WASHINGTON, July 5, 2014 — A century ago, American colleges and universities taught Latin and Greek to all their students. With the (false) war on women at the top of liberal media and politicians’ go-to list, one would think that our colleges would be providing women with all the business, political, humanities and real-life-benefiting classes they could.
Instead we have Arizona State University. In professor Breanne Fahs’ class, women are given extra credit if they do not shave their arms or legs for ten weeks. As reported by ASU News, Fahs “encourages students to defy body hair norms.” According to the paper,
There’s no better way to learn about societal norms than to violate them and see how people react,” said Fahs. “There’s really no reason why the choice to shave, or not, should be a big deal. But it is, as the students tend to find out quickly.
That’s right. Female students who let their underarm hair grow out get extra credit in Fahs’ class. Men who shave clean below the neck get extra credit as well.
Fahs is a professor of Gender Studies. Her “scholarship” — that word demands to be put in quotes — deals with Critical Perspectives on Sexuality, Psychology of Gender, and Race, Gender and Class. According to the college, Fahs’ class goals are to “enhance their advanced degrees with demonstrated proficiency and knowledge about gender research and theories that they may apply in their own fields.”
One student quoted in the articles said that her ASU Gender Studies education helped her to realize her need to be an activist:
Jaqueline Gonzalez credits the body hair project with helping to shape her into the activist she is today. “The experience helped me better understand how pervasive gendered socialization is in our culture,” Gonzalez said. “Furthermore, by doing this kind of activist project I was no longer an armchair activist theorizing in the classroom. So much is learned by actually taking part in the theory or idea we learn in the classroom, and we could benefit from this type of pedagogy being taken up by similar classes.”
Arizona State University is a state supported University. Tuition there is roughly $9200 a year for in-state students and roughly $22,500 for out-of-state students.
A student who pursues a degree at Arizona State pays at least $36,000 over a four year period. For what? A piece of paper that says she didn’t shave her underarms and legs for ten weeks?
If a student is foolish enough to attend ASU as an out of state student, that tuition cost skyrockets to almost $100,000. What is the payoff? The chance to become an activist? What other choices might there be for a woman who wants to break the “glass ceiling”?
Because how employable is a gender studies degree? It isn’t.
In 2010, the New York Times printed the sad story of Courtney Munna, who spent over $100,000 to get a degree in Women’s Studies, only to learn that it was an unemployable degree. Today’s colleges and universities are filled with departments such as Women’s Studies, Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies and now LGBT Studies. They’re producing graduates whose most valuable skill is the ability to ask The Big Question: “Would you like fries with that?”
Every college and university out there knows those degrees are useless. They know they are taking students’ money — or more likely their parents’ money and federal grants — and giving them a worthless degree.
The presidents of these colleges and universities are running scams that would make Bernie Madoff proud.
In fact, if these college and university presidents tried to pull off this kind of operation in the private sector, they would be indicted and put in a prison cell right next to Madoff.
American colleges fill glossy brochures with pictures of idyllic campuses, opulent dorm lounges, and world-class recreation centers. Friends and the media sell college to kids as a continuous four-year party with copious drinking, steamy sex, and spring breaks to exotic places where you dance all night with a drink in your hand and wake up in a different bed every morning.
And in the end, a well-paying job magically appears, even if you have a content-free degree like Gender Studies.
The reality of life is that most higher education is no longer worth it.
Some degrees still have market value. Degrees in the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math — are in demand. Business graduates are generally employable, especially if they have degrees in accounting or finance. But when you go much beyond that, the returns are poor. An MBA is often a good ticket to the future, but not always. A law degree is less than worthless; law schools have been cranking out new lawyers at record rates for the last 20 years and the market is glutted. A PhD in English or Gender Studies may get you a job at Starbucks.
The people of Arizona should be outraged that students who are paying thousands of dollars a year for tuition at Arizona State are being given classes like “gender studies” and given extra credit — will it help you graduate summa cum laude? — for not shaving their underarms.
The taxpayers of Arizona should demand an end to this lunacy. They should demand that ASU abolish empty degree programs and either cut tuition or funnel that money into degree programs that actually demand hard work in exchange for genuine education.
After all, while liberal college professors seem to forget this, the end goal of a college degree is to be well-educated, a better citizen, and employed.