throw it at the wall and see if it sticks
I started to write a blog post about an ugly, scathing indictment against Women’s Studies programs that appeared in the National Post’s editorial section this morning. <!--break-->The thing is filled with grand sweeping generalizations (like all Women’s Studies programs are developed and taught by radical feminists) and implications (like all feminists are radicals) and hateful and baseless accusations (like Women’s Studies has taught us that heterosexual sex is bad and women are victims and that it has “done untold damage to families, court systems, labour laws, constitutional freedoms and even the ordinary relationships between men and women.”)
Now we all know that sweeping generalizations are the product of small, non-critical, ideology-driven minds, and so I thought I shouldn't pollute my lovely webspace such nonsense. And it was printed in a national newspaper that everyone knows was founded by the illustrious Conrad Black as a forum for his hot air ideology. And we all know where he ended up. Now it's owned by Canwest Global, which, along with its newspaper are barely afloat. So you can see how an editorial might be written just to get attention and loyalty from people who agree with its stance on things.
But I had second thoughts. Because such a piece is indicative of another trend we’re seeing over and over again in media and politics: that people will throw any sort of misinformation or baseless idea out there against the wall, regardless of how accurate or truthful it is, and hope that some of it sticks in the public consciousness. No doubt the editor of that piece (who gets to write such stuff without attributing his/her name to it) knows darned well that a lot of Canadians don’t know (or care) that radical feminism is just one form of feminist theory. Yet the term is used in such a sweeping manner that it isn’t hard to imagine that some people will associate “radical” with “feminism” together.
Okay, so I only took one Women’s Studies course in university, but I must say, no one ever told me that I am a victim, or that heterosexuality is bad or that men are evil victimizers. There was a staunch feminist who taught a number of my classes in the Communications department though – and he sure didn’t fit the description of radical feminist profs put forth by our esteemed editor.
Okay – so why are we even discussing this in 2010? I don’t know. Either that editor is 150 years old or s/he is just clinging to an antiquated ideal, kicking and screaming as the ship goes down. But then one of my [“radical feminist”] offspring sent me another astonishing news story from that other national paper the Globe and Mail. This article describes the long-held convention of medical students performing pelvic exams on patients who are unconscious and having other operations or procedures. Without consent. Without the patient ever knowing. In 2010.
In a half-joking way, I wondered to my daughter if rectal exams are performed on men when they’re unconscious. But I guess that’s a question a radical feminist might ask so maybe I should keep my mouth shut.