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.