Friday, May 13, 2011

Gender 101: The Hallowed Halls of Male Bashing

by Connie Chastain*

I was cleaning out desk drawers recently and I came across some of my school records -- from yellowing reports cards that dated back to the Johnson Administration to my college journalism assigments. The memories these relics recalled for me contrast sharply with what's going on in academia today.

Back then -- at least, in the institutions I attended -- the point was learning stuff. There were two primary groups: teachers who taught and students who learned. Today, to hear feminists, the media and the popular culture tell it, the two primary groups are: males who victimze and females who are victims.

When it comes to academia, forget the I-am-woman, I-am-strong incarnation of feminism. The emphasis today is on "empowering" helpless females by getting even and paying back -- and what that boils down to is a sustained attack on males from every possible angle.

In addition to the the sexual-assault standard of proof issue showcased in the FRS blog in recent weeks, I have come across two recent reports that illustrate in other ways the get-evenism that characterizes feminism on campus.

The first comes from the Eagle Forum blog for May 5, 2011, which reports, "For the last ten years, the feminists have been whining that women scientists are victims of sex discrimination." Despite refutation by the National Science Foundation and other experts, feminists touted their victimhood in this area and demanded taxpayer money to fund their getting even.

Congress duly knuckled under and "awarded millions of dollars to feminist university professors for anti-bias centers and workshops." Describing the funding as "just another feminist racket to get government to pursue their anti-male agenda,' the article notes that "feminists control academia."


Now it seems that the notion of sex discrimination against women scientists has been disproved by none other than the National Academy of Sciences. Cornell University professors Stephen Ceci and Wendy Williams, thoroughly analyzed 20 years of data and the accusations made by the gender-bias movement. Their paper, "Understanding Current Causes of Women's Underrepresentation in Science" concluded: "When it comes to job interviews, hiring, government funding, and publishing, women are treated as well as men and sometimes better."

But does anybody think this will really make a dent in feminism's remaking of academia into an institution of male-bashing?

On the same date, Fox News reported that Dr. Janice McCabe, a sociologist at Florida State University, conducted a comprehensive study of traditional children’s book characters and determined that "Pooh Corner may be rife with gender inequality."

The study found that 57 percent of the children’s stories featured male characters, 31 percent featured female characters and the remainder had animal characters of unknown gender. This is important, McCabe says, because "These findings reinforce the belief that female characters are less important, less interesting than male characters which has implications for how both boys and girls feel about themselves and each other in relationships."

Shades of Carol Gilligan.

McCabe studied 6,000 books dating from 1900 to 2000. What she doesn't seem to understand is that it's extremely unlikely that all children read all 6,000 books. When I was a kid, boys read The Hardy Boys, White Fang, and Treasure Island. Girls read Nancy Drew, Little Women and Wuthering Heights. It all worked out.

It appears there is no shortage of feminists or their supporters who are willing to carry on Gilligan's war against boys in academia -- and take it to new heights. Or perhaps depths would be a more accurate description. The big question for me is, how long can our society survive the war against the architects and sustainers of civilization?

And what kind of world will the post-male future be -- for women?

Eagle Forum: Feminist Whining About Science Sexism

Fox News: Study Suggests That Winnie the Pooh Isn't Gender Equal, But Does it Matter?

*Connie is an FRS contributor. Her personal blog is