Why Tom's case will win:

Why this case will win... By Tom Martin (September 20th, 2011)

If you have been following things carefully on the internet, you will have seen a debate on the feminist philosophers website, here:

http://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/man-launches-sex-discrimination-case-against-gender-studies-course/

And now, a speculative post from a British legal firm, here:

http://www.bindmans.com/fileadmin/bindmans/user/News_stories_-_PDFs/Gwendolen_Morgan/2011.09.15.PL-GM-Higher_Education_and_Equality_Act_Discrimination_Claim_-_Lexus_Nexus.pdf

both articles set out why they don't think my case will win. They point to The Equality Act, 2010 – which states that a course in feminism will not be considered discrimination within a teaching environment.

Fortunately, for this case (and all those interested in seeing an end to anti-male bias in gender studies) my case revolves around acts of discrimination which took place in 2009, so the Equality Act 2010 is not in effect.

Also, with the British legal firm's post, they assume that the university can prove that the key texts they gave us to read were only recommended – but the incontrovertible truth is, the key texts were compulsory. We had to read them before every class. We had to discuss them in seminars. They were the only texts presented to us by the university in the core course pack. Any student will tell you, the key texts, are compulsory.

Sex discrimination, is ruled out, by the Sex Discrimination act 1975. It is illegal to place men in any kind of detrimental position, in terms of the treatment they receive in an educational institution.

Harassment, is ruled out by the Sex Discrimination Act and the university's rules:-

Negative stereotyping of one sex or other in a classroom setting, is considered harassment too.

The curriculum (and the lecturers) negatively stereotyped men, by disproportionately portraying men as...

Rapists

Violent and psychological abusers of women

The only violent sex. The Controllers of women

The Mutilators of women's genitals

The Dominators of women

The Owners of women

And, Men were also typically portrayed as

The sex which is against equality

The sex whose academic studies are anti-woman, and should be excluded.

The sex who should be studied in a critical way.

The sex which faces no discrimination valid of being mentioned or advocated for favourably.

The sex who are not physically capable of understanding what is being taught.

That's a lot of negative stereotypes men face in gender studies classes today. It creates a sensation like fight or flight. Very physically unpleasant for any men in class being targeted like that.

We all face sexism in life. People in the office or on the factory floor, might say something sexist to you, but they're probably an idiot – and you can shrug it off. With gender studies professors though, they are experts on what is and is not sexism. They do know better, but have decided to attack men. That makes it 100 times more menacing.

Also, victimization – when someone complains of discrimination, as I did in class repeatedly, its illegal to subsequently punish that person for complaining. I don't want to go into that here, because it involves lecturer conduct, which I have promised to keep confidential, but it is a strand of the legal case – and it's all in black and white – as with so much of the evidence.

Also misleading advertising –

There was no warning of the sexism – or fundamental singular victim-female anti-male perspective they'd be teaching us. Instead, the prospectus claimed the course offered a 'range of perspectives'. But one of the LSE lecturers has since written a book though, where she actually admits that the 'range of perspectives' line is just a front for the singular [anti-male, victim-female] perspective –

She also admits, in that book, that in the UK, Gender studies does mean women and men - although she had previously tried to deny this in the complaints process - and the defence team continue to try to claim that 'gender' is obviously about women, women, women.

They'll say anything to anyone to try and get away with this, but they're not going to. The evidence is in.

And then... there's breach of contract...

The university's regulations become part of the terms of the contract, and those regulations, under the heading 'Legal Obligations' – specifically rule out the use of sex-discriminatory learning materials.

I have provided the university with a line by line analysis of a reliably large cross sample of their texts, showing beyond reasonable doubt, that the texts are indeed, overwhelmingly biased against men.

The university originally argued, in their internal report, which mysteriously denied everything, that there was 'no discrimination' in the core texts, but then, having read my line by line analysis of the core texts, lodged with the court, the university's defence team are now claiming that the core texts were not compulsory, only recommended – which is a joke – 'core texts' or 'key' texts, whatever you want to call them, are the compulsory ones. The only ones the university package for you to read.

'Recommended texts' are the recommended ones. Every student knows this. It's the core 'key' texts as they call them now, which we had to read before each seminar, as it was the key texts alone that we would be made to discuss in seminar - so the key texts, were the bare minimum we had to read. The recommended texts... were not provided. It's a desperate defence to say the key texts were only recommended.

Every student will know the university is lying about this to save its ass.

The university also claim that as men and women had equal access to the texts, the texts therefore did not discriminate. It's like back in the 60s, saying both blacks and whites can get on the bus, and “yeah, blacks have to sit at the back – but it isn't discrimination” - or like saying in Saudi Arabia today, men and women can both get on the bus – the women have to sit at the back, but if all those seats are full, then two men have to give up their seat, so one woman can sit down. The bus takes you to where you want to go - but it is discrimination.

But the gender studies bus is going round and round in circles – so it's impossible to enjoy the journey or the destination. Gender studies in its current form, has chosen to render itself both sexist and useless.

Of course, there was discrimination in the core texts – and now the defence are hedging their bets by saying any such [anti-male] discrimination was 'plainly justified' – but of course they will justify it with anti-male propaganda. False statistics and perspectives, pretending women are the big victims, and men the big perpetrators. It's a house of cards which is coming down. I know gender research well enough, to expose all their victim-female anti-male perspectives and statistics for what they are.

Deliberate bias in a taught course, is not allowed either. The Office of the Independent Adjudicator, advise universities that their academic judgement is not immune from prosecution, if it incorporates deliberate bias.

Now, given the university's prior expert knowledge of the anti-male bias in the course, a bias which they openly refer to, then there is a breach of contract. LSE knew the course did not do what it promised, and so if my case against them is successful, they have to pay damages to put me in a position I would be in, had they honoured the contract properly. That means, the increased earnings potential I would be able to command with a Masters of Science degree from a top university, should be factored into the damages the university have to pay.

So the damages claim I've made for around £50,000 which covers other damages and costs too – is actually quite modest.

LSE can easily afford to pay it, but it will send a very clear message to all other gender studies, social science, media, humanities degrees, and so forth ... that they better cut out the anti-male bias too, or they'll end up in court like LSE.

Appeal

But, anyone who thinks this is going to be easy money for me, probably doesn't realise what's involved in bringing a court case yourself.

First off, I spent 6 months writing dozens of letters to the university trying to get them to cooperate and do a proper investigation.

I've spent about £2000 on legal advice so far, with another £1000 on court fees. I spent about 6 weeks reading the law on discrimination, another 6 weeks filing the particulars of claim which are 42 pages long, and compiling a further 150 pages of supporting evidence.

Also, because I am now in such a massive financial hole, I have had to go public by setting up the website, at further cost, chasing journalists round, writing articles, tweeting, leafleting – I'm making a video this week on LSE's campus, anything to draw attention to the cause, to make people aware of the issues, and get them to donate to the legal fighting fund.

It's going very well. The fighting fund has reached £711 so far, with 28 donations from men and women in five different countries – so thank you very much to all those who have donated, and tweeted and blogged and so forth. We are definitely getting there.

I still need a further £600, and then the one off flat-rate court hearing fee will be covered at least, and gender studies will get its day in court.

The website is www.sexismbusters.org – you can go there, donate, keep up to date with the media articles on the case, and my email address is there too.

And some of you might be thinking you won't be affected by bad gender studies practices, so why should you donate, but consider, the propaganda they spew out contaminates lots of other degrees too, and contaminates the media, and we want to be able to help future generations of women and men go to university without being poisoned on men, so they can go on to produce media and policy, which does not discriminate against men - and does not hold women back either.

So please, click on the donate button, you'll get a paypal page, but you don't need to do paypal, you can just type your card details in on the right of the screen – so no passwords to remember at all.

Thank you very much.

Tom Martin



Thank you for all support! Tom can be contacted directly, at: sexismbusters@hotmail.com





Evening Standard

Tony Bonnici 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".

Guardian

Jonathan Dean guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 7 September 2011 15.30 BST Article history Let's get this straight. Gender studies isn't about 'women good, men bad' It's ironic that an ex-student is using anti-discrimination law to sue this LSE department. But he was only there for six weeks. Feminism makes some men very scared, others very angry. Tom Martin, who is taking legal action against the London School of Economics, risks being seen as falling into both of these categories. A former student at the LSE Gender Institute, Martin claims he had the misfortune of being subject to a torrent of anti-male discrimination during his (very brief) time there, and has cited the Gender Equality Duty to support his case. The irony of attacking feminists by invoking a piece of legislation whose existence is largely down to the energy and commitment of feminist campaigners scarcely needs pointing out. Martin alleges that the course material he studied during his six weeks at the LSE was systematically anti-male overlooked men's issues, and ignored any research that contested a "women good, men bad" line of reasoning. Furthermore, Martin claims that the Gender Institute drummed into the students, with quasi-religious fervour, a simplistic view of women as victims and men as perpetrators. If his experience is anything to go by, any self-respecting male should steer well clear of such institutionalised misandry. Well, male readers, before you start cowering behind the sofa fearful of the castrating gender studies professor who's about to get you, let me reassure you. Although I don't know the specifics of Martin's experience, I am a male academic active in gender studies, and was a researcher at the very institution that Martin is suing. And yet for me, as with many other male gender studies scholars and students, my academic engagement with feminism and gender issues has been nothing short of life-affirming. Let's get a few things straight. The dominant ideas, approaches and insights of the vast majority of academic disciplines are produced by, for and about men. This does not necessarily make them bad ideas, but it does mean that there are entrenched gender biases in most fields. In my own discipline – politics – the key undergraduate texts are overwhelmingly by and about men. And yet this is seen by most as unproblematic, as natural or inevitable. Gender studies is an attempt to critique this entrenched male bias. As an emerging area of study, it remains small and lacks the financial and institutional clout of the bigger disciplines. It strikes me as utterly bemusing that one would want to direct one's ire towards one of the few academic spaces in which the implications of biases that go largely unchallenged elsewhere are explored. But let's clear up a few further points. Firstly, the perception that gender studies is doctrinal and dogmatic is simply untrue. It is sceptical of traditional distinctions between fields of research, and is more dynamic, innovative and open to new perspectives than established disciplines. And far from sticking to a crude "women good, men bad" line, gender studies programmes encourage students to acknowledge the diversity of relations between men and women, the limitations of a victim-centred understanding of womanhood, and the complex ways in which gender intersects with race, class and sexuality. The development of this more holistic approach to gender analysis is one of the reasons why the name "gender studies" is now usually given preference over "women's studies", although the name of the field remains a controversial topic. What is not in dispute, though, is the contribution to gender studies of current research into the changing nature of masculinity. Scholars such as Jeff Hearn, R W Connell, Keith Pringle, Michael Kimmel and Terrell Carver have all taken inspiration from feminism and women's studies to analyse, for example, class and racial inequalities between men, the causes and consequences of male violence, the lived experience of different kinds of male sexuality, and the ways in which ideas of masculinity influence social and political thought. Although most gender studies scholars and students are women, the likes of Jeff Hearn and Michael Kimmel have paved the way for increasing numbers of men to contribute to academic gender studies, contributions that have been unambiguously welcomed. In this context, if a gender studies scholar were to put forward a crude "women good, men bad" analysis, it would never stand up to peer scrutiny. Finally, gender studies courses are extremely friendly and supportive environments. In contrast to the stuffiness and conformity of many academic settings, gender studies students and scholars are tolerant, friendly, and enlightened in their attitudes to race, sexual orientation and transsexuality. Gender studies is invariably more sociable than other academic settings, and all kinds of people are welcome, so long as you are willing to engage with people and ideas in a considered and respectful manner. If you're committed to combating discrimination and prejudice in academia, gender studies is an eccentrically misguided choice of target.

The F Word

Man sues LSE for "anti-male" gender studies agenda by Alicia Izharuddin // 4 September 2011, 20:09 Once upon a time, the hallowed halls of academia were only opened to men. Within, men consumed and produced scholarship about other men. The presence of women in university was thought to contaminate, ridicule, and degrade the sacred pursuit of learning. Learning was even thought to be bad for women, making them infertile among other things. When the doors were finally burst open to women, there was no turning back; women were everywhere, accomplishing in male-dominated disciplines, outnumbering and out-performing the male of the species, and dominating the humanities and social sciences. Then came the rise of Gender Studies that served to redress the historical silencing of queer and female voices, and administer a small dose of balance into the male-centred world of learning. So far, so good for woman-kind. But recently, the London School of Economics (LSE) has been threatened to floor the reverse pedal on the latter. The man at the centre of this tea-cup sized furore is former student of LSE, Tom Martin, who claimed that the Gender Studies masters programme he was following was "sexist" for focusing on women's issues rather than men's issues. Martin's spectacularly ineffectual allegations is presumably meant to expose the hidden anti-male agenda and the evil feminine take-over that were unfolding before his very eyes. But little does he realise the irony of his own sexist claims. Gender Studies has traditionally been the preserve of women because it is one of the very few scholarly retreats from the male-dominated world of academia. By scholarly retreats I mean it is interested in questioning (issues not limited to) sexism and power imbalances in society. There are of course a number of class and race-related problems in Gender Studies that concern women but that is for another post. The study of masculinities or "men's issues" takes a back-seat in Gender Studies because women and femininity have traditionally been viewed as "problematic" categories in both good and bad ways, while masculinity and men have long been default, invisible, and unproblematic categories. The study of men is gaining ground in Gender Studies but Martin's grievances about its "secondary" place in the discipline is typical of some men who want their issues to dominate, to be first and take importance. This has been the case for centuries. And so the predominance of women and their issues strike men who are consumed by their male privilege as an oddity, a takeover by women, an outrage best described as "sexism".