Ok, so I have a friend in a Gender and Leadership class, and she is miserable. Her teacher seems to be a classic 2nd wave feminist, focused entirely on how persecuted white women are. She has said some of the following outrageous things:

  • Muslim women should be pitied because they have been completely brainwashed and have no power at all. Muslim men, on the other hand, shouldn't be seen as facing discrimination because it's a culture that they've chosen to be a part of.
  • Racism is not worth discussing because it has been fixed by affirmative action. Plus "this class is about gender, not race."
  • Women are discriminated against in the workplace because we're so emotional. The world needs to change to accept the fact that we are so emotional and weak.
  • Men never face discrimination, ever. Even if they are poor or men of color. Basically, men are evil and everything that's wrong with the world.
  • Men and women are completely different, and women are better because we are in touch with our emotions. The workplace discriminates against us 100% of the time and it is impossible for women to succeed unless the world completely changes around us. But also there's nothing we can do on an individual level to deal with that discrimination. Women don't need to change, just men need to change.
  • ETA2: I almost forgot this gem! Women have pressure on us to "have it all", meaning a career and children. But there is no similar pressure on men to have a career and provide for their family (and not be SAHDs), because this is a system that they're willingly choosing to be a part of. Basically, she seems to be repeatedly dening women any agency at all in our choices, while saying that men have complete power to perpetrate or dismantle the system.

Anyone have suggestions for dealing with this sort of insanity? My friend has argued a few times with this lady and she's shot her down completely. (She has argued with all of the above.) At this point she doesn't know how she's going to get through this class without exploding. She no longer even really feels comfortable speaking her mind because she's been shot down so thoroughly every time she has, and she's starting to think it will affect her grade.

ETA: Oh, does anyone have any awesome feminist Muslim resources to recommend? I'd love to send some of that along. I doubt this prof will listen to logic, but it can't hurt to give my friend some ammo.