Apparently radical feminist/theologian Mary Daly hasn’t learned anything from her long and arduous struggle against sexism. She recently took a leave of absence from Boston College, where she is an associate professor, rather than admit two men into a formerly all-female class.
The two students tried to take a feminist ideology class, but allege that Daly told them, “You are not welcome here.”
Daly, for her part, protests that men will disrupt the classroom environment she is trying to create. She went so far as to claim, that “this is not about discrimination . this is about leveling the power of women and minorities.”
Don’t take the moral high ground quite so fast, Ms. Daly. This issue is not about the leveling of power, but the equal enforcement of Title IX of the Education Act of 1972. The law says “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in . any education program.”
Daly’s actions are sexist. She is afraid of having her class disrupted by permitting the two male students in, who she fears may “dumb down” the class.
Hmm, sounds a lot like the sexist arguments given for keeping women out of higher education in years past.
The argument that Daly is only trying to carve out a scholarly refuge for women in a patriarchal society is bunk as well. Are we supposed to combat patriarchal exclusion with matriarchal exclusion?
Or should we be fostering a society where women and men are seen as equals?
Even the liberal Boston Globe ran an editorial that said, “Boston College is right to insist that associate professor Mary Daly admit men to her course.”
Daly attacked one of her would-be male students for having a political agenda. He probably does. He is president of Boston College’s College Republicans and signed up for the course despite not having fulfilled a prerequisite. He knew he would be asked to leave on the first day. That was his point.
And just as he had a political agenda, so too did the Freedom Riders and scores of civil rights activists who participated in sit-ins throughout the South. They wanted to prove a point – that they would be denied service, spit on, verbally abused, physically beaten and sometimes even killed because of the color of their skin or their political beliefs.
The male student wanted to prove that he would be asked to leave because of his sex. His fight is not as desperate as those of the Freedom Riders, but both shared similar tactics: force a confrontation on controversial issues.
It is shameful and disgusting to watch someone who claims to fight oppression openly practice it. Decades of being a radical feminist have failed to teach Daly anything on the subject of sexism.
Discrimination is discrimination whether practiced by those with the power or those without. All it comes down to is applying a pre-determined generalization to any given situation and allowing that stereotype to affect one’s judgment.
No sex has a monopoly on sexism, and all forms of it must be dealt with in a just and equal manner.
-The writer is a freshman majoring in international affairs.