Inky reader “Brittany,” a college freshman, last wrote us to complain about the liberal-to-leftist bias of many of her professors (see Mailbag, June 16). Now she e-mails to tell us that she made the mistake of enrolling in Women Studies 101 (and that’s always a mistake!):
“Since the beginning of the class I have been informed and taught ideas that are clearly opinion-based, as well as given misleading facts to support these ideas. Last week in this class we had a guest speaker who was a lesbian come address our classroom about being homosexual and other alternative lifestyles. Our guest speaker passed around books about ‘drag kings’ (women turned men), and we were told how sometimes you can’t even tell the difference between a man and a women when they aren’t dressed ‘traditionally.’ We were even shown pictures to support the claim. Never mind that most of these woman had taken steriods and had massive reconstructive surgery.
“The speaker’s point was to illustrate how women and men are socially constucted in our roles. When I made the comment to the speaker that those ‘men’ still had ovaries, I was told that was not what makes a woman a woman….Um okay. I wanted to ask about estrogen and testosterone levels and their effects on gender, too, but I guess we were sweeping biology nonsense under the rug for the purpose of the brainwashing lecture.
“As the lecture continued, books were passed around the classroom with pictures featuring transgendered people engaging in anal sex, as well as photos of female genitalia reconstructed to look like a man’s. There were pictures of women with their fists punching the air in a liberating fashion with constructed male genitalia on a string around their waists. I didn’t look at any more pages of the book…, but I was thoroughly disgusted.
“I have always considered myself a feminist, and now I am wondering who corrupted this movement which I no longer want to be a part of. It has been taken over by hysterical, hypocritical, and immoral women with no common sense. I know there are some intelligent feminists out there, but the movement definetely needs some revamping; or at least some mental help. These women’s studies classes need to be renamed. ‘Homosexual porn,’ ‘Christian-male bashing,’ ‘women for government dependency,’…’personal responsibility is an illusion,’ or ‘hypocrisy studies’ would better name for my class that is supposed to focus on women’s issues.”
Well, I hope the semester is almost over, Brittany. Your account, sadly, rings all too true from what I know of academia as a college teacher myself. Meanwhile, in order to achieve some balance and also to retain your sanity, I recommend that you read Who Stole Feminism? by IWF board member and former philosophy professor Christina Hoff Summers and Heterophobia by Daphne Patai, a literature professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. The theme of both books is the hijacking of real feminism–equal rights and opportunities for women–by the radical kooks and crazies you describe.