Any aspiring law student should feel privileged to study under Professor Amy Wax. And any true feminist – that is, a person who cares about the advancement, success, professional and personal wholeness, and accomplishment of females – should be celebrating her as an inspiration and a role model.
Wax has excelled academically at three Ivy League schools – Bachelor’s from Yale, medical degree from Harvard, and law degree from Columbia – and she teaches at a fourth, the University of Pennsylvania. Besides that, she has argued 15 times in front of the esteemed justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. She is a treasure trove of life experience, wisdom, and professionalism.
But Wax isn’t celebrated by feminists, nor is she held up as a role model by those who should admire her accomplishments. Instead, she is reviled and has been stripped of her teaching responsibilities for first year law students. And why? She has the wrong politics, of course.
She has argued that evidence demonstrates that traditional marriage values benefit children more than any other arrangement. The fact that such a claim is demonstrably true doesn’t matter. It isn’t politically correct, so she faces the activist firing squad. And it quickly morphed from her being homophobic, to accusations of xenophobia, racism, sexism, and classism.
But after reading a great article about her over at the Daily Signal, I’m impressed that Wax isn’t retreating in the face of the mob. She’s meeting them head-on, calling for a series of hilarious reforms to a university system overrun these days with identity-based grievance mongering. Check this out:
No one can be heard to say, ‘I’m offended.’ They all have permission to be offended. But they just can’t express it.
No one is allowed to accuse anyone else, in the classroom or out, dead or alive, of being racist, sexist, xenophobic, white supremist, or any other derisive, identity-based label. No slurs or name-calling. These don’t enlighten, educate, or edify. They add nothing. Give us an argument. Tell us why the other person is wrong.
No one can complain to administrators—those officious thought police—about anything said in class.
Finally, both the government and private donors need to rethink the lavish financial support for higher education, and especially for elite and selective institutions, which serve only a teeny-tiny portion of our population and which in many ways, I’m afraid, have become an anti-Western and anti-American liability.
How can we get the rich to see that supporting elite universities today might not be the wisest and more fruitful uses of their hard-earned money? What we need is a list of alternative causes and alternative institutions and goals for their money that help ordinary, average, unspecial people who have been unduly neglected by our elites and our increasingly walled off from them.
These things aren’t going to happen, of course. At least not yet. Not until we put into practice my original plan, anyway: burn the entire university system to the ground and start over. It’s still reassuring to see though that there are still some people, no matter how few in number they may be, who still get it. Amy Wax is one of them.