NSU Women's Studies is an evangelistic enterprise, not an academic discipline

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Here is a press release from a month ago about the Center for Women's Studies at Northeastern State University. NSU is funded by the taxpayers of Oklahoma (with additional subsidies from people who shop in Broken Arrow) and governed by the board of regents of the Regional University System of Oklahoma. Emphasis added.

Northeastern_State_University_Logo.pngNSU, College of Liberal Arts announce new director of the Center for Women's Studies

(Tahlequah, Oklahoma)--In 2015, the Institute for Women's Policy Research gave Oklahoma an overall grade of D+. Dr. Suzanne Farmer, the new director of Northeastern State University's Center for Women's Studies, is one of many working to change that grade. A professor of history at NSU since 2011, Farmer has served as co-director of the center since 2013.

The Center for Women's Studies is a multidisciplinary, integrated program that seeks to empower NSU students to become socially responsible global citizens through fostering learning about gender roles and relations across cultures and history. Honoring both the university's history as a female seminary and the legacy of Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation and Sequoyah Fellow at NSU, the Women's Studies program prioritizes study of minority women, indigenous women and women's leadership.

Farmer said that it is an honor to be named director of the center, where she is able to highlight national and regional issues that affect women in Oklahoma.

"Historically, the roots of Northeastern State are firmly planted in female Cherokee education, and as a historian, that continues to inspire me," Farmer said.

Dr. Phil Bridgmon, professor and dean of Liberal Arts, said that the College of Liberal Arts made a wise choice in selecting Farmer for this role.

"She has shown very capable initiative and leadership as co-director, and we expect that she will continue to heighten awareness of issues facing women particularly in Oklahoma, and globally," Bridgmon said.

Courses in the Women's Studies program support many of the university's core values and goals: promoting an environment of learning and discovery, full inclusion, civic engagement, along with encouraging global knowledge and cultural sensitivity.

Objectives of the Women's Studies program include teaching the history of women's movements in the United States and other countries, bringing attention to the issues facing women in Oklahoma, raising the global consciousness of women's and gender issues, investigating the way gender intersects with social movements, education, society, history, criminal justice, politics, communication, the arts, family life, and popular culture and encouraging activism and other forms of civic engagement around women's issues.

Farmer would like to see the center become a center of advocacy for the region and a touchstone for women in the Green Country community.

"We plan to continue to seek out programming that emphasizes our goal of making NSU students socially responsible global citizens, but I also hope to include members of the community and our alumni as we work to build up the center's presence here on campus and in the region," Farmer said.

At a university founded as a female seminary, where approximately two-thirds of NSU students are women, and in a state where many social issues disproportionately affect women, Bridgmon places high importance on the success of the center.

"We must continue to do our best when honoring our past, serving our students, and influencing a better world through awareness and service. The Center for Women's Studies is an important part of these efforts within the College of Liberal Arts."

For more information on the Center for Women's Studies, please visit www.nsuok.edu/ws.

Published: 8/30/2016 5:11:12 PM

Notice the highlighted phrases: "empower," "heighten awareness," "raising the global consciousness," "encouraging activism," "influencing." This is not an academic enterprise. The NSU Women's Studies Center is engaged in activism, advocacy, and evangelism for a particular religious perspective using public dollars, arguably in violation of Oklahoma's Constitution, the same provision that was used to remove the Ten Commandments from the grounds of the State Capital. Note too what's acting as the spur: A radical feminist organization's D+ grade for Oklahoma, based on Oklahoma voters' rejection of radical feminist views of family and the value of human life.

If you want to understand how feminism, working through college women's studies programs, works as a corrosive influence on our culture, I encourage you to browse the research done by reporter Stacy McCain in his "Sex Trouble" series. A couple of years ago McCain decided to read the textbooks that are often assigned by college women's studies courses and to report on the destructive ideas they promote. At the same time, he has investigated how those ideas have influenced popular thinking as it emerges in blogs and on social media. He has serialized his research on his blog, "The Other McCain," and has produced the first edition of his research in book form, Sex Trouble: Essays on Radical Feminism and the War against Human Nature (available in softcover and Kindle), and is working on an expanded second edition.

Scholars combing through historical documents to understand how women's roles in family and society have changed over the centuries would be a worthy academic pursuit, no more or less worthy of state subsidy, I suppose, than other historical research. Advocating for a worldview, particularly one that has been destructive of civilization, is not worthy of our tax dollars. NSU's regents should shut down the center. If they're unwilling to take such a step, they should be replaced as soon as opportunity allows.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 4, 2016 4:56 PM.

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