Difficult Diversity

What makes someone diverse?  What, as a culture, do we consider to be healthy diversity, or is there no distinction in such a term?  And once something is considered mainstream, does it become non-diverse?

All interesting questions raised by recent events at Wellesley College, a women’s university in Massachusetts.  The multicultural affairs coordinator is an student position dedicated to fostering a “culture of diversity” on campus.  But what does that mean?  And should the person holding that office embody a type of diversity themselves?  And is transgenderism so old-news already that it is no longer considered diverse?

That might be the case.

The story doesn’t mention how the students feel about having a peer who self-identifies as a male in an all-women’s school, but that would be an interesting follow-up story.  Instead, the major issue seems to be having a personification of the established white-patriarchy in a position committed to diversity.  Even if that person isn’t *really* a man.  I’m curious as to how welcome this new student really has been, when there is such a committed effort by some students to keep her from this office. I wonder why the other three candidates all dropped out of the race for the office.  So many more questions than this tiny article answers.

Wouldn’t a self-identified man in an all-woman’s school be an emblem of diversity?  Apparently not.  Perhaps a conservative Christian young woman would be a model for diversity?  Not likely.  Diversity has boundaries and definitions, I suspect, creating an interesting paradox for whomever you ask to foster it.


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