Hundreds of people gathered for a protest outside Boise State University in Idaho after a professor said that men should be the focus for recruitment in medicine, engineering, and law, because women don’t belong in these fields.
Scott Yenor is a political science professor who sparked the protests after he delivered a speech titled ‘The Family Form that Nations Need’ at the National Conservatism Conference in Orlando, Florida.
In the speech, he said:
‘Every effort made 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.’
Footage of his speech was shared online and sparked massive backlash, prompting him to argue that he didn’t want to prevent women from getting into these professions, but that he believes there should be an end to ‘making special efforts to recruit women into fields where they don’t seem to want to be’.
To respond, more than 500 women and men gathered for a protest on Saturday, December 4.
Idaho State Representative Brooke Green, who helped organize the event, said that Yenor’s beliefs are not only outdated, but completely sexist and reflect a society that no longer exists.
This is what he told CNN:
‘Many young women at the university are worried their futures are in the hands of a tenured professor who believes they do not deserve to be there and occupy a seat that belongs to a man.
Women shouldn’t have to spend time today defending our value in society or rights as human beings however, women wanted to gather to send a message saying we will continue to occupy professional spaces, whether it’s a boardroom, courtroom, or leadership role within our community.’
Boise State University has since issued a statement in which they said that they do not endorse Yenor’s comment, but they ‘cannot infringe’ on his ability to make them.
Women have made significant and meaningful contributions to all areas of academia, industry, and society. Boise State University has a long tradition of supporting women. We continue to do so across the university. pic.twitter.com/E2bkoFXkV4
— Boise State University (@BoiseState) December 1, 2021