Suzanna Danuta Walters, a female sociology professor at Northeastern University who penned a piece for The Washington Post in June that asked, “Why Can’t We Hate Men?” and then went on to list the logical ways “we,” in fact, both could and should, has been slapped with a sex discrimination complaint by a bunch of men.
My, how the tables do turn.
“Suzanne Walters,” wrote National Coalition for Men president Harry Crouch, explaining why his group filed the Title IX complaint, Campus Reform reported, “is the chair of their Women Studies’ program, not some random schmuck. Her openly hateful behavior is reprehensible, disgusting and irresponsible. She should not be allowed to promote her misandry in an educational institution with impressionable minds.”
The NCFM’s allegation is that Walters’ bias against men is indicative of a larger departmental discrimination, and that men taking Women’s Studies’ courses are therefore are subjected to a “hostile” environment.
This isn’t the only complaint of this kind hitting America’s universities right now. Yale, Princeton and the University of Southern California are all facing similar investigations from local Office for Civil Rights’ commissioners. Boston’s OCR still has to decide whether or not to investigate Walters and Northeastern.
But part of the problem, the NCFM says, is that members initially asked Northeastern powers-who-be to address the controversy and answer the alleged discrimination, but were rebuffed.
As Campus Reform noted: “UM-Flinton professor Mark Perry … urged the school to investigate, asking, ‘How could a male student ever expect fair, just and equitable treatment from professor Walters … after her public admission of hatred toward all men?’ … He did not receive a response.”
Walters, of course, has a right to say, feel, believe and think as she wants.
But she also has to be accountable for what she says. And the hostile environment allegation holds water. It’s at the least, worthy of investigation — particularly if male students can come forward with stories of their own sufferings within this purported hostile environment.
But here’s a question, admittedly non-politically correct: Aren’t women’s studies at the college level inherently biased anyway?
They’re women’s studies — aimed at women, about women, specifically tailored to take historical looks at women. It only stands to reason that men taking up this course of study might be the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Just sayin’. Walters may indeed be a hostile man-hater who wants to use her women’s studies’ leadership platform to further a message of hate against men. And if so, she should be held accountable for the environment she creates. But in the meanwhile, men ought to realize that in general, when signing on to courses that are called “women’s studies,” the overall atmosphere probably won’t be, let’s say, overly friendly toward the male gender.
Male bashing, whether subtle or overt, is probably part and parcel of the program.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley.
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