Puppy Dog Tails And Everything Nice-Some Saturday Links

Christina Hoff Sommers, the civil-libertarian feminist, or contrarian-feminist, at Time: ‘What Schools Can Do to Help Boys Succeed:’

‘Being a boy can be a serious liability in today’s classroom. As a group, boys are noisy, rowdy and hard to manage. Many are messy, disorganized and won’t sit still. Young male rambunctiousness, according to a recent study, leads teachers to underestimate their intellectual and academic abilities.’

Clearly, many educators, especially of young children, are women (some of whom do an excellent job).  Much of our educational system is bureaucratic in nature, in an attempt to provide standards, structure and feedback to each student.  Over time, bureaucracies tend to create incentives which catch up with them (see Pournelle’s Iron Law Of Bureaucracy).  Bureaucracies often come to be controlled by the ‘company men’ within them, the people who’ve learned only how to become masters of the reef of rules, regulations, and internal procedures.  As a result, bureaucracies often come to a point where they’re no longer able to adapt to the needs of the people they serve, nor reality:  They become clunky, wasteful, and resistant to change.  Talented and well-meaning newcomers enter with high ideals, learning later… Bureaucracies can also become havens for ideological interests.

So, you’re a young boy:  You’re in an institution surrounded mostly by women teachers, run very often by women administrators (though men congregate in administrative positions), and which forms part of a large bureaucracy.  Some of the people seeking to control this bureaucracy are women who call themselves feminists, many of whom are ideologues who insist there are no differences between the sexes at all (or if there are differences, they are to be understood as women having suffered some deep injustice as both superior to men and as victims, men and boys must become victims too).

Not exactly a welcoming environment, no?

As to that feminist ideologue part.  It’s almost like they’re a religious cult:  Cathy Young At Minding The Campus: ‘Trigger Warnings–A Ludicrous Step Towards Censorship:’

‘Twenty years ago, critics such as Christina Hoff Sommers, Daphne Patai and Noretta Koertge, and Karen Lehrman described the bizarre “therapeutic pedagogy” in many women’s studies classrooms, where female students were frequently encouraged to share traumatic or intimate experiences in supportive “safe spaces.”  Today, at many colleges, academic therapism has spread to other fields.  Welcome to the age of the trigger warning. ‘

Do you really want these people running our institutions?

Related LinksChristina Hoff Sommers (wikipedia) is trying to replacing gender feminism with equity feminism. She also wrote The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men.

Are You Man Enough? Nussbaum v. MansfieldFrom The Harvard Educational Review-A Review Of Martha Nussbaum’s ‘Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education.’

A very Harvard affair: The Spelke/Pinker debate-The Science Of Gender And Science

Repost-Revisting Larry Summers: What Did He Say Again?

Harvey Mansfield At The City Journal: ‘Principles That Don’t Change’

From The Chronicle Of Higher Ed Via A & L Daily: “Myths Or Facts In Feminist Scholarship?

Full article here.  (Once archived, no longer free)

As the A & L daily notes, that’s Nancy K.D. Lemon vs Christina Hoff Sommers.  

Sommers started the criticism here.

I think one piece of the puzzle is Roger Scruton’s argument here, which suggests a failure to keep aesthetic judgment apart from political judgment in the humanities…:

“And since there is no cogent justification for women’s studies that does not dwell upon the subject’s ideological purpose, the entire curriculum in the humanities began to be seen in ideological terms.”

This can spill out into our politics…and we get many people on the right criticizing entire institutions of higher learning…and many on the left mixing race, gender politics and humanities into theories which clearly have ideological aims and political consequences.

Though of course, Lemon is on the faculty at Berkeley Law…

From the comments section:  

If, in the interest of advancing her cause, she [sic, Lemon]  perpetuates fallacious reasoning, she forfeits her position as a scholar and becomes a mere advocate–something any of us can be, because there are no standards to advocacy. If she pretends to something better, she has to BE better. The same holds true for Sommers, and those who can root out fallacious reasoning on her part are right to do so.

See Also: From The Chronicle Of Higher Ed Via A & L Daily: Christina Hoff Sommers “Persistent Myths In Feminist Scholarship” Roger Scruton In The American Spectator Via A & L Daily: Farewell To Judgment…Revisiting Larry Summers: What Did He Say Again?

You could just try reading Shakespeare, and go from there…

Thanks to iri5

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From The Chronicle Of Higher Ed Via A & L Daily: Christina Hoff Sommers “Persistent Myths In Feminist Scholarship”

Full post here.

Sommers asks the following in her critique of a feminist textbook::

“All books have mistakes, so why pick on the feminists? My complaint with feminist research is not so much that the authors make mistakes; it is that the mistakes are impervious to reasoned criticism.”

I think she picks on the feminists because she is something of a feminist.  

See Also On This Site:   Revisiting Larry Summers: What Did He Say Again?A Few Thoughts: Where Is Feminism Headed?


J.S. Mill

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