|Feminist Mischief on College Campuses
|The most intolerant feminists are on the faculties of elite colleges and universities. The Communists used to severely punish as “deviationists” all those who strayed from the Party line, but feminist professors have taken to new heights their demands that everyone kowtow to feminist orthodoxy.
Radical feminism is the cornerstone of the Political Correctness that dominates campus culture. And the first commandment of feminism is: I am woman; thou shalt not tolerate strange gods who assert that women have capabilities or often choose roles that are different from men’s.
The feminists’ latest target is the president of Harvard University, no less, whom they have lassoed and dragged groveling through the ivy until they wrung from him all they wanted and more. It didn’t save President Lawrence Summers that he was Bill Clinton’s Secretary of the Treasury.
Summers thought he was chatting off the record with intellectuals who had the maturity to engage in a little light banter combined with suggestions for academic research or possibly a new Ph.D. dissertation. He was wrong. To the liberals, some subjects are not only non-debatable, they are non-researchable because they don’t want the public to know the facts that research might uncover.
President Summers said that he had tried gender-neutral upbringing on his little daughter by giving her toy trucks to play with. She immediately pretended they were dolls and named them “daddy truck” and “baby truck.” Just as John Stossel explained on his famous ABC documentary, fathers quickly discover that “Boys and Girls Are Different.” The rest of us can smile at such revelations, but to the feminists this is no laughing matter.
In his January 14 speech, Lawrence Summers calmly presented three very rational hypotheses to explain why there are fewer women than men in science and engineering academia: (1) “the high-powered job hypothesis” (the concept that women voluntarily reject the 80-hour-week and job-intensity that top careers require), (2) “different availability of aptitude at the high end,” and (3) “different socialization and patterns of discrimination” (that’s the favorite feminist explanation for all sex differences).
Contrary to media reports, Mr. Summers did not assert that there are “innate” differences between men and women. His hypothesis #2 merely pointed out that the distribution of math ability may be different, i.e., there may be more smarter men at the high end and more dumber men at the low end. Then Summers suggested that academic studies be undertaken to explain why fewer women than men have succeeded in science and math careers in academia.
Abandoning all dignity, MIT Professor Nancy Hopkins slammed down her laptop and stormed out of the room because, she said, “I would’ve either blacked out or thrown up.” She said her “heart was pounding” and her “breath was shallow.” She reminded us of Miss Pittipat Hamilton in Gone With the Wind calling for her smelling salts before she swooned.
We expect more willingness to discuss unpopular views from female professors who want to be taken seriously. Ms. Hopkins’ behavior confirmed the stereotype that feminists may be unable to face scientific issues scientifically, that they are too emotional to handle intellectual or scientific debate. She made it clear that feminists seek to forbid any research that might produce facts they don’t want the public to know.
Summers wasn’t proclaiming a new scientific discovery; sex differences from the cradle are obvious. But a lot of feminists are still in the dark on this matter because they don’t have any children or at least don’t have both sons and daughters, and because feminist ideology teaches them that humans are naturally androgynous (and gender differences are only socially created by our oppressive male-dominated society).
Summers didn’t say anything that hasn’t been said by courageous scholars many times before. For example, University of Virginia Professor Steven Rhoads’s book Taking Sex Differences Seriously (Encounter) is copiously documented.
But the feminists ran to their friends in the media to ignite a firestorm of indignation and personal attacks. As the dean at the very feminist Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies said, we took our opportunity “to see that the changes at Harvard get made.” (“Changes” = reverse discrimination to hire women on the Harvard faculty.)
The feminists demanded that Summers admit his guilt and immediately submit to a week of “intense discussions.” After two weeks of flagellation by the liberal media plus those “intense discussions” (a.k.a. Soviet-style re-education) to force Summers to accept liberal dogma and use only feminist-permitted language, a contrite Summers apologized almost daily for two months.
Summers appointed not one but two task forces: one on women in the Harvard faculty and another specifically on women in science and engineering, to recruit, support and promote women. The task forces are made up of 22 feminists and 5 men (the feminist mathematicians’ version of gender equality). Summers will also appoint a commissar of faculty diversity. Perhaps we should say a commissarina since there’s no need to speculate about her gender.
The chairman of the task force on women in science and engineering told the press she took the assignment only on Summers’ promise that he will “act immediately on the suggestions.” It’s doubtful that the task forces will make “suggestions”; they will issue orders. The announcement didn’t include any caveat that new female hires be as qualified as the men who would be passed over, since Summers is already on record as endorsing affirmative action.
Unconditional surrender profited Summers nothing. The feminists had no mercy. On March 15, the Harvard faculty of Arts and Sciences voted 218 to 185 to censure him and express a lack of confidence in his leadership.
When will American men learn how to stand up to the nagging by the intolerant, uncivil feminists whose sport is to humiliate men? Men should stop treating feminists like ladies, and instead treat them like the men they say they want to be.
Despite Rep. Green’s promise, gender quotas were created by the feminists in the Carter Administration and have been enforced ever since. They invented a regulation called the “proportionality test,” which means that the male-to-female ratio on competitive sports teams must equal the male-to-female ratio of college enrollment. Proportionality has become a code word for quota.
About 56% of college students today are women, yet only a fraction seek to compete in intercollegiate sports. It is an incontrovertible fact that men are more interested in competitive sports than women, and it is typical for colleges to have difficulty finding women to meet their quota targets.
The senseless bean-counting numbers game called proportionality has resulted in the elimination of hundreds of male teams: 171 colleges dropped wrestling, 37 colleges dropped football, 27 dropped outdoor track, 25 dropped swimming, and 10 abolished ice hockey. Other fatalities include men’s track and field and gymnastics. You don’t have to be a math major to compare the total number of male and female athletes at a college and then dismantle men’s teams until the proportion reflects enrollment.
The abolition of wrestling teams proves that Title IX enforcement has nothing to do with equalizing funding, since wrestling is one of the cheapest of all competitive sports. Wrestling teams, as well as other men’s teams, have been eliminated even when completely financed by alumni and supporters. Eliminating wrestling does nothing for women; it simply feeds the anti-masculine animus of the feminists.
Howard University even abandoned its baseball team in order to reduce the overall total of male relative to female athletes. The promising baseball players at Howard University lost their chance to develop their skills and become stars. In the 2004 Olympics in Athens, the U.S. team in the great American game of baseball did not even qualify to compete. Our future Jesse Owenses have been replaced by less talented women who took an athletic scholarship to get a free college tuition, not because they were keen on sports.
The anti-masculine feminists even require colleges to count “walk-ons” in figuring their proportionality quotas. A walk-on is a non-scholarship student who tries out for a sport even though he wasn’t recruited and is not subsidized, hoping that someday he will get to play on the team. There are many times more male walk-ons than female, either because more men than women are much more eager to try out for sports, or are far more willing to sit on the bench day after day with little chance of ever starting in a game. Colleges have been forced to meet their proportionality goals by refusing to let these non-scholarship males try out in soccer, baseball, tennis, gymnastics, track and field, thus dashing their dreams that they will ever be allowed to compete.
President Bush had the chance to remedy this nonsense when he appointed a commission to study the problem. But he foolishly put feminists on the commission, so the commission’s report was not unanimous. Education Secretary Rod Paige chickened out, and allowed the proportionality rule to remain.
The feminists claim that proportionality is only one part of a three-prong test, but proportionality is the only prong that matters because the college attorneys warn that the bean-counting approach is the only safe way to protect the colleges against expensive feminist lawsuits. Feminist lawyers continue to take the proportionality prong all the way to the bank and hope to collect over $1 million in attorneys’ fees from each college (which was the lawyers’ fee for suing Brown University).
In ridiculing the senselessness of gender quotas, the University of Kansas college newspaper published this ironic comment. “College sports for women should be compulsory. Granted, many women may insist they don’t want to play sports, but after generations of patriarchal oppression, it isn’t realistic to think women really know what they want. The goal of perfectly equal gender ratios is more important than what anybody ‘wants.'” The college student who wrote that comment really understands feminist ideology.
Men on sports teams act like men, and the feminists are hostile to the male culture. College football produces social conservatives such as Jack Kemp, Steve Largent, J.C. Watts and the late Supreme Court Justice Byron White. College wrestling programs brought us conservative stalwarts Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Speaker Dennis Hastert, and Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline. Track and field yielded Jim Ryun, one of the greatest milers of all time and now a Congressman. While football players are known to date cheerleaders, women collegiate athletes are not known to chase quarterbacks.
Title IX has doubtless benefited some individual women, but at the cost of a savage attack on men’s sports. It is clear that Title IX is a feminist weapon to harm men and anything masculine.
And Title IX even harms women, too. The numbers game has caused the elimination of traditional girls’ teams such as gymnastics (100 teams have been abolished) in favor of large-squad-size sports such as rowing or horseback riding.
Young women are ultimately hurt by this irrational feminist agenda. A 1999 study found that girls softball had double the rate of serious head injuries as boys baseball, despite a baseball’s greater hardness and speed. Last fall, the only girl in a junior football league in Chicago suddenly collapsed and died from a blood clot in the brain, apparently caused by a routine tackle days earlier.
Feminism is pushing girls into higher risks of injury and hormonal-changing drugs. Studies show that female competitors, especially in soccer and basketball, have a higher incidence of knee and head injuries compared to men. Torn anterior cruciate ligaments (ACLs) are crippling women athletes at an alarming rate, and have decimated even the well-trained women’s professional soccer league.
A new study reported in the October issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism that more than half of the 103 soccer players, who were ages 14 to 28 at the time of an ACL injury, suffered osteoarthritis of the knee 12 years later. Osteoarthritis typically develops after decades of wear and tear on the knee, and it is alarming that women soccer players develop it at age 31, which could require two or three knee replacements over their lifetime. No one knows for sure why girls are at a higher risk than boys, but they are.
Due in part to the legal arguments made by Eagle Forum and others, on March 17, 2005, the Department of Education issued an “Additional Clarification” of Part Three of the 3-part test used for Title IX compliance. This will enable colleges to survey their students to ascertain their interest in varsity athletics, and then base decisions on students’ interest in sports rather than on quotas.
Title IX does not expressly authorize individuals to bring lawsuits, and the Court made clear in a 2001 case that private causes of action can only be created by Congress, not by bureaucrats or judges. Nevertheless, the feminists have gone all out to get activist judges to reinterpret Title IX in ways never intended by the 1972 law.
The male plaintiff in this Title IX case, Roderick Jackson, was never “subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity” on the basis of his sex. His lawsuit merely claims that he was retaliated against by his high school because he complained about the way the girls’ team was treated (even though he retains his teaching job), and he sued the Birmingham Board of Education to reinstate him as coach of the girls’ team. Nothing in Title IX gives an employee job protection if his boss doesn’t like his attitude or comments, and nothing in Title IX mentions retaliation.
Jackson could have sued because of a government employee’s free speech rights, or if he had a legitimate job discrimination claim he could have taken action under our employment laws. But, no, this case is an appeal to activist judges to rewrite Title IX to make it even more powerful as a tool to punish men and all things masculine.
Jackson properly lost his case in the lower federal courts. Then, out of the blue, the Bush Administration intervened, asked the Supreme Court to take this case, argued strenuously on Jackson’s side, and sought and received permission to address the Court in the oral argument even though the federal government is not a party to the case.
President Bush has repeatedly said that he “will not stand for judges who undermine democracy by legislating from the bench,” but his lawyers have asked the Supreme Court to legislate a brand new right.
The Jackson case signals the start of the feminists’ war against boys in high schools. The application of gender quotas to high school athletics, followed by lawsuits against schools that fail to meet the quotas, could force the elimination of more than a million boys from high school sports.
Repeated surveys report that Democratic professors outnumber Republican professors by about 10 to 1, but that ratio doesn’t begin to reveal the outrageous leftist culture to which college students are subjected. Many professors are Marxists or other varieties of radicals who hate America.
The Churchill episode confirms leftwing Professor Richard Rorty’s boast that universities are now “the power base for the Left in America.” Churchill’s Ethnic Studies, Women’s Studies, Gay and Lesbian Studies, and African American Studies are not merely studies or departments; they are university-financed “movements” of the Left.
Churchill and the 199 CU faculty members publicly defending him claim the mantle of academic freedom for his offensive statements likening the 9/11 victims to “little Eichmanns” and referring to the “gallant sacrifices” of the “combat teams” that killed 3,000 Americans. They want academic freedom also to shield him from charges of plagiarism, false claims of Indian status in his affirmative action job application, and misrepresentation of sources in his writings.
Public opinion supports the verdict that Churchill was guilty of “conduct which falls below minimum standards of professional integrity,” which is the University of Colorado’s standard for dismissal of tenured professors. Instead, CU president Elizabeth Hoffman resigned, saving herself from the task of either firing or defending Churchill.
The most frequent complaint I hear from college students is that professors inject their leftist political comments into their courses even when they have nothing to do with the subject. An anti-Bush tirade, for example, might stream forth without warning in math class.
This politicizing of academia is confirmed by a survey commissioned by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. It reported that 46% of students at the 50 top U.S. universities and colleges say professors “use the classroom to present their personal political views.”
The survey also showed that 74% of students said their professors made positive remarks about liberals while 47% reported negative comments about conservatives.
Of more concern is the survey’s report that 29% of students said there are courses in which students must agree with the professor’s political or social views in order to get a good grade. That sort of intellectual oppression ought to be exposed in the evaluations of professors that students fill out each term, but according to 83% of the students polled, there isn’t anything on the evaluation form to report a professor’s imposing his irrelevant political and social ideology on the class.
Professorial bias against conservatives in general and George W. Bush in particular is exceeded only by the bias against traditional morality. We are indebted to columnist John Leo for revealing the shockers at Wesleyan University: “the naked dorm, the transgender dorm, the queer prom, the pornography-for-credit course, the obscene sidewalk chalking, the campus club named crudely for a woman’s private part,” and more.
Prospects for change in campus bias any time soon are dim because of the lock that the radicals have on the hiring of new professors, the granting of tenure, and selection of publications by academic journals and the university press.
Meanwhile, tuition and fees were up 10.5% last year and 14% the year before. Over the last 25 years, tuition increases have annually exceeded the consumer price index by 3.5%.
The scandal that over 30% of university students do not graduate within six years is a direct consequence of the easy availability of government grants and loans. Why hurry if your easy-going campus lifestyle is heavily subsidized, even for taking remedial courses to learn what you failed to learn in high school?
On the other hand, university presidents are doing better and better: 42 presidents of private colleges and 17 presidents of public universities draw salaries of more than a half million dollars a year. Nine universities pay their presidents more than $700,000.
There is no evidence that the taxpayers are getting more for our money, or that students are learning more, or even that additional revenues are spent on instruction. The average score on the Graduate Record Exam is lower today than in 1965.
The exorbitant rise in tuition is largely caused by the increased amounts of government money spent without accountability or any kind of market discipline. Federal grants and loans to students provide a direct financial incentive to colleges to raise the sticker price of tuition in order to extract more from the government as well as from students and their parents who don’t receive financial aid.
The only way to put a lid on tuition prices is to eliminate the tremendous incentive caused by government subsidies. Follow the money. The government subsidies of professors who thrive on attacking America and indoctrinating students with leftist propaganda must stop!