Women’s studies has its own religious view

first_imgA little over a year ago, the big issue in education was whether “Intelligent Design” should be taught in the nation’s schools. In a stinging rebuke to the religious right, a Pennsylvania judge ruled that ID had no place in classrooms because it was “a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory.” It thus violated the separation of church and state. Yet, at the very moment these battles were raging in an American courtroom, American universities had institutionalized and were teaching a form of secular creationism as contrary to the findings of modern science as the biblical claim that God made the world in seven days. This secular creation theory calls itself “social constructionism,” and its churches are Women’s Studies departments situated in universities across the United States. Because Women’s Studies is an interdisciplinary field, this religious doctrine has been spread throughout the academic curriculum and has shaped academic studies in history, sociology, literature and political science. The feminist theory of “social construction” holds that the observable differences between men and women – apart from obvious anatomical ones – are not biologically determined, but are created by “society,” and in particular by a patriarchal social structure designed by men to oppress women. It is “patriarchal society” that turns naturally bisexual infants into male and female personalities by conditioning them from birth to adopt gender roles – the one aggressive, masculine and destined to command, the other passive, feminine and slated to obey. Indoctrination in dogmatic creeds such as gender feminism was once alien to the very idea of a modern research university. Now it has become an orthodoxy in the liberal-arts divisions of America’s schools. This has been made possible by an abdication of responsibility on the part of university administrators and a silence among the majority of academics, who are scholarly and professional but who are – as the Harvard case shows – intimidated by academic radicals who will denounce as sexists, racists and homophobes anyone who gets in their way. David Horowitz is the author of “The Left’s War Against Academic Freedom” and the president of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture in Los Angeles.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! This view has no basis in science and in fact flatly contradicts its findings – in particular those of modern evolutionary psychology, neuroscience and biology. Men are known to have higher aptitudes than women in mathematics, for example, while women have greater verbal skills. According to science, male aggression and competitiveness are not created by a patriarchal system of dominance, but are testosterone-based. In short, the fault lies not in any patriarchal hierarchy but in our genes. Yet here is a typical statement in the official course description for “Feminist Political Theory 433” in the Political Science Department at the University of Arizona: “Because gender is socially constructed, it is instructive to study how gender ideologies – which profoundly shape today’s intellectual inquiries and political realities – have been articulated in the form of political theory.” Note that this statement asserts a claim that cannot be true as the organizing theme of an academic course. In other words, students are required to believe a religious myth in order to get their academic grade. Here is a parallel statement from the university catalog of Kansas State: “To qualify for a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Women’s Studies at Kansas State University, students will have demonstrated: Their familiarity with key Women’s Studies concepts such as the social construction of gender, oppression of and violence against women, heterosexism, racism, classism, and global inequality.” In the catalog descriptions of more than 100 Women’s Studies courses, which I have personally examined, these are common themes. So potent is the religious creed generated by Women’s Studies that it was recently able to topple the president of Harvard, Larry Summers – the first president of a modern research university to be censured and then forced to resign by his own faculty. Following Summers’ departure, a gender feminist, steeped in the religious doctrines of the faith, was appointed Harvard’s new president to replace him. last_img read more