Kathleen Parker has written a piece today on a topic I’ve talked about here often, and that is the hypocrisy that is deep-rooted within the feminist movement, a hypocrisy you almost never see called out in the mainstream media. Parker writes:
WASHINGTON — The latest smack-down of former Harvard President Lawrence Summers should extinguish any remaining doubt that political correctness is the new McCarthyism.
Summers, you’ll recall, was driven out of his university post in 2005 after he suggested at a conference that gender differences might account for an underrepresentation by women in science, math and engineering.
Never mind that scientific evidence suggests as much. One simply doesn’t say — ever — that men and women aren’t equal in every way.
Summers’ remarks were seized upon, taken out of context and misinterpreted by many, including one female biologist from MIT, who walked out on the president’s talk, later saying that she felt she was either going to faint or throw up.
And we say there’s no difference between men and women? Can you imagine a man bolting from the room with light head and upset tummy if a woman college president suggested that genetic differences might account for males lagging behind females in reading and writing?
For thinking improper thoughts, Summers the Blasphemer was banished into the outer darkness. There’s no debating that he was punished for saying something that made a special group feel bad — the new blacklisting offense. To be called a sexist, racist or homophobe today is tantamount to being a communist sympathizer 50-60 years ago.
Fast-forward to this month. Summers was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the University of California Board of Regents bimonthly board meeting.
And then he wasn’t.
Maureen Stanton, an evolution professor at UC Davis, was “stunned and appalled” when she learned of Summers’ upcoming speech and circulated a petition to have his invitation withdrawn.
Sinning against the sisterhood not only isn’t forgotten, apparently it isn’t ever forgiven.
Summers’ invitation was “not only misguided but inappropriate at a time when the university is searching for a new president and continues to build and diversify its community,” the petition said.
One can’t help wondering what those cultural principles might be if they don’t include supporting free speech? As the university continues to build and diversify its community, will that mean diversity of thought or only diversity of gender identity and race?
The answers are implicit in the draconian reaction to Summers’ invitation. Diversity on the American campus of today — and increasingly in the broader culture — means a multiculti rainbow of like-thinking people. Say or think incorrectly and one will be censored and potentially ruined.
In other words, it’s not really “diversity” at all, is it? After all, isn’t diversity all about different people having differing opinions, an “open market” of sorts for free speech, thought and ideas? That’s what the left – in this particular instance the radical feminist left – would like for us to think, but in reality that “open market” is closed if your opinion doesn’t fall in line with their group-think mentality.
Larry Summers, unfortunately, had the misfortune of getting caught in exactly that kind of situation when he made his speech at Harvard, a speech which “shocked” so many perpetually outraged feministas and spurred them on to put the pressure on Harvard to either dismiss him or force him to step down. You’d have thought the guy had said that women should stay in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant. But he didn’t. He essentially stated that the male and female minds were different – a fact, and suggested that may explain why men excelled more in certain areas than women did – something that the women who flipped out over his remarks have yet to refute.
But as we all know, pointing out that there are actually differences between men and women provokes the usual howls of outrage from radical feminists who claim to want to be treated equal to men in every way, but who, when you examine their “message” more in depth, actually seek to be proven “better” than men. Summers was forced out of his job at Harvard by saying something that was supposedly “derogatory” about women. Yet consider what Joanne V. Creighton, president of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA, said about women’s colleges back in May in an opinion piece for the Boston Globe (emphasis added):
THE NAMING of a woman president of Harvard is a giant step for womankind and for Harvard itself, long a bastion of white-male privilege. That the new president will cross the street from Radcliffe Yard to Harvard Yard seems especially freighted with symbolic import. Because women are no longer excluded from the academy, and because, like Drew Gilpin Faust, they are in greater numbers assuming positions of leadership within it, some might think that women’s colleges are now redundant or outmoded and that they should, therefore, follow Radcliffe’s example by either assimilating into a formerly all-male institution or going coed themselves. While many have done so, about 60 women’s colleges remain in this country, and only one of the “Seven Sisters” Vassar, went coed and did that in 1969, nearly 40 years ago. Why do Mount Holyoke, Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Smith, and Wellesley — and dozens of other women’s colleges — stubbornly carry on as single-sex institutions?
A woman’s college, in contrast, is the equivalent of Virginia Woolf’s “room of one’s own,” a college of women’s own, free of many of the inhibiting presumptions of the male-dominated world. With its own powerful traditions, norms, and values, and a sense of wholeness sui generis, a women’s college helps to develop in students a sense of confidence, competence, and agency. Graduates are more able to see gender-repression when they encounter it and to distinguish between personal and systemic barriers to success.
Got that? Female colleges are the ones best equipped to show women how to recognize “gender-repression” when they see it. How ironic is it that a woman who is stridently in favor of colleges that don’t allow males is lecturing others about “gender-repression”?
Larry Summers is no longer at Harvard because he dared to question the conventional wisdom about the male and female minds respectively in an academic setting. Summers comments by no means made him a misogynist, but in the world of feminist group-think, he committed a big no no, and he had to pay. Yet radical female college administrators like Joanne Creighton can preach about the ‘virtues’ of sequestering women from an ‘evil’ male world during their college years, and feminist professors like Maureen Stanton at UC Davis can argue that allowing Larry Summers to make a speech at the University of California Board of Regents would be ‘detrimental’ to college ‘diversity,’ and they get a free pass.
If Creighton had simply wanted to argue that all-female colleges were good for instilling in women a sense of pride for being the women that they are (and not the male-hating women modern-day feminists want them to be), and helping them celebrate their uniqueness as a woman, and showing them how to make their strengths shine while at the same time being able to accept their weaknesses (weaknesses we ALL have to varying degrees) gracefully, I wouldn’t have had a problem with her advocacy of all-female colleges. After all, there were similar legitimate arguments against making the Citadel coed that were made back when Shannon Faulkner was pushing to gain admission into the once all-male military college (arguments that were decried at the time as “sexist” and “regressive.”) But that’s not what Creighton was arguing. She argued that all-female colleges were places that women should be able to go in order to be ‘safe’ from the ‘evil’ men of the world, and where they could learn how to be a ‘modern-day woman’ in a ‘male-dominated world.’
This is an argument which, if the “free-thought” academic crowd were really true to its principles, should have sent shockwaves through the administrations and faculties of colleges across America. But this was a woman saying it – a feminist woman at that – and according to the unwritten “woman-law,” it wasn’t supposed to be questioned … and it wasn’t, because feminists like Creighton and UC Davis’ Maureen Stanton (an evolution professor who apparently hasn’t evolved) can get away with remarks like these simply due to the fact that they are part of the establishment feminist movement prevalent in academia which sees males as Public Enemy #1 and whose goal it is in life to convince people that men are inferior to women and that they should ‘pay’ for that inferiority as often as possible, just as Larry Summers, unforunately, had to.
This is “forward-thinking” and “progressive”? I think not.