Dartmouth Course: Orlando Massacre Result of ‘Masculinity, Conservatism’

News: Education
by Church Militant  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  August 3, 2016   

Summer class puts blame on gun owners, homophobia, Islamaphobia

You are not signed in as a Premium user; we rely on Premium users to support our news reporting. Sign in or Sign up today!

HANOVER, NH (ChurchMilitant.com) - A college course is blaming the June terrorist attack at an Orlando gay nightclub on masculinity, homophobia and Islamaphobia.

In an article titled "The #Orlando Syllabus," Dartmouth University professor Eng-Beng Lim lays out the curriculum for a course aimed at convincing students the massacre at Pulse nightclub in early June, perpetrated by a Muslim largely believed to have been gay himself, was the result of rampant masculinity, a hatred for Muslims and a right-wing inspired abhorrence of homosexuality.

The detailed syllabus for the course, referred to as "#Orlando," dives into what Lim, associate professor of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, labels "the emergence of 'toxic masculinity,' mass violence, racism, and homophobia in the aftermath of the shootings in Orlando, Fla." Among the listed readings for the "#Orlando" class are multiple articles attacking the masculine, including ones titled "Toxic Masculinity and Murder," "Hypermasculine Violence" and "Toxic Masculinity." Additional topics for the nine-week course include gender theory, Donald Trump, Islamaphobia, gun control, patriarchy and queer nightlife.

Prof. Eng-Beng Lim

An opinion piece, ironically published in the Dartmouth Review, harshly criticizes both Lim and the course. "The biggest takeaway for any student taking such a course would presumably be that masculinity, guns, and the Republican Party are waging a systematic war against queer people and Muslims," asserts author Sandor Farkas.

"Lim mistakenly assumes all conservatives are members of the alt-right or Donald Trump supporters who have racist or homophobic tendencies," Farkas continues. "He also seems to believe that America is some kind of quasi-imperial dictatorship run by everyone but a select group of minorities."

Farkas goes on to challenge Lim's position within the university, noting his specialization in gender and queer studies. "For those who have never heard of the emerging field of 'queer studies,' it is a pseudo-academic field that uses post-structuralist theory to explore a range of topics from an ultra-progressive and often neo-Marxist perspective," Farkas explains.

He continued:

Its overuse of meaningless rhetoric and made-up words render articles and books about it nearly unreadable, and many academics do not take it seriously. One faculty member, in a discussion with a review staffer, described Lim's scholarship as "ideological hackery, pure and simple" but still expressed incredulity that he would design a course consisting of not much more than "a bunch of blog posts by partisans and ideologues."

Farkas concludes by commenting that it is a "terrifying" thought to realize professors, such as Lim, "teach at our nation's top academic institutions."

"God help this nation as syllabi like Lim's currently serve as reading lists for tomorrow's leaders," Farkas remarks.

Lim is not the first to put forth such thoughts in the wake of the Orlando shooting, which left 49 dead. In the immediate aftermath, multiple U.S. bishops expressed their solidarity with the gay community, with some going so far as to blame guns and gun owners for the terrorist attack. Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago was quick to blame "easy access to deadly weapons" as the catalyst for the June 12 mass shooting. Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego echoed the words of Cupich in a blog post published June 13, in which he asserted that the "hatred and violence" behind the shootings are "rooted in a counterfeit notion of religious faith and magnified by [the American] gun culture."

"This tragedy is a call for us as Catholics to combat ever more vigorously the anti-gay prejudice which exists in our Catholic community and in our country," McElroy stated. "We pray for the Muslim community in our nation, who have acted in unanimity to deplore this act of violence and to reject hatred rooted in a distortion of Muslim faith."

Bishop Robert Lynch, head of the diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida, in a blog post the sae accused the Church itself of alleged intolerance toward the LGBT community and stated it is "religion, including our own, which targets, mostly verbally, and also often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people."

"Attacks today on LGBT men and women often plant the seed of contempt, then hatred, which can ultimately lead to violence," the bishop wrote. He concluded by asserting that "there are as many good, peace loving and God fearing Muslims to be found as Catholics or Methodists or Mormons or Seventh Day Adventists."

Bishop Lynch was widely criticized by both lay and ordained Catholics for his comments.


Have a news tip? Submit news to our tip line.

We rely on you to support our news reporting. Please donate today.
By commenting on ChurchMilitant.com you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our comment posting guidelines