Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

Adventures in NOW Land


This past weekend, I attended the 2008 National Conference of the National Organization for Women (NOW).

Of course, one of the topics was the conservative assault on women’s-studies departments. They handed out free copies of Ms. magazine, which included an article by Martha McCaughey, director of the women’s-studies program at Appalachian State University. She is writing a book called Sexy Knowledge. Her article, “Academic Freedom: The Right-Wing Campaign Against Women’s Studies,” turns a treasured ideal on its head. She wrote:

But women’s studies is also under fire today by well-funded watch groups, which hold conferences, host blogs and disseminate slick ‘research’ that many scholars consider shoddy. They call on their members to join in letter-writing campaigns, litigation procedures and legislation designed to undermine the academic programs they find threatening.

I wonder whose research is more “shoddy” — that of women’s-studies departments or that of their challengers?

I wrote about it other aspects of the conference here. Allison Kasic has attended the conference before and wrote about it here.


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