AUSTRALIA DENIAL – So many friends have tagged me in this story that I might as well share:
This is Ashley Arnold, a 27-year-old resident of Idaho Falls, Idaho. She’s a stay-at-home mom completing an online sociology degree with Southern New Hampshire University.
As part of her final class, for which she paid almost $1,000, students were required to complete a project outline last month in which they would compare a social norm in the US and another country.
For her “norm” Arnold picked social media use, and for her country she chose Australia.
But when Arnold got her grade back on Feb. 1, she was shocked to see her professor had failed her. Why? Because, according to the teacher, “Australia is a continent; not a country.”
“At first I thought it was a joke; This can’t be real. Then as I continued to read I realized she was for real,” she told BuzzFeed News.
The professor, who has a PhD in philosophy, according to her LinkedIn, had given Arnold zero points in multiple sections of the assignment because she believed that Australia wasn’t a real country.
Personally, I’m very disappointed in Ashley’s sociology lecturer, who despite her PhD in philosophy, exhibits an unusual for an American university degree of bigotry. Sure, Australia is a continent, but what if it identifies as a country? Who is the lecturer to tell Australia what her (Australia’s) truth should be? There is no room anymore for the outdated binarity of yes/no; our identities are fluid and exist on a continuum, not in neatly separated pigeon holes. Hence the choice between a continent and a country is a false one; one can be both. Reject geographic and geo-political cis-normativity of land masses, and let love win for Australia.