Gender studies programs to be banned in Hungary

The Orbán regime introduced legislation to shut down accredited gender studies programs offered by universities in Hungary. Academics now have 24 hours to respond to the government’s plan. The ban will primarily impact students at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest (ELTE)–the only institution in Hungary, other than Central European University, to offer gender studies at the graduate level, and the only one to provide this program in Hungarian.

The number of students impacted by the ban is small–only 11 applicants were admitted this year at ELTE and two at CEU. The maximum number of students that ELTE can admit any given year is 18 and those enrolled this coming academic year will be the last to take this program in Hungary. The decision to give those impacted 24 hours, in the middle of the summer vacation, to respond to this plan is a prime example of the spectacular arrogance that this regime has displayed for the past eight years. Gender studies in Hungary hardly pose a risk to the social narratives espoused by Fidesz and the Christian Democrats, but this regime is best known for kicking people and sectors of the society when they are down.

Although the government is not formally citing ideological reasons for its decision to cancel gender studies (the official reason is that this program is not “economically rational”), circles within Fidesz, most notably its Christian Democrat (KDNP) wing, have been calling for this for some time. In 2017, Lőrinc Nacsa, the leader of KDNP’s youth wing, labelled gender studies at ELTE as a wasteful luxury and also as destructive. “We must raise awareness to the fact that these programs are doing nothing to lift up our nation. In fact, they are destroying the values-centered mode of thinking that is still present in the countries of Central Europe,” wrote Mr. Nacsa in his letter to the rector of ELTE.

As well, HVG reminds its readers today that State Secretary Bence Rétvári (KDNP) in the Ministry of Human Capacities questioned whether gender studies even qualifies as a legitimate academic field, adding that this field of research is at odds with everything that the Fidesz government espouses.

I could feign shock at this news or recite the obscene mantra of how Fidesz has now truly crossed a red line–a line that up until now nobody would have thought that they would pass. Yet this would be insincere. It’s too late to be horrified that this can happen in Hungary–it’s about eight years too late. Most sectors and demographics of Hungarian society, from journalists to shop owners to NGOs, have already felt the scourge of the party state in profound ways. Academics are next in line.

66 Comments

  1. Maybe the Orbán government will replace it with How to Keep Saudi Arabian Despots Happy Studies, and invite Paul Manafort, and other members of the Trump establishment to teach the subject ? How to Build Illiberalism might also be a popular course for upwardly mobile Fidesznyiks. That could be directed by Mária Schmidt, favorite money manager of the Orbán autocracy. I’m sure half a dozen trolls from these pages would gladly enroll, especially if given a good stipend from the EU’s Cohesion Funds, a fund, that is entirely under the control of Orbán’s office in Hungary. There is no limit to the many ingenious ways that Hungary can rip off hardworking European taxpayers.

  2. StrandedinSopron says:

    The Orbanist Culture Vultures in Magyar Idok are now switching their attention to the Frida Kahlo exhibition in the MNG.

    The fact that it is hugely popular and that she is one of the most prominent artists of the 20th Century matters not a jot.

    There is a video of her with her “boyfriend” Trotsky and that’s enough to put Ms Kahlo on top of the Kulturkampf bonfire with that other lib subversive, Billy Elliott.

  3. This is great news. Hopefully the rest of Europe will soon follow suit. Gender studies is pseudoscience and shouldn’t be financed by tax payers.

    • Concerned citizen says:

      Hi Tony,

      just like to point out that CEU is a private university, so its programs aren’t funded by the Hungarian state/tax money. Could you explain what you mean by “pseudoscience”?

      • Mickey Green Eyes says:

        Oh, he probably means shit that is not based on hard facts like chemistry (the only hard science there is) is, so gender studies, history, biology, the business crap, law, quantum physics and the rest of… well… pseudoscience, because none of it is chemistry, the only science that has immutable rules on planet Earth.

      • Robert Morrison says:

        A system of theories, assumptions, and methods erroneously regarded as scientific.
        https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pseudoscience

        British Dictionary definitions for pseudoscience:
        A discipline or approach that pretends to be or has a close resemblance to science.

        A system of theories or assertions about the natural world that claim or appear to be scientific but that, in fact, are not. For example, astronomy is a science, but astrology is generally viewed as a pseudoscience.

      • Unrelated person says:

        One assumes “pseudoscience” was used in the standard sense, that is to say meaning a field which with great conviction pretends to scientific legitimacy without living up to the standards of the scientific method. The entire field is based upon false premises and it most certainly claims scientific authority, so I’d say Tony here is most certainly right about that. With that in mind, accreditation is no more reasonable for them to expect than taxpayer money. There are no accredited courses in creationism, there should be none in gender studies.

      • Hi Concerned citizen,

        just like to point out that CEU is free to continue offering gender studies courses. They are just no longer accredited(approved by the government as worthwhile and rigorous academic study). They are not banned.

        This is what he means by “pseudoscience”:

        https://youtu.be/E577jhf25t4

        Gender Studies is a renaming of simple feminism, that came out of radical feminism entering the academic sphere of influence in the 60s and 70s. It is not a science, because as a field, it’s goal is not truth and academic investigation. As a field, it’s goal is political, and as a result it rejects or downplays all findings that conflict with its political goals.

  4. The situation is ridiculous. On a separate topic, there were more than 2 students admitted to the one degree in the Gender Studies Department at CEU that used to be accredited. The department regularly has more than 20 1 year MA students (US accredited but not accredited in Hungary) and a cohort of PhD students as well as students in the Erasmus Masters Program. The program itself is large. The accredited part usually sits around 5 students—it’s a 2 year MA instead of a 1 year.

    • Concerned citizen says:

      Just to add to this;
      last year about 15 students were admitted to the Hungarian accredited 2 year program.

  5. TAMÁS Gáspár Miklós says:

    This should be seen in the context of the anti-CEU law, the curtailment of the autonomy of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the extreme right-wing media campaign against contemporary Hungarian literature (similar to the bizarre campaign against philosophers a few years ago), the grotesque homophobic attacks against the Hungarian State Opera, the government interference in the election of university vice-chancellors (US: presidents) & school headmasters (principals) & the far-right occupation of most media. Nothing independent & creative is left standing.

    • Robert Morrison says:

      It should also be examined in the context of usefulness for the given society that is effected by the studies. As “Saudi Arabian Despots” -quotation from Prof Gölner- do not allow Christian studies in their universities for the same reason as the OV government introduced the ban, namely they do not believe in such thus they found it against their goals of building their society.

      I understand that the Canadian environment has been made “ready and willing” to allow such “education” although as I heard Mr. Ford eliminated such from the new curriculum, every country should respect the believe systems of others therefore Canadian expats must be willing to live with the knowledge that Hungary is not an “open society” for such “studies”.

    • RM
      Let’s forget your comprehension problems (TMG is talking a dictatorship here); I’m delighted to hear you admitting that Hu is not an open society, for anything independent & creative (*).
      It’s a fascist regime after all.

  6. Math, Science, Physics, Engineering are subjects that add value to the economy. Where money is scarce, money should be spent on education which will benefit any nation.

  7. GenderStudiesAreEvil says:

    Christopher Adam, as a history major, it’s shocking you are so blind to realize the truth about “gender studies” and how harmful and destructive the feminist agenda is on society. It is a complete disaster in the West where these harmful ideologies are being allowed to flourish.

    • Concerned citizen says:

      Hi Genderstudiesareevil, could you explain what the truth about gender studies entails? I’ve heard it mentioned before how “harmful and destructive” the “feminist agenda” is on society but it’s never been clear to me what exactly that refers to, could you clarify?

      • Robert Morrison says:

        I can give you one example here:
        Every society needs reproduction to survive. In most cases “alternative genders” do not fulfil such function therefore they are not useful for the society in this area. It does not mean they cannot excel in others.

        Different societies deal with such e.g. under Islam they are beheaded, in some strict countries they are jailed, in some countries they are treated like secondary citizens, in many countries they are left alone but not supported, while in other countries s.a. the USA and Canada they are celebrated and encouraged to spread such alternative genderism.

      • Hi Concerned citizen, they may be busy but I’d be happy to help!

        “Gender Studies” as a field is a doublespeak renaming of “Women’s Studies”, which is itself a slightly less bold doublespeak renaming of “Feminism” courses. These courses became popular in the 60s and 70s in the United States and certain other areas.

        In the west, feminism is generally viewed as a female supremacy ideology that dislikes men. The large majority of the public does not identify as feminist. A poll in 2015 stated that only 18% of Americans, where the academic sphere of ‘gender studies’ perhaps had its most rampant growth, identified as feminists.

        https://www.vox.com/2015/4/8/8372417/feminist-gender-equality-poll

        The origin of women’s studies is checked with rampant bigotry and hatred of men; some of its longest-running and most iconic academic figures in the US have openly admitted their hatred of men, or overall desire for men to die en masse, and contempt for general family values. It is this bigotry towards protected classes and contempt for well-proven society values that makes feminism, and as such gender studies, destructive.

        “If life is to survive on this planet, there must be a decontamination of the Earth. I think this will be accompanied by an evolutionary process that will result in a drastic reduction of the population of males.

        “The proportion of men must be reduced to and maintained at approximately 10% of the human race.”

        Mary Daly, open feminist and professor of theology and feminist ethics in the US, from 1967 to 1999

        Sally Gearhart, open feminist and professor of women’s studies. Developed one of first US women’s studies programs, when teaching in San Francisco from 1973-1992.

        “When a woman reaches orgasm with a man she is only collaborating with the patriarchal system, eroticizing her own oppression.”

        Sheila Jeffreys, open feminist and professor of Gender and Sexual Politics in Melbourne from 1991-2015

        “The nuclear family must be destroyed… Whatever its ultimate meaning, the break-up of families now is an objectively revolutionary process.”

        Linda Gordon, Open feminist, professor of Social History and Humanities from 1968-1999, founding editor of Journal of Women’s History

        • Reality Check says:

          First the Vox poll.

          65.Do you consider yourself a feminist or not?
          Yes. 18
          No. 52
          I’m not sure. 26
          Refused. 4

          66.SPLIT A: Do you believe in social, political, legal, and economic equality of the sexes? N=537
          Yes. 78
          No. 6
          I’m not sure. 12
          Refused. 4

          So although people do not identify as feminist, they have core feminist beliefs. You conveniently left this out.

          Second, another poll had very different results that showed a majority do identify as feminist.

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/feminism-project/poll/

        • Reality Check says:

          Do you even realize that some of the people you are quoting are not academics? And the ones that are are on the fringe and do not represent mainstream feminist thought. Nice job cherry-picking. But, I bet you cut&pasted these from the few websites that traffic in these cherry-picked quotes.

          For instance the 10% male reduction quote is from a 22 year old woman (https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/5gkkj5/is-reducing-the-male-population-by-90-percent-the-solution-to-all-our-problems). You are literally quoting something from a silly blogpost that some young woman posted. She is either a bit daft or trolling. She is definately not, as you say, among the most iconic academic figures in the US. Yet you present it as evidence of the destructive power of feminism. You are quite the scholar.

          She has also said she thinks her own idea is silly. But, oh god I am so scared of the destructive power of this young undergraduate.

          • 1) Obviously those are not core feminist beliefs, as the majority of people believe those things but willfully do not identify as a feminist. Nice try trying to define the terms the way you want to, though.

            2) Literally every person I quoted is/was a long-standing professor of feminist/’gender studies’ classes. The “10% men” quote is from Sally Gearhart, a 20-year women’s studies professor and progenitor of the early San Francisco California women’s studies programs. Her name and credentials are included in the post you’re replying to.

            Wow you are bad at this.

    • You realise studying history isn’t meant as aspirational, right?

      • He is highlighting the effects and comments of those who would consider themselves as feminists.

        Gender Studies courses are designed to brainwash students into becoming feminists. Or to convert armchair feminists to full blown feminist activists.

        Therefore he is demonstrating the correlation between Gender Studies courses and the behaviour and comments he has highlighted.

    • There is nothing more debilitating and ultimately destructive for a society than a dictatorship, particularly so if by half baked, retrograde and deeply provincial malignant thieves.
      The results in Hu are showing already.

  8. Tabor Johnson says:

    A quick Google search informs me that there are not 2 genders, but rather 63. Certainly this is a rather recent revelation in human history; I can’t seem to find anything from more than a few years ago to suggest that humans could/should divide themselves into this many gender types. The 16 personality types of Meyers and Briggs have many decades of hard social science to support their work. Are we really to believe that there are roughly four times as many genders as there are personality types? Perhaps if Gender Studies as an academic discipline were more of an honest intellectual effort to better understand human relations and less of a transparent psychological operation by Marxists to destroy Christianity by undermining the most basic elements of human life (reproduction and family), sane people would be more sorry to see it go.

  9. Translation of actual news:

    “The Hungarian government, after forcing Hungarian citizens to pay for the damaging political propaganda of pseudoscience feminist studies–I mean women’s studies–I mean gender studies classes for years, has ceased recognizing the pseudoscience as academically worthwhile.

    Hungarian citizens are still free to engage in private studies and discussions of feminist discourse, it will simply no longer be funded by citizen tax money and no longer recognized by the government as a rigorous academic pursuit.

    Nothing is banned. Carry on.”

  10. To be fair, gender studies tends to be anti-objectivity and anti-rigor and is almost purely based in radically sexist ideology. It’s essentially a degree in misandry. It is certainly in opposition to societal well being and a fraudulent program.

  11. Sorry, but we all know what’s happening here. The self-hating closeted gay men in KDNP are getting out their frustrations and giving a bone to Fidesz’s trash voters to chew on.

    • Tabor Johnson says:

      Is gay a gender?

      • Robert Morrison says:

        Not really. It is a sexual preference practicing same sex activities.
        Natural gender is either Male or Female (in some extremely rare occasion could be hermafrodita), all others are created by social warriors in order to turn their society upside down.
        Sexual activities is a different story. Through human history same sex activities had been practiced with different social approval in different times and countries. E.g. Roman Empire.

        • Reality Check says:

          If you don’t know the difference between gender and sex, maybe you’re not qualified to opine about this subject.

          What you described as natural gender is biological sex not gender. Gender is a matter or self-identity. If someone who is biologically male identifies as female, so what? Who are you to question how they see themselves? This is a real phenomenon in humans. Has been for a very longtime. Why not talk about it and study it? And if you really think this is going to turn our world upside down, keep pulling on that sword. I’m sure you’ll eventually pull it out of that rock.

          And neither are binary.

          • If you don’t know that biological sex differences are the primary factors in shaping gender differences, maybe you’re not qualified to opine on this subject.

            If a bunch of feminists are teaching social determinism and calling it a legitimate position, maybe they aren’t qualified to opine on the subject.

            Maybe that’s why they’re no longer accredited. :]

    • Robert Morrison says:

      That wasn’t nice. It appears that you had given a flow of your frustrations with the “Fidesz’s trash voters”.
      I just read somewhere that (applies to the USA) Democrats do not accept the results of any election as legitimate that they did not win. Looks familiar?

      • Oh no, did I trigger your hypersensitive Fidesz soul?! It’s cute how Orbanist trailer trash can dish it out to others, but can’t take it.

        • Robert Morrison says:

          No Lanark, you are too small to trigger anything in my life. I simply tried to tell you not to be a “bunkó” but as I see with not much result. So just keep spewing your unintelligent garbage, as you are tolerated by the editor.

        • Tabor Johnson says:

          Why debase your argument by using hateful language? Many fine people live in mobile homes (trailers), and calling whole groups of people “trash” is usually considered impolite at best. It isn’t that I think your hate speach should be banned, just that I think it obviously detracts from what you’re trying to say. Lolz!

    • Andy from Beaverton says:

      Hopefully when I visit Hungary, they will still allow me to sexually identify as an Apache, Cherokee or and other attack helicopter except a Cobra. I hate f’ing snakes!

  12. Wow, this makes me want to move to Hungary. It’s always a good idea for a country to stop turning (mostly) girls into lifelong marxist gender activists. The amount of easily demonstrable lies that I’ve heard spouted from the mouths of gender studies graduates has shown to me clearly that this is a field rife with pseudoscience. Though anyone who doubts this, I advice you to try to rigorously try to study some of the papers that come out of gender studies academia. If they are ever intelligable, they’re practically never cited and produce only negative value to the process of scientific inquiry. That’s why their courses have to be forced onto other students. Good for Hungary. I’m jealous.

    • Mirjam
      Forget gender studies, that’s small potatoes, but you really should move to Hu if you like fascism – we have a version of the Italian design here (being a woman and eventually Jewish may have some drawbacks though).

  13. FASCISM it is folks,
    when a young party functionary and a newspaper, as the indignant/angry voice of the people, signal the attack, just like in the Stalinist times.
    This Nassau character didn’t realize he was using almost verbatim the Stalinist vocabulary in the context – wasteful luxury … destructive. “We must raise awareness (be vigilant)… doing nothing to lift up our nation. … destroying the … mode of thinking “ of the new orban-man, he might have added.
    It’s not the fishy gender studied that are under attack, but all the socio cultural elements of the Hu society, as listed by TGM above.

    • Robert Morrison says:

      So your observation is that “this Nassau character” is a leftist (fascism is a leftist movement by origin and been misused on this site) by calling for the abolishing the gender study courses as “doing nothing to lift up our nation”? Interesting observation to say the least 🙂

  14. GenderStudiesIsAnotherNameForFeministStudies says:

    The courses would still be allowed but they will no longer be accredited. I’m okay with this because such courses are ideological and should not be accredited in the first place. In other countries there are extremely divisive lessons in their gender studies classes so if Hungary’s gender studies courses are not yet at that point it’s just a matter of time before they reach it.

    Anybody against this move likely knows little about Gender Studies or follows the same ideological mindset as Gender Studies does.

  15. Gender Studies as a course is and always will be destructive. We have seen throughout the world how damaging it has been. Effectively Gender Studies courses (sometimes referred to Womens Studies) aim to brainwash their attendees using minority owned ideological viewpoints. These theories are usually taken from Feminist Theory a very extreme far left view point and aim to turn every woman into a victim and every man into a perpetrator.

    Women and men that come out of this course either come out very angry wanting to attack authority figures in a frail attempt to bring them in line with their feminist ideology. The rest who might not initially exhibit behaviour in line with an activist certainly have the proverbial chip on their shoulder.

    • Reality Check says:

      “Women and men that come out of this course either come out very angry wanting to attack authority figures in a frail attempt to bring them in line with their feminist ideology. The rest who might not initially exhibit behaviour in line with an activist certainly have the proverbial chip on their shoulder.”

      Funny I know several people who have taken such courses and they exhibit none of the viewpoints you claim. Seems it is you who has a chip on your shoulder regarding feminism.

      And how have these courses been destructive? What kind of cowards are afraid of students discussing the unequailities women face?

  16. Pingback: Great news from Hungary regarding pseudo science.......

  17. he is doing the students a favor, a future of cats and working in mcdonalds isnt a life

    • Reality Check says:

      How about the six figures my neice is making five years after being awarded a degree in women’s studies? Probably a better life than most of the men commenting on this post about how scared they are of people discussing gender.

      And in the end this is really about academic autonomy. No government should have this much control of what’s taught in academia.

  18. Vivat Orbán, better late than never !

  19. Gender studies is one of the most useless degrees in the world, with pretty much zero return investments and a nice, warm breeding ground for the pseudo-intellectual identitarian activists who then will try to brainwash more normal people to join their little ideological cult.

    You only need to take a glance at what happened in the US or Australia to see the sheer damage it caused.

  20. I am not sure what kind of Gender Studies some of the people here are referring to. I had a course on gender (specifically gender and literature) as part of my undergraduate studies. I was not in Hu but in one of the Nordic countries where such courses are not uncommon. We explored the representation of gender (not only woman) in religion, class, race, and nationalism, amongst other. As the course was part of the Language and Literature department, the methods used in the course were not too different from those used in other literature-related courses, basically analyzing text, its context, and related theories. Yet, most people don’t question how ‘scientific’ regular literature (or philosophy, or any other social sciences) studies are.

    • Reality Check says:

      They are refering to a kind that only exists on the fringes. All disciplines have fringe elements. Among academics you will even find young-earth creationists who teach and do research in biology departments. I just showed some of the quotes posted in the comments to my niece who majored in gender studies. She did not recognize any of the quotes or heard of these particular feminists. Why? Because they are being cherry -picked from the fringe.

  21. Robert Morrison says:

    @Everybody

    Would someone explain how to insert a picture here. I took a nice one at the bank of the Danube for the pleasure of all of you.

  22. Reality Check says:

    Look at all these experts opining about Gender Studies. I bet most of you have no clue what it is.

    Given that women in Hungary are underepresented in politics, business, and other fields, and that women in similar positions as men make a fraction of what men make, it seems there’s a real need for gender studies in Hungary.

    Why are you snowflakes so scared of this? Afraid if women gain equity, you might not be able compete?

    • I don’t know If you live in Hungary but as far as i know they aren’t underpresented in many fields. In politics, maybe…. in sociology, psychology and economics they are not. It really depends on what the majority choose to study.

  23. Pingback: In Hungary, banned programs on gender studies | Hybridtechcar

  24. Robert Morrison says:

    Reality Check on August 12, 2018 at 5:17 am

    “How about the six figures my neice is making five years after being awarded a degree in women’s studies?”
    Nice indeed. Good for her. My second level niece has two diplomas; a teacher and a lawyer, has two children from her male husband, and earns seven figure without her gender being studied or accredited. How about this for a Reality Check?

    • Reality Check says:

      Very few people make seven figures. Most undergraduates do not in the first few years. I think I still made my point despite your weak response.

  25. Robert Morrison says:

    Reality Check on August 12, 2018 at 5:05 am

    “.., and that women in similar positions as men make a fraction of what men make, it seems there’s a real need for gender studies in Hungary”.

    I am afraid that you mistake the terms of equal payment for equal work with what ones have between their legs. As always you over exaggerated the problem with the “fraction” but there is a lot of work yet to achieve equality for equal contribution. This is a slow transition from male work force to both sex work force. But it is not a gender issue, rather a social awareness one. As I have three daughters and three granddaughters, I am full heartedly for equal payment for equal work, but against both sexes to do the same work. e.g. I hate the idea of female fighter pilots or for that matter any army position. For me women are for creating life for taking it.

    • Reality Check says:

      It was pretty clear from your other comments that you have sexist views. Thanks for confirming it.

      My experience in the workforce has been that women work harder and they work at no lower a level than men.

      Tammie Jo Shults doesn’t give a damn what you think.

  26. This is a reply to Reality Check’s and Mercurial. Sally Miller Gearheart is the originator of the 10% figure.

  27. My, my ! It seems like the subject matter has struck a raw nerve with those Hungarian boys, who always stand erect when the pocket dictator whistles as he blows. A real pleasure to see you all congregating down here in the basement, ranting against gender studies, while exhibiting your Freudian slips. Sexual terror on the puszta is so revealing. Your fascination for the man with his own mini-train, is a true measure of your movement’s “greatness”. Heaven forbid Viktor, from Viktoria !

    My terrorized, physically correct boy dolls ! Please get a grip on yourselves, and read Wilheim Reich’s The Function of the Orgasm (or watch Dusan Makavejev’s cinematic version.) I would not dream of asking you all to read Simone de Beauvoir. She would scare the living hell out of all of you. I would ask you, however, to mull her wisdom: “ In itself, homosexuality is as limiting as heterosexuality: the ideal should be to be capable of loving a woman or a man; either, a human being, without feeling fear, restraint, or obligation.” If you could all be half as human as the founder of gender studies was, this would be a much better basement.

  28. Pingback: Gender Studies Is Not Welcome In Hungary | Brussels Morning

  29. Robert Morrison says:

    Reality Check on August 12, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    I am sorry to say but for you nothing is “pretty clear” at all. You are one of those ultra-leftist trolls who always attack the characters of your debating partners (“from your other comments “) rather than dealing with the issues at hand. This I confirm for you nothing else.

    Sad for you that I do not fall for this and to be clear (perhaps this will be clear enough) I do not give in to such nonsense method. Try it on others rather than wasting your time on me.

    And for your statement “women work harder and they work at no lower a level than men” if anything, this is as sexists as it gets and baseless generalization but I expect nothing less from a troll like you.

    Kisses to Tammie Jo Shults, but I still do not want my granddaughters to become killers of other humans in the name of equality.

  30. @ Robert Morrison, a.k.a. “pot”

    I see that the troll factory put you on the morning shift, and entrusted you with the task of calling the kettle black. Continue bouncing those balls of yours off the back of another colleague, and work on getting a better grip on yourself. 🙂 🙂

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