Suzanne Fields

A magazine cover story about postmodern life on the American college campus depicts three monkeys in cap and gown, covering their ears, eyes and mouth, a parody of the hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil caricature. But students at many colleges actually get quite the opposite. They're required to hear, see, speak and study all about evil, as long as it's the evil oppression of everybody in American society.

 Parents, inoculate yourselves. It may be too late for your children.

 There's an emphasis on multicultural studies, and few campuses have escaped the disease -- and it's not yet Halloween. The title of a course taught to undergraduates in American studies at New York University, for example, is called "Intersections: Gender Race and Sexuality in U.S. History and Politics." You might think this is a strange way to get at American history. The class spends a week analyzing the murder of Teena Brandon (aka Brandon Teena), a young woman who pretended to be a man, and includes the screening of the movie "Boys Don't Cry," the narrative version.

 The following week students study the life and murder of Tupac Shakur, the "gangsta" rapper whose rough and raw lyrics glorified drugs, abusing women and the violence that finally took his life. There's "Queer Lives and Culture," "Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora," and a discussion of the relationship of gender, race and war in Haiti through the lens of "Military Occupation and the Culture of U.S. Imperialism." One teaching assistant of this course describes herself as an "anti-racist queer activist feminist." That covers just about everything, except a year's tuition at NYU, for which parents shell out $40,000.

 Smith College, the elite school that once was only for women, and still is, sort of, has a different problem. About two-dozen women who arrived as female have become male, more or less. The Financial Times reports that some of the more traditional "girls in pearls" on campus think the new "guys" should transfer to a co-ed college. Smith has long been "gay friendly," but now that girls have become "boys," Smithies joke that the school motto is "Queer in a year or your money back." It's not a joke, and it costs $37,000 a year.

Suzanne Fields

Suzanne Fields is currently working on a book that will revisit John Milton's 'Paradise Lost.'

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