Is there a difference between education and propaganda? Holly’s post last week about Thomas Sowell’s recent column was a great precursor to Chapter 5 in Christina Hoff Sommers’ book, Who Stole Feminism?.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘propaganda’ as: The systematic dissemination of information, esp. in a biased or
misleading way, in order to promote a political cause or point of view.
‘Education’ is defined as: The systematic instruction, schooling or training given to the young in
preparation for the work of life; by extension, similar instruction or
training obtained in adult age. Also, the whole course of scholastic
instruction which a person has received.
I believe that there is a difference between propaganda and education. While propaganda aims to spread biased information for a particular cause, education aims to lead forth, to reach objectivity through discovery and the pursuit of truth.
Dr. Sommers notes that the propaganda approach is very much a ubiquitous feature in Women Studies classroom. As Holly noted, NeW is all about education, about getting both sides of an issue, about engaging in dialogue. Even though I have never taken a Women Studies class, in my English classes, I felt that I was the only one in the class who didn’t agree with the professor. At times, I was convinced that I was not pursuing an education but was rather going through an indoctrination session of political correctness.
In conclusion to her discussion on “The Feminist Classroom,” Dr. Sommers introduces her readers to two female students at Vassar College who established a student club called The Future Housewives of America. Now, however, there is no trace of the student club at Vassar. Although, the idea of being a wife and mother is broadly condemned in university classrooms, modern women still feel the natural allure to this calling. In 2004, Carolyn Kuhlman wrote an article about her take on “Future Housewives of America.”