The University of Oklahoma got budget advice last week from feminist activist Eve Ensler. The playwright famous for “The Vagina Monologues” is concerned about potential budget cuts to the Women’s and Gender Studies program. Oklahoma doesn’t fare well in national rankings of various health and social issues. But we doubt the high female incarceration rates and low use of prenatal care are the result of women not having taken such courses as “Red Dirt Women and Power” or “Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe.” If we want to be serious about improving the plight of Oklahoma women, we should devote our resources accordingly. To address the issue of violence against women, a cause that Ensler champions, money could go directly to shelters or law enforcement instead of to academia. Or we could do something about the women and children’s residential substance abuse treatment program waiting list, which has hundreds of names on any given day.
Eve Ensler (The Oklahoman Archives)