How UW Eliminates Non Feminists
by Henry Makow Ph.D.
Why are most UW students female?
Feminists often speak of a “glass ceiling” beyond which ambitious career women cannot rise in corporations.
As a male teaching at the University of Winnipeg in 1999-2000, I ran smack into a “glass wall” of discrimination because I questioned radical feminist dogma.
I learned that academic freedom at the University of Winnipeg does not exist.
It has been hijacked by a radical minority who wish to use the university to spread an anti male agenda and take power for themselves. Their goal is to transform society from what they see as “male dominated” to something sexless or female dominated.
I was the victim of bizarre policies that belong in a totalitarian regime, not to a Canadian university dedicated to free inquiry and learning.
I taught a literature course of my own design to two freshmen classes totaling about 70 students. My problems began when about four women in one class wrote an anonymous letter, which misrepresented things I said.
For example, they said: “we have sensed your strong feeling that women should be submissive and docile.” This is from my suggestion that the traditional women we studied in some works might be worthy of respect.
They said I asked a female student about how she lost her innocence. Out of context, this is pretty damaging. In fact, a student brought up “her first night” herself in class in a discussion of innocence as a metaphysical concept. I quipped, “Tell us more” and the whole class roared with laughter. I have 30 witnesses.
They said they were “outraged” when I asked if a novel aroused them. The novel was Lady Chatterley’s Lover and the question was put in the context of “Is this pornography? which I defined as “designed to arouse.” Was it? Did it? The prudish reaction of this handful of radical students is noteworthy considering what is freely available in the media. It is typical of the radical feminist effort to portray normal heterosexual behavior as pathological.
The letter complains I said I “once had a fight with [my] girlfriend and then had some ‘great make-up sex'”. This came up in the context of whether Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire is an abusive husband. I said loving couples occasionally lose their temper, which doesn’t make them abusers. I gave my own experience 30 years ago as an example. But feminists have a vested interest in portraying all men as chronic, violent abusers. In a chance meeting, Dr. Constance Rooke asked me if I “wanted the whole world to know you beat up your girlfriend?”
The purpose of the students’ letter was to viciously smear a professor they disliked by implying that I behaved unprofessionally. As well, they complained my standards were too high and my grades too low. Other students told me that these students (two of whom had received $1750 entrance scholarships) felt they could get better marks by going to authorities.
Although the letter was addressed to me, it was given to Naomi Levine, the Harassment Officer and Neil Besner, the Chairman of the English Department, who took the matter to Constance Rooke, the President.
As Dr. Rooke explained later, she immediately decided that this was not a “malicious, frivolous or vexatious complaint.” This conclusion without even speaking to me is proof of discrimination against me. Rooke took drastic action despite the fact that:
1) The students did not have sufficient cause or conviction to make a formal complaint.
2) As a result, there was no investigation to determine whether the complaint had any merit.
3) I was ignored. When I replied that the letter misrepresented what I said and did, I didn’t even get a reply.
Naomi Levine told me it was sufficient cause for action if even one student felt “uncomfortable.” I wonder if this applies to male students who told me they have to parrot feminist dogma in order to pass their course.
Constance Rooke later told me she had struck a committee to determine what degree of “discomfort” should be allowable in the classroom.
Under the circumstances, I believe the university took unwarranted action because I was considered anti feminist.
They decided someone else would grade the final essays and exams of the letter writers. I couldn’t be “trusted” to treat them “fairly” and they were “afraid” of me. At this point, I didn’t even know who they were.
The university gave them permission to cut my classes. I wasn’t informed.
They discussed providing these students with tutors.
The disgruntled students tried to enlist the whole class in their action.
They were unsuccessful. Only four of 35 chose to have their work graded by another professor. (As well, I had no complaints from my other class of 35 students.)
In my view, the university colluded with the four students to undermine my position. First it allowed them to make a malicious personal attack without questioning its veracity. Then, it allowed them to incite a classroom revolt, by having everyone’s grades assigned by another professor.
In a meeting April 19, Constance Rooke, the President told me that I was anti feminist. To be “anti feminist is to be anti woman,” she said.
I protested that I was a “non feminist” but she persisted that I had described myself in a letter as “anti feminist”. This is not true but it reveals her state of mind. When I demanded that she produce this letter, she appeared alarmed.
I showed Niel Besner, chairman of the English department, evidence that I was giving A’s to feminists. It made no difference. I showed him scholarly texts by respected scholars, including a woman, who influenced my thinking.
“You really take this stuff seriously,” Besner marveled. I am not sure if he was referring to my ideas, or any ideas. Besner treated me like a man who was to be shot at dawn but didn’t know it.
I found plenty of support for my position in works by Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, D. H. Lawrence, and Henry James, which we studied. But, the university officials showed no respect for me, or for anyone who did not conform to their political position.
Attacked by the disgruntled students, I was now expected to meet them in “mediation” and assuage their feelings.
My attitude was that I was not answerable to a small unrepresentative minority unless they could prove I had behaved unethically or unprofessionally. They could not. Nevertheless I was ready to meet them and hear them out.
The students wanted the chairman present. I agreed. But I balked when they wanted the sexual harassment officer and a student council advocate as well. “They’re afraid of you; you intimidate them,” the chairman kept telling me. I was being treated like Hannibal Lector.
This is how radical feminists operate.
First they make false charges; then they claim to be helpless victims; then they demonize you, and finally they disempower you, (i.e. undermine your position and take it away.)
I had done nothing to inspire fear. On the contrary, I had been extremely supportive. These students were more intimidating than anyone. Their letter was a vicious smear, which traumatized me. In class, one said that my claiming men and women are different is the same as claiming all Indians are drunks. She later told the Winnipeg Sun that I went around asking many female students how they lost their virginity, and whether passages aroused them. Another told the Winnipeg Free Press that she had a nightmare that she stayed for help after class and I raped her!
Later, I learned from Constance Rooke that these students had a “right” to an advocate. No one informed me of this at the time. I was deliberately kept in the dark.
On the other hand, I was not allowed to bring students to this meeting who might testify as to the facts. Clearly the purpose of the meeting was to extract some sort of expiation from me, not to determine the truth.
In the meeting April 19, Constance Rooke told me that feminism contains a wide variety of opinions. I concluded she feels only these opinions are acceptable.
* * * *
In her book, “Who Stole Feminism?: How Women have Betrayed Women” (1994), Christina Hoff Sommers, a philosophy professor at Clark University, makes a distinction between equity feminists and gender feminists.
Equity feminists believe in equal rights, opportunity and reward for men and women. But, according to Sommers, feminism has been taken over by “gender feminists,” that wish to use the education system to transform a male culture.
Gender feminists believe women always have been persecuted and exploited by men. They believe traditional female and male sex roles are invented by men to oppress women.
They believe that the whole intellectual and spiritual inheritance of mankind –all knowledge — is a patriarchal invention that has to be “reconstructed from the standpoint of women.” Reason itself is considered a male faculty that has to be replaced.
The leitmotif of gender feminists is that men victimize women. They exaggerate and falsify domestic violence statistics to make women fear men. They characterize heterosexual sex as rape and men as predators. They promote a “unisex” mentality that is confusing young men and women. As a result, lesbianism is booming, the nuclear family is collapsing and the birthrate is falling.
I can see the effect on my female students.
They arrived in my freshman class in September desperate to get a career because they assume men are evil and can’t be trusted. They assume their marriages will fail and they will have to support a family alone.
They regard divorce, not marriage, as a woman’s defining moment. In essays, they applauded Stella Kowlalski for leaving Stanley in Streetcar Named Desire; Yvette for dumping Duddy in The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz.
I believe the vast majority of men are honorable and seek fulfillment as lovers, husbands and fathers. I don’t believe that women have been oppressed. On the contrary, women have been supported and protected from hard labor and war. Imagine if 99% of the soldiers who died defending the country in World War Two had been women? Would men ever have heard the end of it? Do these feminists know what fate Hitler had in store for conquered Allied women? They take male sacrifice for granted.
The shibboleth of male oppression is a classic guilt tactic that has catapulted thousands of women into powerful positions. Surely, these appointments should be based on merit not guilt.
Gender feminism is a crude grab for power. Its proponents want to fill positions of power with people of their ilk.
For example, Keith Fulton, the new chairman of the English department is the former coordinator of women’s studies. At a meeting she proposed filling new teaching vacancies with feminists without even holding a competition.
After “a competition,” all three new positions in the English Department were filled by feminists.
It’s clear that unless you are a member of “the party” you can’t get a job at this university, a situation similar to Communist Russia or China.
* * * *
I am not anti-woman. On the contrary, I defend women who have become an endangered species on this continent. I believe that being a wife and mother is a most worthy career.
Women who put husband and children before themselves bring love into the world. They make families possible. They start the circuit of love, which inspires a man to return love and take on the responsibilities of family. They create the environment that restores the man and nourishes and shapes the next generation. They have made an incalculable contribution to civilization.
Love is absent from society today because women are taught to seek power for themselves. In doing so they lose their real power, the power to love. Society –men, women, and children– is suffering grievously from this loss.
This wouldn’t be an issue of academic freedom if I were allowed to teach again. But the chairman of the English department and the president of the university, made it plain that I won’t.
When I inquired if the anonymous letter would affect my employment, the chairman grimaced and referred to “budget cutbacks.” (I estimate the tuition from my two classes was more than four times my salary.)
Constance Rooke, scoffed at me, saying “stipends” (as my position is called) often are not re engaged. When I raised the issue of academic freedom, she said, “We let you finish teaching the year, didn’t we?” Considering I did nothing improper but teach a different point of view, this is an amazing statement.
Christina Hoff Sommers writes: “Gender feminists have been influential in the academy far beyond their numbers because … they treat opposition to their exotic standpoint as opposition to the cause of women.”
Rooke is right about “stipends” though. We are the “temps” of academia. I was teaching for love not money. My course was well received. Normally, I could expect to teach again, as I did before inventing the board game Scruples in 1984.
Generally, my students found my course stimulating. Many e-mailed support or spoke to me. A female student told the chairman that I was being treated unfairly. She wrote me:
“I do not agree with the measures some of my classmates are taking ..I thoroughly enjoy your class and like the heated conversation that takes place.
…. In university I would hope students would be mature enough to accept a professor expressing a controversial opinion, even if it is not ‘politically correct.’ You should have the freedom to say what you believe. If I was being forced to agree with the professor, that would be wrong. This was not the case.”
In an anonymous evaluation, another student wrote that the course “challenged me in a lot of ways where I did not usually push myself. I find the spiritual themes… helpful and motivating. Often after a lecture or discussion I spend time in self reflection.”
Another female student wrote, “I have never had a professor so thoroughly encourage EVERYONE to express their opinions, especially those that were different from your own… I am shocked, disappointed and very surprised that the university has taken this radical course of action. Do they not even care to hear the opinions of the rest of the class…?”
Other female students said I gave them intellectual support for taking a more traditional feminine role.
I mentioned this controversy to another professor in the department. He told me he teaches from a feminist perspective. I asked if he also gave a non feminist view.
“I didn’t know there was one,” he replied.
This is the way it is at the University of Winnipeg. There are dozens of professors who teach gender feminism, the oppression of women by men. The one part-timer (me) that presented an alternative is gone.
Trends in enrollment at the University of Winnipeg suggest it is dedicated to the empowerment of women at the expense of men.
Female students outnumber males by almost two to one. In 1999, there were 2701 full time female students and 1553 males. It’s approximately one to one at the University of Manitoba.
Comparing apples with apples (arts and science faculties only), the University of Winnipeg is 62% female while Manitoba is 52%.
Male enrollment at the University of Winnipeg has been dropping by an average of over 100 students every year for the last three years. It has dropped 18 per cent since 1996. Women received 80% of the 288 Entrance Scholarships awarded by the University of Winnipeg in 1999-2000.
Men cannot fulfill their role as providers without an education. The agenda of the University of Winnipeg is to make women independent, and men redundant as providers.
The university is a publicly funded body, dedicated to teaching and learning.
It should not be controlled by people who believe that all human experience is a masculine conspiracy to exploit women. Should educators be permitted to throw out the cultural heritage of mankind because it is “patriarchal”?
This is happening at the University of Winnipeg.