Thursday, March 27, 2008
On this day:

Women's Studies, RIP

Alas, not here. But this is welcome news from across the pond (H/T Phi Beta Cons):

Women's studies, which came to prominence in the wake of the 1960s feminist movement, is to vanish from British universities as an undergraduate degree this summer. Dwindling interest in the subject means that the final 12 students will graduate with a BA in women's studies from London's Metropolitan University in July.

Universities offering the course, devised as the second wave of the women's rights movement peaked, attracted students in their hundreds during the late 1980s and early 1990s, but the mood on campuses has changed. Students, it seems, no longer want to immerse themselves in the sisterhood's struggle for equality or the finer points of feminist history. ...

The course's critics argue that women's studies became its own worst enemy, remaining trapped in the feminist movement of the 1970s while women and society moved on.

"Feminist scholarship has become predictable, tiresome and dreary, and most young women avoid it like the plague," said Christina Hoff Sommers, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for public policy research in Washington and author of Who Stole Feminism? "British and American societies are no longer patriarchal and oppressive 'male hegemonies'. But most women's studies departments are predicated on the assumption that women in the West are under siege. What nonsense."

It would be nice if Alabama's publicly-supported institutions would follow suit. Women's Studies programs are almost without exception devoted to political activism and the promotion of radical feminist ideology, all under the guise of genuine scholarship.

Alabama's public universities currently maintain at least five Women's Studies departments or programs: at the University of Alabama, UAH, UAB, the University of North Alabama, and Auburn University. In a year when higher education is likely to face significant budget cuts due to decreased state revenues, administrators should take the opportunity to get rid of this most undisciplined of disciplines from their campuses once and for all.