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As universities face budget cuts, this is the perfect time to defund inaccurate, unscientific, and biased courses and departments. Unfortunately, due to the current global pandemic and recession, universities have seen much of their expected funding dry up. In fact, many of these universities are now facing tough decisions on what departments, classes, and professors to cut. There have long been certain departments, classes, and professors in colleges and universities that exist to promote unscientific ideas backed by poor scholarship. These should have been limited before, but now that budget cuts are becoming increasingly necessary, this is the time to cut them, thus saving money while improving the quality of our higher education system.
Let's be clear - this is not about censorship. These people have a right to their opinions. What they do not have a right to is university funding. SJWs have no more right to university funding than the alt-right would have. This article calls for universities to voluntarily defund certain programs. Left-Wing and politically correct speakers should still be invited to campus and allowed to speak to those students who wish to hear them. Freedom of speech is not up for debate here, but public funding to promote unscientific political views is.
So what programs and classes am I talking about specifically, and what is the problem with them? I am going to be using standards similar to those of the "Sokal Squared" academic study from several years ago (more on Sokal Squared later). This means that my SJW studies departments - which they called "Grievance Studies" - will consist of Fat Acceptance movement, Gender Studies, most Sexuality Studies, Queer Studies, Racial Studies, and most Cultural Studies programs and academic journals.
So how to I justify wanting to defund these fields of study and university classes? Is it just because I personally disagree with them? Is it out of some feeling of being offended or personally attacked? To the contrary, let me try to provide solid evidence that these are not legitimate academic fields, and their so-called scholarship is of very low quality.
The famous Sokal Squared study, also called the Grievance Studies Affair, in 2018 shed light on just how low the standards are in this field. I wont go too in-depth about it here, since it was absolutely worth its own article, which I wrote right here. However, as a brief overview, a group of real academics and professors submitted made-up studies to real journals in the SJW/Grievance Studies fields I mentioned above. These made up studies with horrible methodology were frequently accepted by those journals. The highlight of this was an article that quoted Hitler's Mein Kampf, but changed references to "Jews" to " white men", and Hitler's advocacy for "Nazism" to "Feminism" or "Privilege". This journal was accepted for publication by Affilia, one of the most prestigious feminist journals for the past 30 years! More studies were accepted, published, or had revisions requested before they could be accepted for publication.
Without revealing too much about myself, I will say that I have engaged in some research and publication of academic articles in my own career. I have a solid grasp on methodology and proper standards for publications. Unsurprisingly, I have seen a lot of low quality "scholarship" from the Grievance/SJW Studies fields. In one example, a published feminist studies thesis on whether men get paid less for defying gender stereotypes by going into traditionally female fields had a sample size of 14. The author had trouble getting participants, and so relied on contacting some of her friends for the study. If I recall correctly only about half of those participants were people she did not know personally. Obviously, this sample size is pathetic, and her friends may have simply been telling her what she wanted to hear, since they likely know her politics and opinions. This worthless study was published.
In another instance, a Gender Studies paper was published on whether women felt that Feminism had enabled them to question religion more freely. None of the women in the study agreed with the authors, so the authors simply concluded that these women "lacked awareness" of how Feminism had helped them. In other words, if the women had agreed with the authors, the authors would say it proved they were correct, and if the women disagreed with the authors, then the authors were still correct - the women in the study just did not know it. Obviously this is a worthless study that only serves as a way for the authors to pretend their opinions are fact.
Students may choose to study things out of personal interest, of course, but universities should care about whether they are producing graduates with valuable skills and knowledge who will be able to earn a living. Those who go into Gender Studies and similar fields tend to only have a skillset - which is more being able to espouse the accepted opinions - that is only relevant to perpetuating that same field. Many do end up making a decent living, but only because they go on to get other degrees that they actually use for a job, for example as teachers. In this case I question the value of the actual Gender Studies degree, and would argue that the type of people who go after this degree tend to already be well-off, as they are able to get graduate degrees to actually earn money. The Gender Studies degree itself is not very valuable.
Based on the United States Government's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average college graduate with a Bachelor's degree earns about $65,000 a year. In contrast, a Bachelor's in Gender Studies will get a graduate on average under $51,000 a year. There is a worth to degrees other than money, but I have already made the case that these graduates have also not developed research and critical thinking skills.
Although there is plenty more to say, this is not an academic article, but merely a blog post, so let me wrap this up. Grievance/SJW Studies fields are academically lacking, absurdly politicalized, intellectually dishonest, fail to promote critical thinking skill, do not provide graduates with useful skills, and do not put graduates in a good position to make a living. They have not deserved university support for a long time, but now that cuts will have to be made, these programs should be first on the chopping block.
On account of the above evidence, I recommend that those of us who are alumni, donors, students, or otherwise associated with a college or university, urge the administration of that school to cut back on these biased and academically lacking disciplines. Emails, letters, phone calls, and in-person conversations are all great ways to get involved. The quality of our universities, and their ability to provide other, more valuable services, depends on it. Thank you for reading.
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