Fix Features

women

The New Haven Register reports:

Frances Chan says she’s done stuffing her face with ice cream and Cheetos just to make Yale University happy. After months of wrangling, the university finally agrees.

The 20-year-old history major has spent the past few months sparring with Yale’s health center over her low weight. Chan is 5’2” and 92 lbs., and Yale doctors were concerned her health was severely at risk.

She contended that she’s always been very thin, as were her parents and grandparents at her age.

Yet until Friday, Yale had been telling Chan she might be forced to leave school if she didn’t put on some pounds…

Read More.

(Via Drudge)

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College Fix Spring 2014 fellow Jose Gonzalez reports for Real Clear Politics on the varied life and upbringing of Iowa GOP Senate hopeful, Joni Ernst:

In 1989, a teenage college student from Iowa completed an agricultural exchange on a family farm in the Soviet state of Ukraine. Not surprisingly, as Joni Ernst retells it, the experience gave her a profound new appreciation for her home country — one that has colored her career choices to this day.

“It was just such a difference between the United States and the opportunity we had and what that family had in Ukraine,” she told RealClearPolitics, citing the farm’s lack of basic utilities such as a telephone and running water. (Residents had to use an outhouse behind the chicken coop, and the family shared a single bicycle in the absence of a car. Farm work was done through manual labor, supported by horses and wagons.) “That made such an impression on me when I came back to the United States and it was a matter of ‘Oh, I love my country.’”

Ernst first expressed that love by joining the Army Reserves and the National Guard, and she hopes to express it further by serving in the U.S. Senate. What makes her ambition especially noteworthy is that, should she win the GOP primary on June 3 and the general election in November, Ernst would become the first woman from Iowa to serve in Congress…

Read the full story at RCP.

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This is a pretty sad statistic I came across recently. According to a recent study, young women leave college with less self-confidence than they had when they started:

The study, administered by the Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment at Boston College, examined two surveys: the first of which was taken by students during their freshman year, and the second of which was taken by students exiting their senior year.

Despite reports of high academic achievement, most female students gave themselves weaker self-evaluations in the second survey.

Read more on this story here.

The article/study above says nothing very revealing about the cause of this lack of confidence in college girls. But, I suspect it has something to do with the vastly unequal outcomes men and women typically experience in today’s college Hookup Culture.

But you won’t hear that from a left-leaning academic at BC.

The academic left is firmly committed to the doctrines of sexual liberationist feminism–evidence be damned. They would never admit that our promiscuous sexual culture has a disproportionately negative impact on young women. They have too much vested politically in the myth that there is no significant difference between men and women in the first place.

Admitting that the hookup culture isn’t working out so well for young women today looks too much like admitting weakness to feminists. Although, in reality, it’s nothing of the sort.

So liberal academics will go on doing these kinds of studies about gender issues, self-confidence, etc… eyes half closed all the while to the sexual brokenness of this generation.

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

Like The College Fix on Facebook. / Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanHarden

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Have you heard about the latest program for gender equality at Harvard? It has to do with teaching adult women how to raise their hands.

At Harvard Business School, feminist leaders were concerned to discover that female students, despite being among the brightest and most highly qualified women in the country, weren’t speaking up as often as men in class.

Solution? Teach these young women how to raise their hands–just like children do when they have to go potty in preschool.

Bill Jacobson reports some details over at Legal Insurrection, calling the whole project “really creepy”:

The social engineering experiment went so far as to teach the best and the brightest how to raise their hands with confidence:

Women at Harvard did fine on tests. But they lagged badly in class participation, a highly subjective measure that made up 50 percent of each final mark. Every year the same hierarchy emerged early on: investment bank and hedge fund veterans, often men, sliced through equations while others — including many women — sat frozen or spoke tentatively. The deans did not want to publicly dwell on the problem: that might make the women more self-conscious. But they lectured about respect and civility, expanded efforts like the hand-raising coaching and added stenographers in every class so professors would no longer rely on possibly biased memories of who had said what.

Here’s a screen capture of student Brooke Boyarsky demonstrating assertive hand raising:

NY Times Brook Boyarsky

The really long article goes on to describe improved performance under the innumerable artificial conditions created to help the women succeed versus the men. Conditions, of course, that do not exist in the real, competitive world.

Otherwise, this story would not be worth writing about…

Read more details at Legal Insurrection.

To appreciate this absurdity of this project of “gender equality,” you have to understand that, traditionally, MBA students have at least two to three years in the corporate world before they enter business school. So this story is not referring to eighteen-year-old college girls, it’s referring to women who are in many cases 25-30 years old, and who have already held corporate jobs.

Yet Harvard leaders are treating these adult women like children.

Take another good look at that photograph–Is this what feminism looks like in the 21st century?

Treating people like capable, responsible adults is not part of the language of modern liberalism. In fact, liberalism, with its focus on victimhood and identity politics, tends to “help” people only by means of appalling condescension. Thus you get things like racial quotas, or tests that are designed specifically to produce more equal outcomes. In this case, you get grown women being treated like four-year-old girls.

It’s no wonder a majority of women refuse to call themselves feminists.

If you were a woman at Harvard, and you had some member of the gender-equality police trying to teach you how to raise your hand, would you feel empowered?

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

Like The College Fix on Facebook. / Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanHarden

(Image: JayMorrison / Flickr)

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Andrew Sullivan had an insightful post on masculinity, violence, and testosterone on his blog yesterday. He wrote it in response to a column by New York Times columnist Frank Bruni.

Bruni wrote:

There are times when I find myself darkly wondering if there’s some ineradicable predatory streak in the male subset of our species. Wrong, Chris Kilmartin told me. It’s not DNA we’re up against; it’s movies, manners and a set of mores, magnified in the worlds of the military and sports, that assign different roles and different worth to men and women. Fix that culture and we can keep women a whole lot safer…

Bruni’s article is no-doubt well-intended. We’d all like to reduce violence against women. But Sullivan responded with a razor sharp breakdown of the false assumptions in Bruni’s prescription. As Sullivan correctly points out, you can’t fix the problem by pretending that men are no different than women biologically.

There is a third option between DNA and culture. It’s called testosterone. It’s a very powerful hormone that makes men men (we are all originally default female embryos) and is the sole real difference between the sexes. And it correlates very strongly with aggression, confidence, pride, and physical strength. There is nothing inherently “dark” about this. Testosterone has fueled a huge amount of human achievement and success as well as over-reach and disaster. And it makes men and women inherently different – something so obvious no one really doubted it until very recently, when the blank-slate left emerged, merging self-righteousness with empirical delusion.

This absolutely doesn’t mean acquiescence to rape or the culture that leads to rape.

That is an extreme and heinously immoral act of violence. Indeed, there’s a great deal of work to be done in creating a dialogue and culture in which the logic of testosterone is challenged constantly. But this used to be done by appealing to male pride, not by suspecting generalized male infamy. The concept of “gentle”-men or “gentlemen” was honed in the last few centuries specifically to encourage such a civilizing cultural climate. And I’d argue that approach will pay far more dividends…

In those brief paragraphs, Sullivan offers a brilliantly concise description of the blindness of the left on issues of gender–the self-induced “empirical delusion” of promoting equality by denying reality. It won’t work. We must start working on the problem of male-on-female violence by first admitting what men truly are, biologically.

Sullivan does this by focusing in on the incredible power of testosterone. Critically, he also acknowledges its many positive as well as negative aspects.

Testosterone, as the hormonal fuel of male ambition and drive, has driven economic and technological progress, ushering in a level of prosperity and progress that provides a great many protections to women. Going back to the dark ages would mean very bad things for women–we all understand that. Testosterone, therefore, has done far more to enhance the safety, happiness, and opportunity of women–far more good than harm.

Sullivan closes his post by talking about how our culture can channel the male drive into pursuits that are beneficial to women, which promote stability and nurturing environments rather than violence. It starts by valuing fatherhood:

A man’s self-esteem can be, in some hideous fashion, fed by acts of violence. But it can also be sustained through more open and public recognition of such virtues as courage, confidence and prudent risk-taking and through the critical institution of the family. A spouse channels testosterone to calmer waters; off-spring can bring with them a new sense of manhood if fatherhood is a truly appreciated moral activity. Virtuous institutions – such as you see in the Boy Scouts or at West Point or in the ethos instilled in the US military from George Washington on – are also vital to this. But none of this is possible if we insist on denying reality. Men are not women – and never will be.

Read Sullivan’s full post here.

Sullivan says if we want to promote “virtuous masculinity” we have to acknowledge the biological differences between men and women. On the other hand, to point the finger at violence in movies and professional sports, as Bruni does, is to ignore the fundamental hormonal source of gender difference.

Possibly an even more important take-away from Sullivan’s post is this: The drive and strength that testosterone fuels in men is responsible, not simply for lamentable violence, but also for a great deal of good in the world.

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

Like The College Fix on Facebook.  / Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanHarden

(Image by NationalGuard / Flickr)

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Barbra Streisand picked up an honorary degree from Hebrew University this week, and used her time at the podium to pick a fight with orthodox Jews, who embrace traditional restrictions on the role of women in public worship.

CBS News reports:

Barbra Streisand waded into one of Israel’s touchiest issues during the first major stop on her tour of the country — Jewish religious practices that separate men and women.

Speaking at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on Monday, she took aim at cases of ultra-Orthodox Jews targeting women.

“It’s distressing to read about women in Israel being forced to sit in the back of the bus,” she said, “or when we hear about `Women of the Wall’ having metal chairs thrown at them when they attempt to peacefully and legally pray.”

She was referring to isolated incidents in which ultra-Orthodox men tried to force women to sit separately at the rear of buses that go through their neighborhoods, as well as more serious clashes in which ultra-Orthodox Jews tried to prevent women donning prayer shawls and carrying Torah scrolls from praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, the holiest site where Jews can worship…

Read the full story here.

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(Image by Alan Light / Wikimedia Commons)

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