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College Textbook Describes Reagan As Sexist, Labels Conservatives As ‘Pessimistic’

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A University of South Carolina textbook insinuates that former President Ronald Reagan is a sexist who “ascribed to women primarily domestic functions,” and writes conservatives off as people who are “pessimistic” about human nature. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

A University of South Carolina textbook insinuates that former President Ronald Reagan is a sexist who “ascribed to women primarily domestic functions,” and writes conservatives off as people who are “pessimistic” about human nature. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

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Columbia, S.C. (CBS CHARLOTTE) – A University of South Carolina textbook insinuates that former President Ronald Reagan is a sexist who “ascribed to women primarily domestic functions,” and writes conservatives off as people who are “pessimistic” about human nature.

The textbook, “Introduction to Social Work & Social Welfare: Critical Thinking Perspectives,” was obtained by Turning Points USA Founder Charlie Kirk and is authored by Karen K. Kirst-Ashman for a three-credit introductory social work course offered in several University of South Carolina classes, Campus Reform reports. A sophomore taking the course first provided what she described as the “outrageous” text that made her “angry” to Campus Reform.

One section of the textbook is titled: “Conservative Extremes in the 1980s and Early 1990s,” which is the chapter that discusses Reagan’s alleged sexism in office.

The excerpt on then-Republican President Reagan says he “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 Whites.”

The excerpt then moves on to insinuate Reagan’s inherent sexist beliefs.

“He viewed American males as rugged individualists who could accomplish almost anything if they tried,” writes the author. “Similarly, he ascribed to women ‘primarily domestic functions’ and failed to appoint many women to significant positions of power during his presidency (or his California governorship in the 1960s and 1970s),” writes the author, citing previous research as well.

The excerpt provided makes no mention of Reagan’s appointment of the first female Supreme Court Jusice, Sandra Day O’Connor, and the first female U.S. rep to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick. The National Federation of Republican Women notes that more than 1,400 women were chosen by Reagan to fill policy-making positions, including more women in top policy-making positions (105) in his first two years as president.

The excerpt provided to Campus Reform goes on to describe conservatism in the following words: “They believe that change usually produces more negative than positive consequences; thus, they generally favor keeping things as they are,” cites the author. “In other words, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

“Second, 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,” writes the author.

The textbook from Karen K. Kirst-Ashman, a PhD in the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater social work department sells online for a wholesale price of $149.50. The online description of the textbook describes the book:

“Kirst-Ashman’s introductory book enhances the reader’s ability to grasp the essence and spirit of generalist social work and the issues in social welfare that social workers address every day. Giving those contemplating a career in social work a solid introduction to the profession, Kirst-Ashman presents a balanced introductory look within a unifying theme of critical thinking that trains readers to be more evaluative of key concepts.”

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