Monday, April 27, 2015

Feminism Gives Western Culture a Bad Rep

Progressives argue that Guantanamo Bay has been a huge recruiting tool for radical jihadists. If one small prisoner of war camp has that power, imagine what a massive recruiting tool the American feminist movement is for jihadists.

That thought came to mind when Egyptian-born Nonie Darwish said, at the Institute's Midwest Women's Summit in Minnesota, "the Middle East watches what happens in the West."  No doubt Middle Easterners draw inferences about Western culture generally and Western women specifically from the behavior of feminists today. That's a shame, because (to paraphrase President Obama), modern feminism is "not who we are."  Not by a long shot.

American feminists' utter disdain for men, children and family, and their penchant for excusing and/or defending even the most disgusting sexual misbehavior of women, paint an ugly portrait of Western culture — one that even a majority of American women find distasteful. An Vox poll this month found only 18 percent of Americans consider themselves feminists.

Any positive messages traditional feminism might once have had — equal workplace opportunity for women, and equal treatment of women under the law — have been lost today. That's sad for women in the world still dreaming of that degree of equality, and it's a disaster for Western culture.

Below is a video of Ms. Darwish's full remarks at the Summit:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Conrad: "Safe Spaces" Are Unsafe for Free Exchange of Ideas

"'Trigger Warnings' are just another way of saying 'Shut Up', argues Laurel Conrad, the Institute's Lecture Director in a Legal Insurrection post. "Why should the leftist students control the conversation and keep out other perspectives?"
College campuses are meant to be a place where students engage in new perspectives and critical reasoning. Or so they say.

But by labeling conservative points of view as “extremist,” “anti-feminist,” and “racist,” feminists are shutting down the dialogue on their college campuses before it even begins.

To the leftist student activists, it seemingly doesn’t matter whether or not these labels are deserved. They’ve realized that all they need to do is to stigmatize a talk by a conservative speaker is to condemn the speaker as an oppressing force.

For instance, last Thursday, I facilitated a lecture at the Georgetown University on behalf of the conservative organization I work for, the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, and the Georgetown CRs.

As soon as the campus feminists caught wind of the event, they immediately began protesting and demanding trigger warnings in order to silence the talk.

The lecture, given by author and Luce Institute speaker Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers, was entitled ‘What’s Right (and Badly Wrong) with Feminism?’ It was set to take a critical look at the failures and good points of feminism.

But from listening to the campus feminists, you would inaccurately think Dr. Sommers was gearing up to give a lecture on ‘Rape Apology.’
Read the rest.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Obama Broke Student Loan Program Too

"Obama keeps trying to portray the student loan crisis as a problem suffered by students burdened by a mountain of debt when they graduate," writes Investor's Business Daily. But the greater crisis, the editors' argue, is the explosion of debt owed the federal Treasury as a result of Obama's federal takeover of the loan program.
Obama sold this government takeover as a way to save money — why bear the costs of guaranteeing private loans, he said, when the government could cut out the middleman and lend the money itself?

The cost savings didn't happen. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office just increased its 10-year forecast for the loan program's costs by $27 billion, or 30%.
IBD's chart (above) shows the rapid explosion in student loan debt owed to the federal Treasury, which totals nearly $1.2 trillion today and "now exceeds that of auto loans or credit card debt."

Although "average student loan debt is only a little over $20,000" (an amount IBD editors argue could be paid back within a decade by "a student who gave up his $5-a-day Starbucks habit"), less than half of student debt owed the federal government is being paid back.
Through words and actions, Obama has encouraged irresponsibility on the part of student borrowers. He constantly talks as if student debt were an unfair burden they unknowingly had foisted upon them.

At the same time, he's made it easier and easier to avoid paying back student loans in full.  Earlier this year, for example, Obama expanded eligibility for his "pay as your earn" program, which limits loan payments to 10% of income, with any debt left after 20 years forgiven.

Students got the message. The St. Louis Fed reports that 27.3% of student loans in repayment are at least a month behind in payments. That's a far higher delinquency rate than any other kind of debt, and it's significantly higher than the delinquency rate 10 years ago. ...

A 2013 Consumer Financial Protection Board report found that less than half of this federal loan money was actually being paid. About 30% was held by borrowers still in school or in a grace period, another chunk in deferment or forbearance, and almost 14% was in default.

SRO at Georgetown U Lecture About Feminism

Congratulations to Georgetown University student Mallory Carr, who worked with her Georgetown CR chapter to coordinate a fantastic, standing-room only CBLPI-sponsored event tonight! Well over one hundred students attended the lecture entitled, "What's Right (and Badly Wrong) with Feminism?" given by Luce Institute campus speaker Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers.

Also in attendance at the event were about a dozen student feminists holding signs with slogans like "Trigger Warning: anti-feminism" and "Feminists Against RAPE Apology!"

These students also posted signs outside of the lecture room alerting students to "safe spaces" in another building on campus. According to the signs, "all are welcome to come if they feel triggered or upset by today's events. Hate speech will not be appreciated in this space," and "Trigger Warning: this event will contain discussions of sexual assault and may deny the experiences of survivors." The protesters also engaged in a heated Q&A session that will be posted soon on CBLPI's YouTube channel.

The protesters used trigger warnings as a way to stigmatize the presentation and anything that differs from their point of view. Liberals insist upon pushing their politically correct agenda on others and it’s insulting.

It was inspiring to see so many students attend this event. Despite the protesters, Dr. Sommers did an excellent job explaining her vision of 'Freedom Feminism'. While it is too bad that some of the Georgetown students felt the need to try to shame their fellow students who hosted the event, I am glad they did attend. Hopefully there are some thoughtful students who will reconsider the preconceived notions after hearing a new perspective tonight.

At no time did Dr. Sommers say anything that could be misconstrued as rape apology. The protesters were clearly trying to use a straw-man argument to silence and censor the event. Fortunately, the controversy only increased attendee turnout and campus buzz.

Mallory and CR chairman Amber Athey(pictured with Dr. Sommers) did a wonderful job coordinating this event, and I am happy for them that it was such a success!

—by Laurel Conrad, the Institute's Lecture Director
Update -- Other articles on the event:

Students Fear for the Safety Because Conservatives Invited a Speaker to Campus, National Review Online
Militant Georgetown Feminists Demand 'SAFE SPACE' Because of Scary 5'5", 130-lb. Woman, Daily Caller
Christina Hoff Sommers Gets Trigger Warnings at Georgetown, Legal Insurrection
Feminist Students Feel 'Unsafe' Bringing Female, Conservative Speaker to Campus, Campus Reform
IRONY: College Students Demand "Trigger Warnings" For This Speaker, Chicks on the Right

And the video:

Monday, April 6, 2015

Marist Poll: Religious Freedom vs Gay Wedding Services

A recent poll suggests gay activists may be winning legal and media battles while losing the broader public opinion war.

"The Democratic Party has launched a furious assault on Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but it appears most Americans support what the Indiana law intends to do, according to a Marist poll that predates the recent outrage," writes Blake Neff at the Daily Caller.
The poll, conducted from Feb. 25 through March 1, found that 54 percent of American adults believe in providing religious exemptions to individuals and organizations "even when it conflicts with government law," and 65 percent specifically oppose penalties or fines for businesses that refuse to provide services for gay weddings.
Support for religious liberty cuts across all age groups:

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

What's Right (and Badly Wrong) with Feminism?

Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers will give a Georgetown University lecture entitled "What's Right (and Badly Wrong) with Feminism?" on Thursday, April 16 at 7:00 pm in Healy 103.

The event is sponsored by the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute and hosted by the Georgetown University College Republicans.

Ying Ma Inspires Students at Cornell, Women at CWN

"As an accomplished author and policy analyst, [Ying] Ma is today a thought leader whose conservative commentary reaches not just the nation but the world," writes Casey Breznick in The Cornell Review.
It is for this reason The Cornell Review brought Ma, an alum of the Review, for a special speakers event on the topic of 'Prevailing Over the Welfare State: A Story of Getting Out of the Ghetto'. The event was graciously sponsored by and organized in part by the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, an organization that promotes women through conservative thought and ideas...
Ying Ma's family legally immigrated from Communist China when she was 10 years old, settling into an Oakland CA slum where they were taunted as "Chinamen" by their neighbors. The real injustice of urban life wasn't poverty, Ma's family concluded; it was failing to work to put food on the table.  Rejecting the welfare state lifestyle, the family forged a new life through hard work, determination, and educational achievement. Ma recounts her family's difficult journey in her book, Chinese Girl in the Ghetto, a book that deals equally candidly with race relations, immigration, and welfare.

Ma earned degrees from Cornell University, where she became president of The Cornell Review, and Stanford Law, after which she became a successful lawyer. She is a powerful voice on Asian policy, as well as the opportunity America still offers to those willing to work for it. Fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese, Ying's expertise on China is on display regularly in her column for the Wall Street Journal's China Blog.

On March 20, Ma shared her inspiring story with the Conservative Women's Network in Washington DC as well (video below), drawing distinct contrasts in her experiences between the "welfare state" approach to addressing poverty versus the far more successful "opportunity" approach.