By Jeffrey Asher
Op-ed in Ottawa Citizen and Montreal Gazette
Lynched by the Sisterhood
In Autumn 1994, I offered students at Dawson College in Montreal the only course in Canada on Men's Lives. One young woman asked me, "Is this another man-hating course?" I assured her that we would examine men's and women's lives objectively and treat them with equal respect. She smiled and chirped, "I'm in." Father taught me to respect ladies and that human rights were indivisible. In the 1970s, I lectured on sexual equality of opportunity and equality before the law. Like most men, my naïveté about feminist politics was sustained by raging hormones. By 1980, the woman's movement was increasingly co-opted by the lunatic fringe. Germaine Greer pontificated, "Women have very little idea of how much men hate them ... men do not themselves know the depth of their hatred." Marilyn French announced, "All men are rapists, and that's all they are ... all men are the enemy." Further incitements to anti-male hatred and violence exuded from Dworkin, McKinnon and their cohort of vicious bigots. They remain required reading in feminist courses, which exclude male faculty or authors, brainwash young women and ostracize young men. This paranoia is unchallenged by human rights commissions, and financed by governments. Sunera Thobani's recent "hate speech" is further protected by her UBC women's studies professorship.
Her academic critics pay for their dissent with their careers. I proposed "Men's Lives", because the three largest departments (Humanities, English and the Social Sciences) offered over 83 courses with feminist titles and content, but nothing objective about men. The Sisterhood attempted to neuter the contents and then stalled registration for "Men's Lives". I threatened to appeal to the Ministry of Education and the media. The few colleagues who still dared to speak to me (off campus) warned me that my career was in peril. I responded with righteous indignation about equality, fairness and academic freedom. Such naïveté.
Two-thirds of "Men's Lives" students were women, and like the men, typically open-minded, morally brave, and delightfully quick-witted. They welcomed my course as deliverance from years of classroom male-bashing. In feminist courses, young men were condemned before their classmates as stupid, patriarchal exploiters, batterers and rapists. Those young men loved women.
From the course outline: "We will examine men's values and experiences, and the cultural meanings for men of courage, duty, fidelity, success, family protection, career, and sexuality. The intellectual, political, scientific and cultural achievements of men will be surveyed throughout history. Reasoned and compassionate analysis will be used to search for reconciliation away from sexual confrontation, so that men, women and families may live in harmony." Four universities regularly welcomed me as a guest lecturer. The Matriarchy went apoplectic.
Students warned me about agents provocateurs incited by teachers to disrupt my classes. One accused me of being paid by Playboy magazine (I wish) and my answering machine recorded anonymous accusations of sexual abuse and death threats. One night the Chair of Women's Studies vandalized my bulletin board, in front of a surveillance camera! On the front page of the Montreal Gazette, she and my department chair defended her bullying. I requested management to terminate her supervision over my courses. A year later, she ordered that my course outline exclude the term "anti-male hysteria." Management suspended me from teaching until I removed the politically-incorrect insight. I appealed and lost.
A "Men's Lives" assignment on sex bias in the media required students to search the periodical indexes for article titles with the word "men" and "women." They were astounded to discover that the ratio of female to male articles is 10:1, and often 20:1. Students scoured StatsCan data to rebut hysteria over 'relationship,' 'domestic' and sexual assault propaganda. From my published research, they learned that men comprise 68% of homicide victims, 80% of suicides, 92% of AIDS deaths, 97% of deaths on the job, double the female rate of heart diseases and die six years prematurely. They learned about sex differences in the brain, hormones, abilities, perception and behaviour. My students delighted in the power of statistical research.
The Sisterhood denounced scientific methodology and slandered my reputation. Every semester, management incited the worst of students to complain they "felt uncomfortable" and failed my excessively high standards. They even passed a confessed cheater. Truthfully, I was not demanding enough. Students failed who should never have graduated from high school. To management complaints of excessive dropouts, I requested their retention requirements. They indignantly denied quotas, and reprimanded me yet again. According to union grievance officers and lawyers, never before had a teacher been so relentlessly persecuted.
Feminist courses impel polarization and 'dumbing down' of the curriculum, to maintain their enrolment. Evidence is plentiful in their course outlines, typically ungrammatical, illogical, filled with jargon and often incoherent. Since the mid-1990s, women students and competent professors increasingly abandoned the Sisterhood for the search for useful knowledge and successful careers.
In May of 2000, the Chair of Women Studies, in collaboration with management convened a committee which announced "a significant number of students" in my classes felt "belittled and marginalized if they voiced their opinions or try to substantiate any interpretation of data that may be different."(sic) They again refused to show me the complaints. They cancelled "Men's Lives" and ordered me to prepare? within 12 days? three new courses on "critical thinking," technology and business ethics, for which they knew I had no training. I protested this injustice and demanded that "Men's Lives" be reinstated. They threatened to fire me.
Their timing was shrewd. My students were dispersed and unavailable for protest. Of all colleagues who postured in their classes on freedom of speech, only the president of the union rallied to my defense (thanks, Peter). I refused to capitulate and retired early.
In six years of evaluations, students praised "Men's Lives" as among the best courses in the college. Over 85% of students reported that I treated them fairly, with content and teaching that was "superior"and "outstanding". 100% agreed I treated them with "courtesy and respect." For 30 years of evaluations I ranked as one of the most popular, fair, and interesting teachers. I rated highest in "enthusiasm, approachability, tolerance, responsibility, availability, treating students with courtesy and respect and in a fair and non-discriminatory manner", and "motivating students to do their best." How I miss my students' intellectual energy and curiosity. Teaching was my life.
The termination of "Men's Lives" eliminated the only rational opposition to political correctness and feminist domination at Dawson College. Half of the human race remains unexamined, except for condemnation. In 2000, Canadian universities listed two courses on men, neither taught that year, and more than 1617 feminist courses, offered in programs from undergraduate to Ph.D. degrees. Throughout higher education, The Matriarchy rules.
Radical feminists continue to win their government-subsidized war against men, heterosexuality, the family, religion, merit, objectivity, justice and reality. Long after the defeat of totalitarianism, radical feminism indoctrinates students to discriminate by sex and race and enforces censorship and repression on what is acceptable to think and feel.
Citizens must demand reconstruction of the foundations of objective education and liberty. Freedom of speech is essential to maintain the ability to search for the truth. Students' minds must be trained to challenge dogmas if democracy is to survive. The time is long overdue for universities and colleges to eradicate feminist intolerance and return to reason and objectivity. Dedicated teachers are eager to reconstruct an educated and tolerant society. Give us the call.
Return to Issues/Cases Page