What’s Current: US Department of Education investigating claim that Yale discriminates against men

What’s Current is Feminist Current’s daily news roundup.

  • Kursat Christoff Pekgoz, a male PhD student, has filed a Title IX complaint against Yale University claiming that programs and scholarships that are exclusively available to women discriminate against men. Pekgoz has made similar complaints against other universities — including USC where he is a student — arguing that affirmative action for women is no longer necessary because women are no longer underrepresented on campuses.
  • The Winnipeg Police have pulled a woman’s body out of the Red River. Police have not identified the woman, but the mother of April Carpenter says it is the body of her missing daughter.
  • Canada’s National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls is holding Expert and Knowledge Keeper Hearings this week. Fay Blaney, an Indigenous feminist and lifelong activist, testified earlier this week. Video of her testimony is now archived here.
  • In Belgium, Kevin Lapeire has been arrested for murdering his ex-girlfriend in front of her three children on Mother’s Day. Lapeire appeared on the reality show Belgium’s Got Talent as a clown.
  • A Salvadoran who fled her country after being brutalized and raped by her husband was granted asylum in the US. Now, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has assigned himself to review her petition. An op-ed in the New York Times says:

“Mr. Sessions has given himself the power not only to decide Ms. A-B-’s fate but also ultimately to try to rule on how our country handles claims for all survivors of domestic violence looking for asylum.”

Lisa Steacy
Lisa Steacy

Lisa Steacy is an Assistant Editor at Feminist Current. She has a B.A. in Women & Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. However, the women she met in her five years as a frontline worker and collective member with Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter deserve almost all of the credit for her feminist education. She lives in Vancouver with her partner and their cats.

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  • Mexican American Lesbian

    This entire shtick about men being discriminated against in colleges is an outright lie.

    Firstly, men go into the trades far more often than women do, largely because the culture of misogyny in blue collar fields dissuades a lot of them. These fields typically have strong unions and pay very well, in fact, oftentimes more so than non-intellectual white collar fields.

    Secondly, just because women are the majority, does not mean men are discriminated against. In fact, at institutions like Yale, women are the ones discriminated against. (https://womenintheworld.com/2015/07/31/it-is-harder-for-women-to-get-into-elite-u-s-universities/) Rich people are also the minority at elite colleges. Doesn’t mean they aren’t favored. (https://www.propublica.org/article/the-story-behind-jared-kushners-curious-acceptance-into-harvard)

    Finally, I find it totally unsurprising that one of the complainants was accused of sexual assault. Given he was put on probation (a very rare occurrance in these cases), it is very likely that he actually did rape them. This is not surprise to me, as MRA’s are all basically rapists.

  • Laura P.

    That’s not what anti-discrimination laws are about. At. All. Are men really that naïve, mendacious, or both?

  • M. Zoidberg

    Oh, fuck the news!

    Men win everything! They get everything! They control everything! But they complain that they have nothing!!

    That’s it! I’m convinced we’re a failed experiment where They got the “man” component wrong.

  • Christine

    That Title IX complainant argues that “women are now outpacing men when it comes to attending and graduating from college”, which I believe has been true for a while, but it doesn’t mean as much as he thinks it means. Does he think it means that more women are getting engineering and physics degrees than men? Come on. Everyone knows that girls and women need to be encouraged in — and misogyny needs to be scrubbed from — STEM fields. Does he realize how many women like me are out there who have two humanities degrees, but are no more successful (in terms of income, job security, social status, etc.) than their coworkers with no education beyond high school? I am certainly not alone in that boat.

    Fine, Pekgoz. Maybe we should stop giving women a leg up in academia (it’s a racket, anyway) and start more affirmative action programs for women in the workplace, where we are still underpaid, discriminated against for our ability to conceive (or the very opposite, if we’re deemed too old), subjected to harassment, and told that it’s all in our heads.

    • Mexican American Lesbian

      This is exactly what I tell males. I know plenty of skilled tradesmen that earn more than me and that those trades are misogynistic as fuck. I have a master’s degree in social work, by the way.

    • Tobysgirl

      I think women should go into the skilled trades — I may be a little prejudiced because I was that anachronism known as a typesetter. Liberal arts degrees are fantastic as long as one acknowledges before pursuing them that they do not necessarily lead to jobs that pay well. In Maine we had a program for women to work on road crews where they could learn to operate heavy equipment, drafting, etc. If I were young today I would become an electrician or a plumber, and when you understand what these jobs involve I think it’s perfectly fine that they pay more than social work. I was a typesetter in a male-dominated industry in NYC, and the men I worked with may have been misogynists but they didn’t dare to show that side to me.

  • OldPolarBear

    Simple solution to Mr. Pekgoz’s “problem”: free college for all, through the PhD level.

  • OldPolarBear

    Another horrifying case in Manhattan (not familiar with that website, but it seemed like the least offensive account with more background detail on what might have been going on). Not excusing what this woman did to her son, if she actually did do what they think, but she was being subjected to an awful lot of shit and I’ll bet we don’t know the half of it yet.

  • OldPolarBear

    Somehow it seems like a really weird, bad day for awful, violent news.

  • Tobysgirl

    @Old Polar Bear: I don’t know what disqus does, but I tried to reply to you, then it wouldn’t let me. Free college for all ONLY at public universities, and the end of all taxpayer-funded subsidies to these extremely wealthy private schools such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc.

    • OldPolarBear


  • Tobysgirl

    Did you watch the 60 Minutes segment on Batali and Friedman? Restaurant work is apparently one of the worst. I think young women should consider the skilled trades but not if they come across as very feminine (I may have had very long hair, but I didn’t come across as feminine in my work environments). I don’t know if it’s living in Maine now or what, but I have a woman mechanic who works with men; when we slaughtered pigs, it was women doing the slaughtering; and I do see women on the road crews. It would be interesting to call up the community college and see how many women are in the trades programs.

  • mnm

    It’s not about the percentage of females in universities, it’s about the percentage of females in which major. Modern education system rewards loyalty and a high degree of agreeableness, not creativity and ingenuity. University programs are becoming obsolete that’s why men are disappearing in humanities and social sciences dominated universities… for example an elevator technician can earn as much as three times as a sociology major, and who is studying sociology? Men tend to gravitate towards hard sciences, engineering, and computer science which usually offer a higher wages, there are some men who pursue essentially worthless degrees, but they do so at a lesser rate than women and since the absolute number of men pursing college degrees is less, Among the top ten most common subjects studied by women as undergraduates are education, social science, psychology, visual and performing arts, communications, liberal arts and humanities, and English.

    Graduate studies which can also be expected to produce less or no human capital and do not confer much in the way of high income also seem to be much more attractive to women than men. Women are also choosing to spend more time pursuing worthless graduate programs while men are focusing on building carries. That’s one of the reasons why a larger number of women are incurring student loan debt than men.

    • Emma

      Oh, I see. Despite the fact that the arts have been held to lofty ideals for centuries in Western culture, now that women are entering them in higher numbers they no longer require “creativity and ingenuity.” What a load of horse shit. The fact that all those jobs you listed pay less isn’t because they are less essential to society; rather, they pay less because they are seen as women-dominated fields.

      Besides, I have a problem with your STEM lord assertions. While machines are gradually taking over many STEM jobs, jobs that require social and emotional intelligence will always require human beings. Women are thriving in this area because we are socialized to do so. I personally know many boys with computer science degrees who are still living in their parents’ basements, while many of my friends who are women and social workers are living independently and comfortably. Of course, that could just be down to smart handling of their finances.

      Men will always try to devalue whatever women do. If men were getting degrees because of their passion for something rather than just material reasons, they’d be idealized as romantic “starving artists” types or lionized as heroic activitists and social reformers. Instead of acknowledging that women work bloody hard and put all their energy into everything they do, it is now “blind loyalty” and lack of energy that causes them to succeed more in higher education. Again, bull crap. Women are driven because we have to be.

      That said, women should be more encouraged to enter STEM and the misogyny needs to be rooted out there as elsewhere, but we shouldn’t devalue our significant and, if I may say so, superb achievements in nearly all other fields, including medicine. The way forward for women is not to suddenly become illiterate and ignorant of history and art, but to expand our education to include the humanities, sciences, and technical knowledge as a complete package.

      • mnm

        It’s not like arts and social sciences are no longer valuable, it’s just that most humanities and social sciences programs admit thousands of student every year, and the majority of them are female… and they graduate with no practical skills. Whenever there is an excess in supply, value goes down, it’s not like the value of those programs are deteriorating because they are female dominated, it’s just basic economics.

        Like I have pointed before, a high degree of agreeableness is essential when it comes to getting good grades in the classroom, however, jobs that requires that trait are in many cases not the most paying ones, or managerial ones. That’s why even though females are performing so well in the classroom, they are still demanding affirmative action in the workplace.

        It’s a common trend in many universities that males are disappearing from humanities and social sciences, and some young men are now preferring trade schools because liberal arts degrees don’t lead to jobs that necessarily pay well. Take the gender wage gap for example, the top ten most paying majors are all dominated by males, except medicine and pharmacy, while the top ten least paying majors are dominated by females. As long as women are choosing those majors, even if universities become 75 percent female, the wage gap won’t be closed.