Saturday, March 17, 2007

Women's Studies at University of Virginia

I just returned from the University of Virginia, where I debated the topic "Are We Getting it Right? The State of Women's Studies." My opponent was Amy Richards, one of the founders of the Third Wave Foundation. The debate was jointly sponsored by the Network of Enlightened Women (NeW, an alternative to feminism women's group), Feminism is for Everyone (FIFE), College Republicans, The Virginia Advocate, the Jefferson Literary and Debate Society and the Washington Literary and Debate Society, in cooperation with the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.
I was surprised by how tame the feminists were. My opponent did not seem to have much "fire in the belly." I got no sense of what was important to her about being a feminist. For all I could tell, her view is that a Women's Studies class should be a combination self-esteem therapy and Great Books class. There were many students who identified themselves as feminists by wearing a little pink sticker saying, "This is what a Feminist Looks Like." I expected tough questions from the audience, given the number of them out there, but they were really quite mild.
The full text of my prepared remarks is on my other website, here.

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