April 19, 2005,
My soon-to-be alma mater, Bucknell University, recently became a household name when our basketball team snagged the upset of the year in the NCAA tournament. But there's a lot more to Bucknell than beating Kansas indeed, our left-wing "Women's Resource Center" has been putting a "full court press" on common sense for years now.
Purportedly devoted to women's equality, the WRC is really just an example of wasted tuition dollars. It's a shaky proposition in the first place to dedicate an entire administrative office to only one gender. But the WRC has shown it can't even do that. Given its appalling record of partisanship over my four years here, it might be more appropriately called the Radical Feminist Resource Center. This office shamelessly uses its paid staff, its many programs, and Bucknell students' money to undertake such noble enterprises as encouraging the sale of vagina-shaped lollipops. It divides the women on campus by embracing a few man-hating radicals while dismissing any woman who rejects its extremist ideology.
Case in point: Renowned feminist and best-selling author Christina Hoff Sommers recently spoke at Bucknell on the topic of "Who Stole Feminism?" under the auspices of the Bucknell Conservatives Club. We conservatives thought a speech by Sommers, a respected commentator and former university professor, would be a perfect opportunity to reach out to the very liberal WRC.
Yet when a conservative student asked WRC director Molly Dragiewicz whether the center would cosponsor Sommers's talk, she pled poverty, claiming that the center did not have enough funds in its budget. The BUCC in turn offered to list the WRC as a sponsor anyway after all, the important thing is contributing to intelligent debate, not contributing money, right?
At this point the WRC revealed its true colors. Dragiewicz denounced Sommers as "opposed to gender equity" and lacking in "intellectual integrity," and dismissed a particular passage of her writing as "sensational." (Note that one of many previous WRC speakers is the always-calm Fox News Channel talking head Susan Estrich.)
In other words, Sommers is a conservative, so the WRC had no interest in the event. Dragiewicz further expressed shock that the BUCC thought a speech on how best to promote gender equity conformed to the WRC's mission statement which is, in part, to "advocate for [gender] equity."
The WRC hosts a number of bizarre events every year. Past events include a speech entitled "Suicide by Proxy" and a symposium on "contemporary African-American detective literature." It has given up even the pretense of conforming to its mission statement. Instead, it uses student tuition dollars to actively promote any event that conforms to its director's radical liberal political views. Earlier this year, for example, the WRC sponsored a screening of Outfoxed, a film partially funded by Moveon.org. The film like many of the WRC's events had absolutely nothing to do with women's issues; instead, it preached about the evils of Fox News. Dragewicz still hasn't explained how Outfoxed promotes gender equity better than Sommers' speech on that very topic.
When it is not defending women from Sean Hannity, the WRC hosts such luminaries as Jane Elliott and Catherine MacKinnon. These women are far out of the mainstream: MacKinnon has stated that male sexuality is "activated by violence against women," while Elliott is a radical "diversity educator" who frequently rails against the evils of our racist and oppressive society. And last spring, the WRC went so far as to sponsor a bus trip most likely using our tuition dollars and alumni funds to Washington, D.C., fora pro-abortion rally. Conservative students are still waiting for the day the WRC will aid them in attending a pro-life event.
I consider myself a devoted feminist. But because I care about all women, even those in the womb; because I think women should have the right to choose between working in the home and working outside of it; and because I reject the culture of victimhood, I apparently do not meet the Bucknell Women's Resource Center notion of what it takes to be a feminist.
Neither, apparently, does Christina Hoff Sommers and I think I'm in good company.
Allison Kasic is a senior at Bucknell University, where she serves as senior editor of The Counterweight, the magazine of the Bucknell Conservatives Club.