We are all weary of the drearily repetitive claims of oppression and the academic insistence on PC orthodoxy. Everybody is oppressed - especially in America. And white-colored males are oppressed by the "victims."
From the review:
What is true at Bowdoin is more or less true everywhere. The power of the victims' studies departments lies not in what they say but in their ability to prevent inquiry that runs against their preferred narratives. They need not go to a lot of trouble to make this happen. They are more often like rocks in the stream. The regular flow of academic life simply goes around them. Few faculty members or administrators want the hassle of getting in their way.
Bawer's book is as vivid an account of the history, the shifting rationalizations, and the rhetoric of victims' studies as we are ever likely to have. This owes something to his insider status. An openly gay man whose 1993 book, A Place at the Table, advanced the cause for integration of gays into mainstream society, Bawer is deeply sympathetic to academic work that emphasizes the history of groups who have struggled against prejudice. Moreover, he has been a participant in some of the key debates that shaped these fields. His chapter on how "gay studies" ("a serious academic discipline") was displaced by "queer studies" (a celebration of "oppositional relation to the norm") is the centerpiece of the book. He recounts his own disputes with queer theorists such as David Halperin, who attack him for criticizing the late Michel Foucault, whose view that sex is "socially constructed" is the founding principle of queer theory.
If sex is a social construct, somebody needs to inform the birds and the bees because they did not get the memo.
Despite yesterday's gloomy looking weather, it was quite nice out. I did have to delay work on the main deck as it took a while for the fog and low clouds to burn off and let things dry out enough...
Tracked: Sep 23, 16:10