Townhall needs better intellectual rape tests

Theresa Bruskin

Yesterday, I came across a article that just begged for a response: “Intellectual Rapists,” by conservative columnist Mike Adams. It was one of those headlines that really drew me in, so my expectations were high.

I wasn’t disappointed. Adams wrote the tale of former Humboldt State University professor Mark Harwood and his quest for intellectual freedom in human sexuality courses. First, he faced master’s students who “simply couldn’t wrap their minds around the idea that males and females are different” and disagreed with his “emphasis on techniques for treating sexual dysfunction.” Adams gave no hint at what that actually meant.

But the real war involved Harwood’s following semester’s undergraduate course on the same topic, which was merged with a women’s studies course. Near the end of the semester, he covered domestic violence, at the request of his teaching assistant from the women’s studies department. As Adams put it, Harwood sees domestic violence as “a relationship problem with both partners contributing to the dysfunctional relationship and one or both of them playing a role in the initiation and maintenance of the violence.”

Adams added that “virtually all” leading experts on the issue support this view, even though “to the women’s studies students, domestic violence is always entirely the fault of the male.” He asked us to merely take him at his word, giving no further proof of this.

Needless to say, the women’s studies students were less than pleased by his analysis, and chaos ensued. After a few more similar incidents, Harwood left the university to work at Wheaton College, a Christian liberal arts school outside Chicago.

Adam concluded with this gem: “(Harwood) knows feminists don’t fear retaliation for abusing their intellectual superiors.”

Now, feminists are no strangers to being called fascist, intolerant and uneducated, but by Adams’ own definition, he’s nothing but the same. You can’t suggest that the women’s studies students clung only to their feminist dogma and refused to consider actual research, and then neglect to provide examples of any of the claims you are trying to promote yourself. He made several claims about human sexuality and domestic abuse throughout his column but never mentioned a single source or reference.

His headline, “Intellectual Rapists,” only furthers this conundrum. Rape refers to the act of sexually violating someone, usually including other violence in the act of force and nothing else. While I understand that such metaphors are common, they are nonetheless unsophisticated and crass. Was Harwood’s intellect sexually violated? No.

But Adams appears to have made a career out of spewing ignorant nonsense. His other headlines on Townhall include: “You Aren’t Bipolar, You’re Just a Jerk!” “Get Back in the Kitchen,” “Get Back in the Closet” and “How to Cure Your Daughter’s STD (socialist teaching disorder).”

If you aren’t familiar with Townhall (slogan: “Where your opinion counts!),” it’s the self-proclaimed No. 1 conservative Web site, featuring “100 leading columnists and opinion leaders, research from 100 partner organizations, conservative talk-radio and a community of millions of grassroots conservatives.”

Adams, supposedly one of these “leading columnists,” only detracts from Townhall’s purpose. While I disagree with most Townhall contributors and their conclusions, I recognize their importance in public discourse and appreciate their role in discussion. But it’s vastly counter-productive to feature such tripe when it should never see the light of day. If Adams truly wants to fight what he considers feminist fascism, he needs to start by looking at his own values and stop attacking others in such a callow fashion.

Theresa Bruskin is a senior political science major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].