All posts filed under: Feminism

Feminism Blinds Students to the Truth About Men

As a student at Barnard, a women’s college in NYC, feminism pervades all aspects of the curriculum. As students, we’re awash in the pervasive narrative that women are always on the losing side of the gender wars. This is ridiculous. At a school where acknowledging intersectionality is de rigueur, one would expect to encounter dialogue about issues that men face too.  However, after two years here, I have never witnessed students or professors broach the topic in a positive way. What’s more alarming is how often female peers display conspiratorial glee when they make fun of and delegitimize men’s issues. Last week for example, a classmate posted a video featuring the scholar Christina Hoff Sommers to the Barnard 2018 class Facebook page. The video had legitimate talking points about male academic underachievement. However, in a  vicious effort to delegitimize the video’s claim that “male underachievement is everyone’s concern,” a fellow student sanctimoniously wrote that the concern is “not [her’s],” followed with an acronym that denoted laughter. This outright delegitimization of male issues was met with …

University Feminists Are Betraying Their Movement’s Liberal Past

University feminists are tired of tolerance. Universities are banning anyone and anything their feminist professors and students take issue with. Cardiff banned Germaine Greer; apparently, she’s the wrong kind of feminist. Goldsmiths College banned Kate Smurthwaite; she’s the wrong kind of comedian. Oxford silenced a debate on abortion. For the architects of the safe space, nothing is safe from being added to the list of the unsafe. ‘Blurred Lines’ was banned for being the wrong kind of song. The Sun was banned for being the wrong kind of newspaper. What today’s feminists value, above all else, is diversity — except, of course, diversity of ideas. Feminism wasn’t always this censorious. The university feminists of today do not reflect the motives of the classical past of their movement. The Swedish feminist — and personal heroine of mine — Margareta Momma wrote extensively in defence of tolerance during the age of Enlightenment. In her excellent essays she defends freedom of speech, freedom of religion and promotes the view that women are just as capable as men of …

Study Suggests Society’s View of Males Has Soured

“Depressing Study Finds Gender Stereotypes Haven’t Changed Since the 1980s,” proclaimed the New York magazine website the other day. The women’s site Bustle echoed the gloomy view: “Gender Stereotypes Just As Prevalent in 2016 As In The 1980s, New Study Finds, So Maybe Things Aren’t As Great As We’d Like To Believe.” Yet a closer look at the study in question shows a far more complicated picture. While some beliefs about male and female traits and roles have indeed changed little since a similar survey in 1983, there has been a marked shift toward egalitarian attitudes on some important issues. There also seems to have been a marked shift toward more negative perceptions of men — which is arguably depressing, but probably not in the way the study’s authors and most of the commentators would like you to think. The study, published in the Psychology of Women Quarterly, was carried out by psychologist Elizabeth J. Haines of New Jersey’s William Paterson University and her colleagues. Subjects, recruited online, were asked to rate on a 0-to-100 …

The Great Diversity Scam

In recent years, Diversity in STEM has dominated debate in the media. STEM fields are an “old boys club,” we are assured, and we must take measures to bring equality and fairness to them. In particular, great focus has been put on achieving a “gender balance,” despite the fact that women actually make up a majority in four out of eight STEM fields. Academics will spend hours collecting data and analysing gender ratios at different levels of education, and a lot of research grants are now contingent on an institution attaining a particular type of award, such as the Athena SWAN in the UK. Many jobs have been created to tackle these “issues.” Most large organisations—certainly universities—now have Diversity Officers, Diversity Consultants and Women’s Officers. Many of these Officers and Consultants and the like have academic backgrounds in gender or women’s studies. The point is, Diversity is just another industry now. And these people are rent-seekers who have a vested interest in solving nothing. This isn’t an argument against diversity as such. By all means, …

The Myth of “Rape Culture” at Columbia University

Last year, Columbia University become ground-zero for anti-rape activism when Emma Sulkowicz, then a senior, began carrying her mattress around campus in protest of the University’s failure to expel her alleged rapist. What ensued was a protracted saga that caused reverberations of hysteria and fear on liberal arts campuses across the United States.  Here on campus, it was the impetus for a number of rallies for sexual assault survivors. At these rallies, which I attended, fellow  students shared stories of assault and admonished the university for condoning “rape culture.” On campus, the trope of the powerless victim and the depraved predator was propagated relentlessly. Campus activists eagerly proclaimed a number of absurd statements, including that 1 in 5 women will be a victim of rape while on campus, and that drunk women couldn’t consent. As a dilettante activist in a different area of concern, I had a great number of conversations with people involved in anti-rape activism, notwithstanding the rallies I attended. With Emma Sulkowicz volunteering as tribune to be the face of the nascent …

I’m Not a Feminist—Even Though I Attend a Women’s College

As a student at Barnard College, one of the few women’s colleges in America, identifying as a feminist is de rigueur. Just like lamenting the cost of tuition or complaining about dining hall food, feminist ideology is a hallmark of the conversations here. Yet, I adamantly shun the contemporary feminist movement that sweeps liberal arts campuses like mine, and you should too. Feminism is purported to be a movement towards equality. Fair enough. Most reasonable people support that. But feminism manifests itself differently; instead of the focus on rights and equal opportunity, it is on personal victimhood, political correctness, and attacking others. And, as with all movements, the parameters of feminism are defined by the loudest voices. It is this dominant ideology that I cannot associate myself with. Contemporary feminism inculcates adherents into a cult of victimhood and exquisite vulnerability—it panders to women’s traumas and teaches them that they have been victimized solely because they are female. Women’s only sin? Living in a world dominated by the patriarchy. The remedy, especially for college students? Trigger …

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Dismiss Radical Feminism

My advice on feminist issues is seldom – oh, all right – never requested. The recent, shall we say, clusterfuck over at New Matilda has ended my usual reticence. Jack Kilbride, a Melbourne university student, offered a few tame and clumsily expressed opinions on feminism as it is currently practiced. To summarise: he considers himself a feminist; he thinks that the fight for gender equality is one of the defining issues of our time; he prefers the strategy of Emma Watson and the HeForShe campaign to Clementine Ford’s feminism of the gutter; he argues, rather cutely, I think, that people should try to be nicer to each other. Only the last part really ought to be controversial, as it came gift-wrapped in a stupid and risible and perhaps even dangerous package: if feminists would stop being so nasty about online abuse, online abusers would stop being so nasty. Respectability, if it’s still a virtue, is overrated anyway. Kilbride’s argument was rightly called out for being wrong. The commenters and responders went further, though. For them, …