The Chronicle’s View

By By Chronicle Senior Staff

By Chronicle Senior Staff

Tonight, students have the opportunity to attend The Vagina Monologues, the proceeds of which go to benefit women’s charities as part of a larger event known as V-Day.

While well-intentioned, events like The Vagina Monologues and V-Day are not enough to fix the systemic problem of sexism in our society in general-and on the U campus in particular.

Sexism is alive and well at the U, whether it be men subjugating women, women participating in the marginalization of other women or the tacit approval of either of these things through the silence of well-meaning but cowardly bystanders.

The only way to fight such a pervasive influence is to combat it with measures that are equally strong-and not simply slap a Band-Aid on a problem that requires amputation.

Female students on this campus find themselves the victims of sexism every day, and the university administration is doing nothing about it. Sexism doesn’t have to be domestic violence or outright discrimination-it is as simple as sexist joke told in a lab, a professor who calls mostly on male students and so forth.

What should be of the utmost importance to the people in the Park Building-the safety and self-worth of female students and the moral character of male students-is only eliciting superficial and ineffective responses. And for their apparent disregard for this issue, university administrators are also guilty of sexism.

Until the problem of sexism disappears from our society, the entire diversity credit should be overhauled to actually reflect its original purpose-introducing students to the concept of “the Other” and helping them deconstruct the barriers that separate individuals along lines of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, etc.

Every diversity class should talk about all of these issues, not just one of them. And as with the requirements for humanities, science, social science and fine arts, students should have to take two classes that expose them to issues of diversity.

Many university students may find this requirement too strident, wondering what women’s issues have to with engineering, physics, music, etc., but the answer should be obvious: absolutely everything.

The fact is that an education is intended to make students more intelligent and well-rounded citizens-not simply afford them the opportunity to gain higher-paying employment.

No man should graduate from this university and still retain sexist ideas-and no woman has earned her diploma unless she can recognize sexism and has the courage to stand up for herself and other women.