North Korean defector slams ‘woke’ US schools

North Korean defector slams ‘woke’ US schools

By Mark Moore and Mark Lungariello June 14, 2021 3:36pm Updated

A North Korean defector said she viewed the US as country of free thought and free speech – until she went to college here.

Yeonmi Park attended Columbia University and was immediately struck by what she viewed anti-Western sentiment in the classroom and a focus on political correctness that had her thinking “even North Korea isn’t this nuts.”

“I expected that I was paying this fortune, all this time and energy, to learn how to think. But they are forcing you to think the way they want you to think,” Park told Fox News. “I realized, wow, this is insane. I thought America was different but I saw so many similarities to what I saw in North Korea that I started worrying.”

The 27-year-old told The Post that she could’t believe she would be asked to do “this much censoring of myself” at a university in the United States. 

 “I literally crossed the Gobi Desert to be free and I realized I’m not free, America’s not free,” she said.   

Yeonmi Park
North Korean defector Yeonmi Park said after attending Columbia University that US schools are forcing students to think a certain way and are worse than the indoctrination in her home country.

Yeonmi Park fled North Korea at age 13 in 2007, a voyage that took her and her family to China and South Korea before she went to school in New York in 2016. 

Her professors gave students “trigger warnings,” sharing the wording from readings in advance so people could opt out of reading or even sitting in class during discussions, Park told The Post.

“Going to Columbia, the first thing I learned was ‘safe space,’” she said.

“Every problem, they explained us, is because of white men.” Some of the discussions of white privilege reminded her of the caste system in her native country, where people were categorized based on their ancestors, she said.

Yeonmi Park
Park said Columbia failed to teach students to think critically and believes “even North Korea is not this nuts.”

In one class, a teacher discussing Western Civilization asked students if they had a problem with the name of the topic – most students raised their hands, according to Park. Some, she said, mentioned issues with the “colonial” slant of the discussion.

And classes often began with professors asking students for their preferred pronouns, with the use of “they” becoming scary as she feared being socially penalized for not being inclusive enough in her vocabulary.

“English is my third language,” she said. “It’s very hard for me to say he and she sometimes, I misuse them.”

Park, 27, transferred to Columbia University in Manhattan in 2016 and eventually learned to “just shut up” so she could get good grades and graduate.

She told Fox that she also was chided for saying she enjoyed the writings of Jane Austen.

“I said ‘I love those books.’ I thought it was a good thing,” Park told the network. “Then she said, ‘Did you know those writers had a colonial mindset? They were racists and bigots and are subconsciously brainwashing you.’”

Park said North Korea students were constantly informed about the “American Bastard.”

“I thought North Koreans were the only people who hated Americans, but turns out there are a lot of people hating this country in this country,” she told The Post.

Yeonmi Park
Park said American students don’t understand real oppression or “how hard it is to be free.”

Cancel culture and shouting down opposing voices is becoming an issue of self-censorship. 

Park, who chronicled her escape from North Korea and life in the repressive regime in the 2015 memoir “In Order to Live,” said Americans seem willing to give their rights away not realizing they may never come back.

“Voluntarily, these people are censoring each other, silencing each other, no force behind it,” she said.

“Other times (in history) there’s a military coup d’etat, like a force comes in taking your rights away and silencing you. But this country is choosing to be silenced, choosing to give their rights away.”

Monument to North Korea's ruling party
In North Korea, represented by a monument to the ruling party, Park was taught what to think — not how to think.

Park said she knows what a country could become with rights and discourse stripped away.

“North Korea was pretty insane,” she said. “Like the first thing my mom taught me was don’t even whisper, the birds and mice could hear me.”

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“She told me the most dangerous thing that I had in my body was my tongue,” Park said. “So I knew how dangerous it was to say wrong things in a country.”

Park, who grew up in the last Stalinist dictatorship and witnessed people dying from starvation, said Americans are obsessed with oppression even though there is not much oppression they’ve witnessed firsthand.

“This a completely nuts, this is unbelievable,” she said. “I don’t know why people are collectively going crazy like this or together at the same time.”

She said the situation in North Korea is one thing because the people don’t have access to the internet and have limited exposure to the globe, but students here have much more access to information.

Park said as a child she had thought dictator Kim Jong Un was “starving” and overworked until she was in South Korea and was shown pictures that showed how large he was in pictures compared to other people who looked thin and hungry.

“That’s what it does when you’re brainwashed,” she said.

“In some ways they (in the US) are brainwashed. Even though there’s evidence so clearly in front of their eyes they can’t see it.”

Columbia University did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

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Donna trusted her financial institution with her money. But it didn’t like her ideology and froze her account, Now she can’t fund her organization or retrieve her money from her account. Welcome to the world of Woke financial institutions.

Donna Murphy learned her lesson. The hard way, She learned that the financial institution she trusted (Paypal) was on a political mission, and that it would break every rule to pursue it.

Donna’s problem was that she too was on a political mission, and she had constructed an organization and a website to promote it, as is her constitutional right. It was a project that required funding, and she naturally assumed that the reputedly “trustworthy” institution she dealt with would enable her to do so.

Trouble was, it so happened that Donna’s cause and the cause of her financial institution were in flat contradiction. Succinctly put, Donna is a patriot. A Canadian nationalist dedicated to the preservation of Canada’s natural and ethno-cultural heritage.

In contrast, her financial institution ( Paypal) was committed to globalism. Say no more.

As one might have expected, one fine day Donna woke up to find that Paypal was not fulfilling its contractual obligations. It was not collecting donations—and she couldn’t find out why. She even tried to get answers from Paypal’s HQ in Omaha. No dice. They stonewalled her for months. Worse than that, they even denied her access to her account.

Finally, a Canadian PayPal representative shamelessly admitted to Donna that she had been censored and punished for her “unacceptable” views”) which ran counter to the stated core values of PAYPAL and its terms and conditions. According to the Paypal rep, Paypal opposes the promotion of “hate, violence, racial or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory”. The policy even stipulates that PayPal will fine violators $2,500 US for each infraction, debited from their account. No appeal.

Perhaps Donna should have seen it coming but she didn’t. She didn’t realize that zealous corporations with a social justice/open borders agenda were armed with algorithms to track down “thought criminals”, with the objective of de-platforming those customers, a circumstance that is happening with increasing regularity across North America as well as in Europe.

 The important issue is this : Who determines what is “hateful” or “discriminatory”, or what constitutes “harmful misinformation?” PayPal of course. In other words, PayPal has appointed itself the arbiter of what is the acceptable use of funds that it keeps in its accounts.

PayPal’s actions were almost as crippling as they were designed to be. As even PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel confessed, “If online forms of your money are frozen, that’s like destroying other people economically and limiting their ability to exercise their political voice.”

The legal director of the digital rights group “Electronic Frontier Foundation”, Corynne McSherry, concurred. “If businesses get removed during fundraising months, it could put them at risk of losing huge sums of money.” No kidding. Ask Peter Brimelow, the editor of the online magazine “VDare” which was the victim of Paypal. Or scads of other editors of “heretical” online publications.

A disinterested observer with a rudimentary grasp of ethics should easily understand that the arbitrary termination of a client’s service without explanation and the simultaneous theft of thousands of dollars of his money for subjectively perceived ‘hate’ speech is not only Orwellian, but outrageous. Donna Murphy wanted a payment service. But instead she got Big Brother : A politically extremist and activist platform posing as a business. Donna was dumfounded.
Why was a payment service concerned about her speech ? She would rather they forget about her political orientation, as she theirs, and that they focus on providing the service they were commissioned to provide.

But it became apparent that PayPal was just one example, a trailblazer or template perhaps, of some 200 service providers who feel obliged to provide public political commentary about issues like “social justice”, “affirmative action”, “employment equity, trans “rights” and climate change. These pretenders see it as their mandate to not only manage your money, but to manage your beliefs—and their expression.

Everyone is completely at the mercy of payment service providers, financial institutions and corporations that want to play politics and virtue-signal. Blatant political partisanship and ideological persecution is able to seek refuge in the Trojan horse of “corporate” and social “responsibility”. Their behaviour offers solid testimony on behalf of the observation that governments have outsourced censorship to transnational corporations who are able to do an end run around U.S. First Amendment Rights or the sacred right to free speech and expression which once enjoyed an inviolable status in nations like Canada or the UK.

Lest we think that Donna’s fate was exceptional or exclusive to “heretics” like her , and that law abiding citizens need not be worried, it would be best to consider the path we are taking, and to look at the horror of China’s Social Credit system and the leverage that a Central Bank Digital Currency regime would have over basics such as what we purchase, what services we can access , what we can or cannot say.

The future is here. We need to ask ourselves urgent questions. If our financial accounts can be instantly frozen or drained, if our public comments can be summarily punished by financial reprisals, if words and ideas that were recently acceptable can suddenly be deemed unacceptable by a ruling clique gone mad, if a nurse in British Columbia can be suspended or fired for daring to say that men cannot have babies, if an organization like Gays Against Grooming can be de-platformed for condemning the sexual abuse, indoctrination and medicalization of children, if the Free Speech Union of the UK can be denied payment services for questioning the efficacy of anti-Covid measures, can you feel certain that you will not be the next on the chopping block?

The fact is, you have skin in this game. You may have mainstream views. Views that are currently mainstream. But the tide can turn quickly in this crazy political climate, and you might find yourself on the outside looking in.
A lot of people worked hard and suffered greatly to secure our rights and freedoms, but it seems that too many of us of younger generations are willing to squander those rights and freedoms. We must not let this happen. We must find a way to stop the contagion of censorship in its track, both on the political and commercial level. We cannot allow the PayPal model to spread. We cannot permit Canada’s large banks and credit unions like Van City, with assets over $28 billion, to cancel customers and rob their funds with impunity. We cannot entrust our money to activist financial organizations who feel little compunction about stealing it at the first opportune moment. We cannot sit silent while the elite establishes a Central Bank Digital Currency that can be programmed by the issuer to restrict how the currency is used by the receiver from the get-go.

Naked discrimination and the destruction of lives for the purpose of quelling ideologies that differ from those of financial institutions is intrinsic to this system. This is not a far-fetched scenario. The totalitarian impulse is alive and well in Canada, as we saw so plainly when Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act last year, and when he composed Bill C-ll, the Bill to enable online censorship. If significant measures are not enacted to prevent financial institutions and corrupt politicians from imposing their political views on us, then what happened to Donna Murphy and what happened to the leading spokesmen of Canada’s Freedom Convoy will be common place.
Act now. Speak out. And vote with your dollars. Find alternatives .
Or help build them.
Take Canada back, while there is still time.
Tim Murray January 2, 2023.

Even one of the nation’s most successful TV chefs doesn’t feel safe in the woke minefield we’re now forced to navigate every day

Even one of the nation’s most successful TV chefs doesn’t feel safe in the woke minefield we’re now forced to navigate every day

CELIA WALDEN24 January 2022 • 7:00pmCelia WaldenJamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver doesn’t just have the one ‘offence adviser’ but ‘teams of cultural appropriation specialists’ who go through his recipes with a fine tooth comb CREDIT: Jamie Oliver Enterprises Ltd, photographer Steve RyanHave you got yourself an “offence adviser” yet? This new breed of professionals are trained like sniffer dogs to detect even the faintest whiff of explosively un-woke material in anything that might be publicly shared, from company reports and social media posts to university lectures, early drafts of books, songs, screenplays and art works.Not that offence advisers should be limited to the professional domain – their expertise doesn’t stop there. No, like bomb disposal experts, these guys (and gals, and agender, bigender and cisgender identifiers, I’ve been advised to add) will zoom in and short-circuit any “problematic material” before it detonates. So those with Generation-Z age kids (born between 1997 and 2012) would do well to have their own personal OEs perched upon their shoulders at family get-togethers, there to step in with the red wire snippers before any casual “denial of lived experience”, “misgendering” or airing of a Churchill quote (racist, imperialist brute that he is) sparks a domestic blast.Jamie Oliver doesn’t just have the one “offence adviser”, he revealed on Sunday, but “teams of cultural appropriation specialists” who go through his recipes with a fine tooth comb. The 46-year-old TV chef is all too aware of the woke minefield we’re now forced to navigate daily, after having stepped on one back in 2018 when he started peddling Punchy Jerk Rice in supermarkets. This prompted Labour MP Dawn Butler – the daughter of Jamaican immigrants – to tweet: “I’m just wondering do you know what #Jamaican #jerk actually is? It’s not just a word you put before stuff to sell products. Your jerk rice is not ok.”
Jamie Oliver accused of cultural ‘appropriation’ by minister after he la…When Jamie Oliver launched his new “punchy” jerk rice in supermarkets, he hoped consumers would fall head over h…

And although both Oliver and his £2.30 microwavable rice survived the ensuing furore – one that largely confined itself to the digital universe specialising in “fauxffence” – the country’s best-selling non-fiction writer is no longer taking any chances. Especially not with his new Channel 4 series, The Great Cookbook Challenge, starting in less than a week’s time.Oliver has learnt a lot about inanimate foodstuffs’ powers of offence over the past four years. He knows, for example, that his 2012 “empire roast chicken” – seasoned with turmeric, cumin, coriander and garam masala – would be unacceptable, if not career-ending today. And as for cultural appropriation, he says in an interview at the weekend: “Your immediate reaction is to be defensive and say, ‘For the love of God, really?’ Then you go: ‘Well, we don’t want to offend anyone…’”Oliver is not the only food writer to launch an anti-offence offensive. Nigella Lawson has been on her best behaviour ever since she upset Italians in 2017 by suggesting that cream be added to carbonara instead of the traditional raw eggs, and two of the world’s leading food publications – the BBC Good Food magazine and Bon Appétit in the US – were forced to make “linguistic changes” to some of the tens of thousands of recipes in their archive, after accusations of “stealing” dishes from ethnic minorities.“No one is suggesting that it is wrong to cook food from another culture,” one newspaper recently pointed out. Yet isn’t that the loud and clear message? Indeed, crediting those other cultures only seems to make matters worse. Had Oliver named his punchy rice “Jamaican Jerk”, his jovial little head would have been served up on a platter (using only traditional British seasonings).As it was, his defence only inflamed things further. “I’ve worked with flavours and spices from all over the world my whole career,” he protested at the time, “learning and drawing inspiration from different countries and cultures to give a fresh twist to the food we eat every day.” Just as Gordon Ramsay’s defence of his Lucky Cat restaurant did back in 2019, after the central London “Asian eating house” opened to a slew of derogatory comments on social media.Ramsay’s crime was to call Lucky Cat’s cuisine “authentic” – which was, granted, inadvisable, in a pedantic and pedestrian climate where authenticity could only be guaranteed by an 100 per cent Asian-staffed kitchen. Certainly, the word would now have any “offence adviser” whipping out his snippers.But if “inspiration” had been a problematic concept throughout history, then the OEs would have shut down Thomas Gainsborough (for being inspired by Rubens), and Rubens (for being inspired by Caravaggio), along with Charles Dickens (for being inspired by Victor Hugo). Most importantly, chicken tikka masala would not exist. Because, according to many culinary sources, the nation’s favourite dish only became what it is now after migrant Bangladeshi chefs here played around with their traditional “butter chicken” recipe. And in an ironic inversion of history, British companies now export that dish to Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.Does this mean everyone should be offended – or no one? I’m losing track. But one thing I am sure of: whatever the origins, whatever the recipe, there is no greater insult to any chef than calling a dish “inoffensive”.     

Acas acting like East Germany, says employee accused of racism for sharing equality posts

Sean Corby is currently being investigated by his bosses after staff complained over critiques of woke culture that he posted on a forumByEwan Somerville22 January 2022 • 8:30pm

Sean Corby and his wife Tracy

Sean Corby with Tracy, his wife. One of the posts he shared explored the impact of anti-racist activism on interracial couples CREDIT: Lorne Campbell/Guzelian for The TelegraphA mediator at the official body for workplace conduct has accused his employer of acting “like East Germany” after he was put under investigation for racism for sharing articles about equality.Sean Corby, a senior conciliator at Acas, has been under investigation since last August after colleagues complained that messages he posted on an equality and diversity forum with more than 100 members were “discriminatory” and “racist”.One post quoted writer Ayishat Akanbi’s video The Problem with Wokeness, while in another Mr Corby shared an article on the impact of anti-racist activism on interracial couples, of which he and his wife, Tracy Corby, are one. He wrote that he had “experienced abuse and bigotry from both ‘sides’” but that “worryingly divisive” current ideologies ignore this.Another post quoted defences of free speech from figures including Howard Thurman, the civil rights leader who influenced Martin Luther King. One described how Thurman had “railed against separatism and segregation” in his social justice activism. Another quoted the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s critique of cancel culture, with “young people terrified to tweet anything” and emotive language used “like tarnished pitchforks”.Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Sean Corby shared, among other things, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s critique of cancel culture CREDIT: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty ImagesAnother linked to an article by Inaya Folarin Iman, a free speech campaigner and GB News host, which argued that “currently fashionable conceptions of marginalised identities” are incompatible with “the fearless exchange of ideas”.The complaint, from four colleagues unknown to Mr Corby, alleged that he “demonstrates a deep-rooted hatred towards black and minority ethnic people who challenge racism, organise in black structures and safe spaces and mobilise against racism”.They accused him of “trying to force his view on us” and went on: “Having read all Sean’s posts, I would not feel safe to be in contact with him in person… I don’t know where Sean works, in terms of office, but I fear for any black and minority ethnic people working there if there are any.”Mr Corby said there was “nothing that anybody could remotely construe as being racist” in his posts, drawn from his experience living in an interracial family with his wife and socialising in black communities. “A cabal of extremists are either influencing Acas leadership, or they are themselves going along with this ideology. It is bullying and harassment based on me sharing absolutely valid opinions in an appropriate way,” he told The Telegraph.He claimed that staff are “bombarded with ideological initiatives” and criticised “snake oil” unconscious bias training that Acas runs for workplaces, despite the Government’s Race Commission and Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary who is also the Equalities Minister, saying it is ineffective and must end.Toby Young

Toby Young said that the case was ‘shocking’ CREDIT: Dominic Lipinski/PA WireFollowing an investigation, the complaint was not upheld in late October after Acas ruled there was “no substantial evidence” that Mr Corby posed a risk to ethnic minority staff. But last week, he was informed that an appeal had been lodged, further prolonging the process.Mr Corby, who helps to resolve pay disputes, claims he has been “left in limbo” for six months in a workplace culture “like east Germany if you don’t toe the line”.He is now formally complaining to Acas, which received almost £57 million in taxpayer funds last year, over how it has conducted the racism probe, claiming it goes against “everything they charge employers to be trained on”.Toby Young, the general secretary of the Free Speech Union, said that the case was “shocking”.“Across the civil service, no one is allowed to dissent from the dogma of equity, diversity and inclusion, including people of colour,” he said. “Indeed, woke activists treat black intellectuals who challenge this orthodoxy with particular contempt because they regard them as race traitors.”An Acas spokesman said: “Creating fair and inclusive workplaces is at the heart of everything we do and we do not recognise the picture presented by Mr Corby. Our regular staff surveys continue to show that Acas is an inclusive place to work and our training services receive positive feedback from our customers.“We cannot give a running commentary on individual disciplinary and grievance cases that we deal with as we have to respect the confidentiality of all the staff members involved.” college alumni take row over slavery-linked donor to court, in UK firstJesus College faces a revolt over plan to strip memorial of Tobias Rustat, a courtier to Charles II, from chapelByCamilla Turner, EDUCATION EDITOR23 January 2022 • 9:00pmThe Rustat memorial (L) of Tobias Rustat (R)

The Rustat memorial (L) of Tobias Rustat (R)A university cancel culture row is to be heard in court for the first time, as a Cambridge college attempts to remove a memorial to a benefactor linked to slavery. Jesus College, Cambridge wrote to the Church of England to propose that the memorial of Tobias Rustat should be stripped out of its chapel following research which revealed he was a “major investor” in a seventeenth century slave trading company.When the college submitted its petition to the Diocese of Ely it may have been waved through – were it not for the staunch and organised opposition it faced from its own alumni.

Historians will look back on ‘significant’ moment 

Now the question of whether the Rustat memorial can stay or go will be subject to a full consistory court hearing, which will take place next month.“Hitherto colleges have decided themselves about this sort of thing, but here you actually have a judicial proceeding,” a source familiar with the process said.“Historians in the future will probably look back on this moment and say ‘ah, this is significant’ – there will be court papers, a judgement and official records.”Rustat donated £2,000 to Jesus College – his father’s alma mater – in 1671 for scholarships for orphan sons of Anglican clergymen.

Jesus College Chapel and Cloister, University of Cambridge CREDIT: Neil Grant / Alamy Stock PhotoWhile much of his wealth was derived from his career as a courtier to King Charles II, he was also an investor in The Royal African Company and also took a role in running the organisation.The historian William Pettigrew said that the Royal African Company “shipped more enslaved African women, men and children to the Americas than any other single institution during the entire period of the transatlantic slave trade.”Jesus College said that investors were “fully aware of the Company’s activities and intended to profit from this exploitation”.Some 65 alumni lodge formal objection When the college’s alumni first heard about the desire to remove Rustat’s memorial from the chapel, and install it in a permanent exhibition space elsewhere in the College, some of them started writing to the Master to raise their concerns.However, when the College served notice of their petition to the Diocese of Ely in December 2020, they realised they had to move more quickly.“The registry of the court said we had to reply to this within three weeks,” one of the group’s members explained. “We suddenly realised we had to do something rather more formal than just write letters.”Some 65 alumni – who call themselves the Rustat Memorial Group – lodged a formal objection to the petition, and then raised funds to instruct an ecclesiastical barrister to represent them at the hearing.“We felt that it was going slightly under the radar, the college didn’t expect any resistance,” a spokesman for the group said.“We are beating the drum making sure Rustat gets a fair hearing. We feel this is over the top. “He gave away £10,000 during his lifetime which is worth millions now. He did all this good stuff – and yet he is being pulled apart for something that wasn’t illegal or even disapproved of at the time .“Obviously slavery is abhorrent, no one diasagrees with that now. He wasn’t running a slave company, he was a courtier to Charles II sitting in London. Do we really drag him through the mire for this?”The alumni group – who are listed by the court as a “party opponent” to Jesus College – will call on a number of expert witnesses including Oxford University’s Prof Nigel Biggar, an expert in moral and pastoral theology and Dr Roger Bowdler, who specialises in architectural history.Meanwhile the College will call on the Bishop of Ely, the dean of the chapel and the Master of Jesus to give evidence in support of their petition.’Stripping away at the history’ of church buildings is a ‘risky business’ Prof David Abulafia, an emeritus professor of history at Cambridge, said there is a “virtue signalling side to all this”. He added that removing memorials and “stripping away at the history” or church buildings is a “risky business”.“This is a potentially very rich source of material for those who want to demolish monuments,” he said.“There is no end to it. It takes us back to the sixteenth and seventeenth century puritan demolition of church buildings.”The hearing will take place in Jesus Chapel itself, and will be heard before His Honour Judge David Hodge QC.In addition to his donations to Jesus College, Rustat also donated to Cambridge University’s library its first endowment of £1,000 to spend on books.The university has made “preliminary enquiries” about whether Rustat’s statue, which is erected at the library’s original site, can be removed.Referring to the Rustat memorial, a Jesus College spokesman said: “It comes down to whether it’s in the best interests of our current and future students and fellows for this celebratory memorial to be in our Chapel, a place of worship at the heart of our diverse community.”Latest in a string of institutions embroiled in culture rows Jesus College is the latest institution to become embroiled in a row over an early benefactor and their links to the slave trade.At Oxford, students have been campaigning for the removal of Cecil Rhodes’ statue from Oriel College’s main facade since 2015.

Rhodes, a British imperialist who founded Rhodesia and served as prime minister of the Cape Colony in the 1890s, donated a huge sum to Oriel in his will. He was not a slave trader but supported apartheid-style measures in southern Africa.

In summer 2020, when protests were reignited in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, Oriel’s governing body said it was their “wish” to remove the statue. But they decided last year that it should stay for the time being on the basis that it would take too long and cost too much to remove it.Meanwhile Bristol University has been under pressure from students over its links to Edward Colston, a 17th-century slave merchant and philanthropist.The university has already removed his name from one of its accommodation blocks, changing it from “Colston Street” to “Accommodation at Thirty-Three” and it has launched a review of its logo which features his crest.University College London has “denamed” buildings which honour eugenicists after coming under criticism for its historic links with the movement.Lecture theatres and a building named after prominent eugenicists Francis Galton and Karl Pearson were renamed in June 2020.Imperial College London is considering whether to rename a building and remove a bust of slavery abolitionist Thomas Henry Huxley after a review it commissioned concluded that he “might now be called racist” owing to his views on a hierarchy of racial intelligence.
Imperial College told to remove bust of slavery abolitionist because he …University could also rename buildings as it seeks to ‘confront, not cover up, uncomfortable or awkward aspects …

Finally, feminists are asking: what do men want?                                                                        Finally, feminists are asking: what do men want?
Finally, feminists are asking: what do men want?Two new books wrestling with the masculinity crisis – one by a woman, one by a man – are put to the test. The re…

Two new books wrestling with the masculinity crisis – one by a woman, one by a man – are put to the test. The result is surprisingTIM STANLEY

22 January 2022 • 12:00pmTim Stanley

Thoroughly modern man: singer Harry Styles at the Grammys in March 2021

Thoroughly modern man: singer Harry Styles at the Grammys in March 2021 CREDIT: Anthony Pham

In front of me are two books about men, and, curiously, it’s the one by a woman that is ­sympathetic and the one by a man that would consign my sex to the dustbin of history. It borders on a hate crime.

Patriarchy, according to Ivan Jablonka, a French historian, is immoral and artificial – something we’ve invented over the centuries to keep men on top. The problem with that thesis, he acknowledges, is that in primitive societies, too, male dominated female. To explain why something invented is perennial and universal, Jablonka tries to distinguish between biological sex (i.e. cavemen were more “robust” than women, so they took the lead in hunting) versus the cultural norms of gender, which he sees as an evolved effort to institutionalise the differences between men and women.

“Patriarchy proceeds from an interpretation of bodies: it transforms female biology into destiny, subjecting women to one function”, namely reproduction, and while women are expected to pop out babies or care for them, “men are at leisure to take over other spheres: the economy, war, power, and so on”. This order was threatened by the French Revolution, which by opening the door to universal rights allowed female equality to follow behind.Advertisement : 15 sec

Jablonka is obsessed with patriarchy the way others are with critical race theory or ancient UFOs – it explains almost everything – and in his reduction of all human experience to the battle between the sexes, the individual becomes depressingly powerless. Jane Austen’s clever female characters might know what they want, but they still want a man – “struggling within stifling gender norms” – and women who claw their way up the corporate ladder in the 21st century, by exhibiting “masculine norms” such as “leadership, competition, toughness”, become “accomplices of the patriarchy that reserves a place for them”. Women might think they’re winning, but they’re not. 

And when men think they’re being moral, they’re actually doubling down on the system. Jablonka divides up male strategies for dominance into four categories: we lead by “ostentation”, a display of virility; by “control” or self-denial; by “sacrifice”, offering one’s life for a higher cause; and through the game of “ambiguity”, by integrating the feminine.

A drawing of early men learning to create fire

A drawing of early men learning to create fire CREDIT: Alamy

Sacrifice is “horrifying”, argues Jablonka, because it validates war and suicide. Yet critics will counter that it also encourages charity, modesty and martyrdom – just as virility can sometimes protect the weak. Indeed, if our natural state really is men clubbing each other over the head, perhaps patriarchal civilisation is a step up. 

It also contains a space for joyous gender-bending (trans, drag, queer, etc.), though Jablonka believes men who soften their masculinity with eyeliner are often reasserting that while women are “tied to their sex”, men are free to be “armed or bejewelled, tearful or insensitive”. Again, it’s imposs­ible to win. Even Harry Styles is a tool of the system. This book is so pessimistic that it’s hard to see on what basis men and women can ever progress peacefully; for one to advance, the other must retreat.

Far more hopeful, and better written, is philosopher Nina Power’s What Do Men Want? If you ­proceed on the assumption that masculinity is inherently toxic, she argues, you risk implying that most men are bad – and they’re not. “Far from possessing great power, men are frequently trapped in systems of other men’s making.” To be a man nowadays is “in great part, and at the risk of sounding dramatic, to suffer” – from comparatively high rates of suicide, homelessness and murder, and stereotyping.

Patriarchy might be part of the problem, as Jablonka also argues, by compelling men to live according to masculine codes that are as repressive to them as they are unfair to women, but declaring war on masculinity will only add to men’s sense of alienation, at a moment when aspects of culture and economics have moved in women’s favour. The new economy rewards brain; brawn is out of style. “It’s more fashionable to be a woman,” Fay Weldon is quoted as saying. “Women appear to be more powerful, at least among young men.”

Author, essayist and playwright Fay Weldon

Author, essayist and playwright Fay Weldon CREDIT: Heathcliff O’Malley

Nina Power suggests that, rather than dismissing the whole notion of masculinity, it might be better to recognise the reality of sex differences rooted in nature; encourage men to identify as part of a class, one that has severe problems and could do with more solidarity; and investigate those aspects of masculinity that are useful to us all, “to revisit old values and virtues” such as “honour, loyalty and courage… in the name of reconciliation”.

If Jablonka favours a Year Zero approach, Power is almost conservative, building a future upon the best of the past. The family “came to be seen by those on the left as traditional or oppressive. [But] the family can also be understood as a bastion of resistance against the outside world.” When life goes mad, mum and dad “bring you back down to earth with love and understanding”. Power deserves credit for trying to get into the heads of the men she quotes, even if boorish or chauvinist. She displays female empathy. Jablonka, more of a man than he might admit, does not.

An alternative view, alien to both writers yet held deeply by billions across the planet, is that sex is not an evolutionary accident, but designed for a purpose, and that our characteristics flow from a divine order. Male and female, according to the Bible, were meant for each other. Adam was incomplete, so God created Eve. And, yes, Eve then tempted man to eat the forbidden fruit, destroying our collective innocence, but, as the 18th-century monk Benito Feijóo argued, the fact that Adam fell for this scam only confirms man’s intellectual and moral weaknesses. I’d wager more men have enthusiastically replied to emails from Niger­ian princes than women have.

Men are flawed, often in a very funny way. By peppering her book with humour, Power rehumanises the gender debate. Jablonka, deadly serious in his academic gobbledygook, descends into a woke self-parody that sounds suspiciously like mansplaining. At the end, he writes: “While I am a man in my body, heterosexual in my choices, a professor in my career, I feel uncomfortable in the masculine. I am not inclined to become a woman, but I gladly switch genders.” This is the kind of nonsense a man typically spouts in a misguided attempt to talk a feminist into bed.

A history of masculinity by Ivan Jablonka, tr Nathan Bracher (★ ) and What do men want? by Nina Power (★ ★ ★ ★ ) are published by Allen Lane at £25 and £18.99 respectively. To order these books from the Telegraph for £19.99 and £16.99, visit or call 0844 871 1514

BBC makes ‘woke cuts’ to archives, including Dad’s Army

BBC makes ‘woke cuts’ to archives, including Dad’s Army

The broadcaster has purged a number of racist and misogynistic jokes as well as mentions of disgraced stars Jimmy Savile and Rolf HarrisByMax Stephens22 January 2022 • 1:32pm

Television Dad’s Army

The BBC has purged mentions of disgraced stars Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris along with a number of racist and misogynistic jokes used in several of its classic radio comedies.

An anonymous Radio 4 Extra listener discovered the BBC had been quietly editing repeats of shows over the past few years to be more in keeping with social mores, the Times reported.

Labelling them as “woke cuts,” the listener found edits had been made to old episodes of Dad’s Army, Steptoe and Son and I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again.

In some cases entire sketches had been removed.

For example, a repeat of a 1970 episode of I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again, starring John Cleese and Bill Oddie, had a joke about a scantily clad woman removed.

In the original broadcast, Cleese, impersonating a BBC spokesman, said: “We have noticed that it is possible to see right up to the girls’ knickers, owing to the shortness of their miniskirts, so we’ve asked the girls to drop them.”

The BBC also stripped a mention of the n-word from a 1972 episode of the Ronnie Barker sketch show Lines From My Grandfather’s Forehead.

A reference to African people being “cannibals” was also removed from a 1950 episode of Much Binding in the Marsh, a comedy set in a RAF station.

In a sketch from 1970, David Hatch adopted an Indian accent and was described as being “browned off”. The skit was removed.

Other deleted sketches included a spoof of Harris’s songs, titled Rolf Harris’s Dirty Songbook.

A spokesman for the BBC said: “Listeners enjoy a huge number of old comedies from the archives on 4 Extra and on occasion we edit some episodes so they’re suitable for broadcast today, including removing racially offensive language and stereotypes from decades ago, as the vast majority of our audience would expect.”

  As with Jussie Smollett, the most powerful hoaxes are those we want to believe

It is no surprise that American politicians and celebrities were taken in by a fake ‘racist and homo-phobic’ attackBORIS STARLING11 December 2021 • 10:00am

It was the perfect story for these atomised and fractious times. The victim was a gay black actor on a successful television show: his attackers were two white men who shouted racist and homophobic abuse referencing Donald Trump slogans, poured bleach on him and tied a noose around his neck. If ever you wanted an example of America’s ugly side, one both legitimised and enabled by Trump’s presidency, this was too good to be true.

Which, of course, is just what it turned out to be. That actor, Empire’s Jussie Smollett, was