Assistant Education Secretary for Civil Rights Stephanie Monroe has announced that the administration of President George W. Bush is investigating universities that have fewer women in science and math programs than feminists would like. We are more than five years into the Bush presidency, but it appears that former President Bill Clinton's feminist policies are still in force.
Is Bush a feminist, or is he just a gentleman who is intimidated by feminists and unable to cope with their unreasonable demands, tantrums and rudeness? When it comes to public policy and personnel appointments, the result is the same.
The gender police have already ruined college sports for many men, forcing the senseless elimination of 171 wrestling teams to reduce the overall proportion of men to women on college athletic teams. Fresh from that attack on masculinity, the new target is math and science departments.
Universities know all too well how this game is played and have every reason to fear the worst. Just one feminist lawsuit can have a devastating effect on most universities, both financially and in adverse publicity.
An internal Title IX regulation invented by feminists in the administrations of Presidents Jimmy Carter and Clinton established the "proportionality" of men and women enrolled in a college as the bean-counting goal for the proportion of men and women on sports teams. If the percentage of men on sports teams is too high, then the college can expect to be sued for alleged gender discrimination, even though men are far more interested in sports than women.
If the college loses the lawsuit, it must pay the attorney's fees of the feminist lawyers. This encourages lawsuits and has resulted in million-dollar paydays at the expense of schools that rely on donations to stay afloat.
The Bush administration is now getting ready to apply this same mindless mentality to math and science departments, which are predominately male because men are more interested in those fields than women and score significantly higher on math and science aptitude tests. The National Science Foundation has an ADVANCE program that is already spending $75 million over five years to lure more women into science and engineering.
Math and science departments have traditionally been based on merit and have produced code-breakers and technology essential to winning wars and preserving our freedoms. Why should we accept anything less than the best in our classrooms or on our athletic fields?
The National Science Foundation confirms that it is starting "a joint effort" with the Education Department "to do Title IX compliance reviews," which spells the end of picking the best and the brightest. Apparently that effort was initiated when Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., demanded that the Government Accountability Office review gender issues.
There isn't a shred of evidence that women are discriminated against in math and science; there are no separate tracks for men's math and women's math. There simply is a higher proportion of men than women who voluntarily choose math and engineering just as more men choose competitive sports.
The feminists want a quota-imposed unisex society regardless of the facts of life, voluntary choice, human nature, common sense, or documented merit. And they use the power of government to achieve their goal.
One agitator for compliance reviews, Debra Rolison of the Naval Research Laboratory, reveals that compliance reviews are focusing on the way women students are "experiencing a different climate" in engineering and computer science departments. Boohoo. Bring on Massachusetts Institute of Technology feminist Nancy Hopkins to stage another tantrum and demand preferential funding for women to let them feel cozy in technical subjects.
Feminists expect that their whining and outbursts about alleged discrimination will intimidate men into giving them preferential treatment. Feminists want to rig the system so they will not have to compete with men, but will compete only with other women for a quota of scholarship slots, resources and professorships.
Meanwhile, the Bush administration ignores the gender disparity that is having very hurtful consequences: the precipitous decline in male schoolteachers. The number of male public school teachers has fallen to only 20 percent, and at the elementary school level fewer than 10 percent of teachers are men, giving boys the distinct impression that school is not for them.
This nationwide trend is getting worse. Public school unions are dominated by feminists who have weighted teacher compensation in a way that is more attractive to women than men, i.e., toward generous retirement packages rather than better salaries based on merit, especially for teaching the more difficult subjects.
Nor do we hear anything about spending taxpayer funds to force universities to attract more men into the soft liberal arts subjects that now have a big majority of women students.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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