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‘Hi, We’re Lesbian Feminists and We’re Here to Talk to Your Daughter About Sex’

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Carmen Rios (@c_rios) is a “raging lesbian feminist” who is (a) communications coordinator for the Feminist Majority Foundation, and (b) a columnist for the lesbian blog Autostraddle.


On her Twitter account, Rios calls herself the “Tweeter-in-Chief” for the Feminist Majority Foundation’s account @Majority Speaks, which means Rios was responsible for this message:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That message linked a blog post at the Feminist Majority Foundation’s blog, which cites a study that claims: “Children should begin receiving formal education about sexual health as early as age 10″ because “sexuality and gender identity begin emerging between the ages of 10 and 14.” It’s important to reach kids while they are “still malleable,” the researchers said:

If programs, based on the healthy adolescent framework, rooted in human rights and gender equity, are implemented at a time when adolescents are still malleable and relatively free of sexual and reproductive health problems and gender role bias, very young adolescents can be guided safely through this life stage, supported by their parents, families and communities.

Hmmm. They want to target these programs, based on “gender equity,” at kids who “are still malleable and relatively free of . . . gender role bias.” What do you think those terms “gender equity” and “gender role bias” mean? And why are Carmen Rios and the Feminist Majority Foundation so excited about this? If you were a suspicious type of person, you might wonder about such things.

People sometimes ask me, “Stacy, where do you find this crazy stuff?” In this case, I was looking for some information about university Women’s Studies programs and — thank you, Carmen Rios! — encountered a very interesting Autostraddle article:

Rebel Girls: The Illustrated (And Quite
Condensed) History of Women’s Studies

Among other things, Ms. Rios reported in that article:

Ms. magazine found that over 900 programs in the women’s studies field were functioning in the US in 2009. That meant 10,000 courses teaching over 90,000 students at 700 colleges and universities across the nation were fueling critical thought on gender, class, race and sexuality. That included 31 Master’s programs and 13 Ph.D. programs across the country and the world.

This was the information I was looking for — data on the number of Women’s Studies programs and their enrollment — and it is further helpful to know that (a) Ms. magazine is published by the Feminist Majority Foundation, and (b) this research about Women’s Studies was done “with generous support from the Ford Foundation.” However, Carmen Rios’ article at Autrostraddle did not merely chronicle the history and provide statistical data about Women’s Studies. She included this bit of colorful commentary:

In the early 2000s, academics across the discipline grappled with a title for their field. . . .

Is it Gender Studies? Women’s Studies? Women’s And Gender Studies? Sexuality Studies? Gender and Sexuality Studies? LGBT Studies? Queer Studies? Feminist Studies? . . .

Coursework in a women’s studies class today might cover issues of race, sexuality, gender expression and identity, sexualization and socialization of women, global women’s rights and various international diaspora, history, art or peace. Women’s Studies remains an interdisciplinary field, making its name all the more difficult to decide on. Is it Women’s History and Theory, or is the program really Lesbo Recruitment 101?

She said that, not me, although it is helpful to have — from the communications coordinator of the Feminist Majority Foundation, no less — such a frank admission of the not-so-hidden agenda in Women’s Studies as it is generally taught on American college campuses. And obviously, “the personal is the political” for Carmen Rios:

Women’s Studies Saved My Life, And
I Want It To Change Yours, Too

I think women’s studies saved my life, but I don’t know what that means. Maybe that I’m not good at anything else – that I failed at being normal, that I failed at falling into line, that I failed at being everyone else, that I’ll never talk to God. . . .

(This is another possible definition of “feminist” — a woman who has “failed at being normal.”)

When I was 17, I took my first women’s studies class. I was still in high school, but I had elected to take courses at the local community college. . . .

(Got to reach ‘em early, you see.)

The woman at the helm of this experience was named Bonnie. “I try to remain impartial about most things,” she told us, “except for two: Ronald Reagan and Phyllis Schafly.”

That was when everything changed. . . .

(Not that there’s any political agenda involved, you see.)

I was raised a feminist — albeit one who, before this class, knew almost nothing of my foremothers or the movement I would come to call home. . . .

Then one day, I was 17, and Hillary Clinton was running for President, and every day I would eat yogurt with granola at the café in the student center and swing my legs while I read from our textbooks for my course. I started to realize how connected I was to something so much larger than myself, and how important it was for me to recognize that, to own it, to live it. . . . This one course had shifted my core. It had shattered my entire understanding of the world. . . .

For me, the rest is herstory: I graduated high school, became a women’s studies major and a raging lesbian feminist in college, and moved into the non-profit sector. I went into that movement and never came back out — and now, I do my best in my professional life to bring it to everyone else.

How many times do I have to repeat it? Feminism is a journey to lesbianism. Women’s Studies is a vehicle for that journey, as Carmen Rios is honest enough to admit. It’s interesting to see how prominent she was as a student at American University in 2011:

You’ve definitely heard her name around campus or at least seen her and her hard-to-miss hairdo crossing the quad on a mission. Frankly, if you haven’t, you don’t even go here. Carmen Rios, current director of Women’s Initiative (WI) is a staple on American University’s campus. She’s got wild hair and a feisty attitude to match. . . .

Carmen was a big part of Slut Walk DC back in the summer [of 2011] and even spoke at the event! Because she came to DC, she was able to nail awesome internships like Holla Back DC!, a grassroots organization aimed at ending sexual harassment and assault in DC. As well as the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, which conducts research geared toward the needs of women to promote public dialog, and the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), which promotes women’s equality and empowerment. . . .

Keep an eye out for some study breaks and big events this spring from Women’s Initiative! They’ll be hosting The Vagina Monologues, celebrating Women’s History Month in March, and, of course, Take Back the Night will take place in April again.

You can read the whole thing, but there are two words you won’t find in that feature profile: “gay” or “lesbian.” Why would this campus publication omit these terms from an article about the student director of American University’s Women’s Initiative, when she herself identified as a “raging lesbian”? Never mind. The more relevant point is her involvement with events like Slut Walk DC and “Take Back the Night,” both of which are about rape. Campus activism about rape provides a means of disseminating the core message of feminist ideology, i.e., that men are evil and dangerous and that male sexuality is inherently violent and oppressive to women. She won an award for this:

Carmen Rios, current Director of Women’s Initiative, was the co-recipient of the Feminist Research Award for her efforts to end sexual violence on college campuses. Rios says, “the topic of sexual violence is consistently relevant to college-aged women, since one out of every four undergraduate women will experience sexual assault.”

This “one out of every four” claim is a phony statistic lacking empirical support. But who needs facts when you’ve got an ideology?

As anti-rape strategies go, becoming a “raging lesbian feminist in college” could arguably be effective, which may be why lesbian feminists so frequently lament that their numbers are so few. According to a Huffington Post survey last year, only 18 percent of women identify themselves as feminists, and only 5 percent call themselves “strong” feminists. By a 32-29 margin, a larger percentage of women consider “feminist” a negative term than a positive term. And despite decades of gay activism, about 98 percent of women are heterosexual, according to government research.

Fanatical ideologues are not easily deterred, however. If decades of campus activism aimed at turning college girls into man-haters — Women’s Studies as “Lesbo Recruitment 101,” as Ms. Rios calls it — have so far failed to have the intended effect, then obviously they need to reach girls at an earlier age. There might be some parental resistance, of course, if these radicals were honest, showing up at your local elementary school and declaring: “Hi, we’re lesbian feminists and we’re here to talk to your daughter about sex.”

Instead, the American Association of University Women has started advocating to implement “gender studies” programs in public high schools, and the Feminist Majority Foundation is enthusiastic about the prospect of teaching 10-year-olds about “sexuality and gender identity” with a focus on “gender equity” while girls “are still malleable and relatively free of . . . gender role bias.” Now, if only they can do something to stop all those heteronormative Disney cartoons . . .

First published at TheOtherMcCain.com



 

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