Boise State University tweeted its support for women on campus Wednesday after a controversy prompted by a professor’s misogynistic remarks.
“Women have made significant and meaningful contributions to all areas of academia, industry, and society,” read the message, which also appeared on Facebook. “Boise State University has a long tradition of supporting women. We continue to do so across the university.”
Administrators were under mounting pressure to respond to demeaning statements made by political science professor Scott Yenor. In an October speech at the National Conservatism Conference, Yenor took aim at feminism and suggested that women should not pursue certain career fields.
“Young men must be respectable and responsible to inspire young women to be secure with feminine goals of homemaking and having children,” Yenor said in the conference speech. “Every effort must be made not to recruit women into engineering, but rather to recruit and demand more of men who become engineers. Ditto for med school, and the law, and every trade.”
Yenor also described “independent women” as “medicated, meddlesome and quarrelsome.”
Though Yenor’s remarks were made more than a month ago, the controversy found new life after snippets of the speech were posted to TikTok by a user critical of his comments.
Boise State’s post supporting women comes days after a university spokesperson affirmed Yenor’s right to freedom of speech and told local media outlets that “the university cannot infringe upon the First Amendment rights of any members of our community, regardless of whether we, as individual leaders, agree or disagree with the message. No single faculty member defines what Boise State—or any public university—endorses or stands for.”
The social media post, which bears the signatures of more than 20 Boise State officials, has received numerous comments asking the university to take a stronger stand on this issue, with some respondents suggesting that Yenor’s remarks warrant his dismissal.
On Thursday the editorial board of The Idaho Statesman called for Boise State to review Yenor’s “grading history and tenure decisions” in light of his comments about women. “It’s almost inconceivable that Yenor hasn’t discriminated against his female students, who are in his classes doing what he thinks is destroying the nation,” the newspaper’s editorial board wrote.
Yenor has reacted to the controversy by defending his remarks in a video posted to Twitter and sharing audio of critical voice mail messages he says he has received, many of which include profane remarks.