Columbia University Defends Women’s Studies

NEW YORK

Columbia University urged a judge Friday to toss out a lawsuit that claims a women’s studies program is unconstitutional because there is no similar men’s program, saying the lawsuit “reads like a parody.”

In papers filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the school said the judge should reject the demand in an August lawsuit that women’s studies courses be prohibited.

Columbia noted that the lawsuit’s claim that the courses violate the constitutional rights of men was based on plaintiff Roy Den Hollander’s “personal hostility to feminism, his belief that feminism is a ‘fundamentally false belief system.’”

Hollander operates a Web site with a home page that reads, “Now is the time for all good men to fight for their rights before they have no rights left.’”

After looking at Columbia’s court papers, Hollander said there was no humor in his lawsuit.

“Women’s studies give women a carte blanche to do whatever their irrational whims tell them,” he said.

The school noted that thousands of courses throughout the university teach about the experiences and accomplishments of men in every period of history.

Columbia, saying Hollander put forth his arguments “in a complaint that reads like a parody,” also rejected his argument that the Ivy League school should be forced to establish a men’s studies program.

To do so would be like saying the existence of African-American studies courses required the establishment of a White curriculum, or that an institute devoted to gay and lesbian studies should be balanced with an institute that studies heterosexuality, Columbia said.

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