- Paperback: 426 pages
- Publisher: Lexington Books; Expanded edition (January 29, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0739104551
- ISBN-13: 978-0739104552
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.3 x 8.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #609,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Professing Feminism: Education and Indoctrination in Women's Studies Expanded Edition
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This unsparing account of the troubles that beset Women's Studies programs should incite vigorous debate. (Publishers Weekly)
Feminists should read this book seriously and debate it vigorously. In this way they would be engaging in the self-reflection and self-criticism that are necessary to strengthen feminism. (Joan Mandle, Former Director of the Women's Studies Program, Colgate University, and author of Can We Wear Our Pearls and Still Be Feminists?)
The answer that emerges from Professing Feminism is clear: Whatever Women's Studies in its present form may be, a scholarly or intellectual enterprise it is not. . . . This witty and informative book also is an excellent read. (The Washington Times)
Essential reading for anyone involved in Women's Studies. (Library Journal)
This book is certain to start a firestorm within the North American academic feminist movement. (Asahi Evening News, (Tokyo))
In this illuminating book, Patai and Koertge show that . . . in many universities Women's Studies programs have been transformed into political pressure groups or religious cults. The authors' analysis of the situation, based on expert examination of eyewitnesses, leads to the inevitable conclusion that Women's Studies, as presently professed, represents a giant step backward into educational fundamentalism. (Mary Lefkowitz, Wellesley College)
This book seeks not to kill Women's Studies, but to save it. Feminists should listen closely. (National Review)
It is impossible not to admire the courage and integrity that inform Professing Feminism, although, as the authors know full well, it will provoke many feminists to condemn them as traitors and deny their claim to write as feminists at all. (Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, author of Feminism is not the Story of My Life)
About the Author
Daphne Patai's most recent book is Heterophobia: Sexual Harassment and the Future of Feminism. She is Professor of Spanish and Portuguese and Adjunct Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Noretta Koertge, the author of A House Built on Sand: Exposing Postmodernist Myths about Science, is Professor Emerita of History and Philosophy of Science at Indiana University.
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Statistics battling statistics create much static but not much positive energy or light on a discussion. The truths of our nature and lives as human animals is revealed within people's everyday lives and on the streets. But the feminists I encountered, insisted that a person deny what their sense are informing them, in favor of a profanation of humanity's nature, as concocted by a broken Yin-Yang doctrine. In most of our American schools today, (where my daughters and son attend) not much help is available for kids to understand honest gender dynamics, as it is in fact generated in its essence by our human sex nature reality.
Our classrooms and our courtrooms as well, have been blinded by movies/media indoctrinated, weak-willed teachers and judges. I'm addressing the men here in particular--those wishy, needy men -- who will trade off their brothers' well being, and fair treatment just to be liked by women. To be a strong, fair, and wise judge like Solomon for the sake of the human race---not so much.
My experience at three universities, was to witness through experiences the stunning, ill-informed Feminist Indoctrination in it's most virulent, active modes of destruction to human understanding and hopes for betterment of the human race.
The underlying theme is the dominance of activism over scholarship. The authors note how activism by feminists in the 1960s and '70s led to the introduction of these special study areas. More attention given to the role of women in society led to courses in women writers, artists and politicians. Once in place in more university classrooms, Koertge and Patai show that the assault on "traditional" standards became even more widespread. The authors open the book describing the IDPOL game - "identity politics and ideological policiing". Teachers and students alike place high emphasis on acceptable roles and see that these are enforced. A major facet in establishing "identity" is the playing of TOTAL REJ - the eschewing of anything attributable to masculine origins. Examples are traditional philosophy, mathematics, science and technology. An extension of TOTAL REJ is BIODENIAL. The latter game introduces "social construction" to Womens' Studies by asserting anything related to gender is culturally based. This imported philosophical stance has been applied to wide areas in education, but impaired science and mathematics courses most severely according to the authors.
Fear of "backlash" reaction to the excesses of the programmes led the National Women's Studies Association to undertake a study. Koertge and Patai are at their most scathin[g in assessing the report produced by the NWSA. Virtually based on the book "Women's Ways of Knowing" that advocated a "connectionist approach" to learning. Self-expression, urged the NWSA, is more valuable than study, research and writing skills - "Empowerment over Epistemology". Epistemology is traditional, hence, masculine, hence unaceptable as a foundation for learning in the university. The authors offer a different solution. They urge the dimemberment of Women's Studies programmes by relocating the courses into the appropriate departments. Game-playing and "empowerment" would be shed for more meaningful scholarship.
Almost lost in this study is its most frightening statement: "feminist pedagogy . . . is being taken up by secondary and even elementary school educators and policy makers" [p. 44]. They define "academia" has a site for scholarship and debate while bewailing erosion of these values by feminist dogma in their conclusion. This dogma has emerged in the public school system [see C.H. Sommers' "The War Against Boys"] and shows little sign of abating. Anyone interested should glance at the list of university "Women's Studies" programmes readily available on the InterNet. The same courses, often taught by the same people, using the same curricula and reading material are still listed. This realisation will keep this book useful for some time. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada.]