The Judith Butler Affair

A much better system

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The problem with gender quotas on reading lists is that they have nothing whatsoever do with with intellectual pursuits. It’s pure metrics, pure tokenism. Female authors are added because they are women, not because they are smart, relevant, or even because they have a women’s perspective on anything. This stupid, brainless, system must be replaced. This has nothing to do with a university education.

Consider a better alternative. What if all teachers simply got together to discuss reading lists with the idea to help each other improve the courses? There are bound to be a lot of things that each individual teacher overlooks, literature that is not included, perspectives that need to be heard. This would include gendered views, but also all kinds of other rarely heard opinions. This would be a proper intellectual conversation. We would all learn something and our courses would be better as a result. A course can never be taught by committee to be sure, there must always be a teacher responsible, but we all have an obligation to listen to good suggestions. We must all be prepared to be convinced by good arguments.

This is what a university education is about.

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