There is also a long and interesting set of responses on the Mormon Feminist Housewives website (see good comments #218 - #219; then read the fanatical comment #238 with a funny retort at #239), and a response to all the tumultuous debate on the BYU Website written by the Academic Vice President.
If you read through some of the comments on Mormon Feminist Housewives, I think the most interesting comments are:
1) Those that address the top-down structure of organizations and contrast it with the bottom-up behaviour of those who seek change or adjustment.
2) Close to my heart is the theme of feminism which ultimately desires individual choices for women, which begs the question of how this ideology sits within a patriarchal framework of a religion led by men.
3) A conversation about University education and its purposes: is it to provide a liberal education, should it have financial end goals for its students and faculties, or should it train people for a particular type of employment.
4) The classic debate of women working in or outside the home rears its historic head.
5) The boundaries of a private versus a public education institution, and the distinct laws governing each organization.
All very mixed together they create an interesting discussion. Most importantly, it was great to read some heartfelt and honest debate about what is important to people and the information we use to help us make our choices.
I am definitely opposed to closing down an umbrella organization that opens up and provides a space for discussing Women's Studies within an academic organization. The phrase 'two steps forward, one step back' is applicable here. On the other hand, could the study of women's issues be more effective if integrated into other faculties and disciplines rather than being seen as separate and distinct? One of my favourite courses during University was the Sociology of Gender Relations with Dr. Gillian Ranson, in a classroom of 300 students. The professor taught the course from a feminist perspective but did not share this information with the class until the final week of the term. Those of us that were familiar with feminist ideologies were not surprised, but I remember hearing a subtle verbal 'ohhhh' 'ahhhhh' and 'really?' after the professor's revelation. At the end of the course, our professor was nominated for a teaching award and the feeling in the lecture hall was always positive especially during discussions. A mix of having an institute and including this perspective in all faculties is the best choice in my opinion. Hopefully the feminist academic conversation at BYU does not suffer due to the loss of the WRI.
Lets keep creating interesting conversations and making informed choices!