Reagan's Portrayal as Sexist in Textbook Stirs Controversy

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Tuesday, 18 Feb 2014 11:49 AM

By Courtney Coren

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A college sociology textbook portrays Ronald Reagan as a sexist who downplayed racism, stirring anger among some students.

"I was absolutely shocked and was tempted to throw the book away," Anna Chapman, a sophomore at the University of South Carolina, told Fox News. "I would even write comments in the actual textbook next to some of the offensive things that I read. I didn't know that this is what I had signed up for."

According to the textbook, "Introduction to Social Work & Social Welfare: Critical Thinking Perspectives," Reagan "ascribed to women, 'primarily domestic functions' and failed to appoint many women to significant positions of power during his presidency."

The textbook doesn't mention that Reagan appointed the first woman to the Supreme Court, Sandra Day O'Connor; the first woman to be the ambassador to the United Nations; the first female secretary of transportation; the first female secretary of health and human services; and the first female labor secretary, Fox News said.

According to excerpts obtained by the blog Campus Reform, Reagan's main accomplishments were reducing taxes, increasing defense spending, and cutting welfare spending.

"Reagan 'discounted the importance of racism and discrimination,' and maintained that, 'if they tried,' African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans could become just as successful as White people," the textbook says. "He viewed American males as rugged individualists who could accomplish almost anything if they tried."

It also describes conservatives as averse to change and clinging to traditions. The textbook says that "conservatives 'tend to take a basically pessimistic view of human nature. People are conceived of as being corrupt, self-centered, lazy, and incapable of true charity.'"

"This is really outrageous, it's so in our face, and people need to know about it," Chapman told Campus Reform.

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