Radio talk show host Sean Hannity has issued a challenge to college students trapped in left-wing classes. He suggests that students bring their tape recorders to class and hold their professors accountable for their more outrageous statements. I have a different sort of challenge: offer your professors alternative books to include on their reading lists.
This suggestion might be more suitable for those who are a bit less confrontational than the freshman, Rebecca Beach, in the recent case in New Jersey. She went to the college administration over a particularly obnoxious e-mail she got from a professor. Don’t misunderstand: I applaud what she did. But I am aware that not everyone will have the personality or inclination to follow suit. My idea will work for just about anyone.
Here is what you do. Make an appointment with your professor. Mention that you are aware that there are other points of view besides the one being covered in class. Then modestly suggest that he or she assign a certain book. You, of course, have already chosen your book carefully. You want an academically credible book that challenges not only the professor’s conclusions, but also the assumptions that underlie his arguments.
For instance, students in Women’s Studies classes could modestly suggest that their professors include Taking Sex Differences Seriously, by Professor Steven Rhoads of the University of Virginia. As the title suggests, Dr. Rhoads takes on one of the most basic assumptions of the academic Left, namely that all sex differences are socially constructed. To the contrary, Dr. Rhoads argues that in many significant areas, men and women are hard-wired differently. The sex differences are not socially constructed at all, but are deep-seated and not likely to be eradicated.
For instance, Dr. Rhoads reports that academics having their first child start out with all good intentions of sharing child care. But when it gets right down to it, the woman ends up doing more of the hands-on care of the child. Dr. Rhoads believes that this is partly because the women report that they enjoy doing this work more than men do. But it is also partly because, the babies prefer their mommies. I can imagine even the most committed gender egalitarian, sensitive New Age guy, giving up and handing the baby back to his wife saying, “Here honey, the baby wants you.”
Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., is the author of Smart Sex: Finding Life-long Love In A Hook-up World. She blogs at jennifer-roback-morse.blogspot.com
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