Saturday, January 30, 2010

Canada: Attack on Women's Studies

Via Jezebel:

Several of our Canadian readers wrote in recently to bring our attention to a slightly insane piece put forth by the editorial board of the National Post that blames Women's Studies

programs for, well, basically everything.

Discussing a recent shift in Canadian universities that is leading many schools to rename their Women's Studies programs Gender Studies, in order to broaden the field, the National Post editorial board feels it necessary to warn the good people of Canada that the name change alone will not stop the hideous evil of the "radical feminism behind these courses [that] has done untold damage to families, our court systems, labour laws, constitutional freedoms and even the ordinary relations between men and women." Oh, ladies. If you'd just stayed in the kitchen, Canada wouldn't have devolved into Mordor over the past 50 years. For shame!

While most of the tipsters who wrote in about the bizarroville editorial urged us to rip it apart, I found myself staring at the screen in bewilderment more than anything else: the piece is so completely insane and off the rails that one doesn't really need to make fun of it, as it stands as a joke on its own. "The equality protection before and under the law, granted to all Canadians regardless of race, sex, creed or origin, has been eroded because feminist legal scholars convinced the Supreme Court to permit preferential treatment for 'traditionally disadvantaged groups,' chief among whom, they contend, are women," the board writes. Note the sarcastic "quotes" given to "traditionally disadvantaged groups." Because women are totally equal in today's society, are we not? We're free to eat yogurt and buy shoes, right ladies? What the fuck are we bitching about? Wah wah!

The piece just gets progressively more insane as it goes on, I'm afraid: Women's Studies programs, or, more accurately, women, are blamed for everything from pushing employment equity to mandatory diversity training to pushing for "for universal daycare and mandatory government-run kindergarten." Can you believe these bitches? Universal daycare!? For what? So they can work!? Who will cook for the men!?! Will they have to learn to darn their own socks? Why don't women darn socks anymore?! HELLO!?! I AM A MALE AND MY PRIVILEGE IS BEING CHALLENGED! SOMEONE HELP!

Thankfully, the readers of the National Post are expressing their disgust with the piece, noting that editorials such as this one are, in fact, the very reason why Women's Studies programs are necessary to begin with. Perhaps commenter JCraw sums it up best: "this is what misogyny looks like, stream-of-consciousness style."



National Post Editorial Board: Women's Studies is still with us


National Post editorial board, National Post Published: Tuesday, January 26, 2010

If the reports are to be believed, Women's Studies programs are disappearing at many Canadian universities. Forgive us for being skeptical. We would wave good-bye without shedding a tear, but we are pretty sure these angry, divisive and dubious programs are simply being renamed to make them appear less controversial.

The radical feminism behind these courses has done untold damage to families, our court systems, labour laws, constitutional freedoms and even the ordinary relations between men and women.

Women's Studies courses have taught that all women--or nearlyall-- are victims and nearly all men are victimizers. Their professors have argued, with some success, that rights should be granted not to individuals alone, but to whole classes of people, too. This has led to employment equity -- hiring quotas based on one's gender or race rather than on an objective assessment of individual talents.

Executives, judges and university students must now sit through mandatory diversity training. Divorcing men find they lose their homes and access to their children, and must pay much of their income to their former spouses (then pay tax on the income they no longer have) largely because Women's Studies activists convinced politicians that family law was too forgiving of men. So now a man entering court against a woman finds the deck stacked against him, thanks mostly to the radical feminist jurisprudence that found it roots and nurture in Women's Studies.

The equality protection before and under the law, granted to all Canadians regardless of race, sex, creed or origin, has been eroded because feminist legal scholars convinced the Supreme Court to permit preferential treatment for "traditionally disadvantaged groups," chief among whom, they contend, are women.

Over the years, Women's Studies scholars have argued all heterosexual sex is oppression because its "penetrative nature" amounts to "occupation." They have insisted that no male author had any business writing novels from women's perspectives; although, interestingly, they have not often argued the converse -- that female writers must avoid telling men's stories.

They have pushed for universal daycare and mandatory government-run kindergarten, advocated higher taxes to pay for vast new social entitlements and even put forward the notion that the only differences between males and females are "relatively insignificant, external features." All other differences are said to be the result of patriarchal brainwashing. So the only way to ensure gender equality is to turn over all education to the state, where professionals can ensure only unbiased instruction.

In sum, there would be little of rational worth left even if Women's Studies were to disappear. Yet despite all the hand-wringing by the programs' supporters, are the worst elements of Women's programs really disappearing or just being renamed? Are the professors different? Has the basic philosophy behind the program changed? Has the curriculum been altered?

In most cases the answer is no. Little has changed but the nomenclature.

While we'd like to cheer and say "Good riddance," we're certain such celebration would be premature.


Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/most-popular/story.html?id=2484139#ixzz0e8bZ1e98

By: Daphne Strassmann

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