The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

University Shuts Down Women’s Center After ‘How to Be a Lesbian’ Controversy

Posted on | May 19, 2014 | 88 Comments


Controversy flared in March when it was reported that the University of South Carolina Upstate (USCU) Center for Women’s & Gender Studies would host Leigh Hendrix’s one-woman show, “How to Be a Lesbian in 10 Days or Less.” Now, USCU officials have announced that the Center for Women’s & Gender Studies will be closed:

The University of South Carolina Upstate eliminated the center that sponsored a gay culture symposium this spring as part of $450,000 in cost cuts for next year. School leaders said that sponsorship did not lead to the 15-year-old center’s demise. . . .
The decision to close Upstate’s Center for Women’s and Gender Studies on July 1 was not related to sponsoring a symposium this spring that examined “New Normals, Old Normals, Future Normals in LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) Community,” chancellor Moore said. The symposium scheduled a play, called “How to Be a Lesbian in 10 Days or Less,” that was canceled after an outcry . . .
Cutting the center will save $45,000 a year, a school spokeswoman said. The center’s director will return to the school’s full-time faculty.
“Not only is this decision not punitive or a response to external pressure, it is part of an effort to be consistent and systematic across academic affairs in how we administer and support various programs,” Moore said.
Women’s and Gender Studies is the only interdisciplinary minor at Upstate that has a dedicated center, the school said.

Despite official statements that the lesbian controversy was not a factor in the decision to close the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at the USCU campus in Spartanburg, some faculty members told Charleston City Paper columnist Alison Piepmeier that USCU is now “a hostile environment,” a climate they find “terrifying.” Trudy Ring at the feminist site suggested “retaliation” motivated the decision.

The web page of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies has no statement about the decision, nor have press accounts about the decision quoted the Center’s director, Professor Merri Lisa Johnson.

Professor Merri Lisa Johnson.

Professor Johnson is a self-described radical “queer feminist”:

The director of the University of South Carolina Upstate (USCU) Center for Women’s and Gender Studies (CWGS) suffers from a “serious mental illness” and in 2010 described herself as a “newlywed lesbian” whose partner was apparently her former student.
Professor Merri Lisa Johnson published a 2010 book about her struggles with borderline personality disorder. The description of her partner in that book appears to fit a young “butch” lesbian who graduated from USCU in 2008, two years after Professor Johnson joined the faculty of the school in Spartanburg, S.C. . . .
In her 2010 book, Girl in Need of a Tourniquet: Memoir of a Borderline Personality, Professor Johnson describes herself as a “psycho girlfriend” with a history of dysfunctional relationships with both men and women: “Johnson combines her late-in-life coming out story (between ages 31-37) with the story of what amounts to a nervous breakdown as the result of an affair with a married lesbian colleague.” That affair “prompted her to seek professional help,” apparently around the time Professor Johnson  left Coastal Carolina University to become director of USCU-CWGS in 2006. . . .
In an article last fall, Professor Johnson described her “queer feminist insistence on the importance, validity, and complexity of women’s pleasure” and her “Marxist feminist distrust of pleasure under patriarchy,” adding that “teaching Women’s and Gender Studies 101 since fall 2006 . . . has firmed up my radical side.”

Feminism’s hostility toward men and toward heterosexuality has often been expressed as lesbian advocacy:

“Feminism is the theory, lesbianism is the practice.”
Ti-Grace Atkinson, 1971

“The simple fact is that every woman must be willing to be identified as a lesbian to be fully feminist.”
Sheila Cronan, 1988

“Heterosexual intercourse is the pure, formalized expression of contempt for women’s bodies.”
Andrea Dworkin, 1989

“Men have been creating ideologies and political practices which naturalize female heterosexuality continuously in every culture since the dawns of the patriarchies. . . . Female heterosexuality is not a biological drive or an individual woman’s erotic attraction . . . Female heterosexuality is a set of social institutions and practices.”
Marilyn Frye, 1992

“Male supremacy is centered on the act of sexual intercourse, justified by heterosexual practice.”
Sheila Jeffreys, 2005

See also:




88 Responses to “University Shuts Down Women’s Center After ‘How to Be a Lesbian’ Controversy”

  1. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    May 19th, 2014 @ 7:55 pm

    I updated it with a dish that should appeal to you (especially given your avatar)

  2. Norman Invasion
    May 19th, 2014 @ 7:59 pm

    Obviously, because homosexuality is inborn, & you can’t ever actually convert someone… right?

  3. Sonya Blade
    May 19th, 2014 @ 8:26 pm

    Thought they were “born that way”…yeah..and monkeys fly outta their butts too. Feminists don’t help women. They help themselves to their own sick agenda. The militant ones simply abhor men…so they try to get as many women as they can to do the same.

  4. maniakmedic
    May 19th, 2014 @ 8:31 pm

    Oh no. See, if you’re gay, you can’t go straight. But if you’re straight, you can always go gay. It makes perfect sense… if you routinely bash your head against the corner of a brick wall while drinking absinthe. Or are liberal. Or a feminist. But who could tell the difference?

  5. Whothehell Cares
    May 19th, 2014 @ 8:45 pm

    Good riddance to bad rubbish. Best decision the university could make.

  6. Julie Pascal
    May 19th, 2014 @ 8:48 pm

    You would find it at a tiny Bible college… and nothing wrong with that but the secular version pretends that it’s *not* what it is. And they do the theory thing and pretend that it’s not similarly excluding other ideas or conclusions.

  7. John Bradley
    May 19th, 2014 @ 8:49 pm

    Burt Convy’s been dead for over 20 years, so it’ll probably be a bit of a downer.

    There’s a horror film to be made there, though. “From the mind of Rob Zombie, Tattletales 2014 — featuring the reanimated corpses of Bert Convy, Eydie Gourme, and Sonny Bono, with special guest Charles Nelson Reilly”.

  8. Art Deco
    May 19th, 2014 @ 8:52 pm

    At that particular institution, there was generous student interest in English literature, ample in philosophy, and adequate in comparative religion, French literature, Spanish literature, and Art History. The undersubscribed programs were the victimology programs (which were a mix of humanities and social sciences) and some minor language programs, music and theatre, and a mishmash of interdisciplinary programs. Nothing comparable in the social research departments. The physics department was badly undersubscribed given costs.

  9. Art Deco
    May 19th, 2014 @ 8:53 pm

    The problem with women’s studies is that there is no department. They have ‘corresponding faculty’ from a variety of departments. As I said, this distorts faculty hiring.

  10. dcnj
    May 19th, 2014 @ 9:43 pm

    “Heterosexual intercourse is the pure, formalized expression of contempt for women’s bodies.”


  11. Guest
    May 19th, 2014 @ 9:49 pm

    wow, that is fucked up. the women’s center was the ONLY place on campus where oppressed minorities felt safe!


  12. Mike G.
    May 19th, 2014 @ 10:01 pm

    Why not the Cheetah 3?

  13. Mike G.
    May 19th, 2014 @ 10:04 pm


  14. concern00
    May 19th, 2014 @ 10:15 pm

    I think Dworkin should be allowed to keep her vagina as her own.

  15. RS
    May 19th, 2014 @ 10:30 pm

    The problem with women’s studies is that there is no department. They have ‘corresponding faculty’ from a variety of departments.

    I don’t disagree. This problem began in English Departments, usually with the junior most faculty member who was assigned to teach Comp 101. She–because it was usually a female in the late 70s and early 80s–suffered “content envy” with respect to her course assignments and began turning Freshman Comp into “Gender Studies/Men are Bad 101.” It was slow but nonetheless perceptible. I was there when it started and it was one of the reasons I gave up on a career in Academe.

    Coincidentally, thus began the shift from training in classic argumentation in freshman and sophomore composition classes to a more “expressive” form of writing. Call it, “my opinion is the only thing which is valid, no matter how ludicrous it is, and you have no right to critique it.” From there it spread to history and the social “sciences.” We’ve been in academic and intellectual hell ever since.

  16. Gates of Vienna News Feed 5/19/2014 | Gates of Vienna
    May 20th, 2014 @ 12:08 am

    […] University Shuts Down Women’s Center After ‘How to be a Lesbian’ Controversy […]

  17. Kirby McCain
    May 20th, 2014 @ 1:22 am

    And just by chance the average length of a cucumber is eight inches.

  18. K-Bob
    May 20th, 2014 @ 2:10 am

    Hot dog!

  19. K-Bob
    May 20th, 2014 @ 2:12 am

    I just read thru the article, then all the comments. Now I’m going to have a drink or three and try again. Maybe it’s like listening to Grateful Dead or something, and it will only make sense when I kill a few million brane cells.

  20. jirji388sa
    May 20th, 2014 @ 2:23 am
  21. jirji388sa
    May 20th, 2014 @ 2:23 am

    story of feminism as told by women

  22. jirji388sa
    May 20th, 2014 @ 2:23 am

    Effects of Feminism On Men

  23. jirji388sa
    May 20th, 2014 @ 2:24 am

    ragequit in record time by a feminist COWARD!

  24. jirji388sa
    May 20th, 2014 @ 2:24 am

    ragequit in record time by a feminist COWARD! …

  25. jirji388sa
    May 20th, 2014 @ 2:24 am

    Effects of Feminism On Men

  26. jirji388sa
    May 20th, 2014 @ 2:25 am

    Effects of Feminism On Men …

  27. Funcuz
    May 20th, 2014 @ 6:36 am

    Now if only every other university and college on earth would follow suit…

  28. Dana
    May 20th, 2014 @ 9:26 am

    Since, as Windy has told us, no woman could want a penis in her vagina, and even those who have been so thoroughly conditioned by the cisheteronormative patriarchy as to asking a man to do such to her are still being raped, if a lesbian asks another lesbian to use a strap-on during their playtime, is the “receiving” lesbian being raped, even though she asked for it?

  29. Art Deco
    May 20th, 2014 @ 9:31 am

    At that particular institution, the leading spirit in the ‘Women’s Studies’ program was an education professor. It had been run by a sociology professor at one point, but the sociology and anthropology faculty were disaffected after a while. The black studies program was run by a sociology professor. The ‘native american studies’ program was run by a comparative religion maven, and so forth.

  30. Quartermaster
    May 20th, 2014 @ 1:22 pm

    Making babies was very entertaining. The next 19 years, not so much. 🙂

  31. Quartermaster
    May 20th, 2014 @ 1:25 pm

    I can understand Physics being undersubscribed. Physics demands rigor, along with the other STEM fields. Physics, however, is probably the most difficult of the STEM fields and Engineering pays better besides.

  32. Quartermaster
    May 20th, 2014 @ 1:27 pm

    You can’t. Just lay back and enjoy it.

  33. Quartermaster
    May 20th, 2014 @ 1:28 pm

    It’s coming. The Hi Ed bubble is close to bursting and the damage it does will be horrific.

  34. RhymesWithRight
    May 20th, 2014 @ 7:13 pm

    You feel threatened, ladies, because you don’t have your own little politicized pseudo-academic department? Then go elsewhere.

  35. DukeLax
    May 21st, 2014 @ 12:59 am

    American law enforcement now change their protocols and policies to whatever gender-feminist groups tell them to. These gender-feminist / law enforcement Alliances are turning hetero-relationships into very real legal liabilities for American guys,

  36. #RapeCulture Eggs and Omelettes : The Other McCain
    May 21st, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

    […] what we know about feminists and their agenda — which demonizes men and stigmatizes heterosexuality — what political purpose is […]

  37. rsmccain
    May 21st, 2014 @ 3:42 pm

    RT @bobloblaw1717: “How to Be a Lesbian in 10 Days or Less.”

  38. ‘Trigger Warning’: How Feminism Promotes Harmful Stereotypes : The Other McCain
    May 23rd, 2014 @ 11:13 am

    […] May 19: University Shuts Down Women’s Center After ‘How to Be a Lesbian’ Controversy […]