Campus Reform: Tis the season—of fighting the patriarchy, that is. In her op-ed, titled “A Holly Jolly Feminist Minefield,” Professor Latham Hunter of McMaster University in Ontario complains “it’s impossible to ‘do’ Christmas without running into one patriarchal construct after another.”
According to Hunter, Christmas carols are some of the worst culprits. “O Come All Ye Faithful,” she says, is “a locus of feminist unease and hypocrisy.”
Hunter said she can’t support “singing the praises of a man [Jesus] who rules over everything.”
Santa Claus, too, is a patriarchal construct because he’s “a white male who, by the way, gets all the credit for labour overwhelmingly done by women.” Even the classic secular Christmas carol “Frosty the Snowman” can’t be trusted, Hunter says, because it’s about a “male character.” Hunter said that at Christmas one can only “wonder if it’s possible for kids to grow up NOT believing that girls should be men’s emotional handmaidens.”
Apparently the patriarchy doesn’t stop there. The time-honored tradition of exchanging Christmas presents has been hijacked as well.
“Christmas toys”—not to be confused with normal toys—“are so rigidly defined by gender stereotypes that finding gender-neutral options feels not unlike an Arthurian quest,” she wrote.
Lest anyone think Christmas movies to be a safe haven for feminists, Hunter exposes them to be the patriarchal inventions of our time. Whether it’s It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, or even Elf, all are guilty of having male protagonists.
While Hunter does admit that Miracle on 34th Street features women in lead roles, she counters that it’s actually “the exception that proves the rule” because “little Susan and her mother get a house in the ‘burbs, a husband and a baby.”
Although the good professor rates a 4.0 on ratemyprofessor.com, here are some of the comments about her (which are clearly misogynistic):
- “He (sic) scale is based on who agrees with her. Facts, ability and results are secondary. As long as you agree with her, it can be absent of spelling, punctuation and written in crayon.”
- “I won’t argue she is intelligent….but she is emotional and irrational as well..she can be tolerated if you agree with everything she says …she twists all topics to focus on the injustices of men in society.“
- “She gave unclear instructions and was very vague with her comments. Gave little justification for marks given and takes her time responding to emails making it impossible to get in contact with her.”
- “By far the WORST teacher I’ve had. Hard marker but doesn’t offer any suggestions, just critiques with comments like “cliche”. Doesn’t provide proper guidance/instructions. It’s an unrelated but mandatory class and she is making the whole class fail. HORRIBLE.”
- “Dr. Hunter’s ratings used to be in the U of Western Ontario section (and may I add that they were very low). It’s depressing to see a professional unable to face the fact that she might have some flaws in her teaching method. Rather than destroy the evidence of her shortcomings, perhaps Hunter would be better served to try and correct them.”
At least this feminist loves her:
- “She is a feminist which is a good thing, especially for this course. She looks at and teaches everything from a left wing perspective. Take her class if you can. Its (sic) mind boggling.“