PRESS RELEASE: December 5th, 2011
Court date for man’s £50,000 lawsuit against ‘male-blaming’ gender studies degrees at LSE
(AVfM News)A former student of the London School of Economics (LSE), who has filed a lawsuit claiming all five of its gender studies Masters degrees “exaggerate women’s issues and recommend blaming men to justify ignoring men’s issues,” will make his case at the Central London County Court, a hearing date now set for February 14th, 2012. As reported by The Evening Standard , The Guardian (here and here),Forbes Magazine, The West End Extra, A Voice for Men, Men’s Matters, and dozens of blogs and vlogs, Tom Martin’s case has garnered a lot of public support, his legal fund receiving £3055 in donations from ninety people in eight countries to date, but Martin says he now needs more donations, “Clerical errors by the court have caused a three month delay, so I now need a few thousand pounds more to continue devoting all my time in preparation for winning the case.”
Director of LSE’s Gender Institute, Dr Anne Phillips, told LSE’s student union newspaper The Beaver, “I find it almost surreal when [LSE’s] Gender Institute is portrayed as representing ‘women good, men bad,” but Martin’s website documents his method and analysis of texts in the opening compulsory unit for all gender degrees at LSE as evidence of “systematic male-blaming bias,” and argues the contract students enter explicitly rules out sex-discriminatory learning materials. LSE’s defense now argues key texts are not compulsory learning materials, only “recommended.” Martin claims key texts are indeed compulsory, that students are explicitly told to read them in preparation for further discussion in seminars.
LSE also argue texts are available for both women and men to read so therefore do not directly discriminate. Further, they argue a focus on women in gender studies is expected, claiming any bias or discrimination against men “plainly justifiable.” Martin says the prospectus did not warn of any discrimination or bias, nor seek to justify it.
In a 2011 book (p10), Dr Clare Hemmings, senior gender lecturer at LSE, admits when “women’s studies” became “gender studies” programs, it signalled a rejection of biased, exaggerated female victim-hood perspectives in favour of greater inclusion, accuracy, and fairness for the field, but that subsequently, nothing changed. In 2008, Hemmings wrote that replacing the prefix “women’s” with “gender” was a good way to ensure continued public funding and support.
Another of LSE’s key gender texts recommends ignoring men’s studies in favour of “Critical Studies on Men (CSM).” According to various reports, many educational programs around the world are similarly critical, from kindergarden up. Research shows negative stereotypes on men effect focus, performance, and health. With 59% of university degrees going to women and 41% to men, and the gap widening, Martin hopes his lawsuit will encourage educators to improve their stories. He appears in a Youtube exposé, finding some LSE students justify bias against men, by citing discrimination issues they say women face, one student exclaiming “There’s no discrimination against men!” her outburst replayed in slow motion then freezing as a 160 item A to Z list of discrimination issues scrolls by.
Commenting on the February 14th court hearing date, Martin says “I think LSE’s Gender Institute is planning an extra special Valentine’s Day massacre for men’s issues as usual, but people would prefer to see these gender studies industry representatives publicly renew their vows to gender equality, and make a serious effort to pick up the £50,000 tab, too – loose change for LSE maybe, but not for the more than 900 other gender studies and women’s studies departments worldwide who can avoid similar payouts by dropping the man-hatred, and incorporating men’s equality debates without further deceit, delay, or excuse. Gender-developmental progress is much more attainable when considering both women’s and men’s issues. Equality is a two way street.”