Thursday, July 05, 2007

Higher Indoctrination, Part I: Building a Bridge to the 1960's

As UK President Lee Todd and U of L President James Ramsey push programs that, to one extent or the other, use taxpayer and tuition resources to fund the health care benefits for the live-in partners of their staff, it is instructive to look at what else their universities are doing to try to build a bridge to the 1960's.

One interesting place to look is in the "Women's Studies" departments. A now common pseudo-academic fixture on college campuses, these programs have provided a beachhead for aggrieved feminists and neo-Marxists to push their special interest political agendas--all at government expense. Here is the course description for a class offered at the University of Kentucky, called "Feminist Philosophy," just one of many such courses:
PHI 540-001 Feminist Philosophy. This course will introduce students to some of the major contributions of feminist theory to philosophy. Although feminist theory is not monolithic--feminists disagree about many, many things--feminist theory always begins with the insight that women have been and continue to be in a subordinate position, and feminist theorists offer accounts of how this subordination is maintained and suggestions for how it can be overcome. It is also the case that feminist theorists today tend to recognize that the subordination of women is one form of subordination in an interlocking system of oppression. Thus, feminists writing today tend to be alive to the interlocking nature of racial, classist, regionalist, ageist, sexist, heterosexist, and ableist oppressions that are all to often inseparable--sometimes conceptually, and nearly always in the lived world. In this course, we shall be interested in seeing how feminist philosophers have contributed to these realizations by doing feminist work in the traditional branches of philosophy as well as in areas of inquiry not so tightly bound by traditional categories. We'll acquaint ourselves with these contributions by looking first at some different types of feminist perspectives and then by looking at feminist contributions to philosophical methodology, metaphysics, epistemology, and moral philosophy.
TR 12:30-1:45, Instructor: Joan Callahan. This course counts toward the GWS Minor, GWS Topical Major, or the GWS Graduate Certificate.
It's a frightening world for feminists, what with all the "racism", "classism", "regionalism", "ageism", "sexism", "heterosexism", and "ableism" surrounding them. And the people in third world countries threatened with starvation and violent death think they have problems! If they only knew how it was in the patriarchal West, they'd be happy with their lot.

That one political faction not only gets to teach classes at a publicly-funded university, but is provided with the platform of a whole major to expound its extremist doctrines is rather disturbing. It's tempting to wonder if there are any courses in UK's curriculum that treat the political conservative movement in a similarly flattering light. It's a temptation that anyone concerned with balance and integrity probably ought to avoid, if for no other reason than to avoid disappointment.