Niall Ferguson, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, argues that bashing white men has become increasingly popular in the United States.
“The point of Freud was not that boys will be boys,” a recent New York Times column read. “Rather the opposite. . . . If you let boys be boys, they will murder their fathers and sleep with their mothers.”
Jihadists and Neo-Nazis can be “steered away from violence by simply finding new ways for them to prove their masculinity and to feel that their lives have purpose,” a recent column in the Washington Post read.
Ferguson highlighted both of these pieces of journalism in a recent column for the Boston Globe. He was reflecting on his experience with organizing a recent history conference. Although Ferguson invited five female professors to participate in the conference, none were able to attend. Shortly after the list of speakers for the conference was published, articles about Ferguson’s small conference began to pop up in national news outlets.
Ferguson condemned those behind the race and gender-based attacks on the conference. He compared the New York Times‘ decision to plaster the faces of the speakers in their article to an old anti-semitic practice of condemning the “over-representation” of Jewish people in academia.
Now let’s be clear. I was raised to believe in the equal rights of all people, regardless of sex, race, creed, or any other difference. That the human past was characterized by discrimination of many kinds is not news to me. But does it really constitute progress if the proponents of diversity resort to the behavior that was previously the preserve of sexists and racists?
Publishing the names and mugshots of conference speakers is the kind of thing anti-Semites once did to condemn the “over-representation” of Jewish people in academia. Terms such as “SausageFest” belong not in civil academic discourse but on urinal walls.