That Pesky Patriarchy: Tufts Student Condemns Western Culture (Such a Surprise)

As I continue my meanderings along the highways and byways of online student journalism in American academia, I am struck by how casually these student journalists engage in anti-white racism and misandry. It’s as though students at top-drawer American universities can’t write an editorial that does not have the words “white men” somewhere in it—and not in a nice way.

And elite institutions don’t seem at all bothered by such bile being spewed against a particular race and sex by campus publications. Apparently, it is perfectly acceptable to blame white men for all manner of dastardly deeds over the centuries as if no one who was not white or male could have been a tyrant, a racist, an oppressor, a colonialist lecher and exploiter, an imperialist swine and so forth.

If one were to point that Mao or Pol Pot or Idi Amin were not exactly lovable or that Indira Gandhi had her little moments of autocratic rule (forced sterilizations, anyone?), one would get slammed as a racist. Everything was quite jolly for Bulgarians and Arabs under the Ottomans and the Koreans were admiring of their Japanese overlords, I take it.

But oh—those white men.

Let’s see how they come across in an editorial of April 23, 2021 The Tufts Daily. The piece is entitled, “Editorial: Well-rounded education requires diversified curricula.”

We are told by the writer (who seems to not be so disapproving of the white- dominated institution as to refuse to be educated there):

At Tufts, like many other predominantly white institutions, curricula often center around the Eurocentric perspectives of Westerners — particularly white men

Imagine—Westerners being Eurocentric. I don’t suppose students at Beijing University are, you know, Sinocentric.

This awful emphasis on Western Civilization in a Western country in one of the jewels of that culture (i.e., a university) is too much to bear for this student writer who says that such a focus:

…fails to prepare students for civic stewardship in which they directly engage with the effects of patriarchy, colonialism and racism

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I am sure how much “civic stewardship” would be generated by teaching students that it is acceptable to tar entire races and sexes with the crimes of previous generations. And if you tear down the pillars of your legal system, culture and so on what, pray, is left to steward?

Then there is the little matter that much of this “reform” of the Eurocentric curriculum entails whitewashing the histories of other traditions (think Nanjing Massacre, the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, the seizure of Tibet by the Chinese communists, the oppression of East Timor by the Indonesian state, massacres of Armenians, the carnage of the Iran-Iraq War and so forth).

The author spends a good deal of time excoriating white men for being, well, white men and thus always and forever agents of evil and argues that it imperative that Tufts be remade into an anti-racist institution. Sorry? Anti-racist?

This sort of agitation has been going on for decades and led years ago to the founding of ethnic studies and gender studies and all that sort of stuff. The only change this time round is the increasing number of groups demanding that, for example, students at Tufts spend their time (and money—lots of money—either their own or scholarship money or taxpayer-funded government funding) in courses centered on texts by “nonbinary authors” pushed by “femme-identifying” students.

The author wants engineering students take classes in this because we all definitely want our airplanes and power plants and weapon systems to be designed by people well-versed in the creation of non-sexist algorithms and who can parrot the party line about how their discipline is a cog in the workings of an oppressive social structure.

I don’t get the thinking behind this sort of “white men are the devil incarnate” school of student journalism—and there is a lot of it. Who is it designed to persuade? Many administrators are already onboard with the whole woke-is-wonderful gravy train. And men of many races are already giving the college thing a pass—telling them to spend a fortune and spend four or so years being berated by people of indeterminate gender is a bit much. And are employers desperate to staff their ranks with students who won awards for papers on the patriarchy or rape culture? Actually, yes—diversity offices are growing by leaps and bounds and need employees who say things like:

Courses that do not engage with the effects of patriarchy, racism or colonialism cannot paint an accurate portrait of the world for students

You could just as well argue that:

Courses that do not engage with the effects of abortion, the decline of marriage culture or the horrible state of America’s dementia care system cannot paint an accurate portrait of the world for students

But those social ills are not readily blamed on white men and affect every one of us—and we would want not to complicate things, now would we?

What is so dismaying about these anti-white male and anti-Western Civilization diatribes is that it has the effect of trashing the legacies of artists of color who drew upon that heritage for their own artistry by, for example, singing the music of those monstrous males to moving or swinging effect. Are we not supposed to listen to recordings of people like Jessye Norman, Leontyne Price, or Ella Fitzgerald? Were they complicit with the white patriarchy?

Don’t you just love editorials that rhapsodize about “racial, ethnic and Indigenous identities” while condemning the evil of “narrowing the worldview to which students are exposed?” It is all about “reorienting” as in my ethnicity—good. Your racial makeup—bad.

I’ve got an idea—given that the writer advocates for more exposure to students to politics outside of the West, or outside of men’s perspectives maybe there could required readings about Che Guevara’s violent interference in Bolivia and parts of Africa or the history of forced abortion in communist China. Somehow, I don’t think that is going to happen.

So, if you want to spend thousands of dollars a year to be told that Western Civilization is not “inclusive” enough and that no other cultures oppressed people Tufts is the place for you. What a great way to spend your tuition money.

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