The folks at the D.C.-based, conservative-leaning organization Concerned Women for America are downright chipper about a South Carolina college’s decision to scrap its women’s studies center and take up teaching the Constitution.
Last Tuesday, the University of South Carolina Upstate announced that due to administrative trimming, the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies would go. On the same day, the South Carolina Senate voted to “punish” USC Upstate, in the words of The Associated Press, for assigning books on homosexuality, mandating that the public university spend the same amount – in this case $17,000 – on teaching the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Federalist Papers.
The center had previously run into gay-related trouble for having hired performance artist Leigh Hendrix, who goes by the stage name Butchy McDyke, to do her show “How To Be a Lesbian in 10 Days or Less” for a springtime forum on LGBTQ cultural mores. State Republican legislators were not pleased. “If they’ve got extra money sitting around to promote perversion, obviously they’ve got more money than they really need,” said GOP S.C. Sen. Kevin Bryant, according to The State newspaper. The show was canceled.
Meanwhile, Democratic colleagues called last Tuesday’s constitutional compromise homophobic. “Y'all can wish away homosexuality all you want,” Democratic State Sen. Brad Hutto said. “I’ve never heard all this squawking until it comes to homosexuality … Until we get over it, we’ll continue to invite upon ourselves publicity that is unmerited.”
Back in Washington, D.C., Penny Nance, the president and chief executive officer of Concerned Women for America, was pleased with both the closure of the women’s center and that students would be learning about the founding documents. “Congratulations to the University of South Carolina Upstate for having the courage and good sense to eliminate a course of study whose sole purpose is to indoctrinate young women in leftist ideology,” Nance said in a statement.
Nance’s group is constantly on the lookout for anything that screams indoctrination, though it lost its most recent battle against the potential National Women's History Museum. “What we really came to understand was that this was really representing a real jaundiced view of history,” Nance told Whispers at the time, explaining the opposition. Earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives, in an overwhelming majority, passed a bill that would look into the creation of such a museum in Washington. Nance said she would only support legislation that provided safeguards to ensure there's equal representation of conservatives in the museum's corridors. “This can’t be a shrine to feminism on the National Mall,” she said.
Nance connected the two issues by saying that the one upside of the museum is that it could employ “jobless feminists” who had pursued women’s studies. “But back to the point,” she said. “Well done USC Upstate! Women’s studies majors may in fact more clearly understand their ‘rights’ and whether they are actually being violated after a thorough reading of the Constitution.”