The reality, as many of you likely know, is that much of the culture of academia has been perverted far from values like equity, diversity, and so forth – values it claims to promote, but no longer believes in. Instead, many of them now live in a world where equality means discrimination, gender sensitivity means vindictiveness and class hatred, and tolerance of diversity means celebrating and protecting only the speech of those who hold similar perspectives.Yes, that sounds angry, and it might be hyperbolic. It's worth, though, noting that the Perpetually Aggrieved have been taking advantage of the unwillingness of academicians, particularly what we used to understand as mainstream white guys, to push back. (What's the point of having the protections of tenure if you just go along and don't push back?)
Much of the world is driven by fear. This is especially true in the shark tank of academia, where the fear of losing money, power, status, and especially one’s career often takes precedence over everything else. This is a culture that, when faced with a moral dilemma of “is this right or wrong” instead often decides by asking “does this benefit my career.” It is also a culture that ignores or sweeps problems under the rug just to get by another day, and is often suffocating to any form of principled dissent.It doesn't hurt, either, to have faculty governance populated by careerists and conformists.
While misandry is best defined as a subculture of academia, the culture of conformism is pervasive throughout academia as a whole. It is a common enemy between men’s advocates and anyone else seeking change in academia. In my experience, men’s advocates who mainly operate online are more likely to underappreciate this element of the cultural power struggle in academia. Perhaps this is because the culture of conformism doesn’t target men and boys exclusively, or because they have never been employed in academia to feel it directly.
The very structure of academia – with its most important decisions taking place behind closed office doors – creates a culture where conformism to the status quo is not just the modus operandi, but is also the preferred option whenever trouble arises or change is needed. It empowers faculty and especially administrators to employ a wide array of bureaucratic parlor tricks to ward off those they hope are too naïve, ignorant, or powerless to oppose them.
But when the Harvard Business School decides to castrate its male students, perhaps it is time to push back even harder.
That’s what kills me about initiatives like Harvard’s that are trying to alter the landscape so that women can succeed. In order to alter the landscape, you are destroying what makes the MEN such formidable competitors. Now, I’m not stupid. I realize that the men who are in the Harvard MBA program are rich, connected and come into the program with advantages most of us can only dream of, but they cannot parlay those advantages into real world rewards without combining them with boldness, confidence, assertiveness and a total unwillingness to kowtow to political correctness.Perhaps -- my view of MBAs is only slightly less favorable than my view of replay-assisted sports officiating -- those feminized Harvard grads will be less prone to wrecking companies, or the banking sector, in the service of an incompletely thought out model, or in obeisance to the quarterly report.
What are we achieving when we take our best and brightest men and force them to squelch the attributes that ultimately benefit us all so that women can feel like they won the race? What exactly are the women going to do with their glorious credentials?
On the other hand, in an environment where searches come with the caveat, mainstream white guys are less desirable candidates, and a preponderance of the same among the majors fevers the brows, it's essential to have a forum for pushing back.