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Academic Grievance (Introduction)

© Peter Zohrab 2011

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Dear Associate Professor Crabbe,

I have been asked to state my grievance succinctly, so I will do that in this letter. However, I will need to follow this up with a more detailed case, including detailed criticism of certain matters, including expecially the marking of some of my essays.

This grievance centres on the marking of two essays by separate lecturers. However, the way that these two essays were marked is intimately linked to the political (Feminist) agenda pursued by many staff at Victoria University of Wellington ("VUW"). Therefore I have widened the grievance to include the issue of politically motivated discrimination, the marking of two other essays, the unprofessional behaviour of three lecturers and two other incidents, which are all related to the political discrimination issue. VUW is in breach of its obligations under s. 181 of the Education Act 1989 and under s. 20L of the Human Rights Act 1993.


  1. At VUW, various courses teach Feminist doctrine not as an academic theory which is capable of being critiqued, but as dogma that is to be taught in a totalitarian and quasi-religious manner;

  2. No courses that I am aware of teach anti-Feminist thought;

  3. Students' essays which criticise Feminist dogma are marked down in a discriminatory fashion;

  4. Lecturers are generally incompetent to teach Feminism as academic theory, since they have no knowledge of critiques of Feminist theory from non-Feminist sources.

  5. Lecturers bully and pressure students to conform with Feminist dogma.

  6. The teaching of Feminist doctrine was introduced into the university as a result of political pressure from Feminists, which is inappropriate and discriminatory.

  7. That being the case everywhere where Feminism is taught, it is not rational to pretend that articles (e.g. Feminist ones) in peer-reviewed journals are ipso facto of a higher status or standard than other articles (e.g. anti-Feminist ones), since publishers have no academic standing and, in the case of Feminist journals, their editorial boards have only acquired academic status as a result of the above-mentioned political pressure.

  8. Peer-reviewed Feminist articles are often of poor quality – to the point of actually being self-contraditory. For example, see my article: Feminist Jurisprudence Proves that a Woman's Place is in the Home at http://blackribboncampaign.t15.org/femathom.html

  9. VUW has not maintained standards in the teaching of Feminist doctrine (whether in Women's Studies or other courses) by stipulating that a particular definition of "Feminism" be adhered to or by stipulating that the political objective of "equality" or "equity" be pursued, nor has VUW monitored the teaching of Feminist doctrine for consistency as regards any definition of "Feminism" or as regards the pursuit of "equality" or "equity". I have not researched this matter at all, but it is absolutely obvious, and I do not expect to be refuted on that point.

  10. Regardless of what various Feminists may at various times and places have claimed, Feminism has always and only pursued the apparent self-interest of women, and there is no evidence that it has pursued "equality" or "equity" as between men and women in any consistent, monitored or honest fashion. For example, Feminism has never looked for ways in which men, as a group, are disadvantaged, relative to women. I have managed to get the Ministry of Women's Affairs to stop claiming that it is about "equity" for that reason. I can document that fact.

  11. That being the case, VUW is constantly highlighting issues with an emphasis on how women are disadvantaged, but never (as far as I am aware) with an emphasis on how males are disadvantaged.

  12. The fact is that what lecturers say is generally received with a great deal of respect and even reverence, and it is no exaggeration to say that a lot of what university lecturers say is (if politically Feminist) taken up by the (Feminist) media, inculcated into the public's mind, and then turned into Government policy and legislation in due course.

  13. That being the case, the above approach of VUW constitutes discrimination against males.

  14. VUW maintains an affirmative action programme for female students in Information Technology, where female students are apparently few in number, but does not do so in courses (e.g. Primary Education) where male students are few in number. I have not bothered to check, in fact, whether such a programme exists in the Education Faculty, because the mentality at VUW is such that it is inconceiveable that it would exist. I do not expect to be refuted on this point.

  15. The above approach of VUW constitutes discrimination against males.

  16. It is obvious to the naked eye and apparently a nationwide trend that most university students are female. That is because discrimination against males is a feature of all coeducational institutions in New Zealand, as far as I am aware. This does not absolve VUW of the duty to remove discrimination against males at VUW.

  17. I have specific complaints about the marking of four essays and the behaviour of three lecturers, which exemplify some of the issues mentioned above, and which I will detail in a follow-up letter

  18. I have specific complaints about the handling of an incident in class where I was threatened by two students, and about my meeting with the Dean of the Faulty of Humanities, which I will also detail in a follow-up letter. The incident in class exemplifies issues mentioned above.




Peter Douglas Zohrab

Latest Update

12 July 2015