Monday, May 14, 2007

Where are they learning about feminism?

My usual gripe about young women and feminism is their denial of the need for feminism which sometimes manifests in the "I'm not a feminist, but--" syndrome. But I have found teaching women's studies or gender-focused courses is a helpful way of feeling like I was doing something to combat this.
Lately though I have seen an interesting inverse of the "I'm not a feminist, but--" syndrome. It's more like "I am a feminist, but--". The but in the cases I have seen being "but I don't really like women's sports" or "but I think Title IX is discriminatory against men."
The first case is from a student columnist from The Loyolan (in LA) who seems to get it initially. She talks about sport as male-dominated, the attention female athletes get only when they take off their clothes, and the failure of professional women's sports to really take off.
Unfortunately she says she really can't blame the American public because she too likes men's sports more than women's sports. They're just more exciting, she claims. I think she missed the part of feminism that talks about social construction or she may have seen that she is making men's sports the default--the norm--against which women's sports are compared and deemed less than.
Then there is this column, also by a female student in California, who thinks Title IX may have been a good idea once upon a time but it has done "more damage in the long-term than it did good." [I am surprised she does not have an angry mob of female athletes after her.] She is referring to the cuts many schools make in the name of Title IX compliance, failing to see that the damage that has been done, has been done by men (because men dominate athletic administration) to men by favoring some men (those that play football and basketball) over others.


Gender Blank said...

They must be learning about feminism from Phyllis Schlafly.

ken said...

She was in my neck of the woods recently. I was curious but I decided not to go. After all, you never reward a bad child with more attention.