convey a fatuous, doctrinaire caricaturenof higher learning, a sop to a petticoatnjunction turned revolutionary — thenuniversity’s Trojan Horse. Despitensuch distraction, the challenge for mennand women will remain ineluctably thensame: to continue to learn how best tonlive as members of society, as individuals,ntrue to their respective, distinctnnatures and without a politicized egotisticalnfocus on one gender or thenother, leading to hypertrophy of thenspecies.n— W. Edward ChynowethnSanger, CAnDr. Fox-GenovesenReplies:nThe responses to my recent piece innChronicles offer a salutary reminder ofnwhy, persisting reservations notwithstanding,nI continue to take pride in mynassociation with women’s studies.nThey also shake my hopes that those ofnus who insist that women’s studiesnmeet the highest scholarly standardsncan look for allies on the right. More’snthe pity.nMr. Burris has my deepest sympathynand, in most instances, would probablynhave my political support as well. Thenhorrors he describes do occur — toonfrequently to permit any of us to bencomplacent — and, if I read the signsnof the times correctly, they are likely tonincrease. Indeed, he evokes only thensymptoms of the deepest problem,nnamely the growing tendency to substitutenentitlement for achievement asnthe criteria for academic positions. Innthe worst case scenario, intellectualnstandards and academic freedom arenbecoming the stakes in an escalatingnwar for control of our campuses.nThere are no justifications for thenexcesses of which Mr. Burris writes.nBut there is, as people like EdwardnChynoweth regularly insist, a smallnproblem of human nature. Withoutndefending unacceptable practices ofnpreferential treatment, it is possible tonpoint out that some women and theirnallies are merely doing unto othersnwhat has, for decades, been done tonthem. Decades, not centuries. Thenissue is not the ideological cant ofnmen’s “domination” or “suppression”nof women throughout history. Thenissue is the documented reality of thensystematic exclusion of professionaln(female) individuals from the positionsnfor which they are highly qualified.nHaving experienced discriminationndoes not justify discrimination againstnothers. But unless one understandsnthat women have been massively discriminatednagainst in professional employment,nincluding in the academy,none will never understand the deepnconviction that informs the variousnattempts to right previous wrongs. Fornwrongs there have been.nIn the academy, as throughoutnmuch of our society, we are confrontingna situation in which civil society hasnfailed to reform itself. That failure hasnled many women to turn to academicnadministrations and state and federalngovernment to enforce impartial standardsnand, occasionally, even to redressnprevious imbalances.nMr. Burris claims that my remarksnabout the potentially dangerous consequencesnof unilateral opposition tonwomen’s studies can be translated intonplain English as “those who stand inn/ our way have only themselves to blamenwhen we tighten the noose.” He hasnunderstood part of my meaning. Fornthe rest, he has either misunderstood ornattempted a polemical feint. The appropriatenpronoun is not “we” butn”they.”nGentlemen, there are women scholarsnand yes, heaven forfend, feministsnwho share what I should like to think isnthe essence of your commitment tonstandards, due process, free speech,nand scholarship. But we are currentlynin a dangerous and exposed position.nAnd without working alliances withnothers who share those commitments,nhowever much they differ on othernmatters, we will go down to defeat.nAnd so, I believe, will you.nAs for Mr. Chynoweth, if he believesnthat our great Western culturenhas not disproportionately expressednthe perceptions, goals, and identities ofnmen (who, until very recently, werenmore often than not legally entitled tonspeak and act in the name of women),nI do hope he can muster the samencomplacent acceptance of a postmodernistnculture that overwhelmingly articulatesnthe perceptions, goals, andnidentities of radical feminists.nYes, the Western tradition belongs tonus all, but those who have fashioned itnhave been disproportionately men. Ifnnnwomen are not invited to find theirnown ways of identifying with it, theynmay well feel obliged to declare themselvesnits enemies. And in a dangerousnworld they will find allies.nLet me try one more time. Thenwomen’s studies I advocate and haventhe honor to preside over at EmorynUniversity is precisely that — the studynof women in history, society, and culture.nIt is not “feminist studies” for thengood reason that we do not tolerate thenimposition of any ideology but ratherninvite broad substantive and theoreticalndebate on all cogent issues. Had thenhistory of women not been maliciouslynignored for so long, we might not needna special program of this kind, much asnwe might not need African-Americannstudies. That cannot now be helped.nBut I do hope that conservatives understandnand respond to one of thenmessages I tried to deliver: some of usnwho are promoting women’s studiesnwant and badly need the intellectualncontributions of scholars with viewpointsnother than those now dominant.nIn this matter I stand with that eminentnscholar Jacob Neusner, whose splendidncall for opening the canon to African-nAmerican and ethnic studies (NationalnReview, June 15, 1984) ought to benrequired reading.nJ OHN SHELTON REED,nlongtime contributor to Chronicles,nhas recently published hisnninth book. Whistling Dixie:nDispatches from the South. Publishednby the University of MissourinPress, Whistling Dixie is ancollection of essays written bynProfessor Reed over the last tennyears, many of which appearednfirst in these very pages. ProfessornReed’s many admirers willnnow be able to appreciate the fullnrange of the South’s most perceptivenhumorist. As EugenenCenovese writes in the foreword,nthese “sallies provide a delightfulnintroduction to the corpus ofnReed’s work, at least for peoplenwho are willing to hear othernvoices and who retain the capacitynto laugh at themselves.”nDECEMBER 1990/5n