If you want to understand the negative impact of feminism on women (and men) and, by extension, the destructive effects of liberal teachers, Democratic politics and liberal news media on African-Americans, here is Katie Couric last week on the CBS Evening News:
"A new study on teens and sexual harassment should give every parent pause.
"Most teenage girls report they've been sexually harassed. ... In a study that appeared in the journal Child Development, 90 percent of teen girls say they've been harassed at least once."
Millions of American parents and their daughters were told on one of the most widely watched evening news reports that nine out of every 10 American girls aged 12 to 18 are sexually harassed.
Suspicious that the feminist and liberal I-am-a-victim ideology was at play here far more than some real plague of sexual harassment, I decided to look into the report cited by Ms. Couric.
I therefore went to a leading feminist magazine's website, Ms. Magazine (msmagazine.com), and found this summary of the report:
"A study released this month reports that 90 percent of girls between the ages of 12 and 18 reported experiencing sexual harassment. The study found that girls who had a better understanding of feminism from the media, their parents, or teachers were more likely to recognize sexual harassment.
"Campbell Leaper, professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and one of the authors of the study, said in a press release, 'Sexism remains pervasive in the lives of adolescent girls. Most girls have experienced all three types of sexism -- sexual harassment, sexist comments about their academic abilities, and sexist comments about their athletic abilities.'
"Science Daily reports that the study found Latina and Asian American girls reported less sexual harassment than the other girls who participated in the study. The most commonly reported forms of sexual harassment were unwanted romantic attention, demeaning gender-related comments, teasing based on their appearance, and unwanted physical contact."
This confirmed my suspicions.
First, "The study found that girls who had a better understanding of feminism were more likely to recognize sexual harassment."
There is no question that this is true. Girls subjected to feminist indoctrination are undoubtedly more likely to interpret innocuous behavior as sexual harassment. Almost the entire liberal-left Weltanschauung is predicated on portraying every group in America except white, male, heterosexual Christians as oppressed. Women are oppressed by men. Blacks and Hispanics are oppressed by whites. Gays are oppressed by straights. Non-Christians are oppressed by Christians.
Of course, the fact is that American women have more opportunity and more equality than just about any women in the world today and certainly in history. Moreover, if either sex is "oppressed" today, it is far more likely to be males. If women were incarcerated, let alone murdered, as disproportionately as men are; if only 40 percent of those getting a bachelor's degree were female; if girls dropped out of high school at the rate males do, there would be a national outcry. It is men who are, in fact, suffering. But for feminists, academics and CBS News, it is women who are still oppressed. And that is what they are taught in high school and college by feminist-oriented teachers.
Second, "sexual harassment" is so all-inclusive as to be largely meaningless: "sexist comments about their academic abilities, sexist comments about their athletic abilities unwanted romantic attention, demeaning gender-related comments, teasing based on their appearance, and unwanted physical contact."
If a girls bra is snapped in elementary or high school; if a girl is told she should learn to throw a ball "like a guy does"; if a boy pursues a girl and fails in his pursuit -- these are all instances of sexism and sexual harassment.
What this thinking leads to is girls and women seeing themselves as victims, and almost as often to the emasculation of boys. (And then women looking to marry a man wonder where all the masculine men are).
And third, "Latina and Asian American girls reported less sexual harassment than the other girls who participated in the study." One wonders whether this is one reason increasing numbers of American men seek Latina and Asian American women for marriage. Women who have been less influenced by feminism probably appreciate men more.
To an ever greater extent, schools and the news media do the same thing to African-Americans -- tell them over and over that they are oppressed. And the effects have been even more corrosive. Just think of the wildly enthusiastic receptions the NAACP gave to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the black members of Trinity United Church of Christ gave to Father Michael Pfleger when he spoke of America being "the greatest sin against God" because it is so racist. The number of blacks who perceive of their lives as oppressed by whites can only lead to estrangement from the greater American society, not to mention anger toward and resentment of it.
Those are two of the lasting legacies of the modern-day left. You heard them again last week on the CBS Evening News.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”