DeSantis-Backed Reforms Eliminate Gender Studies Program at Florida College, Sparking Controversy

After the New College of Florida board of trustees’s previous decision to replace the school’s leadership and dismantle its diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, they have once again made headlines by abolishing its gender studies major.

A New Direction the Evolution of College Reform

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Antonio Guillem

The New College of Florida’s trustees, with several new members appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, have taken significant steps to reshape the college’s direction. 

The Big Changes

Image Credit: Shutterstock / ra2 studio

Earlier this year, they ousted the school’s leaders and eliminated its diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

Among these changes is the discontinuation of the gender studies major, which has sparked considerable discussion. 

Chris Rufo’s View

Image Credit: Shutterstock / the stock company

Chris Rufo, a trustee member and prominent critic of critical race theory, said that these reforms align with the college’s goal of restoring classical liberal education and emphasizing “transcendent truth” – values he believes are at odds with gender studies and queer theory.

Rufo Gains Support

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / PeopleImages.com – Yuri A

Rufo’s advocacy for a “classical liberal arts” education has garnered attention, primarily among conservatives who hope to reshape education at an institutional level. 

New Educational Renaissance

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images

By emphasizing the idea of a renaissance, a return to traditional values, the call for classical liberal arts education evokes a sense of nostalgia and a renewed focus on learning for its supporters. 

The Renaissance Values

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

However, Rufo’s vision of this education centers on the pursuit of objective truths – the “true, the good, and the beautiful.”

These are values often associated with Neoplatonism, a perspective that interprets Platonic ideas with Christian principles. 

Possible Religious Undertones

Image Credit: Shutterstock / BRAIN2HANDS

While Rufo has not made overt religious references, his ideas resonate with a religious history that has left some critics concerned about his ideas and their potential breach of the separation of church and state.

Gender Studies Under Scrutiny

Image Credit: Shutterstock / PeopleImages.com – Yuri A

Rufo’s stance against gender studies stems from his belief in the pursuit of “transcendent truths,” which he associates with classical liberal arts education. However, this perspective places him at odds with gender studies.

What Is Gender Studies?

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Cookie Studio

Gender studies is meant to critically examine the societal dynamics and cultural constructs of gender roles across different cultures and time. 

The Conflict

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Erik AJV

Despite Gender Studies focus being the study of language, sociology, and relationships, it often challenges established religious beliefs about gender roles. This has led to conflicts and debates on the purpose and content of education.

The Strategy of Education Reform

Image Credit: Shutterstock / William Barton

Conservatives and education reformers are hoping to reshape the American education landscape with a new strategy that includes a moral perspective.

The New Strategy Explained 

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

In his article on Substack, Rufo said, “for decades, conservatives made their arguments primarily through a statistical frame, using the language of finance, economics, and performance metrics. 

But in recent years, the rise of left-wing racialist ideology…has created an opportunity, even the necessity, for conservatives to make their arguments through a moral frame.”

Liberal Fears

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Krakenimages.com

Because of this new strategy and the New College of Florida’s recent reforms, some liberal critics fear conservative education reformers’ real objective is to instill their ideology through education, which ultimately aligns with their conservative values and reinforces their power. 

Different Perspectives

Image Credit: Shutterstock / 1000 Words

In a recent opinion piece on the College reforms, Marcie Bianco said “Why this strategy? Conservatives need Americans to be unquestionably loyal to their ideology to maintain the societal status quo and traditional values that reinforce and maintain their political, economic and social power.”

Social media also had a couple of comments to make. One user said ‘They don’t call it FloriDUH for nothing.’

Another commented, “It is too bad the fine residents of Florida are presently saddled with an anti-intellectual Christian Nationalist like DeSantis.”

Trump 2024 Campaign Derails: Judge Chutkan Fast-Tracks Trial Date to Preempt Super Tuesday Showdown

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Alexandros Michailidis

A federal judge dealt a huge blow to Donald Trump’s 2024 election plans on Monday. She didn’t do much for his prospects of staying out of jail, either. Trump 2024 Campaign Derails: Judge Chutkan Fast-Tracks Trial Date to Preempt Super Tuesday Showdown

Tucker Carlson Drops Bombshell Allegations: Obama’s Crack Habit and Secret Gay Affairs Revealed, Predicts U.S.-Russia War

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Everett Collection

Tucker Carlson, the former Fox News host, made a series of controversial allegations about Barack Obama’s past. He claims the media intentionally overlooked these stories during the run-up to the 2008 presidential election. Tucker Carlson Drops Bombshell Allegations: Obama’s Crack Habit and Secret Gay Affairs Revealed, Predicts U.S.-Russia War

“Chamber of Elderly Homes”: Mitch McConnell Freezes Again and Gets Escorted Away Sparking Health Concerns

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Consolidated News Photos

Mitch McConnell, the 81-year-old Senator, has once again raised concerns about his health and future in politics after a series of troubling incidents, including freezing during a press event and being led away from the podium. “Chamber of Elderly Homes”: Mitch McConnell Freezes Again and Gets Escorted Away Sparking Health Concerns

“Karma Strikes Back” – Russia Faces Its Largest Attack on Home Soil Since the War Began

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Frederic Legrand – COMEO

Reports of drone attacks on Russian soil by the Ukrainian forces have escalated to the largest cross-border attack since the war started, with the important airport in Pskov becoming the latest victim. “Karma Strikes Back” – Russia Faces Its Largest Attack on Home Soil Since the War Began

“We’re Not Done Yet” – Trump Faces Accusations of Embezzling Millions From His Own Supporters! Will the Legal System Finally Hold Him Accountable?

Image Credit: Shutterstock / mark reinstein

Trump faces possible legal difficulties as the PAC is investigated regarding election donations. “We’re Not Done Yet” – Trump Faces Accusations of Embezzling Millions From His Own Supporters! Will the Legal System Finally Hold Him Accountable?

The post DeSantis-Backed Reforms Eliminate Gender Studies Program at Florida College, Sparking Controversy first appeared on Mama Say What?!

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Andrew Cline. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.

+ posts

Keegan Leighty is a committed writer known for his impactful work in bringing attention to societal issues and injustices, using his platform to advocate for change and awareness. He also writes satire and stand up.