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Wednesday 13 March 2013

Why is the word "lesbian" left out of text books?

Recently, talented writer and thinker James Morrison pointed us towards his article, The word "Lesbian" is not in the textbook?!

And it really made us think.

In his article, Morrison explains the origin of the word, and specifically looks at how it relates to Sappho, the famous female Greek poet.

Here's a little snippet of what he has to say:
In her poetry she celebrates her love of women. She celebrates the inner and outer beauty of women. Because she lived on the island of lesbos, and because of the content of her poetry, we now have the word “lesbian” and its contemporary meaning. Even Playboy magazine has picked up on her legacy. Oh, but heaven forbid if we teach the origin of the word “lesbian” and the historical importance of Sappho to students in high school! Oh, my…I think I feel a rant coming on.
Here is my question: Are textbook publishers becoming more interested in selling books that “don’t rock the boat” than they are in printing good “thought-provoking” books that challenge kids to truly think? I have my answer, but I would like to hear yours.
(Source | Teach, Not Preach)

So, what do you think about this?

The extent to which homosexuality should be taught in schools has been long-debated, but is it the time for change?

Interestingly, the title of James Morrison's website is "Teach, Not Preach". Do you think that rule should be applied? Let us know in the comments!

1 comment:

Ivana Split said...

I do know how you can teach her poetry without explaining the context? and all probability is that the great poetess was gay so why hide it? I think it can be explain in a pretty simple way even to adolescents and it shouldn't be a taboo.

I remember this was mentioned when I was in High school. At the university, (I studied language and literature) we talked about it a lot more. Anyway, when it comes to literature it is always better to read it, than to read about it...