As a University of Toronto alumna, I am disappointed with the David Gilmour debacle. Not at the man, whose possible misogyny and racism is, frankly, dangerous. But with the University of Toronto who have allowed this instructor to become so self-indulgent to actually believe he can get away with doing whatever he wants and not face consequences.
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.
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.