Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Twist and Shout: Oppressive Yoga Edition

I guess everyone is now aware of the Beclowning Heard Round the World, wherein the Pecksniffs of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa cancelled a free yoga class that had been given for 7 years because of "cultural appropriation". Now that derision has reached world-wide proportions, the SFUO is backpedalling.

Now they're saying that the yoga program might come back; it's just being "reviewed".
Romeo Ahimakin said the program has not been cancelled, but is suspended while a review takes place to meet the “diverse and ever-changing needs of the student body.” In an email exchange today, Ahimakin would not comment on the controversy that has engulfed the student federation in the three days since yoga instructor Jennifer Scharf revealed that her U of O class had been cancelled because of concerns that it was not sufficiently sensitive to yoga’s cultural roots.
They don't want to talk about the "cultural appropriation" accusation now, it's too ridiculous to be credible. Instead, they put the blame for this stupidity on the Centre for Students with Disabilities. They're the ones doing the "review". They're also the ones who sponsored the yoga class for 7 years without problems, but that part is just smoothly ignored. Instead, we get this cloudy attempt at placation, with a Kafkaesque refusal to come right out and lay their cards on the table:
“The SFUO executive, as well as Centre for Students with Disabilities staff believe that it is important to look at the good and positive work that has been done and see how it can always be improved,” he wrote. “That is why we have taken this semester to do this review with a mind to reintroducing new programming in the winter semester.”
"New", how? They won't say. Instead, we have a recitation of the SJW litany, to be recited kneeling:
“We also acknowledge that ableism is not a siloed issue, but one that affects a variety of communities and individuals. In working to dismantle ableism, we also work to challenge all forms of oppression including, but not limited to, heterosexism, cissexism, homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, queerphobia, HIV-phobia, sex negativity, fatphobia, femmephobia, misogyny, transmisogyny, racism, classism, ableism, xenophobia, sexism, and linguistic discrimination.”
Somewhere in that tar pit there's an excuse for grabbing a yoga instructor and flinging her up against a wall, but I don't know enough about such garbage to be able to tell what it is.

There's a truly Canadian moment from this Feast of Fools, though:
Scharf even offered to rebrand the program as a “mindful stretching” class to distance it from any controversy over cultural appropriation, but that idea was rejected because a suitable French translation of the phrase could not be reached.
Only in Canada, you say? Thank God.

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