Remember The Washington Post op-ed back in June titled “Why Can’t We Hate Men?” In it, a feminist professor at Northeastern University says exactly what we would expect from a feminist professor and chair of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department at a liberal university: Some men do bad things, so women have a right to hate all men indiscriminately.
That article is now part of a Title IX complaint filed against Northeastern University for allegedly discriminating against men. Title IX is an anti-sex discrimination statute, but has generally been seen as a “feminist tool” to take down men.
Recently, however, some men have begun using the statute to hold schools accountable for how they treat men. More than 100 male students have filed lawsuits against their universities alleging anti-male bias in sexual assault investigations, leading to those students being disciplined for consensual sex. They claim the schools have violated Title IX by implementing unfair policies that ignore evidence and due process to reach a finding of responsibility against men.
Beyond this, a small group of men have taken things a step further. Mark Perry, a professor at the University of Michigan-Flint, successfully lobbied Michigan State University to stop providing a women-only study lounge because he said it violated Title IX and could discriminate against transgender students.
At the end of June, Perry turned his attention to Northeastern and the professor behind the “Why Can’t We Hate Men?” article, Suzanna Danuta Walters. He emailed the school, saying Walters had violated the school’s policy on Equal Opportunity because she “publicly demonized and belittled all males at Northeastern University” and called for “the universal hatred of all men.” He said this meant she violated Title IX.
On Aug. 15, the National Coalition for Men (NCFM), America’s oldest men’s group, filed a complaint with the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), accusing Northeastern of discriminating against men. Included in the complaint is a mention of Walters’ op-ed, though it is not the main crux of the argument.
The complaint follows a trend of attempting to force schools to uphold Title IX standards as applied to men for women. It was started by University of Southern California (USC) doctoral student Kursat Christoff Pekgoz, who filed complaints against USC and Yale for providing female-only scholarships and programs when it is men who are the current minority on campus.
The Title IX complaint from NCFM is similar, alleging that Northeastern violates Title IX with its ALIGN program, which pays for the first semester of college for “women and underrepresented minority students.” NCFM cites 16 other examples of anti-male discrimination at Northeastern, 15 of which have to do with clubs, associations, and programs designed specifically for women without any corresponding programs for men. As the complaint points out, women are overrepresented even in law schools and STEM programs.
It is in one of these 15 examples that Walters’ op-ed is included. NCFM claims that Northeastern’s Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department is discriminatory and “has an overall hostile effect against male participants.”
“All core faculty members are women. All members of the executive committee are women (23/23),” the complaint states. “Men have been practically non-existent among past visiting scholars (2/110+). Their agenda is preoccupied with women’s issues only, which creates a hostile/dissuasive effect against male participants.”
Further, the complaint alleges that all “political links” and all “academic and professional sources” on their website are about women and LGBT groups, with no links to information for men. Similarly, there are no “Men’s Studies” at Northeastern.
This department is chaired by the woman who wrote The Washington Post op-ed.
The remaining example of alleged discrimination against men is the school’s affirmative action hiring preference for women and minorities, even though such preference violates Title IX.
Harry Crouch, president of NCFM, told Campus Reform that his group didn’t want Walters punished for her op-ed — which is stated in the complaint — but suggested she “should not be allowed to promote her misandry in an educational institution with impressionable minds.”
If OCR does take up this complaint, hopefully it will stick to the larger narrative brought up: that men are now the minority on campus, so programs and funding designed just for women are now discriminatory against a minority population.
I certainly don’t want to see Walters investigated for her article, though it’s unlikely she would face the same investigation that Northwestern University professor Laura Kipnis faced in 2015. At that time, Kipnis was accused of creating a hostile environment for women because she criticized the lack of due process in Title IX proceedings in an op-ed. She was then subjected to not one, but two Title IX investigations. The person she brought for support even had a Title IX complaint brought against him because he said the investigation threatened academic freedom. Kipnis’ second investigation stemmed from her alleged support of this statement. Kipnis was found not responsible for creating a hostile environment, and the resulting two investigations were dropped.
Professor Mark Perry had asked in his email to Northeastern how a male student could “ever expect fair, just, and equitable treatment from Professor Walters?” and if a male colleague could expect fair treatment while applying for tenure or a promotion. Perry says the school didn’t respond.
These are the same kinds of questions asked by college snowflakes when they find out a professor is Christian or conservative. They ask how an LGBT or minority race student could feel safe in this professor’s class. It’s a way to keep Christian and right-leaning people from working in academia, and to punish those who do for their views. So while on one hand this is just using these arguments against the Left, I still don’t think these sort of hypotheticals should be used against those in academia. If Walters has actually discriminated against a man just because he was a man, that would be a different story.