to teaching only literature by “guys. Serious heterosexual guys. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chekhov, Tolstoy. Real guy-guys.” Why is this? As Gilmour explains, “One way I’m an effective teacher is when I teach what I’m passionate about. I’m not passionate about books by Chinese authors, or by female authors.”
We at WAVAW don’t think it’s right that people should get forced out of the teaching profession for starting a family but not for spreading hateful b-s and turning their classrooms and curricula into white-hetero-dudes VIP clubs. You can let David Gilmour’s boss know what you think! If you believe that university professors have a duty to honour diversity–not to mention refrain from blatant bigotry in the mass media–you can tell the President of U of T’s Victoria College. Drop her a line at angela.esterhammer [at] utoronto [dot] ca.
Let’s hope Canada’s institutions of higher learning get a clue. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to figure out that a sexist, racist, homophobic curriculum doesn’t help anyone learn – much less cultivate empathy or work towards a fairer society.