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'Gender-Fair' Oppression

classkid generic image of high school kid boy youth in class classroom
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This column was written by Kate O'Beirne.
In his welcome Washington Post Outlook piece, "Disappearing Act: Where Have the Men Gone? No Place Good," Michael Gurian reports that colleges and universities across the country are "grappling with the case of the mysteriously vanishing male." The author of books on the compelling brain research that reveals significant sex differences in learning styles notes that men make up only 43 percent of college students. Gurian laments that we have failed to react to a "significant crisis" that damages the life prospects of millions of young men. He marshals the evidence of boys in trouble and effectively demands attention to their plight.

But he doesn't explain who is to blame for boys' alienation from our current schooling regime. So I will. It's radical feminist academics, theorists, and activists.

Gurian explains that boys "dominate the failure statistics in our schools" beginning in elementary school and continuing through high school. Boys lag behind girls in reading ability by 1½ years, a disparity that persists into college. This diminished educational achievement consigns young men to the lowest-level jobs, lands plenty in prison, and takes many out of the long-term marriage pool. He counsels that we abandon the "boys-are-privileged-but-the-girls-are-shortchanged emphasis of the last 20 years." No kidding. This "emphasis" that has so disadvantaged our boys is the fundamental tenet of feminist educational policy that is subsidized by tens of millions of public dollars in the name of a phony "educational equity."

Take reading achievement, as one example of what feminism has wrought. With the federal government's clout and cash, feminists have dictated the rewriting of textbooks to conform to their notions of gender equality. At its 1973 convention, NOW resolved to take "dramatic action" to see that dangerous sex-role stereotypes were erased from textbooks, and within a year they had the Women's Educational Equity Act to advance their campaign with funding for alternative curricula. The editors, publishers, administrators, bureaucrats, and teachers' unions that make up the feminized education establishment have eagerly adopted the feminists' destructive gender agenda.

The result is what NYU psychology professor Paul Vitz calls "Wonder Woman and the Wimp" stories that little boys understandably have little interest in reading. Sandra Stotsky, a reading specialist and research scholar at Northeastern University explains, "Gone are the inspiring biographies of the most important American presidents, inventors, scientists, and entrepreneurs. No military valor, no high adventure. On the other hand, stories about adventurous and brave women abound."

Peggy Orenstein is one of the feminist theorists who welcomes the "gender-fair" regime that has turned our classrooms into reeducation camps for our sons. She has noted approvingly that "perhaps for the first time, the boys are the ones looking through the window" when classrooms are adorned with women's pictures and bookcases are crammed with women's biographies.

We parents of boys have meekly allowed gender warriors like Peggy Orenstein to treat our sons like unindicted coconspirators in history's gender crimes, while parents of girls permit their daughters to be patronized as helpless victims of a phantom, crippling sex bias in America's schools.

Michael Gurian notes the casualties without identifying who created the battlefield for their campaign of intimidation and indoctrination.

Kate O'Beirne names more names in her forthcoming book, Women Who Make the World Worse: and How Their Radical Feminist Assault Is Ruining Our Schools, Families, Military, and Sports.

By Kate O'Beirne
Reprinted with permission from National Review Online