That’s right. He said he had wished that one of his students who was writing a memoir about being abused as a child would have suffered more because of the student’s “inability to stick with the same verb tense for more than two sentences…
Boudinot’s ‘Real Deal’ students, the ones who don’t make him want to quit his job, are assumed to be males with a privileged background, like himself. References to ‘he’ are given in explanations of students who show promise/have innate talent, while the she’s of the world are reading books ‘that don’t make me work so hard to understand the words.’
This kind of elitist, overtly sexist, judgment-making is exactly what authors like Junot Díaz have spoken out against, telling their own MFA experiences as a call for more diverse MFA programs. Not only are course materials in need of re-envisioning, apparently so are the instructors who teach them….
I could go on and on about how awful Boudinot’s article is, citing how his idea of rigor is not facing the real social, sexual, cultural, and racial injustices of American life, but rather it’s whether or not you can read titles like Infinite Jest, 2666, and Gravity’s Rainbow (all award-winning booking written by males) between semesters. But I won’t, because you can do that for yourself.