Disclaimer: All opinions in this post are those of the author, and in no way represent the opinions of Butler University.
In my last article, I examined two sides of the debate caused by this article. Those are the two sides, each of which may have some reason for being unhappy in how they were treated and how they were represented in an online publication. Here I will walk you though my personal opinion on the issue.
It’s unreasonable to ask someone to cast off who they are, whether it be your gender, race, nationality, or sexual orientation. These are the lens through which we experience the world, and are an intrinsic part of our being.
However, claiming that “I don’t think I could ever write from a black woman’s point of view because I’ve never been a black woman” is an eloquent way of saying that all people are incapable of attempting to empathize with each other. Creative Writing majors such as myself are never told “You have to write from your point of view in regards to race, gender, nationality, and sexual orientation.” Writing from the perspective of another person is naturally more difficult, but is possible with research, reflection, and an effort in understanding others.
The most disturbing part of the article is the student’s reaction to the class. Today, the journalism industry is going through incredible hardship in adapting to a new landscape of digital publishing and failing newspapers. This is an industry in need of adaptable, creative individuals. This student, in facing a challenging situation in class, decided to quit rather than stick with it and try and understand it. I only wonder what will happen when he joins the workforce in such a tumultuous time. Perhaps he would benefit from a few more classes in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.