Feminism and Its Discontents

“Feminism and Its Discontents,” Weekly Standard, June 23, 2014.


Feminism is in control of America’s colleges and universities, where its principles at least are held as dogmas unquestioned and unopposed. Yet in what should be a paradise with those principles at work, women speak of a “rape culture” that sounds like the patriarchal hell we thought we’d left behind. One woman at Harvard (my place of work), an apparent victim of sexual assault, writing anonymously but very publicly in an open letter to the student newspaper that gained everyone’s attention, felt obliged to call herself “hopeless, powerless, betrayed and worthless.” In reaction, the university, already on alert, has sprung into action and created several new committees to consider what to do. The federal government is at hand to help provide what it describes as “significant guidance” to universities in this sort of situation, in which a single act of sexual assault can engender a “hostile environment.”

Mansfield discusses feminism further in this segment of Conversations with Bill Kristol.


Weekly Standard