Gender Studies is outgrowth of Women’s Studies
By Dissident Teacher
With Mary Barra as the head of General Motors, Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook and Ginny Rometty the CEO of IBM, how anyone complain women aren’t in top financial leadership positions in the country and the world?
Four of the last seven Secretaries of State were women. Janice Yellen served as the chair of the Federal Reserve. Christine Lagarde runs the International Monetary Fund. With Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House, again, it’s hard to claim that women aren’t in the positions of power of this country.
Yet, as Heather McDonald explained, “Females are determined to think of themselves as victims.”
Women’s Studies taken over by Gender and/Sexuality Studies
Today Women’s Studies are subsumed into Gender Studies and/or Sexuality Studies. Even some women supportive of feminism would be shocked to know the women’s studies classes were taken over by other political interests. It turns that academia has become the perfect means to push the LGBTQ movement, and women’s studies paved the way.
Before the sixties and seventies, the academic women weren’t necessarily feminists, but when feminists infiltrated universities they insisted on women’s studies programs. Women’s Studies departments developed out of the concern that women’s voices and achievements were traditionally ignored by men in academia. Now women’s studies has an entirely different meaning.
Today universities commit to diversity, which has become far more important than meritocracy. The past President of Harvard University from 2007-2018, Drew Gilpin Faust, is a women, and in 2015, half the Ivy League schools were headed by women. Although Harvard’s new president is male, four schools at the university are headed by African-American women.
(It’s not okay to be a male, especially a white, heterosexual male if you wish to move up in the academic world…………or even get a job.) Obviously the elite universities of our country go all out in their commitment to DIVERSITY. By banishing meritocracy, universities may save their reputations for progressives, but at a cost to the advancement of knowledge and truly providing a good education.
It’s not scientific
While many progressives carry placards saying “I support science,” there are no classes more subjective and unscientific then women’s studies, gender studies, LGBTQ studies and all its derivations.
Starting in Fall 2019, the Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at VCU will begin offering a minor in LGBT and Queer Studies. How many universities will follow suit? Since Women’s Studies, LGBT and Gender Studies are absolutely anti-science, how can universities get away with it?
Gender studies classes force an agenda. The curricula investigate queerness, identity, nonconformity and transgenderism. There’s an underlying bias that gender is culturally determined, and not human nature. Along with this ideology is a viewpoint that only sees the world through the narrow lens of power and oppression. (The underlying thought is oppression of non-conforming sexuality keeps people from coming out as LGBT.)
Instead of serving for the expansion of knowledge, universities are fast becoming political institutions with agendas. For example, the conference page of Portland State University’s website has an “Outlist.” It’s a long list, explaining: “We are your professors, alumni, students, staff, faculty, coworkers and friends. We support the Portland State University lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and ally community.”
Academic disciplines now foster gender bending ideas
Funding for publications is routinely given to people who advance agendas instead of truly independent scholarship. For example, the Ruth Benedict Book Prize is presented each year at the American Anthropological Association’s annual meeting to acknowledge excellence in a scholarly book that engages issues and theoretical perspectives relevant to LGBTQ studies. (Anthropologist Ruth Benedict was a gutsy, independent woman, but there’s scant evidence for categorizing her with the LBGTQ community.) A look the winners of this award shows that scholars receive money to write books that advance the cause of untraditional sexuality. It’s sponsored by the Association for Queer Anthropology (AQA).
“The Association for Queer Anthropology serves the interests of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other queer and allied anthropologists in the American Anthropological Association. AQA promotes anthropological research and education on homosexuality, bisexuality, transgender/transsexuality, and other sexual and gender identities and expressions, and their intersections with race, class, disability, nationality, colonialism and globalization,” according to their webpage.
When universities advertise their inclusiveness for LGBTQ, there’s a fine line between making people feel comfortable and advancing an ideology. Does having a concentration in LBGT classes teach understanding and tolerance, or is actually recruiting? Parents should look into this.
We already have total diversity and inclusion in the academic world, so why is there any need to promulgate identity politics? Too many graduate education programs focus narrowly on diversity training. Diversity in classroom settings is a plus because it offers a forum that can advance understanding of a variety of perspectives. However, diversity is now used for the wrong reasons, to advance specific political ideals and restrain freedom of thought.
Should Education be Free?
Bernie Sanders wants education to be free at state universities. He claims that a college degree today means what a high school education meant for job opportunity when he was a young man. I think he’s wrong. There’s a disconnection between higher education today and what the economy needs, with many college graduates not using their degrees on the job.
College education should be about more than getting just getting a job and how much money you can make. In the past, a college education was about learning for life, learning to live with other people and fostering free thought – which often comes from classical education, not political agenda. In other words, Humanities classes, Greek Mythology and 12th century English Poetry are not a waste of time.
Building an agenda is not the same as educating and fostering ideas, discussion and dialogue. Our educational system is bloated, but hardly anyone thinks it’s getting better. Quite the contrary, there’s been a dumbing down in college education. Too often, higher education just panders to the whims of spoiled students who have no preparation for really getting along in life or the world. More and more, colleges are allowing students to determine the agenda. It’s chaotic. Right now there’s a petition against Camille Paglia at UArts in Philadelphia: “Paglia should be removed from UArts faculty and replaced by a queer person of color.”
In May 2017, students forced Brett Weinstein, a tenured professor, to resign from a college in Washington State. They charged him with racism, just because he disagreed with them.
Most of these students subscribe to a belief that all of life is a dynamics between victims and oppressors. Colleges and universities allow this false narrative to flourish, but in many ways universities started or enabled the problem.
Now is the time to banish Gender Studies
Traditional feminist issues, such as the idea that women have no voice, or they have been ignored by history, are moot points in this day and age.
Gender Studies classes in universities are a waste of tuition and a waste of academic effort, since they construct a world which is not about education or job training. Government loans should not support such classes. The original purpose of Women’s Studies is gone; NO Federal money should go into fostering Women’s Studies or Gender Studies programs. NO FEDERAL money should go into advocating for the advancement of FEMALES over MALES. Enough of society’s reverse sexism.
Dissident Teacher, mother and graduate of a Big Ten university, has taught at the college level for nearly 25 years.