The Conference Radcliffe Didn’t Want To Host

First smile of the day: Harvard is holding a conference on women featuring a few speakers outside the traditional cozy confines of the feminist left.

Here is the announcement, rich in exclamation points, from the Program on Constitutional Government:

A Harvard First! The Conference the Radcliffe Institute Didn’t Want to Host! A Genuine Debate with DIVERSITY of Views on The Legacy and Future of Feminism

The shockingly diverse program includes Camille Paglia (keynote address tomorrow night, 8 p.m.), Wendy Shalit, Christina Hoff Sommers and Harvey Mansfield (guiding spirit of the conference, who will provide the conference wrap-up Friday at 4:45 p.m).

The conference is open to all and free. Organizers puckishly add this line: “Ladies receive an additional 50 percent off!”

Harvey Mansfield offered co-sponsorship of the conference to the Radcliffe Institute back in January but the Institute Dean, Barbara Gross, said there wasn’t enough time, since her planners work far ahead.

Is this the first time Harvard has held a genuinely diverse conference on women? Could be. Mansfield says he doesn’t know of any Radclifffe Institute meeting that bothered to include conservatives, though Phyllis Schlafly spoke there last year. Many of the ladies walked out in protest.

More information is available at


  • John Leo

    John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

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