Some good news stories to bring hope for the New Year.
Firstly, an exciting outcome to a seven-year battle against a Victorian University, over the torpedoing of a man’s PhD. For many years I have followed the trials of this tenacious man – I’ll call him ‘Philip’ – as he pursued every conceivable way of bringing the university to account. He’s just achieved a confidential settlement, which is a tribute to his fighting spirit but also a lesson to us all about the importance of fighting back against anti-male prejudice. It just shows that sometimes you can win.
All was looking good in March 2014 when Philip submitted his PhD on workplace male age discrimination. It was a solid piece of work, nothing remotely inflammatory and including information about discrimination against both older women as well as men. Phillip was a mature student who had already spent years teaching in Japan and in Australian universities prior to spending 7.5 years doing the PhD research part-time.
After all that hard slog, he thought it would be smooth sailing. But then the trouble started. Somehow his research school failed to submit the thesis for over four months and then, it finally did so using a version with a distorted format, apparently screwed up when the supervisor added some last minute changes. This mangled version of the thesis was submitted to poorly qualified examiners unfamiliar with key aspects of the methodology, who then failed it – somehow claiming the format problems amounted to plagiarism. The saga continued over two years with all sorts of anomalies in the way examiners were selected – with a total of seven being brought in before the university reached their final decision.
The person pulling the strings during this whole process was a self-described feminist professor who claimed she had the discretionary power to make the final decision, overriding all the problems which had emerged during the long ordeal. She ultimately failed the thesis.
Throughout this process, Philip desperately tried to alert university authorities to what was going on. He contacted the university’s ombudsman, wrote to politicians and all relevant complaints bodies – all to no avail. There was an appeal but the result remained unchanged. Eventually he applied to another university and completed the PhD there submitting virtually the same thesis, and this went through without a hitch. But as a result of the whole fiasco, he lost two overseas teaching jobs he’d been offered, his health suffered, it all took a huge toll.
He’s spent the last four years trying to take action against the university for the way he was treated. Lawyers told him it was all too hard and far too expensive but he did his own homework, dug up relevant legal precedents and ended up achieving court-ordered mediation which led to a confidential settlement with the university. Sadly, this now prevents Philip from talking about his story.
But what’s been obvious to me from the start was the key role played by a feminist academic who appears to have misused her position of power to destroy work which challenged her ideological view of the world.
They are out there, these huge black spiders lurking throughout our higher education system, ready to destroy any man who stumbles into their web.
Taking on the American universities
Far across the world is another man, also a former PhD student, who has taken on similar battles. This is Kursat Christoff Pekgoz, now back in his native country, Turkey, after six years fighting anti-discrimination cases against American universities. I spoke to Kursat this week about his extraordinary story. Please watch the video, like it and help circulate it.
Here’s a young man who launched complaint after complaint against American universities, exposing their blatant anti-male policies and the billions of dollars spent on affirmative action promoting women throughout the universities, despite females outnumbering males in almost every course and department. He challenged Harvard over the inclusion in curricula of poisonous “masculinity guidelines” which classified traditional masculinity as “harmful”.
He recruited 192 leading scholars including Jordan Peterson, Christina Hoff Sommers and Warren Farrell to join a complaint about the immense resources Cornell University invests in women – like 390 female-only scholarships, with none dedicated only to men. American colleges discriminate against men in every area possible: college admissions, recruitment/employment, women-only dorms and study spaces, affirmative action for women in STEM, women’s centres, women’s studies. Read the Cornell complaint here.
Kursat conducted a very serious hunger strike, lasting over 32 days, which ended up persuading the Department of Education to investigate Yale for their abundant, exclusively female programs and scholarships. Interestingly, Kursat’s coalition used the argument that men are a minority in colleges, which shifts the logic of affirmative action. The result set a precedent – the first time the Department had taken action against an Ivy League institution over discrimination against men.
Painstaking research exposed the alarming extent of the Department’s gender partisanship. During the Obama administration, only 1.1 % of male students contacting the Department alleging biased treatment had a successful outcome. Obama’s investigators were 27 times more likely to side with female complainants than male complainants.
The publicity surrounding Kursat’s hunger strike also led to him taking out one very large spider – Laura Faer, the notoriously anti-male civil rights attorney who headed up the San Francisco Office of the Education Department, which had never resolved a single complaint from a male student. She was fired from her job.
The other big success story involved Tulane University in New Orleans, which ended up opening various female-only programs to men (including the Newcombe College Institute, with an endowment of US$38 million) as a result of Kursat’s complaint.
Kursat was having some serious wins, but naturally that made him a very big target. He faced a ludicrous sexual harassment charge, when a fellow student he had rejected accused him of “manipulating her emotions” and lying by saying “he was not attracted to her.” The college investigation clearly didn’t take this rubbish very seriously, sentencing him to a single counselling session.
During all of this Kursat was working on his PhD in the English Department at the University of Southern California, an epicentre of campus wokedom. Sure enough, the women in charge started firing missiles in his direction, trying to get him removed from the graduate program, working to sabotage his dissertation, cutting off his stipend and eventually failing his PhD.
He’s back in Turkey, and is now applying to return to America to study law. He’s not giving up – you’ll be able to follow his story here.
As I said in our conversation, Kursat is an inspiration to us all. Now what we need is thousands like him – and Philip – brave, tenacious men, and women, prepared to start challenging the blatant bias against men in our universities and elsewhere.
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