One of the anti-gay-marriage professors I linked to in the previous post is the University of Chicago’s Jean Bethke Elshtain. (Professor Elshtain is on the board of the Women’s Freedom Network, which is one of those anti-feminist think tanks with no actual accomplishments). According to her page on the Institute for American Values, when Ms. Elshtain taught at the University of Massachusetts “from 1973 to 1987, Elshtain drew fire for… allowing men in her Feminism classes.”
I find it extremely doubtful that this claim is true. When my housemate Charles attended UMASS (which was, admittedly, in the 1990s, a decade or so after Ms. Elshtain left), he took women’s studies courses and no one objected. As far as I know, Mary Daly – who was fired from Boston College for her refusal to teach co-ed classes – is the only women’s studies professor, ever, to take such a stand. (And even Daly taught men – she just put men in separate sessions.)
The story also seems unlikely since women-only classes at a co-ed public university would be illegal.
Still, maybe the story is truthful – I’m sure a lot of weird sparks in the pan happened over the years, especially in the early 1970s. Did any “Alas” readers attend UMASS from 1973-1987, or know someone who did?