The University as the Woke Mission Field: A Dissident Women’s Studies Ph.D. Speaks Out

Samantha Jones:

I have a Ph.D. in Women’s Studies, but I’m not woke anymore. I write under a pseudonym because, if my colleagues were to find out about my criticisms of this field, I would be unable to find any employment in academia. That someone who critiques the axioms of a field of study feels compelled to write under an assumed name tells you everything you need to know about the authoritarianism underpinning this ideology. I no longer believe that the fundamental ideas of Women’s Studies, and of Critical Social Justice more generally, describe reality; they are at best partial explanations—hyperbolic ideology, not fact-based analysis. I have seen this ideology up close and seen how it consumes and even destroys people, while dehumanizing anyone who dissents.

I’m sad to say it, but I believe that Critical Social Justice ideology—if not beaten in the war of ideas—will destroy the liberal foundation of American society. By liberal I mean principles including, but not limited to, constitutional republican government, equality under the law, due process, a commitment to reason and science, individual liberty, and freedom—of speech, of the press, and of religion. Because Critical Social Justice ideology is now the dominant paradigm in American academia, it has flowed into all other major societal institutions, the media, and even corporations. Far from being counter-cultural, Critical Social Justice ideology is now the cultural mainstream. A diverse spectrum of liberals, libertarians, conservatives, and all others who, to put it bluntly, want the American constitution to continue to serve as the basis for our society have to team up to prevent this ideology from destroying our country.

I became “woke” around 2003, so I have nearly two decades of experience with Critical Social Justice ideology. As the oldest daughter in a working-class family with six kids, neither of my parents had a college degree, although my mom had taken some community college classes. My high school teachers emphasized the importance of going to college. While I wasn’t sure what opportunities a college education would bring, I decided that it would best to attend, given the urgency with which all the teachers and guidance counselors discussed college as a necessity. I was a good, not great, student, who scored highly very highly on the verbal component of standardized tests. I loved literature and writing, so I figured that I’d get a bachelor’s degree in English literature, then maybe find a job as an administrative assistant and write in my free time. For a seventeen year-old girl who wasn’t especially ambitious, it seemed like a decent plan. At least it was better, I thought, than continuing to work part-time as a waitress. And through a combination of scholarships and part-time work, I realized that I’d be able to complete a bachelor’s degree without incurring any debt.