Conservative commentators fulminate as Eötvös Loránd University announces plans to open a degree program in gender studies. A left-wing pundit, on the other hand, accuses the critics of gender studies of trying to force their ideological vision on Hungarians.
Eötvös Loránd University announced plans to launch a gender studies degree program in September 2017. The Christian Democratic Party as well as House Speaker László Kövér criticized the plan and called on ELTE to reconsider the new program.
Magyar Hírlap’s Dániel Kacsoh regrets that a Hungarian university co-opts the fashionable ideology of US universities. The conservative columnist thinks that gender studies is preoccupied with imaginary problems. Kacsoh suspects that the main ideological aim of the whole discipline is to replace biological sex with artificial and politically correct gender categories that mirror the progressive gender ideology. All this has nothing to do with the equality of sexes and the efforts to involve males more in household chores and women in the job market – causes that many conservatives are happy to embrace, Kacsoh contends. In conclusion, he finds it highly alarming that what he calls the ‘gender ideology’ is advancing in Hungary.
In Magyar Nemzet, Róbert Puzsér lambasts the idea of a state funded gender studies degree program. The centrist commentator known for his highly opinionated articles thinks that gender studies is a doctrinaire ideology that has little to do with liberal freedom. Puzsér accuses radical feminists of trying to impose on the public a ‘gender fascist’ ideology that demonizes males as criminals and women as victims rather than advocating equal rights. Puzsér finds it highly controversial that the governing right-wing Fidesz party, which otherwise favours illiberal democracy, allows the launching of a gender studies program at Hungary’s most prestigious public university.
Writing in Népszava, Judit Kósa accuses the Christian Democratic Party of trying to infringe on academic freedom. The left-wing commentator dismisses the allegations that gender studies is ‘brain washing’. It is not the promotion of gender equality that forces an ideology on the society, but rather its conservative and Christian critics who try to push their own ‘behind-the-times’ social agenda down the throat of Hungarians, Kósa believes.