UC Not Dangerous

Anti-Cultists are afraid of having Unificationists on college campuses because they fear that impressionable young people will be brainwashed or will experience terrible mind control. The truth is that the Women's Studies department is the terrible cult. Professor Sommers is right in the following article when she says that "Campus feminism is a kind of cult".

Ms.-information on College Campuses
By Christina Hoff Sommers

September 1997

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Female undergraduates are still taught a litany of feminist myths.

If your daughter is entering college this fall, you may want to brief her on the many well-meaning but factually challenged feminist academics who lie in wait for her. As early as freshman orientation, crusading women will be doing their best to alarm her with statistics that show her the many ways she is menaced, vulnerable, and demeaned in our "male-dominated society." These women are in the office of student life, in the women's studies department, in the humanities, in the health clinic, in the dorms, in the chaplain's office. Parents who think the problem of overzealous campus feminism is a thing of the past are mistaken. The problem is not going away. It has tenure.

Here is a sample of the kind of untruths your daughters will hear within the next few weeks:

Myth: One in four girls is a victim of rape or attempted rape.
Fact: This mother of all feminist fictoids is based on a fallacious feminist study commissioned by Ms. magazine. Researcher Mary Koss, hand-picked by Gloria Steinem, acknowledges that 73 percent of the girls she counted as rape victims were not aware that they had been raped. Forty-three percent of them were dating their "attacker" again.

Myth: Women earn 71 cents for every dollar a man earns.
Fact: The 71 cents figure is technically correct but misleading. There are now millions of women working full time (many in their fifties and sixties) who had stayed home for a decade or more raising children. Their wages are lower than those of workers who have ten or even twenty years more seniority. When economists such as June O'Neill, head of the Congressional Budget Office, take relevant factors into account (education, tenure in the workplace, hours worked per week), the gender gap all but disappears. If it were true that, for
exactly the same work, a man is paid a dollar but an equally competent woman receives only 71 cents, most entrepreneurs would long ago have replaced their male employees with women.

Myth: Thirty percent of emergency room visits by women are the result of domestic violence.
Fact: Two responsible studies show the nation-wide figure to be about 2 percent. Similar falsehoods include: "Battery is the leading cause of injury among women" and "Battery is the leading cause of birth defects." (Please tell your daughter the phrase "rule of thumb" did not originate in a man's right to beat his wife as long as the stick was no wider than his thumb. This canard has been refuted many times, but it remains a favorite in women's studies courses.)

Myth: Adolescent girls are four to five times more likely than boys to attempt suicide.
Fact: This claim is promoted by both the Ms. Foundation and the Wellesley Center for Research on Women. They offer it as proof that girls are a gender in crisis. The facts show a different picture. First of all, a 1990 report from the Centers for Disease Control shows girls attempt suicide twice as often as boys, not four to five times as often. Second, and more important, though girls attempt suicide more, it is boys who actually go through with it. In 1992, for example, there were 4,693 suicides among people between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four; 649 of them were girls, 4,044 boys.

These feminist myths poison young women's hearts and minds. When I visited Cornell University a year and a half ago to lecture on the excesses of academic feminism, a group of protesting undergraduates circulated a list of seventy-five ways in which American women are oppressed. Among them:

Prison terms for killing husbands are twice as long as for killing wives. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for African-American women. 150,000 women die of anorexia every year.

Most of the seventy-five claims were outright falsehoods, and all were misleading. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that men convicted of killing their wives serve an average of sixteen and a half years; women convicted of killing their husbands serve six and a half years. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the leading cause of death for African-American women is the same as for everyone else: it's not breast cancer but heart disease. The anorexia statistic is off by about 149,500.

Campus feminism is a kind of cult: young women are taught bizarre conspiracy theories about the "capitalist heteropatriarchy." They learn they're victims, that men are predators. They imbibe false statistics on the perils of conventional domesticity. They are taught to be wary of beauty, femininity, art, literature, and science. Most college students survive the barrage of Ms.-information unscathed. But a significant minority succumb. Forewarning your daughter makes good sense.

Christina Hoff Sommers, W. H. Brady Scholar at AEI, is writing a book entitled The War against Boys. A shorter version of this article appeared in USA Today on August 21, 1997.

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