We have reached a point of utter madness where a child is ejected from a classroom for calling a boy a boy. How did this happen? Nuttiness like “gender studies” comes out of the universities.
Universities divide academics into departments and fields. Gender studies in universities is a “bullshit” field that sprang from other bullshit fields, meaning unscientific fields, with political and value-laden agendas kept in the background but always present.
The civil rights movement and affirmative action in universities created the initial thrust for the formation of these fields. Women’s lib took over from the civil rights movement. From the link above:
“After the universal suffrage revolution of the twentieth century, the women’s liberation movement of the 1960 and 1970s promoted a revision from the feminists to ‘actively interrogate’ the usual and accepted versions of history as it was known at the time. It was the goal of many feminist scholars to question original assumptions regarding women’s and men’s attributes, to actually measure them, and to report observed differences between women and men. Initially, these programs were essentially feminist, designed to recognize contributions made by women as well as by men.”
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The major and early victory of the feminists was to get a SEPARATE area of study for themselves, women’s studies, a discipline separate from the history and other university departments. How did this occur? How did a bullshit field become a discipline with its own journals, budget, hiring, promotions, standards, funding, etc.
I hypothesize that this was an “easy” way out for existing administrators and departments to accommodate new affirmative action demands that women be hired. It was the path of least resistance. Furthermore, many existing academics were receptive to these new social ideas of equality. It made them look as if they were progressive and on the cutting edge of research and practice.
For administrators, it meant increased donations and government funding through an image of being modern and on the forefront of new findings and ideas. The image is false. No one can make sense of senseless ideas and impenetrable rhetoric and writing. Governments have no business funding departments that are promoting their preferred social and political agendas.
Administrators at all levels (presidents, deans, department chairs) like to promote growth. The more people and areas they run, the more capable they seem, especially if they innovate by adding new areas and departments. On paper they look better, and that means a better chance at moving up or moving to another university in a more responsible post. Their budgets rise and they have a stronger case for higher budgets as they add people. Their horizons are relatively short; their incentives are not typically aligned with long-term quality objectives. Universities have a large bureaucratic backbone.
The new areas/disciplines could call upon continental European obscure philosophers to gain respectability. After that, it’s just one step more and one thing more:
“Soon, men began to look at masculinity the same way that women were looking at femininity, and developed an area of study called “men’s studies”. It was not until the late 1980s and 1990s that scholars recognized a need for study in the field of sexuality. This was due to the increasing interest in lesbian and gay rights, and scholars found that most individuals will associate sexuality and gender together, rather than as separate entities.”
The major key to the society-wide spread of nutty ideas is the university acceptance of bullshit fields, because the university influences state funding and donor funding. It presents itself as a worthy recipient of funds. Under this hypothesis, these funding sources also are receptive to ideas of social justice and view the new fields of study as indicative of a progressive university. Besides, legislated funds do not get the scrutiny they should. Subcommittees of legislators interested in their specific little fiefdoms scratch each other’s backs. Donors do not think deeply about where their money is going or what it’s supporting. Better Than College: H... Best Price: $2.02 Buy New $2.99 (as of 11:10 EDT - Details)
Within the university, no one is held responsible to a significant degree if bullshit areas develop. Existing tenured professors are even happy if new areas split off and their own department is left intact. Often the existing members vote to hire a radical new person, feeling the pressure to undertake affirmative action. Little by little, the complexion of research areas alters, and eventually we arrive at gender studies.
Tenured faculty vote on new hires and unless they defend the purity of their field and defend its science, it will be infiltrated. The older humanities and social science areas are broken down by “interdisciplinary” fields of studies like “woman’s studies”. These have their own journals after awhile. Weaker academics in the traditional areas may be attracted to these new areas if it means gaining publication numbers. Standards of publication are more fuzzy and looser in these new journals. It is easier to say something that is new. In trying to get promoted and tenured, numbers count as opposed to quality, to some extent. A quality publication in an existing field is very hard to achieve, so that some of the weaker professors will try to offset this with higher numbers.
The largest external support for the growth of these fields in universities has been the social and political background external to the university: ideas of affirmative action, equality, social justice. However, it’s university “scholars” and “experts” who spread their ideas to secondary and elementary schools. Soon they’ll push these ideas onto pre-schools.
Universities need to be taught a lesson, and the way to do that is to defund them. Stop donating freely and blindly. Defund them at the state and federal levels. The Department of Education became a cabinet-level department in 1980. Eliminate it.