A recent Campus Reform report
chronicled a University of Arizona anthropology classANTH 1501C: Humanity:
a How-To Guide, is apparently taught by Dr. Ruth Burgett Jolie, an Associate
Professor of Anthropology at the school. CR, which obtained copies of the
course syllabus, the assigned reading, and an essay question, notes that Jolie’s
research involves "how material culture is used by individuals to
create and reinforce gender roles."
The assigned reading included such gems as an article
titled “The Gender of Brazilian Transgendered Prostitutes.” The article was
part of a class topic called “Sexual Identities.” Its very first line boldly
states, “Males who enjoy being anally penetrated by other males are, in many
places in the world, an object of special cultural elaboration.” Say what?
“Special cultural elaboration?” What does that even mean? Could Dr.
Jolie elaborate on that? The article goes on to assert that sex between Latin
American males does not necessarily correlate to both parties being perceived
as homosexual. In fact, it states that, in this part of the world, “A male
who anally penetrates another male is generally not considered to be homosexual,”
but simply a “man.” Huh? Moreover, according to the class reading, some
communities even consider it to be a demonstration of one’s masculinity
to engage in gay sex.
Campus Reform acquired
a PDF copy of instructions for a required response paper Dr. Jolie's students
were to write on a topic (of their choice) relating to gender as a social
construct. The instructions read: “For this 300-400-word response paper,
you will reflect on the social construction of gender in the United States
today by bringing in your own experiences.” The instructions continue: "Bodies
are born, but culture makes us women, men, or other genders."
“Bodies” are born? Without any helpful hint as to
their sex/gender? Are you effing kidding me? If so, it is a very sick joke. Then
why are ultrasounds performed? I guess there is no need for gender-reveal
parties until each “body” is, say, 12 to 15-years-old. “Congratulations, it’s
a…we can’t tell…and don’t want to project our own preconceived notions of
gender onto our precious little body. So, yes, it’s a body! Yay!”
What is it with “Dr. Ruths?”
Anthropology: the study
of human biological and physiological characteristics and their
relating to the branch of biology that deals
with the normal functions of living organisms and their parts.
If biology and physiology have no set, objective meaning or
definition, then it is settled: “science” has none, either.