Hunger Strike

H

by Kursat Christoff Pekgoz

I understand that the hunger strike I have undertaken was rather eccentric. I’m a free man, not a prisoner. As a long-distance swimmer, I was already accustomed to irregular eating habits, although I had never attempted such a long fast before. I was under the supervision of a doctor throughout the strike, and I wanted to see how long I could endure the hunger until health complications begin. I avoided solid food for thirty-two days, and I stopped only after I was diagnosed with hyperbilirubinemia and after beginning to experience blurry vision. I took various liquids and vitamins throughout the strike, and I have lost seventeen pounds or so. I have recovered my health now, or so I hope, although I still suffer from bouts of nausea and I find it more difficult to focus on complex tasks now. 

I endured the hunger on behalf of a class of human beings who experience discrimination on a daily basis in various walks of life. The discrimination they experience can be shockingly inhumane, but the members of this class often suffer in silence. They live shorter lives due to higher rates of suicide and workplace deaths. They are more likely to die in warfare not only as combatants but also as civilians. They experience unapologetic and shocking discrimination in the criminal justice system, including in the administration of the death penalty. The family court system is biased against them—many lose their children and livelihood. The younger members of this class are now making less money than their counterparts. They are the overwhelming majority of prisoners and the majority of homeless people. Despite all this, the press rarely (if ever) condemns discrimination against the members of this class, even though such discrimination is unlawful as per Supreme Court doctrine. 

We commonly refer to this class of human beings as “men.” 

Towards the end of the hunger strike, just as I was beginning to develop blurry vision and at the very verge of my strength, I received word of success. The United States was opening an investigation against Yale University for discrimination against men. Below is an amended version of the manifesto that I sent to the Department of Education before beginning my hunger strike:

Discrimination against men begins at an early age. 77% of all teachers in the public education system are women.1 Girls have higher grades than boys in all categories.2 Numerous studies “have shown that stereotyping [by female teachers] can bias teachers’ assessment and grades” against boys.3 The “proportionality prong” of Title IX enforced by the Department of Education has steadily limited athletic opportunities for men, with young men receiving fewer and fewer resources each passing year.4 While selective enforcement on the basis of sex is illegal on paper, as per 34 CFR §106, boys routinely receive harsher discipline than girls for identical offences in every category.5

Women are now the overrepresented sex among college students nationwide. 6 They are also the majority of law students 7 and medical students. 8 Women comprise the majority of doctorate degrees in the health and medical (80%), biological (56%) and social/behavioral (63%) sciences nationally.9 New civil rights data published by the Department of Education makes it clear that concerns over the underrepresentation of women in STEM education are outdated.10 Women are at a 2 to 1 advantage over men in STEM faculty hiring.11 Almost every college offers a Women’s Studies Department 12, but no equivalent programs exist for men.13

According to institutions that release such data, the overwhelming majority of the persons sanctioned under Title IX are male.14 However, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and others, men and women experience sexual victimization at equivalent rates 15 and the majority of male victims report female perpetrators. 16 The majority of Title IX administrators nationwide are women. 17 The unfairness of Title IX tribunals has received widespread and bipartisan criticism.18-23. Male students/professors who deviate from the orthodoxy of campus gender politics often face mobbing or termination. There are many such examples, including cases covered by the press. 24-28

Things change. Our gender discourse, and our application of the law, is in sore need of getting with the times. The modern west is a very different place than it was when Title IX became federal law, and our courts, our media and most especially our universities need to start living in the here and now, rather than in an era that no longer exists. 

References

1. Liana, L. (2017). The Nation’s Teaching Force Is Still Mostly White and Female. Retrieved from https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2017/08/15/the-nations-teaching-force-is-still-mostly.html  

2. Daniel, V. (2014). Girls Make Higher Grades than Boys in All School Subjects, Analysis Finds. Retrieved from  http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2014/04/girls-grades.aspx 

3. Camille, T. (2016). Boys Lag Behind: How Teachers’ Gender Biases Affect Student Achievement, MIT Department of Economics and National Bureau of Economic Research, pp. 1-3 https://seii.mit.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/SEII-Discussion-Paper-2016.07-Terrier-1.pdf.

4. Megan, S. (2001). Reverse Discrimination under Title IX: Do Men Have a Sporting Chance. Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports L.J, Vol. 8, Issue 1, Article 7 Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.law.villanova.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1175&context=mslj

5. Wallace, J. M., Goodkind, S., Wallace, C. M., & Bachman, J. G. (2008). Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Differences in School Discipline among U.S. High School Students: 1991-2005. The Negro educational review, 59(1-2), 47–62. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2678799/

6. U.S. Depart. Of Education (2016). Bachelor’s degrees conferred by postsecondary institutions, by race/ethnicity and sex of student: Selected years, 1976-77 through 2014-15. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d16/tables/dt16_322.20.asp  

7. Elizabeth, O. (2016). Woman Make Up Majority of U.S. Law Students for First Time. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/16/business/dealbook/women-majority-of-us-law-students-first-time.html

8.  Michael, C. (2018). Woman are now a majority of entering medical students nationwide. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/women-are-now-a-majority-of-entering-medical-students-nationwide/2018/01/22/b2eb00e8-f22e-11e7-b3bf-ab90a706e175_story.html?utm_term=.3873f1eff392

9.  Mark, P. (2018) Women earned majority of doctoral degrees in 2017 for 9th straight year and outnumber men in grad school 137 to 100. Retrieved from  http://www.aei.org/publication/women-earned-majority-of-doctoral-degrees-in-2017-for-9th-straight-year-and-outnumber-men-in-grad-school-137-to-100-2/ 

10. Press Office. (2018). U.S. Department of Education Releases 2015-16 Civil Rights Data Collection. Retrieved from https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-releases-2015-16-civil-rights-data-collection

11. Williams, W. M. & Ceci, S. J. National hiring experiments reveal 2:1 faculty preference for women on STEM tenure track. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. p. 112, 5360–5365 (2015). 

12. Data USA. (2016). DATAUSA: Woman’s Studies. Retrieved from https://datausa.io/profile/cip/050207/ 

13. John, D. (2019) GenderStudiesForMen home page [Facebook Page]. Retrieved from 

https://www.facebook.com/GenderStudiesForMen/

14. Jersis, D.(2018). Stanford University’s 2018 Title IX Report. Retrieved from

     (2018) Yale University’s 2018 Title IX Report. Retrieved fromhttps://provost.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/FINAL%20February%202018%20Report(1).pdf

15. Stemple, L., & Meyer, I. H. (2014). The sexual victimization of men in America: new data challenge old assumptions. American journal of public health104(6), e19–e26. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4062022/ 

16. Lara, S., Andrew, F., Ilan, M. (2017). Sexual Victimization perpetrated by women: Federal data reveal surprising prevalence. Aggression and Violent Behavior, Elsevier. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1359178916301446?via%253Dihub

17. Peter, W.(2013).  Gender Inequity Among The Gender Equity Enforcers. Retrieved from https://www.nas.org/blogs/dicta/gender_inequity_among_the_gender_equity_enforcers

18. Elizabeth, B., Nancy, G., Janet, H.,Jeannie, G. (2017). Fairness For All Students Under Title IX. Retrieved from http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:33789434 

19. Bobby, S. (2018). Ruth Bader Ginsburg Thinks Some College Title IX Trials Are Unfair to the Accused. Retrieved from https://reason.com/2018/02/19/ruth-bader-ginsburg-due-process-me-too

20. The Editorial Board. (2017). Jerry Brown’s Title IX Veto. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/jerry-browns-title-ix-veto-1508280834

21. Multiple Authors. (2018). Open Letter Regarding Inequitable Victim-Centered Practices. Retrieved from http://www.saveservices.org/wp-content/uploads/Victim-Centered-Practices-Open-Letter-FINAL.docx.pdf

22. Bradford, R. (2016). Law professors pen open letter denouncing Title IX overreach. Retrieved from  https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/18/law-professors-letter-denounces-title-ix-overreach/

23. NAS. (2017). NAS Applaids Secretary Devos’s Decision On Title IX. Retrieved from https://www.nas.org/blogs/press_release/nas_applauds_secretary_devos_decision_on_title_ix 

24. Caleb, P. (2018). College student kicked out of class for telling professor there are only two genders. Retrieved from http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/03/12/college-student-kicked-out-class-for-telling-professor-there-are-only-two-genders.html 

25. Andrew, L. (2018). Pro-free speech professor Rick Mehta fired by Acadia Univserisy. Retrieved by  https://www.andrewlawton.ca/pro-free-speech-professor-rick-mehta-fired-by-acadia-university/ 

26. John, B. (2018). Catholic University suspends dean over comment that ‘degraded’ kavanaugh accuser. Retrieved from https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/409090-catholic-university-suspends-dean-over-comment-that-degraded  

27. Toni, A. (2018). Students Demand Professor Be Fired After He Champions Due Process, Says ‘Accusers Sometimes Lie’. Retrieved from https://pjmedia.com/trending/students-demand-professor-fired-after-he-champions-due-process-says-accusers-sometimes-lie/ 

28. James, V. (2019). Portland State Univ. professor to face discipline for exposing shoddy scholarship. Retrieved from https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/jan/7/peter-boghossian-portland-state-univ-professor-fac/

Bio

Kursat Christoff Pekgoz is a Title IX activist fighting for equal rights in American academia. He has filed a series of complaints against various institutions, including USC and Yale and Princeton, which were accepted for investigation by the Department of Education. He tries to help other men combat gender discrimination in his spare time. He also has a proud record for defending the civil rights of ethnic and religious minorities against the tyranny of Islamic fundamentalists. He is doing his best to continue his politically incorrect advocacy despite various forms of smear and retaliation.

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