To Be a Millstone

May 262008

Rebecca Walker describes the damage of growing up as the daughter of famous feminist Alice Walker:

My mother’s feminist principles coloured every aspect of my life. As a little girl, I wasn’t even allowed to play with dolls or stuffed toys in case they brought out a maternal instinct. It was drummed into me that being a mother, raising children and running a home were a form of slavery. Having a career, travelling the world and being independent were what really mattered according to her.

I love my mother very much, but I haven’t seen her or spoken to her since I became pregnant. She has never seen my son — her only grandchild. My crime? Daring to question her ideology.

By that, she means that she voluntarily became a mother. Happily, Ms. Walker seems to have made a very good life for herself, despite her unenviable upbringing.

Campus Rape Culture?

Mar 132008

Heather MacDonald has an excellent article in The City Journal entitled “The Campus Rape Myth.” It’s a detailed look at the supposedly widespread phenomena of campus rape.

While I’m pretty familiar with the absurd statistics that feminists use to support their claims that rape on campus by acquaintances is commonplace, I didn’t realize the obvious implication: that campuses waste oodles of money in the attempt to offer support for mostly non-existent campus rape victims. In other words, the phones of campus rape crisis lines are mostly silent.

While I was disappointed by MacDonald’s final suggestion that postponing sex until marriage might be the proper alternative to indiscriminate sex, her general point in the article — that women must take responsibility for their sex lives, including the compromising positions in which they often place themselves — is completely right.

In fact, the article made me think that the topic might be worth teaching in my Intro Ethics course, particularly since the course covers various philosophers’ views of sex, friendship, and pleasure. I’d definitely like to connect some of those older views with a modern debate about student life!

Politics of Beauty

Mar 202002

The patriarchy seems to be oppressing itself by focusing on beauty in politicians. Fancy that.

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