Spirit Daily


From The Mailbag: Look How Far Harvard Has Strayed

I have to remain anonymous, but on November 6, 2004, I went to see an acapella concert at Harvard.  It was the Harvard Pitches, a female group, and the Din and Tonics, a male group.  Often these two groups will group up to get larger audiences.

They had a professor act as the MC.  This is not unusual, but not common.  I've seen other professors MC and make jokes before.

He introduced himself as teaching Human Sexuality.  It originally had 90 students.  Then 150.  And now, over 400 students. It was becoming a very popular course. 

He boasted how he was teaching human sexuality to future world leaders. 

He then mentioned that he was wearing the first designer suit that he had ever owned.  He had worn it to his wedding, when he married his husband.  He pointed out his husband in the audience, who also held a responsible position on campus.  I think an assistant dean.

He was very happy that Massachusetts had laws that would allow gays to marry.  As he spoke of these things, he was rallying the audience for gay marriage. 

He asked, "How about those Red Sox?" The Boston crowd cheered. 

He then went on.  Oh yeah, something else happened this week.  What was it?  Oh yeah, the election.  George Bush got reelected. Most of the crowd booed. But some cheered.   He clearly did not like Bush.  He kept very silent about how the 11 proposals on gay marriage were all defeated. 

He introduced the opening group.  After the first act, he came back on stage.  This time he was dressed in drag, dressed as a woman.  His stage name was Jenn Givitis. 

He wore a wig with the hair tied back.  And quite high heels, at least three inches.  And a strapless, high cut red dress made out of shiny sequins. 

The crowd cheered.  He walked around in his heels, impersonating a woman's walk quite well.  I realized that this was definitely not the first time he had dressed up in drag.  He was quite well practiced.  He had done it before, and I expect probably had appeared in the gay clubs in drag before too.  

He made some jokes. 

He said that President Bush had now come out with a "man date."  And that was a flip flop.

He added that he was over in Iraq entertaining the troops.  The troops had cheered, "We love Bush!"  The crowd didn't laugh at this, not getting this joke.  So, he said that he would pass on his next one.

In the second act, the Din and Tonics did a Barry Manilow song, Cococabana.  One of the guys put on a wig, and impersonated the women that the song is about. 

While most of the crowd had a lot of fun, I couldn't help thinking of a few things.

It's one thing for students to dress up and make fun.  Most all acapella groups have humorous skits.  Many will have skits about relationships, or lack thereof.  And often, they will do impersonations.  They are usually very creative, and quite funny.

But it's quite another thing for a professor, in a leadership position, to dress up in drag and promote homosexuality.  Will this guy get reprimanded?  Or did he perhaps even have approval before he did this?

Another thought, the gays are out for power, and they are in it for the long haul.  So what that Bush is reelected, and their 11 proposals get voted down? He is teaching human sexuality to future world leaders at Harvard.  They will gain their power eventually.  And then, with their elite minority in power, they will make laws promoting homosexuality. 

Just what is taught in this class?  See the syllabus below.  See also the article by a very offended student, and the professor's response. 

We can be pretty sure that the professor is most sympathetic and biased toward gays.  I can't imagine a gay instructor who dresses up in drag on stage, ever criticizing anything to do with homosexuality. i.e.,  just how many kids raised in same sex homes get psychological problems?  I still have yet to see the honest stats. 

Another thought.  Many dislike what the church has taught about sexuality, believing that the church is dictating to them.  Yet, after reading the course syllabus, you can't help feeling that you are now being dictated to from another source, now a homosexual source.

As with most political struggles, I see the gay marriage issue as an issue about power.  It is not about "rights."  They already had lots of rights. The real issue is about power.  In the end, perhaps they are looking to create a gay apartheid.  A minority of gays, dictating to the rest of the population. 

You have to hand it to the gays.  They really have succeeded in making themselves liked and popular.  So many of the evangelists and Christian leaders have made themselves very unliked.  So many people hate them so much, they don't even want to hear about Christianity.  They then stereotype all Christians in bad ways.

I think that the Christian leaders can take a lesson from the gays. We need to become popular.  Funny. Trendy.  

On that note, on the same sex issue, I think of the line from the Woody Allen movie, Manhattan.  Woody
Allen's wife has left him for another woman, and taken his child to be raised with her and her lover.  Woody laments:
"Most men can't handle one mother.  How is he going to handle two?"


Psychology 1703-Human Sexuality Syllabus:

Course Description
This course examines the development and expression of human sexual behavior as a complex psychological, socio-cultural, biological, and historical phenomenon. Students will explore topics that include: sexuality in popular culture and the media; research methods in human sexuality; biological bases of sexual behavior; sexual arousal and response; gender identity and gender roles; attraction and love; sexual orientation; sexuality across the life cycle; sexual dysfunctions and sex therapy; safer sex and STD prevention; atypical sexual variations; and sexual coercion and abuse and their treatment.

Course Objectives
This course is intended to challenge students to think critically, to understand that sexuality and responses to intimate
relationships occur in a psychosocial context, to appreciate the importance of examining key psychological and interpersonal issues from a scientific perspective, to identify research needs in the field, and to examine the implications of this knowledge on issues ranging from one's personal behavior to social policy.  Much of your learning through this course may consist of uncovering myths, half-truths, factual errors, and distortions you have accumulated
throughout your lives.  Through dedicated participation in this course, you may become more knowledgeable and accepting of yourself and others as sexual beings.  Ideally, you will be better able to view and appreciate sexuality
as a normal, integral, and joyful part of being human, while becoming more aware and tolerant of others whose views and lives may differ considerably from your own.  Many cultures convey few positive and affirming messages related to the discovery and expression of sexuality.

By committing yourself fully to both scholarship and self-awareness through participation in this course, you may become less confused, apologetic, defensive, or shameful about your own sexual feelings, attractions, desires, and needs. And, most important of all, you may become more respectful of yourself and others, and better able to make conscious, informed, and healthy decisions regarding the expression of your own sexuality throughout your life.


The Harvard Salient
Focusing on the Physical
Sex-related courses at Harvard ignore our humanity
By Luisa M. Lara, Staff writer

- an article by Luisa M. Lara, seriously lashing out at the course.


- the professor's response, and Luisa's rebuttal. 


- a summary page of various courses.  Includes:

Medieval Studies
Medieval Studies 125. The Spirit's Voices: Holy Women
in Medieval Christianity

Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Ancient Near East 103. Goddesses, Priestesses, and
Dreams: Gender in the Ancient Near East

The Study of Religion
Religion 1414. Gospel Stories of Women
*Religion 1416. Feminist Biblical Interpretation
Religion 1491. Themes in Christian "Spirituality":
Theories of Prayer, Self and Gender and others.




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