The Dartmouth Observer

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Wednesday, August 28, 2002
There has been some debate going on about the necessity of Women's (and gender) Studies on campuses and the war on terror. While both topics are very important, I would like to ask the august body of writers to focus their attention on Gender Studies. What is the problem with this department and what role do you see the issue of gender playing in the university? Also, what exactly does a "politicized" curriculum mean?

As a feminist myself (a short answer to Tim Walligore's question), I think it is important that members of the cultural elite (read:us) understand that democratic law and democratic culture grow out of personal experience. As Catherine Mackinnon stated in her essay Crimes of War, Crimes of Peace, the only question is whose experience will ground what law? I see some Women's Studies doctors as raising the question about who is--- and is not--- participating in the shaping of democratic law and culture. I will write something on this later, as part of a larger piece on difference being the greatest challenge to democracy. I find it important to remember that even though we have our common humanity, men and women are still different. As such, when the liberal arts education paints us a potrait of the human experience, a part of the portrait should be how gender affect and influences things. Put simply, our education should demonstrate how relatively little differences really matter (our common humanity), but when they do, boy does it matter.