Saturday, July 10, 2004


"And that, in a nutshell, is Neil Boyd's complaint with the new generation of radical feminists. They blame men for everything. It all began when Boyd was appointed chairman of the harassment tribunal at Simon Fraser University. He seemed like the perfect choice. A professor of criminology, a lawyer and a one-time parole officer, Boyd was also a committed feminist. Or so he thought. But he soon found himself embroiled in a case in which a female student had lied about being raped. It got worse. An innocent man was fired without due process; the university refused to back down when he was exonerated, and the women's studies department rallied around the supposed victim. Boyd started to wonder: What had happened to the feminism of his youth?

Big Sister is a book that is looking for a fight. It is controversial, deliberately so, and its self-proclaimed mission is not to trash feminism but to rescue it from those who have hijacked it. "My opposition," Boyd explains, "is to a poisonous strain of feminism, a concoction of regressive policies only masquerading as belonging to a vanguard of progressive thought or action. The people behind these policies oppose free expression and due process and favour solving complex problems through an inflexible imposition of punishment by the state."

They are, he writes elsewhere, "a cadre of radical extremists who are spouting bogus science and silencing their critics with a combination of illogical mantras and vicious tirades." Even worse, in their prudery and intolerance, they have made common cause with "the evangelicals who want paintings and sculptures of naked women or men removed from the workplace and from all forms of advertising."

Boyd gives four examples where radical feminists have gone too far: They are intolerant of all pornography; they have defined sexual harassment in ways that are too vague and that ultimately infantilize women; they are apt to define any male sexual advance as rape; and they exaggerate the extent to which women are the victims of domestic violence"

More here.

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