This column will come as quite a surprise to feminists across my campus and across the nation. It will mark the first time I have come to the defense of a university – this time, my own – for its promotion of a radical feminist to an important administrative position. Kathleen Berkeley, our new Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, will, in all likelihood, be more surprised than anyone.
After Dr. Berkeley was appointed to her new position, three male professors in the College of Arts and Sciences commented to me on the appointment. Their concern about having an extreme feminist in such a position was apparent – although it could not be given full public expression for obvious reasons.
I want to make clear in a public forum that those who oppose the Berkeley appointment are over-simplifying the issue. To say that there is a danger in appointing people with extreme political views to administrative positions may be true. But it is also true that having them in the classroom can be quite dangerous. A brief look at some of the reviews of Dr. Berkeley’s classes on www.RateMyProfessors.com might illuminate the discussion – although the limitations of these reviews must also be addressed:
“One word: feminazi”
“I agree with everyone who points out Dr. Berkeley's militant feminist attitude. She seemed to think that anyone who was not angry with all males to be an enemy.”
“Angry- feminist bomb- throwing leftist.”
“Worst teacher I've ever had. Seems clueless about any history other than her brand of leftist ‘I Am Woman Hear Me Roar’ rhetoric.”
“NEVER EVER EVER TAKE ONE OF DR BERKELEY'S COURSES. she is mean, never satisfied, won't answer a question, and expects WAY TOO MUCH!!! she is a horrible teacher and a hardcore feminist and will rip you apart! STAY AS FAR AWAY AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN!!!”
“Dr. Berkley is a mean spirited woman that cannot teach a class without her militant feminism directing her agenda.”
“Dr. Berkley is not a good professor. She is mean-spirited and a militant feminist. She is not open to all points of view. She publicly chastises students and drives the class towards her liberal points of view. In her defense, she is very intelligent.”