Letters : Women's Studies at Cal State Northridge

March 26, 1985

In your March 18 Valley section is an article by James Quinn entitled "CSUN Feminists Make Course Strides."

Two sets of questions need to be asked about the feminist influence at Cal State Northridge. First, is it the proper role of a university course of instruction "to convince" or to "convert" students? Normally, courses designed to indoctrinate are straightforwardly called exercises in propaganda. What prevents feminist courses intended to convert from being viewed as new modes of indoctrination?

Second, can men teach courses in "women's studies" at CSUN? Only one man is mentioned by your reporter as having taught such a course (appropriately enough he's from the Religion Department, where familiarity with indoctrination is perhaps more widespread). Is there a gender test--as well as an ideological test--in the assignment of these courses?

Feminists at Northridge have conveniently forgotten that university courses are intended to raise questions in their subject area and then to provide students with a clear record of the answers to those questions offered by and in works of intellectual profundity, documents of historical significance and research of relevance. Departures from this standard should be viewed with grave suspicion, as the debasing of university principles by political and sexual bias. Feminism at Northridge seems to think itself so special that it need not meet the intellectual tests properly applied to university studies.


Woodland Hills

Fair Housing Council's Work

We at the Fair Housing Council of the San Fernando Valley thank you for your article exploring housing discrimination against children (March 4). The article could only begin, however, to describe the problems of finding adequate housing for families with children. Adequate housing for children would allow them to grow up as valued human beings.

The staff of the council continue to believe that we, as a society, must examine our attitudes toward our children. For soon the children will be adults and in charge. Remembering how we treated them, how will they, then, treat us?

Thank you for raising the issue.



Van Nuys

Hanna-Witherspoon and Brydon are executive director and housing coordinator, respectively, of the Fair Housing Council of the San Fernando Valley.

Coming Election in Burbank

One of the most important elections in Burbank's history is up coming on April 9. Yet, save for a petty potshot now and again, the silence in the political arena is deafening.

Our city is caught up in a faction fight, the likes of which I have not seen in my 38 years of residence here. It is no secret that council member Mary Lou Howard is trying to gain control of the council. She has clearly demonstrated her goal by her public support of three candidates who obviously are "more sympathetic to her views." One of them appears to be concerned solely with the welfare of Burbank's employee work force, other than management; another has alluded to corruption in our public service department; and the third, a political novice, seems to have ridden into the runoff on the strength of his identity with the redistricting issue, which he never fully supported in the first place.

The other side doesn't seem to be doing much better in presenting clear-cut issues which would be beneficial to the citizens of Burbank. The mayor keeps having pre-victory parties without stating why he thinks he deserves the victory; the other incumbent said from the start that he would not actively seek re-election, and he appears to be keeping his word; and the third member of this apparent triumvirate seems only to want NOT to be identified with the other two.

Neither group can be all right or all wrong, but if either gains complete control of the council, then our system of checks and balances will surely be tried. This is a real dilemma for those conscientious Burbank voters who have been dissatisfied with the incumbents, but who are reluctant to trade what some consider to be one evil for another.

Perhaps if voters avoid block voting one of the two opposing factions will end up with a majority of 3 on the council, instead of 4. That is the best we can hope for. Sad to say, we Burbankers appear to be faced with voting for the lesser of two evils instead of having the opportunity of selecting the best for our city.



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