THE FEMINIZATION OF JONAH
I went to an all-women’s college. I am not making this up, or reading you my screenplay for a HBO After Dark movie. I started at Goucher College the year it became coed. There were about 1,000 women and roughly 37 guys my freshman year. Just under 10% of the male student body came from my high school and close to 7% of the male student body was Korean-American and named Derek. If there was a comparable percentage of Korean-American Dereks at the University of Michigan you’d have — how do I know? — a whole lot of Korean-Americans named Derek.
Anyway, it was a pretty good school and I still enjoy the irony that I got in because of affirmative action — they needed guys with okay SAT scores. But Goucher College had more than its fair share of feminist lunacy. I had three — count them three — political-science classes in which books by Michel Foucault were assigned. Now, many of you — because you have lives and you would rather give James Carville a full frontal baby-oil massage — have never read or heard of Michel Foucault. So, you may not understand what I’m getting at.
Foucault was a Frenchman who asked a lot of questions. If they came from your seven-year-old kid you’d answer, “Just because.” Since he was a “philosopher of systems of thought” everyone took him seriously (by everyone, I mean the subsidized goatee-faced ashtrays found in Paris cafés). His questions were of the “how-do-you-know-that?” variety but he quoted a lot of Greeks and he talked about how gender wasn’t real and words oppressed people. Some of my professors called him a left-wing Nietzchean (a big catchphrase of his was “will to knowledge,” a play on Nietzche’s “will to power” — clever, eh?). Some people called him an intellectual drag queen (not my words). He was certainly more interesting then, say, How a Bill Becomes a Law, which may explain why I didn’t cover that until I was already pretty well-versed in the nuances of phenomenology and the works of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. And I must say, having just thumbed through my less than dog-eared college textbook, Feminism and Foucault (Northeastern University Press), I am astounded that my dad paid my tuition. Goucher wasn’t as bad as some schools where professors renamed their seminars “ovulars.”
Anyway, I bring this up by way of saying I may be biased since I received pretty rough treatment in college, being an unapologetic guy and a conservative — I mean I wouldn’t apologize for being a guy, not that I wouldn’t apologize if I stepped on someone’s shrine to Heidegger. Also, having grown up with a mom who’d been among other things a cop (long before she was a Vast Right-Wing Conspirator), I never really cottoned too much to the whole women-are-always-victims school. This got me in a lot of arguments. I was called a pre-rapist by quite a few women. Not, mind you, because I ever raped anybody or had plans to. Instead, I was called a pre-rapist because all men are rapists at heart. And if I hadn’t gotten around to it yet, well, that was an argument about timing. So I was overcome with a sense of nostalgia when I saw today’s Washington Post story on a feminist “scholar” at Boston College who is taking a leave of absence rather than teach men. It turns out that Mary Daly believes having boys in her “Introduction to Feminist Ethics” class would be oppressive and disruptive. She argues that right wingers have pressured the school into letting those, those . . . things into her ovular. Ms. Daly is the author of many books including, Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism, Outercourse: The Be-Dazzling Voyage, and who can forget the seminal, oops sorry, ovulal, Quintessence . . . Realizing the Archaic Future: A Radical Elemental Feminist Manifesto. Gyn/Ecology? Outercourse? Get it? Get it?
Now, some people would think I am making light of this woman’s work. And well, I am. I don’t think I’ve read any of it, but since I long ago purged my mental hard drive of most of this stuff, maybe I did and I’ve forgotten. Whichever, I don’t need to read it. I’ve read plenty like it and it is all crap. Or, to be fair, it so overwhelmingly full of crap that the pearls of wisdom buried in it certainly have no luster.
But what is offensive and serious about this is that these courses exist. Women’s studiesis, as a field of academics, largely dedicated to the proposition that men are evil. Imagine if there were a school anywhere in the country that taught a single class which said women deserve to be oppressed. How long would it last?
Well, there’s actually some evidence on this front. E. O. Wilson, America’s premiere biologist and naturalist was hounded from many campuses for arguing merely that some differences between men and women were rooted in their biology. Stupidly, he thought that a 100 million years of evolution might have as much to say about our behavior as the gals in the Women’s Studies Faculty Lounge. The late Harvard professor Richard Hernstein was picketed off and on for years for suggesting that intelligence might to some degree be something you’re born with. And let’s not even talk about what people have said about Charles Murray, the co-author of the sober and ultra-researched Bell Curve. He was accused by virtually all of academia of wanting to launch a national eugenics scheme to sterilize the undesirables. But Murray is such a libertarian he thinks tyranny begins when the state starts collecting your garbage or building highways. Now, imagine if there was a course at Harvard which said that the biology of blacks and women was so different as to confer on them a lower moral worth?
Well, that actually shouldn’t take too much mental gymnastics because there are hundreds of courses, thousands of courses, which say that blacks and women have a higher moral worth. What if a professor refused to teach women? Blacks? He’d be on the cover of Time magazine with a mob of Klansmen airbrushed into the background. But teach bigotry as a matter of metaphysics and epistemology and you’re in line for a MacArthur Foundation genius grant.
And let us not forget that while this lone woman gets her profile in courage coverage for being so bigoted against men that she can’t stand to have them in the room, the groups she presumably pays her dues to let the President of the United States slide. Sure we can teach girls who watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Party of Five that we live in a pervasive and pernicious rape culture. But don’t actually talk about the guy with the most influence over that culture. Hell, I haven’t even heard them call him a pre-rapist yet.
ALL RIGHTY NOW . . . CORRECTIONS TIME
I didn’t get that many correction notices this week. The lingering issue of my spelling of Marquis vs. Marquess bothered a few of you, and rightly so. About a dozen of you really productive office workers noted that I spelled “Tetris” incorrectly. Thanks — imagine if I had slandered Duke Nuke’em?
In my column on Monday I referenced John Belushi’s soliloquy (wow, I spelled that right the first time and I was typing very fast), from the Blues Brothers and a few wrote in saying “Aha! I caught your Animal House reference!” Wrong! Where are your corrections columns?
Also on Monday I suggested that Hillary Clinton would be up for re-election in 2000 if she had been elected in 1992. This was so egregiously wrong and so many of you caught it so quickly, we actually hacked back into the Goldberg-File page and changed it. It took a vast amount of technological resources and some experimental radioactive equipment was necessary. But we did it. Several lives were lost in the process and my ears bleed every time Wheel of Fortune is on, but it was worth it. Is there any other columnist who not only regularly admits to his errors but actually changes them on demand? We at NATIONAL REVIEW are all about customer service and we shall remain that way out of respect for the dead and fear of Pat Sajak.
One very interesting correction which I need to read more about is the issue of the House Committee on un-American Activities. I called it the House Un-American Activities Committee. I’ve always read that the 1930s panel was called HUAC which stands for those words in the previous sentence — don’t make me type them again. But one intrepid reader said that HUAC was a slander created by the Left to undermine the important work of fighting Stalin’s minions in the United States. I had never heard this and I think it’s fascinating. I’ve checked out a couple of books but I haven’t really gotten to the bottom of it yet. But since I have no desire to perpetuate anti-anti-Communism, I wanted to get the debate out there. I promise to report back when I know more.
The two biggest e-mail generators were my appearance on Rivera Live and my request for help in winning the Hotline poll for Pat Buchanan’s replacement on Crossfire. Let’s deal with the unpleasantness first. Many of my loyal and supportive readers were very angry that I would dignify the program. You said that surely I could find a better venue than to go on Geraldo’s five-night-a-week telethon for presidential corruption (dozens of you prefer the more colloquial “Whorealdo”). Most of you thought I did fine, but that I shouldn’t have been there in the first place. This is a difficult issue for me. For most of last year I refused to appear on Rivera Live (Mother Goldberg will only go on that program if she gets a gun and Geraldo agrees to wear a target). Finally, I caved because I thought it was worth having the argument since nobody challenges him enough (including me), and he was going to say this crap anyway. For now, I think I made the right decision but I appreciate the criticism.
Of course, if I get to be the Right Guy on Crossfire I won’t have to appear with Geraldo ever again. Which brings us to yesterday’s fun. As many of you recall, the Hotline ran a poll asking for suggestions to replace Pat. Here are the results directly from the Hotline:
CROSSFIRE: JONAH SPAMS HIS WAY TO VICTORY
The results of Hotline’s completely unscientific reader survey asking who should replace Pat Buchanan on the right for CNN’s Crossfire (polls closed at 11:27am): Jonah Goldberg, 369 votes: “Get some young blood in there” . . . “Young, fearless, attractive” . . . “Can quibble with the best of them” . . . “If you can’t get P. J. O’Rourke, get the next best thing” . . . “Thinks and reasons quicker on his feet than Bob Novak, Fred Barnes, or any of the other alternatives.” Plus, Jonah voted for himself: “I vote for me. The time has come for the torch to be passed to a new generation. Besides, I could use the beer money.” Wonder why Jonah won? From his National Review.com column:
[They ran a long clip from yesterday’s column here. For space reasons let’s just say I wrote some elegant, tasteful, enlightening prose. Okay back to the Hotline:]
The other vote-getters:
- Mike Murphy, 56 votes (in a late spamming effort, Murphy quadrupled his support in the 10 o’clock hour)
- Nelson Warfield, 56 votes (in a late spamming effort, Warfield quardrupled his support in the 11 o’clock hour)
- Orson Swindle, 18 votes
- Newt Gingrich, 8 votes
- Vaughn Ververs, 7 votes
- Ken Starr, 5 votes
- Mary Matalin, 4 votes
- Ann Coulter, 3 votes
- Lucianne Goldberg, 3 votes
- Al D’Amato, 2 votes
- Laura Ingraham, 2 votes: “nice on several levels; she has a sense of humor, for one.”
- Tucker Carlson, 2 votes: “thoughtful, articulate, and handsome.”
- Receiving 1 vote each: Kellyanne Fitzpatrick, Bill Paxon, Bay Buchanan, G. Gordon Liddy, John McLaughlin, Mona Charen, Ralph Reed, Charlton Heston, Nick Thimmesch, Cass Ballenger, Bob Dornan, Phil Batt, Alan Keyes, Dinesh D’Souza, Anita Blair, Kate O’Beirne.
- Receiving no votes: Peter Roff and Robb Watters.
- Other voter comments: “Please not Gingrich, Arianna Huffington, or Ollie North. Watching them is just painful.”
- “For the love of God, please stop kissing Laura Ingraham’s butt every chance you get. That woman drives me nuts.”
Now, just as Captain Kirk rigged the Kobayashi Maru in when he was at Starfleet Academy so he couldn’t lose, I think I should be congratulated for my ingenuity. In fact, I think they should just stop looking for replacements now. I won the poll. That’s it. I’m just gonna start showing up over at CNN and even if I have to sit in John Sunnunu’s lap, I’m gonna start yelling at left wingers.
I should point out that a few of you thought I was too insulting to Pat Buchanan by saying that he was “building a bridge to the 19th century.” I wasn’t trying to offend him or his fans. I like Buchanan. He is an unbelievably nice guy and a wonderful writer. In fact he might not remember this but he was actually at my brother’s briss. I’m sure my brother doesn’t want to remember it. But, he represents a brand of conservatism that I don’t always agree with. Nostalgia is a dangerous seduction and I think he has fallen prey to it.
Anyway, this Goldberg File is longer than the wedding scene in the Deerhunter so I will end it now. Thanks very much for your support and if you want to start wearing washboard signs saying “give the kid a shot” and then hang out on the front lawns of various CNN executives, I for one won’t stop you.