My son's lecturer - I was glad he was being taught by a radical feminist, but now...
lborgia · 20/12/2022 10:55
My son is taking a unit in Gender, Crime, and Justice.
I was a little surprised he took that course, but very happy, but now feel it is going horribly wrong.
Because the lectures are all available online, I've seen what she says, because I wanted to check that the comments were exactly as DS described, and they were.
The lecturer insists that men become criminals because they are dealing with feelings of inferiority, and as if they're not masculine enough, and compensating.
She insists that women are criminalised by controlling men, and/or the patriarchy. That no women becomes a criminal of her own volition.
She said that only women are victims of domestic violence.
She said that all women are victims of rape, even if only because their lives are ruled by fear of rape.
There were others, but these stuck in my mind.
Oddly, I consider myself a radical feminist, but I think that a lecturer needs to deal with academic concepts, supported by sources, rather than sweeping generalisations, which are announced in purely subjective terms. I think this throws the reality out with the bathwater.
If this was a postgrad course, this could lead to debate, but with 1st year undergrads, it is making pronouncements as if they're absolutes, isn't it?
I agree that many many women end up with criminal records via drugs, sex work, stealing, which are undoubtedly usually as a result of men in their lives.
I agree that women have to live their lives with rape as a potential reality.
I do not believe that only women deal with DV, and one of the reasons my son is so upset is that his first girlfriend was so controlling, and made his life miserable. I'm still mortified that I didn't realise because it didn't occur to me that she could be doing anything wrong.
Anyway, I thought I would ask you for your thoughts and advice. I'm not going to get involved directly, it's uni, not school, but I think she is actually having the opposite impact, implying that women are by definition victims, and making my son angry and confused, when he went in keen to learn.
I think I would feel the same if my daughter had the same teacher...?
StillWeRise · 20/12/2022 19:49
all of those statements are probably partially true-
women controlled into crime
most Dv victims are women but not all
it doesn't sound like academia, it sounds like bad journalism, or me ranting on a bad day
I think I'd ask DS how this compares with other courses he's doing in terms of providing evidence, considering different arguments etc
tinselvestsparklepants · 20/12/2022 19:54
I'd encourage him to read around the reading list and make alternative views known in seminars.
ClangingBell · 20/12/2022 19:57
He’s at university, he can cope with lecturers expressing extreme viewpoints which stimulate debate.
Abhannmor · 20/12/2022 20:05
Sounds like the lecturer is winging it a bit .I agree with @tinselvestsparklepants : he should read some other primary sources.
Soontobe60 · 20/12/2022 20:06
Is she making these claims as a means of starting debate? Because I’d expect lots of debate on a course like that,
zzzexhaustedzzz · 20/12/2022 20:07
Interesting. I did a degree as a mature student and none of our tutors would have expressed subjective opinions like this. It would have seemed unprofessional and unacademic! It was a top uni/ course though, not sure whether that makes much difference.
We also did some gender-based work.
Get your son to take responsibility for his response to this. He should ask the others what they think. He should speak one to one with the tutor and say what he thinks. Then as is said above he should do all the reading and take issue with her ideas in writing his essays. If he doesn’t get a satisfactory response when speaking to the tutor he can report it. Students aren’t meant to be passive recipients of other peoples views. That’s the opposite of what University is meant to be!
lborgia · 20/12/2022 20:23
Thanks, that's all very helpful. To reiterate, I'm not planning on doing anymore then being a sounding board, and calming voice.
He is attending online which of course makes a difference to his own involvement, but no one in the lecture theatre is engaging, she is just speaking and they are listening.
He thought of two options - he just makes notes from the slides, with the volume down (!), or listens, and continues to note the material where it seems to be her opinion, rather than an argument. I suggested the latter would be more educational. I've also tried to help him reframe his response so that he doesn't take it so personally. I recognise it must be confronting.
I will make the suggestions about reading other sources, and using his assignments as an opportunity to open a dialogue. Interestingly, he would have no problem emailing other lecturers for clarification, but he seems really worried about how she might react.
Having said that, I'm not sure if he will get anywhere, as, to me at least, she sounds so fundamentalist.
Anyway, thank you again, I'm glad I asked.
lborgia · 20/12/2022 20:29
@ClangingBell - he's been studying uni courses for a total of 10 weeks, and has only just turned 17. He is "coping" just fine. He's allowed to ask for advice, just as I'm doing!
I was really pleased when he chose this course, because I've tried to raise him with an understanding of what is required or expected of women, and the last thing I want is for this to support the "ranting woman" trope.
NerrSnerr · 20/12/2022 20:40
What is he studying online age 17? Is there a discussion board for the module where debate/ discussion is actually happening? If there's no actual engagement from students and lecturers are not encouraging this I would question the teaching and the course.
Climbles · 20/12/2022 20:46
If she had said ‘most’ rather than all I’d agree with most of it.
Men can be subject to domestic violence and abuse but it’s unusual. Where as it’s extremely common for women to be abused by men.
Maireas · 20/12/2022 20:49
I don't understand what his situation is?
He's only just turned 17 and doing university courses?
houseofstark · 20/12/2022 22:37
I expect the Op anc her son are in Scotland, where school finishes a year earlier than England and Wales
lborgia · 20/12/2022 23:19
We're in a different country.
@Climbles - I agree, I was looking for "most", so that I could agree with her, and DS already knows this is true, he wasn't disputing that.
The course is an online version that is condensed over our 6 week break, so he can fit in a couple of extra courses. Completing some units, and getting good marks, is just another path into a Batchelors here.. he has been unwell, and couldn't finish his A level equivalent.
RoseslnTheHospital · 21/12/2022 00:20
I'd perhaps gently discuss with him why reading something that he disagrees with makes him feel angry and confused. Rather than curious and keen to take on the challenge of understanding a different point of view and debating it.
Whattaboutit · 21/12/2022 01:17
Pretty hard for people to comment on the higher education system of an unnamed country that they likely know nothing about. The info that you weren’t in the U.K. should have been in your first post.
stillvicarinatutu · 21/12/2022 01:25
I'd be slightly at this tbh .
What's her agenda ? Of course men can be victims of dv . I've dealt with several including some in same sex relationships .
I'd be a little worried at these opinions being given as fact . They are not factually correct.
Is your son concerned or uncomfortable about what she is saying ?
Is there a pastoral tutor he could talk to ?
lborgia · 21/12/2022 07:07
@RoseslnTheHospital - my immediate thought is that he would feel unqualified to meet her on an equal footing, and therefore is hesitant to, in his ignorance, put himself in the firing line. But I'll ask him.
@Whattaboutit - it didn't occur to me to say it was in a country other than the UK, given that the subject is discussed in English, and the university system is pretty much identical the world over. What difference does it make to whether this woman is spot on, or being unprofessional?
It's an undergrad course, I gave the title, and I gave her interpretation, and mine.
I've told ds what had come up on here, and he tells me this lecturer isn't actually the head of this course. I think she was brought in to cover the compressed singer course. So there is a course convener who he could approach, of he needs to.
I really appreciates the helpful points here, as do I.
lborgia · 21/12/2022 07:09
Compressed summer course,
And "he really appreciates the helpful points.."
Paq · 21/12/2022 07:19
I studied politics and sociology at undergrad. It's expected and accepted that students will read around the subject and present different theories/perspectives. We were exposed to some very "niche" views as a way of provoking our critical thinking and making us search for sources to make the case for an alternative approach.
At just 17 your DC may still be in the mindset that what the teacher says is gospel. That not what a social sciences degree is about.
Paq · 21/12/2022 07:20
the university system is pretty much identical the world over.
It absolutely isn't by the way OP! University education differs massively between countries.
lborgia · 21/12/2022 08:25
@Paq - you're quite right on both counts of course!
Maireas · 21/12/2022 08:51
You're right, @Paq - he would be in yr12 in this country and just developing those skills.
Abhannmor · 21/12/2022 09:17
My history lecturer told us from the start : ' There is no such thing as unbiased history , I am a Marxist and feminist '.
Didn't bother me tbh but she gave us a list of writers who disagreed with he to balance things up.
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