A Manhattan lawyer is charging in a federal lawsuit that Columbia University, by offering courses in women's studies, is discriminating against men.
Roy Den Hollander, who has previously filed a number of what he calls "anti-feminist" lawsuits, told The New York Sun: "The teaching of feminism is really the teaching of a religion." As such, Mr. Den Hollander, who lives in Stuyvesant Town in the East Village and who runs his own law firm, is claiming that New York State is violating the First Amendment through the university's women's studies program.
Mr. Den Hollander said that at Columbia's Institute for Research on Women and Gender, which was named as one of the co-defendants in the civil complaint filed yesterday, "They teach girls unfairly how to compete against guys." He added that girls were also taught that men were primarily responsible for all the evils in the world.
A professor in the political science department affiliated with the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Jean Cohen, said Mr. Den Hollander's lawsuit "sounds like the first shocked response of men circa 1967, when feminism re-emerged, and when women started fighting for their rights." Ms. Cohen said the courses on gender are about men as well as women, and that plenty of men attend.
"The equal protection argument is not that they don't take in men," Mr. Den Hollander said. "It's the negative impact they are having on guys because they demonize guys."
A Columbia University spokesman, John Tucker, said, "We generally don't comment on litigation."
In 2007, Mr. Den Hollander, who graduated from Columbia Business School in 1997, filed a federal lawsuit claiming that nightclubs that offered reduced admission prices for women and not for men were violating the 14th Amendment.