19 December 2002
The crones of academe
I have always suspected that Departments of Women's Studies have nothing to do with me, except to the extent that I am considered a threat because of my membership in the half of the species with the external genitalia. Okay, fine. Maybe some people need to designate enemies before they can find friends. It never occurred to me, though, that we might be better off without those studies.
It has, however, occurred to James Lileks:
You know, if every "Woman's Studies" department was closed, and the student loans were used to create businesses that hired women instead of studied them like tragic butterflies impaled on the patriarchal pin, we might be better off. Granted, we'd be without PhD theses like "Rape Symbolism and Beatrix Potter: A Rake's Progress," but the culture would survive; the only noticeable effect at all would be a 17% decrease in Frieda Kahlo poster sales, and a 50% decrease in 33-year-old college students.
"Here Comes Peter Cottontail" is evidently more menacing than I had imagined.
But belligerent bunnies aside, all this makes me wonder what a "Men's Studies" curriculum might be like. Certainly the three-hour lab for home beer production would be inadequate, and the wisdom of Vince Lombardi can be exhausted in a few paragraphs. I am reasonably certain, however, that at no point will any of the instructors suggest, even for a minute, that women are capital-E Evil.