After watching scholar and political commentator Heather Mac Donald on Sunday night’s LIFE, LIBERTY & LEVIN on FOX News, I have to proclaim her as my new hero/heroine. Hearing her speak at length about the evils of identity politics was a real treat, especially considering how few forums there are these days for such views to be detailed. (Heresy!) One great thing about Levin’s show is that, by focusing on one guest for the full hour, they can really settle in for a good discussion.
In Mac Donald’s most recent book, “THE DIVERSITY DELUSION: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture,” she asserts that “toxic ideas first spread by higher education have undermined humanistic values, fueled intolerance and widened divisions in our larger culture.” During the interview, she used the Justice Kavanaugh confirmation process as Exhibit A, saying that the last decade of “rape hysteria” on college campuses laid the groundwork for the insanity that surrounded this event, with its “preposterous mantra” that survivors must be believed regardless of those little factors like evidence and due process.
She sees the bureaucracy that has grown up on campuses now metastasizing into the “real world” and believes it’s only going to get worse, to the point where we may reach such a hate-driven cultural divide that there is civil war.
Since the introduction of radical multiculturalism – she was in college in the ‘70s and thinks it got started a bit later, in the ‘80s – race and gender have become all-important, and students are given, as she says, “a license for ignorance” and encouraged to live in a “delusional oppression.” Dismiss Shakespeare and all those other white men! More than that, HATE them. Hate the greatest works of Western civilization. Hate Western civilization in its entirety. Western civilization is baaaaaad.
College students are taught to think of people not as individuals but as representatives of their group. One’s group is either a victim or an oppressor. “The only way an oppressor can get out of his category is to become an ally of the oppressed,” she said. As for the “oppressed,” they actually believe that sexism and racism are so widespread on their campuses – which used to be just about the most tolerant places anyone could imagine – that they are literally at risk of their lives. She called this “the false narrative of victimology.”
I’ll just quote her here because it’s so spot-on brilliant: “...There’s a massive bureaucracy dedicated to cultivating in students this delusional sense of their own oppression, which then they carry with them – it’s a chip on their shoulder – that prevents them from seizing the magnificent opportunities to learn, to read every book that’s ever been written; and they carry this chip, this delusional victimology, into the world at large. And they are going around blaming American institutions (for) endemic racism and sexism when that no longer is true.”
Permit me to add that in thinking primarily about race and gender themselves, they find it easy to project their own racist/sexist mental processes onto those they view as oppressors. The racism and sexism they see in others is largely being projected right out of their own heads.
Mac Donald also addressed the massive cost of the college “diversity bureaucracy,” noting that at UCLA, the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion – yes, that’s really the job title – makes over $400,000 a year. (You know they’d never give that job to a straight white male, either, no matter how well he might do!) In light of this, we no longer have to wonder why college tuitions are so high.
College isn’t so much a place for academia these days as it is for propaganda, and very deliberately so.
I especially appreciate what Mac Donald had to say about identity politics, because I am as sick of it as she is, and I’ll bet you are, too. She can’t stand it when someone says, “As a woman [man, black woman, gay man, etc.], I think blah blah blah.” In fact, her mention of that made me rethink a choice I’d made in my own work: the use of the headline “One woman’s view...” to differentiate my commentary from Gov. Huckabee’s. This was certainly not meant to imply that my thoughts are in any way representative of women in general. So it’s time to change that, just to avoid being misunderstood.
Mac Donald also pointed out the damage being done to progress in science and math in America with our emphasis on “gender parity” rather than meritocracy. According to her, the National Science Foundation is spending billions of federal dollars funding gender theorists as they study “how intersectionality and microaggression affect gender parity” in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, math). Other countries such as China are ruthlessly competitive in those fields, and we will lose our edge if we don’t stress competition just as much. We have to think of students as individuals, not as members of identity groups.
She sees the Democratic Party as “an extension of this poisonous identity politics” (no kidding), though she thinks most Americans aren’t buying in. I really worry, though, about the young women who are spending their college years marinating in this delusion. To quote Mac Donald, schools are “generators of ideology, not of wisdom.” When young women come out of school, this same ideology is supported by a growing culture: music, fashion, big corporations, film, TV, social media. Millions of women are indoctrinated to think they’re victims by virtue of their gender (and, where applicable, race), and yet somehow “empowered.”
I’d be willing to bet they weren’t assigned any of these books in college:
Speaking of college women being indoctrinated by the fashion world, there’s a new exhibit at Cornell University called “Women Empowered: Fashions From The Frontline,” which is “chronicling how women have strategically used fashion to empower and collectively uplift themselves” and exploring the theme of “Duration, Passage, Persistence, Survival” through fashion objects.
Here are a few of the fashions on display: two lace collars worn by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg; a skirt suit worn by Janet Reno; an American flag hijab worn by Haute Hijab creative director Gizelle Begler; a jacket worn by Democratic Texas Gov. Anne Richards at her inauguration and passed down to her daughter Cecile, who wore it while testifying before Congress as president of Planned Parenthood; and the tattered shoes worn by “Democratic” socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as she campaigned for Congress. The curators specifically wanted to have something of hers to demonstrate “the fearlessness of what women want to show through their clothing.” Give me a break.
As the description on Cornell’s website says, “Everyday women are an important part of the narrative, with political t-shirts, P****-hats, and other emblematic items worn by women to convey solidarity and collective empowerment.” Anybody sense a theme to this “narrative”? The exhibit does contain other items that aren’t overtly partisan, but if there is EVEN ONE known conservative woman represented, it’s not evident in the description. You know, Sandra Day O’Connor was the first female Supreme Court justice – appointed by Ronald Reagan – and she wore lace collars, too. Sarah Palin was on the Republican ticket for Vice President; how about a pair of those boots that were a signature power look of hers?
Know what would show REAL courage? Putting a few examples of conservative fashion statements into their stupid exhibit. How about the “Trump” dress worn by singer Joy Villa to the Grammys? Or maybe the gown she wore a year later that made an anti-abortion statement. Too fearless? In that case, they can borrow my #WalkAway t-shirt. It did take courage to wear that.
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Laura Ainsworth is a writer for radio, TV and the Internet, and part of the writing staff for "Huckabee" on TBN. She's also a fantastic retro jazz singer with three CDs and a best-of vinyl LP to her credit. If you or anyone on your holiday gift list loves great music, check her out at www.lauraainsworth.com