Gender neutrality carried to extremes at Stanford
posted at 7:35 pm on May 4, 2009 by Pundette
*Update: The daughter responds in a comment on a NYT blog post which linked to Ms. Morin’s article.
Here’s a new twist on college undermining the values of its students while parents pay dearly for the privilege. According to Karin Venable Morin, writing on NRO, the formerly great University of Chicago, as well as Stanford University, where her daughter is a senior, now routinely and randomly place young men and women in the same room. That’s right, in the same bedroom. Ms. Morin refers to it as “co-ed within the room.” She has a daughter at Stanford and learned of the novel arrangement in a phone call from her daughter, which she later related to her incredulous mother-in-law:
“She’s sharing a room with one other girl and two boys,” I said.
“You mean a suite.”
“No,” I said. “I mean a bedroom.”
My mother-in-law couldn’t believe it.
“But wait,” I said. “It gets worse. She didn’t ask for this room arrangement. She missed the room meeting because she had a friend visiting from the East Coast. She appointed a proxy, and said she wanted a room with no smoking and no sex in the room, but she didn’t ask for a single-sex room.”
“Should she?” asked my mother-in-law.
“Well, apparently. But she says she didn’t think it was necessary.”
“So she asked to get out, right?”
“Wrong. Her dorm had a seven-hour room meeting, and she doesn’t want to upset everyone’s consensus arrangements. Plus, she says it’s no big deal.”
“So where does she get dressed?”
“That’s the same question I asked,” I said. “She says she gets dressed in the bathroom.”
Just to gain a little perspective on this, let’s remember that it’s unusual for American parents to place brothers and sisters in the same bedroom. It is sometimes done so out of necessity when children are very young, but do you know of a single family in which opposite-sexed children over the age of six share a bedroom? Me neither.
After some digging, the parents learned that the circumstances that led to the co-ed bedroom were the result of a corruption of a “pilot program for gender neutral housing” instituted (without parents’ knowledge) “to create a more welcoming atmosphere for transgender and homosexual students.”
And to think that my husband and I, when we consider colleges for our children, have a problem with schools that don’t offer single-sex dorms.
The “co-ed within the room” is a trend:
Stanford and at least 50 other colleges and universities are promoting through their dormitory arrangements an ideology of gender that we personally reject and oppose.
Read all of Ms. Morin’s account for the gory details. Then consider some alternatives to four years of expensive indoctrination, intellectual abuse, and contempt for traditional values. College needn’t be the default option, though President Obama is keen on making it, as well as pre-school, “universal.” Perhaps your child would be happier learning a trade and doing a dirty job.
From Ms. Morin:
I could talk about conspiracy theories, and how the modern university is trying to change society’s norms. I could talk about how the university caters to the “edgy” — whatever that is at the moment. I could talk about how I have new sympathy for my parents’ concerns about rooming arrangements at Yale when I arrived there 30-some years ago. I could talk about mother-guilt, and how I have failed to convey my moral values to my daughter.
My hope, looking forward, is to warn other parents: Stanford and many other colleges and universities do not respect their common-sense values. The university seeks to undermine those values. If parents don’t want “gender neutral” housing for their children, they need to talk with their money, the only voice the university will allow them. Otherwise, parents will have to resign themselves to the risk of paying a heavier cost than they expect for their children’s education.
Note to Ms. Morin: lose the mother-guilt but keep fighting the good fight.