These women do not use the term “feminism” in an all-encompassing pro-woman way, but rather co-opt the term to describe their specific radical feminist agenda. Their agenda is hostile towards conservative women and conservative ideas. One panel even claims that, “Conservative attacks on women’s rights under the auspices or with the blessing of the Bush administration are eroding women’s equal educational opportunity and reproductive rights.” Of course, the panel does not provide an opportunity for a conservative woman to share her view on these issues. Women’s studies departments are more concerned about transforming society than providing a fair debate.
Unlike conservative women, these radical feminists are obsessed with their perceived oppression and trumpet their victim status, no matter how much women achieve. The theme of the Conference was, “Resisting Hegemonies.” What are the “shegemonies” of which these women are so afraid? One is abstinence-only education. They held roundtable entitled, “Dismantling Hegemonic Abstinence-Only-Until Marriage Programs and Virginity Pledges,” to “expose the repressive, hegemonic myths underpinning abstinence-only-until marriage programs and virginity pledges and recommend several ways to challenge them.” Sex education is a hot button political issue. In a history class, professors might teach students the history of sex education in America, while in an English class, professors might use the issue to teach students how to write persuasively. In a women’s studies class, students are taught that there is only one right side of the issue and in turn, how to transform society so this view is forced on everyone.
Women’s studies departments function less as academic departments and more as political organizations. They are one of the few departments that take a purely political stance, representing radical feminists and rejecting conservative women. Conservatives have generally ignored or been ignored by these departments, leaving these departments without any potentially moderating opposition. Thus, they pursue a feminist agenda that becomes more and more extreme and political. While the outspoken attacks in the election show the departments are successfully organizing to promote “social transformation,” our taxpayer dollars at public universities should not be used to promote a purely political agenda in the guise of academia.
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