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How the feminist rule on campus hurts men

Here’s how the deck’s now stacked against young men

The call for women’s equality has been achieved at American universities. In fact, the feminist movement has been so successful that it is young male students, and not young women, who lose out.

The modern college is a man’s world no longer.

Now, women make up the majority of the student body on campus. They also lead in graduation rates, too. According to data from the federal government, women gained majority status in college enrollment in 1979. Since then, the gap between men and women has gotten wider, and women now are the majority of the student body at roughly 57 percent.

At some colleges, women outnumber men in even higher rates. For example, at Framingham State, a public university in Massachusetts, women make up 63 percent of the student body, the Boston Globe recently reported.

And in June, Dartmouth College announced that 54 percent of its undergraduate engineering degrees were awarded to women, “making it the first national research university to award more bachelor’s degrees in engineering to women than men.”

What’s more, the percentage of female students is expected to continue to increase, so much so that some colleges have actually developed affirmative action for men.

Ten years ago, the dean of admissions of Kenyon College, Jennifer Delahunty Britz, wrote in a New York Times op-ed that the “reality is that because young men are rarer, they’re more valued applicants.”

A decade later, there’s no end in sight.

Mark Perry, professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan Flint, tells The College Fix that “women now dominate higher education, and it is men who have become the ‘second sex’ at the college level.”

He notes women have earned a majority of college degrees every year since 1981 and that the Department of Education estimates that by 2026, women will earn 150 college degrees at all levels (Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctor’s degrees) for every 100 degrees earned by men.

‘Phantom patriarchy’

But instead of celebrating these trends, women’s minds are stuck in retrograde. Women are blind to their own strengths, their own majority status on college campuses, and the cultural power they have. The more antiquated the patriarchy becomes, the more desperate young women are to claim it’s the reason they’re failing.

“Young women at our elite colleges are among the safest, most privileged and most empowered of any group on the planet. Yet, from the moment they get to campus – and now, even earlier – an endless stream of propaganda tells them otherwise,” explains feminist scholar Christina Hoff Sommers. “They are offered safe spaces and healing circles to help them cope with the ravages of a phantom patriarchy.”

Indeed, in the absence of salient oppression, women are forced to ascribe their problems to the “phantom patriarchy.” Thus, men come under AngryMob.HansSplinter.Flickrattack in women’s attempt to fight it. And nowhere has this unjust attack on men been seen more than with the way colleges are responding to the panic over rape culture.

The feminist-inspired imperative to believe all victims of sexual assault, as manifested in the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter, has resulted in a terrible — even dangerous — environment for male college students.

Male students wrongfully accused of rape have suffered mightily under (mostly female) Title IX administrators. Some 130 lawsuits against colleges and universities have been filed by male students in recent years who claim they have been punished for sexual assaults they have not committed, according to a list maintained by Title IX For All.

“Schools have been forced — through threat of lost federal funding — to adopt procedures that deny due process rights to accused students,” explains Ashe Schow in the Washington Examiner.

With little or no chance to defend themselves, young men all over America are subject to Kafkaesque trials that can unfairly kick them off campus.

MORE: Father speaks out after college-athlete son cleared of rape: ‘How many young men have to have their lives destroyed?’

Thus, the anti-sexual assault lobby has adopted the mantra of “teach men not to rape”(which is, by the way, not verified as effective by peer-reviewed research). This means that once freshmen arrive on campus they are subjected to “sexual respect classes.” The overarching message is clear: young men are considered to be rapists in waiting, so administrators have to teach them how to behave.

Masculinity blamed … for everything

Shrug.ShutterstockHostility, contempt and scorn for men and masculinity is inherent not just on campus, but throughout our general culture. Men are scapegoated for everything from climate change to why women drink.

On campus, masculinity has been blamed for everything from contributing to body shaming to acts of domestic terrorism.

After UC Merced student Faisal Mohammad attacked four peers with a knife before being shot and killed by a campus police officer in 2015, professors blamed masculinity for the attack. A class at Dartmouth this semester called “The Orlando Syllabus” identifies so-called toxic masculinity as playing a role in the mass murder spree. At Vanderbilt last fall, students were warned that bulging biceps advance unhealthy masculinity.

Every week, there’s another example of men coming under fire. Everything they do — from sitting on the subways to speaking in conversations — is interpreted as oppressive under today’s feminist cultural norms.

Today, it is women who rule college campuses, not men. And, if current statistical predictions are correct, women won’t just hold on to their newfound majority status, but they’ll see it increase in coming decades. Thus, the lack of men on campus, the erosion of due process, and the anti-male sentiment will get worse, not better. And everyone, both young men and women, will suffer.

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About the Author
Toni Airaksinen -- Barnard College