Anyone who likes Christina Hoff Sommers should probably leave this blog.
I see people talking about her debunking of the wage gap and her “equity feminism” beliefs without mentioning that she isn’t exactly the best source of what is good/bad economics- and equality-wise. Why? Well, her current job, for one. (Her previous job of ethics professor doesn’t really mesh with it.)
Christina Hoff Sommers works for The American Enterprise Institute (AEI), which is a “think tank” for rich white people who don’t like to think. On AEI’s Board of Trustees, there is the totally equal ratio of 24:1 (men to women). That sure sounds like equity has already been achieved there. AEI’s interests aren’t in actual equality, but in fighting America’s “culture war” and reforming education, affirmative action, and welfare. They have also been advancing their causes of making sure all voters have photo ID (potential poll tax), doubting the reality that is climate change, opposing regulation of the financial system, opposing increases in minimum wage, and defending big tobacco. “Scholars” of AEI have written articles in favor of government censorship of art.
I can almost hear the goose stepping now. When he was in office, George W. Bush appointed over a dozen people from AEI to senior positions within his administration and they helped promote his war machine. Reportedly, they offered money to scientists who would dispute a climate change study. They’re big on the whole “anti-lobbying” thing and I’m guessing that that’s because you don’t need to lobby when you’ve already got people in positions of influence within the actual government. Once upon a time, Kenneth Lay (of Enron fame) and Dick Cheney were on the board of trustees; Dinesh D’Souza is a fellow there. And its current incarnation has ties to both ALEC and the Koch brothers. AEI’s affiliate, Charles Murray, published The Bell Curve in the 1990s; it established IQ was a determinant of socio-economic status.
But that’s not the only issue.
There are her extra-curriculars, which specifically includes her involvement with the National Association of Scholars (NAS). The NAS opposes affirmative action and want to counter the “liberal bias” that exists in education. Their slogan is, “For Reasoned Scholarship in a Free Society.” Their mission, “The National Association of Scholars upholds the standards of a liberal arts education that fosters intellectual freedom, searches for the truth, and promotes virtuous citizenship.” Their actual stances on issues?
- the classroom has been politicized.
- there has been a trivialization of scholarship and teaching.
- important books (by white people) have been neglected.
- there isn’t enough emphasis put on studying Western civilization.
- there’s an over emphasis on issues of race, gender, class, sexual orientation, current events, etc.
- tuition is too high, as is student debt. (One of the few things I agree with them on.)
- ideas and debate are suppressed.
- there are ethnic preferences in admissions and hiring.
- sex discrimination is happening in hiring.
- academic freedom and individual rights have been abused.
- conservative and traditional (racist and religious zealot) viewpoints have been excluded.
- jobs are given based upon ideological agreements.
- plagiarism has become widespread, research is fraudulent, grades are inflated, and credentials are inflated. (Someone sounds butthurt.)
- honors and distinctions have been cheapened.
- schools cultivate ethnic and group grievances—instead of racists and bigots.
- there’s a lack of character education. (Isn’t that what parenting is for?)
- dorms indoctrinate students. (To either hate or love their roommate.)
- student activities are now student activism.
- sustainability is imposed (on people who think that the earth should be fucked up if it makes their life easier).
- coarseness is celebrated.
- group study is emphasized, while individual work is ignored. (Who needs friends and peers?)
- kids are shaking the booties, drinking the booze, taking the drugs, and having the sex. (Someone needs to watch Animal House if they think this is new. Or study the Ancient Greeks.)
- college athletics have become corrupt.
- schools are denigrating American society.
- schools are denying truth and disinterestedness. (Because apathy is next to godliness.)
- schools are anti-capitalist (you can’t complain about high tuition, then say schools are anti-capitalist), anti-democratic, and anti-freedom.
- there is condescension toward the non-academic world. (Respect the ignorance, y’all.)
- schools promote complacency towards divisive group entitlements that don’t benefit wealthy white people.
- schools market college as the only pathway to success. (Like how the military promotes enlisting as the most patriotic thing and McDonald’s promotes the Big Mac as the most edible thing.)
- there is an assumption that college degrees signify an education. (Unless you go to a for-profit institution or diploma mill.)
- rules and procedures are too opaque.
- harassment codes oppose intellectual freedom. (In other words, they want the next generation of the KKK to be able to ridicule minorities in the name of intellectual freedom.)
- community building jeopardizes the education environment. (Every man for himself.)
- there is a lack of public accountability and too much administrating going on.
- trustees have been marginalized. (I have seen white trustees of an HBCU over-rule the black trustees and the teachers, so…no.)
- online colleges are bad.
- for-profit colleges are bad. (Agreed.)
- community college expansion is bad. (Um, no.)
- college preparedness by elementary and secondary schools is a bad thing. (Because learning should be reserved for society’s betters.)
- teachers aren’t being educated well enough.
- multiculturalism, diversity, and sustainability are bad things. (Because, you know, white.)
- in rich and challenging reading assignments. (Meaning books about white people prior to the 1960s being douchebags to anyone who isn’t WASP-y enough for them.)
- in frequent writing assignments. (I had regular essays in college for each class, so I don’t know what the fuck they’re thinking of.)
- in well-rounded core requirements. (Cookie Cutters 101.)
- transmission of core content and core values of Western civilization. (Because history isn’t white enough without it.)
- rigorous testing and examination. (Anyone who has never felt fucked over by a final exam is apparently not doing it right.)
- grades should show accomplishment.
- students should received a good education, but they should also be allowed to use the opportunity of being educated to rail against any indoctrination by liberals. Sexism, homophobia, racism, transphobia, ableism, Islamophobia, etc. should be encouraged not suppressed.
- there should be a focus on the academic mission while also making sure educators are genuinely qualified (white) and efficiently organized.
- restraint should be used towards “fashionable movements” political, social, and ideological)—because equality is so not what you’re in school for.
- students should be aware of the history of higher education (that in America, it was only available to wealthy, white landowners) and the value of the knowledge that is being imparted
- in distinguishing between the significant (the white dudes were so awesome) and the trivial (everyone else sucked).
- colleges should be priced in a competitive way—like everything you buy on sale during the holiday season.
- online colleges that stick to our lesson plans should be allowed, though.
- academic programs should be aligned with U.S. national interests. (That’s called propoganda.)
Like AEI, NAS has members in positions of influence for education, including members of the Modern Language Association, American Sociological Association, and the American Historical Association. There are 4,000 members, which coincidentally is close to the number of active KKK members existing in the world today. (Just a coincidence, I’m sure.) NAS has blocked English courses in Texas involving civil rights readings, which was proposed as a response to increasing racial and sexual harassment on campus. They also also attempted to end funding of the university’s Chicano newspaper. The UMass system was urged to abandon expanding its minority enrollment to 20% of the freshman class—because minorities had lower SAT scores and were unqualified compared to white students—and end a program encouraging hiring of women and minorities. UMass didn’t agree. The NAS blames most of the badness of diversity on the activism of the 1960s. (That Klan coincidence is looking less coincidental.)
She’s also an advisor for Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which sounds lovely, but is also a group opposed to intellectual diversity and the liberal bias they claim exists in academia. One of their issues involves Thought Reform (mind control) on college campuses. Its funding comes in part from the John Birch Society, which is also Koch related, as well as an organization formed to combat the Red Scare of the 1950s. (JBS is aligned with the Tea Party and co-sponsors CPAC. They also supported the California Proposition that would have required all HIV-positive people in California to be reported to the government and have their sexual contacts investigated.) FIRE has campaigned against the Obama administration on its attempts to reform sexual harassment and assault codes on campuses, because apparently assault and harassment are free speech issues.
She is also the National Advisory Board Chairman for the Independent Women’s Forum, an anti-feminist organization that sticks to (surprise, surprise) conservative issues. It also has ties to the Koch Brothers. IWF calls gun control regulations sexist. They opposed the VAWA in 2013 in part because “perpetuates the idea that society is hostile to women” and “the battered women’s movement has outlived its useful beginnings.” They have defended poor little schlepper Rush Limbaugh after he (wrongly) called Sandra Fluke a slut because he (wrongly) assumed that she was wanting coverage for her birth control pills. He (wrongly) believed the only usage for the Pill is promiscuity. He also (wrongly) assumed that the more sexual a woman is, the more of the Pill she would need to take to keep from getting knocked up. It’s no wonder why they felt the need to defend him for all of that. It also helps that Limbaugh donated $273,000 to the organization a few years earlier, which made him the group’s largest donor that year. Their donor info is no longer shared publicly. And (surprise, surprise) IWF is opposed to the teaching of climate change in American schools. They call it junk science (considering the support of Limbaugh, I’d say they have a different definition of what is science) and scares children unnecessarily (unlike telling kids that if they don’t eat their peas and they do anything that Levitical laws prohibit that God will send them to Hell for all eternity). They also oppose Title IX. IWF members include academic women who are paid to write papers denigrating the equity for girls and women in education.
It’s worth noting that many of the anti-climate change groups that Hoff Sommers is affiliated with receive grants from Exxon Mobil. In fact, much of the money that goes into all of these groups is from individuals, foundations, and companies that have an interest in promoting anti-equality and anti-science agendas. Why is this important? Hoff Sommers uses these organizations and their positions in her videos and in her op-eds for news organizations. In essence, she is enabling corporations, foundations, and individuals to have a say in journalism. She is promoting their agendas over truth. That’s unethical. And that lack of ethics is the biggest reason that you shouldn’t believe this woman. She promotes an agenda that she benefits socially and financially from, and she uses her influence in the media to do so.
More on CHS: http://ift.tt/17Pusoa
More on NAS & why I dislike it: http://ift.tt/17Pusoc
For everything else, there’s Google.