Published: September 9, 2011
by TOM FOOT
A FORMER gender studies student at the London School of Economics (LSE) is suing the university for alleged sexism.
Tom Martin, who lives in Covent Garden, believes he suffered “systemic anti-male discrimination” while studying for a masters in Gender, Media and Culture at the prestigious college in Holborn.
The 39-year-old, who describes himself as a “feminist”, claimed tutors were simply “blaming men” for all the troubles in the world and “ignoring men’s issues”.
He has filed a claim at the Central London County Court in Marylebone claiming LSE breached the Gender Equality Duty Act.
Mr Martin said: “Compulsory core texts we had to read before each class were typically packed with anti-male discrimination and bias, heavily focusing on, exaggerating, and falsifying women’s issues perspectives, whilst blaming men, to justify ignoring men’s issues.”
He said he quit after learning classes would be taken in “cyclical fashion” to accommodate female students’ menstruation, adding: “What sort of feminism do we want at universities? A feminism which falsifies statistics and perspectives to preserve the illusion that women are helpless victims of men?
“The curriculum typically avoided discussions of the inequalities of opportunity men face. It was a political betrayal of men, and of gender equality.”
The LSE Gender Institute was established in 1993 “to address the major intellectual challenges posed by contemporary changes in gender relations”. It is the largest research and teaching unit of its kind in Europe.
University bosses asked for the case to be struck out, but Mr Martin’s lawyers believe it will go ahead in November.
A college spokesman said: “LSE can confirm that Tom Martin enrolled on the MSc in Gender, Media and Culture in September 2009.
“He was unhappy with the course and was offered, and accepted, a full refund in January 2010.
“It was made clear to Mr Martin that this was intended as a goodwill gesture and did not represent an admission of liability.
“Course content and core readings are reviewed annually.
“They reflect the Institute’s concern to give a broad as possible account of some of the key debates that structure the field – debates about sex and gender, nature and culture, production and reproduction, how power should be theorised and so on.
“The aim is to offer an intellectual foundation to debates that have constituted the field as well as offering an up-to-date assessment of new and current areas of debate.”