Tony Bonnici – This is London 5 Sep 2011
The London School of Economics is facing legal action after a former student claimed its gender studies course was sexist – against men.
Tom Martin, who quit the university after six weeks, claims in papers lodged at the Central London county court that lecturers ignored male issues.
He is claiming some £50,000 citing breach of contract, misleading advertising, misrepresentation, and breach of the Gender Equality Duty Act.
The 39-year-old, who attended the university last year to take up a Gender, Media and Culture Masters degree, said there was “systemic anti-male discrimination”. But he said an internal investigation carried out by the university in the wake of his complaints found “no evidence” of bias.
Mr Martin, who is representing himself, said: “The 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. There was no warning of this sexist agenda in the prospectus.”
He added: “They simply refuse to acknowledge the research which contradicts the ‘women good/men bad’, or the ‘women victims/men perpetrators’ storyline.
“Science does not come into it at LSE’s Gender Institute. Like a religion, the curriculum simply insists, by repetition, attempting to drum the anti-male agenda into the students.”
The university’s legal team has asked for the case to be struck out, claiming the core texts were not compulsory, merely recommended readings, and that the texts were equally available for both men and women to read, so therefore did not directly discriminate against men. The team also argues that “any discriminatory effect [against men] was plainly justifiable”.