If David Gilmour is indeed refusing to teach literature by women, queer, Chinese, and Canadian authors, then he is actively excluding them from the history that he imparts to his students. My fear for the future is that students are being denied the opportunity to learn from, be inspired by, and empathize with literature that doesn't fall under the white-hetero-male domain.
There are many good reasons to be upset about the things the novelist and broadcaster David Gilmour said in a recent interview on the Hazlitt Magazine blog. Both he and I work at the University of Toronto, so my instant reaction was institutional defensiveness: unlike Mr. Gilmour, who teaches the odd college course, I am a professor of English literature here, and it stung to see his bizarre, reactionary views on literature and teaching associated in the media with my institution, and in particular with its literary scholars. That's why I think it's important to say that David Gilmour is not a colleague of mine. As far as I can tell from his published comments, he's not much of a literature professor either.
When Sylvia Plath was asked about her inspiration for writing poetry, she responded that it hinted at larger themes. David Gilmour, a U of T instructor who doesn't teach female writers, could learn from the female poet. Because it's important to understand that Plath's approach to writing poetry also applies to reading and teaching literature.
Dear David Gilmour, as a woman writer I'd like to say "thank you." Thank you for being privileged enough, culturally tone-deaf enough, and even just plain stupid enough to say that you don't love women writers enough to teach their works in your class. Thank you for saying what so many other male professors think but are afraid to admit. Thank you for opening up this huge can of worms that most people were happy enough to pretend doesn't exist. I've got a dare for you, David Gilmour. I dare you to spend six months reading nothing but writers who aren't white cis males.