Topic: WESTERN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS
VIENNA, Austria - It may be a small consolation perhaps for the Austrian males, now legislated into forced labor at the kitchen sink, that some feminists in Arizona have even found Shakespeare to be sexist (see another story below).
Austrian men are soon to be legally obliged to do at least half of the household chores under new laws designed to curb the country's rising divorce rate, the London Telegraph reported on Feb. 22. The idea is to keep Hausfrauen happy by ensuring that their husbands do not slope off to the "bierkeller" (the Limies never could spell German... TiM Ed.), before they have done their share of washing, cooking and cleaning.
At the Florisdorf Registry Office on the outskirts of Vienna, newlyweds Rita and Hans Martinke were puzzled by the politicians' attempts to interfere in their domestic routine. Rita, from Burgenland, said: "Whatever they say I would not let my husband in the kitchen. He doesn't have a clue what he's doing."
Michael Graff, a lawyer, was also critical: "I would never marry a woman who demanded what the government is proposing. Private life can not be regulated. If a man is not suited to housework it is a private matter."
But the Austrian Women's Ministry, which has been in existence for less than a decade, is hailing the agreement on the main points by the select committee as a major policy success. Sonja Kato, a spokeswoman, said: "Partnership in marriage is something private, but the state is a community of private people. Guidelines are needed."
As if that weren't ridiculous enough, the Arizona Daily Wildcat, a student newspaper, reported on Feb. 2, 1998 that now Shakespeare is also under attack for his allegedly male-chauvinist views. "For years now, the literary canon has been attacked in institutions of higher learning for being sexist, outdated and politically incorrect. Now this type of censorship has extended to other fields of cultural importance. Theater departments must now conform to these alternative views of what constitutes art."
A professor of acting at Arizona State University (ASU), whose former students include Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, and Oscar winner Fran McDormand of "Fargo," is being fired because he teaches his students Shakespeare and other classic works. Professor Jared Sakren, a graduate of the highly acclaimed performing arts school Juilliard, was recruited by ASU from the Shakespeare festival in Alabama a few years ago.
Unfortunately for Sakren, the department chair during most of his time at ASU, Lynn Wright has expressed her displeasure for classics in the curriculum. She has gleefully exhorted that the feminists in the department will "kill off the classics," Sakren said. Sakren was told to quit teaching Shakespeare, because it was "sexist." Or, if he insisted onteaching so-called "sexist" works like "The Taming of the Shrew," he must change the ending, so it "wouldn't offend women," Sakren said.
Wright, and several like-minded faculty members in the department, submitted disparaging performance reviews of Professor Sakren, criticizing him for teaching "sexist" classic literature. These criticisms led the Department of Personnel Committee to recommend that he try to be more mediocre, sensitive to the feminist perspective, and diminish his emphasis on rigorous discipline - in essence, to "let his program fall apart," as the DPC termed it. His office has been searched without explanation and vicious untrue rumors have been spread about him, the Arizona Daily Wildcat reports.
Also, check out... "The Coming EU-US Clash?", "Northern Ireland: A War of the Hooligans", "U.S. European Policy Destroying Own Creations", "Austrian Men Do Dishes; Shakespeare Condemned in Arizona", "US Senate Picks Up the NATO Hot Potato", "Russia Is Still the Bogey No. 1"