An elite French university was at the center of a scandal – a choreographer who insisted on separating m-ale and female roles in cl-assical dances was susp-ended from work. Why in Europe they are punished for traditional approaches to education – in the material of RIA Novosti.
Leading and led
The Paris Institute of Political Studies, or, as it is more commonly known, Science Po, is the cadre of the French elite. Graduates include influential journalists, entrepreneurs, diplomats, a dozen foreign heads of state, a dozen prime ministers and five presidents of the Fifth Republic, including the current one, Emmanuel Macron.
In addition to the main program, Science Po, like other major institutions of higher education, offers students many sections, from sports to theater. Valerie Plasene led an elective class of ballroom dancing. A graduate of Science Po herself, she had been teaching for eight years, was in good standing with the management, and was popular with students. Ho-wever, in December she lo-st her position, refusing to compromise her principles.
The university, without notifying the teacher, changed the procedure for enrolling in dance lessons: if earlier students indicated their gender in the questionnaires, then in the new semester they were asked to limit themselves to the gender-neutral English words leader and follower (“leader” and “follower”).
As a result, the majority signed up as “leaders”, and some of the male students – as “followers”. However, the teacher did not see any point in this and at the very first lesson she built the students in two lines, dividing the young men and girls so that they could choose a couple for themselves.
Homophobia and discrimination
Some of the progressive youth did not like it very much. Ms. Plasene was complained about, accusing her of repeated sexist, discriminatory, homophobic and degrading statements. And also in the fact that she did not want to teach same-sex couples.
“I was contacted by the management, saying that my remarks during class made one of the students feel uncomfortable. They say that it is necessary to pay special attention to the feelings of students, since many are very vulnerable and it is better not to mention some things today,” Plasene said in a TV interview.
She did not agree with the claims, because she is convinced that she did not offend anyone. “Yes, I say “man” and “woman.” There is a strict order in dancing, a certain set of rules – I was taught that way, and in all textbooks the roles in a couple are different, ”she explains.
This is completely natural, since by nature men are usually larger and stronger, and the role reversal will not allow many dance steps and lifts. In her opinion, just the division into leader – follower infringes on the fair sex, since in the dance both partners are equivalent and the woman is not at all “led”.
“The interaction of partners of different sexes creates unity and harmony. This is the basis, it has always been like this,” the choreographer emphasizes.
Indication of gender when registering for classes is also necessary to form an approximately equal gender composition of participants. Few young people come to dance classes, so we need to ask the girls to invite acquaintances more actively.
Finally, the choreographer considers same-sex couples simply unaesthetic, although he admits this when someone lacks a partner.
Political correctness as a religion
The university management was not convinced by the teacher’s arguments: she was offered to either apologize to the students and agree with the terms leader and follower, or quit. Plazene left the university.
The story got into the press and quickly scattered on social networks, dividing commentators into two camps. The right stood up for the teacher and attacked the Science Po directorate, while the left stood up for the offended feelings of the students.
“I’m one of those who complained. This teacher is a sexist and homophobic, constantly made inappropriate remarks. Blatant unprofessionalism, from which many feel uncomfortable,” wrote one Science Po student.
“I was also in her class and I disagree with you. There was nothing nasty in what she said, at worst a couple of faux pas that only indicate that she belongs to another generation. However, none of this should was to lead to such a development of events,” replied another.
Director of the Institute for Political Studies Matthias Vishera said that the actions of the teacher did not comply with the ethical charter of the university, which does not allow discrimination in any form. He also emphasizes that the terms leader-follower are widely used in the world.
Besides, Vishera adds, Plasene quit herself.
Meanwhile, many accused the leadership of Science Po in the absence of common sense and the dictates of political correctness elevated to the absolute. Just as it happens in educational institutions in the United States, where you need to fully follow the modern gender theory that rejects the difference between the sexes: they say that gender does not determine a person, but a person determines gender. And another position is completely unacceptable.
There is an opinion that today the French elites are completely subordinate to the American ones, and this, of course, does not bypass the forge of national administration personnel. So, according to a recent study by the newspaper Figaro, three-quarters of Science Po students consider the differences between men and women artificially imposed by society. This is not surprising: the professors in France are overwhelmingly left-wing and the corresponding agenda is being promoted in educational institutions.
And tolerance for various kinds of minorities in the best American tradition gradually turned into intolerance towards those who, like Ms. Plasene, for example, still believe in the biological difference of the sexes. And dare to say it out loud. This is not forgiven.