‘Medicated, meddlesome and quarrelsome:’ Boise State professor’s comments on women draw fire

“If every Nobel Prize winner is a man, that’s not a failure,” Scott Yenor said in an Oct. 31 speech. “It’s kind of a cause for celebration.” While much of the speech — and much of the backlash — has focused on gender issues, the Boise State University professor also continued his criticism of campus culture. Idaho Education News file photo

(UPDATED, 9:55 a.m. on Dec. 1, with additional comments from Yenor.)

Career-oriented women — who have put off marriage and family in favor of mid-level jobs — are “more medicated, meddlesome and quarrelsome than women need to be,” Scott Yenor said in a recent speech.

And the Boise State University political science professor said colleges, “the citadels of our gynecocracy,” are part of the problem. In order to preserve the family, he said, society needs to deemphasize college.

“Almost everything in these indoctrination camps complicates the male-female dance. It delays growing up,” he said.

The comments are now a month old — Yenor spoke on Oct. 31 at the National Conservatism Conference in Orlando, Fla. But the comments took on new life in the past few days, as Yenor came under fire on Boise-area social media.

“I can think of nothing remotely kind to say,” said former state Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb, D-Boise, now a College of Western Idaho trustee.

“If you are going to teach students this BS, you better warn them that this may be just fine at BSU, but CEOs like me will fire their ass if they say this crap in the workplace,” said Dr. David Pate, the retired head of the St. Luke’s Health System.

“Very disappointing that you are teaching anywhere!” said Terri Pickens, a Democrat running for lieutenant governor. “Students deserve better than this trash.”

But Yenor is not likely to be going anywhere. Hired in 2000, Yenor is a tenured professor, university spokesman Mike Sharp said Monday.

And in a statement to news outlets, Boise State did not criticize Yenor.

“Boise State University understands that the open exchange of ideas, which is fundamental to education, can introduce uncomfortable and even offensive ideas,” the statement said, in part. “However, the university cannot infringe upon the First Amendment rights of any members of our community, regardless of whether we, as individual leaders, agree or disagree with the message. No single faculty member defines what Boise State — or any public university — endorses or stands for.”

On Tuesday, Yenor doubled down, with a brief video response posted on Twitter. He said the weakening of the family has caused “addiction, suicide, misery, crime, pain and purposelessness.” And he renewed his criticism of feminism.

“When feminists celebrate the revolutionary anger of modern women, they are applauded,” Yenor said. “When they celebrate their nastiness, they applaud one another.”

This isn’t the first time Yenor has attacked what he considers education’s leftist leanings.

In December 2020, Yenor co-authored a white paper on behalf of the Idaho Freedom Foundation, a conservative group, which said Boise State administrators are “committed to building a social justice institution.” Months later, at the urging of the Freedom Foundation, lawmakers cut $1.5 million from Boise State’s budget for the current year.

Yenor spent the summer serving on Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin’s hand-chosen education task force, which focused on claims of indoctrination in K-12 and on college campuses. The task force has come out in opposition to a proposed State Board of Education diversity, equity and inclusion policy for Idaho’s public institutions, including Boise State.

(Related story: ‘Women belong on our campus,’ President Marlene Tromp and other Boise State administrators say in a statement Wednesday.)

Kevin Richert

About Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on KIVI 6 On Your Side; "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television; and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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