Sex Ed

In 9th grade health, Ms. Hall taught us the gory details of heterosexuality. She talked about the “female vagina.” (As opposed to the male one?) She’d say, “The FEMALE vagina has pleated walls.” “The FEMALE vagina is teeming with bacteria.” “The FEMALE vagina is self-lubricating and self-cleaning.”   Kids were not informed about the mechanics of gay sex in health class. There were no after-school…

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The Best Way to Stop Plagiarism Before It Happens

Coming from 2 research universities, I have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to plagiarism. Catching students stealing work usually results in the same academic-dishonesty script:   Professor: I caught you plagiarizing on the last assignment. Student: I promise you! I didn’t plagiarize. Professor shows student irrefutable evidence of plagiarism. Student: I had no idea that counted as plagiarism.   I once had a graduate student claim…

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When Critical-Cultural Theory Gets in the Wrong Hands: Rachel Dolezal & The Rachel Divide

Upon my friend Madge’s recommendation, I started watching the Rachel Dolezal documentary on Netflix. The movie raises a question that’s nagged me since the start of Dolezal’s controversy, which coincidentally unfolded during Kaitlyn Jenner’s trans self-disclosure: Is Dolezal’s claim to Blackness akin to a trans person’s gender identification? The documentary includes a montage of talking-head segments where media personalities debate the analogy. The anti-Dolezal camp…

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