Cornell prof hashes misogyny and 'himpathy'

Manne has called misogyny “the law enforcement branch of a patriarchal order" and argued that, within this order, "women are in effect born into an unofficial service industry."

But UB alumni contacted by Campus Reform express different sentiments.

Cornell University Professor Kate Manne will give a lecture, titled, "On Himpathy and Misogyny" at the University at Buffalo.

The University at Buffalo (UB) will host an Ivy League professor on Thursday who claims that “women are in effect born into an unofficial service industry.”

Cornell University Assistant Professor Kate Manne will give a lecture titled, “On Himpathy and Misogyny,” as part of the UB Gender Institute’s year-long lecture series “On Misogyny.”

“Within a patriarchal order, women are in effect born into an unofficial service industry,” Manne argued in a 2016 op-ed for Boston Review. “Because of women’s service position, their subordination often has a masked quality about it: it is supposed to look amicable and seamless, rather than coerced. Service with a smile, not a grimace, is the watchword.”

She calls misogyny “the law enforcement branch of a patriarchal order,” in her essay.

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The Cornell University professor has also coined the term “himpathy.”

“Himpathy refers to how we have been acculturated in our society to sympathize with powerful men, even those who have been reported for harmful and criminal behavior,” UB Gender Institute Director Carrie Bramen explained in a UB news release. “Such identification with the victimizer risks erasing the actual victim.”

Manne penned a Sept. 26 op-ed in the New York Times in which she addressed “himpathy” as it pertained to then-Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh.  

“What the Kavanaugh case has revealed this week is that himpathy can, at its most extreme, become full-blown gendered sociopathy: a pathological moral tendency to feel sorry exclusively for the alleged male perpetrator,” she wrote.

Other upcoming lectures in the UB Gender Institute’s “On Misogyny” series include Princeton University Professor Gayle Salamon’s speech on “transmisogyny” and Northeastern University Assistant Professor Moya Bailey speaking about “misogynoir.”

UB alumnus Georganne Burke told Campus Reform that she is disappointed but “not surprised” to learn of the event.  

“My disappointment is not at the topic but where feminism has gone,” Burke said.  “It used to be about empowering women. Letting women and men know that gender should not stand in the way of opportunity. But outcomes didn’t have to be guaranteed.”

“We have infantilized women, made them dependent, needing to be protected. Not to mention the negative way many so-called feminists talk about men,” Burke added, referencing her four brothers, three sons, and husband. “I love and respect men. But I’m no shrinking violet.”

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“I would disagree that women are systematically oppressed,” UB alumnus Paul Gullo told Campus Reform. “In fact, I believe that we have made great strides since 2000, which make things much much better for women, in terms of opportunities in the workforce, military, etc.”

Gullo added that he does not believe such a lecture to be a valid use of university resources.

The UB Gender Institute did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.  

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