To the Editor:
Recently the National Science Foundation (NSF) granted Professor Thomas Ford (WCU) and Associate Professor Julie Woodzicka (Washington and Lee University) $300,000.00 to research how sexist humor contributes to imbalanced relations between men and women. Naturally it’s assumed that men have the sexist attitudes and women are the victims of it. The participants in this project will perform such tasks necessary to help the researchers determine how exposure to sexist humor affects perceptions of women and discrimination against them.
The NSF was established by Congress in 1950 with an initial allocation of $225,000. and a “strict budget cap” of $15 million. Like all government agencies, it’s grown over these 60 years and its bloated budget is now in the billions, $6.78 billion in 2010, to be exact. Yes, these are our tax dollars.
We in America live under an overpowering double standard in respect to sexism. I’m fond of the abstract analogy that if a man stands naked in a window and a woman sees him, he’ll be arrested for indecent exposure. If a woman stands naked in a window and a man sees her, he’ll be arrested for being a “Peeping Tom.”
Discrimination, prejudice, bigotry, racism, sexism, narrow-mindedness, all exist in our society. It’s unfortunate but none-the-less, they’re part of the human condition.
David L. Snell