The language of misandry in academia

A collection of quotes by faculty members, students, and administrators

Here you will find a warehouse of quotations by faculty, administrators, and students who display moderate to extreme forms of misandry – contempt or hatred toward men and boys.

This collection should be a useful resource for those new to men’s issues in academia. It should also be useful to advocates as a “go-to” resource for identifying and referring others the kind of hostile learning environment that has become pervasive in certain academic circles.

To clarify, this post is focused on misandry as it occurs in the spoken or written word only, but stops short of where misandry is presented visually on banners, posters, and so forth. If you would like examples of that, see the post “The Face of misandry in academia: a collection of banners, posters, and other visual aids.”

The list is meant to be extensive, but not exhaustive. There is no feasible way to contain all the examples of misandric language in academia in this post. That being said, if you would like to add any that are not included on the list, feel free to do so – with citations that can be independently verified – in the comments section.

As we go through the quotes, there are some things I would like you to bear in mind. As I said in the post introducing the basics of institutional bias in academia, misandry in academia is not merely a collection of infrequent and disassociated anomalies arising from individuals uninfluenced by supportive or acquiescent peer groups. On the contrary, it is culturally pervasive in academia in a way that cannot be reasonably characterized as incidental or coincidental.

In addition, while misandry may most often be identified by examining others’ statements, it is important to remember that the deeper problem with misandry is not the singular or occasional statements by faculty members, administrators, or students, but rather the attitude and the worldview behind them. For that reason I advocate looking at this collection of quotes holistically where each quote is a part of a larger tapestry, rather than getting hung up on one or two statements.

For the detractors

Not only is misandry pervasive in academia, the denial of it is as well. Some may dismiss these quotes out of hand by presuming that they are taken out of context. Never fear; I have provided the sources for every single one of these quotes so that they can be independently verified.

While most of these quotes are recent, some are older. Some may be tempted to dismiss them out of hand for that reason as well. What they may not consider is that many of these older hateful quotes have been reprinted in more recent humanities textbooks and presented as though they are gems of virtue. I have provided some of those newer sources as well, where appropriate.

Lastly, it bears mention that virtually nothing has been done prior to the publication of this post to take a substantial stand against misandry in academia by the academic community itself. The attitudes and worldviews expressed in more recent quotes bear continuity with those expressed in older ones, demonstrating that misandry in academia has not diminished over time, but rather has become the moral bedrock of an entrenched academic subculture.

Let us begin.

Misandry via rape hysteria

Rape hysteria – one of the most common manifestations of misandry in academia – takes a variety of forms. It is primarily seen in the practice of seeing rape everywhere (including and especially where it does not exist), advocating an extreme reduction or elimination in due process for accusations of sexual misconduct, always taking the side of the woman regardless of the evidence, and suggesting that false rape accusations are acceptable – if not a social good. Some people in academia even believe that since we live in a society where “men rule” that it is not possible for women to consent to sex, making all heterosexual sex rape by default. Here are some of the quotes I have compiled:

“They [victims of false rape accusations] have a lot of pain, but it is not a pain that I would necessarily have spared them. I think it ideally initiates a process of self-exploration. ‘How do I see women?’ ‘If I didn’t violate her, could I have?’ ‘Do I have the potential to do to her what they say I did?’ Those are good questions.”

– Dr. Catherine Comins, assistant dean of students at Vassar College. Source: TIME magazine.

“I’m really tired of people suggesting that you’re somehow un-American if you don’t respect the presumption of innocence, because you know what that sounds like to a victim? Presumption you’re a liar.”

– Wendy Murphy, adjunct professor of law and sex-assault victim advocate, commenting on the Duke lacrosse false rape case. Source: National Public Radio.

“Stop with the presumption of innocence. It doesn’t apply to Duke. When they make administrative decisions about student behavior they don’t owe them any due process.”

– Wendy Murphy, adjunct professor of law and sex-assault victim advocate, commenting on the Duke lacrosse false rape case. Source: NBC news.

“If a woman did falsely accuse a man of rape, she may have had reasons to. Maybe she wasn’t raped, but he clearly violated her in some way.”

– Ginny, college senior interviewed by TIME magazine (source here).

“So many women get their lives totally ruined by being assaulted and not saying anything. So if one guy gets his life ruined, maybe it balances out.”

– Oberlin sophomore Emily Lloyd, after Feminist students were criticized for placing posters around campus that bore the title “Rapist of the Month,” and below that heading a name of a freshman male drawn randomly from the campus registry. Source: the Toledo Blade.

“A lot of people are very upset by it, but I think if a man was secure he wasn’t a rapist, he wouldn’t be threatened by this list.”

– University of Maryland senior Erin Lane, after Feminist students were criticized for placing posters around campus that bore the title “NOTICE: THESE MEN ARE POTENTIAL RAPISTS,” and below that heading the names of hundreds of male freshmen drawn randomly from the campus registry. Source: the Baltimore Sun.

“There is no clear distinction between consensual sex and rape, but a continuum of pressure, threat, coercion and force. The concept of a continuum validates the sense of abuse women feel when they do not freely consent to sex.”

– Dr. Liz Kelly, The Hidden Gender of Law, p. 350.

“Rape is perhaps the foremost male fantasy in our society.”

– Dr. Andra Medea and Kathleen Thompson, Against Rape, p. 14

“And if the professional rapist is to be separated from the average dominant heterosexual male, it may be mainly a quantitative difference.”

– Dr. Susan Griffin, Rape: The All-American Crime; Ramparts Magazine, p. 30, 1971Quoted thirty years later in Making Sense of Women’s Lives: an Introduction to Women’s Studies, published in 2000, p. 451-452, among others.

“Rape is indeed an extreme form of behavior, but one that exists on a continuum with normal male behavior within the culture.”

– Dr. Mary Koss, ”Football’s Day of Dread,” Wall Street Journal, Feb. 5, 1993. Cited in Who Stole Feminism, p. 210.

“Politically, I call it rape whenever a woman has sex and feels violated.”

– Dr. Catharine MacKinnon, Feminism Unmodified, p. 82.

“The American dating system, which constitutes a primary source of heterosexual contacts, legitimizes the consensual purchase of women as sexual objects and obliterates the crucial distinction between consent and nonconsent.”

– Drs. Margaret Gordon & Stephanie Reiger, The Female Fear, p. 60.

“Then there are the wolf-whistles, unwanted hugs and pinches – what the authors of one book call “mini-rapes” – which continually remind women they are vulnerable, sexual victims.”

– Professors Margaret Gordon & Stephanie Reiger, The Female Fear, p. 6.

Notes to the above quote: while it is clear by reading their book that Drs. Gordon and Reiger support this view, it is also clear that they are referencing a chapter called “Little Rapes” (see here) on page 49 of Dr. Andra Medea’s book Against Rape. In addition, in an interview among Dr. Christina Hoff-Sommers, Camille Paglia, and Ben Wattenberg on the PBS show “Think Tank” (source here), Dr. Hoff-Sommers says,

“I interviewed a young women at the University of Pennsylvania who came in in a short skirt and she was in the Women’s Center, and I think she thought I was one of the sisterhood. And she said, ‘Oh, I just suffered a mini-rape.’ “And I said, ‘What happened?’ And she said, ‘A boy walked by me and said, `Nice legs’. ‘You know? And that — and this young woman considers this a form of rape!”

“Sexual violence includes any physical, visual, verbal or sexual act that is experienced by the woman or girl, at the time or later, as a threat, invasion or assault that has the effect of hurting her or degrading her and/or taken away her ability to control intimate contact.’”

– Dr. Liz Kelly, Surviving Sexual Violence, p. 41.

“Can we not, therefore, conclude that general consent sometimes equals rape because of the harms that it brings to the consenting woman? These harms include the loss of the sense of selfhood, for by consenting to sex which is not pleasurable; the woman is using her body to further the interests of her man, thereby treating herself as a means to that men’s ends.”

– Dr. Mangena, Fort Hare Papers, vol. 16, 2010, p. 52.

“Under conditions of male dominance, if sex is normally something men do to women, the issue is less whether there was force than whether consent is a meaningful concept.”

– Dr. Catharine MacKinnon, Toward a Feminist Theory of the State, p. 178.

“Many feminists would argue that so long as women are powerless relative to menviewing ‘yes’ as a sign of true consent is misguided.”

– Dr. Susan Estrich, Real Rape, p. 318.

“Consent as ideology cannot be distinguished from habitual acquiescence, assent, silent dissent, submission, or even enforced submission. Unless refusal or consent or withdrawal of consent are real possibilities, we can no longer speak of ‘consent’ in any genuine sense.’”

– Dr. Carol Pateman, “Women and Consent,” Political Theory, vol. 8, p. 149.

Notes to this quote: Dr. Pateman isn’t talking about consent in a situational context, but the very concept of consent itself. What this means is that she is not referring to consent regarding a singular person, but women as a political class. That’s why she does not refer to “consent’” in unqualified terms – like normal people do – but instead as “consent as ideology.”

In other words, to Dr. Pateman consent is a concept that only exists in the minds of ideologues. By referring to consent as “an ideology” and placing herself in opposition to it, she is disagreeing with the concept of consent itself. Only “ideologues” believe consent is possible in a patriarchy, and she’s not one of them.

“Consent–agreeing to something–is usually not a hard concept to understand. It may at first appear more complex in the context of rape. One reason is simply its unexpected presence. There is no other crime defined in terms of consent. Only in rape is the victim asked, ‘Did you agree to it?’ Compare: “Did you agree to be punched in the face?” “Did you agree to be mugged?”

– Professor Carol Sanger, “New Perspectives on Rape,” Los Angeles Times, April 25, 1991, p. B7.

“Ask the students to close their eyes. Once they’ve closed their eyes, say ‘Imagine that the woman you care about the most (your mother, sister, daughter, girlfriend) is being raped, battered, or sexually abused. Give them at least thirty seconds to think about the scenario before asking them to open their eyes.”

– Classroom anti-violence program for 7th grade middle-schoolers, who are then asked to write about their feelings. The program is titled Gender Violence/Gender Justice and is referenced in The War Against Boys, first edition, p. 57.

“Men are a good deal more likely to rape than to be raped. This forms their experience…almost half of all women, by contrast, are raped or victims of attempted rape at least once in their lives.”

– Dr. Catharine MacKinnon in Toward a Feminist Theory of the State, p. 176. Also quoted in Applications of Feminist Legal Theory to Women’s Lives, p. 475.

“The point of recapitulation in the first movement of the Ninth [Symphony of Beethoven] is one of the most horrifying moments in music, as the carefully prepared cadence is frustrated, damming up energy which finally explodes in the throttling, murderous rage of a rapist incapable of attaining release.”

– Dr. Susan McClary, Minnesota Composers Forum Newsletter, 1987.

“Traditional historians and philosophers have said that these [rape and tor­ture] metaphors are irrelevant to the real meanings and referents of scientific concepts. But when it comes to regarding nature as a machine, they have a quite different analysis: here, we are told, the metaphor pro­vides the interpretations of Newton’s mathematical laws: it directs inquir­ers to fruitful ways to apply his theory. But if we are to believe that mechanistic metaphors were a fundamental component of the explana­tions the new science provided, why should we believe that the gender metaphors were not?

“A consistent analysis would lead to the conclusion that understanding nature as a woman indifferent to or even welcom­ing rape was equally fundamental to the interpretations of these new conceptions of nature and inquiry. Presumably these metaphors, too, had fruitful pragmatic, methodological, and metaphysical consequences for science. In that case, why is it not as illuminating and honest to refer to Newton’s laws as ‘Newton’s rape manual’ as it is to call them ‘Newton’s mechanics’?”

– Dr. Sandra Harding, The Science Question in Feminism, p. 113.

“When someone says ‘I was raped,’ BELIEVE THEM! It is not your role to question whether a false accusation occurred.”

The website for The Clothesline Project, an event in support of sex-assault victims on many campuses.

“In this book we will be using the term victim to refer to people who claim to have been sexually assaulted.”

– Drs. Carol Bohmer and Andrea Parrot, Sexual Assault on Campus, p. 5. Throughout the book the authors never consider the idea that any man accused by a woman might be innocent, and take the accuser’s side every single time. This leads to statements with contradictory and convoluted logic later on in the book. For example, in describing a trial court acquittal they say on page 29, “The victim said she did not consent; the jury did not believe her.” How do we know she’s a victim if the jury acquitted?

“Feminism is built on believing women’s accounts of sexual use and abuse by men.”

– Feminist Professor Catharine MacKinnon, Feminism Unmodified, p. 5.

“Little girls learn to flirt with their fathers. You know, ‘Kiss daddy goodnight’ – and all this sort of business.”

– Dr. Germaine Greer, when asked how little girls become sexualized. Source: British Broadcasting Company.

Misandry: men are bad, useless, or disposable

“In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man…if you want anything done, ask a woman.”

– Margaret Thatcher, quoted by The Network of Enlightened Women (NeW), a traditionalist women’s college group, in their group’s introductory video (source here). This video was also featured on their website.

“Good Guys” in the patriarchy are harder to find than the Loch Ness monster in a desert. But according to many people I hear and talk to, “good guys” are everywhere. The propensity to acknowledge the shortcomings of men, overlook them even in obvious examples (such as gang-rape) and excuse their moral responsibility with the magic words, “But he is a good guy,” is an epidemic phenomena at the very least.

“I am amazed continuously with the amount of forgiveness people are willing to grant men, as if the majority of rapes aren’t committed by them, as if the majority of businesses aren’t owned by them, as if they majority of pornography isn’t consumed, produced, and profitable to them, and, as if they aren’t somehow affected by the extreme privilege granted to their gender class.

“By existing as men, men directly aid in the oppression of women.

“Every time a man uses pornography, beats his wife or coerces a woman or dismisses or laughs at her, he is simultaneously denouncing her humanity and reaffirming his own. He does not just do this to amuse himself; her subjugation is a vehicle necessary for his continued existence. That is why men accepting responsibility and acknowledging their complicity in women’s oppression is so extremely uncommon. It is also why there is no such thing as a ‘good guy’ in the patriarchy.”

– University of New Hampshire student Whitney Williams, in her article for the campus newspaper titled “The Universal Myth of the ‘Good Guy.’” See the AVFMS post on it here.

“Most people know the tragic tale of the Titanic, and one part in the movie and true story always struck me as a NeW lady: “Women and children first.” Chivalry is not about superiority or inferiority, and it does not trample equality. Chivalry is on a completely different level – acting out of concern and respect for those who you believe should be respected.

“Even biologically and anthropologically, the male traditionally acts on behalf of the female because she is important – perhaps more important than himself.  Being a gentleman is a selfless and natural way of life, not one that diminishes women or elevates men.”

– The Network of Enlightened Women (NeW), a traditionalist women’s college group, on their website.

“Boys in a ‘crisis’? in my grandmother’s day, only men could vote. When I was a girl, only boys could play sports. In the Roman Catholic Church, only men can be priests. In certain societies today and throughout history, girls can’t attend school, and women can’t work or show their faces in public. In China, girl babies are discarded because boys are favored.

“In America, glass ceilings block females from access to power, money and leadership. On playgrounds, a common taunt among boys falls along these lines: ‘You cry/act/talk/throw like a girl.’ So for the fraction of a nanosecond in human history that boys are perceived to be on the short end of the stick compared with girls, you call this a ‘crisis’? C’mon, guys. You take a turn at second-class status for once.”

– Sandra J. Anderson, former professor of law at Ohio State University, Board of Trustees member at OSU from 2013-2016. Comment on the online version of Peg Tyre’s 2006 Newsweek article “The Boy Crisis” (now removed). This quote is referenced on page 11 of Peg Tyre’s book The Trouble with Boys and is reproduced on the iFeminists website.

“I have a great deal of difficulty with the idea of the ideal man. As far as I’m concerned, men are the product of a damaged gene. They pretend to be normal but what they’re doing sitting there with benign smiles on their faces is they’re manufacturing sperm. They do it all the time. They never stop. I mean, we women are more reasonable.

We pop one follicle every 28 days, whereas they are producing 400 million sperm for each ejaculation, most of which don’t take place anywhere near an ovum. I don’t know that the ecosphere can tolerate it.”

– Dr. Germaine Greer, at a Hilton Hotel literary lunch, promoting her book The Change – Women, Aging and the Menopause. Reported in “Greer Mocks Men’s Misses” in the Sydney Morning Herald, 11/14/91.

“The proportion of men must be reduced to and maintained at approximately 10% of the human race.”

– Dr. Sally Miller Gearhart, in her article “The Future – If There Is One – Is Female,” ironically featured in a later book promoting nonviolence: Reweaving the Web of Life: Feminism and Nonviolence, p. 266

“I think it’s not a bad idea at all. If life is to survive on this planet, there must be a decontamination of the Earth. I think this will be accompanied by an evolutionary process that will result in a drastic reduction of the population of males.”

– Dr. Mary Daly’s response when asked what she thought of the above quote by Dr. Gearhart, in an interview called “No Man’s Land” conducted by EnlightenNext Magazine, 2001.

“As long as some men use physical force to subjugate females, all men need not. The knowledge that some men do suffices to threaten all women. Beyond that, it is not necessary to beat up a woman to beat her down. A man can simply refuse to hire women in well-paid jobs, extract as much or more work from women than men but pay them less, or treat women disrespectfully at work or home.

“He can fail to support a child he has engendered, demand the woman he lives with wait on him like a servant. He can beat or kill the woman he calims to love; he can rape women, whether mate, acquaintance, or stranger; he can rape or sexually molest his daughters, nieces, stepchildren, or the children of a woman he claims to love. THE VAST MAJORITY OF MEN IN THE WORLD DO ONE OR MORE OF THE ABOVE.”

– Dr. Marilyn French, The War Against Women, p. 182, her emphasis.

“Everybody wants to tax somebody else: Tax the rich, tax the fat, tax the bald, tax pet owners, gum chewers and those who like manicures. I would like to offer a different solution: Let’s tax men. In fact, let’s tax men a lot, more than they’re already being taxed, and let’s not tax women at all.

“Sound fair to you? Good. Me too.

“After all, women are not the ones wrecking the nation’s infrastructure. We’re not the ones shooting at the “No U-turn” signs on rural highways. It’s not women who are trying to make our names as graffiti artists. You’ll rarely find a bunch of broads gathered together attempting to create weapons of mass destruction or figuring out how to really get ahead in next year’s arms race.

“We’re not the ones running Fortune 500 companies into the ground or manipulating the stock market. As many people have noted, had the firm been called Lehman’s Sisters it might not have gone down the fiscal toilet, taking Wall Street’s profits with it.”

– Dr. Gina Barreca, in her article “Send Men the Bill – They Made the Mess” in The Courant, 10/6/11.

“To be a feminist, I believe, requires another ingredient: the felt experience of oppression. And this men cannot feel because men are not oppressed but privileged by sexism. To be sure, men do feel oppression, but are not oppressed as men.”

– Dr. Michael Kimmel and Thomas E. Mosmiller, Against the Tide, p. 2-3. Quoted in Dr. Amanda Goldrick-Jones’s book Men Who Believe in Feminism, p. 80.


Editor’s note: This item is reprinted from Jonathan Taylors A Voice for Male Students site, where a followup has been posted answering the professional bigots who are in a tizzy about it. –DE

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