Thus Spake Zuska

This Just In: Feminism Is A Religion!

I read it in the Philadelphia Inquirer. (Longer version here in the LA Times.)

In a news release, Roy Den Hollander, who’s best-known for suing Manhattan nightclubs because they offered free or discounted Ladies’ Night drinks to women, contended that [Columbia] university could not use government money, such as federal financial aid, to fund its Institute for Research on Women and Gender.

Women’s studies courses, he maintained, discriminate against men and are therefore in violation of the Fifth and 14th amendments. He also called Columbia a “bastion of bigotry against men . . . [that has] thrown its influence and prestige into violating the rights of men by offering a women’s studies program, but no men’s studies program.”

…Den Hollander…explained that women’s studies departments offer networking opportunities from which females benefit more than males, even though men are allowed to take the courses.

“The courses pretty much treat guys as if they’re sources of evil in the world and the women are victims,” Den Hollander said. “I’m using the same argument here as we have with Title IX. When a university receives government funding, they have to provide equal opportunities for men and women. If there’s no men’s studies, women’s studies is unconstitutional.”

Den Hollander’s beef is not really with women’s studies, but with the way it spreads what he calls the “religion” of feminism, again helped by federal money, which he contends violates the establishment clause.

Words really have pretty casual meanings these days. The notion that women are actually human beings equal to men is a religion, but belief in an intelligent designer who magically created everything on earth is not.

An entire curriculum which focuses on men, men’s point of view, men as actors and leaders, men’s interests, largely designed and taught by men (except for the poorly paid adjuncts, the majority of whom are women) is not sufficient counterweight to one department devoted to the study of women’s issues. Said issues, of course, which can not possibly be of interest, use, or relevance to men, being about women and women-stuff, which are by definition unimportant, therefore ipso facto women’s studies is discriminatory to men.

While we’re on the topic of language, here’s something else of interest. The original column in the LA Times was titled “Roy Den Hollander’s war on feminism” but as it appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer it was titled “Lone fighter of bigotry against men”. That’s a not-insignificant change there, from “war on feminism” to “fighter of bigotry against men”. Thanks for that one, Philly Ink. He’s NOT a fighter of bigotry against men, he’s a nutjob who’s manufactured a non-existent issue out of his own personal hurt and angry feelings towards women, and has decided that all women’s studies programs in the country must perish to satisfy his maligned honor as a Man. Let’s hope the courts throw this out ASAP as the trivial piece of junk lawyering that it is.

Comments

  1. #1 Size
    August 28, 2008

    The Philly paper also cut out his completely spurious definition of feminism, without which he looks slightly saner than he is. Although they kept the paragraph about his mail-order, sorry, “foreign-born” bride which makes it abundantly clear just where he stands in terms of gender equality.

  2. #2 SimonG
    August 28, 2008

    How is “ladies night” anti-male? I think most self respecting male chauvanists would take a bar full of drunken women over cheaper drinks any day. :-)

  3. #3 Anthropeleres
    August 28, 2008

    I would hazard a guess that he is against ‘ladies night’ because even in a bar full of drunken women, his personality is still so odious that he can’t so much as strike up a conversation with a lady. (I’m going with naive optimism and assuming that conversation is what he’s looking for). So he would rather have the free drinks to himself…

  4. #4 annoying guy
    August 28, 2008

    You might not like it but at least about the ladies night issue he is right. What would be if you had white peoples nights where Caucasians are given cheaper drinks? Most people dont have a problem with such “discrimination”(differential treatment for women and men) but one should at least acknowledge that he is right. A bar could at least have a gentlemen’s night to balance it out.
    “women’s studies departments offer networking opportunities from which females benefit more than males”. Do I see it that you are also in favor of positive discrimination that can even be applied if the qualifications of the minority person are less?

    About the womens studies I am not so sure. But have you thought that it might be that the feminists have an image problem.

    Den Hollander said: “A feminist is someone who was born as a female and because of that believes they’re superior to men and that females are innocent until proven guilty and that guys are primarily always at fault.”

    I would just like to confirm that some species of feminists just appear to be exactly like that.

    Den might be just a frustrated guy but he might also have had bad experiences with exactly this type of feminists.

    I am just suggesting, maybe, you have the image problem …

  5. #5 skyotter
    August 28, 2008

    wait wait wait!

    someone thinks “ladies nights” at bars are actually geared toward the benefit of the FEMALE gender?

    gosh, that’s the single dumbest thing i’ve read all week

  6. #6 MarkH
    August 28, 2008

    @annoying guy,
    True feminism does have an image problem but it’s an image that has been falsely created by right-wing propaganda that calls them nazis, and bigots and worse. When one actually tries to find examples to back up this hatred or their image as shrieking (not screaming) harridans you find it lacking.

    Their image problem is the image generated by others, not by their own actions. Having known feminists all my life, knowing women in these departments etc., it’s such a raw mischaracterization I find it stunning, but the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter have made the ground very fertile for the belief in this nonsense.

  7. #7 mythago
    August 28, 2008

    annoying guy, in the eyes of people like you and Den Hollander, feminists will ALWAYS have an image problem – because they suggest any change other than “women should assume all the burdens men have, but of course should not get any benefits, or inconvenience men in any way”.

  8. #8 Emily
    August 29, 2008

    Federal lawsuit to find the Columbia University Women’s Studies program unconstitutional for using government aid to preach the religious belief system “Feminism” and for discriminating against men.

  9. #9 Becca
    August 29, 2008

    Anthropeleres- reading between the lines of the linked article, he’s against ladies nights because he went out drinking while already incredibly grumpy about women(due to whacked out divorced capping off whacked out marriage). Maybe he felt like a victim because of his personal situation (in which he may have *been* a victim, for all I know), but his vision of women is that they have so little power that a single women thwarting him implies he is shockingly powerless. Thus, it can’t be about a single women, but a vast feminist army composed of Women’s Studies departments, bar owners and goodness knows who else.

    annoying guy, why can strawwomen femninists *and* Den Hollander both have image problems?

    As an aside, somehow I get the impression that Hollander’s bad experience with women wasn’t limited to a particular flavor of feminist.

    Now, if you have experience with the flavor of feminist Hollander describes and you want to talk about how they *and* Hollander hurt the cause of gender equality, that would certainly be a welcome addition to this comment thread.

  10. #10 Abi
    August 30, 2008

    Frankly I’m against the idea of “Ladies Night” since it’s an outdated, patronising concept on a par with the old “Ladies Rooms” in bars or “Drawing Rooms” (as they are still called) in posh toffs mansions – the name was originally the “WITHdrawing room”, ie. the women withdraw to talk about knitting while the men discuss important, hard, MANLY topics. I’ve not heard of this man Hollander (being but an ignorant Brit!) but he sounds like a typical person, insecure in himself, who feels the need to attack the very people who make him insecure. And I bet “feminist” is a dirty word in his house…! Trouble is, I don’t think he actually knows what a feminist is…

  11. #11 Monado
    September 10, 2008

    We have senior’s (reduced) prices–no one seems to think they’re discriminatory. And, of course, the reduced prices for women are supposed to attract women to the bar, a benefit for men who want to meet them. In other words, it’s an admission that women have to be bribed to mingle with a bunch of drinkers.

  12. #12 Monado
    September 10, 2008

    I’m old enough to have read books of history, philosophy, and so on where the human race was identified as “Man.” Women were invisible.

    Feminism is a religion? I guess the American revolution was a religion, too. And equal rights for the Irish. And civil rights – a job not yet completed.

    I just hope he sticks to frivolous law-suits and doesn’t go the Marc Lepine route of mass murder of women whom he blames for his problems.

  13. #13 John Knight
    September 12, 2008

    “The notion that women are actually human beings equal to men” is not feminism. Modern feminism is largely about the rejection of traditional family norms. It favors discrimination against men in the workplace & in the academy so as to facilitate the breakdown of the traditional family & its “restrictive” norms. Abortion on demand, “gay liberation,” & ideological indoctrination in absurd “women’s studies” classes also serve this purpose.

    Feminism is not a religion. It is, however, an Utopian ideology with pronounced totalitarian tendencies. Most religions are much less scary.

  14. #14 Zuska
    September 12, 2008

    Woo-hoo! I got me a right-wing wackaloon fundamentalist patriarchal troll! Heavy agenda, as Sylvia might say. We’ll get working on all that.

  15. #15 msphd
    November 2, 2008

    You’re right, the Inquirer fucked up using the word “bigotry.” That’s not what bigotry means, anyway.

    And if Columbia were so women-friendly, they’d have more women faculty. Methinks this is not exactly the case.

    Fuck traditional family norms. I came from a traditional family, and it fucked me up good. I am not a fan.

    If feminism is a utopian ideology, maybe that’s why I’m so fucking miserable. That particular utopian ideology is imaginary in this country.

  16. #16 Chant
    January 5, 2009

    Wow. thats all I can say.

    While I agree about the impression this guy leaves I am surprised at the reaction to the points he is trying pose. Feminism could be considered a religion but I believe it would have to go through serious structuring to meet the qualifications of being such compared tot he “established” religions. Anyway all religion is philosophy and feminism is a philosophy. So while technically wrong (and someone that seems love to be confrontational) it is not too out there of a statement.

    Yes believing in a philosophy is as called “faith” too.

    The ladies-night out (while I have no problem with it) is still discrimination and can be argued a mild form of objectification. The owners gives women discounts on drinks to attract more female customers. So that they attract more male customers. They offer the discounts to get not only the women’s business but the men’s(Why? well because it works and it has been shown that we males actually spend more not only in general at bars (not something to be proud of) but especially when women are also around). Does the possibility that this can be seen as case of discrimination and possible objectification not bother you? If not, I wonder why? I really do. How do you reason the double-standard away?

    I can tell he’s never taken a women’s studies course because he would realize that although 60% of the course is devoted specifically women’s issues , the rest of the class (at least the 2 I took) is on women’s view on issues that effect us all (male and female) and about 5-10% even address reverse discrimination. Unbalanced maybe but believe me there is quite a bit a male can gain from the course (assuming the teach is a good one, but then that true with any class). I really enjoyed those class even though I was the token punching bag for a portion of them.

    But as far as the lawsuit the problem is that schools are not allowed to offer classes focused on ethnicity without adding others (i.e. you can’t have hispanic studies and refuse to offer african american studies if there is a portion of the population that may incompass that group.) The same is just being applied to a class focusing on sex. Again as I said I don’t think the class is the problem I think way the course is marketed is going to be the kicker in the case. If he wins then maybe there will be men’s studies sometime in the future and I don’t see that as a necessarily bad thing as todays male is struggling for an identity not tied the “old” ways or fro simply what societies demands.

    I agree from reading the entire article the guy sounds like another lawyer with a grudge that going to throw a fit and make all the people that hurt him in the past pay, if he can.

    But that doesn’t mean his arguments don’t have any validity. People complained that there was no course (specifically in history or social sciences) that show the views and issues from female perspective and womens’ studies curriculum was created. But how dare a person try to ask for a men’s studies. That what everything else is right? Right?

    Although I know your were being sarcastic in your reply the reaction makes me wondering if you would find the same sarcasm in the following.

    “Said issues, of course, which can not possibly be of interest, use, or relevance to women, being about men and men-stuff, which are by definition idiocy.”

    I think (and hope) you would find the remark just as absurd.

    The cases are stupid and seem very personal but to disregard what could be regarded as discrimination simply because the person pointing it out is a creep, really shows how people are so willing to point the accusing finger but refuse see similar traits in themselves or the ones they care about.

    Thanks for letting me rant on and on. Oh and great site thanks for having it here. I know I may not be your target audience at all but I try to gain knowledge where ever I can find it and this looks like a good place.

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