Thursday, May 10, 2007

If You Should Fall in Love With Me, How Bad Could it Be?

Leiter's got a thread going with some semi-interesting comments in it. A grad student from FL State found himself part of the way into the hiring process with some armpit calling itself "Westmount College" when they asked him to sign a form promising as a condition of employment that he would never, ever have sex with another dude. Wisely, he withdrew his application.

The thing is, this isn't unheard of in the philosophy job market. It's SOP for a lot of the little, evangelical Bible colleges. But as near as I can tell, this sort of thing is unique to academia. Of course, there's a lot of discrimination out there for all kinds of people, but do any non-academics ever actually have to sign Not-Gay Certificates? Maybe, but I don't know who they are.

For me, the real questions here are about the practical details of the Not-Gay Certificate. What do "faculty" at these shitty, little fundie "colleges" do with their Not-Gay Certificates? Do they hang them in their offices alongside their PhDs? It'd be cool if they had ceremonies at the beginning of each year to welcome their new Not-Gay "faculty"--sort of like matriculation, except less about academics and more about making sure your cock doesn't end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Instead of wearing their academic gowns, they could wear something unmistakably heterosexual, like biker gear or maybe a cowboy outfit.


Incredulous said...

WTF?! How is this even legal?!

Anonymous said...

Let the religionist answer: private colleges can do basically whatever they want. Denominational schools can absolutely discriminate on the basis of faith, or make various demands.

Now the tricky part: some schools (like the various "Name of State" Wesleyan Universities, founded by the United Methodist) are simply SLACs or universities with a historical connection to a denomination, and no requirements, and some of them are places anyone would want to teach. Tons of Catholic schools (not all) fall into this category.

You have to fish around, sometimes on the website through mission statements and the like. For religion scholars, happily, the job ads usually flag it ("must be willing to sign statement of faith" / "model blahblahblah"). But look at the boilerplate and see if there is a truncated version of something like "Wheaton College is an evangelical protestant Christian liberal arts college whose faculty members affirm a Statement of Faith and the moral and lifestyle expectations of our Community Covenant. Wheaton College complies with federal and state guidelines of nondiscrimination in employment; women and minorities are encouraged to apply."

Of course Wheaton is famous, so they don't need to tell us this, but this isn't "Jesuit school with awesome scholars" kind of boilerplate...
--New Scotland