read the link
Revealed during a week the progressive bias of Facebook’s top staff has come under intense scrutiny, the thesis suggests that the upper echelons of the company may be even more radically progressive than previously believed.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg indicated last week that he would be reaching out to influential conservativesafter it was revealed that the site was ignoring and deprioritising conservative news sources.
Breitbart executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon and editor-in-chief Alex Marlowresponded that they weren’t interested in a “photo op” but wanted “transparency and the truth” from the social network. Instead, Breitbart challenged Mark Zuckerberg to a public debate on camera with me.
Sheryl Sandberg’s senior thesis, overseen by former Clinton staffer Larry Summers, might suggest why Facebook has developed a problem with conservatives. It provides a rare insight into the psychology and politics of a senior executive at one of the most powerful tech companies in the world.
In the thesis, Sandberg uses bizarre, discredited statistics and fashionable but shaky arguments about the “pervasive influence of the patriarchy” to explain domestic violence. The full thesis can be read below.
The Facebook COO appears to have wholly bought in to feminist pseudo-statistics, making the extraordinary claim that 95 percent of domestic violence victims are female. The true ratio of male to female domestic violence victims is now known to be far more even, with meta-analyses of over 200 studies showing a rough gender symmetry in domestic violence.
Sandberg can’t be excused by the date of publication (1991). By then, researchers had long been aware that men and women abused each other on a roughly equal basis. By 1988, this research had already been published in mainstream journals.
At one point in the thesis, Sandberg does acknowledges male victims, noting that she does “not mean to imply that men are not also subjected to acts of violence by their partner,” but later goes on to approvingly cite an argument from two academics – without evidence – that “by and large” most women who attacked men did so “to defend themselves.”
In the thesis, provided to Breitbart News by journalist Charles Johnson, Sandberg makes it clear that men, “traditional attitudes” and “western society” are the driving forces behind domestic violence. “Intimate violence is not only fostered by traditional attitudes towards marriage, but by the hierarchical, male-dominant nature of Western society” writes Sandberg.
She does not find space to compare the state of women in the Islamic world with their peers in Europe and the United States.
“The pervasive influence of patriarchy in society has resulted in the widespread acceptance of the ideology of male dominance,” Sandberg writes.
With growing awareness about the hidden epidemic of male domestic violence victims, male users of Facebook – particularly those affected by domestic abuse themselves – may be concerned that such a high-ranking member of the company apparently believes them to be in such a tiny minority.
Those seeking to understand the achingly right-on progressive politics at Facebook will be reading Sandberg’s thesis today with keen interest.
We reached out to Facebook requesting a comment from Sheryl Sandberg. Facebook’s Director of Strategic Communications Anne Kornblut responded: “This was a college paper written over 25 years ago. It’s amusing — or maybe sad — that anyone would try to take lines and footnotes from this 90+-page paper and use them out of context.
“And it’s too bad that more people in 2016 aren’t concerned about domestic violence and its victims – women and well as men.”
Just like every other bastion of tradition and masculinity, the military is under attack by the forces of progressivism. The military is by its very nature masculine, hierarchical, and undemocratic, as it must be to succeed in its core business of engaging with and killing the enemy. This also makes it a target.
Of all our institutions, the military is the one which has best resisted progressivism, in large part because of the nature of the job. One does not simply turn up and demand equality in the military. Incoming does not discriminate.
However the military is ultimately a servant of the political classes, and this is where the pressure to bow to feminism originates. Everywhere they go women moan, demand special treatment, and undermine hierarchy. This has happened to the military and sadly there is not enough will remaining today to resist it, as we have seen with the recent humiliating sight of soldiers walking in high heels.
Unless there is some change in leadership this can only get worse.
“Why invite the potential headaches of teaching a lesbian graphic novel in a religious institution?” asks Professor Scott A. Dimowitz in an essay published in an academic anthology this month. “In the course of several iterations of a class on Literary Feminism that I teach at Regis University, a Jesuit school in Denver, Colorado, I have used Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic and selections from her long-running comic strip, Dykes to Watch Out For to explain postmodern life narratives that incorporate nontraditional matter and a nodding acquaintance with Roman Catholic Church doctrine.”
Perhaps the disclosure of Professor Dimowitz’s curriculum is shocking to some alumni of Regis University and to Catholics who don’t realize how “postmodern life narratives,” including feminist gender theory, now pervade academia. As I previously explained (“Introduction to Feminist Theory”), “there are very good reasons why the proceedings in Women’s Studies courses are generally not discussed outside the classroom.” If parents and alumni were aware of what was being taught in these programs, and if voters understood how taxpayer subsidies to higher education are helping fund such ideological indoctrination on campus, we might expect a political firestorm to erupt. One can easily imagine a congressional committee hearing on what Professor Glenn Reynolds has called The Higher Education Bubble, where the “Your Tax Dollars At Work” aspect of this nonsense could be exposed to public scrutiny.
There are now Women’s Studies programs at some 700 U.S. colleges and universities, enrolling more than 90,000 students annually, and these programs are the intellectual command centers of the Feminist-Industrial Complex. Many thousands of professors are employed to teach courses in this interdisciplinary field. Carmen Rios, the self-described “raging lesbian feminist” who is Communications Coordinator at the Feminist Majority Foundation, has explained:
Is it Gender Studies? Women’s Studies? Women’s And Gender Studies? Sexuality Studies? Gender and Sexuality Studies? LGBT Studies? Queer Studies? Feminist Studies? . . . Women’s Studies remains an interdisciplinary field, making its name all the more difficult to decide on. Is it Women’s History and Theory, or is the program really Lesbo Recruitment 101?
She said that, not me. Regis University describes its program:
Women’s and Gender Studies examines the intersections of gender, race, and class, and also considers how gender roles are constructed in different global cultures and historical periods. Women have made important contributions in traditionally defined “male pursuits” (politics, science, art, etc.) Although traditionally understudied, women’s experiences and participation have led to the reexamination of long-held interpretations and conventional wisdoms in a wide variety of academic fields. Uniting all women and gender studies inquiries is the effort to understand and explain inequality between men and women, and to envision the possibility of new social practices that could bring about greater equality, mutual understanding, and human flourishing.
And also, lesbian comic books. Professor Dimowitz explains that he teaches Bechdel’s cartoons because this helps “defamiliarize traditional linguistic life narratives and form a uniquely productive site of tension and destabilization of students’ assumptions about gender, sexuality, and the very nature of what constitutes aesthetic merit, which few of the other traditional texts were able to achieve to the same extent.”
Exactly how does all this relate to the aims of a Catholic university?Professor Dimowitz is eager to explain:
To be clear about my own position . . . I was raised in a particularly strict form of Pennsylvanian, Croatian-immigrant Roman Catholicisim. . . . Years later I find myself teaching Catholic students, although Regis is a Jesuit university and Jesuits have always been more of a distinctly unconventional form of Catholicism. . . . As a specialist in postmodern literature and gender studies, I have an investment in engaging students in open discussions about representations of gender and sexuality in contemporary literature and culture.
Hmmm. So now the professor talks about his Literary Feminism class:
The course is offered as part of Regis University’s Integrative Core Curriculum, which was established in 2009, seeking to integrate juniors’ and seniors’ understanding of four key areas: (1) Diversity and Cultural Tradition, (2) Global Environmental Awareness, (3) Justice and the Common Good, and (4) The Search for Meaning. As a Diversity and Cultural Tradition course, Literary Feminism has two pragmatic goals, among others: (1) to introduce students to the idea of gender as a performative act, and (2) to understand the complexities and varieties of human sexual expression and representation. These goals reflect an overall tolerant approach to the study of gender and sexuality. . . .
So here we find the postmodern “idea of gender as a performative act,”i.e., the social construction of the gender binary within the heterosexual matrix. One wonders what would be the reaction to Professor Dimowitz’s recitation of all this academic jargon, if you could present it to the devout priests who established this university, originally called Sacred Heart College, in the 19th century? One wonders, indeed, what the Pope must think of this, considering how he has twice in recent months condemned gender theory. In an interview with Italian journalists Andrea Tornielli and Giacomo Galeazzi, Pope Francis compared gender theory to the doctrines of the Hitler Youth and, on April 15, Pope Francis described “so-called gender theory” as “an expression of frustration and resignation that aims to erase sexual differentiation because it no longer knows how to come to terms with it.” Anyone who expects Catholic institutions of higher education to heed the Pope and fight against the nihilistic doctrine of gender theory, however, will be disappointed to discover what Professor Dimowitz is teaching at Regis University:
This graphic nature of the form is clear throughout Bechdel’s 2006Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, a darkly humorous coming-of-age memoir of Bechdel’s childhood growing up in a funeral home run by her father, a closeted homsexual who was also a high school English teacher with a penchant for seducing some of his male students.
(Feminist Literature is so wholesome and inspiring!)
The book cycles its meditations around the event of Bechdel’s father’s death, which she believes may have been a suicide. Juxtaposing her own coming out story as a lesbian against her father’s inability to lead an authentic existence. Bechdel in Fun Homemetanarratively meditates on the nature of life writing. . . . The book is frank about sexuality and blunt about her father’s statutory rapes of high school boys, and the text even includes several panels in which Bechdel recreated imagined scenes of seduction of these students. Bechdel struggles to understand her ambivalent responses to her father’s death while trying to unify a life narrative out of the fractured collage of documents and memories.
Again: Why is this being taught in a Catholic university? Do the parents who are paying $33,060 a year to send their children to Regis University have any clue what is being taught there? Does anyone even care?Professor Dimowitz says 70 percent of freshmen at Regis “self-identify as Roman Catholic.” However:
Many incoming students . . . have a rather cavalier attitude toward Church orthodoxy, which is part of an overall movement in contemporary attitudes. In America, especially, belief in strict Vatican law is clearly trending away from dogma. . . . According to a 2011 Pew survey of Americans, clear majorities “across most demographic groups say homosexuality should be accepted by society” and not discouraged or ignored (which are the two other categories). Interestingly, Catholics, in general, favor acceptance at 64 percent, which compares positively to the overall population’s acceptance, which is only 58 percent.
Here it should be pointed out that the choices Pew offered — whether homosexuality should be “accepted,” “ignored” or “discouraged” — omit other alternatives, particularly “tolerated,” i.e., an attitude somewhere in the range of “live and let live” or ‘who the hell cares?” This kind oftoleration of homosexuality has in fact been widespread in America for decades, even while gay activists have hyped up claims that America is gripped by “homophobia.” So, sure, given the three choices the Pew poll offered, most people would say “accepted,” particular because they know that’s the answer they’re supposed to choose. We return to Professor Dimowitz’s discussion:
This general trending toward acceptance [of homosexuality], especially among millennials, opens up a fertile space for dialogue with students of a traditional college age.
(Professor Dimowitz gets paid to have a “dialogue” about gayness with college kids, and he seems quite eager to do so.)
When asked in a survey, “How did you feel about our openly discussing homosexuality in a Catholic school?” the Regis students were overwhelmingly positive. . . . Of course, part of this positivity is perhaps a function of Regis University’s generally progressive Jesuit orientation, and the question might receive a different response from a far more conservative school.
The bottom line, then, is that Professor Dimowitz and the administration at Regis University are comfortable with the idea that moral issues should be determine by (a) public opinion polls, or (b) “progressive Jesuit orientation,” and certainly not by (c) that old-fashioned “Thou shalt not” stuff in the Bible. Any institutional resistance we might have expected Catholic educators to make against society’s drift toward nihilism has been swept away. A progressive devotion to radical egalitarianism (the heretical “liberation theology” that embraced Marxist revolutionary movements in Latin America during the 1980s) steadily replaces devotion to God at institutions like Regis University.
Until I started studying radical feminism, I never thought of “normal” as an achievement. “If you want to understand feminism, begin by studying abnormal psychology,” as I explain on page 18 of Sex Trouble: Essays on Radical Feminism and the War Against Human Nature. Perhaps no entirely sane person would ever sign up for a university Women’s Studies class, but if she did, it might permanently warp her mind.
Consider, for example, “Introduction to Feminist Theory” (GGS 228), a sophomore-level course in the Global Gender Studies program at the University of Buffalo. This is one of the “Core Curriculum” classesrequired of every student who wishes to major or minor in this subject, and here is the official course catalog description of what the 19-year-old sophomore will be taught in GGS 228:
Introduction To Feminist Theory
Introduces to the complexity of feminist thought and theorizing through a discussion of many of the major schools of feminist thought and past and present debates within feminist theorizing as it has developed both within the United States, and abroad. A solid grasp of the core theories, their fundamental approaches, their insights into social phenomenon and the key criticisms of each, will allow the student to enter into and participate in the ongoing conversations that characterizes feminist thought. Feminist theory has always developed in tandem with feminist movements and activism. Thus, throughout the course, students will not only learn about feminist theories, but also apply the tenets of different theories to current issues and modern problems. Theories are not meant to be passive ideas unrelated to our everyday reality, but are meant to be used as tools to analyze the world around us. As a critical theory, feminist theory aims not only to produce knowledge, but also to provide a base for action. Feminist theories ask us to rethink what we mean by sex and gender, how we understand our sexuality, the roles, status, and ideals assigned to men and women in our societies and how we reward and punish individuals that question, challenge or deviate from these roles. Feminist theory engages with issues of social inequality, oppression, and sexism, and invites us to imagine strategies for creating a world where there is more equality and liberation.
You see that feminist theory is not “passive ideas unrelated to our everyday reality,” and therefore what students learn in GGS 288 cannot be separated from “feminist movements and activism,” so that students are expected to “apply the tenets of different theories to current issues and modern problems.” Notice also that students are required “to rethink what we mean by sex and gender.” The professors in charge of these feminist indoctrination programs are invariably of a type Eric Hoffer called The True Believer, because only a devoted ideologue would get a Ph.D. in this stuff. So, which lunatic is in charge of this particular asylum? During the Spring 2015 semester at the University of Buffalo, GGS 288 was taught by Assistant Professor Christine Varnado:
Dr. Varnado teaches courses in sexuality and gender theory, literature and the humanities, and qualitative methodologies. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia’s department of English and Comparative Literature, combining a specialization in the drama and prose of the English Renaissance with focuses on queer theory and the histories of sexuality and gender. She is at work on a book project, The Shapes of Fancy: Queer Circulations of Desire in Early Modern Literature, which expands the category of what can be called queer desire beyond historical evidence of same-sex sexual practices, to modes of feeling and desiring (such as longing for impossible transformation, or being used) that have often been overlooked in the period, thereby exploring the queer potential of readerly identification and recognition for studying desire in other historical moments. An essay on what offstage and un-staged sex looks like, “Invisible Sex!” will appear in the upcoming collection Sex Before Sex: Figuring the Act in Early Modern Literature. She has been active in the Shakespeare Association of America, the Modern Languages Association, and the American Comparative Literature Association. Varnado’s other teaching and research interests include witchcraft and witch persecutions, performance theory, bodily sex and reproduction, ethnography and ritual in the trans-Atlantic sphere, death and memorialization, literary theory, and cultural studies.
To summarize, then, Professor Varnado is interested in queer theory, queer desire, queer potential and also witchcraft.
You know that Women’s Studies courses are taught to more than 90,000 students annually in programs at some 700 U.S. colleges and universities. You know this because those numbers are cited on page 29 of Sex Trouble, and you have read my book, haven’t you?
Knowing how many Women’s Studies programs exist, therefore, the reader may ask, “Stacy, what drew your attention to this particular course, taught by this particular professor, at this particular university?” Behold, the GGS228 Tumblr.com account:
The reader who clicks that link (and keeps scrolling) will discover that there are very good reasons why the proceedings in Women’s Studies courses are generally not discussed outside the classroom. There is a vast gulf between the esoteric doctrine and the exoteric discourse of feminism. What the True Believer must believe — e.g., the social construction of thegender binary within the heterosexual matrix — is not subject to debate within academia. Yet these ideas are so seldom discussed outsideacademia that whenever I attempt to explain feminist gender theory to people, the reaction is invariably the same: “They don’t really believe that stuff, do they?”
Oh, believe it they most certainly do! And if anyone at the University of Buffalo (or any other institution of higher education in America) does notbelieve feminist gender theory, they’re being awfully damned quiet about their dissent. Why? Because disagreeing with feminism makes you a sexist; any expression of dissent from feminist ideology could be used as “evidence” of discrimination under Title IX; therefore, no university administration can tolerate opposition to feminism on campus without risking a federal civil rights lawsuit.
By defining disagreement as hate, you see, feminists have effectively prohibited criticism within academia and banished opponents from campus. This is why students go berserk when someone like Christina Hoff Sommers appears at Oberlin College. Because criticizing feminism is quite nearly illegal in 21st-century academia, students have never encountered an articulate exposition of opposing viewpoints. Indoctrinated to consider feminist ideology as synonymous with Truth, Enlightenment and Virtue, students believe that only ignorant bigots can possibly disagree with them. Feminist consciousness makes them intellectually superior to others, as Professor Sandra Lee Bartky explained: “Feminist consciousness is consciousness of victimization . . . to come to see oneself as a victim.” Disagreeing with a feminist means you are supporting oppression by denying her victimhood.
Crazy? Sure, it’s crazy, but if every college-educated person is required to believe it, “insanity” becomes a synonym for “education.”
Please, go to the GGS 228 Tumblr.com account and keep scrolling. See what these students have to say about “patriarchy” and “heterosexuality”which, as readers of Sex Trouble know, are two ways to say the same thing: Women are oppressed because they are heterosexual (pp. 12-13), and women are heterosexual because they oppressed (p. 105). In feminist theory, males are only ever discussed as oppressors and rapists. No man is deserving of respect or admiration, nor can any man be trusted. What you find these University of Buffalo students saying on their Tumblr.com blog is exactly what feminists say in the quotes found on pp. 48-53 of Sex Trouble: Heterosexuality is imposed on women through “institutionalized force” (Kate Millett, 1970), “programming” (Andrea Dworkin, 1974), a “patriarchal system” of “sexual repression” (Ann Jones, 1990) and “male power” (Dianne Richardson, 2000). There is no reason, according to feminist theory, that any woman should ever find a man attractive or desirable as a romantic partner.
As she obtains feminist consciousness of her victimization, the student understands that, as Professor Joyce Trebilcot explained, patriarchy “depends on the ability of men to control women through heterosexuality” (quoted on p. 100 of Sex Trouble) and, oh, look, what is this? “Smash the Patriarchy,” says the GGS 228 Tumblr.
There is an old saying that if someone says “it’s not about the money,” you know it is about the money. Feminist theory’s substitution of the word “gender” for “sex,” by the same token, tells us: “It’s about the sex.” And what do you think students in GGS 288 learn about that?
The other day in class, discussing heterosexuality as dependent on romantic love ideals and how it fails to address many of the evils behind it (i.e. rape, domestic violence, possession, etc.), made me wonder about all the hopeless romantic movies I have fallen in love with over the course of my 19 years and really reevaluate why I actually liked this certain genre. I do believe that it is because at a very young age, we are socially conditioned to admire those types of movies, and the reoccuring idea of heterosexual love, that of a strong aggressive man sweeping the damsel in distress off her feet in order to save her from whatever she is “distressed” about, without a second thought about any other types of love, such as lesbian , gay, bi, etc.
I can’t help but wonder that if at, lets say the age of 4, instead of Pocahontas falling in love with John Smith, she finds herself deeply in love with her best friend Nakoma, or a spin off The Lion King revolving around Timon and Pumbaa’s love affair, we would certainly think nothing of it, similar to the way we view heterosexuality and all the movies that portray it. If we had in fact, grew up with this type of cinema as the norm, then I do believe many of us would reevaluate why we are heterosexual, or why we thinkwe are.
Thus said a University of Buffalo sophomore in September 2014,, andanother student in the same class was even more explicit:
Walking out of Feminist Theory on Wednesday I heard someone whisper to a classmate something along the lines, “… every time I walk out of this class I just become more sexually confused!” Evidently, what she said was meant to be humorous, but I couldn’t agree more with what she was really trying to say.
By taking Gender Studies classes, we are all very fortunate to see the world from a different, gendered lens. Sure, learning about different types of feminism and how gender effects our daily lives are incredibly important and relevant subjects, but the more I seem to learn, the more I question how the person I am today seems to be merely product of socialization.
Although I don’t agree entirely with radical feminist thought, it undoubtedly transmits revolutionary ideas that lead us to engage in introspection. This week I have definitely been looking back on instances or practices that could have possibly socialized me to be who I am today – which has proven to be very unsuccessful.
I am, and will always be, a feminist… but how are we supposed to get anywhere successfully if we can’t even agree [or in my case even understand] the roots of the problem(s) we face?
Both of these students were quoted verbatim, typos and all, with the emphases in the original. Students complain they “become more sexually confused,” as they are taught that their sexual identity and orientation are “socially conditioned” by “romantic love ideals.” Remember that, as the course description for GGS 228 explains, “feminist theory aims not only to produce knowledge, but also to provide a base for action.”
What kind of “base for action” is provided when teenagers are taught thatheterosexuality is synonymous with “rape, domestic violence, possession, etc.”? What feminist action might be inspired by teaching college sophomores an ideology that never speaks of males except as dangerous, untrustworthy, violent oppressors? Gosh, I just don’t know.
Within academia, no one can criticize these radical ideas because campus feminists use terroristic tactics to silence dissent. If you dare contradict their totalitarian anti-male hate propaganda, they will accuse you by name of “perpetuating rape culture.”
What is the connection between Schwyzer and Sarkeesian you ask? Let’s just take a look at this blog post from Schwyzer’s blog in mid-2012.
“If you like the look of this blog, thank Anita Sarkeesian, who designed it and helped me launch this made-over site last summer. Anita is far more than a web designer, however; she runs the indispensable Feminist Frequency, which provides intelligent, thoughtful progressive commentary on popular culture. But in the past month, Anita has been under relentless attack online[…] Both she and I have found ourselves at the center of controversy this year, albeit for different reasons. Yet the real difference is in how each of us has been treated by those who despise us most…” (Emphasis my own) His blog post here should shine a light on their professional connection
So, as a person labeled as a “shit-slinger,” I’d at least like to go down as a factual shit-slinger. Therefore, I’d like to bring up some prior associations in regards to Anita Sarkeesian. To those unaware of the other name next to Anita’s in the title, let me introduce you Jezebel’s own Hugo Schwyzer. Professor and ex-writer for Jezebel, Hugo Schwyzer is a name we’re not too familiar with nowadays. Well, that’s because Mr. Schwyzer had a little (large) fall from grace in the last year or so.
For those unaware, “Schwyzer became the subject of controversy when he admitted to sleeping with his female students, having sex with men and women, and ongoing problems with substance addiction including attempting to kill himself and his ex-girlfriend while under the influence of narcotics in 1998”. Ouch. Sleeping with students, silencing people of color (look up his involvement in the hashtag SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen), crashing into and injuring a young woman. man this guy sounds like a real class act. Indeed, hubris seems to be a common trait among those that claim moral authority over us. Whether it be televangelists or social justice bloggers, this seems to be a unifying trait among the morally just. Websites such as Feministe, Jezebel, and Pandagon, who once praised and openly associated with Schwyzer quickly distanced themselves from him. His writing was taken off ofScarleteen, a resource on teen sexual health, and he left Healthy is the New Skinny, an organization co-founded and directed by Schwyzer. Why am I talking about this now-nobody? This “shit-slinger” from the other side of the fence? Well, it is important to remember him as the divisive figure he was in feminism.
I’d like to take an excerpt from “Why do some feminist spaces tolerate male abusers?,” a post on the Globalcomment.com to give some context of the environment of Schwyzer’s position in the feminist community.
“What role, if any, should men with a history of abuse of women have in feminism? This question is at the heart of ongoing debates in the feminist blogosphere over Hugo Schwyzer, a professor of gender studies and male feminist personality. A close examination of Schwyzer’s record calls into serious question both his narrative of personal transformation and his current credibility as a feminist leader. This raises the question of why Schwyzer was allowed access to feminist leadership roles at all, much less for so long, but also points to broader, entrenched issues around male allies, racism and white privilege, and safe spaces for abuse survivors in the feminist movement.”
One part that spoke to me was this part though,
“The narrative of personal redemption that Schwyzer sells is one that’s uniquely available to him as white man. A man of color with years of illegal drug use and the attempted murder of a woman on his record would quite possibly be in jail, and certainly not as feted as Schwyzer is by certain white feminists.”
Please, feel free to read more, it is very enlightening. Though I don’t agree with many of the views espoused by the post, it’s an interesting read nonetheless. However, my point being is that he was quite a divisive figure within the feminist community.
Now, I’m well aware of the association fallacy, strawman, and ad hominem attacks, because we’ve had this flung at us for a couple of weeks now. We’ve been lumped together with harassers, misogynists, bigots, and right-wingers. Furthermore, we’ve been demeaned and outright shunned, compared to birthers, ISIS, the Klan etc. However, media and anti-GG crowd have proven that all is fair in war (though, they seem to have forgotten “love,” which is off limits when it involves one of their own). However, I’d like to ask Anita Sarkeesian, why would you work with and actively enable a self-confessed attempted-murderer and abuser of both people and authority? Not to merely associate with, but to actively improve the pulpit on which this man stood. Why would you work with this true shit-slinger, Hugo Schwyzer. Well, I’ll wager it’s because he had something to give you. A word that I have come to loathe in the past few years, those devilish two words we know as “signal boost.”
In addition to sleeping with his students – occasionally in his office on campus – as recently as 2011, Schwyzer was also exchanging sexts with a 27-year-old porn star. He also acknowledged that he used his class as an means to have sex with porn stars — tweeting that he had fantasized about having public sex with Deen in his classroom — and wrote that he was a hypocrite for writing an Atlantic article condemning age-disparate relationships while sleeping with a woman fourteen years his junior at the same time.
Perhaps yesterday’s discussion of academic feminism — “The Feminist-Industrial Complex: Academia and the Means of Production” — was one of those “TL:DR” experiences for you. Certainly, when I stretch it out to 3,600 words, with lengthy quotations from Queer Theory scholars, I understand that many readers will skip out after a few paragraphs.
The reader’s irritated impatience (“What’s the point here?”) got an unexpectedly quick answer from the latest headlines:
A students’ union has been accused of racism and sexism afterbanning white people and men from an event to promote equality.
Those studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, were invited to the students’ union meeting to discuss ‘diversifying the curriculum’.
But they were shocked when an organiser told white people and men ‘not to come’ as it was only open to BME [black and minority ethnic] women.
The union eventually backed down after a backlash from students, one of whom described the exclusive policy as ‘patronising beyond belief’.
The event, held on Wednesday, was organised by welfare and diversity officer Bahar Mustafa, who said she hoped to persuade academics to broaden courses to include more material relating to minority groups.
The Centre for Feminist Research (CFR) provides a coordinating hub for feminist work at Goldsmiths. In addition to organising seminars and conferences, the CFR offers a symbolic and intellectual home for the MA in Gender, Media and Culture, co-convened by the Departments of Media & Communications and Sociology. . . .
By ‘feminist research’ we include any work that is informed by an active engagement with feminist intellectual debates, and any research that investigates questions of power, inequality and difference including race, class, disability as well as gender and sexuality. . . .
Ideas Have Consequences, as Richard Weaver warned, and Cultural Marxism is an idea whose influence pervades academia. When the primary object of intellectual endeavor is “research that investigates questions of power, inequality and difference,” you can be sure that no one will be permitted to express skepticism and dissent about this unmistakably political agenda. Once doubt and opposition have been excluded, so that only True Believers are permitted to participate in the discussion, the university is no longer engaged in education, but rather indoctrination. The employment of intellectual totalitarians like Sara Ahmed in positions of authority is a signifier — a sort of dye marker — advertising the University of London’s hostility to freedom of thought.
Is anyone therefore surprised to discover that “diversity officer” Bahar Mustafa is a crypto-fascist thug?
Translation: “Disagreement is hate!”
The Feminist-Industrial Complex is based in academia where it is protected by “anti-discrimination” policies that have the effect of prohibiting dissent from feminist ideology. Inside the campus cocoon, particularly within Women’s Studies programs, students and faculty alike never have to encounter articulate disagreement with the fanatical certainty of their belief system:
Whether they are speaking of “male supremacy” or “sexism,” whether the immediate object of their indignation is “rape culture,” “harassment” or the “objectification” of women in media, always the fundamental premise of the feminist argument is this systemic, historical and universal oppression of women. What we might call the Patriarchal Thesis is really an extraordinary assertion, requiring us to believe that there are no natural differences between men and women. Rather, everything we consider to be “natural” in terms of human traits and behavior — the masculinity of males and the femininity of females — is socially constructed by the gender binaryof the heterosexual matrix.
From her podium in Dye Lecture Hall, Christina Hoff Sommers, an author, former philosophy professor and self-proclaimed “freedom feminist,” attempted, amid protesters and dissenting audience members, to persuade Oberlin students that feminism has become too radicalized. She was invited to campus on Monday night by the Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians . . .
Before Sommers arrived at Dye Lecture Hall, protesters covered the venue with signs criticizing her beliefs and the event. One sign read “Support Survivors,” referring to survivors of sexualized violence. Another sign read “Rape Culture Hall of Fame” with the names of past and present members of OCRL listed below. . . .
Protesters and other students who opposed the event could not be reached for comment, but they described their opposition in a letter published in the Review last week.
“By bringing her to a college campus laden with trauma and sexualized violence and full of victims/survivors, OCRL is choosing to reinforce this climate of denial/ blame/shame that ultimately has real life consequences on the wellbeing of people who have experienced sexualized violence,” they wrote. “We could spend all of our time and energy explaining all of the ways she’s harmful. But why should we?”
What madness takes hold in the minds of overprivileged young people who expect to convince us that Oberlin College (annual tuition $48,682) is a “campus laden with trauma and sexualized violence”? Do they actuallybelieve this or, as we might instead suspect, has the Feminist-Industrial Complex fostered a climate in which it is forbidden to contradict these deliberate lies? Banishing opposition allows feminism’s anti-male/anti-heterosexual paranoia (“Fear and Loathing of the Penis”) to rage unchecked like a viral pandemic. Nick Mascari at Third Base Politics reported Sommers’ April 20 Oberlin lecture:
At the end, Sommers took questions. All but one were obviously hostile to her presence, and she took questions from an equal number of male and female attendees. A female student behind me exclaimed “Oh look! She called on a boy!” every single time she took a question from a male student, even though every one of the male questions she received was equally as hostile to her as the female questions.
After taking questions from three women in a row, she took the final question from a man. The student behind me again remarked “Oh look another question from a boy!”.
I politely asked her, “But weren’t the last three girls?”
She glared at me and said, “This is an event about FEMINISM!”
After her discussion with the male student was finished, the same student said to me, “It’s offensive that you said to me ‘Should she only call on pretty girls?’”
“That’s not what I said. I asked weren’t the last three questions from girls? You misunderstood, miss.”
She continued to accuse me. I didn’t bother to inform her that I was recording the speech and had our words on tape. It wouldn’t have mattered.
In 2015, “feminism” is a subject about which only women are allowed to speak. Feminism can never permit women to speak favorably of males, and the only thing males can contribute to feminism is silence.
Such is the totalitarian message of feminism, as it has been for more than four decades. “Women’s way of knowing” is rooted in what the 1969Redstockings Manifesto called women’s “personal experience, and our feelings about that experience,” which feminists insist is the only possible basis for analysis. There are no objective facts beyond women’s subjective feelings about their experiences, and therefore no feminist should listen to anything any man has to say about anything.
Universities now teach feminism as Science with a capital “S” and Truth with a capital “T.” No one can be allowed to deny Scientific Truth, which is whatever women say it is. Women have a monopoly on intelligence, knowledge and virtue because, feminists believe, everything men do is wrong and everything men say is false. (See “‘There Is No Spoon’: Radical Feminism and the Paranoid Matrix of Patriarchy.”)
These are the totalitarian conclusions to which feminism’s hateful logic leads, and nowhere is this more evident than at elite university campuses. Emma Sulkowicz became the most feminist at Columbia University (annual tuition $51,008) by accusing her former friend Paul Nungesser of rape. Once the facts were made public in Nungesser’s federal lawsuit against Columbia, however, it seemed otherwise: Sulkowicz is simply a spiteful liar motivated by a selfish desire for revenge. Nungesser didn’t want to date Sulkowicz, so she evidently plotted to get him expelled from Columbia. When that failed — every investigation cleared Nungesser of wrongdoing — Sulkowicz decided to make herself famous by ruining his reputation.
Sulkowicz spoke at an April 16 “Sexual Assault Awareness Month” event at Brown University, and quotes from her speech reveal her to be a young woman with some very strange ideas about truth:
“There does not exist a scientific way to prove non-consent. . . . When it comes to sexual violence, scientific proof is impossible. . . . If we use proof in rape cases, we fall into the patterns of rape deniers. . . . When a person claims that their theory is a science, they disqualify other types of knowledge. . . . Let’s change the question from ‘Did she consent that night?’ to ‘Did she have the power to consent that night?’ . . . This is not about physical strength. . . . This is about historical power. . . . Seeing is the origin of interpretation. Interpretation is the origin of knowing. . . . If truth is scientific, then art cannot access truth. But perhaps there is something beyond the truth. . . . When people assume I’m bringing the truth to light, they project their own idea of truth onto me. . . . When people engage in believing in me, they objectify me.”
There is no truth, there is only power — this is what feminism teaches. This is how feminism empowers liars. Unless we recover our concern for truth, unless we reject the hateful totalitarian ideology that can justify any lie if the lie serves the cause of “progress,” our society is utterly and irretrievably doomed. Deprived of our freedom to speak truth, we shall be enslaved by liars whose unscrupulous appetite for power is exceeded only by their cruelty and dishonesty.
“Truth is great and will prevail if left to herself . . . she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.”
— Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, 1786
Be afraid, America. Be very afraid.
Although the media has run with the narrative that “#GamerGate is about the harassment of women,” one look at who is pro- and anti-GamerGate reveals the truth.
Here are some truly vile people. Each of these claims are sourced. Click on the little blue text to learn more. (They are blue when I type the post but red on the screen. Whatever the case, “Trust but verify.” All of these claims are supported by the evidence.)
Jian Ghomeshi – Jian Ghomeshi is a former CBC radio host, Women’s Study major, and rapist. Although Ghomeshi hasn’t been convicted of rape, he has said before women do not lie about rape. It seems fitting to hold Mr. Ghomeshi to his words. Moreover, Ghomeshi’s case isn’t he-said-she-said. It’s more like he-said-8-shes-said, as 8 different women have come forward. (UPDATE: 15 women have come forward with accusations of rape and assault against anti-#GamerGate hero Ghomeshi.)
Arthur Chu – Arthur Chu either covered up a rape or refused to report one. In his words: “I have known nerdy male stalkers, and, yes, nerdy male rapists. I’ve known situations where I knew something was going on but didn’t say anything—because I didn’t want to stick my neck out, because some vile part of me thought that this kind of thing was normal.”
Chris Kluwe – Chris Kluwe said he knew of “underage girls” in a “compromising situation” with football players. He has refused to help these underage girls find justice.
Randi Harper – Randi Harper falsely accused me of making a rape threat. False accusations are never OK, right? Ms. Harper also has a criminal record, having been in jail multiple times. Harper has also admitted to having a drug problem and once had a Twitter meltdown after taking too many benzos. (Harper appears to have deleted those incriminating Tweets.)
Zoe Quinn – Zoe Quinn committed perjury in her quest to obtain an unconstitutional restraining order. Quinn also attempted to get Mike Cernovich Swatted. Quinn also emotionally abused her boyfriend, although that doesn’t count because men cannot ever be the victim of domestic violence or emotional abuse.
Margaret Pless – Margaret Pless is an unpaid Daily Kos intern. She posted my name, address, and full “dox” on the Internet. She also filed and incited others to file false police reports with the LAPD.
Hugo Schwyzer – Hugo Schwyzer attempted to murder his ex-girlfriend. Trivia: Anita Sarkeesian built Hugo’s webpage.
Anil Dash – Anil Dash advocates doxing, that is, he supports posting the names and addresses of his ideological opponents online in an effort to intimidate and harass them. Anil Dash also sent an Internet hate mob, who ultimately made rape and death threats, to attack a girl who made a bad joke on Twitter.
If #GamerGate is about the harassment of women, why are the bad guys opposing #GamerGate? Could they be projecting their own desires onto #GamerGate?
Sara Ahmed is a lesbian and a feminist, not necessarily in that order. There is always a chicken-and-the-egg question about such matters. Correlation is not causation, but this particular correlation is sufficiently common as to be a phenomenon deserving its own categorical label, as Professor Ahmed acknowledges.
“Last week,” Professor Ahmed wrote in late February, “I enjoyed attending the Lesbian Lives conference in Brighton (my fifth!). I gave a lecture drawn from material in my chapter on ‘Lesbian Feminism’ which is the final chapter of the book I am working on.”
Gosh, what a coincidence. Lesbian feminism is also a subject of my own book, Sex Trouble: Essays on Radical Feminism and the War Against Human Nature. As I explain in the introduction to this 120-page book now available through Amazon ($11.69 in paperback, $1.99 on Kindle), it is a work in progress. Later this year, I plan to publish a revised and expanded second edition, but after many months of research, I felt a need to publish something — even if it was something with typographical errors that make me grind my teeth in agony — as I had promised loyal readers who had repeatedly told me, “You should write a book.”
OK, so I did write a book, and I am in fact still writing the same book, which is to say that I continue compiling material for the second edition. Self-publishing through Amazon’s CreateSpace program affords me the opportunity to do this exactly the way I want, when I want, without the hassles of arguing with an editor or publisher. People who have never been through the non-fiction book publishing process can scarcely imagine what it’s like: You informally “pitch” a proposal to a publisher. He loves your idea. You crank out a few thousand words — an outline, a couple of draft chapters, etc. — and send that off, then wait to hear back on the approval. Alas, the publisher took it to his editorial board, and the board had some issues, so the publisher is going to need you to re-work your proposal, and so forth. There comes a point in this process where it dawns on you that (a) you are no longer talking about them publishingyour book, but rather are negotiating for a chance to write their book, and (b) if their book idea is so much better than your book idea, let them hire somebody else to write it. But I digress . . .
Professor Sarah Ahmed is director of the Centre for Feminist Research (CFR) at Goldsmiths College, University of London:
The Centre for Feminist Research (CFR) provides a coordinating hub for feminist work at Goldsmiths. In addition to organising seminars and conferences, the CFR offers a symbolic and intellectual home for the MA in Gender, Media and Culture, co-convened by the Departments of Media & Communications and Sociology. . . .
By ‘feminist research’ we include any work that is informed by an active engagement with feminist intellectual debates, and any research that investigates questions of power, inequality and difference including race, class, disability as well as gender and sexuality. . . .
We have identified four key and loose strands of feminist research activity at Goldsmiths:
- Intersectionality; gender and class; feminist of colour scholarship and activism; queer feminism; transfeminism.
- Feminist genealogies, new feminism, post-feminism.
- Feminist cultural theory (including feminist engagements with visual culture, new media, screen culture and technology)
- Feminist work on embodiment, affect and emotion
In other words, the Centre for Feminist Research is a major institutional cog in the wheel of the Feminist-Industrial Complex and the lesbian Professor Sarah Ahmed is its director. Correlation is not causation, but neither is this correlation entirely a coincidence. Professor Ahmed is author of several books, including Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others (2006) which is described thus:
In this groundbreaking work, Sara Ahmed demonstrates how queer studies can put phenomenology to productive use. Focusing on the “orientation” aspect of “sexual orientation” and the “orient” in “orientalism,” Ahmed examines what it means for bodies to be situated in space and time. Bodies take shape as they move through the world directing themselves toward or away from objects and others. Being “orientated” means feeling at home, knowing where one stands, or having certain objects within reach. Orientations affect what is proximate to the body or what can be reached. A queer phenomenology, Ahmed contends, reveals how social relations are arranged spatially, how queerness disrupts and reorders these relations by not following the accepted paths, and how a politics of disorientation puts other objects within reach, those that might, at first glance, seem awry.
Ahmed proposes that a queer phenomenology might investigate not only how the concept of orientation is informed by phenomenology but also the orientation of phenomenology itself. Thus she reflects on the significance of the objects that appear—and those that do not—as signs of orientation in classic phenomenological texts such as Husserl’s Ideas. In developing a queer model of orientations, she combines readings of phenomenological texts — by Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Fanon — with insights drawn from queer studies, feminist theory, critical race theory, Marxism, and psychoanalysis. Queer Phenomenology points queer theory in bold new directions.
Published by Duke University Press Books, Queer Phenomenologycurrently ranks #4 among Amazon.com’s bestsellers for “Textbooks . . . Gay & Lesbian Studies,” which tells you that it is widely assigned for college students in this field. This is not trival information, but is important to understanding how the Feminist-Industrial Complex operates. Based in academia, especially in Women’s Studies programs, this system creates employment opportunities for Professional Feminists who get paid to indoctrinate young women. Higher education is subsidized by taxpayers, and thus the Women’s Studies programs amount to taxing citizens in order to pay Professional Feminists to promote their ideology. However, it’s not as if teaching one or two courses each semester requires a 40-hour work week. The tenured Ph.D. has plenty of spare time for “research” and, if they are industrious and ambitious, this spare time is spent writing journal articles and books or (as is entirely common) writing journal articles that are then compiled into books. So the Professional Feminist writes a 5,000-word essay one month and a 1,500-word book review the next month — getting paid for each of these articles, extra income on top of her university salary — and if she’s shrewd enough to keep her work focused around a general theme, she steadily produces the raw product of her next book.
Suppose she can crank out 4,000 words a month. This isn’t really that much. When I was on the presidential campaign trail in 2011-2012, I would regularly produce 1,500-2,000 words a day. For a tenured Ph.D. in Women’s Studies to write a thousand words a week would seem quite an easy workload, even in addition to her teaching and other faculty work, attending staff meetings and so forth. Supposing a production rate of roughly a thousand words per week, then, a Women’s Studies professor could produce a new 75,000-word book every 18 months. (Hint: Just checked my word-count on this blog post, and it’s about 1,100 words already.) Let us now examine Professor Ahmed’s authorial output:
Put aside all questions about the quality of Professor Ahmed’s research and writing and instead focus only on the quantity of her authorial output. During a period of 16 years, she published seven books totaling 1,807 pages. That is to say, she published about 113 pages per year in books, on top of her other academic production. Professor Ahmed “has also edited or co-edited 7 books and journals, and has published over 60 journal articles and book chapters,” according to her Wikipedia page, which quotes one enthusiastic admirer: “Few academic writers working in the UK context today can match Sara Ahmed in her prolific output, and fewer still can maintain the consistently high level of her theoretical explorations.” Professor Ahmed is, then, a relentless dynamo of feminism whose efficient production of “high level . . . theoretical explorations” make her a marvel of postmodern academia. Yet despite her fame within the feminist universe, it is quite likely that you never heard of Professor Ahmed before, and that you have never encountered any of her several books. This is because the Feminist-Industrial Complex operates inside an academic bubble, insulated both from the commercial marketplace and the ordinary lives of ordinary people.
Except for her 2000 book Strange Encounters (published by Routledge, “the world’s leading academic publisher in the Humanities and Social Sciences”), all of Professor Ahmed’s books were published by university presses. While I don’t want to write a treatise on the economics of academic publishing, let’s just say it’s not about cranking out bestsellers. You’re not going to find a big display of Sara Ahmed books at your local Barnes & Noble store. No, the market “demand” for the output of university presses comes almost entirely from within academia itself. A moderately successful book will be purchased by several hundred university libraries, while the more successful book will be assigned as a text in university classes, thus generating several hundred more orders from university bookstores. If a book from a university press should become in any way popular outside this institutional marketplace, that’s a bonus. What this means for the Feminist-Industrial Complex is that, without the artificial marketplace created by taxpayer-subsidized college and university Women’s Studies programs, the economics of supply and demand would shrivel the career opportunities in this field to the merest fraction of what now exists. If what Professor Glenn Reynolds calls The Higher Education Bubble should ever burst, feminism as we know it would be devastated.
Consider, for example, the February conference at which Professor Ahmed presented her lecture which was, as she said, “drawn from material in . . . the final chapter of the book I am working on.” The 22nd Annual Lesbian Lives Conference was “hosted by University of Brighton LGBT and Queer Life Research Hub in conjunction with Women’s Studies Centre, University College Dublin.” So we have two universities producing this lesbian conference which featured lesbians from other universities talking about lesbianism. If you’re wondering what sort of topics were discussed at this two-day university-sponsored event in Brighton, you’re in luck. The program for the conference was posted online, and we can therefore list this small sample of the proceedings:
QUEER SPATIALITIES AND LESBIAN INTERSECTIONS
Chair: Kath Browne
Sheila Pardoe: Borders and betrothals: queer tourism and Toronto’s Grand Pride Wedding
Laine Zisman Newman: (Un)Happy haunted houses: Queering majoritarian space through protest and
Megan Chawansky: The next Abby Wambach: Lesbian sporting celebrity within Sport for Development and
Peace (SDP) projects
Ilana Eloit: Feminist trouble: The lesbian political subject and the archaeology of an anti-racist lesbian thought
in France (1970-1985)
SEX, LESBIAN FEMINISM AND ACADEMIC BED-DEATH: TOWARDS A LUBRICATION OF THE “ISMS”
Moderator: Jane Czyzselska (Diva Magazine and Middlesex University)
CampbellX :‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’: How to De-Colonize / Reclaim Lesbian Desire
Janet Jones: ‘Hey lesbian feminism! Don’t tell me how to have sex!’ Radical feminist silencing and what
disabled lesbians do in bed
Jane Traies: Invisible Intimacies: Sex and the Older Lesbian
LESBIAN LOOKS: REGARDING THE LESBIAN GAZE
Chair: Jane Hattrick
Suzanne van Rossenberg: At the intersection of feminist art, LGBTI activism and research
Karin Sellberg and Joanna Benecke: Femme is a Feminist Issue
Sneha Kar Chaudhuri: Closet Lesbian Love and the tradition of Sakhiyani: Representing queerness in Bollywood now
Gail Neill: ‘A different kind of girl’: Young women’s understanding and negotiation of sexual identities
The reader may well wonder how anyone ever managed to become a lesbian before there were academic conferences where they could learn how to “reclaim lesbian desire” or represent “queerness in Bollywood.” Yet perhaps a more interesting and relevant question is: Exactly who the hell are these people?
Randomly, I did a Google search on a couple of the panelists. Dr. Megan Chawansky is a senior lecturer at the University of Brighton’s School of Sport and Service Management:
Dr. Megan Chawansky was awarded her PhD in Sport and Exercise Humanities from Ohio State University (USA) in 2008. She was a postdoctoral research officer at The University of Bath from 2009-2011, and then worked as a lecturer at The University of Iowa. Megan received her master’s degree in women’s studies from Ohio State University and acquired her undergraduate degree in psychology and women’s studies from Northwestern University. While at Northwestern, Megan was a captain and all-league performer as a member of the women’s basketball team.
Megan’s research focuses on socio-cultural power struggles around gender, and the way in which these struggles shape the subjectivities, bodies, and lives of girls and women. Megan accesses various theoretical understandings of power, gender, and methodologies within her research. Early in her career, Megan’s research outputs focused primarily on US women’s sports. At present, Megan’s research focuses on the transnational sport for development and peace (SDP) movement, and her research outputs have been both theoretical and applied. Megan was a fellow of Women Win, a Programme Director for PeacePlayers International-Cyprus, and also served as a development intern at the Women’s Sports Foundation (US).
So, basically, she went to Northwestern on a basketball scholarship (a 5-foot-11 guard, she wore jersey No. 24 for the Wildcats) and never left academia — a prototypical feminist success story. Then there is Suzanne van Rossenberg, a student in the Art and Design doctoral program at Middlesex University, where her research is described thus:
The Business Case of Feminist or Queer Art
Creating the possibility to say no to the dominant hetero-normative economic and political structures of art. Or yes. But to least write a story about it that replaces an older one.
Feminist art and queer art have recently gained major visibility, but how does this create reliable positions for feminist and queer cultural practitioners to carry out their work? The historicisation of feminist art clashes with the political and economic position of artists, like myself, who have decided to operate within the space between art and feminist activism. My research raises the question whether the omission of the economic contextualisation and interpretation of art has hindered artists with minority backgrounds to have full and equal access to the multiple art worlds that characterise the global art scene; to money and recognition. It seeks to explore the relation between everyday feminisms, their economic structures and the function of feminist art practices by making deliberate intersections with LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex) activism, emancipation and human rights advocacy. Repeatedly stepping in and out of artistic, activist and theoretical structures informs the (fragmented) creation of feminist or queer art spaces on either side; spaces that take the political and economic structures of art, art theory and feminisms into account, increase a network of audiences and improve the political and economic positions of feminist and queer cultural practitioners. Conclusively, my research aims to investigate whether transdisciplinary “methodologies” of queer or feminist art, art theory and institutional critique augment the “constituency” for feminist or queer art spaces.
If the transdisciplinary methodologies of your deliberate interesections aren’t queer, blame the dominant heteronormative economic and political structures, or something.
Whenever I quote this kind of feminist jargon to sane people who live in the real world, the reaction is a mixture of incredulity (“Do people really go to college to learn that crap?”) and dismissal (“What a bunch of fringe kooks!”). yet the fact is that such activism/research is taken very seriously within academia. Remember that every year, more than 90,000 students enroll in Women’s Studies courses, which are taught at 700 U.S. colleges and universities. Thousands of faculty members are employed to teach these classes, and what the faculty are paid to teach is what defines “feminism” in the minds of their students.
In answer to the most obvious question — “What use is any of this in the real world?” — the answer is, “None whatsoever.” However, the “real world” (i.e., the capitalist marketplace, where profit is generated from the sale of goods and services) produces enough excess revenue that many millions of dollars a year can be siphoned off to fund these academic swamps, as well as to pay for government agencies where a Women’s Studies graduate can be employed to do nothing except to meddle around in the lives of other people. Also, the “real world” of capitalism has over the past century heaped up untold billions of dollars at tax-exempt philanthropic foundations which, in turn, constantly hand over huge sums in grants to various non-profit groups that employ “activist” types to advocate for social change. The Feminist-Industrial Complex thus intersects both with the ever-expanding liberal Welfare State and with the non-profit sector which (surprise!) constantly advocates for even more government Welfare State programs.
So while (a) the jargon of radical feminism strikes most people as nonsensical gibberish, and (b) you might think that the graduates with their Women’s Studies degrees would be qualified to become nothing other than a barista at Starbucks, in fact (c) academic gibberish is enormously influential because (d) it drives the agenda of major institutions in society, including perhaps the school your children attend. As much as you may want to dismiss the Feminist-Industrial Complex as an irrelevant absurdity, just keep in mind that there were people who laughed off the 1960s New Left as a bunch of fringe kooks, but now one of their disciples is the President of the United States.
Now think about what “fundamental transformation” might be next. If I haven’t yet convinced you to take feminism seriously, just imagine what Hillary Clinton might accomplish if she gets elected in 2016.
While you contemplate that nightmare, let’s return to the lesbian conference in Brighton, England, where Professor Sara Ahmed gave her speech about “Living Lesbian Lives.” Many of Professor Ahmed’s sources will be familiar names to those who have followed the “Sex Trouble” series here: Shulamith Firestone, Rita Mae Brown, Marilyn Frye, Adrienne Rich, Julia Penelope, Audre Lorde and Judith Butler. Here is a 350-word slice of what Professor Ahmed told the Brighton lesbians:
Heterosexuality could be described as an elaborate support system. Support is how much you have to fall back on when you fall. To leave heterosexuality can be to leave those institutional forms of protecting, cherishing, holding. You have less to fall back on when you fall. When things break a whole life can unravel.
When family is not there to prop you up, when you disappear from family life, you had to find other ways of being supported. When you disappear from family life: does this happen to you? You go home, you go back home and it feels like you are watching yourself disappear: watching your own life unravel, thread by thread. No one has willed or intended your disappearance. Just slowly, just slowly, as talk of family, of heterosexuality as the future, of lives that you do not live, just slowly, just slowly, you disappear. They welcome you, they are kind, you are the lesbian aunties from London, say, but it is harder and harder to breath. And then when you leave you might go and find a lesbian bar or queer space; it can be such a relief. You feel like a toe, liberated from a cramped shoe. And we need to think about that: how the restriction of life when heterosexuality remains a presumption can be countered by creating spaces that are looser, freer not only because you are not surrounded by what you are not because you are reminding there are so many ways to be.
So much invention comes from the necessity of creating our own support systems. Note here the significance of fragility to this history: how we too can be shattered, how we need each other to put our lives back together again. And: if we are recognised as fragile, breakable, broken, we are often assumed to have caused our own damage. We after all have willingly left the apparently safer paths, the more brightly lit paths of heterosexuality. What did you expect, dear: what did you expect? . . .
You can read the whole thing, in which Professor Ahmed portrays lesbian feminists as engaged in a heroic struggle of “creating our own support systems” — except that they have really done nothing of the kind. What feminists like Professor Ahmed have done instead is to attach themselves parasitically to taxpayer-funded institutions, using political power (and legal threats of “discrimination” claims) to force the rest of us to subsidize their racket. Without the money the Feminist-Industrial Complex has extorted from society through their political shakedown scheme — “Bake us a lesbian wedding cake, or else!” — there would be no funding for their conferences, no tenured jobs for their leaders, no one willing to buy their books full of lunatic gibberish.
No one inside academia is permitted to say this, however. You might be sued for violating someone’s civil rights if you told the truth about feminism at any university in America today. The power of the Feminist-Industrial Complex is deployed to silence truth-tellers and to empower liars. Fortunately, they have no power over me.
Loyal readers have been funding my research, thanks to the Five Most Important Words in the English Language:
By the way, I’ll be on the Joe Prich BlogTalkRadio show tonight at 9 p.m. ET. Today Joe’s co-host Bree Mars called to remind me about the schedule and I went on about 45-minute rant.
Like I keep saying: People need to wake the hell up!
The self-described rape “survivor” who introduced a rape fraudster to a Rolling Stone journalist has conflicting accounts of her own alleged sexual assault.
Emily Renda introduced her friend, Jackie Coakley, to Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the disgraced Rolling Stone journalist.
A self-proclaimed ‘sexual assault survivor’ herself, Renda was instrumental in introducing rape hoaxer Coakley to Sabrina Rubin Erdely taking credit for it in an email to UVA administrators: “I’ve been talking to her [Erdely] and focusing her in on positive people to speak with.”
Renda has often called herself a “rape survivor” and is identified as such in the Rolling Stone piece but she has given conflicting accounts that suggest her sexual assault was manufactured.
Read more at http://bit.ly/1CObee9
Richard like the rape obsessed PZ Myers is the one of the founding members of the feminazi SJW infested Athiesm plus.
Richard Carrier has just published some of the most vacuous and insulting of the recent smears against Atheist Ireland, Hemant Mehta and me. And so I have to again reschedule other activities, including finishing my response to the more considered posts by Ashley Miller, MA Melby and Secular Woman, in order to ensure that Richard’s false claims are corrected on the record before even more myths take hold.
Richard includes false claims about Atheist Ireland and its members, a hidden insult against women activists, false claims about Hemant Mehta, and of course the obligatory defamatory claims about me. Some of his claims seem based on prejudice plus zero research, and some on sources that represent mostly one set of perspectives, some of the content of which he misrepresents.
A word of warning for those who selectively dislike long posts. If you were full of praise when I was lengthily defending PZ Myers and his friends, but are not so happy with me lengthily defending other people against them, you might prefer to reminisce about those earlier days instead
That word “allegedly” is important to add because all I’m doing is giving a thumbnail summary of what Paul Nungesser alleges in his federal lawsuit against Columbia University, its president Lee Bollinger and Professor Jon Kessler. They say that revenge is a dish best served cold, and Nungesser has served up a buffet of revenge on Emma “Mattress Girl” Sulkowicz. She tried and failed to get Nungesser expelled from Columbia with what was, according to his lawsuit, a false rape accusation. When that failed, allegedly, Sulkowicz convinced two other Columbia students to accuse Nungesser of sexual misconduct and both of those accusations also failed. That’s when, with the approval Professor Kessler, Sulkowicz began her “performance art” project, carrying a mattress around the Columbia campus to publicize her accusations against Nungesser, despite the fact that he had been completely cleared of wrongdoing.
Now, if we ponder every possible avenue by which Paul Nungesser could (a) vindicate his reputation, (b) possibly collect a large cash settlement, and (c) deliver a brutal payback to Sulkowicz for her effort to destroy him, I doubt he could have done better than what he has done: Instead of suing Sulkowicz, he sues Columbia. Why?
- Columbia’s endowment is reported at $9.2 billion — that’s billionwith a “b” — which means they may (and probably should) decide that quietly paying Nungesser a couple of million bucks is a small price to pay for ridding themselves of this bad publicity.
- Suing Columbia calls attention to how the university violated its own policy by permitting Sulkowicz to breach the confidentially requirements of the university’s sexual misconduct hearing process and, indeed, by endorsing this breach through Professor Kessler’s role in Sulkowicz’s “performance art” project.
- Most of all, by not naming Sulkowicz as a defendant, this means that Sulkowicz does not have cause to respond to the allegations he makes against her in the Columbia lawsuit, and guess what? You can’t be sued for defamation because of allegations made in a lawsuit.
In other words, if Nungesser had said some of these things during an interview with a reporter — e.g., that Sulkowicz contracted chlamydia after she had sex with two guys at a party — maybe she could have sued him for defamation. And if he had named her as a defendant, they could have fought it out in court. As it is, all this negative stuff about her is now a matter of public record: “Nungesser said X, Y and Z,” and there isn’t a damned thing she can do to prevent anyone from quoting it.
There is plenty of legitimate basis for Nungesser suing Columbia, but it’s the irreparable damage his suit will do to Sulkowicz (and her clearly dubious claim that he raped her) which is the real news here. Of course, Sulkowicz doesn’t get it, providing this clueless quote to the Columbia student newspaper:
“It’s ridiculous that he would read it as a ‘bullying strategy,’ especially given his continued public attempts to smear my reputation, when really it’s just an artistic expression of the personal trauma I’ve experienced at Columbia. If artists are not allowed to make art that reflect on our experiences, then how are we to heal?”
Sweetheart, you are done. Finished. Over. Maybe you don’t realize it yet, but you will never recover from this, not ever.
Be sure to read paragraphs 16, 18 and 26 — especially 26 — and don’t miss the footnote at the bottom of page 7.
“Punch back twice as hard,” indeed.
That is real. That is what Calgary Expo tweeted several hours ago. This the same group that kicked out the Honey Badgers because they participated in a civil discussion with feminists and had the Gamergate logo on their banner. This is what the group that wanted to create an environment of equality tweeted on their own accord.
I understand they are Canadian and may not have the same level of race issues as we have in the United States. However, I am sure that one could take this picture to the middle of India and they would find it racist.
Of course, the tweet has since been deleted. I do not know who tweets for the group. One would think they would have the business and social savvy to know that was not the best picture to tweet or inappropriately caption. One would think the negative press they have received would have kept them on their best behavior. One would be wrong because the tweet sat around for hours before anyone realized how terrible it made them look.
For all those who support the Calgary Expo, that is what you are supporting. And you wonder why people have such a terrible opinion of so-called “social justice warriors.”
In a taster of what to expect, the University of Bristol’s motion – which has been democratically ratified by its student union – is called: “Research sexism in education environments,” and proposes that it is sexist to compliment a woman on her handwriting.
A copy of the motion was leaked to the Bristol Tab, it reads:
“There is a false assumption that with the access of women into Higher Education and with the majority of students being women that the classrooms or labs are not spaces where sexism is felt.
“Women are always asked to justify their claims of feeling uncomfortable or to ‘prove’ that a space is hostile.
“It is widely assumed that learning spaces can no longer be male dominated and that women can’t feel excluded given that they might outnumber men in the room.
“However we still hear things like ‘you are good at logic for a girl’, ‘your handwriting is nice’ said by a male lab demonstrator.
“We’re still not feeling confident to ask questions at a research seminar, women still speak less in seminars compared to men, and still experience sexual harassment at academic conferences – this is anecdotal evidence usually shared in safe spaces.
“But we know that in many subjects women student numbers drop from undergraduate, to postgraduate taught to then postgraduate research level because educational spaces and academic attitudes are patriarchal and unwelcoming.”
There you go. Even though, as the authors admit, women outnumber and outperform men in higher education, they continue to be the victims because men are nice to them.
This, from the same young minds that brought us NUS Women’s Campaign and its plea for the use of jazz hands instead of clapping.
A group of female webcomic artists and online radio hosts have been ejected from the Calgary Expo, a Canadian pop culture convention, after publicly disagreeing with members of a feminist panel discussion.
Staff at the expo informed them that they had received reports of ‘harassment’ at the panel, but footage of the discussion shows that no such behaviour took place. Consumers accused the Calgary Expo of engaging in political intolerance, and have begun a boycott of the convention’s sponsors.
The ejected group are co-hosts of the Honey Badger Brigade, an online radio show that covers politics and pop culture. It was set up in 2013 by Alison Tieman, creator of the Xenospora webcomic. Both the comic and the show have acquired a dedicated fan base in recent years, and it was fans who helped raise over $9,000 for the Honey Badgers to set up a promotional booth at the Calgary Expo.
Previous guests on the radio show included porn star and activist Mercedes Carrera and science fiction author Brad R. Torgersen, both of whom are prominent critics of the trend towards intolerance and censorship in popular culture. According to the Honey Badgers, convention staff approached them early on Friday and informed them that their group was not just banned from the convention, but from all conventions managed by Fan Expo, which runs a number of similar events across Canada.
For a team of webcomic artists and pop culture commentators, this is a serious professional blow – made all the more frustrating by the convention’s refusal to provide a clear reason for their course of action. I spoke to Alison Tieman and other members of the Honey Badger Brigade yesterday.
According to their account, they encountered no problems at all on the first day of the convention, when they were simply manning their booth. In the afternoon, however, Alison and other members of their group decided to attend a feminist panel event discussing the depiction of women in comic books.
During the Q&A session, Alison publicly disagreed with one of the panelists, and gave a short statement in which she argued that the brand of feminism articulated by the panelists was too quick to embrace victimhood. This appears to have been the catalyst for the expo’s decision to eject the Honey Badgers from their conference.
Alison says that their booth was approached by convention staff early on Friday, who informed them that they would have to leave. Convention staff refused to give a reason for their decision without a guarantee that their conversation was not being recorded.
According to Tieman, convention staff told her “if we tried to record them, they would just eject us without giving a reason.” Once recording equipment had been turned off, the Honey Badgers were informed that there had been 25 separate reports of ‘harassment’ at the panel event.
When pressed, staff were unable to point to specific instances of harassment, but nevertheless went ahead with the ejection. The Honey Badgers captured a full recording of the discussion, which reveals no sign of harassment or disruptive behavior. Although they clearly disagree, both Alison and the panelists exchange their views civilly. Unless disagreement counts as harassment, it is difficult to tell what the problem was.
Karen Straughan, a well known YouTube pundit and co-host of the Honey Badgers says Tieman’s comment was a “classic second-wave feminist” argument, arguing against the casting of “actual, real-life women in the comic book industry as damsels in distress”.
Straughan also emphasised the civility of Tieman. “She engaged in no violations of policy, she used no abusive language. She asked for permission to speak, was granted permission to speak, and spoke her mind – and that’s apparently harassment!” The Calgary Expo released a statement explaining their decision. Claiming to provide a “positive and safe event for everyone”, the Expo said they “had reason to believe that the Exhibitor in question [did] not fall in line with this mandate”.
The expo have yet to highlight a specific example of the Honey Badgers compromising the safety or positivity of the event. By way of contrast, Karen alleges that the people who really felt unsafe at the event were the Honey Badgers’ fans. “They were afraid to talk to us, and we had to reassure them” says Karen. “There was one guy who was basically having a panic attack right there.
He was worried that if he was seen speaking to us then that would be a big problem for him.” I asked the expo if they had any plans to address this in line with their mandate of “safety” and “positivity”, but they have yet to provide any details beyond their initial statement. Backlash The Expo’s response was unconvincing to consumers, who quicklyflooded the #CalgaryExpo hashtag with critical tweets.
Many alleged that the convention was using “safety” as an excuse for political discrimination, while others noted the hypocrisy of expelling female creators from a pop culture convention in the name of feminism.
Consumers aren’t just speaking out on Twitter. They’re also complaining to the Calgary Expo’s sponsors, which include CMP Chevrolet, Vue Weekly, Pattison Outdoor advertising, Air Electronics, and ATB Financial. Threads to co-ordinate the email campaign have been posted on Reddit and 8chan. Company representatives are likely to find themselves with flooded inboxes on Monday. One former sponser has alreadydistanced themselves from the expo.
No doubt aware of their PR misstep, the Calgary Expo’s social media team have begun deleting potentially offensive tweets. A tweet linking to an article from the feminist blog The Mary Sue was deleted, perhaps out of fear that the close connection between the blog and the expo would add legitimacy to claims of political discrimination. Another tweet containing an image some found offensive was also deleted, no doubt to avoid further controversy.
None of this frantic PR manuevering has done any help for the Calgary Expo’s credibility, and they now face a campaign from angry consumers. Their convention’s hashtag, #CalgaryExpo, has been completely taken over by their critics, and despite some praise from progressive blogs, the consensus of pop culture fans is turning against them. Thousands of fans are now urging the Expo to retract their decision and own up to their mistake.
None of this is any solace to Alison, the 23-year veteran of the comic book industry, who has suffered the most professional blowback from the incident. Now facing permanent exclusion from Canada’s most popular pop culture convention, she posted a tearful video to YouTube giving her full account of the ordeal.
It will be difficult for the Calgary Expo to maintain their argument that they were trying to create a “safe and welcoming environment” when they have a debacle like this on their hands. Alison’s video is likely to add fuel to what now appears to be the start of long-term campaign against the convention’s sponsors, with the expo’s bizarre code of conduct likely to become a key target.
This story is another example of the continued politicization of pop culture, a trend which shows no sign of stopping. Video games, sci-fi, and comic books have become flashpoints, with creators and companies facing an unprecedented level of pressure. No doubt the majority would like a de-escalation in the conflict, but political intolerance is a poor way to go about it.
Britain is now a tyrannical Feminazi State. You can be arrested by simply talking to a piece of shit man-hating feminazi bitch cunt on twitter. the only good thing is that sex work and escorting is legal in that country.
Women’s Liberation, as modern feminism was called when it erupted from the New Left in the late 1960s, was still rather a new phenomenon in 1970 when William F. Buckley Jr. was invited to debate Germaine Greer at England’s Cambridge Union. Buckley later recalled the problem:
She insisted that I formulate the resolution, which I attempted to do from this side of the Atlantic, using what was then known as Western Union. The trouble was that she rejected my first three proposals on the grounds that they were, if I remember stupid, asinine, something similar for the third. The ‘telephone call from the president of the union was now desperate. The BBC, which was filming the encounter needed to know the resolution before noon the next day, when their guide went out to print. I sat down at the typewriter and typed out “Resolved: Give Them an Inch and They’ll Take a Mile.”
In that, Buckley was exactly right, and was prescient in discerning the essential problem with feminism, namely that it has no logical stopping point. Give them every demand they ask today, and feminists will return tomorrow with a new list of demands.
Feminists originally claimed to seek “equality” and yet, once this was achieved, it was not enough. An absolute majority of U.S. college students (57%) are female, and women are 33% more likely than men to earn a college degree. As college education is widely considered a chief socioeconomic indicator of middle-class status, one might suppose such statistical evidence would suffice to satisfy feminist demands.
Alas, there is no limit to their totalitarian ambition, and feminists have lately begun demanding that male students be stripped of due process rights on campus. “Last year California passed a law that defined nearly all sex on college campuses as rape unless proven otherwise,” as Ashe Schow has observed. The anti-male climate in higher education has become so intense that one college student in Oregon found himselfbanned from parts of campus because a female student said “he reminded her of the man who had raped her months before and thousands of miles away.” Of course, if there aren’t enough actual rapes to justify this kind of hysterical paranoia, feminists have proven they are willing to exploitfictional rapes in order to justify their anti-male jihad. The wholly imaginary “Haven Monahan” was used to frame Phi Kappa Psi fraternityat the University of Virginia and, in response to this highly publicized lie, the university’s president shut down all fraternity parties on campus.
Feminism’s implacable hostility toward males is by no means limited to university campuses, however. BuzzFeed recently offered “23 Writers With Messages For Straight White Male Publishing.” These messages, from attendees at the annual Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference, suggested that the employment of heterosexual males in the publishing industry is a social injustice:
In fact, the book publishing industry is overwhelmingly dominated by females. A 2010 survey by Publisher’s Weekly found that “85% of publishing employees with less than three years of experience are women.” In other words, women are 5 out of every 6 recent hires in the industry. Yet women writers seem to believe that this is not enough. Apparently, feminists won’t be happy until all editors are females and allpublished books are written by women authors. And after they ban male students from college campuses, we suppose, feminists will then make it illegal to teach boys to read. Because . . . EQUALITY!
“The idea that acts of violence can be excused due to a victim’s dress, state of intoxication, location and sexual history is absolutely ridiculous and feeds into a cultural view of sexual assault as not a real crime.”
— Liz Sheridan, SlutWalk Chicago organizer, 2014
“Yesterday’s mental illness is today’s social policy.”
— Kathy Shaidle, “Feminism’s Rotting Corpse,” 2012
If you want to understand feminism, begin by studying abnormal psychology. Perhaps no fact about the Women’s Liberation movement of the 1960s and ’70s is more significant than this: Shulamith Firestone, a pioneering leader of so called “Second Wave” feminism who co-founded the radical feminist group Redstockings, was a paranoid schizophrenic who died alone at age 67, having spent decades on public assistance because of her mental illness.
Feminists can blame Firestone’s pathetic fate on the oppressive patriarchy if they wish, but sane people must suspect that the cause-and-effect are quite opposite. That is to say, while feminists believe that the patriarchy makes women crazy, the rest of us suspect that crazy women made the patriarchy — inventing this imaginary conspiracy of “male supremacy” as the phantom menace of their paranoid minds, a fantasy bogeyman, a rationalization of their own unhappiness and misfortunes.
Here is where the meaning of the famous feminist dictum “the personal is political” exposes the real truth of their ideology. Rather than looking at feminism as a political movement to redress legitimate grievances shared generally by all women, we must understand feminism as a personal movement, concerned with the specific grievances of a distinct minority of women. To oppose feminism is not to say that the personal suffering of these women — the aggrieved minority — is not real, but rather to say that their unfortunate experiences cannot be generalized to justify a revolutionary political agenda that aims to transform society. If we change society for the benefit of the angry few, we risk destroying a society whose benefits provide happiness to the many. Feminists see no problem there; when they talk about “equality,” they mean to equalize misery, too. And most feminists are profoundly miserable.
Women who are sane, normal and happy do not become feminists, because such women do not need feminism. Once you understand feminism as an expression of unhappy women’s psychological needs, the general insanity of feminist doctrine makes perfect sense. This phenomenon was evident in March 2014, when a controversy arose at the University of South Carolina Upstate (USCU) because the university’s Center for Women’s & Gender Studies hosted Leigh Hendrix’s one-woman show, “How to Be a Lesbian in 10 Days or Less.”
Question: Do college girls actually need to be told how to be lesbians? If they are so inclined, do students at USCU (or anywhere else) lack the requisite knowledge to accomplish homosexual activity? Are they smart enough to go to college, yet too stupid to Google this stuff?
Whatever didactic purpose was served by Ms. Hendrix’s performance as part of a USCU symposium called “Bodies of Knowledge,” controversy flared after the event made national headlines:
The show is a one-hour performance that follows Butchy McDyke, a motivational speaker and expert lesbian, as she “deftly guides her captive audience in an exploration of self-discovery and first love, coming out, lesbian sex, queer politics, and a really important Reba McEntire song.”
Hendrix encourages her audience to shout “I’m a big ol’ dyke!” in a show that is “one part instructional seminar, one part personal story, and one part wacky performance art.”
The First Amendment protects Ms. Hendrix’s right to perform her show, but compelling the taxpayers of South Carolina to fund it? That is another matter altogether. South Carolina is one of the most conservative states in the country, and UCSU is in Spartanburg, in the most conservative part of the state. Your right to shout “I’m a big ol’ dyke!” does not include the right to get paid by taxpayers to shout it in a crowded theater full of college kids in Spartanburg, S.C.
Whose crazy idea was this event, anyway? The news reports about the symposium quoted Professor Lisa Johnson, the Director of the Center for Women’s & Gender Studies at USCU, and so I started researching Professor Johnson. I quickly discovered that she is — brace yourself, because I’m afraid this may shock you — a crazy lesbian.
In 2010, Professor Johnson published a book about her struggles with borderline personality disorder — “a serious mental illness,” according to the National Institutes for Mental Health. In her book, Girl in Need of a Tourniquet: Memoir of a Borderline Personality, Professor Johnson describes herself as a “psycho girlfriend” with a history of dysfunctional relationships with both men and women. Her book describes “what amounts to a nervous breakdown as the result of an affair with a married lesbian colleague.” Professor Johnson in 2010 described herself as a “newlywed lesbian” whose partner was apparently her former student:
Stacey Haney was one of Professor Johnson’s most honored students at USCU, receiving one of four Campus Consciousness-Raising Awards for the 2006-2007 school year and also winning an Award for Scholarly Achievement in Women’s and Gender Studies for the 2007-08 school year. Professor Johnson selected the annual CWGS [Center for Women and Gender Studies] award winners in her role as the center’s director. Haney served as president of the student group Upstate Feminists, and in 2008 presented a paper at the Wofford College Conference on Gender entitled, “Butch is Back: The Marginalization of Butch Feminists Across the Feminist and Queer Communities.” Haney, who graduated from USCU in December 2008, subsequently served as a teaching assistant at CWGS . . .
Is there a law against mentally ill university professors marrying their former students? Not that I know of, not even in Spartanburg, S.C. But shouldn’t the taxpayers of South Carolina have some input on who is employed to teach their daughters? And if it appears that lesbian lunatics are running the Women’s Studies asylum, don’t lawmakers have a fiduciary responsibility to intervene? Evidently, South Carolina legislators thought so, and eliminated the budget for USCU’s Center for Women and Gender Studies in May 2014.
Gay activists may condemn South Carolina as a bastion of homophobia, but the controversy at USCU highlighted the correlation between feminism and mental illness just as much as it did the correlation between Women’s Studies programs and lesbianism. Are there sane heterosexual women teaching “gender theory” at our universities? It’s possible,but when you start checking the curricula vitae of Women’s Studies professors and reading the syllabi for their classes, you gather the impression that lesbianism is both the personal and political agenda of feminism as taught and practiced on campus in the 21st century.
We may avoid speculation about the connection between homosexuality and mental illness, except to note that homosexuality was considered a mental illness per se until 1973, when it was eliminated from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual in a vote of the American Psychiatric Association that was controversial at the time. There are sane lesbians, according to the APA, but just because you’re gay doesn’t mean you aren’t also crazy, and if you spend some time examining Women’s Studies textbooks, it’s hard to avoid the suspicion that all the really crazy lesbians now have Ph.D.s.
Professor Sue Wilkinson and Professor Celia Kitzinger are so inseparable they share a Wikipedia entry. The British Guardian newspaper reported on this lesbian academic duo in March 2014:
Eleven years after they married, two university academics celebrated becoming legally wed on Thursday, as the law in England and Wales changed to recognise same-sex marriages performed overseas.
Celia Kitzinger, 57, and Sue Wilkinson, 60, who married in Canada in 2003, cracked open champagne and put on the wedding rings they had not worn in England since losing a high court battle for recognition eight years ago.
As the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act came into force at 12.01am, other couples were for the first time able to register their intention to marry under the act, by giving statutory notice; the first ceremonies will take place on 29 March.
Both Kitzinger, professor of conversation analysis, gender and sexuality at York University, and Wilkinson, professor of feminist and health studies at Loughborough University, said they had never believed legal recognition of their marriage would occur in in their lifetimes.
“At midnight we were just by ourselves at a secret romantic hideaway deep in the country, and we actually opened the window of our room and we heard the bells of the local church ringing midnight,” said Wilkinson. “And when the church clock went ‘bong’ we put on our rings and opened a bottle of champagne. It was just magical, special, lovely.”
Professor Kitzinger has been “out” as a lesbian since she was a teenager, and is an editor of the journal Feminism & Psychology. It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that Kitzinger and Wilkinson have spent the past two decades attempting to reverse the previous psychological orthodoxy so that, among feminist scholars, it is now heterosexuality which is considered abnormal for women. This was the avowed purpose ofKitzinger and Wilkinson’s 1993 book, Heterosexuality: A Feminism & Psychology Reader:
The set of questions we asked [in seeking contributions to the book from feminist writers] was a deliberate reversal of those which psychology has traditionally addressed to the topic of lesbianism: “What is heterosexuality and why is it so common? Why is it so hard for heterosexuals to change their ‘sexual orientation’? What is the nature of heterosexual sex? How does heterosexual activity affect the whole of a woman’s life, her sense of herself, her relationships with other women, and her political engagements?”
Citing lesbian feminist Adrienne Rich, Kitzinger and Wilkinson complain that, in much early feminist literature, “heterosexuality is simply assumed as the natural, taken-for-granted way to be for most women, obscuring the overt and covert violence with which ‘compulsory heterosexuality’ is forced upon us, through . . . the socialization of women to feel that male sexual ‘drive’ amounts to a right, the idealization of heterosexual romance, rape, pornography, seizure of children from lesbian mothers in the courts, sexual harassment, enforced economic dependence of wives and the erasure of lesbian existence from history and culture.” This is quite a laundry list of grievances, and if some random woman on a street corner were to start jabbering this radical stuff in public, she’d probably be put on a 72-hour psychiatric hold. However, when these words are published in a book by a pair of tenured feminist professors, no one dare criticize their academic gibberish for fear of being condemned as a homophobe and a sexist, to boot.
In the introduction to their book, Kitzinger and Wilkinson describe their “entirely different experiences of heterosexuality”:
[Kitzinger] has always been lesbian, came out aged 16, has never had, or wanted to have, sex with men, and developed a feminist awareness through the experience of living as a lesbian under heteropatriarchy. [Wilkinson] was happily and exuberantly heterosexual, married for 15 years, becoming lesbian only relatively recently through the impact of feminism on her emotional and sexual experience.
Does feminism cause lesbianism, or vice-versa? The answer from Kitzinger and Wilkinson seems to be, “Both.” Their 1993 book may be seen in retrospect as the moment when the “Lavender Menace” — as Betty Friedan called her fear that radical lesbians would take over and discredit the feminist movement — ceased to apologize for its agenda. The lesbian takeover of feminism, especially within the academic enclaves of Women’s Studies, has now progressed so far that it probably never occurred to Professor Lisa Johnson that anyone would think it weird for her to marry one of her lesbian students. Nor, perhaps, did Professor Johnson think it was unusual to stage a university symposium featuring “Butchy McDyke, a motivational speaker and expert lesbian” inciting her audience to shout “I’m a big ol’ dyke!” This kind of craziness has become so commonplace within the feminist echo chamber that they don’t even recognize it’s crazy anymore, not even if the Republican-controlled legislature cuts off their funding.
This craziness is not recent, however, and has existed within feminism for decades. In 1993, when the lesbian academics Kitzinger and Wilkinson sent out letters seeking contributors to their book on heterosexuality,some of the responses were amusing:
Only when we started to compile a list of heterosexual feminists as potential recipients of our letter did we realize how rare such a public identification is. It would have been much easier to compile a list of self-identified lesbian feminists. “Heterosexual” is not a popular label, and many feminists express their concern about it. . . . A couple of women we had known for years in professional contexts, who had never given us any reason to suspect that they were anything other than heterosexual . . . wrote angrily in response to our letter, “How dare you assume I’m heterosexual?” and “Don’t you think you are making one hell of an assumption?”
If “heterosexual feminist” was already a rare identification in academia in the early 1990s, what does this tell us about the field of Women’s Studies today? If it’s practically an insult to assume a feminist is heterosexual —“How dare you?” — is it wrong to suspect that Women’s Studies is not so much a scholarly discipline as it is a means of maximizing academic employment opportunities for lesbians?
No one is surprised to learn that the woman who organized SlutWalk Chicago is a Gender Studies graduate of the University of Illinois-Chicago. Parading around in your panties to protest against “rape culture” may seem crazy to normal people, but normal people don’t major in Gender Studies. Normal people don’t want to “Smash Patriarchy” or “F–k the System,” either.
Perhaps no feminist is more famous than Gloria Steinem, the longtime editor of Ms. magazine. From the time she emerged as the telegenic face of the Women’s Liberation movement in the early 1970s, Steinem’s good looks made her the living refutation of the oft-heard claim that all feminists were fat, ugly, resentful man-haters. Steinem was not only ostentatiously attractive, she was also heterosexual, which served to refute accusations that the feminist movement was dominated by lesbians. (Although, of course, it actually was.) Nevertheless, just because she was pretty and straight, it is a mistake to assume that Gloria Steinem was in any way a typical woman.
This point was made recently in a video rant by a British commentator whose online pseudonym is “Sargon of Akkad.” In the video, Sargon intersperses his own (frequently NSFW) comments with a television interview with Steinem. Sargon begins his YouTube rant by reading from the Wikipedia biography of Steinem:
Steinem was born in Toledo, Ohio, on March 25, 1934. Her mother, Ruth . . . was a Presbyterian of Scottish and German descent, and her father, Leo Steinem, was the son of Jewish immigrants from Germany and Poland. The Steinems lived and traveled about in the trailer from which Leo carried out his trade as a traveling antiques dealer.
When Steinem was three years old, her mother Ruth, then aged 34, had a “nervous breakdown” that left her an invalid, trapped in delusional fantasies that occasionally turned violent. She changed “from an energetic, fun-loving, book-loving” woman into “someone who was afraid to be alone, who could not hang on to reality long enough to hold a job, and who could rarely concentrate enough to read a book.” Ruth spent long periods in and out of sanatoriums for the mentally disabled. Steinem was ten years old when her parents finally separated in 1944. Her father went to California to find work, while she and her mother continued to live together in Toledo.
While her parents divorced as a result of her mother’s illness, it was not a result of chauvinism on the father’s part, and Steinem claims to have “understood and never blamed him for the breakup.” Nevertheless, the impact of these events had a formative effect on her personality: while her father, a traveling salesman, had never provided much financial stability to the family, his exit aggravated their situation. Steinem interpreted her mother’s inability to hold on to a job as evidence of general hostility towards working women. She also interpreted the general apathy of doctors towards her mother as emerging from a similar anti-woman animus. Years later, Steinem described her mother’s experiences as having been pivotal to her understanding of social injustices. These perspectives convinced Steinem that women lacked social and political equality.
This was hardly what anyone would call a “normal” childhood, then or now, nor was Steinem typical in any other way. Steinem graduated from elite Smith College (where undergraduate tuition for the 2014-15 school year is $44,450), never had children and didn’t marry until she was 66 years old. Sargon comments:
“This is where the confusion has come in, because Gloria is not your average woman. She was raised by an insane single mother. How could she possibly ever know what the average woman is thinking? She is clearly against the idea of the nuclear family. . . . This is exactly the problem with feminism: It goes against what women seem to actually want, and this is led by complete f–king head cases, who presume to speak for all women. She uses the term ‘women this,’ ‘women that,’ ‘women the other,’ as if she has spoken to all women and they had a vote — a unanimous vote for Gloria Steinem to speak for them.”
Here’s the video, which is good for lots of laughs:
Growing up in seriously dysfunctional families seems to be a common denominator with radical feminists. It seems that if they don’t have “daddy issues,” they’ve got “mommy issues,” and the predictable attempt to blame all their “issues” on male oppression is often at odds with the available evidence. In the case of Professor Celia Kitzinger, for example, one can hardly claim that her radicalism is a reaction against her upbringing — her parents are both prominent (and predictably leftist) British intellectuals. Her father, Uwe Kitzinger, came to England as a child, a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany, and became an economics professor, eventually head of one of the colleges at Oxford University. Her mother, Sheila Kitzinger, whose own mother was a suffragette, has been called “the high-priestess of natural childbirth,” authoring a number of books on the subject, including the bestseller The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth. Two more progressive parents no child could ever have wished for and, in the book Heterosexuality she co-edited with her lesbian partner Wilkinson, Celia Kitzinger actually includes a chapter by her mother. Sheila Kitzinger writes:
I never planned to be heterosexual, of course. If I had known my three radical lesbian feminist daughters back then, I would probably never have made that decision. I was just. A child of patriarchy, I was shaped by it. I expected to love a man, and did. I married, made a home, had a family, established deep loyalties.
My husband Uwe and I have always shared fundamental values — values which may, just possibly, have had something to do with the fact that three of our five daughters are lesbian feminists, and that we both admire their strength and idealism. . . . [Sheila met her husband] at a meeting exploring the problems and challenges of building a better society. We were anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-discrimination of any kind. . . . We called for world government, full employment, international understanding, world peace.
Uwe and Sheila Kitzinger sound like a perfect parody of the type of progressives who are so open-minded they believe in everything simultaneously. That three of their daughters turned out to be radical lesbian feminists doesn’t seem particularly surprising. As a teenager in the 1970s, their daughter Celia was expelled from a prestigious girls’ school where one of her teachers became her lesbian lover. Celia told her own story in another book, Changing Our Minds: Lesbian Feminism and Psychology:
I grew up in a house full of political argument and discussion: questions of right and wrong, both in personal morality and in international politics, were fervently discussed. As children we were all encouraged to be independent and critical thinkers, to challenge taken-for-granted understandings, to question and to take stands where we believed we were in the right, “to speak truth to power.” Although our sex education began at an early age and included all the details about menstruation, intercourse, conception, pregnancy, and birth, I knew nothing about lesbianism. “It just didn’t occur to me that any of you would be lesbian,” Sheila told me years later.
So when, at the age of seventeen, I began my first sexual relationship with a woman, I was, despite my liberal upbringing, desperately confused and unhappy. . . .
This was circa 1974. Celia was plagued by “feelings of extreme isolation [that] led to a suicide attempt and subsequent hospitalization”:
Three months in a mental hospital, where I was diagnosed as ‘immature’ and ‘jealous of adult sexuality,’ contributed to my developing sense of psychology and psychiatry as dangerous and oppressive to lesbians.
So, naturally, she became a professor of psychology. Celia Kitzinger considers therapy harmful for women because women’s problems are not personal, in her view, but rather political.
Everything must ultimately be blamed on the patriarchy, of course. It is impossible for any feminist to to say otherwise. They have spent so many decades blaming every misfortune on the all-purpose scapegoat of male supremacy that one imagines the radical feminist who stubs her toe screaming in pain: “Damn the patriarchy!”
Feminism is not a political philosophy; it’s an ideé fixe, the obsession of deranged minds. Male supremacy is to feminists what windmills were to Don Quixote or what Jews were to Hitler. This has been true since the Women’s Liberation movement began, even before anyone realized that Shulamith Firestone was clinically insane. In her 1970 book The Dialectic of Sex, Firestone wrote this:
So that just as to assure elimination of economic classes requires the revolt of the underclass (the proletariat) and, in a temporary dictatorship, their seizure of the means of production, so to assure the elimination of sexual classes requires the revolt of the underclass (women) and the seizure of control of reproduction: not only the full restoration to women of ownership of their own bodies, but also their (temporary) seizure of control of human fertility — the new population biology as well as all the social institutions of child-bearing and child-rearing. And just as the end goal of socialist revolution was not only the elimination of the economic class privilege but of the economic class distinction itself, so the end goal of feminist revolution must be, unlike that of the first feminist movement, not just the elimination of male privilege but of the sexdistinction itself: genital differences between human beings would no longer matter culturally. (A reversion to an unobstructed pansexuality — Freud’s ‘polymorphous perversity’ — would probably supersede hetero/homo/bi-sexuality.) The reproduction of the species by one sex for the benefit of both would be replaced by (at least the option of) artificial reproduction: children would born to both sexes equally, or independently of. either, however one chooses to look at it; the dependence of the child on the mother (and vice versa) would give way to a greatly shortened dependence on a small group of others in general, and any remaining inferiority to adults in physical strength would be compensated for culturally. The division of labour would be ended by the elimination of labour altogether (through cybernetics). The tyranny of the biological family would be broken.
What would you call that 275-word paragraph? I call it lunatic gibberish. If you call it “political analysis,” you’re either a radical feminist or mentally ill — two ways of describing the same thing.
Lindsay King-Miller (@AskAQueerChick) writes a column for@thehairpin, which is a spinoff site from TheAwl.com, which is one of those Trendy But Not Actually Popular Kind of Blogs That You Should Never Call a “Blog.” There are dozens of these sites out there trying to convince investors that they could be The Next Buzzfeed. More accurately, the best they could hope for is to become The Next Salon.com, which has been losing about a million dollars a year since the 1990s. But I digress . . .
Lindsay King-Miller’s column is “Ask a Queer Chick,” i.e., her bid to become the Lesbian Internet Dear Abby. Of course, this ambition is problematic because there are entire sites like Autostraddle devoted to the Lesbian Lifestyle™ and, also, HELLO, IT’S THE INTERNET.
There is a reason why very few websites have “Advice for the Lovelorn” columnists, you see. Whereas in the Dead Tree Age, it was possible to be clueless about sex and relationships, in the Information Age, the only clueless people are (a) stupid or (b) quasi-autistic nerd types with impaired social perception. Everybody else is able to Google up their own particular issue and figure it out. By 2006, all potential relationship problems (“Is my penis too small?” “If you have to ask, the answer is yes.”) had already been answered somewhere on the Internet.
The only reason anyone would still be publishing an online Relationship Advice column in 2015 is to serve that niche readership of Pathetic Nerds Who Just Don’t Get It:
Q. I think the attractive woman in the next cubicle likes me. How do I find out for sure?
A. No, she doesn’t like you. Nobody likes you. You are an ugly man with Asperger’s Syndrome and nobody likes you. This woman on whom you have a sick fixated obsession doesn’t like you. If she smiles at you, that’s because you’re creeping her out. You make her nervous, staring at her constantly. Her smile is a sort of defensive shield. She has nightmares about you stabbing her in the parking lot, you disgusting weirdo. Leave her alone. Leave women alone, period. Don’t even look at a woman.
This is all that’s left, in terms of readers for Relationship Advice columns in 2015. Except for extreme nerds — whose social skills are so impaired that they don’t even realize how utterly hopeless they are — everybody else can figure out their problem with a simple Google search. Beyond that, thanks to social media and online dating apps, any young single person who is even moderately attractive nowadays is swarmed with would-be dates. This drastically shrinks the potential readership for advice columns.
Don’t like your boyfriend? Zap! New boyfriend, just one text message away. That is, if you’re attractive.
The Internet has starkly divided the romantic universe into the Haves and Have Nots. Therefore, if you’re doing a Relationship Advice column in 2015, you have to understand that you are dealing with the hopelessly desperate types who are probably beyond help of “advice.” So, what kind of questions do you think Lindsay King-Miller gets at “Ask a Queer Chick?”
- “I’m a twenty-five year old woman who is thinking about trying to date women. I’ve always had what I’m realizing were crushes on women, but have never talked about or acted on them. Do you have suggestions for the most respectful way to go about this, on say, OkCupid?”
- “I have such a crush on my intern. I’m not her supervisor, though I’m a senior person on a team that she is also on, so I’m in a leadership role in relation to her. I’m only two years older than she is. She is so ambiguously queer I can’t even stand it. We either have extremely subtle, almost-undetectable queer-girl sexy eye contact going on, or I am totally imagining everything. When she leaves our office at the end of the school year, can I ask her out?”
- “My girlfriend of over a year recently came out to me as a trans man. I’ve never been in a relationship with a man before: not because I’m unattracted to men — I am sometimes! — but because I’ve always preferred the company of women, and I love the queer community. I love my partner and support him and I want to stay with him, but I never thought I’d have a boyfriend, and I need some advice on how to proceed.”
Do you see what I’m getting at here? In 2015, people who have romantic problems that they can’t figure out without asking a Dating Advice columnist tend to be so far out on the freaky fringe — lesbians lusting for their interns, or dating a weirdo with gender dysphoria — that you don’t know whether to give them advice or report them to the FBI.
At least 90% of all “relationship” questions could be solved simply by asking the person a few questions:
- Are you ugly? Here’s the basic problem for most people who have relationship problems. This is not to say that attractive people never have problems. However, attractive people have options. If you’re good-looking and things aren’t working out with your boyfriend or girlfriend, there are lots of other people you could be dating, so you just move on and find somebody you like better. If you are so desperate to find love you have to ask for help from an advice columnist, you probably aren’t an international supermodel.
- Are you an introvert? Give them a Myers-Briggs test. If the result shows them to be an introvert, that’s the basic problem.Ceteris paribus, introverts have more social problems than extroverts, and also have more of a tendency to sit around brooding over their problems. However, being an introvert is probably not going to cause you a lot of dating problems if you’re extraordinarily good-looking, so if somebody’s asking you for relationship advice and the Myers-Briggs test shows them to be an introvert, they’re probably ugly, too. They’re batting with two strikes against them, you see.
- Are you crazy? Mental illness is more common than most people realize. About 1-in-4 women take mental health medications, mostly for depression and anxiety. Guess what? People with mental health problems also often have relationship problems. So if somebody comes to you seeking relationship advice, it might be helpful to know if they’re gobbling Prozac, just one crisis away from their next suicide attempt.
Once you’ve screened out the ugly introverts and crazies, you’ll find that there aren’t a lot of people who need relationship advice. Sane, good-looking extroverts aren’t writing to “Ask a Queer Chick,” you see. And — here’s the key point — people who are such romantic failures they write to advice columnists aren’t likely to benefit from whatever advice they get.Here is an actual question to Lindsay King-Miller:
My surface question is this: How common, really, is the sort of stereotypical “femme/butch” dynamic in female same-sex relationships?
My real question is this: How can I, as a relatively femme cisgender woman, meet other relatively femme cisgender women? This is not the only sub-population that I’m interested in, but it’s probably the most compelling one to me. I tend to be kind of wary of “lipstick lesbian” groups, because the ones that I’m familiar with can be pretty exclusive (“bi/queer folks, trans*/genderqueer folks, and ugly folks need not apply!”). But it often seems that in the larger LGBTQ world, I run into two obstacles: First, my femininity does not signal “queer,” and so unless I explicitly share that with people, other queer women don’t realize that I’m a potential partner. Second, I’m wondering if most of the women who would be interested in me would tend to be a little more butch than femme.
But actually, I think my real question is this: Should I even be worried about finding a partner who fits with what is consistently and pervasively most compelling to me (femme, cis women)? My sexuality is fairly fluid; I can also be interested in non-femme women, men, and some individuals who are genderqueer. My last relationship was with a cis man and lasted two and a half years, and it was wonderful, and I miss it. But if what most reliably pulls at my heartstrings is a femme woman, do you think I should just take that self-knowledge and zero in on that? From your experience, how successful and sustainable are mixed-orientation relationships, or relationships that may be surprising to oneself?
The only honest reply to that 267-word question: Have you sought professional help? Are you on medication? If not, why not?
To begin with, let me bet $20 that this person is an introvert. How else to explain someone who is “most reliably” attracted to women but who nonetheless spent more than two years in a “wonderful” relationship with a man? Extroverts tend to be decisive and action-oriented. Figure out what you want and go get it — that’s the extrovert way. Certainly, extroverts don’t sit around wringing their hands wondering how to attract the people they like, or trying to figure out if they would be happy in a hypothetical relationship they haven’t actually had. Furthermore, while you may not have noticed this pattern, it’s actually my point here: Many women who experience same-sex attraction are not strictly lesbians.
Of the four “Ask a Queer Chick” questions we’ve cited, three-quarters of them are from women who could be described as bisexual. Their interest in the “queer community” can be described either as opportunistic or an alternative to confronting their own failures in heterosexual relationships. This phenomenon is common enough as to have spawned an entire genre of books, including Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women’s Love and Desire by Lisa Diamond and Dear John, I Love Jane: Women Write About Leaving Men for Women, edited by Candace Walsh and Laura André. There are far fewer books about women who, after a lesbian past, have discovered that heterosexuality is actually not bad. Rosaria Champagne Butterfield’s Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey into Christian Faith has gotten a lot of attention. I’m sure there would be more stories like Professor Butterfield’s were it not for (a) the fact that most women like her keep their lesbian pasts secret, and (b) there is a pro-gay bias in the publishing industry.
The LGBT community (to say nothing of feminists) would raise hell if there were a spate of memoirs by women telling their stories about how they were part of the college L.U.G. scene (“Lesbian Until Graduation”) but then went out into the real world, met a nice man and got over all that. More than four decades since the emergence of the Women’s Liberation movement, there is a distinct but seldom-mentioned prejudice against certain kind of narratives. The only stories women are now allowed to tell are stories about how men are to blame for all the problems in the world. After reading about five dozen feminist books, I’m ready for the first truly honest feminist memoir, Don’t Blame Men: Confessions of a Neurotic Lonely Overweight Bisexual Cat Lady. Such a book would never be assigned as a text in Women’s Studies class, however, so instead we keep seeing feminist books that amount to a rehash of the same familiar themes — Misogyny, Objectification, Harassment, Rape and Other Evil Consequences of Male Supremacy and Heteronormative Patriarchy.
Feminism means that the problems of unhappy men are not problems at all — because what’s the point of feminism if it doesn’t make men unhappy? — whereas the problems of unhappy women are social injustice.
It’s nice of Lindsay King-Miller to explain the true meaning of feminism. Not as if we didn’t already understand it, but it’s nice when they say it in so many words.
In case further explanation is necessary:
Sometimes, feminists are women who have actually been treated badly by men. Most often, however, it’s just about envy and frustrated narcissism. They think they should be admired, but there isn’t anything particularly admirable about them. Therefore, the feminist needs a rationalization to explain why this lack of admiration is not her fault. Otherwise, she might have to confront the reality that she is not as special and wonderful as she thinks. “Men don’t love me? It’s because men hate strong, intelligent women! This failure of men to love me proves that I am strong and intelligent, and proves that men are all selfish monsters!”
You keep telling yourself that, sweetheart.
According to a study, girls in French secondary schools are benefiting from a marking bias by math teachers and the author of the study sees this as a positive approach.
Math teachers gave girls grades that were 6% higher than what was given to boys for the same work, says the study by London School of Economics and Paris School of Economics.
The study claims to have analyzed the records of almost 4,500 11-year-olds at 35 secondary school also lead researchers to conclude that the inflated grades encouraged girls to take science subjects later in their school careers.
Students in France at age 11 are to take standardized tests at the beginning of the school year.
The test is graded externally and the examiner did not have information on the student’s name, gender or socio-economic background, so the results of this study were free from any bias.
In those anonymous tests, the boys outperformed the girls in math.
When the researches compared these results from the teachers’ assessments of the student’s report cards at the end of their term, they found that the teacher’s had given the girls better assessments than the boys in math.
Three years later, French schools performed another set of anonymous tests when the students are 14 years old. The results showed that girls had caught up with the boys in math at age 14 and in some cases, outperformed them.
The research suggests that this improvement may have been from the “encouragement” as a result of the teacher’s biased assessments during the girls’ formative years in school. The researchers also noted that not all teachers discriminate and some teachers discriminate more than others.
The analysis goes on to suggest that the girls who benefited the most from biased marking in math early on were more likely to continue their education in science subjects at 16.
“Altogether, these results show that positively rewarding pupils has the potential to affect their progress and course choice,” said the author – Camille Terrier from the London School of Economics.
The complete PDF of this study by Terrier, here: Giving a Little Help to Girls? Evidence on Grade Discrimination and its Effect on Students’ Achievement
“Since we note that marks in maths influence the progress of students, they could be a way to reduce the inequalities in achievement between boys and girls.”
Terrier posits that the strategic use of inflated marks is a method that could also be a way to encourage boys “to eliminate their lag” in humanities subjects.
However, one must question the supposed ‘benefit’ to such an approach when the bolstered grades are falsely increasing confidence in girls math abilities at the expense of crushing the confidence of boys, who may otherwise perform much higher if properly encouraged based on their actual merit.