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Unearthing Scholastic Seriousness with Back-Boned Courage in St. Paul?

The Star Tribune ran a story Friday (February 22) headlined, “St. Paul Students Push Ethnic Studies as Core Classwork.”  Featured terms included “culturally relevant curriculum that teaches history through the lens of the oppressed”; “empowering of students to ‘develop into agents for justice in their communities’”; celebrating students’ “identity and ethnicity,” and the old reliable “strengthening self-esteem.” According to reporter Anthony Lonetree, Minneapolis Public Schools offer similar electives, but not required core courses, as is proposed in St. Paul. It would be easy – too easy – to dismiss the St. Paul effort, which is led by a student group called “SPPS...

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False Feminism: How we got from sexual liberation to #MeToo

This essay was published in the February 2019 issue of First Things. As the #MeToo movement has spread from the upper echelons of Hollywood to the halls of Congress, what has most struck me is the startling disconnect between the movement’s feverish sensitivity to sexual impropriety, on the one hand, and women’s eager embrace of our nation’s sex-drenched popular culture, on the other. For example, in 2017—the year #MeToo came to public attention—hip-hop/rap surpassed rock for the first time as the most widely consumed genre of pop music. Americans are now avid consumers of a form of music that demeans and hyper-sexualizes...

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Title IX: What was it meant to do and the nightmare it has become

Can Title IX statutory language be interpreted to empower colleges and universities to essentially act like police, investigators, judges and juries? Congress should revisit Title IX to pull these corrupting police power from our colleges and universities. Federal dollars should u[lift and protect our students and faculty not subject them to nightmarish prosecutions. ...

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Sex and the single mind: The origins of #MeToo

A culture hell-bent on separating pleasure from responsibility made #MeToo inevitable, so now should come the reflective part of the reckoning. This Sunday opinion cover commentary originally appeared in the Star Tribune on June 24, 2018. The first waves of sexual-harassment allegations that powered the #MeToo movement are past, but the pressing issues the movement raises will be with us for a long time. The actions of many of the accused men — actors, politicians, businessmen — were reprehensible and caused real misery. But stepping back, what strikes an observer is a puzzling disconnect. Why were these men so furiously denounced — and their...

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Target: Happy Valentine’s Day To My “Person!”

My wife used to be a loyal Target shopper; in fact, she worked for Target quite a few years ago. Her loyalty has waned as the company has gotten ever more PC, but she still shops there occasionally. She took this picture of a Valentine's Day display in our local Target store: "You Are My Person." How romantic! Is Valentine's Day really celebrated by a lot of people who aren't sure whether the object of their affections is a man or a woman? Or, if the company wants to be gender-neutral, how about "You are my valentine?" Then there is the creepily...

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Are Three Percent of Minnesota Youths Transgender? Of Course Not

"Transgenderism" is the hot craze on the Left. A group that didn't exist (or wasn't known to exist) not many years ago is now presented as the key locus of oppression in American society. For those of us who have never encountered a transgender person, this is a head-scratcher. You can count on the Left to marshal bogus social science in support of its latest cause. Sure enough, today's Star Tribune features this shocking headline: "Almost 3 percent of Minnesota teens identify as transgender or gender non-conforming." The Strib treats this finding, based on a survey of Minnesota 9th and 11th...

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MN Dept. of Education Approves Controversial Transgender Toolkit

[caption id="attachment_7121" align="alignright" width="300"] Opponents of the toolkit wore red, supporters wore purple.[/caption] A Minnesota Department of Education council voted on and approved a “transgender toolkit” during its Wednesday evening meeting. The controversial 10-page document— “A Toolkit for Ensuring Safe and Supportive Schools for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students”— drew a crowd of more than 200 people. LGBT activists rallied around the toolkit, stating transgender and gender nonconforming students needed more support to combat “bullying and harassment” in schools. (Yet, ironically, several of their advocates talked over the end remarks made by toolkit opponents, snarkily telling them "thank you," "goodbye," "you're done," "sit...

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Transgender Toolkit for MN Schools [UPDATE]

The MN Department of Education’s (MDE) School Safety Technical Assistance Council is a week away from approving its controversial transgender and gender nonconforming “resource toolkit.” The initial 29-page document that I wrote about purported to be a compilation of “best practices that schools can use” to address gender identity and focused on a contentious Title IX transgender policy imposed by the Obama administration that is no longer in effect. The second version of “A Toolkit for Ensuring Safe and Supportive Schools for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students” — now 10 pages in length — still informs schools they “need to ensure”...

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