Sally C. Pipes - Contributor
[Courtesty of Pacific Research Institute]
C. Pipes is President and CEO, Pacific
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Inflicting a False Environment
[Sally C. Pipes] 4/7/04
and the presidential election, militant feminism is not much
in the news these days. But that doesn't mean it is
out of action or lacking influence. Consider Women Escaping
A Violent Environment or WEAVE.
Based in California's
capital, Sacramento, WEAVE operates a rape crisis center and
battles domestic violence. The group also
operates extensively in the area's public schools. Giving an
outside group a captive audience of students should invite scrutiny.
WEAVE materials include the "Roots of Violence," a
workshop that includes a chart showing that people in power have
They are white, rich, middle-aged, able-bodied, male, and heterosexual.
People without power, on the other hand, are nonwhite, poor,
young, elderly, disabled, female, and homosexual. See how simple
it all is. This kind of propaganda is generally self-refuting,
but please indulge some reflection.
Adviser Condoleezza Rice, a woman of great accomplishment,
might find it odd that "white" and "male" are
automatic attributes of power, and that female somehow denotes
weakness. The many successful businesswomen this column has profiled,
many of them minorities, would also find it insulting.
Willie Brown, longtime speaker of the California Assembly, and
former mayor of San Francisco, might object to the notion that
nonwhites are without power. So might former DC mayor Marion
Berry, or Secretary of State Colin Powell.
The middle-aged parent who pays more in taxes than she does
on food, housing, or college tuition could be excused from thinking
that an age somewhere between 30 and 60 is a characteristic of
having power or being somehow oppressive. A severe disability,
cleverly concealed from the American people, was no barrier to
the attainment of power by Franklin Roosevelt.
Barney Frank, openly homosexual, serves in Congress. Mark Leno
and Jackie Goldberg, openly homosexual, serve in the California
Assembly. They would be surprised to learn that they have no
The implication in
WEAVE's material is that only the "power" group
has a need for control that leads to violence. As the case of
Aileen Wuornos showed, women are as capable as men of being mass
murderers. The unrepentant Wuornos was also, by the way, a lesbian,
and poor. Dorothea Puente, an elderly Latina of limited means,
bumped off retirees in Sacramento and stole their money.
More recently, one Marcus Wesson of Fresno appears to have found
being poor and African American no bar to completely controlling
the lives of people and perpetrating acts of shocking violence
against helpless women and children. Other examples could be
multiplied but suffice it to say that the WEAVE workshop is a
baseless caricature. But WEAVE wields some power of its own.
We are not dealing with television talk-shows or faculty lounge
chit-chat here. WEAVE is inflicting its baleful message on impressionable
students in the public schools. WEAVE boss Nicolette Bautista
says her group's lessons need to be taught starting in grade
five - students are about 10 years old at that point - then repeated
in middle school and high school. One might imagine the outcry
if, say, Focus on the Family, the Eagle Forum, or the National
Rifle Association were invited to hold workshops in the public
schools. Yet one can understand why WEAVE believes it has a mandate
to do so.
WEAVE gets a lot of money from the government, $2,250,851 in
the fiscal year ending June 30, 2002, according to the group's
website. Government grants, in fact, are by far their biggest
source of income. So the group has no objection to taking money
generated by middle-aged, male, able-bodied, heterosexual taxpayers.
Domestic violence and sexual assault are serious issues. But
it is hard to see how preventing both can be served by a bogus
view that divides society into an oppressor class and a victim
class, and attempts to shoe-horn everything into that template.
A better place to start would be the view learned from direct
experience by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, that the line separating
good and evil runs not between classes, nations, races, or genders
but straight down the middle of every human heart. CRO
2004 Pacific Research Institute