Category Archives: Feminism

A Dem Defends Palin

Camille Paglia excoriates her fellow Democrats who treated Sarah Palin with such shameless brutality.

Liberal Democrats are going to wake up from their sadomasochistic, anti-Palin orgy with a very big hangover. The evil genie released during this sorry episode will not so easily go back into its bottle. A shocking level of irrational emotionalism and at times infantile rage was exposed at the heart of current Democratic ideology — contradicting Democratic core principles of compassion, tolerance and independent thought. One would have to look back to the Eisenhower 1950s for parallels to this grotesque lock-step parade of bourgeois provincialism, shallow groupthink and blind prejudice.

I like Sarah Palin, and I’ve heartily enjoyed her arrival on the national stage. As a career classroom teacher, I can see how smart she is — and quite frankly, I think the people who don’t see it are the stupid ones, wrapped in the fuzzy mummy-gauze of their own worn-out partisan dogma. So she doesn’t speak the King’s English — big whoop! There is a powerful clarity of consciousness in her eyes. She uses language with the jumps, breaks and rippling momentum of a be-bop saxophonist. I stand on what I said (as a staunch pro-choice advocate) in my last two columns — that Palin as a pro-life wife, mother and ambitious professional represents the next big shift in feminism. Pro-life women will save feminism by expanding it, particularly into the more traditional Third World.

Democrats: The New Fundamentalists

Camille Paglia (feminist, Democrat, Obama supporter), writing in Salon:

The witch-trial hysteria of the past two incendiary weeks unfortunately reveals a disturbing trend in the Democratic Party, which has worsened over the past decade. Democrats are quick to attack the religiosity of Republicans, but Democratic ideology itself seems to have become a secular substitute religion. Since when did Democrats become so judgmental and intolerant? . . .

The one fundamental precept that Democrats must stand for is independent thought and speech. When they become baying bloodhounds of rigid dogma, Democrats have committed political suicide.

Republicans’ wildly enthusiastic support for Sarah Palin runs the risk of turning into a cult. But I applaud her candidacy if for no other reason than it exposes the ugly intolerance of the Left for what it is.

Math and Gender

A new study was trumpeted by the media last week, indicating that girls do no worse on standardized math scores than boys. Clearly, the commentary added, the disparities of the past were due to social preconditioning, not genetic differences, and our war against this evil stereotype is finally paying off.

Heather MacDonald took a closer look at the study, and discovered that, once again, the media reported only part of the story, the part that seemed to match their agenda. There was another angle they conveniently ignored: “while boys’ and girls’ average scores are similar, boys outnumber girls among students in both the highest and the lowest score ranges.”

Boys are found more often than girls at the outer reaches of the bell curve of abstract reasoning ability. If you’re hoping to land a job in Harvard’s math department, you’d better not show up with average math scores; in fact, you’d better present scores at the absolute top of the range. And as studies have shown for decades, there are many more boys than girls in that empyrean realm. Unless science and math faculties start practicing the most grotesque and counterproductive gender discrimination, a skew in the sex of their professors will be inevitable, given the distribution of top-level cognitive skills. Likewise, boys will be and are overrepresented among math dunces—though the feminists never complain about the male math failure rate.

Men and women are inherently different, in ways that we are still struggling to understand. To deny this basic fact of human nature is not only intellectually dishonest, it suppresses the diversity that academics insist is so vital among the human community.

The Dark Side of Feminism

Alice Walker is a noted black feminist, author, and activist. Her 1983 book, The Color Purple (later made into a movie), painted a depressing portrait of black culture, particularly black men. Walker’s commitment to the feminist ideal is strong and deep. She has received numerous honors for her work promoting the sisterhood.

However, her daughter, Rebecca Walker, recently published an article that reveals the dark side of feminism. Now that Rebecca herself is a mother, she rejects many of the principles that her mother stood for.

I honestly believe it’s time to puncture the myth and to reveal what life was really like to grow up as a child of the feminist revolution.

In Rebecca’s case, growing up as the daughter of this committed feminist was a cold and joyless experience.

As a little girl, I wasn’t even allowed to play with dolls or stuffed toys in case they brought out a maternal instinct. It was drummed into me that being a mother, raising children and running a home were a form of slavery. Having a career, travelling the world and being independent were what really mattered according to her.

It wasn’t until she grew up and got out on her own that she began to realize there was another perspective on womanhood.

The truth is that I very nearly missed out on becoming a mother – thanks to being brought up by a rabid feminist who thought motherhood was about the worst thing that could happen to a woman.

You see, my mum taught me that children enslave women. I grew up believing that children are millstones around your neck, and the idea that motherhood can make you blissfully happy is a complete fairytale.

In fact, having a child has been the most rewarding experience of my life. Far from ‘enslaving’ me, three-and-a-half-year-old Tenzin has opened my world.

Today, Rebecca and her mother are completely estranged. Some might argue that this is an unfortunate personal tragedy that can happen in any family. But Rebecca clearly blames it on the feminist propaganda that dominated her mother’s life, and warped her own early years. She concludes:

Feminism has betrayed an entire generation of women into childlessness. It is devastating.

But far from taking responsibility for any of this, the leaders of the women’s movement close ranks against anyone who dares to question them – as I have learned to my cost. I don’t want to hurt my mother, but I cannot stay silent. I believe feminism is an experiment, and all experiments need to be assessed on their results. Then, when you see huge mistakes have been paid, you need to make alterations.

This is a powerful article. Every young woman — especially those who are being indoctrinated by feminist professors — should read it. She has also just published a book about her new experience with maternity: Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood After A Lifetime Of Ambivalence.

Gender Discrimination in Higher Education

Christina Hoff Summers warns of a coming federal crackdown on gender discrimination in math and sciences in higher education. If Title IX is applied to these departments the same way it has been applied to college athletics, “equality” will be achieved by decimating the ranks of men who can apply for those positions. The long-term effect will be devastating to our national interest.

The continued excellence of American science and technology is vital to our security and prosperity — and depends on an exacting meritocracy and, at the top, an intensity of vocational devotion that few men or women can achieve.

Of course, as Glenn Reynolds notes, why should the feds stop there? Have you noticed the glaring gender discrimination that exists among elementary school teachers?

Feminism and the Law of Unintended Consequences

Kathryn Jean Lopez recently wrote a review on the movie Juno. She made some good observations about the phenomenon of arrested development that seems to be more widespread among young men these days (as typified by a character in the movie).

More interesting, however, was the response that Lopez received from a reader. Here are some key snippets.

Feminism’s second wave has had many, many unintended consequences, one of which is that men, not just women have been liberated from their traditional roles. Many men simply don’t feel the need to grow up because women have quite plainly said they don’t need or value men. “You say you can take care of yourselves? Fantastic! I’m gonna go invent computer games and play them for as long as I want.”

. . .

You (women) said you could take care of yourselves, and you’re doing so just fine. You treat them as disposable, dispensable, replaceable components of your lives and so they’re disengaged from you and they choose not to make commitments to you. The dissolution of a commitment to marry and have children has enormous negative financial and emotional consequences to a man. Why should they make such commitments when women consider such commitments easily violable, valueless, and trivial? Is there anything about the response of men to our culture and the choices of women that really surprises you?

The two genders are like magnets — let the opposing polarities face each other, and there is a strong attraction that binds them together; but try to force the same polarities together, and they repel each other.

Like it or not, men and women are different, and any effort to force them into absolutely equal roles is doomed to fail. This does not mean women must be forced into a box. It means simply that men and women have innate but unique qualities that should be respected and encouraged.

(via Instapundit)

The Gender Gap in College

No, it’s not what you think.

After decades of pushing and prodding young women to step out and compete with men, the pendulum has now swung the other way. An editorial in The Detroit News bemoans the dearth of young men in colleges these days.  The editorial references a recent study that points to systemic failures in K-12 education which cause boys to check out of education altogether.

There are methods besides affirmative action — rejected by the voters — to make school, and ultimately college, more welcoming to boys. Among them: Fashioning school days around the needs of boys, including physical activities to balance desk-based learning. As school budgets shrink and global competition requires more demanding curriculums and learning from students, recesses have been less commonplace.

Teachers also need to rethink how they teach boys, whose language abilities develop more slowly than girls. Students who have strong language skills tend to do better in tests — and thus, boys are less likely to excel.

School districts and the state also need to examine the needs of young men to help them stay in high school. Male students struggle more with impulsive behavior and long-term thinking, experts say.

Thus, studying for a long-term payoff — a college degree some eight years away — is tougher for some boys than it is for girls. So schools should invest in short-term incentives to keep young men in school.

And the nation needs to rethink its emphasis on desk-based jobs in which some young men lack interest. High-tech trades and job creation are needed for the millions of men who lack an aptitude or passion for sedentary work.

The feminization of education may have inspired a generation of girls to reach for the stars, but at the cost of leaving behind a generation of boys. The system needs to return to a more balanced approach that recognizes — and builds upon — the innate differences between men and women.