Title IX complaint filed against ‘hate men’ professor
The nation’s oldest men’s group has filed a Title IX complaint against Northeastern University, prompted by a professor’s op-ed exploring the merits of hating men.
“Why Can’t We Hate Men?” was published June 8 by Suzanna Danuta Walters, the chair of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department, who wrote that it ultimately “seems logical” to feel hatred towards men.
Walters later doubled-down on her remarks. In an interview with The Chronicle of Higher Education, she clarified that she “doesn’t hate men in some generic way,” but insisted that it makes sense for women to have “legitimate rage” against men.
“My point here was to say that it makes sense for women to have rage, legitimate rage, against a group of people that has systematically abused them,” Walters told the Chronicle’s Alexander Kafka.
After the controversy, some speculation was raised over whether Northeastern’s Title IX office would investigate. Although Walters is not scheduled to teach next semester, she does hold the highest leadership position in her department, and also advises students.
UM-Flint Professor Mark Perry was among those to call for a Title IX investigation. In an email sent to Northeastern, he urged the school to investigate, asking, “How could a male student ever expect fair, just, and equitable treatment from Professor Walters?”
“How could a male faculty colleague applying for tenure and/or promotion...expect fair treatment from Professor Walters, after her public admission of hatred toward all men?” Perry added.
He did not receive a response.
The National Coalition for Men (NCFM) took a different route. In an August 15 Title IX complaint, NCFM argues that the Northeastern Women’s Studies Department is hostile towards men, citing Walter’s op-ed as indicative of the overall tone of the department.
“The article offers circumstantial evidence that the current ideology/composition of the [Women’s Studies Department] creates an overall hostile effect against male participants,” the complaint asserts, though NCFM clarifies that “this complaint does not request disciplinary action against the Chair.”
The group does, however, note that Walters’ op-ed is merely representative of a more deep-seated bias in the department, pointing out that all “political links” and “academic and professional sources” listed on the department’s website mention women and LGBT groups, but not men.
In addition, the complaint asserts that “external programs endorsed by the program express an explicit preference for women, augmenting the overall effect of discrimination” [emphasis in original].
NCFM President Harry Crouch told Campus Reform that NCFM filed the complaint after receiving feedback from its members on the East Coast. The complaint was sent to the Boston regional office of the Office for Civil Rights, which has jurisdiction over Northeastern.
“Suzanne Walters is the Chair of their Women Studies program, not some random schmuck,” Crouch explained. “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.”
NCFM does not seek for Walters to be punished. Rather, it views Walter’s comments as symptomatic of a larger issue in academia: the preponderance of programs to support female students, even though men are now a minority of college enrollees.
In the coming months, the Boston OCR will decide whether to investigate. Per federal law, the office cannot confirm receipt of a complaint until it decides to launch an investigation, but precedent is on NCFM’s side.
Yale University, Princeton University, and the University of Southern California are all currently under investigation by various OCR regional offices, all due to very similar complaints.
NCFM is the nation’s oldest group dedicated to men’s issues. Founded in 1977, NCFM describes itself as non-political and non-partisan, and is a 501(c)(3) based in San Diego, California. The group also has active chapters across the globe, spanning Israel, Mexico, Australia, and Canada.
Northeastern University did not respond to a request for comment. Neither did Suzanna Danuta-Walters.
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