A professor of management at a Canadian university says that she only allows women to speak first in her classrooms and thinks that the policy should be adopted in other forums as a way to combat misogyny.
“Women get to speak first,” Saint Mary’s University management professor Judy Haiven proposed Thursday at a misogny forum held at Dalhousie University.
“In classroom discussions, in question periods, and at public events, men should not be allowed to monopolize these forums,” continued Haiven, who was part of seven-member, all-female panel organized by the Dalhousie Gender and Women’s Studies Program and the school’s student union.
The forum was held on the same day that the Halifax police department decided against pursuing charges against male dentistry students who were being investigated for making off-color jokes about female students on Facebook.
“I’m doing this right now in my classrooms,” Haiven said of the female-first policy.
“In the management department, women get to speak first. I think that that is a primary issue that we actually have to look at, how to do question and answers, and we can start today.”
Haiven also proposed other rules to help women get to the front of the pack.
“On…television interviews, on platforms and political meetings, at any presentations — if there’s no woman speaker, then the event does not take place,” Haiven proposed. If that doesn’t occur, “the interview is forgone, the political meeting is canceled,” Haiven suggested.
Haiven rattled off various examples of what she felt was a misogynistic culture on Canadian university campuses. She cited an incident at Saint Mary’s in which a male student won a contest held in the business department by publishing a selling a calendar with female students’ pictures on it.
Haiven made other proposals aimed at addressing what she sees as rampant campus sexism.
“Any sports team, group of students, or social club, faculty where one or more of the members is sexually assaulted, verbally assaulted, sent out tweets — anything misogynist at all — these people get banned from the university, and from acting at the university for six months,” Haiven said.
“I’m talking about giving women space and giving them the attention they need so that they grow a bit and so that they are able to actually respond to things rather than being cut off from things. And we see more and more in our society that women are in fact cut off, even though we have all of these options.”
At one point, the event moderator read a question from a Twitter user who asked whether Haiven’s affirmative action proposal “perpetuate(s) the same problem the other way.”
“I suppose at some point, that could happen,” Haiven admitted. “But right now what we see is that women generally don’t come forward and speak at meetings.”
“We see women taking a back seat,” she continued.
Haiven’s proposal is reminiscent of a decision President Obama made late last month when, during his last press conference of the year, he purposely called only on female members of the White House press corps to ask questions.
WATCH (Haiven’s remarks begin at 53:42):