Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, was recently the scene of a forum on misogyny titled “Transforming our campus and strengthening our community.” The discussion, hosted in part by the Canadian university’s Gender and Women’s Studies Program, and featuring a panel of professors and local “gender justice” activists, gave rise to solutions that are as sexist and racist as the problems they claim to be addressing.
What seems to have sparked the forum’s focus on misogyny is a scandal involving the Dalhousie dentistry school, whose Class of DDS 2015 Facebook page (which seems to have been taken down) reportedly featured sexually explicit posts from some male students, such as voting on which woman they'd like to have “hate sex” with and jokes about using chloroform on women. While this was highly inappropriate to say the least, the forum participants seemed oblivious to how inappropriate it would be to respond by punishing all male students at Dalhousie by essentially sending them to the back of the bus.
Jacqueline Warwick, professor of musicology and former coordinator of Dalhousie’s Gender and Women’s Studies Programs, offered up the not-so-subtle suggestion, for example, that teachers combat misogyny in the classroom by refusing to call on the male students first, thus encouraging more participation from the females. In other words, Warwick’s solution to misogyny is misandry.
“I do think, in general, there are a lot of studies that indicate women, girls are socialized not to speak first,” Warwick said. “And so to make a conscious rule, a deliberate rule that is explicit, that ‘no, men are not allowed to speak first,’ is certainly a strong way of addressing that issue, but one that will at least get people thinking about it,” she mused. “That’s already some progress, I believe.”
This is anything but progress, of course, but she is correct that it will get people thinking about it. What reasonable people will think is that treating men like second-class citizens in the classroom is discrimination and bigotry, and that it will exacerbate the widening gap between female academic achievement and male academic failure. But because it is directed at the perceived white male patriarchy, progressive academics firmly believe that this is acceptable gender justice in action, and a step closer to their dream of a utopia through totalitarian social engineering.
Jude Ashburn, who identifies as a “non-binary trans person” and is an outreach coordinator at a local gender and sexual resource center, said after the discussion that she (?) thinks black students should also be given similar priority in the classroom. “When I do activist circles or workshops, I often say, ‘OK, if you’re white and you look like me and you raise your hand, I’m not going to pick on you before someone of color,’” said Ashburn after the discussion. “So I do give little disclaimers, like people of color will have priority, or if you’re a person with a disability, you’re pushed to the front… I mean, you know, bros fall back,” she added with a laugh.
The fact that she can be so open and honest about her blatant racial discrimination speaks volumes about the agenda of such “gender justice” activists and the irrational atmosphere of political correctness that dominates universities today.
According to her, Dalhousie and other universities need to deal with the issue of misogyny on campus “within a trauma-informed, feminist, survivor-centered collaborative approach,” whatever that means. I suspect it means that Ashburn and her ilk believe that justice consists in keeping women in a state of perpetual victimhood, and delivering gender payback against all men.
Another of Ashburn’s preferred methods of reducing campus misogyny is to encourage students to abandon their “white privilege” (why associate whiteness with misogyny? Men of color aren’t misogynistic as well?). “[W]hite people need to start unlearning their privilege and challenging ourselves,” she said, adding that “anyone who holds privilege in this culture needs to seriously begin the work of giving up that privilege and learning how to live without it.”
Jacqueline Warwick seemed to agree but added, “That’ll be a difficult one for people to accept” – as it should be, because that suggestion, like the collectivist notion of white privilege itself – is racist, divisive, and punitive. But it’s an ingenious progressive weapon for inducing guilt in self-hating whites and for creating more social and racial conflict.
In response to a question that calling on women first in the classroom might engender discrimination against men, Judy Haiven, a management professor at Saint Mary’s University in Nova Scotia, responded casually that “I suppose at some point that could happen,” but apparently it’s a small price to pay for gender equality. “There has to be some type of affirmative action so that women, I hope, start to take more of an active role in the classroom.”
Ashburn said that this approach is difficult and upsetting to some people because they have to give up some “privilege.” She also said during the panel that she feels “burned out” when “What about the men?” is asked in “every conversation” about misogyny. Speaking of which, unsurprisingly, there were no male participants on the panel. Because why should anyone care about men being included in that conversation or in any proposed solutions?
In addition to the panel’s recommendations of preferential treatment for female and black students, some Dalhousie faculty members and students themselves recently proposed a mandatory “equity course” to explain to students “the root causes of gender-based violence and oppression.” This isn’t education, but indoctrination.
This sort of gender-obsessed totalitarianism is so blatantly discriminatory that it may be hard to take seriously, but it is increasingly becoming the norm in the politically correct setting of today’s universities, both here and in Canada, where young minds are propagandized to see everything reflected in the funhouse mirror of gender, race, and class. If Dalhousie University really wants to end gender discrimination, perhaps its first step should be to rid itself of gender justice activists.
Mark Tapson, a Hollywood-based writer and screenwriter, is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He focuses on the politics of popular culture.
Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.