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Carly Thomsen

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Carly Thomsen


First UCSB PhD in Feminist Studies

Dr. Carly Thomsen Wrote Award-Winning Dissertation on LGBTQ Women


Monday, July 7, 2014
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When Carly Thomsen was an undergrad, feminist studies existed at very few universities. But this June, Thomsen became the first doctor of philosophy in Feminist Studies at UC Santa Barbara, a program that is just five years old. A self-described activist, Thomsen focused her work on challenging the logic that society relies upon. “We’ve always believed [the things we’ve been taught],” she said. “I think that critical deconstruction of our own ideas is crucial for social change.” At the end of the summer, Thomsen is heading to Texas for a two-year postdoctoral appointment at Rice University.

UCSB became the second university in the state to offer a PhD program in Feminist Studies, a department that has approximately 80 undergraduates. Feminist Studies Professor Eileen Boris, who recently stepped down as the department chair, called feminist studies a “cutting edge” way to rethink the world during a time “in which the traditional division within the disciplines and humanities make less sense given the interconnectedness of today’s world.”

The program is intentionally small in terms of number of students admitted, Boris said, and they only admit graduate students who they can put up for potential fellowship. “People don’t come to UCSB to major in feminist studies because they don’t know what it is,” Boris said. “They think it’s just feminism. But when they take the classes they realize it’s a very interdisciplinary. … We train them to think and write and analyze the world.”

For her dissertation, which was awarded the Winifred and Louis Lancaster Dissertation Award for Social Sciences, Thomsen examined the tension that exists between people who identify as LGBTQ in the Midwest and the mainstream gay rights movement. She challenged an idea that all LGBTQ women in rural areas are oppressed — thereby “interrogating” the foundation that we use to interpret the society we live in. Below is an edited version of our conversation.

People often talk about young women today resisting the term “feminism”? What are your thoughts? There are a lot of young people who identify as feminists today. I think that all of the Feminist Studies majors would certainly identify as feminists. All of the students I know on campus identify as feminists, all of my friends identify as feminist. We’re in our early thirties or late twenties. In many ways it’s the circles you move in.

But there is this narrative that suggests that there was a stronger movement in different historical periods. There’s this funny understanding of history that suggests that everybody in the ‘60s and ‘70s were racial leftists and political activists, and now today that’s not the case. In many ways, feminists are responsible for perpetuating these narratives saying “Where are all of the young people?” You hear it all of the time among older feminists. And I hate the question because it erases all of the young people who identify as feminists now and it homogenizes an entire historical period engaged in feminist activism. And neither is true.

I do think there are people who are afraid to identify with the word feminist but that they hold what many people to consider to be very feminist ideals, so then the question is why? There’s this negative image as feminists as not sexy, hairy, political antagonists, and I think there’s a wide diversity in feminists. We don’t all look the same, and we don’t act the same.

Some people say UCSB’s student body is not quite as activist-driven as perhaps Santa Cruz’s or Berkeley’s. During Occupy Wall Street there were two kids sitting in the park. What are your thoughts? I think in general I am skeptical of generalizations because it erases the very real activism that is going on on-campus. Just go over to the Student Resource Building any night of the week, and there is tons of activism going on. I’ve never been to Santa Cruz or Berkley, and I know they have reputations for being very activism-driven, and you have to applaud them for that. But I also think that really good activism is happening here, and you can learn something from thinking about why these narratives circulate in the first place. Activism doesn’t happen with one person.

The reason why there were probably two kids in the park that day was because they were trying to do something on their own rather than collaborating with other groups and departments and structures that already exist. No activism is ever individual. It’s necessarily collective, and I’ve taught an activism class three times, and every single time they’ve done amazing things. Even with my theory classes students always do amazing projects, not on their own, but with other groups on campus, so I think there’s definitely great activism at UCSB. It may not look like it does at other UCs.

What is your dissertation about? It’s about the estrangement that exists between the strategies and arrangements and discourse between gay rights groups and the way that LGBTQ women in the rural Midwest live their lives. I’m from South Dakota and did undergrad in Minnesota. That’s home for me. I went home for a quarter and interviewed 51 LGBTQ-identified women and I have engaged in participant observation. My dissertation also includes analysis of discourses that these organizations use.

It was really fun project to work on. In short, gay rights groups expect LGBTQ to centralize their sexuality and their identity and politicize that and be out loud and proud about that, and these are approaches that are undesirable for the women whom I interviewed. That undesirability is also relevant in my dissertation. If people don’t strongly identify with their sexuality and don’t really want to politicize that part of themselves, how would they relate to movements that are expecting this of people?

What did you find? One thing I found is that there is this disconnect. People assume that the strategies of gay rights apply everywhere. This is a really geographical way of understanding the way the world works. How people live their lives differs greatly on where we live. The assumption that people should “come out, come out, wherever you are” ignores the importance of the wherever.

My project is really building on a body of scholarship that already exists: rural queer studies. So within LGBTQ studies, or feminist studies, there’s a branch that really focuses on sexuality. So there’s LGBTQ theory and within that there’s a subfield of queer studies. Very little looks at the experiences of women or the Midwest, so I looked at both at once. This place and this demographic that has been largely overlooked. So I found one that the way they live their lives can’t be understood within the logic of gay rights groups.

One of the questions I’m often asked is, “How did you find people to interview?” And actually this was incredibly simple. And that question comes from a really metro-normative position that assumes that people who live in a rural place can’t be out. So I suggest that what visibility means and what it looks like and how it operates are all geographically contingent. If we don’t shift our lens, we would never be able to understand these people’s lives. They would only looks pitiable and sad and closeted within the logic that circulates around gay rights movements. And that’s not how these women exist; they live really complex lives, and the complexity of those lives is complete erased within that logic.

How many were “out”? Almost everybody who either described themselves as out or not out told stories that contradicted that. For those people who said, “I’m out, yeah, but I’m not out at work.” Or “No, I’m not out because my parents don’t know, but everyone else in my life knows.” In many ways I’m suggesting that the terms we used to describe people’s lives are flawed, so then our analysis that emerges from these terms — out or not out, visible or invisible — just doesn’t work. So I would say the vast majority of my interviewees had a really complicated understanding of what it means to be out. So they don’t feel closeted, even those people who said they weren’t out.

How did you feel after each interview? I would say that I felt exhilarated and excited after almost every interview. Of course some interviews included deep sadness or regret or devastation. Even in those same interviews people would tell these really uplifting stories that made me hopeful. There was so much richness to the texture of their lives. As a researcher, that is so exciting. People’s lives are complicated, and our job as social theorists is to represent that complexity in a way that pushes the ways that logic circulates right now. And being able to do that is awesome.

How did you first get into LGBTQ studies? I think there were a lot of different things that led me to this project. I wanted to a project that would have social relevance and relevance to activism and push the bodies of scholarship that I engage with. It doesn’t matter what your experiences are or your identifications are if you’re not doing something that expands the bodies of scholarship.

What’s an example? It’s no secret that people think of being visible or coming out as LGBTQ is good. Some narratives and studies say that people who know someone who is LGBTQ are more likely to vote in favor of LGBTQ rights. But in these studies, we don’t actually know what it means to know someone who is LGBTQ. Does it mean knowing intimately? Does it mean you know them personally? Does it mean that they needed to be the person to tell you? Is it possible to know someone intimately without knowing anything about their sexuality or sexual preferences? Is it possible to know about someone’s sexuality without being told by the person in question?

Well in rural places, of course, everyone knows everything about everybody! So even though there’s this assumption that you have to be told by the person in question, that reflects an urban ethos that doesn’t make sense in rural places.

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

With clearheaded ideas like "She challenged an idea that all LGBTQ women in rural areas are oppressed " poor Carly is going to get herself in trouble with the Progressive powers-that-be. Refreshing!

nomoresanity (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 7:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Why do people feel the need to politicize their sexuality? Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I think someone's sexuality is their own personal business and should be kept to themselves, but what do I know.

Botany (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 7:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Congratulations to Thomsen! I think Brugger means "radical leftists".
When former Dept. Chair Boris states that feminist studies is 'cutting edge' ... "given the traditional division within the disciplines and humanities[that] make less sense given the interconnectedness of today’s world[.]" -- I beg to differ, since interdisciplinary studies and integration of units within traditional humanities/history courses have been happening for at least 25 years, even further back. It's a tired cliche about "the interconnectedness of today's world." How about a better reason for pursuing feminist studies, which certainly is an important field of study.

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 8:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Where the heck does a degree in "feminist studies" get you.. nowhere!
I think these 80 undergrads should be counciled on there futures... and maybe how to obtain an education that will get them somewhere in life.

I'd love to see these 80 undergads in 20 years.. probably still screaming about the patriarchy.. and blaming men for there problems..sad.. very sad!

audidriver2010 (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 8:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Let's hope these 80 feminist studies undergrads 20 years from now are making their final student loan payment.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 9:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Was her last answer cut off..

Q: What did you find?
A: On

...?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 9:05 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes Ken, the end of the interview was cut off. It's been added now. Sorry for the confusion.

mike (web content manager)
July 7, 2014 at 9:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Audidriver needs to be counseled (certainly not counciled) on the vast differences between their and there

Maybe pursuing a degree in Feminist Studies might help to educate him on the difference.

RobEgenolf (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 1:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Feminist Studies can help you decipher the greater world around you as well as act in an emphatic way. Great study, it shatters stereotypes without and within the greater LGBT community.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 2:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Wait 'till Sealion sees this. (I'm running for cover right now)

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 3:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

And before you take KV's endorsement too seriously I'd highly encourage one to have a look at:

"Professing Feminism: Education and Indoctrination in Women's Studies" by Daphne Patai it can be found at:

http://books.google.com/books/about/P...

yendopostal (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 3:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

And how is Patai's book relevant to Dr. Thomsen's study which is based on research and not theory like Patai's?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 3:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Is she related to Dr. Charity Thoman? I mean, the names are so similar it makes me suspicious. Have they ever been seen together? They might even be the same person.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 10:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

July 7, 2014 at 9:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Audidriver needs to be counseled (certainly not counciled) on the vast differences between their and there

Maybe pursuing a degree in Feminist Studies might help to educate him on the difference.

RobEgenolf (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 1:14 p.m.

Don't forget, "they're".

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 10:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

First they will want Feminist Studies graduate degrees, then they will want to vote in elections too.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
July 8, 2014 at 12:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

end womens "suffrage" now!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1J8uX...

audidriver2010 (anonymous profile)
July 8, 2014 at 12:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ok, what type of profession does a degree in "Feninist Studies" prepare her for? She will either stay in academea or flip burgers.

madmike272 (anonymous profile)
July 8, 2014 at 2:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

She could always get a job correcting the spelling and grammar of anti-intellectual bloggers.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 8, 2014 at 3:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I dunno if it's anti-intellectual as much as intellectual bias. I don't think I see much difference between feminist rights groups and some of the men's rights groups, they are just on opposite ends of the spectrum and are missing the experiences and issues that the group they are fighting against tend to face.

They both have had their extremists as well.

Elliot Rodgers Valerie Solanas

Of course this wouldn't be a post of mine if I didn't say that I wouldn't be surprised if both Rodgers and Solanas were victims of MK Ultra related psychological mind control experiments.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
July 8, 2014 at 4:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Wow my comment above got chopped up post-preview, I must have used some characters the site didn't like. It was supposed to look more like (I hope this works):

Elliot Rodgers - Men's Rights Groups - Most People - Feminist Rights Groups - Valerie Solanas

loonpt (anonymous profile)
July 8, 2014 at 4:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Loonpt: I think Solanas predated such experiments. She was just plain crazy and from what I've read, came from an abusive home. She also hung out with the train wreck culture of Andy Warhol.

Another point: If you use dirty words, The Independent website will automatically tell you as such (unless you are one of their staff, in which case you can use whatever language you want) so I'm thinking it's a technical glitch.

Apart from your belief in MK Ultra, (of which I offer no opinion) I agree with your Rodger/Solanas comparison.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 8, 2014 at 6:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

gosh madmike, I got an advanced degree and in fact DID flip burgers for awhile [remember, so did Ayn Rand's John Galt] at the ancient IV donut shop across from the record store. I learned a lot from both experiences. Academic degrees are hardly all about "getting a job", although that's certainly vital, too.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 8, 2014 at 8:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Morninglory Records.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 8, 2014 at 8:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It is not possible to identify another person's "sexual orientation" without being told by that person. There are no objective markers - even in "rural areas".

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 8, 2014 at 8:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

dewdly, you are obsessed with "sexual orientation" -- read Chaucer's "Bishop's Tale" to learn something about your OCD.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 8, 2014 at 9:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

DrDan,

Perhaps you could tell me what "LGBTQ studies" have to do with feminism?

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 8, 2014 at 9:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Dewdly's right, there is no way to tell. I was in schock when Ellen "came out".

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 12:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Bestiality celebrated on national TV, a dog, doing it with humans.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Gr...

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 12:04 a.m. (Suggest removal)

troll dewdly doesn't care, if HE did, he can look it up on Google, it's not difficult to do.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 1:15 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I can't get a handle on "feminist studies". What exactly are they studying? Feminists? Or is it just a new name for what used to be called "women's studies"?

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 3:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

This was news a month ago, on June 10, 2014. Of course, it wasn't posted on your regular home page, so you couldn't comment on it. I get that; I'm addicted too. Dewd, you're crazy, you need to get laid or at least learn self-love. Nothing sick about self-love, though you say it is on another thread.

I love a dolphin pod!

I care not what one's major is/was, a liberal arts education is a good thing. I still appreciate it, and my parents believed in it and assisted. I went to UCSB when it was affordable; started at SBCC. Literature, history and philosophy are not a bad preparation for law, admin, non-profit admin, health care admin, and more. I'm evil, I worked at Planned Parenthood clinics and paid for several friends' abortions and/or birth control. I'm female, wasn't wriggling out of anything.

Thomsen was in the Independent news May 1, '14. Maybe this is where I first heard of her: http://www.independent.com/news/2012/...

Funny, no one paid her any attention back then.

geraldbostock (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 3:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)

madmike & Ken at 2:45-3:22 July 8:
I wonder if madmike ever got it? very, very funny.

geraldbostock (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 5:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@geraldbostock,

Instead of paying for several friends' abortions, perhaps you shouldn't have given them the advice to "get laid", but rather given them instruction in "self-love".

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 11:01 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Isn't "feminist studies" like "black studies"? Both are political contrivances, not serious disciplines. No one seems to be able to say what these women "study".

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 12:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You have to be an idiot not to be able to discern what Feminist or Black Studies are. A real maroon as Bugs Bunny would say.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 12:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@Ken,

I said what they are - political contrivances. The real feminist of fifty years ago would have made her point by holding her own in a serious descipline. She would have been insulted to be offered "special education."

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 12:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It's only your need to denigrate women that you feel it's a political contrivance., conveniently forgetting the subdisciplines of history, soceology and culture that would obviously make up the studies.
Contrive an answer to that little "man".

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 1:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Feminism is an ideology.. when I say I dont like it ..it doesnt mean I hate women..why dont people get that??

audidriver2010 (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 1:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

As with all things feminist they do not want to engage in rational, objective or just debate that exposes their agenda in the western world. They will not listen or hear the arguments from their opponents instead they use shaming tactics, ridicule and guilt inducing measures to silence or stifle robust debate from their challengers which amounts to a totalitarian ideology. We have to ask the question, as Mr Buchanan does,are we prepared to saunter into an unchallenged world where feminists hold sway with there warped agenda that seriously and negatevely affects Men, Boys, Girls and Women.

Someone said it better than me!!

and all most of you do is point out spelling error or other mess up..sad:(

audidriver2010 (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 2:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I find it fascinating that this woman's accomplishment is such a threat to some people that they need to repeatedly denigrate her and all women (and throw in black people as well!) What agenda audidriver? Knowledge? Heaven forbid!

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 3:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@Ken,

There is not enough there to elevate the subject to a sub-discipline - it doesn't even have the scope of "women's studies" of thirty years ago. Since the seventies "women's issues" have been steadily narrowed - and now there are only two - abortion and contraception. That makes it easy for Democrats to use young women as a voting block while doing absolutely nothing to improve the lives of women - the vast majority of whom are now or will be mothers. Mothers' "issues" are their children.

Feminism itself is a political contrivance devised by the enemies of women.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 4:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@Ken,

The initial insult is the creation of a "black studies" or "feminist studies" department. It looks like affirmative action for those who can't handle the serious disciplines.

I think you were the one who called out a poster on his spelling and grammar, but you must have overlooked Ms. Thomsen's grammatical error - "There is tons of activism..."

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 5:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Bigotry is what defines "serious disciplines" in your mind.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 5:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You guys are just talking past each other, let me help out here.

Women are generally caring and nurturing which is helpful for rearing children. Women generally are attracted to men and want to rear children alongside a caring and supportive yet strong husband.

Most of society once believed that this is the way things should be for everybody, and this was destructive for those who did not fit into that mold and wished to have a different lifestyle. Perhaps it was a gay artist who wanted to live with his lover without everybody treating them like crap or maybe it was a woman who had a lot of sexual trauma and was no longer able to have the kind of trusting relationship with a man that women and men should have together. So maybe she had to go about supporting herself and it was difficult and unfair in a world that was designed for men to support their families.

That's all fine and great, you can go about recognizing those disparities and try to help society understand that not everybody is going to fit into that mold and people should be more supportive of those who choose to live alternative lifestyles because it is not easy and not something that most people would choose to do.

What dewdly and audidriver are attempting to communicate is that instead of merely helping those in the minority be better understood, feminism has instead tried to create a world where women don't have a role as a supportive, nurturing mother and instead as an equal bread winner able to support themselves individually. They also propagate ideas that take away men's rights in favor of women. Society and government institutions have largely taken the role of the supportive, nurturing mother who now must work alongside the husband to support a family.

My dad's ex-wife (not my mother) was trapped into this line of feminist thinking back in the early 70s, divorced my father, took the kids and later in life said that it was all a huge mistake and that it was selfish of her to do that.

Just because a few people don't fit into a mold doesn't mean that those people should go around convincing everybody that they shouldn't fit in that mold either.
(cont..)

loonpt (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 5:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

(cont..)
I guess the irony here is that feminism doesn't teach women to be feminine, which is their and society's strong suit. It doesn't mean that women have to be feminine or that society should try and make all women feminine, but what feminist studies has done has actually tried to go in the opposite direction and teach women to drop their femininity in favor of masculinity.

Women naturally have both feminine and masculine traits, men naturally have both masculine and feminine traits but essentially feminism is teaching men to drop their masculine traits and women to drop their feminine traits instead of teaching women to adopt masculine traits as needed and men to develop more compassion and feminine traits when there is a need (such as opposing international conflicts, for example).

I don't want to paint all feminists or all schools of feminist thought with the same broad brush, but ultimately I believe this is the effect it has had on society and may be having negative impacts in some areas such as child rearing and men's rights.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 5:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken,

My mohter graduated with a degree in philosophy many years ago. She was an old-style feminist who looked down on women who used their university education to major in education or home economics. She, like everyone else, knew those majors were not academically rigorous. You wouldn't call her a bigot for her view of home economics majors, so it is hypocritical to call me a bigot for making the same judgment about academic rigor in reference to "black studies" and "feminist studies."

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 6:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Dedicated to all the men on this blog. R.I.P.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvmeEy...

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 6:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Are we not men, no, we are Devo!" -Slogan of 1980's popular music group, Devo.-

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 6:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"I don't want to paint all feminists or all schools of feminist thought with the same BROAD brush, but ultimately I believe this is the effect it has had on society and may be having negative impacts in some areas such as child rearing and men's rights."

loonpt (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 5:48 p.m.
Don't you know the term "broad" is derogatory? "lady" or "woman" please.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 6:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@loonpt,

Bravo! For all their academic pretentiousness these smart people fail to apply the basics of biology and evolution to feminist theory. This is all very confusing to young people who are made to doubt their own instincts.

Women used to go to college to find a good husband. They still do - but now they can't even admit it to themselves. Instead, they settle for the serial "relationship" - sterile two-year stints that can last through their best childbearing years. They are sold abortion, contraceptives, lesbianism, and sexual license as their "rights", but denying biology and evolution will exact a very high price as our society disintegrates.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 7:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You're an idiot trying to hide behind scientific lingo. Dewdly you couldn't eff your way out of a paperbag much less figure out you're in one.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 7:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Phyllis Schlafly was a bigot too

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 7:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

dwedly, first you disingenuously ask, "I can't get a handle on 'feminist studies'?" [7/9/3:33am] ...
then later you vigorously assert "There is not enough there [feminist studies] to elevate the subject to a sub-discipline - it doesn't even have the scope of 'women's studies' ....Feminism itself is a political contrivance devised by the enemies of women." [7/9/14 4:47 pm] What absurd baloney, and these threads only exist for you to jack off on with your puerile and uninformed and really hate-filled views (same with audi2010). Both of you terribly frightened little men should read Hanna Rosin's ATLANTIC cover story from a couple of years ago, "The End of Men" -- it will substantiate all your fears. Oh wait, neither of you have the balls (research or real) to find it.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 8:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken, Phyllis Schafly is still alive.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 10:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

DrDan,

I asked for someone to explain "feminist studies". I even asked you what LGBTQ studies have to do with feminism, I asked what they studied but no one provided any answers so I posted my view. If I am uninformed about feminism why is it that none of you feminists can inform me? You girls are ready with the pejoratives - bigotry, hate, ignorant, puerile, "frightened little men", but none of you have made a substantive argument against my charge that feminism is a destructive political contrivance that has nothing to offer the vast majority of women in the world - mothers.

Women become mothers after falling in love with a man who returns their love and is committed to protect and provide for both mother and child. The number of women who never fall in love with a man is infinitesimal because it is biological. Love is integral to selection and is the feeling a woman needs before submitting to intercourse.

So what you have is a world full of women who begin falling in love before puberty and are always on the lookout for "the one". They are relentless in their pursuit because they are driven by their biology. What does feminism have to offer these natural women? Abortion, contraception, lesbianism, sexual license, or a PhD in feminist studies? Really?

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 10, 2014 at 3:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Dewdly writes that "Love is integral to selection and is the feeling a woman needs before submitting to intercourse" -- SUBMITTING to intercourse ??! What a howler! Please leave the 19th century and try to at least get into the 20th.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 10, 2014 at 4:11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

What about the sexuality of trans-specied? In our pod, four of us used to be humans, and three more were killer whales.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 10, 2014 at 6:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

DrDan,

"Submitting" is the right word, but "allowing" works as well.

The essentials of reproductive biology do not change; they are not subject to modernization. In heterosexually-reproducing species the form and behavior of the two sexes are complementary - not interchangeable.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 10, 2014 at 10:39 a.m. (Suggest removal)

as stated earlier, dewdly, return to the 19th century, please.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 10, 2014 at 10:48 a.m. (Suggest removal)

DrDan,

As stated earlier, the essentials of reproductive biology do not change. Women do not adopt the male role in sexual intercourse any more than the twenty-first century female bird of paradise dons fancy feathers and performs the male's mating display.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 10, 2014 at 12:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Who cares? There's already too many people on the planet! Same-sexuality is natural, non-violent population control. Next you'll decry abortions. You're an idewiot, not a dewd.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 10, 2014 at 1:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It's so sad, and frankly not surprising, that people ( you can apply this to whomever ) feel so compelled to label any critic of Feminism/Feminist studies as a bigot, anti intellectual, misogynist, denigrating to women etc etc.

Instead of engaging in a discussion where facts and logic, history, human nature and even biology are involved just discrediting the speaker with a label seems to be the norm. Sadly this tactic HAS been effective in stopping people from speaking, and in some cases cost them their livelihood. Josef Goebbels would be proud.

You would think that "Feminist Studies" would welcome critic, as it is in this way that your cause is strengthened by weathering outside examination and scrutiny. In many cases the fact that you attack logical examination to me is sign that maybe your beliefs and cause is not all that strong ?

I recently heard ( from a professor who was on the committee to review the Feminist study program at UCSB for accrediting purposes ) that it became clear to them that when the term "critical thinking" was used in this program, that it is, unlike in most academic disciplines, meant to mean critical of White Males and the Patriarchy. Imagine that ! So you by definition have a study/discipline that from the start has a bias in what outcome will be derived from it's work. To me this IS troubling and says a lot about the legitimacy (or lack of in the program )

But then what do I know, I'm just an anti-intellectual misogynist bigot.

yendopostal (anonymous profile)
July 10, 2014 at 2:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think we've been pretty clear who we've defined as a "bigot" and your name never popped up dear Yendo. :)

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 10, 2014 at 3:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken,

You've lost me. "Who cares" about what?

So after a few days of trying to get you girls to tell me what feminists study in the "feminist studies" program you come back with the "population control" rationalization for sexual perversion, complete with the same grammatical error Ms. Thomsen made in her interview - "There's already too many people on the planet!"

What does feminism have to offer the preponderance of women in the world, the vast majority of whom are now or will be mothers? Abortion, contraception, or lesbianism? It is easy to see why it is no longer called "women's studies" - while "feminist studies" might mesh with LGBTQ issues, and population control, it isn't about women.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 10, 2014 at 3:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)


Thomsen's study was about lesbian women! Keyword: Women!

If you feel so strongly why don't you sign your name?! Have the courage of your convictions instead of hiding in the shadows like a cowardly perv.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 10, 2014 at 4:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

A study of autistic women or Down's syndrome women would be just as irrelevant as a study of lesbian women if "feminist studies" is what we used to call "women's studies."

My real name would interfere with the image of the "frightened little man" you have created.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 10, 2014 at 5:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Dewdly you are as sick as Dale Francisco, I wouldn't be surprised if you're one and the same.. he's a little man too.
How about a study of closet cases, we can start with you.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 10, 2014 at 5:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Who is Dale Francisco?

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 10, 2014 at 6:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So you're telling us Dewdly that:
(A) You're not a local.
(B) I guessed who you are.
(C) You're as dishonest as you are dumb.
(D) All of the above.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 10, 2014 at 6:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I go with D, KV. And while Dewdly moans "You girls are ready with the pejoratives -.." HE consistently calls critics "girls", which is pretty funny.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 10, 2014 at 6:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I am not "local" enough to know the denizens of Santa Barbara.

Your assumptions about me are wrong because you believe that anyone who criticizes feminism must be a "frightened little man" and a "bigot". That is not critical thinking nor is it an intelligent response to another's critique. You have invented the "frightened little man" to shield yourself from the reality that feminism is a political contrivance, not an academic discipline nor is it "cutting edge" activism. It is a threadbare holdover from the sixties' "women's lib" movement. Nearly fifty years later women remain unconvinced; they are still falling in love and the lucky ones are marrying and having children.

Democrats define women's "issues" as abortion and birth control, and while girls might go along with that, women do not.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 10, 2014 at 8:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Dewdly, you might want to focus your concerns on the local dolphin population:
http://nationalreport.net/fappy-the-d...

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2014 at 3:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

My overall feeling about this is that while we have people freezing to death on our streets, people driving like maniacs because they are stressed out over the fact that they never have enough money to pay the rent/insurance/gas bill/whatever, increasing gang violence due to there being too many people crowded together like rats in a cage fighting over a tiny piece of cheese, people are actually worried about someone getting a degree in feminist studies.

As a (gasp) white male, I have known for many a year that there is a definite bias in academia against my type, and frankly my dears, I don't give a damn. I think these Marxist intelligentsia types are just silly, and without going into a guilt trip, I realize that if all I have to put up with is the slings and arrows of nasty (and usually anonymous) bloggers who say nasty things to me, or the glaring fisheyed stare of some aggrieved person with a sense of entitlement who sees me as a beneficiary of white male privilege, (while ironically, if they are in academia, they are making multiple times more money than I) then I figure I don't have it too badly.

When I see Blacks, Mexican, women, and others who really have been through serious discrimination saying "there is no time to hate", that is pretty dammed humbling. Having said that however, my gripe with "Feminist Studies" and ethnic studies is not the underlying hypocrisy of those associated with these fields of discipline who talk out one end about social justice while painting all their perceived oppressors with the same brush, but the fact that while they cry about oppression, they often are making lots of $$$ for something which only serves the "us-against-them" mentality, while the money would be much better spent on more practical, life-skills forms of education.

Meanwhile, I say lets focus on the fact that our overall civil rights are eroding (this applies to male chauvinists AND militant feminists) under the pretext of the "War on Terror", the fact that in the richest country on the planet, there are homeless people, and that everywhere you look people are angry and in a hurry--or maybe you are in too much of a hurry to even notice.

THAT, is what we should focus on, not somebody getting a degree.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2014 at 7:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Bill nails it again!

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2014 at 7:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

gosh, Sealion, you must have been on vacation with your warlock friends, your comment's a week late. Sure, there are feminazis about, as you'd say, but they're plenty outnumbered by the aging but still powerful paternalists.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 19, 2014 at noon (Suggest removal)

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