|Back to May Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 196||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||MAY 2002|
|Pushy feminists dominate the college town I live in|
Pushy feminists who want to remake competitive boys into cooperative girls run rampant in my neck of western Massachusetts. There are five colleges in the area, including two for women - Smith and Mount Holyoke - that aid and abet this old-girls network through their respective (but not respectable) women's studies departments. These academic gulags are typically run by masculinity-and-makeup-hating harpies.
If you are a guy who digs NASCAR, shingles roofs for a living, and was moved by We Were Soldiers, this place is an estrogen chamber of horrors. In fact, when someone sneezes, the politically correct say, "Goddess, bless you."
Thanks to the steady stream of graduates that these women's studies departments produce, there's no battle of the sexes going on here. We are too confused to know our yin from our yang. We are too fatigued to keep up with the trends: Is this "Heather has two mommies' " week? Or, is this "boys want to play on girls' field hockey teams" week? Or, maybe it's "all men are rapists' " week? The few sane folks who haven't relocated to New Hampshire often need help deconstructing their brave new world. So, who 'ya gonna call to divine the secrets of the sisterhood? Christina Hoff Sommers, the patroness saint of boys who want to play dodge ball at recess, that's who.
Sommers, the author of Who Stole Feminism? and The War Against Boys, recently spoke at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) at the invitation of the Republican Club. Before she began her lecture titled, "The Death of the Feminist Movement," she inadvertently made a pro-chivalry statement. She tried to unscrew the cap to her water bottle and failed. Quicker than you could say, "women are dominated by the patriarchy," a young man came to her assistance.
The girls giggled, the boys laughed. Everyone understood.
Dr. Sommers began her talk by explaining that man-hating, far-left "gender" feminists have hijacked women's studies programs and the women's movement from the "equity" feminists who merely wanted equal rights between the sexes. "Women are from Venus, men are from hell," is the motto of these Marxist militants.
Debunking phony-baloney statistics, Sommers explained that radical feminists claim that 30% of women who seek care in emergency rooms do so because they have been involved in a domestic violence altercation. The doc explained that statistics culled from the Department of Justice tell a different story: less than one percent of the women who visit emergency rooms do so because a boyfriend or husband has beaten them.
"How are women helped by these bogus statistics?" she asked.
Well, they help the wacky feministas maintain job security when they champion this propaganda, no?
She also noted that women's studies programs appeal to students "eager to believe the worst about men" who "only hear conservative views caricatured." She was too polite to state the obvious: They also appeal to co-eds who aren't smart enough to pass the engineering classes.
Consider a sampling of the core courses offered for Spring 2002 in the UMass women's studies program: "Agency, Resistance and Gender Violence in the Caribbean Development"; "The Social Construction of Whiteness and Women"; and "Gender Politics of the Muslim World in Mass Media." Translation: Show up, spout, get an A.
The results of this gender bending can be hilarious. Sommers says that when a toy company test-marketed a unisex playhouse/fort, the little girls cared for the baby doll that came with the house while the little boys catapulted the doll's carriage off the roof of the fort. That dumb idea must have been the brainchild of the Lexington, Massachusetts high school principal who insisted on being identified as a princessipal.
Not surprisingly, Dr. Sommers called for a return to a "women's movement that is grounded in common sense and sound scholarship." A worthy goal, but one that has already been achieved by the mothers who comprise the modern-day home-schooling movement.
During the question-and-answer period, it became obvious that Christina Hoff Sommers' presentation was a hit. Scott, an anthropology student who lacked a respectable amount of machismo, told Sommers that she had mocked the ideas of radical feminists whose viewpoint is rarely heard outside the halls of academia. "I really don't see radicals as having as much of a voice overall," he whined.
Thank goddess! And if my college-age son ever talks like Scott, I am shipping him off to boot camp. Ten-hut!
Isabel (Izzy) Lyman is a homeschooling mom and the author of The Homeschooling Revolution and numerous articles. Pushy feminists originally appeared on the internet journal Enter Stage Right (www.enterstageright.com), which covers politics, culture and economics. (Edited slightly here for space.)