From Postcolonial Theory to Toxic Masculinity: What Students Learn at Canadian Universities

March 22, 2021 Updated: March 22, 2021

Commentary

Did you know that all of the evil in the world was brought about by Western imperialism and colonialism? That is the message of “postcolonial theory,” the dominant narrative in university social sciences, humanities, and education. Canada in particular is a “colonial settler” society living on land stolen from First Nations.

But students are not taught about the expansionist ancient Chinese empire, the conquests and massive slavery of the Arab Islamic Empire, the atrocities of the Mongol Empire, the far-flung conquests of the Russian Empire, the Ottoman Empire’s genocide of the Armenians, the Soviet show trials and gulag, the Nazi Holocaust genocide, communist China’s conquests of Tibet, Turkestan, and Inner Mongolia, the mass murder of the Khmer Rouge, or the Rwandan genocide. These cannot be taught because they contradict the postcolonial narrative of the West as the great villain of history.

Did you know that Canadian culture is a “rape culture”? This is what university students are taught by feminist anthropologists, sociologists, and cultural studies professors, and most female students firmly believe it. That this is false is obvious from the fact that Canadian parents do not tell their children that rape is good, schoolteachers do not teach how to rape, and we don’t reward rapists but rather punish them severely. While there are some rapes, Canada has an anti-rape culture.

In spite of this feminist obsession, students are not taught that in the Islamic Republic of Iran, virgin female prisoners are raped before being executed so that they do not go to heaven; or that the Islamic state, having murdered all of the Yazidi boys and men, gang-raped Yazidi girls and women before selling them as sex slaves; or that reports indicate widespread rape of Uighurs in communist China’s concentration camps.

Did you know that all men—your father, brothers, husband, sons—are inherently evil people? For the threat of rape is just one of the many gender challenges that are taught by feminist professors. Other challenges result because all men, all around the world, are “toxic”: insensitive, unreliable, brutal oppressors of helpless females. Or as Brock University’s vice-provost put it, “the entire system of white masculinity is rotten,” replete with “male terrorism,” “hegemonic masculinity,” “white masculinity,” and “patriarchal domination.”

But don’t worry, “the future is female.” Females already dominate universities, making up 60 percent of students and increasingly the majority of professors and administrators.

But wait. Now it is forbidden to talk about males and females, or men and women, because they no longer exist. Students are now taught that there is no biological basis for gender or sex, and that there are no clear differences between males and females, just a continuum of variations. Never mind genetics, neurology, physiology, and psychology. The biology of sex is now forbidden in university because of the transsexual veto. Students learn that you can be any sex you choose to be, and that everyone else must say whatever words you dictate. (But don’t try identifying with another race—that has been a major fail.)

It is a fact universally acknowledged by all university professors, and is a central theme in teaching, that capitalism is an evil system that despoils the environment, exploits workers, and leads to income inequality. And that it should be replaced by the more humane, egalitarian socialism, which a strong, benign central government could implement to everyone’s benefit.

And who doesn’t love a utopian vision? It is easy to sell this to teenage university students who were never taught about the 100 million people murdered under communism in the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, and North Korea as a whole, or the failures of collectivization, the equality of scarcity and famine shared by the “victorious” proletariat, and the totalitarian governance of the only party allowed and its agents in the secret police.

All Canadian students are now taught that science is just Western imperialist culture, just one colonialist kind of knowledge, neither better nor worse than that known by witchcraft doctors, voodoo priests, First Nations lore, alchemy, or astrology. Each of us has “our own truth” and no one should question anyone else’s, and if someone does, that person is making them “unsafe” and must be “cancelled.” Reference to “evidence” is deemed to be debunked empiricism and positivism and can be justly ignored. Nothing is objective, and all subjectivity is absolutely valid. That’s why identity is sacred, and violating someone’s identity is a capital offence.

Academic work is passé, and universities are devoted instead to social engineering. Students learn that the objective of universities now is “social justice,” which means favouring some sexes, races, sexualities, medical conditions, and ethnicities over others. Individual qualities are not important—category membership is. All men, people who are white, Christians and Jews, Zionists, the able-bodied, and capitalists are “oppressors” who need to be suppressed. All females, people of colour, indigenous, LGBTQ++, Muslims, the handicapped, socialists, communists, and anarchists are “victims” who deserve preference and special benefits, especially in universities. Evil racism, sexism, and bigotry is to be replaced by “social justice” racism, sexism, and bigotry.

Over the 50 years I taught anthropology at McGill University, I saw the erosion of these academic values: the search for truth, the attempt to provide evidence before drawing conclusions, the willingness to engage in intellectual exchange, the tolerance of contrary views. In place of academic values was substituted an increasingly intolerant ideology, a neo-Marxist identity class conflict theory. This has divided categories of people into good and bad, silenced objections, cancelled dissidents, and thus has been turning universities into intellectually closed, quasi-religious spaces, increasingly like despotic and totalitarian societies.

Since universities are the training grounds for our societal elites—teachers, journalists, lawyers, NGO leaders, corporate leaders, tech leaders, public servants, politicians—we can expect, as we see currently in process, a more closed, despotic, and totalitarian society.

Philip Carl Salzman is professor emeritus of anthropology at McGill University in Quebec.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.