Administrators at the University of Reading in England recently cut out several lines from a classic Greek poem to—you guessed it-- avoid offending students. Types of Women, a 2,000-year-old poem by Semonides of Amorgos, has long been taught to the school’s first-year classics students. It may continue to be, but in a neutered, politically correct version.
The U.K. Daily Mail obtained documents referring to the poem in which school administrators stated: “The portion of the poem now omitted involved a brief reference to domestic violence. That portion has subsequently been removed.” They added, “That part seemed unnecessarily unpleasant and (potentially) triggering.”
They did this even though not a single student had thus far complained about the poem. Such pre-emptive, proactive surrender is now sadly typical of Western institutions.
One can be certain that many of the greatest poems of all time will be similarly cleansed of anything that could (potentially) trigger so-called progressives. Here is the first stanza of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s The Charge of the Light Brigade:
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!” he said.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“The Valley of Death?” That could be triggering! The “Light” Brigade? Like light-skinned? An obvious celebration of white supremacy! “Charge for the guns?!” OMG, I feel faint!
What of another famous poem, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas?
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
“Wild Men?” Sounds like toxic masculinity to me! And again with the death theme! Also, we don’t say “blind,” we say “sight-challenged.” Moreover, “gay” should not be used in this way, or in any way, without the expressed, written consent of a member in good standing of the LGBTQ community. Finally, the exhortation to “rage, rage against the dying of the light” is clearly a dog-whistle intended to incite the white supremacist patriarchy to commit heinous acts of violence against peoples of color and other marginalized communities.
Poems like these aren’t merely problematic examples of intolerance and non-inclusiveness, they are hate-speech. And they don’t belong on a modern college campus. Or anywhere else. And anyone who disagrees with this assertion is an intolerant bastard who should promptly be cancelled! Right?
In truth, it is surpassingly odd that an ancient “brief reference to domestic violence” is verboten when used to instruct, at the same time abortion is legal, Antifa and BLM rioting/burning/looting is excused or even promoted, and popular rap and hip-hop songs celebrate misogynistic violence…and are considered a vital part of urban culture.