Earlier this spring, student protesters at the University of Cambridge successfully cancelled an event on campus, a screening of a documentary on fertility. Students accused the film of being misogynistic, despite the fact that, as student event organizer Charlie Bentley-Astor put it in The Critic magazine, this was a film “made primarily by women, with women, for women.” And, as you’ll hear on today’s episode, the film — which screened at the Chelsea Film Festival — features a remarkable degree of empathy from the sole male on the project.
A Cambridge administrator has stressed that “the decision about the room booking was based solely on our commitment to prioritising an environment conducive to studying during the University examination period,” and that the event could be rescheduled (which it ultimately was). You can read that statement from the university here. You can also read some of the students’ concerns here. One unnamed protest organizer told the student newspaper, Varsity: “I think a lot of students are understandably quite hurt that an institution as respected as Cambridge seems to promote bigotry to its students … an academic institution should have better standards than to promote events about ‘the pitfalls of Feminism’.”
Stephen J. Shaw is my guest, today on Lean Out. Transcript to come for paid subscribers.
Lean Out with Tara Henley is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.