Professor Fred Gottheil of the University of Illinois performed an unusual experiment. He researched the backgrounds of some 900 academics who signed a petition against Israel, and discovered that many of them were in gender or women's studies departments.
Gottheil then prepared a petition protesting human rights violations in Middle Eastern countries, primarily those against women, gays and lesbians and emailed 675 signatories of the original petition, asking them to sign his. Almost none did so.
His explanation: these academics are primarily anti-US or anti-capitalist, with the defining issue being opposition to Israel. They are interested in their academic specialities primarily because those fields allow them to criticize the status quo here. Actually caring about women or minorities is in last place.