Friday, May 28, 2010

Anti-feminist lawsuit tossed on standing grounds

So this fellow sued the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Columbia University and other educational officials because the Women's Studies Program and the corresponding lack of any Men's Study Program discriminates against men as a class by promoting "misandry-feminism" and promotes feminism as a religion. The case is dismissed, though the Court does not have a chance to rule on the merits.

The case is Hollander v. Columbia University, decided by summary order on April 16. The case was dismissed because Hollander lacks standing as to all defendants; the claims of harm are too speculative under traditional Article III standing principles. So this is a procedural knockout for Hollander.

The procedural knockout may have been a blessing for Hollander. The Court of Appeals (Calabresi and Straub) has "grave doubts" about the merits of the case. Hollander has serious problems with gender studies at Columbia, using the kind of language you hear on talk-radio to describe his opposition. Unfortunately, the decision does not go into detail about the case. For that, you have to look for media coverage:

A New York lawyer has gone to court in a bid to shut down Columbia University’s women’s studies programme as part of his “jihad” against feminism.

Roy Den Hollander, a graduate of the Ivy League university’s business school, contends Columbia’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender is discriminatory and unconstitutional because there is no equivalent “men’s studies” programme.

In a class action suit in federal court, he calls the women’s institute “a bastion of bigotry toward men.” “The Feminist agenda, curriculum and practices at Columbia... are motivated by prejudice toward men that leads to sex-based stereotyping of males by depicting them as the primary cause for most, if not all, the world’s ills throughout history. Females, on the other hand are credited with inherent goodness who were oppressed and colonized by men,” the suit says.

The class action is the final move in a trio of lawsuits by the self-proclaimed anti-feminist, who was once married to a Russian stripper.

Mr Den Hollander is suing New York’s top nightclubs for charging women lower entrance fees on “Ladies’ Nights” and offering them free drinks.

He has also taken issue with provisions in US immigration law that allow foreign women to remain in America after divorcing their US husbands by alleging abuse.

“The long-range goal of my law suits is that I am, in my own small way, trying to give all those feminists equality - not the equality of all the best in life, but the equality of the worst in life.

“Make them register for the draft, make them go to war and die, make them work in the worst occupations,” he said.

“They do not want equality. They want preferential treatment. It’s just the same old pedastal. they say, ’I am a female. I want to be the CEO of a company.’ I want to be on a pedestal.” A former associate of the prestigious Cravath, Swain & Moore law firm, Mr Hollander married to a Russian woman he met while working in Moscow as a private investigator and brought her to America.

But he is now determinedly single after divorced her when she began working as a stripper at a club in New York.

“Now all I am looking for is superficial temporary escapades with pretty young ladies,” he said. “It’s harder than it was when I was younger. I only go after girls who are in their athletic prime. But it’s okay.” Mr Den Hollander’s suit against the New York nightclubs began when he went in search of such women after his divorce. He found that many clubs offered women cut-price entry.

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