Claire E Healey - Grove City College

#NotAllWomen are radical feminists

“As a young female, I am sick and tired of being defined by the pills I take.” PavlichNeW

So said conservative pundit Katie Pavlich recently to a room full of like-minded female college students and young professionals in Washington, D.C.

Pavlich’s well-received talk was one highlight among many the young women who converged from across the nation to bond, brainstorm and befriend one another experienced at the gathering, a conference hosted by the Network of Enlightened Women, or NeW.

NeW connects and supports female college conservatives, and provides them with an outlet to express and promote their views, which stand against overwhelming liberal campus counterparts.

The 10-year-old organization, which began as a book club at the University of Virginia in 2004 and today consists of more than two dozen campus chapters nationwide, continues to expand as more young women join its ranks and additional proactive projects are launched.

Last month it helped with a new online Conservative University to combat radical feminist ideas touted at campuses. And next semester, its chapters plan to join forces with other like-minded groups on campuses to host events, bring in speakers, and spread their messages.

And that message is radical feminism does not represent all women.

“NeW is important because it shows the alternate voice. It gives women on campus the option to have another point of view without being judged,” Christie Abel, incoming president of the Cornell University NeW chapter, said in an email to The College Fix.

“It promotes dialogue between clubs,” she added. “By having a different voice, we contribute to the diversity of thought on campus and I think that the most crucial that we as a club can do.”

Abel said she and many of her peers are not impressed with mainstream feminist philosophies.

“I believe that many women today fall into the female ‘victim mentality’ that is so present in the media. Women feel like they need to always be on the defensive resulting in their womanhood becoming their sole identity,” Abel said.

She stressed NeW’s dedication to being tolerant of all beliefs and promoting dialogue between different clubs and people.

“We do not belittle any members for thinking a certain way or having a different idea, which we believe to be the most important thing that a women’s club can do,” Abel said.

NeW’s Cornell chapter will work in collaboration with other conservative clubs on campus to promote its principles come fall. For example, it plans to partner with the College Republicans and the Cornell Review (the campus conservative student newspaper) on projects. It also aims to host another campus speaker. Last year, it brought in former U.S. Treasurer Bay Buchanan.

“We find that we have a much better reach to students on campus when we partner up with other conservative organizations,” Abel said.

And it’s an uphill battle for such groups.NeWInside

Most universities are a haven for young women who adhere to the ideas of liberal feminists. Many college girls say they feel they need the movement to succeed in the workforce and society.

Buzzfeed recently featured a few of these young women, who made statements like “I need feminism so I can be a woman AND an engineer!” and “Feminismism (sic) is… not having to apologize for my success.”

But when NeW held its annual conference in mid-June, its speakers took apart such concepts.

“One of the things NeW prides itself on is encouraging intellectual diversity on campus,” said Karin Agness, founder and president of NeW. “We resonate with what a lot of women think on college campuses.”

The conference’s keynote speaker was Pavlich, bestselling author and news editor of Townhall, who spoke about the war on women from the left. Pavlich tackles the subject in greater detail in her upcoming book, Assault and Flattery: The Truth About The Left And Their War On Women.

Pavlich described a conference she attended with the National Organization for Women (NOW) to see radical feminists’ work in practice. She said she was astounded to find that the group was selling blatant communist and socialist materials at its gathering.

“The left is dependent on ignorance and to push their own goals and promote their agenda,” she said.

Pavlich also discussed how common female role models touted by the left aren’t as pro-women as they seem. For example, Hillary Clinton’s defense of a child rapist and her comments that the victim was possibly “romanticizing a sexual experience” do not exactly portray her with women’s best interests at heart.

Other women to speak at the conference included Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America; Sabrina Schaeffer, the executive director of the Independent Women’s Forum; and April Ponnuru, the policy director of the YG Network.

Panelists often tackled the subject of women’s roles in the workplace and family life. They emphasized that women should not feel pressured to give up their families for their careers.

More importantly, they said, women should be free to make the best choices for themselves, whether that means working full-time, staying at home with their children, or a mix of both.

Panelists also discussed the wage gap myth, debunking the 77 cents on the dollar statistic and asserting that many women’s choices affect those amounts, not necessarily sexism.

Speakers also stressed positive communication with liberals and feminists, saying conservative women need to be more proactive with outreach to other females instead of constantly operating on the defense.

At the conference, Pavlich summed up the path forward to fight liberal feminist bias in society.

“The place to push back starts on college campuses,” she said.

College Fix contributor Claire E. Healey is a recent graduate of Grove City College.

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IMAGE: Screenshots, NeW Facebook page

OPINION: The best thing Grove City College taught me was how to think

I practically had my nose pressed to the window in the backseat of my parents’ car as we rode through the campus.

It was about 10 p.m. on a cold March night in 2009, and we were rolling slowly down the roads of Grove City College. A group of boys played Frisbee golf in the dark, while a pair of laughing girls sipped smoothies as they entered a dorm across the street.

The college’s stately Gothic buildings rose ahead of us as we drove, inscribed with statements about the importance of religious liberty and a true liberal arts education. I’d already made a few college visits, but for some reason, this campus had me entranced.Claire headshot

I was a junior in high school, and even though I had barely set foot on the college’s grounds, I knew that I didn’t want to attend any other college.

Grove City College, from which I graduated last month, drew me in for the very reasons that make it stand out among colleges in the U.S.

First, it’s conservative – so conservative that the college fought its way to the Supreme Court to keep the government from forcing it to be federally funded.

In Grove City College v. Bell, the court ruled that the school was free to end its participation in the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant program, which had made it subject to Title IX nondiscrimination requirements.

The college has provided an education through a Christian worldview since its birth. Its founders believed “that the fruits of civilization would be destroyed if religious and ethical roots were allowed to wither.”

Looking back on my four years there, the best thing that Grove City College taught me, rather than how to achieve good grades, balance extracurriculars or boost my resume, was how to think.

My professors challenged me both in the classroom as well as in my on-campus jobs, mainly, the student newspaper. Many Grove City College professors strongly encouraged discussions and debate in the classroom, and they are willing to listen to a variety of opinions.

Though they teach from a Christian worldview, they don’t shove their beliefs down their students’ throats or scoff at anyone who holds a different opinion.

I never had to compromise my beliefs, or write a paper about a topic I didn’t really believe in, just to receive a good grade.

In fact, my professors showed me that the meaning of a good student does not lie in a high grade – and trust me, I had my share of bad ones. Instead, my biggest lesson was to learn how to find the answers I was looking for, in research papers, projects, and journalism stories.

My professors fueled my curiosity and constant desire to find new information.

As a Roman Catholic, I faced numerous challenges about my own faith from the college’s predominant evangelical Protestants, who are passionate about their religious beliefs. (Grove City is a member of the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities.) The questions my peers posed taught me to re-examine my own beliefs and to truly learn how to articulate them. My four years of college made me a much stronger Catholic.

Grove City College advocates for individual responsibility and freedom and promotes the advancement of a free market system as well as civil and religious liberty. It encourages its students to seek objective truth above all else. Few schools remain in America that unapologetically hold fast to these principles, while many higher education institutions blatantly reject and scorn them.

The college’s location, about an hour north of Pittsburgh, also played a major role in shaping my conservatism.

Grove City’s local population is hardworking, and while its residents generally prefer to keep to themselves and their communities, they are very friendly when approached. Their priorities are their families, making a decent living, and often, their religion. I took this conservative lifestyle for granted until I interned in Washington, D.C. for the first time a year ago.

When I returned to school for my senior year, I truly began to appreciate Grove City’s values and priorities.

Politicians in Washington often have no concept of what life in a place like Grove City is like, yet it represents so many of America’s citizens. Grove City’s people want to keep the money they make and support their families without the government interfering in most aspects of their lives.

I’ve only been a college graduate for about a month, but I can say my four years at Grove City College afforded me some of the best experiences and opportunities of my life. I faced my share of challenges with the help of friends, professors and coworkers who I never would have met at most other schools.

As I’ve made the transition from college life the past few weeks, I’ve often found myself flashing back to my first cold March night on campus.

I wouldn’t have done a single thing differently.

College Fix contributor Claire E. Healey is a recent graduate of Grove City College.

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IMAGE: Grove City College

An undercover investigation at universities across Virginia last fall exposed an outright hostility by campus LGBTQ resource centers toward offering students with unwanted same-sex attraction information about ex-gay counseling, telling them such therapies wouldn’t work, likening them to brainwashing, and warning if they tried them, they might get depressed and kill themselves.

Now the ex-gay group that led that undercover probe, Voice of the Voiceless, is taking its fight to the next level – using the threat of a viewpoint discrimination lawsuit to pressure the campuses to reform their LGBTQ resource centers.

“Increasingly, we have seen in the past few years, a bigger effort for gay activists to silence and marginalize our voices,” Christopher Doyle, founder and president of Voice of the Voiceless, told The College Fix in an interview. “We’ve said enough is enough. We’re tired of being smeared in the media, marginalized and made to look like our voices can’t be heard.”

Doyle’s group defends the rights and reputations of former homosexuals, and it touts secular and Christian therapies that have successfully helped people with unwanted same-sex attractions.

His group, in partnership with the nonprofit litigation firm Liberty Counsel, is working with administrators this summer at the Virginia campuses that either failed to provide referrals for those seeking help for unwanted homosexual attraction, or admonished such therapies as pseudoscience or not effective.

“When you are getting state funding to provide resources for sexual minorities, you are obligated to offer all views on sexualities,” Doyle said, adding not doing so is “viewpoint discrimination.”

Doyle, 32, is a former homosexual. He and a colleague took part in the undercover investigation.

A campus climate report released by Doyle’s group last month details the probe’s findings, and accuses universities of creating “unsafe zones” for students with unwanted same-sex attractions.

The report, which includes video and audio from the undercover operation, proves how campuses such as the University of Virginia, James Madison University, George Mason University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Old Dominion University and the College of William and Mary suppressed and maligned resources donated to the LGBTQ Resource Center for students struggling with their same-sex attraction.

For example, at Old Dominion University, “the LGBTQ Resource Center staff said being gay was genetic, natural, and a part of your personality, and that therapy to help individuals who want to change is nothing but ‘brain washing’ attempts to ‘pray away the gay’ and ‘not valid,’” according to the group.

“At George Mason University, I nearly begged the counselor to give me an ex-gay pamphlet, which was buried in the bottom drawer of his filing cabinet. At UVA, the resource center’s director refused to show or give me an ex-gay pamphlet because he said he did not have enough of them to hand out. When I asked him where I could find scientific research on homosexuality, he referred me to theHuffington Post,” Doyle added.

This despite the fact that Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) has sent its literature to these campuses for years.

All six universities named in the campus climate report declined to comment to The College Fix on the probe’s findings or what they are doing to correct it. Doyle said only Virginia Commonwealth University has agreed to some reform efforts so far.

Doyle said most gay activists support the idea that change is not possible and that individuals with same-sex attractions need to identify themselves as homosexuals and embrace this quality.

Many activists and psychologists claim that individuals who try to change will become depressed and may even commit suicide; they refer to therapy from ex-gay groups as “conversion” or “reparation” therapy, which is not the intent of groups like Voice of the Voiceless, which provides help only to people who desire to counter their same-sex attraction.

Counselors at the universities visited by Voice of the Voiceless made similar statements, as documented in the organization’s comprehensive investigative report.

“We’re hoping to open up lines of communication this summer [with the other universities]… Whether or not that’s going to happen … I’m not optimistic,” Doyle said. “I think it’s likely to go to a lawsuit.”

Pro-homosexual advocates and other critics have claimed that the ex-gay movement is dying or is very weak, especially after the shutdown of Exodus International last year, a formerly prominent ex-gay group. But Doyle said he believes that the closure of Exodus International was a positive development because it allowed groups with better leadership to emerge, such as Hope for Wholeness and Voice of the Voiceless.

Doyle said his motivation to advocate for the cause of individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction arises from his own struggles.

Even at his conservative university, Grove City College, he did not have resources available to help him deal with his desires. After graduation, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he joined a church and began to participate in a men’s group that began to help him find healing.

“Through that experience of being in an adult ministry with a men’s Bible study, I… met eight or 10 other guys that really accepted and loved me like I had never received in my life before, and through those experiences, that really helped me heal from the desire to want to have sex with other guys,” Doyle said.

Doyle has now been with his wife for eight years and has three children. He felt a calling to help people struggling with the same desires he had, and decided to receive his master’s degree in counseling. He now counsels clients struggling with same-sexual attraction.

“We hope that through this initiative, other people will be inspired to do the same thing and… be outraged by what’s happening on these college campuses,” Doyle said.

Claire E. Healey is a recent graduate of Grove City College.

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IMAGE: TorbakHopper/Flickr

Suggesting science research is too male dominated, this fall the University of Wisconsin-Madison will roll out a post-doctorate “feminist biology” program to counter the alleged sexism and get out from under “male, white, straight” viewpoints, organizers say.

The program will be under the school’s Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, rather than the biology department, as it strives to “uncover and reverse gender bias in biology,” the university states on its website.

Janet Hyde, director of the campus Center for Research on Gender & Women, said feminist biology “is raising new questions and suggesting novel solutions,” and described the new doctorate program as “the first in the nation – and probably the world.”

However, feminism and progressive science research have often crossed paths.

For example, a few years ago a female Duke University professor named a new fern genus she described as bisexual after popstar Lady Gaga, and said the different methods plants reproduce celebrate homosexuality in humans – a concept traced to the book “Evolution’s Rainbow” which detailed animals that show “odd behavior, homosexuality, or … human quirks.”

Feminist biology work also runs in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s past.

The late Dr. Ruth Bleier, a UW-Madison alumnus, physician and neuroscientist, is described as a founder of feminist biology who in 1984 wrote the book: “Science and Gender: A Critique of Biology and Its Theories on Women.”

“Feminist analysis in science has already revealed and challenged scientific errors resulting from gender bias on the part of scientists, including ways in which observer bias distorted our understanding of primate behavior,” Hyde said on the university’s website.

But this effort to push progressive science and feminist outlooks on research has met with criticism.

In an episode of The Factual Feminist, a weekly vlog by Christina Hoff Sommers through the conservative American Enterprise Institute, Sommers expressed skepticism about the University of Wisconsin-Madison program.

“Women are hardly ignored in biology. In fact, they have far surpassed men in earning biology degrees,” Sommers said.

She described the ways in which feminists have blown so-called sexist scientific discoveries out of proportion in the past, such as feminist scholar Catharine MacKinnon who argued that “the male scientific approach was similar to that of a rapist who would take joy in violating Mother Nature and penetrating her secrets.”

“Make no mistake,” Sommers said, “this new program is not about getting more women into the field. It’s about promoting women with the right worldview.”

She added: “Memo to the women at the University of Wisconsin… we need good biologists, not agenda-driven politicized scientists.”

Nevertheless, the program is set to commence thanks in part to funding by the estate of Gertraude Wittig, who earned her doctorate in zoology and botany and worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture researching insect pathology and electron microscopy.

The program’s first post-doctoral fellow, Caroline VanSickle, begins her fellowship in September, when the program opens. VanSickle intends to continue her research on female human anatomy by exploring evolution in pelvis shapes and childbirth anatomy, according to the campus website.

“We aren’t doing science well if we ignore the ideas and research of people who aren’t male, white, straight, or rich,” VanSickle told Campus Reform,which first reported on the program. “Feminist science seeks to improve our understanding of the world by including people with different viewpoints. A more inclusive science means an opportunity to make new discoveries.”

College Fix contributor Claire E. Healey is a recent Grove City College graduate.

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People aren’t alarmed about global warming, and that’s largely the media’s fault.

So says Dr. Lauren Feldman, assistant professor of communication and information at Rutgers University, who told The College Fix in an email that Americans have not galvanized behind the alleged global warming crisis because both conservative and liberal outlets don’t cover the topic correctly.

Feldman said she believes that climate change is one of the biggest problems facing today’s society, and the media must do its part.

“I obviously think it is one of — if not the biggest — problem facing society today,” she said.

Feldman’s research shows that, for one, conservative news outlets such as Fox News do nothing to help solve climate change, saying their skeptical views are irresponsible.

“They should not discuss climate change as if the science is up for debate,” Feldman said. “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree that climate change is real and that it is human-caused; thus, the media does the public a disservice by framing it as if it is a debate in which both sides have equal merit.”

What’s more, she added, liberal media outlets don’t teach viewers how to take action to address global warming and other environmental problems she believes the planet faces.

In a study Feldman recently co-published, “Threat Without Efficacy? Climate Change on U.S. Network News,” she argued global warming reporting often delves into the politics surrounding the controversial issue and doesn’t include advice on how people can help the environment.

“A disproportionate emphasis on political conflict may increase cynicism toward government and decrease support for policy action to address climate change,” Feldman told Rutgers for a campus publication. “At the same time, news coverage of climate change provided very little information about what individuals themselves can do, personally or politically, to help reduce climate change.”

“Together, these trends are likely to undermine individuals’ sense of efficacy regarding climate change by portraying climate change as a seemingly intractable problem to which the government is unlikely to respond.”

In her email to The College Fix, Feldman also pointed out her studies have found that climate change receives very low coverage in the media, with each major network evening newscast only running 2.2 stories per month that mentioned climate change. All this leads to stagnation on the subject, she said.

“When there is not relatively broad agreement among the public that climate change is a problem that requires immediate action, it becomes very difficult to make climate policy a political priority,” Feldman said. “The first step is making it clear to our political leaders at the local, state, and national levels that this needs to be a priority.”

Feldman is currently working with Sol Hart from the University of Michigan under a grant from the National Science Foundation “to examine both how well information about the impacts of climate change and efficacy for actions to address climate change are discussed in the media and how we can best balance information about threat and efficacy to design communication messages that more effectively engage and motivate the public.”

They will be running experiments to test the effectiveness of various methods of communication about climate change with the public.

Meanwhile, Feldman already works to prompt her students into action.

Feldman said that college students should be aware of media biases and their subsequent influences on the public. She said she believes college students should attempt to make their voices heard by government and university officials and suggested that they volunteer for climate-concerned groups, as well as participate in rallies, protests, and boycotts of companies that do not use sustainable practices.

“We need innovation in order to help mitigate and adapt to climate change, and who better to lead this charge than the current generation of college students,” Feldman said.

Feldman teaches “News, Entertainment, and Politics” for Rutgers undergraduates and a course on media and politics for graduates. This fall, she will be adding the undergraduate “Science, Environment, and Media” class.

“I screened an episode of Showtime’s Years of Living Dangerously series in my News, Entertainment & Politics class this spring, and the reaction that I got from many students was that they didn’t realize how far-reaching and serious of a problem it is,” Feldman said.

Years of Living Dangerously is described online as a “groundbreaking documentary series about the human impact on climate change.”

Feldman also said many of her students felt there was not much they could do to make a difference about climate change, which she attributes to media polarization.

However, she said that there are a few student groups on campus, including the very active Rutgers Fossil Fuel Divestment, that are concerned about the issue.

“I think some students are busy being students and don’t realize the magnitude of the problem and/or what they can do about it,” she said.

College Fix contributor Claire E. Healey is a student at Grove City College.

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At one in every six public colleges in the United States, students must limit their public expression of ideas to restrictive, tiny free speech zones, according to a group that advocates for students’ rights. Starting this summer, Virginia will scratch its schools off this list.

On April 4, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) signed a law authorizing outdoor areas of the state’s public college campuses as public forums for free speech. The bill, which was introduced by Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R), passed both houses of the Virginia General Assembly unanimously. Virginia’s new law goes into effect on July 1.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education was instrumental in advocating for the bill’s passage. After the bill was introduced, FIRE’s legislative and policy director, Joe Cohn, went to Virginia to explain the importance of college free speech rights to legislators.

Cohn told The College Fix in an interview that Virginia is the first state to pass such a law expanding free speech rights.

“We’re tremendously excited about Virginia’s free speech zone bill, and it’s a credit to the Virginia legislators and Governor McAuliffe that the bill passed unanimously and that everyone understood the need to promote students’ rights to speak their minds on college campuses,” Cohn said.

Cohn said that his “understanding, from conversations with” Lingamfelter, was that the delegate was motivated by an incident at Modesto Junior College in California. The incident involved a campus safety officer telling two students they could not distribute copies of the U.S. Constitution on Constitution Day in front of the student center because they were not in a free speech area and had not asked for prior permission.

“We see these cases popping up frequently where students are prohibited from distributing literature in open areas of campus where they should be allowed to do so,” Cohn said.

FIRE’s efforts have borne fruit in Hawaii as well. Last month, it helped University of Hawaii at Hilo students Merritt Burch and Anthony Vizzone coordinate a lawsuit against the school for preventing them from handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution near the student center. The university is now reviewing its policy on speech and assembly, and it announced implementation of an interim policy that suspends its restrictive measures as it attempts to resolve the lawsuit with the students.

Cohn said schools began instituting free speech zones in the 1980s to guarantee that students would always have a place to exercise their First Amendment rights. However, in the 1990s, colleges began using the rule to restrict these zones to smaller and more obscure areas on campuses.

Cohn emphasized that open areas on campuses can be subject to time, place, and manner restrictions, but these limitations must be content and viewpoint neutral. For example, a school can limit the decibel level of a group outside the library, but the school cannot manipulate this rule to prevent a group from speaking based on its subject matter.

FIRE illustrates the restrictive policies of schools across the country using its Spotlight Speech Codes Database, the source of the one-in-six figure for restrictive speech zones. This infographic rates schools by state according to traffic light categories.

A “red light” school clearly and substantially restricts free speech through at least one policy. A “yellow light” school has at least one policy with vague wording that limits free speech or could be easily used to limit free speech. A “green light” school indicates that FIRE is not aware of any restrictive policies on its campus.

According to Cohn, as of this month Virginia has the highest concentration of “green light” schools in the country, with only three.

University of Pennsylvania professor Alan Charles Kors, a conservative, and Boston civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate, a progressive, founded FIRE in 1999. FIRE’s stated mission is to defend individual rights, includingfreedom of speech, legal equality, due process, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience at colleges and universities. Its outreach efforts include a summer internship program and a summer conference at Bryn Mawr College to expose students to professionals who deal with free speech rights in their careers.

“They saw that there was a growing need for an organization to step up to this challenge and it was becoming more and more obvious to them how pervasive violations of the student rights really were,” Cohn said.

College Fix contributor Claire E. Healey is a student at Grove City College.

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